Mrs. N's SK/Grade 1 Class

January 2014 Newsletter

Happy New Year!

I hope you enjoyed a relaxing and healthy holiday!

Daily Reading

A friendly reminder that "Read At Home" book bags are to be returned every Monday for book exchanges (As the books are shared between all the Kindergarten and Grade 1 classrooms, and supply is limited, please ensure that all titles that were sent home with your child are indeed placed in the bag and returned). Upon their return, the bags are emptied, the new weekly Focus Words (Grade 1s) are placed on your child's word ring and new books are sent home on Tuesday. The bags are to be kept at home for the duration of the week and returned the following Monday. This not only makes the exchange process easier for me, but it allows the students ample opportunity to read all of their books, multiple times by week's end. Ideally, your child should practice their word ring words first, then read one or two books each day, every day. The idea is to not only have your child master reading the words, but by re-reading familiar texts over and over, they are able to develop confidence, speed, fluency and expression! Reading five texts once in one evening does not reap the same benefits for your child.

By the end of Kindergarten, students ideally should be reading at a Level 6 or higher in order to be prepared for Grade 1. Letter identification and sound skills are key when learning to read. If your child has not mastered their letter sounds, please have them practise "The Singing Alphabet" each day before reading. Vowels and the letter "y" are the ones that students mix up or are unfamiliar with the most.

By the end of Grade 1, the goal is to be reading within the Level 16 to Level 21 range. It is not only important to read the words correctly, but it is also pertinent that your child comprehends what they are reading. As students move on to read higher level texts, the vocabulary and topics become more complicated.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at the school or send a note in your child's agenda or Communication Folder.

January Show and Share

You might have already noticed on the January calendar that there is a new Show and Share topic for January. Students are to choose a favourite familiar book or fiction story (from home or from the library) and briefly retell the story to the class. Upon presenting their retell, the students are expected to relay the title of the book, the author and the illustrator(if applicable). Senior Kindergarten students will retell their story using the format, "In the beginning of the story.....", "In the middle of the story...." and "At the end of the story....". Grade One students will retell their story using the linking words, "First....,Then....., Next...., After...., and Finally.....". I have modelled this process for them today after reading the book "The Hat" by Jan Brett, so the students know what the presentation should look and sound like. I am looking forward to hearing about their favourite reads!


The students have been getting plenty of practise editing written work - my written work, that is! Each morning I casually "make mistakes" in my Morning Message with the hope that the students will identify and correct them. They have become pretty savvy at identifying missed or incorrect punctuation at the end of my sentences, and sentences or names that are missing capital letters at the beginning. We just learned about the "apostrophe" and how it takes the place of a missing letter(s) in certain words (e.g. it's, there's). When reading with your child and you come across an apostrophe, ask them what it is and what it does. Shortly, we will be focusing on how to make our writing more descriptive and interesting by using simple adjectives in our sentences (I saw a big, green car!).


Yesterday, both grades began their unit on Money. We are learning about all of the Canadian coins - their names, their values and their physical descriptions. Grades Ones will also learn to count money in amounts up to twenty cents. A few things that you can do to help support your child's learning at home is to have them empty their piggy bank and sort the various coins. Ask them the name and value of each coin as they sort. You can also play "What coin am I?" Present clues and have your child guess the coin. For example, you may ask, "I have two colours", "I am made of copper", or " I have a caribou on me." Grade Ones can add nickels by counting by 5s or dimes by counting by 10s, or ask your child to provide substitutes for coin values, such as five pennies are equal to a nickel, or two nickels are equal to a dime.


Grade Ones will soon complete their unit on Daily and Seasonal Changes. We have begun measuring the classroom/outdoor temperature in the morning, at lunch and in the afternoon using a thermometer each day and monitoring the changes that occur throughout the day. We have discussed why there is "day and night" and why the seasons occur. Ask your child to explain this to you.

Skating Reminder

Thank you to all of the volunteers that helped on the last skating trip. Please remember that we have our upcoming skating dates at the Magna Centre. These will take place on the Bobby Forhan Rink:

Monday, January 13, 2014 from 10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Monday, January 20, 2014 from 10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Monday, January 27, 2014 from 10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Monday, February 3, 2014 from 10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.


A few students are missing their Poem and Song Books at school. It is the yellow duotang that was last sent home a few weeks ago for sharing over the weekend. It is important that these duotangs are returned immediately the following Monday as we continue to add new poems and songs to them on a weekly basis. The students also rely on them for use during "Read to Self" and "Read to Someone" activities during Literacy Centres.