Why do birds have beaks? We had such a fun time investigating the relationship between the shape of different beaks and the food each bird eats during our Mystery Science adventure last week. Ask your child to tell you about this.
We will continue learning about the first Thanksgiving - comparing and contrasting with our present day celebration. Be on the lookout for your child’s Thanksgiving flipbook – they will have lots to share with you.
Friday’s snowstorm...specifically the wet snow...brought about a reminder about the importance of packing an extra set of clothes for your child in their backpack. It’s time to replace the extra “summer” clothing with “winter” clothing. Also, please pack extra socks! Although boots get left at the classroom door somehow the wet snow still appears on our classroom floor and we have puddles which seem to find all stocking feet.
Has your child learned how to tie their shoes? Beginning in January it is expected that your child is able to tie their own shoes, independently.
Between the excitement of Halloween and Thanksgiving, full moons, the time change, and the unexpected November snow we have found that there has been difficulty following routines and maintaining expected behaviors. We are working hard at earning our “dobs” by showing kindness and expected “Bobcat” behavior. A conversation with your child on how they are doing would be greatly appreciated.
Mrs. Queen and I send warm wishes from home to home and from heart to heart to wish you and your loved ones a very Happy Thanksgiving. May this day be a beautiful reminder of the wonderful things in life!
Happy Veterans Day. A heartfelt THANK YOU to all the brave men and women who have chosen the path of service in our armed forces.
Our Wonders program will focus on our Essential Question: What buildings do you know? What are they made of? We will be talking and reading about buildings and what they are made of. So, of course, the three little pigs is a perfect story for us to dive into. There are so many wonderful variations of this tale, we will read two that your children have probably not read yet - - The Pigs, the Wolf, and the Mud by Ellen Tarlow and The Three Dassies by Jan Brett.
Our phonics focus is short vowel Uu. The spelling words for the week are:
run, fun, nut, cut, bug, rug, - - could, one
Last week I sent home a list of the Sight Words that your child has mastered. If there were any words that your child is still having difficulty with, please help them to practice these words. Next week they will be assessed again.
Our Wonders program will expose us to singular and plural nouns as well as contractions.
The cold weather is upon us. Cynthia Rylant’s beautiful book, In November, will help to guide us to write our own stories about the approaching winter. These stories will go on the bulletin board just outside our classroom door.
Your children are learning how to use different resources to help them to add and subtract as well as identify numbers up to 120. Rekenreks continue to be a favorite! We have been working hard on number operations and algebraic thinking. By the end of First Grade, your child will need to be proficient with:
This week in Science we will investigate Animal and Plant Superpowers. Why do birds have beaks? Why do baby ducks follow their mother? Why do leaves change color in the fall?
A quick preview of what is planned for Thanksgiving week: On Tuesday, November 20th we will get together with our friends from the Readiness and First Grade classrooms for some seasonal activities. We will have two very special artists working with us: Mrs. Keefe (our former Art Teacher) and Mr. Real Fallu. We are planning a special snack for all the children. Please let me know if you could donate:
This week with our Wonders program we will be reading and talking about jobs with our Essential Question of: What jobs need to be done in our community? The short vowel “Ee” will be our phonics focus.
Our spelling words are: leg, beg, men, hen, head, bread
Our sight words are: there, again
Since there is no school on Tuesday due to the elections, your child will be bringing home their reading group book on Wednesday.
We are continually adding and subtracting numbers. We will be looking at numbers in Number Stories this week. This is a fun activity you can do with your child. Here is an example of an addition number story: On our drive to school I saw 5 white cars and 3 blue cars. How many cars in all did we see? Here is an example of a subtraction number story. For Halloween I collected 10 pieces of candy. I ate 6 pieces of candy. How many pieces of candy do I have left?
Did your child tell you about “Tiny Town”? We had so much fun investigating how pushes can change the speed and direction of falling objects. Using great teamwork as some trial and error, your children were able to successfully direct a “boulder” down a mountainside away from a town.
We will be talking about Veterans Day this week. Is anyone is your family a veteran? Talk with your child about this special person – we’d love to have them share this information with us.
We have fixed the problems with the on-line resources for Wonders and Everyday Math. You should now be able to access both programs. Have fun!
This week our Essential Question is: How does your body move? We will be reading and talking about ways that our bodies and some animals’ bodies move. We will connect this week’s learning to our daily gross motor exercises.
