It was a pleasure to talk with all of you at conferences last week!!! These first graders have been working hard since the beginning of the year. Thank you so much for all of the support and encouragement that you provide your child at home working on math homework, take-home books, spelling word, handwriting, sight words, Raz-Kids and MobyMax. Phew!!! I can’t wait to see how these sweet little ones continue to grow!!! If you have any questions or concerns as the year continues please let me know.
We had so much fun visiting the book fair this week! THANK YOU so much to the PTC and the sweet families from our classroom that donated books. We have tons of new stories that we can’t wait to read!!!
November 2-16 – P.E. C.A.R.E.S. Food Drive
November 11 – Veteran’s Day
November 12 – Library Day
November 15 – PTC Meeting @ 6:30
November 16 – No Sight Word Parent Helpers
Parent helpers plan on November 30 and December 7. Then, we’ll start back up again in the new year. Thank you so much for your support!!!
Brrrrr!!!! It has sure been cold outside!!! Just a reminder to send your child to school with their cold weather gear – our lunchtime recess is a long one. Also, don’t forget to label EVERYTHING in case a mitten, hat, or boot goes missing!
Our classroom has been a tad on the chilly side too. Feel free to send your child to school with an extra sweatshirt or sweater to wear in the classroom.
Save the date…
November 21-25 – Thanksgiving Break: No School
December 13 – Holiday Music Program
We kicked off Unit 3 this past week and introduced our first graders to a new strategy: math mountains. A math mountain is a method for organizing the partners on bottom and the total on top. If we aren’t sure of the total in a math mountain we can underline the greater partner and count ON. If a partner is missing, we can underline the known partner and count UP to the total (drawing a circle for each number that we count). The number of circles tells us the missing partner.
Our first graders solved stories that were missing a partner instead of the total this week too. This was our first time exploring ways to solve this kind of problem. We found that our math mountain strategy helped us organize the numbers so we could count-UP from the known partner to the total in order find the missing partner. So, we worked hard to recognize the total and partner in each story so our math mountains made sense and our work was accurate.
We are just getting started with a new writing unit: How To! We noticed this week that How To writing teaches us how to do something.
We then practiced writing a How To as a whole class. We wrote How To WALK IN THE HALL. As a class we thought of all the materials you would need and the steps in order. Before we wrote our steps, we drew a teaching picture for each step and then wrote our steps out.
We want to make sure that what we are writing about is something we know how to do before we start. We need your help! This weekend, please brainstorm with your First Grader about some topics that they know how to do. Some ideas included might include…
-How to build a snowman
-How to jump rope
-How to play with your dog
-How to take care of your pet
-How to play tic, tac, toe
-How to brush your teeth
We will create a class list of ideas on Monday! I can’t wait to hear all the good ideas!
This week, we started a new unit of reading focused on figuring out tricky words. Our classroom received a mystery envelope from the SUPER SECRET DETECTIVE AGENCY! We’ve been busy on missions all week, to help us be the best word detectives we can be.
Each new mission has given us a new tool to help us carefully figure out new, tricky words. We’ll keep working on new missions as we grow as word detectives.
We had a fabulous first writing celebration on Thursday! The kids were so proud of their writing. I kept this final piece at school and will be saving it to go in a special book that you will receive at the end of the year. The rest of your child’s writing was sent home for you to enjoy! Our next writing unit will focus on writing How-To Directions. We are excited to get started!
THANK YOU so much to the many parents that volunteered in our classroom during the party and donated all of our supplies and treats. The kids LOVED dressing in their costumes, and had a blast making their toilet paper pumpkins, playing Halloween Memory, and eating TONS of yummy food. We are so thankful for all of you!!! I will be adding all of the pictures from our party to our class photo stream soon – let me know if you need the link to check them out.
November 2 – 16 – P.E. C.A.R.E.S. Food Drive
Send in your nonperishable food items.
November 5 – Book Fair Preview Day
We will head down to the book fair so your child can make a wish list of the books he or she would like to get. You do not have to purchase these books. This experience gets the kids excited about new books to read or look at!!
November 7 – Book Fair Buy Day
Today our class has the opportunity to visit the book fair to purchase books. If your child would like to buy a book, please send his/her money to school on Wednesday in an envelope labeled with your child’s name and the phrase “Book Fair Money”.
November 8 – Jet’s Pizza Night
November 9 – Spelling Assessment
*We will not have our normal library time this week due to the Book Fair.*
When we read with our first graders, there are three areas that we look for growth throughout the year: comprehension, accuracy, and fluency. This week, we introduced a tool to aid the students in strengthening their reading comprehension.
This tool helps guide the students in retelling the events of a story in order. When we use this tool, we start by reading a story. When we finish reading, before moving on to another story, we see if we can remember the events of the story. The kids practiced retelling the events across their fingers.
This past week we spent most of our writing time preparing a special story to share at our writing celebration! First, we picked out a story that we are very proud of to revise on our own and to check for all the parts of a good small moment story. Then, we edited our stories by making sure they were easy to read. After that, we got a chance to use colored pencils to add some color to our stories. Finally, on Thursday, we celebrated!
During our celebration time, we had a chance to add a cover to our story and share a favorite part of our story with the whole class. I am so proud of how far these first graders have come as writers since the beginning of the year.
Parent/Teacher conferences will take place this week Monday and Wednesday. I look forward to meeting with all of you to share some of the AMAZING growth your child has made since the beginning of the year!!
