E1: Ms. Win
Welcome to our first grade classroom! We began the year with a Social Studies unit about ourselves and our classmates. We worked hard on our “All About Me” books and learned about how to be a friend and work with others. We also learned classroom routines and how to be respectful of classroom materials. The students have settled in nicely and are working well together!
During the month of September we focused on Pets as part of our Animals and Plants Science unit. We have been learning about pet needs, how to choose the right pet, different breeds of dogs and the different jobs dogs do. We began our science unit about Health. Students learned the basics of staying healthy including getting enough sleep and exercise, eating good food, being safe, and staying well. As part of our Health unit, help your child learn their NAN – Name, Address and Phone
Number. Our other science units are States of Matter, Animals and Plants, Sky and Physics of Movement.
Since the beginning of the year, students have been focusing on handwriting. Parents, please reinforce that all letters start from the top of either the dotted line or solid top line. No letters begin from the bottom line. Thanks, I appreciate your help in establishing this excellent habit. It really will help them in the academic careers.
For Spanish Colonial Days we visited El Rancho de Las Golondrinas on Thursday, October 17. We also will attend Pandemonium productions this year (The Jungle Book on Thursday, November 19 and Beauty and the Beast in May). There is also no school on Parent Teacher conferences at the end of the month. Our reading groups are up and running. We have three reading groups this year with students grouped according to their reading skill level. Most students have a good grasp of their letters and we are working on reviewing consonant sounds and basic sight words. We also are working on short vowel sounds and vowel combinations with students as they are ready. By the end of first grade, students should know at a minimum the Dolch Basic Sight Words (220).
As students gain a good understanding of the sounds in our language, they use invented spelling
(spelling words based on the sounds students hear) in their creative writing. As parents, having students label things around the home, write notes and/or letters to family using invented spelling will help students develop the ability to hear the sounds words are made up of. In the beginning, they should focus on the beginning and ending sounds of words and add vowel sounds once they are comfortable hearing the beginning and ending sounds of words. In class we use both a Word Wall and individual student dictionaries to reinforce standard spelling of sight words.
In math, we began the year focusing on number sense, patterning and problem solving. We are now
working on basic addition with one group focused on addition from 1 to 10 and another group addition from 1 to 20 (focusing on memorization). We are all working on forming our numbers properly! Everyday, we also work on several mental math problems and our calendar math. Students are beginning to recognize different coins and remember the amount each coin is worth from our daily calendar money math.
Please make every effort to have your child at school every day. Most of the teaching at school cannot be sent home as homework. Also, continue to strive to get your child here by 8:30 a.m. If your child is here earlier, they have free choice time to socialize with other students. Afterwards, we start the day with morning circle. It is a very important time of day when reading, grammar and math skills are taught.
Finally, we have had a great start to our year! The class is wonderful. They are taking responsibility in the classroom and thriving academically. Thanks for sharing your children with me and entrusting me with their education!