Mrs. Nagel's 1st grade Newsletter

September 19th, 2014

Happy Friday!

Wow! We have been in 1st grade for three weeks now! I hope that you all are settling into your schedules, routines, and procedures. If not, please let me know and we can discuss!

This week I met with some of you for our first fall conference. We chatted a little about your student, began an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) for your 1st grade student based on assessments, prior knowledge and conversations with you and your child. For those of you that I have not had the opportunity to meet with yet, it will be this week! Please note our scheduled conference date and time and log into the online classroom to meet with me. If you are unable or have a conflict, please contact me as soon as possible and we will reschedule.

Also, just a few reminders for Class Connects:

  • If you see a scheduled "Class Connect" on your 1st graders plan, that is a class they need to attend! (Unless we discussed the absence prior).
  • Remember that the classes are once a day for about 30 minutes. We often start at 5 minutes after the hour, but log in right away.
  • Log into the class through your student's account (not the Learning Coach account).
  • The class connects that appear on your child's plan are required 1st grade classes. They need to attend them. (Unless we discussed the absence prior).
  • Class Connects are Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays at 11am OR 1pm (both classes at 11am or 1pm are the same. They only need to attend one.)

In your Friday Folder this week...

Sight Word Lists- There is a list for both the Basic (Kindergarten) and the Advanced (1st grade) Sight Words and the units they are found in for each course. It is a good idea to start practicing these now.

Sight Word Flash Cards- There are some for the Basic (Kindergarten) Sight Words and the Advanced (1st grade) sight words. You should have these in your Phonics Kits, however, it is good to have a second set too! Print them out (if possible) and use them! Various ideas are listed in this newsletter (below)

Accessing Lessons NOT on plan- General directions to access a lesson that is not showing up on your student's daily plan. This can be if they are completing additional lessons to "catch-up" or if they are working ahead because of an upcoming vacation or holiday. (Mrs. Nagel should approve all vacations prior to the date and they will be excused only if are compliant with the MNVA policy.)

Weekly Progress Goals

Progress by Friday September 26th is 11% in each course
Friday October 3rd is 14%

Remember, these are progress goals meant to guide you and your child to stay on track throughout the year.

1st grade Class Connect

Please note the change in dates! - we will be starting the Tuesday (writing) and Wednesday (reading groups) a week later!

Monday- Beginning next Monday, September 8th, we will have a weekly Monday Meeting & Math class connect at 11:00 or 1:00.

Tuesday - Beginning on October 7th, 1st graders will have a Language Arts Writing class connect at 11:00 or 1:00.

  • Please Note! All students will be added to the 11:00 and 1:00 class connect sessions initially. The student only needs to attend one class connect a day, either 11:00 or 1:00.

Wednesday - Beginning October 8th, all students will be invited to participate in guided reading groups. These groups will be at various times throughout the day and based on the students reading and comprehension levels that I will assess during their conference. These will be small groups of 3-7 students.

Thursday & Friday - Beginning October 2nd, depending on your students needs, I may be inviting them to work with me in small groups or individually.

Sight Words are important!

As you may know, sight words are important! Sight words are words that your student needs to know by sight. Yep, just by looking at them! Please practice sight words with your child daily, especially if they have less than 80% correct from the Basic (kindergarten) list of K12 Sight Words.

When I assess students for sight words, I allow them 3-5 seconds to look at the word and tell me. If they cannot say it within that time, it is not a true word they know by sight. I will check Sight Words at least once every quarter, if not more. By the end of 1st grade, they should know at least 90% of the K-1 Sight Words.

Exposure is everything when it comes to sight words! A student needs to SEE the word as many times possible before it becomes a word he knows "by heart". Don't wait until the sight words show up in the phonics lessons, begin to work on them now! You should have the Kindergarten Basic list as well as the 1st grade Advanced list and flash cards. (The flash cards for each along with the word lists and which units they are found, in are in this week's Friday Folder.)

