Ms. Ward's First Grade

Newsletter Week 11

What a fantastic week this was! First of all, I want to give a HUGE shout out to Ms. Maritza Geels for organizing a FANTASTIC UN Day!! The decorations were beautiful, the video was perfect! I know it was a collective effort, and she could not have done it without the help from the rest of the parents. So, thank you, THANK YOU all for a fun-filled celebration!

Through all the excitement, we even managed to learn a bit this week! Check out the newsletter for more details : )

Max, our STAR

Max Drakulic, born and raised in the United States of America, moved here as a 6 year old and just turned 7! His birthday was October 22, and we had a wonderful time celebrating his birthday with him. Special thanks to his mom for providing delicious blue cupcakes as well as a very entertaining slideshow of the birthday boy!

UN Day

UN Day was perfect. Lot of parents got involved in various ways from setting up the room, helping organize the kids for activities, providing food for our scrumptious international lunch, taking pictures, and walking in the parade!

As a class, 1.3 traveled on our very own imaginary plane all around the world to learn about the different continents. With our passports, we entered Asia, North America, South America, Europe, and even Antarctica! In each country we learned a little something about the countries there, and tried delicious foods, ranging from sushi to empanadas to tamales to pigs in the blanket! Thank you all so much for providing the treats for the kids to try.

The parade around the school was fun as well as the kids were able to show off their costumes and get lots (I mean LOTS) of pictures taken!

If you have any pictures you would like to share with the rest of the class, feel free to email them to me. I would love some as well!

Our Week at a Glance

This week we focused on singular and plural nouns, and the students chugged away on writing their very own personal narratives! We are continuing our discussions of fables and morals, which tied right into our respect discussion for UN Day.

When talking about respect with our class, I was amazed by how insightful and knowledgeable they were on the subject. I wasn't surprised that they knew how to show respect because they do it everyday, but I was blown away by their ability to articulate what it meant to them.

In math we introduced telling time to the half hour, as well as frames and arrows routine, This routine is a way of finding patterns within numbers, a precursor to addition and subtraction, and an aid to gaining a better number sense. I am happy with the progress of all the students as the math concepts become more complex.

We had a few issues staying on task during Daily 5 this week. Hopefully it was simply because of all the excitement from UN Day. See below to see how Daily 5 will be changing next week! More responsibility and more accountability coming right up!

Chicken lips and lizard hips Springsteen cover
The kids enjoyed learning this song and singing it with talented Mr. Montgomery this morning!

Next Week at a Glance

Next week, Daily 5 will be changing quite a bit. Instead of doing two rounds of Daily 5 each day, the students will now do three rounds. This will allow the students less time in each of the Daily 5s, but more exposure to different choices. It will also allow me to meet with three groups instead of two.

Maria will be pulling students one on one to introduce some on-level independent learning activities to your child. The games and manipulatives will generally focus on phonics and decoding skills. Each game will be tailored to your child's needs, and will be specifically pulled for him/her.

Students will also be receiving Daily 5 Student Contracts, which will hold them accountable for the various activities they should do throughout the week. The completed contract will be coming home on Friday so you can see the expectations of Daily 5. My hope is that it will help with responsibility, accountability, motivation, organization, and it will spark a conversation at home as well. Please let me know if you have any questions regarding the contracts.

In addition to Daily 5, we will also have a change in spelling. Since we have been in school for 54 days now, it is time to re-evaluate your child's spelling progress. Next week, there will be NO SPELLING WORDS. Instead, I will be giving the students an assessment that they cannot study for to determine their developmental spelling level. This will help me better assign spelling words to them in the future. Enjoy the week off from spelling, and look forward to more level-appropriate spelling words to come : )

Oh dear...

As the school has informed you all, we have been having some email issues at ISP. If you sent me an email and never heard a response, then please try again. I am sorry if anyone has experienced a lull in communication due to these issues! I will be sure to respond to any questions or comments as soon as I receive your emails in the future.

Please be sure to email or call the school if you have anything time sensitive and have not heard back from me.


Next week, on Thursday October 31, we will have PUMPKIN DAY!! Please send in 1 small pumpkin with your child no later than Tuesday, October 29.