Miss Butz's Class Newsletter

February 8 - 12

Thank you for your support and thinking about next year...

I appreciate the emails and notes I've gotten in response to the last newsletter. This week has been much better than last week. I appreciate those of you that talked to your child at home about behavior. It has made a difference.

Something I wanted to mention...just to get you all thinking about next year...is a BIG difference between kindergarten and first grade. In kindergarten, the work you see coming home is a mix of morning work that is done independently, workbook pages that are done together or with a little guidance, quick assessments, and unit reading tests.

We use this work in kindergarten to practice skills we are working on and the assessments give me an idea of what to work on in small groups or what I should have the IAs (instructional assistants) work on with your child individually. In first grade, some of the work is actually done for a grade. Not all work pages are graded in first grade, but that (and tests) is where your child will get his/her report card grades. It is quite a change from kindergarten where are grades are based on assessments we do at the end of each 9 weeks.

If you notice your child is doing sloppy work or getting many of the answers incorrect, take time to talk to your child about it. In first grade, that may be a grade that is put into the grade book. If your child missed 2 out of 6, then that is a 67%. I am not saying this to scare you, but I do want you to be aware. It is important that your child put forth his/her best effort on all of the work that is done. We are completing another unit test that will be coming home in the next week or so as well. In first grade, that would be a score in the grade book.

I just wanted to bring this to your attention. Your child's effort is very important. Now is the time to help your child understand the importance of doing his/her best work.

Playing the Number Grid Game

Important Dates

Friday, February 12th - Friendship Party

- A sign up genius link was sent out recently to sign up for things to donate for the party.

- The party will begin around 3pm. If your child is bringing valentine cards, please have them to school by this morning. Thank you!

Monday, February 15th - President's Day

No school today (unless a snow make up day is needed)

Sunday, February 21st - Spirit Day at The Gymnastics Company

Begins at 1:00pm. Check South Creek's FB page for more details soon!

Tuesday, March 1st - PTO Meeting

Begins at 7pm in the Library


(I forgot to put it on last week's newsletter, but we celebrated :) )


A South Creek parent created a website for kids to practice Chomputation. It has levels P5 and up. Check it out!


Learning This Week!

Literacy Focus:

Story: Zooborns

Letter Sounds: short u soundn

Phonemic Awareness Skills: rereading, comparing and contrasting, middle sounds, ending sounds, segmenting words (saying all sounds in words, ex. dog -- /d/ /o/ /g/), adding sounds to words (ex. "it" add /h/ to the beginning, what is the new word?)

Reading Skills: asking and answering questions, key details (using illustrations and text), main idea

Sight Words: for, have

Math Focus:

Introduction of the Penny, Introduction of the Nickel, Solid Shapes Museum, Base Ten Blocks

Writing Focus:

Non-fiction writing

Science Focus:

Baby Animals

Social Studies Focus:

Valentine's Day


Remember that BOOK-IT pizza forms are due at the end of each month. You reading to your child OR your child reading to you counts! Just fill up the chart for the 21 books, sign it, have your child sign it, and send it in! I will send home a personal pizza certificate for your child if you have reached the goal.


Monday: Library

Tuesday: Music

Wednesday: Gym (rotates each week)

Thursday: Art

Friday: Gym (wear your gym shoes!)

*Please note that your child can NOT check out a new book unless the book is returned on our library day on Monday. If you send it in late, then he/she has to wait until the next Monday to check out another book.

Helping Your Child with Writing

Should you help your child with writing?

Yes, if you want your child to:

  • Do well in school
  • Enjoy self-expression
  • Become more self-reliant

You know how important writing will be to your child's life. It will be important from first-grade through college and throughout adulthood.

Writing is:

Practical - Most of us make lists, jot down reminders, and write notes and instructions at least occasionally.

Job-Related - Professional and white-collar workers write frequently--preparing memos, letters, briefing papers, sales reports, articles, research reports, proposals, and the like. Most workers do "some" writing on the job.

Stimulating - Writing helps to provoke thoughts and to organize them logically and concisely.

Social - Most of us write thank-you notes and letters to friends at least now and then.

Therapeutic - It can be helpful to express feelings in writing that cannot be expressed so easily by speaking.

Writing is more than putting words on paper. It's a final stage in the complex process of communicating that begins with "thinking." Writing is an especially important stage in communication, the intent being to leave no room for doubt. Has any country ratified a verbal treaty?