I’ve posted the revised conference schedule below. We have a lot of wonderful things to talk about in just 15 minutes. Please remember to be prompt and I will do my best to stay right on schedule too!
Thank you!! Report cards will be sent home with everyone on Monday, November 5. Check your child’s folder.
Way to go Turkey Trot participants!!! It was so much fun to cheer you on last week at the event. We have some very fast runners in our class. Let’s keep the fall fun going – we are excited for some fun Halloween/Harvest activities this week!!!
October 29 – Library Day
October 30 – Picture Retakes
Send back in your child’s picture folder, and I will make sure they head down to smile.
October 31 – Halloween Party @ 12:45
Click on this link for information about our party –> Halloween Party Details
November 2 – Early Release Day
Students are dismissed from school at 12:15. (Sack lunches can be ordered through Food Service and will be sent home with your child. Please make sure your child knows if he or she needs to order a sack lunch. Feel free to send me an e-mail to let me know.) We will not have parent volunteers for sight words this week due to the half day!
November 4 – Day Light Savings – Fall Back
Today, I sent an e-mail with our fall conference schedule. Please mark this date on your calendar. If you have not sent me an e-mail to confirm your time, please do! I am excited to be able to meet with you and share some of the amazing growth your first grader has made since the beginning of the year!
Our Halloween Party will take place this Wednesday, October 31, from 12:45-1:30.
On Wednesday, October 31, your child can bring their Halloween costume to school in a bag. Please keep all swords, weapons, makeup, etc… at home for the real Trick-or-Treating. We will change into our festive gear around 12:30ish. Your child will wear their Halloween costume during the party and change back into their school clothes (or stay in their costume) after the party before we have recess.
Thank you so much to all the parents who are donating supplies and volunteering during the event. Please send in your party donations by Tuesday, October 30, so I can double check that we have everything we need. Food items can be brought in the day of the party.
We are looking forward to lots of fun!!! I’ll take pictures to share on our photo stream for you to see if you haven’t signed up to volunteer at the party! Please remember, if you plan to attend the party, you need to sign up to help with our craft, game, or snack and complete a background check. Please leave younger siblings at home to allow for space in the classrooms.
We focused on making our stories easy for other people to read, this week. We spent time focusing on neat handwriting, finger spaces, and spelling our word wall words correctly.
We spent time practicing putting capitals in the right places – we focused on making sure to capitalize the letter I when we talk about ourselves. We are encouraging our writers to be careful not to add capital letters to all their words (which is common for beginning writers). We will continue to build on where to add capitals and punctuation throughout the school year.
This week, we reviewed all the concepts that we covered in Unit 2. Unit 2 covered addition and subtraction strategies and provided the foundation for all of the math learning that will take place for the rest of this year and beyond. Look for the math assessment to come home soon and check over how your child performed. Any areas that are still NOT consistently solid, we will continue to practice in our lesson warm ups and small group intervention. This week’s homework will be a review of writing addition equations (P + P = T) and subtraction equations (T – P = P).
We talked about how good readers think about their books as they read. We focused on how when they finish reading one book, before moving on to their next book, they can stop and think. This week, we focused on making connections to our books as we read. As we read, we stopped to think, ‘Would I feel the same way, if that had happened to me?’ or ‘Do I know of any other characters, from different books, who have felt this way before?’ Connections help us to understand how characters feel and infer why they are acting the way they are acting in different parts of a story. Making these connections will help your child to have a deeper understanding of story events and prepares them to be able to talk about character traits.
Thank you so much to our parent volunteers who began supporting students with our sight word intervention last week. We are very excited to continue meeting with you! Thank you also for supporting your first grade reader at home with their take home books. Remember to return these books to school each day, so your child can bring home a new book to read to you!!! I am getting excited to reassess each child’s reading level. I know they have been growing and are getting very excited about many of the series books in our classroom!
October 22-26 – Be Nice * Be Safe Week
October 22 – Library Day
Send your child’s book back to school.
October 22 – Holiday Posters Due
October 23 – Math Assessment
October 23 – Turkey Trot
If your child would like to participate and you did not sign up already, late registration can be filled out at the race. The races begin at 5:00. Gates open at 4:30. If your child signed-up for the race, Turkey Trot t-shirts/goodies were sent home on Thursday or Friday.
October 25 – Favorite Color Day
We’ve earned another classroom prize! Plan to send your child to school dressed in their favorite color(s).
October 26 – Popcorn Day
This week, the kids had fun sharing some of the books they’ve been reading on their own. We practiced giving book introductions where the kids share the WHO, WHAT, & WHERE from their stories. This skill helps build our first graders’ ability to summarize, while also giving them a chance to share their excitement over a book with friends in the class.
We also talked about how good readers think about their books as they read. We focused on how when they finish reading one book, before moving on to their next book, they can stop and think.
This week, we took time to remember all that we’ve learned about small moment narrative stories. We made a chart with the class to list all the things they should be adding to each of their stories to make their story the best small moment story they know how to write.
We challenged the class to see if they could start a new story and add all these things to their story. We collected the story and will send it home to share with you. When you see it come home, have your child read it to you and see if they can point out the different parts of the chart that they added to their own story!
This week, we focused on subtraction equations and stories. We continued to emphasize that a subtraction equation always begins with the total and worked hard to label all our equations so we knew which numbers to put where.
We also learned that we can use addition to help us solve subtraction. If we know the partners for an addition equation, we can use this understanding to help us find the missing partner in a subtraction equation.