1E Newsletter: Week of September 13

What's going on in first grade!

This Week...

Sunday: PHOTO DAY!, World Language, Library

Monday: MSArabic/Explore Time, PE, Music

Tuesday: Art

Wednesday: PE, World Language, Technology

Thursday: Art, Music, Eid Party, Fruit Party

Picture Day!

Our class will be having professional photos done on Sunday, September 13th. The photos will be available to order at a later date. Students are invited to dress up for their class photos. These photos will also be used in the yearbook that will be available for order towards the end of the year

New Dismissal **Please Read**

The Lower and Upper Elementary Divisions will be implementing a new location for student dismissal starting on Sunday, September 13th.


Our pre-k students will continue to dismiss as usual at the picnic tables at gate 5.

Kindergarten to Grade 5

Students will have designated areas in the elementary cafeteria. There will be signs posted as to where each grade level’s gathering areas will be.

We ask that all parents walk around the Lower Elementary building to access the cafeteria rather than through the hallways. The gates for parents will open at 2:45 pm and the cafeteria will provide a cooler place for you to wait. Occasionally, we do hold events for students in the cafeteria at the end of the day. If this is the case we would kindly request that you use the shaded area at the blue basketball courts to wait until 3pm dismissal.

Please note that all ASA’s will continue to dismiss at gate 5.

Wellbeing Awareness Week- Fruit needed for Thursday!

Next week is Wellbeing Awareness Week! We are encouraging students to work on their wellbeing and health by making good choices. There will be lots of activities during recess at snack and lunch for the students to do such as Zumba, yoga, sports games, etc. We will be encouraging students to take part in as many extra activities as they can. To celebrate Wellbeing Awareness Week we will have a fruit party on Thursday. Please send in cut up fruit for the students to share on Thursday. Thank you!

Social Studies

This week we will be focusing on the ASD Value of Responsibility:

  • Book: If Everybody Did...
  • I am responsible
  • Being responsible for our devices in technology

Curriculum Night

Join our subject coordinators to hear about the curriculum that will be covered in first grade!

Date: Wednesday, September 16th

Time: 5:30pm

For: Parents of students in the LES

Homework- Start After Eid

As mentioned at Back to School Night, homework will begin after Eid. Homework will be assigned on Sunday and due on Thursday. Books will come home each day, but any written homework will be checked on Thursday.

Bake Sales

There will be bake sales throughout the year raising money for various efforts. The Arab Mothers' Association will have regular bake sales throughout the year. Please check Sahifa each week to see if there are events going on for the week. I have looked through the calendar and found the following dates for the AMA bake sales (there will be other bake sales that come up throughout the year, but this is what I've found so far): Oct. 8, Nov. 12, Dec. 10, Jan. 14, Feb. 11, Feb. 14, Mar. 10, Apr. 14, May 12. Students are invited to bring cash to school and even use their Dragon Bands. Please send me an email if you give your child permission to use his/her Dragon Band.

Parent & Counselors Coffee Afternoon

Transitions happen every day in your child’s world. Starting a new school or grade level, moving to a new house or saying goodbye to a friend are all examples of transitions that can cause your child angst.

Join the Elementary School Counselors Monday September 14th at 1:45pm - 3:00pm in the Elementary Cafeteria as we explore ways to help children transition more smoothly.

Subject Unit Letters

Click here for the subject unit letters. All unit letters will be placed here throughout the year and I will let you know when I put new ones up. I will also attach the text below (sometimes there are graphics in the letters won't copy into the newsletter, but will be on the PDF in the folder linked above).

Math Unit 1 Letter

Dear Grade 1 Families,

In math we have been working on building routines and setting up expectations.

We are beginning our first math unit, “Sums and Differences to 10.” In this unit, your child will work towards fluency with addition and subtraction of numbers to 10 as they are presented with opportunities intended to advance them from counting all to counting on, which leads them then to decomposing and composing addends and total amounts.

Students will learn to generate equations (addition and substation) from a number bond.

