First Grade Newsletter

September Edition

Upcoming Important Dates

  • September 7: No School; Labor Day
  • September 9: Ident-A-Kid
  • September 14: No School; Optional Teacher Workday
  • September 15, 5-7pm: Open House- This is a parent event. Parents attend to learn about the curriculum, homework, volunteering and other items of interest. There is PTA meeting to start and then parents will attend information sessions about their child's particular grade.
  • September 17: Delayed Opening (2 hour delay for students)
  • September 25: Fall Picture Day; Progress Reports go home


During math block, the students have been practicing utilizing various strategies to solve problems independently, in partners, and in small groups. We have been also practicing using tools such as manipulatives, number lines, hundreds charts to solve word problems. The students have been introduced to "Number Talks," a practice that will continue throughout the year to get them thinking about numbers and how to use them. Students have also been encouraged to share their strategies and justifications with the class. They have been doing a fantastic job at both speaking and listening!


In Reading, we have been learning and practicing habits of good readers. We spent much of this past week getting to know each of the literacy stations students will use during our reading block. Each day during station time students work in two of the following stations: poetry, writing, big book reading, listening, shopping for books, word work, read/write around the room, independent reading, buddy reading, and computers. Ask your child which stations are his or her favorites!

Teachers and students have also been working hard to assess student's reading abilities. We can't wait to finish gathering this information so that we can begin guided reading groups on each student's individual level and share with you how you can help support your child at home!

In the coming weeks, we will be working to increase our reading stamina. Each class will set the goal to be able to read independently for 20 minutes. We will start with 6 minutes and build our way up!


FIrst graders are working hard to do their best handwriting! We are practicing our handwriting by forming letters in the air with our hands. In addition to practicing in their personal handwriting journals students also use white boards. Letters require different "verbal paths". These include "pull back and around" for letters such as "c" and "o". Letters such as "f" require "pull back, down, and cross". Other letters require different "verbal paths". In preparation for content writing we are honing these early handwriting skills.

To enhance their interest the focus has been on the student. We have been writing about ourselves with writing prompts such as "What do I want to be when I grow up". We go on room hunts to search for words that start with specific letters. We are reviewing letter and word sounds. Many of our activities revolve around our class names and interests. These exercises and enjoyable activities serve as conditioning for more in depth writing.


It's a wonderful world! We're learning all about how globes, maps, and landform knowledge help us understand our world. We have shared the book Me on the Map in order to see how our location can be relative to local or far away places. Another activity that helped us find our place in the world was using Google Earth. Wow! Finding our school and seeing Chapel Hill/Carrboro from the sky was a great way to grasp the idea that mapping often needs to be from an "airplane" or "satellite" view. And . . . we have an amazing project that will represent the world well. Ask your child all about it!

Coming up . . . Pebbles, Sand, and Silt. We'll find out what's inside our Earth!