Together we can achieve great things!

November 16, 2015

Dear Parents,
It is hard to believe we will be celebrating Thanksgiving in the very near future. I want to take this opportunity to thank you for being my partner in your child's education. Having your support, engagement, and interest has contributed greatly to my ability to bring a unique set of individuals each with their own talents, interests, learning styles, and dreams together into a cohesive group of thinkers who care and share. Learning is a collaborative venture. The more I can provide opportunities for the children to work together, cooperate and learn from each other, the more I know they will experience success way beyond their first grade years. Together, we are starting your child off and running on his/her learning journey as respectful, responsible and involved learner.

Our Week in Review

In writing, we spent a great deal of time recounting a personal experience. The children are learning to stretch their stories across the pages. In essence, they must replay the movie and paint the pictures with their words. Crucial to writing is maintaining that creative free flow of ideas on paper that writers experience when they first start jotting down their thoughts. Writers need to organize their thoughts, visualize it and spill it out on paper spelling the best they can and keep going. Sketching out our stories in a sequence of pictures and orally retelling the events has enabled the children to stay in the moment and elaborate on the action. The key is to conclude the narrative with a feeling or thought that wraps things up. My ultimate goal is for the children to retell a sequence of events with precise detail, while weaving feelings, thoughts, and dialogue into their pieces. Learning to reread ones work for the purpose of fixing and fancying it up is an important component of the writing process that follows the drafting phase. Capitalization, punctuation, and spelling are essential to written communication.

Look What Else We Are Learning!

In reading, we focused on the comprehension strategy of main idea and details. We also zoomed in on those all important story elements – character, setting, problem, solution and plot. We continue to learn to retell a story in sequential order. As readers, we have the important job to be thinkers. The children know that

text + thinking = real reading. It is when the words and the brain collide that real reading begins.

This week we will focus on the consonant blends (sh, th, ch, wh) as well as the comprehension skill of sequencing.

I sent home Unit 1 high frequency words to review and practice. If you prefer I can send you a power point which is so much more engaging than flashcards. Just e-mail me and I will be happy to send it to you.

More Learning Fun!

We are math wizards! We spent time this week solving number stories involving money and learning to determine when a problem calls for the operation of addition or subtraction. We investigated patterns on the hundreds chart. We learned that every time you jump one row down from a given number, you are adding ten and every time you jump up a row, you are subtracting ten. The children will become great even and odd detectives as they discover the rule of looking at the digit in the ones place to determine if the whole number is even or odd. We will spend some time adding and subtracting on the number line as well as having more time telling fun to the half hour. Please continue to review math facts with your child. Write them on sticky notes, the bathroom mirror, or chant them in the car. The more automatic they become the more your child will be able to problem solve with ease.

Exciting Adventures!

The children are having fun being scientists and investigating the skills they use to learn about the world around them.

As a scientist, they learned to:

*Ask questions and make observations

*Use their senses and tools

*Collect and analyzing data

*Sort and group information

*Create graphs to record and communicate findings

*Make predictions, conduct experiments, draw inferences and conclusions

I shared my grandmother's button box and the children were amazed at all the different varieties. They had a grand time finding all sorts of ways to sort and classify them. We will be wrapping up this unit in the near future and marching on to learning about light and shadows.

Important Reading News!

Every child who turned in a reading calendar for the month of October was rewarded with a "bling" tag from Mrs. Seachrist. In addition, a group picture will be posted in the school and they will be featured at our next SWEBS assembly.

The next quarterly incentive requires the children to meet their required 15 minutes (or more) reading homework goal each night. So for the month of November, your child should be reading a minimum of 315 minutes or 5 hours and 15 minutes. In December the children should be reading a minimum 345 minutes or 5 hours and 45 minutes. Those children who went above and beyond during the month of October were asked to challenge themselves and supersede their previous reading time.

You can help your child by: reading with your child regularly, letting your child see you read, encourage him or her to read and apply strategies to figure out those tricky words, let your child know that reading is part of his or her nightly homework and show your child that you value reading by signing the monthly calendar. I showed the children how to make up missed minutes due to an after school activity by tacking it on extra minutes to subsequent nights or making up the missed minutes on the weekend.

Please look in your child's RED folder for a bookmark depicting the strategies we use to decode unknown words.

A Peek Into the Future

November 17th - Conference Survey Sheet Due, Our Library Day

November 18th - Book Fair Begins, Distribution of Report Cards

November 19th, 24th and 25th - Parent-Teacher Conferences

*November 23rd - Spelling Assessment

November 24th - We can shop at the Book Fair - You are invited to shop with your child during our scheduled library time 10:55-11:30.

I continuously remind myself that our children are a most precious commodity. As much as our children need to be thankful for all we do, we too need to let them know how thankful we are to have them.

*Your children are a delight and bring a smile to my face each and every day!

Warm regards,


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You can help your child by: reading with your child regularly, letting your child see you read, encourage him or her to read and apply strategies to figure out those tricky words, let your child know that reading is part of his or her nightly homework and show your child that you value reading by signing the monthly calendar.