First Grade News!

Ms Patti's Class

Last Week

Last week we finished up State Testing and began our work with our new pen pals at a school in Zimbabwe. We had fun learning about Africa through books and artifacts, photos of the African school kids and maps. Your children started an Africa Journal and received a picture of at least one student who they will be writing to all year. We are working on a class letter and some drawings to send to Ms Linda's class at the Chiyedza Primary School in Harare, Zimbabwe. We also worked with worms in science lab. We are learning about schoolyard habitats with the rest of our first grade team. Lots of kids brought special things from nature to school for share. We worked on basic addition skills in math, we learned how to sound out 3-letter words for spelling, we wrote tiny story books in writing workshop, and we are still working hard on rules and expectations.
We have been skyping with a school in Florida for Dot Day with Ms Crystal in the library. Some of the students did not follow the behavior expectations during this skype, thus they will not be participating in our skype this week. They will be writing an apology to Ms Crystal and the Florida class instead. Please talk to your children about being first time listeners, controlling their bodies, and being respectful.
We also filled our class compliment jar and had a little celebration on Friday.

Next Week

Parent/Teacher Conferences- This Friday- no school, but kids welcome to conference

If you haven't signed up for a conference yet, it's not too late. Please sign up as soon as possible. We'll start the conference with your insights about your child- what is it you really want me to know about them? Next, we'll talk about State Testing results. Finally, we'll talk about how you and I will keep your child moving forward in their learning, keeping them challenged and feeling successful.

International Day of Peace

Today is the United Nations' International Day of Peace. With our students growing up in this time of many wars, it is very important for us to teach about peace in our world. Peace begins at home and in the classroom, and Isaac Dickson will be celebrating Peace next week through lessons and song and art. The kids will participate in a world-round event called Pinwheels for Peace. When you come to school next week, watch each day as our pinwheel garden grows and grows.

Scholastic Book Orders

We are beginning Book Orders. You will receive a flyer advertising books for sale. You can send in an order and check to school or you can order directly online with a credit card. This is an important part of our classroom because your orders allow us to build up points with which we can order new homework books for the kids. Please consider ordering a few books each month. Your children will learn to read faster the more you read to them at home. The link for Scholastic Books is below. Our class number is MYJKW.

Library Book Check Out

Remember that your kids can check out library books any time. Our regular check-out day is every Monday so be sure to return the books by Monday each week. If your child finishes with their books early, remind them to take them out of their backpack and put them on our library shelf so that we can bring them up to the library.

Math, Science, Reading, Writing, Spelling

This week in math we will continue our focus on addition. One way our math program Investigations, teaches first graders is through math games. You played Double Compare last week with your child. This week, you will play a game called Five-in-a-Row. We are also working on simple story problems at school. We are teaching kids to look at 'sets' of numbers when adding, and then counting up or counting on instead of counting from 1. Please return the math game on Friday each week. We need all of the baggies with cards sent back to school.
Reading work will be more specific this week now that we have finished State Testing. Your children will begin reading instruction in small groups. Comprehension is a big part of our work as well as learning decoding skills and phonics.
Writing this week will move away from our tiny books and move into a more formal format. we will focus on Writing For Readers. This involves using clearly formed letters that 'walk on the line,' using finger spaces, using the lines on the page, and stretching a word or tapping out each sound in a word to write the letters in order on the page.
Science work will continue with schoolyard habitats. We'll learn more about living things that make their home in dirt and we'll go to Mr. Royer's room to learn about birds and their habitats..