Words to know:

Addend: One of the numbers being added in an addition problem

Count on: Students count up from one addend to the total, e.g. for 5 + 4 they would start with 5, then count 6..7..8..9 to get to the total of 9

Doubles: e.g., 3+3 or 4+4

Doubles Plus 1: e.g., 3+4 or 4+5

Equation and Number Sentence: These words are used interchangeably, e.g. 3+5=8

Expression: e.g., 2+1 or 5+5 (expressions do not have an equal sign, thus are not equations)

Number Bond: a graphic showing part/part/whole (see picture right)

Part: e.g., “What is the unknown part? 3+___=8

How you can help at home:

● Practice “counting on” as a strategy for addition, e.g. if you have 7 LEGO pieces, and then you get 3 more, encourage your child to start with the number 7 and count “8..9..10” to find the total.

● Discuss various ways to take apart a given number, e.g. 6 is made of 1 and 5, 2 and 4, 3 and 3, etc.

● Have them solve word problems within ten. For example, I have 6 potatoes for dinner and have already cut up 2.

How many more do I need to cut up?

Thank you for your support at home as our students become confident mathematicians!


The First Grade Teachers

Reading Unit 1 Letter

Dear Grade 1 Families,

We are beginning our first reading unit by launching reader’s workshop. The workshop model consists of a whole group mini­lesson, small group instruction, independent practice, and a closing discussion.

Our first unit is “Building Good Habits”. Students are learning classroom reading routines, such as reading independently, with a partner, and actively listening to read alouds. They are also building reading stamina and learning how to choose just­right­books. Children as becoming familiar with the classroom library and are adding poems to their very own poetry folder. Websites such as Raz­Kids, Myon, and TumbleBooks provide students with opportunities to listen to, read, and enjoy digital books. Teachers have also begun one­-on-­one reading assessments to determine students’ reading levels.

The First Grade Teachers

Ask your child what these words mean:



Good Fit Books




Writing Unit 1 Letter

Illustration Study:​The Craft of Composition

“W​riters are purposeful and engage in a continuous process of decision making as

they compose a text.” (​Matt Glover and Katie Wood Ray)

Dear Parents,

Children are immersed in the world of picture books. Illustration study provides a valuable opportunity to use picture books as mentor texts. By studying illustrations, children can have a concrete vision of composition. We will study the thinking b​ehind illustration techniques so that children can also build ideas such as detail, emotion, and an awareness of the reader into their writing. During this unit, your child will be immersed in mini-lessons that focus on how illustrators: use a variety of techniques to create meaning, use positioning perspective to guide how the reader's view the scene, draw details to show the setting, and how illustrators show emotions in pictures and words (facial expressions and gestures are meaningful details).

The following standards are being addressed in this unit of study:

  • S​tandard 4 - S​tudents will w​rite with clarity and logic on a wide range of topics f​or a v​ariety of purposes and audiences.​
  • S​tandard 5 - S​tudents will use grammatical and mechanical​conventions i​n writing.
  • S​tandard 6 - S​tudents will demonstrate competence in the general s​kills and strategies o​f the w​riting process.​

Parent Teaching Tips:

  • Discuss illustrations in your favourite picture books at home.
  • Ask your child to describe how the illustrator shows the setting in a book. How does this connect to the author’s writing
  • Ask your child to describe how the illustrator and author show emotions in the pictures and words.


First Grade Team

Social Studies Unit 1 Letter

Dear Grade 1 Families,

We are beginning our first Social Studies unit, “Creating a Healthy Community”. In this unit we will explore how we can create a healthy learning environment, what makes a good student, and the rights and responsibilities we have at school.

Students will learn what can result from appropriate and inappropriate behaviors when rules are followed or broken. The students will also reflect on how the choices they make affect themselves and others.

The First Grade Teachers


  • Conflict:​ disagreement or argument
  • Cooperation:​ working together, getting along
  • Appropriate: suitable or proper
  • Inappropriate:​ not suitable or proper
  • Behavior:​ the way someone acts
  • R e s p o n s i b i l i t y :​ b e i n g a c c o u n t a b l e f o r s o m e t h i n g


  1. Discuss what responsibilities your child has at home.

  2. Have your child pack his/her own backpack for school.

  3. Discuss what rules you have at home and the consequences for not following the rules.

  4. Discuss appropriate and inappropriate behaviors at home, in the car, and at the mall.