1B Family Update

November 11, 2016

Dear Families

This update is full of information, but first we want to start with a thank you for your continued support and with a post-election update. On Wednesday, following many questions and concerns from students, we had a whole class conversation about the presidential election. We started with the facts, asking students what they know about how a president is elected. We then asked students how they felt, providing them all with the opportunity to share their feelings sitting in a judgment-free, safe class circle. We were blown away by their thoughtful and mature comments. We allowed them to share and then reinforced that they are safe and loved by their families and teachers.

Update on academics:

In Fundations, we have reviewed our digraphs -- two letters that make one sound: th, wh, ck, ch and sh. This will help students when sounding out words and spelling words that have digraphs in them. If you see words on the street with digraphs, point them out to your students and have them try to sound them out!

In Reading, we continued making connections in our books. This helps students actively think about the stories they are reading. Students are looking for text-to-self connections (connections to their own lives) and text-to-text connections (connections between the plot or characters in two books they have read). Next, we will start retelling stories, including what happened in the beginning, middle and end of the story. We will stress telling only the important details--not retelling every detail from the story!

In Writing, we finished writing many small moment stories, adding tons of details. Students have selected their best piece to "publish." Next week they will edit their stories checking for spelling, capital letters and punctuation. After break they will publish them by rewriting them with pen and making a cover! Look out for our writing celebration in December when families will be invited to class to hear the students read their stories.

In Math, we have worked hard these last couple of weeks. We brainstormed many ideas on how to solve addition and subtraction word problems. Our class found the strategies of counting on from one number to find the total and counting back to find the difference to be very helpful. We also explored the relationship between addition and subtraction problems. A way to support this work at home is to work on mental math problems that ask us to quickly add numbers between 1-20 or subtract numbers between 1-10. This will help to increase our fluency and familiarity with number facts.

Amy Czaja and Kendra Thomas

Curriculum Share

This term, our 1B Rock Stars have explored the differences and similarities of families across cultures. One of our activities was discussing foods that are special to our families. Some were foods we share on holidays, others were foods we enjoy eating with our families, like popcorn on movie night!

We thought it would be a great idea to incorporate what they have learned into our Curriculum Share by having a Family Potluck. In addition to showing you what they have been working on, we would love to end our Curriculum Share with a Family Diversity Potluck

On Friday, November 18th from 9-10:15am 1B will be having its first Curriculum Share/Family Diversity Potluck! All families, please feel free to bring in food to share (foods must be nutfree) on this day.

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Please sign up for Parent Teacher Conferences!

We are looking forward to meeting with you during Parent Teachers conferences (held Wednesday, November 30th through Friday, December 2nd). Please use the website and code below to sign up. Please email us to let us know if any of these times do not work. There will be no school on Friday, December 2nd.

To sign up for conference, please use the link: www.ptcfast.com/reg1

Then, insert our classroom’s entry code:

  • 1B | W4E1126096

Reading Response Sheets

As part of our Anytime Anywhere reading experience this year, we will be traveling in time through our reading. Each 1st grader should be reading at least 15 minutes per night (independently or with an adult). Students will be filling out reading response sheets to show what they have learned through their reading and to fuel our travels. Each student will be required to fill out one reading response per week and hand it in on Mondays in their take home folder. The sheets are designed to start a conversation between you and your child about what he/she is reading.

Below is one example of a sheet. Students brought a few home in their take home folders yesterday. This way it can be completed any night that you have time (during the week or weekend) as long as 1 is returned filled out each week on Monday.

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November Birthday Celebration - November 30th at 1 pm

Due to the Thanksgiving break, we will be celebrating November birthdays on Wednesday November 30th at our lunch time: 1 - 1:30. If your child has a November birthday, families are invited to attend and/or send in a treat. Please remember to send in something small (for example, if your child likes cupcakes, please get the mini-sized ones) since November is our biggest birthday month with 6 birthdays!!

If you would like to attend, please feel free to come up to the room at 12:50 so that we can set up the treats (the kids are at PE until 12:55) and then have dismissal at 1:30.

Thank you and let us know if you have any questions!

Change in Friday park trips

1st grade will now be at Fort Greene park from 9:45 until 10:30 am on Fridays starting Friday November 4th (buses will pick up at school at 9:30 am). This change will allow students to have lit block on Fridays when they return to school.

Open-minded student of the Week #1: Caelen

Caelen has demonstrated our learner profile for November, open-minded by understanding others' values and thoughts, listening to their ideas and learning new things. Here are examples from his classmates of how Caelen showed that he is open-minded:

  • He makes new friends by playing with them at recess.
  • One time at recess someone fell, and then you started to play with them for the recess.
  • You were open-minded because almost everyday you read to everyone.
  • He would pick someone who he thought he used to not like and then play with them and try to be friends with them.
  • Caelen is open-minded by trying new things. He has been trying new books.
  • If someone feels sad, he can go help them.
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Open-minded student of the Week #2: Alice

The following are examples from the class of how Alice is open-minded:

  • Alice said maybe Donald Trump can change. Maybe he can do good things for our country when he is president even though she felt like Hillary going to win and Trump wouldn't be a very good president. But she thought "hmmm maybe he can change. Maybe Donald Trump can be a good president."
  • Alice has been open-minded by not saying "yay" when we say it's time to go to recess because then people would think going to recess is more fun than learning. And she doesn't say "yay" when it's time for dismissal.
  • How you're open-minded is by not saying I'm mad but saying that's okay.
  • You have been open-minded by trying new things and setting a good example when one student told us he wanted Donald Trump to win.
  • Say she was playing with a couple of kids at recess and maybe accidentally ran into someone, Alice would probably say sorry and are you okay and if the person said no, she would take the person to the teacher.
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Classroom Photos

1B Announcements

  • The 1st grade sight words that students should be able to read and spell that we have taught so far are: girl, boy, will, there, were, here, put, with, does, then, them, read, write
  • As you know, this year BPCS students will travel back in time — fueled by reading. Please be sure your traveler is reading outside of school everydayAnytime, Anywhere!