Miss Foster's Fabulous First Grade

September 2016 Newsletter

Dear Parents

Welcome to first grade! It has been an exciting and busy few weeks of school and I am happy to share that our first monthly newsletter is here! I hope both you and your students have had a smooth transition back into the school routine...it's going to be a fabulous year!

In September, we are busy reviewing many skills learned last year in Kindergarten. We are reviewing each letter of the alphabet, the sounds they make, and words that begin with them. This review period will provide a strong base for us to build our phonics work upon in first grade. Finally, we are also reviewing several of the "popcorn words" that your child learned in kindergarten. In first grade, we call these words sight words - they are the words that are difficult to sound out because they do not follow traditional spelling patterns. You should see the words we are working on coming home in the homework packet each week. It is imperative that your child be able to recognize these words within 3 seconds or less. Cut the words apart in the homework packet and use them as flashcards daily. We also practice them daily in school with sticker books. The students earn stickers next to the words as they master them. Any words not mastered continue to be practiced daily with me one-on-one.

We are also reviewing the Daily Five procedures. In the Daily Five, students select from authentic reading and writing choices, working independently toward personalized goals, while the teacher meets individual needs through whole-group and small-group instruction, as well as one-on-one conferring. These choices include

  • Read to Self
  • Work on Writing
  • Read to a Partner
  • Listen to Reading
  • Word Work
  • An added 6th station in our classroom is Technology (either on an iPad or on computers)

Daily 5 classrooms produce productive, highly engaged students who are developing a true love of literacy! Your child most likely learned about the Daily 5 in Kindergarten and we will continue that work in First Grade. Ask your child how many minutes we have built our stamina for working independently up to so far (10 minutes!)! Currently we are working on building independence in read to self, listening to reading, word work and technology. The other stations will come within the next several weeks.

In math, we are talking about counting and comparing numbers and adding. We use a Math Workshop model to ensure that all of the students are being instructed at their own pace and level. We will be learning how to play various math games and using technology, like the iPad minis and laptops, to enhance our learning of the subject. Your child may be able to tell you some of the games we have already used or the apps they have used.

September is also a time for us to get to know one another and our classroom! We will be doing many activities to help us become a classroom community of learners! One activity we did was a scavenger hunt called "Find a Friend Who Likes..." and the students found out that many of them have a lot in common. We're having a wonderful time getting to know our classmates and we are all looking forward to a fabulous year! :)

Lastly, thank you so much to all of the parents for their willingness to help and volunteer in some way. I have finally finished organizing all of your paperwork and requests and have begun to get volunteers scheduled. Volunteers will begin in October and an online sign up has already been sent out. I only send the sign-up to those who indicated on their paperwork that they were willing to volunteer at school. If you did not receive the email and are interested in volunteering, please let me know. Be sure you have all of the necessary clearances before signing up to volunteer. Information on clearances can be found here: http://www.boyertownasd.org/domain/1253.

Class Directory

There is an updated class directory posted on my classroom website. You can access my website here: http://www.boyertownasd.org/Domain/658.

Important Dates to Remember

September 26th - Picture Day

September 28th - Early Dismissal at 12:30pm. Lunch will be served!

October 10th - No School for Columbus Day

October 14th - Parent Visitation Day. Information from the school will come home in the future about times.

Videos of the Month

We love learning through music in first grade! Below you will find some favorite songs that we have been using as we have been busy practicing our letters and sounds during Kindergarten Review!
Have Fun Teaching - What Do The Letters Say? (What Does The Fox Say? Parody)
Alphabet Songs - Over 1 HOUR with 27 ABC SONG VIDEOS