Tuesday, December 5, 2017

December News

Important Upcoming Dates:

Scholastic Orders Due: Friday, December 8th 
Be sure to browse the online catalogs!  Orders are not limited to the printed flyers.  If you are thinking of holiday gifts and would like the selections to be a surprise when they arrive, please let me know! 

Winter Party:  Thursday, December 21st 
Details coming soon!

Electronic Progress Reports (EPRs):  Sunday, December 23rd
EPRs are released to Parents Electronically through Parent Portal 

Winter Break:  Friday, December 22nd-Sunday, January 7th 

A Peek Into Our Classroom:
What we are learning and how you can help at home! 

This year is just zooming by!  It was so nice to share our learning with so many of you at our Thanksgiving Learning Celebration.  The kids love to share and we will be using SeeSaw more and more often to keep you in the loop with our learning.  Speaking of learning, this is the time of year where first graders just grow by leaps and bounds.  It is so amazing to watch their transformation and I hope you are noticing the growth at home, too!  Read below to learn more about what we are learning right now: 

Reader’s Workshop

We are focusing on….
* story elements in fiction: characters, setting, plot, problem, solution
*decoding strategies to help when we get stuck on a word
*thinking strategies to help us understand and interact with texts (i.e. how to listen to our inner voice as we read—ask questions, make connections, notice new learning)

You can support your child at home by….
*Asking: What are some strategies you can use when you get stuck? 
*Use the resources under the Reading Tab to guide you as you support your child with decoding and comprehension.  Make sure they read, read, read!
*Help your child find “good fit” books to read at home.  Continue to read aloud to your child, especially when they are interested in texts that are too challenging for them right now. 
*Have your child practice retelling the stories they read.  Ask them about the characters, setting, problem and solution.   

Writer’s Workshop

We are focusing on….
*We are preparing to publish a small moments story to end our unit.  Students are putting it all together!  We are focusing on the final steps in the writing process:
   --Revise:  We are adding details to make
our characters think, move, talk, and feel.  We are trying our craft moves we have learned from mentor texts, like ellipses, onomatopoeia, and pop out words.
   --Edit:  We check spelling using our word wall, what we are learning about spelling patterns, and our best first grade strategies—phonetic spelling is still expected and OK!.  We are working on using capital and lower case letters correctly, too.   
  --Publish:  Writing is meant to be shared!  Students will be writing a final copy and sharing it with each other, book buddies, and YOU!  All of their small moment writing will come home before break.  

You can support your child at home by…
*Asking:  What story are you going to publish?  How are you making it even better?
*Talk about the cool words and neat details you notice in the books you read together. 


We are focusing on….

*Describing the attributes of 2-dimensional shapes, noticing commonalities, and combining and breaking shapes apart to make other shapes (just finished this unit)
* Developing strategies for addition and subtraction like counting on and counting back
*Solving problems with more than two numbers
*Finding many combinations for the same number
*Place value with teen numbers
*Explaining our thinking and solving problems in different ways

You can support your child at home by…

*Checking out my Math Page for some great information including resources from Dr. Jenny Brown on Mathematical Mindset and helping your child with math!
*Playing the math homework games together and encouraging your child to share their thinking by asking, “how do you know?” or “what strategy did you use to find that answer?”
*Continue to practice counting by 1s (forwards and backwards), 5s, 10s, and 2s to 120 until these skills are mastered
Social Studies/Science

We are focusing on…

*Comparing and Contrasting the first Thanksgiving to today (just finished this unit)
*Science Unit on Rocks, focusing on the process of inquiry and understanding rocks as earth materials and natural resources. 
*Exploring, sorting, and experimenting with pebbles, sand, silt, and rocks of other sizes and types

You can support your child at home by…

*If you haven't already, have your child share their Thanksgiving lap book with you can talk about what they learned
*Start a Rock Collection and notice rocks around your home and community.  Ask your child to describe rocks based on their properties, like light, dark, smooth, rough, shiny, dull, speckled, sharp, chalky

Monday, October 23, 2017

October News

Upcoming Events

Tuesday, October 31st- Halloween Party and Science Day!

Our Halloween Party will be on Tuesday, October 31st from 8:40-9:30.  Kids should arrive at normal time dressed in their costumes.  We will have an all school parade starting at 9:40.  Parents are welcome to join us for the party and/or stand along the edges of the playgrounds to watch us for the parade.  After the parade, students will change into normal clothes for the rest of the day.  (Consider having the students wear their clothes under their costume if possible).

If you would like to help with the party in person or by sending supplies, please click on this link to sign up:    http://www.signupgenius.com/go/60b0d4cadaf2fa1fd0-halloween

After the party, first grade will spend the rest of the morning trying out some science experiments to learn more about states of matter.   We would love to have some parent helpers stick around and help us move through the experiment rotations!  If you are available to help with these from 10:15-12:00, please sign up on the signupgenius link above or send me a quick email.  

Tuesday, November 7th--NO SCHOOL-- Staff Professional Development Day 

A Peek Into Our Classroom  

Reader’s Workshop

We are focusing on...

*Understanding that reading is thinking!
*Listening to our inner voice
*Leaving "tracks" of our thinking by making notes when we learn new things, make connections, or have a question about what we read (We use LOTS of sticky notes!)
*Become problem solvers who can use lots of strategies to decode and understand what we read 
*Continuing to build stamina and independence

You can help at home by:

*Keep up with the nightly reading routine
*Encourage students to "think aloud" as they read and share their questions, learnings and reactions to text
*Model asking questions as you read 

Writer’s Workshop

We are focusing on....

*Learning more about crafting small moment, narrative stories
*Making our stories come alive by making our characters talk, move and feel
*Telling our stories in small steps using transition words
*Using mentor texts and trying out some of the strategies we see other authors use 
*Beginning to edit our work for best spelling, upper/lowercase letter usage, and punctuation 

You can help at home by:

*Ask your child what they are writing about
*Ask what they are trying to make their stories "come alive" 
*Pick small writing tasks to practice correct letter formation and upper/lower case usage (when they are making sight word flash cards is a great time for this!)  


We are focusing on...

*describing 2-D shapes according to attributes like sides and corners
*comparing, classifying, representing and building shapes
*combining shapes in different ways and noticing what shapes can be put together or taken apart to make new shapes
*continuing to build number sense and addition/subtraction (we will revisit this in depth again next unit)

You can help at home by...

*ask your child to find geometric shapes and describe them using our math language 
*continue to build number sense and practice counting and addition/subtraction skills 

Science /Social Studies

We are focusing on...

*observing and describing the properties of solids and liquids
*learning how scientists explore materials and make observations 

*our next unit will be a Social Studies unit, focusing on the history of United States traditions and celebrations such as Thanksgiving, analyzing how things have changed over time 

You can help at home by...

*search for and describe liquids and solids in your world! 

*begin to talk about your family traditions and customs