October 26-30

This week we had two birthday girls, wear red day to show support for making healthy and safe choices, and dress like a book character day!

We started many new reading and math centers. Students began by drawing and writing about the beginning, middle and end of stories we listened to together. This will help them to retell stories with more details. We read three books about Miss Nelson and Miss Viola Swamp, and students enjoyed trying figure out the mystery of just who Miss Swamp really was.

In reading we are also starting to record our reading goals and keeping those with us during independent reading and center times to help remind students what they should be focusing on. I'll be sending a copy of those goals home every few weeks so you can help your child practice those at home, too.

We have started studying addition facts to 10 and making puzzles with number equations. We are also continuing to develop our spatial reasoning and problem solving skills with shape puzzles and pattern block designs.

Thanks to the parent volunteer who came in this week and helped out in the computer lab where we've been making art designs and just started saving our pictures. Next week we'll begin doing more typing and using an online program called Voicethread to record student comments and read alouds. I'm really excited to get that up and running.

October 5 - 7

We got to see children's book author and illustrator Mo Willems talk about how he makes books and read his newest book online this past Tuesday! We have read several of his books in class and students love looking for the pigeon in each one. Special thanks to the teachers at our school who arranged for us to be one of only 200 elementary school sites in the country to get to participate in this exciting event.

During this short week we continued to practice our reading strategy of re-reading a sentence when we don't know a word. We also did a variety of activities with the words on our word rings.

In writing we published our first mini-books which will be in the class library for a few weeks before they come home. Students have really enjoyed reading each other's books and have been learning the importance of making their writing neat enough for someone else to read!

In math we continued to come up with creative ways to make a number using addition, subtraction and pictures. We also practiced counting by 5s to 100 and putting numbers in order through many of the online math games linked on this page.

We went to the Strategies Lab again and learned a new game: Shape By Shape. We will continue to play Sudoku Jr (4x4) after intersession as many students were still unsure of how to play (they were only using the colors to determine where the missing numbers could go instead of checking each column and row). Through these games students have been building stamina for problem solving and learning how to articulate their thought processes.

Thanks to everyone who has been coming in to school for their conferences this Thursday and Friday. Please remember there is no school on Monday (October 12) and then intersession runs October 13 - 23. Students do not need to bring a backpack to school during intersession. I sent home students' reading books and word rings for them to work on at home and then return to school on October 26.

Finally, we welcomed a new student to our class on Wednesday! He did a great job learning our schedule and everyone was a kind friend and good helper to him. We look forward to learning more about him after intersession.

September 28 - October 2

This week we opened up two new centers during reading and math time: computer and Smartboard. At both centers the students have been able to choose from the reading or math links on this website and take turns playing the games. This has provided a lot of practice in not only the reading and math activities, but also in using technology and taking turns. We also went to the computer lab this week where we practiced logging in and started experimenting with Pixie (an art program we will use to create an image for later use on Voicethread).

In reading we practiced the strategy of rereading a sentence when you don't know a word. Students called this "starting over" and we talked about how you may have to read a sentence 3 or 4 times before you can figure it out.

We introduced 5 new sight words we will continue to study next week: we, can, like, is, you. We learned how to do a new word study center that involves using sight words to make mini books, rhyming with sight words, looking for sight words in our books, making sight words with alphabet stamps, making and solving puzzles with sight words, and writing the sight words in many colors. I see some families have kept the copy of the 100 first grade sight words in their child's agenda book or homework folder for extra practice. Let me know if you need another copy of that!

In math this week we practiced making a number in many different ways (addition, subtraction, drawing a picture, tally marks, writing the word...). Students caught on quickly to the patterns and enjoyed thinking creatively to come up with as many different combinations as possible. We also worked on the logic games from the Strategies Lab and discussed more strategies we are using: make a guess then check if it is right, check in more than 1 way, rule out what it can't be, and look for a pattern.

Important Dates:
  • Progress Reports will go home on Tuesday, October 6
  • Conferences will be next Thursday, October 8
  • No School on Thursday, October 8 or Friday, October 9
  • Intersession is October 12 - 23

I sent home a confirmation sheet on Friday with your conference time. Please sign and return the bottom half of that page ASAP
. Conferences will take place in our classroom and typically students do not attend but it is OK if you need to bring your child with you. We have a tight schedule so please arrive on time. I look forward to meeting with you to discuss your child's progress during the first quarter of the school year! As always, feel free to contact me with questions or updates about your child anytime via email, phone call, or note.