One of the first means of communication for your child is through drawing. Do encourage the child to draw and to discuss his/her drawings. Ask questions: What is the boy doing? Does the house look like ours? Can you tell a story about this picture?

Most children's basic speech patterns are formed by the time they enter school. By that time children speak clearly, recognize most letters of the alphabet, and may try to write. Show an interest in, and ask questions about, the things your child says, draws, and may try to write.

Writing well requires:

  • Clear thinking. Sometimes the child needs to have his/her memory refreshed about a past event in order to write about it.
  • Sufficient time. Children may have `stories in their heads' but need time to think them through and write them down. School class periods are often not long enough.
  • Reading. Reading can stimulate a child to write about his/her own family or school life. If your child reads good books, (s)he will be a better writer.

  • A Meaningful Task. A child needs meaningful, not artificial writing tasks. You'll find suggestions for such tasks in the section, "Things To Do."

  • Interest. All the time in the world won't help if there is nothing to write, nothing to say. Some of the reasons for writing include: sending messages, keeping records, expressing feelings, or relaying information.

  • Practice. And more practice.

  • Revising. Students need experience in revising their work-- i.e, seeing what they can do to make it clearer, more descriptive, more concise, etc.

Pointers for Parents

In helping your child to learn to write well, remember that your goal is to make writing easier and more enjoyable.

Provide a place. It's important for a child to have a good place to write--a desk or table with a smooth, flat surface and good lighting.

Have the materials. Provide plenty of paper--lined and unlined--and things to write with, including pencils, pens, and crayons.

Allow time. Help your child spend time thinking about a writing project or exercise. Good writers do a great deal of thinking. Your child may dawdle, sharpen a pencil, get papers ready, or look up the spelling of a word. Be patient--your child may be thinking.

Respond. Do respond to the ideas your child expresses verbally or in writing. Make it clear that you are interested in the true function of writing which is to convey ideas. This means focusing on "what" the child has written, not "how" it was written. It's usually wise to ignore minor errors, particularly at the stage when your child is just getting ideas together.

Don't you write it! Don't write a paper for your child that will be turned in as his/her work. Never rewrite a child's work. Meeting a writing deadline, taking responsibility for the finished product, and feeling ownership of it are important parts of writing well.

Praise. Take a positive approach and say something good about your child's writing. Is it accurate? Descriptive? Thoughtful? Interesting? Does it say something?

Things to Do

Make it real. Your child needs to do real writing. It's more important for the child to write a letter to a relative than it is to write a one-line note on a greeting card. Encourage the child to write to relatives and friends. Perhaps your child would enjoy corresponding with a pen pal.

Suggest note-taking. Encourage your child to take notes on trips or outings and to describe what (s)he saw. This could include a description of nature walks, a boat ride, a car trip, or other events that lend themselves to note-taking.

Brainstorm. Talk with your child as much as possible about his/her impressions and encourage the child to describe people and events to you. If the child's description is especially accurate and colorful, say so.

Encourage keeping a journal. This is excellent writing practice as well as a good outlet for venting feelings. Encourage your child to write about things that happen at home and school, about people (s)he likes or dislikes and why, things to remember or things the child wants to do. Especially encourage your child to write about personal feelings--pleasures as well as disappointments. If the child wants to share the journal with you, read the entries and discuss them--especially the child's ideas and perceptions.

Write together. Have your child help you with letters, even such routine ones as ordering items from an advertisment or writing to a business firm. This helps the child to see firsthand that writing is important to adults and truly useful.

Use games. There are numerous games and puzzles that help a child to increase vocabulary and make the child more fluent in speaking and writing. Remember, building a vocabulary builds confidence. Try crossword puzzles, word games, anagrams and cryptograms de- signed especially for children. Flash cards are good, too, and they're easy to make at home.

Suggest making lists. Most children like to make lists just as they like to count. Encourage this. Making lists is good practice and helps a child to become more organized. Boys and girls might make lists of their records, tapes, baseball cards, dolls, furniture in a room, etc. They could include items they want. It's also good practice to make lists of things to do, schoolwork, dates for tests, social events, and other reminders.

Encourage copying. If a child likes a particular song, suggest learning the words by writing them down--replaying the song on your stereo/tape player or jotting down the words whenever the song is played on a radio program. Also encourage copying favorite poems or quotations from books and plays.

Part of an article from the US Department of Education


*Dismissal is at 3:50pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.

*Every Wednesday is an Early Release Day. We dismiss at 3:20pm.