Mrs. Whitlock's Weekly Updates

January 20-23

Important Dates

Monday, January 19: MLK Day (NO SCHOOL)
Tuesday, January 20: Homework Packet #2 due (Please remember there is a social studies mini-poster assignment included in this week's packet)
Thursday, January 22: 100th Day of School!
Friday, January 23: Spelling Quiz, Science Chapter 5 Test
Monday, January 26: Homework Packet #3 due

Starting Strong in Second Semester

As we are halfway through our school year together and our first graders have grown so much, I wanted to make you aware that you will notice some increases in the rigor of our classroom. My expectations for the behavior and participation of our class have always been high, but of course there is always room for growth. So, I've told my class that it may be a bit more difficult than last semester to get up to pink on our behavior chart. Our green portion of our behavior part where students start each day is called "ready to learn." Students are expected to exhibit these kind of behaviors, and behaviors that are above and beyond are rewarded with move-ups on our chart.

You may also notice on FSAConnect in our Language Arts section I have added a "Weekly Test." Rest assured that this is not at all as intense as it sounds! We have a booklet associated with our Reading Street curriculum that provides short quizzes for each week's content covered (high frequency words, phonics, comprehension, reading strategies, and writing). These will not be placed in your child's test section, but will be a form of weekly "application of knowledge" that will be informative to you and myself regarding your child's reading and writing performance. I also think this will be very beneficial in continuing to develop strong test-taking strategies.

Uniform Reminders

We had Mrs. Campbell visit our class this week to check on our uniforms. Please take note if I sent a note home with your child concerning his or her clothes this week, and make every effort to have these items fixed. Starting next week, students with uniform infractions will receive conduct points and parents will be called to come change their child's outfit.

Remembering the work of Martin Luther King, Jr.

This week we learned about the amazing ways Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. impacted the United States. We were able to read stories, watch video clips, create mini-books, and write our own dreams for our world. We had some very powerful and real discussion times where we discussed how regardless of what each of us looks like or believes, we all have something special to contribute. As a class, we are all very thankful for the work of Dr. King and how it allows us to have such a rich and diverse class! We also spent some time talking about Mahatma Gandhi's ideas of nonviolence and how that impacted Dr. King. We concluded our discussion this week with the idea that if there is something in the world that needs to change, we have the power and responsibility to make it happen.

I am very proud of the rich and powerful discussions we've had as a class this week, and would encourage you to continue to discuss ideas of peace and equality together as a family. I'm so grateful for the deep thinking each of your children bring to our classroom, and know that they will each be the movers and shakers that help to make our world a better place!

Start Exploring TreeRing!

If you haven't already done so, please take a moment to check out the website we are using to create and purchase our yearbooks.

Everyone should have received an email from prompting you to create an account. If you haven't already done so, please take a moment and explore the website. This website will allow you to purchase a yearbook to commemorate your student's year at FSA. Each yearbook includes 2 pages that you can customize with photos and memories just for you and your student! The following link will take you to a page filled with tutorial videos to help you navigate the website and learn about all the options and features:

Here are some other helpful flyers as you explore TreeRing:

Step by step guide to create personal pages

Step by step guide to purchase yearbook

Custom pages reminder flyer

General yearbook flyer

Treering iphone app flyer

AR Goals Reminder

Just a reminder that we are continuing our Accelerated Reader incentives. Students that read at least 3 AR books and complete 3 corresponding AR tests and receive an 85% or higher by the end of the month will receive a popsicle treat and a dress down day!

Congratulations to Rana, Orion, Ira, and Abhinav for completing their AR Goals in December! They will receive a dress down day and a popsicle treat on Wednesday, January 21st. Please make sure to still bring a lunch!

A Peek at our Week:

Reading/Language Arts: Using expression and intonation in reading, using the r-controlled er/ir/ur in words, exploring elements of non-fiction texts, using pictures and captions in our writing, initial introduction to helping verbs
Spelling Words: her, first, bird, girl, burn, were, shirt, fur, hurt, sir, done, know, push, visit, wait
Science: Review for our Chapter 5 test on Friday!
Social Studies: Discussing national holidays and learning about tall tales and their historical origins