Below are some great ways to incorporate sight words into your 1st graders daily life. :)

Ideas for practicing sight words at home

Fun Ideas for Practicing Sight Words
  • Play a matching card game. Write a sight word on an index card and match it to the way it sounds. For example, the word has would match a card with S = Z on it; the word are would match a card that has an R on it.
  • Use macaroni that is shaped like alphabet letters. Place a handful of letters into 4 different sandwich baggies. Put 1 teaspoon of rubbing alcohol and 3-4 drops of food coloring in each baggie. Seal and shake the baggies. Lay the macaroni on foil to dry. When dry, use the letters to spell sight words or spelling words.
  • Play tic-tac-toe with word cards taped to the kitchen floor. Have the student toss beanbags on the words called out by an adult.
  • Make bingo cards with sight words on them.
  • Use letter-shaped cookie cutters to form letters out of cookie dough. After the letter shapes are baked, use them to form words. If the child can read the word, s/he gets to eat the letter shapes.
  • Write sight words along with a few nouns or silly words on index cards. Have the student make up silly sentences using the cards, complete with punctuation. Once the student has created the sentences, have him/her read them into a tape recorder. Mix up the cards and have the student put the words into the sentences s/he hears replayed on the tape recorder.
  • Create a sight word jail on the wall. Put the sight words in jail because they didn’t follow the rules. Have the student read the words throughout the day. After the student masters a word, s/he can set it free.
  • In a magazine, look for two or three words the student is trying to remember. Race to see which word is used most frequently in a particular paragraph.
  • Make a mobile of words that are difficult for the student and hang it in a visible location. Throughout the day, read the words on the mobile with your child.
  • Make a necklace out of yarn. String an index card that contains a troublesome sight word on the necklace. The child can wear the necklace all day and practice the sight word. Put a different word on the necklace every day and by the end of the week the child should know five more words.
  • Spread shaving cream on a table or cookie sheet. Have the child write a word in the shaving cream and practice reading it. No shaving cream handy? Use rice, beans, sugar, flour, or some other ingredient that provides texture.
  • Print each sight word on two separate index cards. Spread out the cards, face down, on a table. Play a game of memory. Each time a card is turned over, the player must read the word on the card.
  • Print each sight word on separate index cards. Place the cards face down in a deck and locate a game board with a spinner or dice. The first player takes the top card from the deck. If the player can read the word on the card, then s/he can spin the spinner or roll the dice and move on the game board. Take turns playing.
  • Select a word and call it the “Sight Word of the Day.” Have the student keep a tally of how many times s/he sees or hears the word used throughout the day.
  • Create a sight word sticker book. Each time the student can effectively remember/read (masters) the sight work, have then have them add a sticker.
  • Ask the child to wear a couple sight words each day. They can carry them in their pocket, make a bracelet, or even necklace. Every time you see them or pass them, ask them to LOOK at their sight word and READ it.
  • Post the sight words all around the house in areas they will see them constantly. After all, sight words are words they need to know by SIGHT- so the more they see them and are exposed to them, the easier they may become!

Individual Learning Plans (ILPs)

In the next couple weeks I will be meeting with your child individually to work on different assessments together. After we know more where your child is based on these assessments in reading and math, we will work together to create an Individual Academic Plan (ILP) for your child during our first fall conference.

Every student in MNVA will have an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) each year. This academic plan lays out the requirements of the student for the year. This ILP can include changes to their current daily plan (initially typical 1st grade courses) and will take in account assessment data as well as other information I will gather from you and your child during our conference. The ILP can include advanced learning opportunities, remedial courses, supplemental activities/lessons, class connects, extension activities, or additional practice opportunities, using other programs supported by MNVA/K12. All activities and practice on a student's ILP will help them to reach their academic goals and maser state standards according to the expectations for their grade.

It is very important for you, as the Learning Coach, to adhere to the ILP and keep a consistent daily schedule with your child. It is also important for me, as the licensed teacher, to understand the needs and expectations for your 1st grade student. We will review the ILP together at each conference. Together we will help your child have an educational and successful 1st grade year!


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Mrs. Nagel's 1st grade September Classroom Calendar

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MNVA Community Building Events

MNVA Community Building Events

Click here to check the MNVA website and to register for events!
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Academic Resources

Student account required: (information coming soon!)
Reading Eggs
IXL math
Study Island