Friday, November 10, 2017

News from First Grade 11/10

Here are some things that might be helpful for you to chow about what we have been doing in school lately.

We have already reviewed the closed vowel sounds for a (apple) e (egg) i ( pig) and o (odd)
We learned about the "H Brothers": sh, ch, wh, and th (consonant digraphs)

In math, we have begun a new unit which involve adding numbers with sums greater than ten.  The first strategy the students work with is to "make ten" with the addends and then see how much more to make the teen number.  It helps if they can draw the numbers they are adding together, each addend with a different thing such as circles, solid dots, and Xs.  They will be working on making organized drawings, in rows of 5, so they can more easily see when they have a ten.  

I realize that the math program is different and sometimes very strange, but it really works in the long run.  Please send me a note on the homework, if ever you have a question or concern.  You can always send me a Class Dojo message too.

In science the children started working with motion, and last week they made tops, and today, zoomers that spin on a string.  

We have been reading stories with animals as the characters and working on writing about something they already know.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Math support for Parents

I am certain that all of your know how to add, but may be looking for ways to support your children in completing their homework.  I found a link to support for parents of students using the Eureka Math program.  It comes from a non-profit organization called Great Minds.

I must admit I haven't looked at it, but it is a start.  Here is the link:

You will need to set up an account, but they offer support for free.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Professional development Aug. 30

Hello to all,

I will be out of school tomorrow attending a training in Albuquerque about the Istation testing we have to do in First Grade.  Hopefully, I will come back better able to use the results of students testing to teach your children.

The class will be in the capable hands of Michelle and Bea, who are both aides in our classroom and know the routines.

Have a good day.  No homework tonight (Aug. 29)!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Hello all,

What follows is intended to communicate what I can from the Back to School night:

Report cards are for parents to understand where your child stands in various areas.  The standards are listed and the scale is 1-4, unlike A-F scale, it is based on the child’s level of mastery of the listed standard. I rarely give out 4s, as they represent work done above grade level. Please don’t try to entice you child to earn higher marks, as each child of this age is doing his or her best.  Enticing your children to behave well is ok!  

Reading program: I use a variety of programs for reading and spelling: Project Read, Wit and Wisdom, PALS.  We have a number of helpers who come into the class during the literacy block and help the children learn what is needed.

Math: I use a program called Eureka to teach math.  The children will have homework everyday except Friday.  It is mainly so you know what we are doing in math, and completion does not directly affect their “grade” but can have a positive impact on how well they understand the work.  If your child occasionally does not have time to complete the work, don’t worry. If your child does not know what to do, please let me know by writing a note on the homework or in the folder.  Some of the work will seem very strange, but this program does promote good depth of understanding with numbers.

Folders:  Please have your son or daughter bring the folder to and from school each day.  Along with the math homework, the idea is to develop a habit of executive function to be responsible for keeping track of a few papers.  I recommend that you work with your child to develop a system and place for checking the folder and putting it back in the backpack ready for school each day.

Discipline: In First Grade we developed some rules and have lots of routines to help the room run efficiently.  Children who break the rules get a timeout.  

Please leave toys and trading cards at home.  

We will celebrate birthdays by creating a “book” of drawings for our classmates.  Please don’t bring in cupcakes to school.

We have a snack schedule, with each family sending in snack for two different weeks of the year.  If you have not yet signed up, please choose from the following dates: Sept. 5, Nov. 27, Dec. 18, Jan 22 or 29, April 16 or 23, and May 14 or 21.  A list of suggestions went home today.

There are many ways parents can get involved by volunteering: Governing Council, Friends of Taos Charter School, the library, field trip chaperones, classroom volunteering (in later September).  
Contacting the teacher:

I am happy to meet as needed, and prefer after school times.  

School website/ class blog:
Please remember that the school has a website, now with a First Grade class blog linked to  it.  It is best if you seek information from the website first, rather than calling the office for information related to schedule, calendar, field trip times, etc.  Thanks for helping the office staff in this way.
If you wish to have your child’s name and number on a class phone list, please send me your contact info and I will add you.

Every Wednesday is Walking Wednesday for PE.  Please send your child with shoes that can go on a dirt (or mud or snow) trail.  Similarly, we play outside everyday.  Please make sure your child is dressed for the weather.

Tying shoes:  If your child does not yet know how to tie his or her own laces, please try to make an effort to teach this important skill.  I don’t tie kids’ shoes at school.  

If you have not yet sent in the $10 spanish fee, please do so.

National Boards: I am working on becoming certified by a national organization (NBCT).  This is work that I am doing to develop professionally. I did not mention this at the Back to School night, but sent home a letter and release form that I need in order to collect student work or use video footage of students. Thanks for sending back a signed form.  The letter explains the process.

Thanks for a great start to the year!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Back to School Night August 23 6:30-7

We will have Back to School night following the all school Pot Luck on August 23 at 6:30 in the First Grade classroom.  I will be giving information and answering questions about First Grade.  If you are unable to come please stay tuned to the blog for more information.

News from First Grade 11/10

Here are some things that might be helpful for you to chow about what we have been doing in school lately. We have already reviewed the...