Mrs. Mathews' December Newsletter

1st Grade---Richardson Elementary

Dear Parents

I can hardly believe December is upon us and there are just 3 weeks left in the quarter (and so few days till Christmas)! My head is spinning with all that's left to do both at school and home. We have much to learn and assess in these weeks before break, so your child's attendance is extremely important. I'm sure you are facing the same holiday stress and scramble of decorating, card writing, shopping, baking, etc. In all the chaos of the season, I hope you and your family find time to enjoy that which matters most--each other. I cherish the opportunity I have to work with such wonderful children and families. I am amazed by how much your children have already matured and grown. Have a very Merry Christmas and joyous New Year!

What are we learning?

Reading: Students are learning about sensory imagery, where students create pictures in their mind while reading. Continue to work on daily reading with your child at home and remember to include retelling as an important part of your time together. Students need to have passed a level 8 DRA by semester's end to be on grade level.

Word Work: We are reviewing all long vowels.

Spelling: We have begun our spelling curriculum. A homework "Take Home Task" came home this week and students have taken their first spelling dictation test where they are graded on the correct spelling of their spelling words (a, of, the, and, to) and logical phonetic spelling of all other words. I will also be evaluating their handwriting on these sentences as well.

Writing: We continue to work on narrative writing, where students are encouraged to write about personal experiences or "small moments". We are focusing on adding descriptive details to our writing to make a small moment seem big. Students are expected to write even more about a topic this quarter (at least 5 sentence stories). Students will be expected to add capitals at the beginning of a sentence and punctuation at the end. Our grammar targets include nouns, verbs, and adjectives.

Math: This month we cover subtraction. Students learn strategies for - problems (drawing dots, using a # line or tens frames, counting back, etc.), recognize balanced equations and fact families, and determine the missing number in an equation. Students will also be evaluated on their ability to write by 1s, 2s, 5s, and 10s to 120 by before the winter break. Carve out time to work at home if extra practive is needed.

Science: We will be studying patterns and cylces on earth and with the sun, moon, and stars.

Scholastic Book Orders

I will be sending home a flyer for Scholastic Book Orders soon. The due date on this order will be firm, as I need to receive the order back before we go on winter break. Many parents like purchasing books as Christmas presents. If you order and do NOT wish your child to bring home the order in his/her backpack, email and let me know so I can arrange to have you pick up the books at the front office.


To those who made dontations for the Angel Tree in the envelopes that came home before the Thanksgiving break. Student Council will make a field trip to purchase needed items for LSR7 families in need.

RHE Warmth Tree & Book Drive

There is a Christmas tree set up in the office. This tree, called the Warmth Tree, will be up until December 16th. During that time, we will be collecting gloves, mittens, hats, scarves, underwear and socks. We ask that if you choose to donate, all of these items are new and have never been used.

We are also teaming up with Mrs. Eckert and would like to collect new/gently used books. We will have a box under the tree. Your donation will help students not only warm up going outside, but they will be able to warm up with a good book! ☺

Thank you for your contributions!

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Dates to Remember:

  • Tuesday, November 29th--Culver's Night from 5-8 p.m.
  • Dec. 1st (8:30-6:30) and Dec. 2nd (8-noon) BOOK FAIR in the RHE Library
  • Tuesday, December 13th--Special holiday luncheon for students and staff. We ask there be no outside guests in attendance for lunch on this day. Thanks in advance for your understanding. Its a wonderful time for teachers to enjoy lunch with their class in the lunchroom. Students are encouraged to dress fancy or festive for the occassion.
  • Wednesday, December 21st--EARLY RELEASE @ 12:50/END OF 2nd QUARTER
  • Winter Break runs Thursday, December 22nd through January 3rd. Tuesday, January 3rd is a staff development day for teachers. Classes resume Wednesday, January 4th.


Please remember to sign your child's planner at the end of every week. Many of you sign daily, which is great, but I'm also noticing many planners unsigned. I will occasionally write notes about your child's day in the planner, so it is important to keep an eye on it. Students know if you write me a note in the planner, it is their responsibility to show me that note so it doesn't go unnoticed. Emailing or calling is still the best way to reach me with questions.