Our phonics study will be “r” and “s” blends. Another tricky week! Our spelling words are:
spill, spin, grab, grass, drop, drip.
Our sight words are: two, move
We will have our first Wonders assessment this week. It will be exciting to see how we can put all our new learning together to sound out and stretch words, respond to stories, and read for details. We will also have our Unit 2 assessment with our Everyday Mathematics program.
With our Everyday Mathematics program we will continue to work with Number Stories, with a focus on subtraction. Using Fact Triangles to guide us, your children are discovering that sometimes instead of subtracting down from a number...they can add up. (Example: 10 – 7 = ? We can add up instead: 8, 9, 10. That’s three jumps.) Last week your children discovered some interesting things about the 100’s grid. We will continue to look at ways to add and subtract on the 100’s grid and our Number Lines as well as counting on from any number.
A reminder about Wednesday’s Halloween Parade... as per the school policy: your child must be able to see clearly if there is a mast, they must be able to walk easily, and their costumes cannot contain blood, guts, or weapons. We will have lots of learning going on all day long. Please do not send your child to school with their costume on. We will get dressed right before the parade at 1:00. We will return to the classroom for some yummy snacks and a Mystery Science video on spiders!
his week our Essential Question is: What do friends to together? We will be reading and writing about friendships all week long. Friends and friendships are an important part of our day. Working with friends, getting along with friends, and learning how to make good choices when we are with our friends are daily conversations in the classroom. Our conversations will lead us to exploring what to do when you want to do one thing…and your friend wants to do something else. Hmmm….This will be a great follow-up to our weekly discussions with Ms. Brown and Mrs. Dana with our Social Thinking/Second Step programs.
Speaking of friendships within our classroom and within the NBCS community.... We have noticed a comfort level that has settled in with everyone. Friends are reaching out to one another – but that also means friends are comfortable with “tattling” on one another. We read Julia Cook’s book, A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue and then brainstormed rules that we could follow to help us determine if something was “tattling” or information that needed to be shared. Using this great book to guide us, we came up with the following rules - - ask your child to explain these to you. We had such a great classroom discussion.
We are back to short vowels with our phonics focus. Our spelling words are:
hop, top, log, hog, hot, lot
Our sight words are: they, too. We will be reviewing flip and black from last week.
This is Fire Safety week. We will be heading out to the Safety Trailer on Monday morning.
Volunteers – check your child’s folder for information about volunteering in the classroom!
This week our Essential Question is: What makes a pet special? Can you imagine a dog or a dinosaur coming to school? We will be reading two great stories that will help us to figure out if this is a good or bad decision. Our phonics focus is “L” blends. This can be a challenging sound.
Our spelling words are: clip, flip, slip, flag, black. Our sight words are: plan, be.
We had a great investigation last week with weather and how quickly it can change. We headed out to the garden and observed the weather. We noticed that it was cloudy, cool, and breezy. We all decided that the best way to stay warm on a day like this was long sleeves or a light jacket. We head back in to complete our investigation and guess what....the weather changed. We noticed that the sun was coming out, the temperature got a little warmer, but it was still breezy. Did your child share their weather chart with you? We are hoping that over the weekend everyone did some weather investigating and completed their own weather charts for us to share this week at school.
On Friday we will look at another life cycle: pumpkins. Using some wonderful books, informative videos, and hands-on experiences we will learn about how pumpkins go from seed to Jack-O-Lanterns. If you have any extra pumpkins we’d love to add them to our pumpkin collection in the classroom.
This week with our Wonders program we will focus on: What is it like where you live? We will be reading and writing about this all week long. Our phonics focus is the short vowel Ii. We have new sight words and new spelling words. Be on the lookout in your child’s folder on Monday for these practice sheets:
pin, win, hit, sit, miss, kiss, out, up
Although your child will only be responsible for the sight words: out, up - - they will be exposed to two other words: down, very. We will practice them all week long.
Speaking of Spelling – what a great job everyone did on their first Spelling Test. Thank you for working with your child to help them master these words.
With our Everyday Mathematics program we will be exploring combinations to 10, working with ten frames and Rekenreks (great visual tools to help us with number sense), and more work with Tally Marks.
Did you hear about our six butterflies? Last Tuesday, between raindrops, we let all six of our Painted Lady Butterflies out. They seemed to like their new home...although one of the butterflies did not want to leave our butterfly cage. It seemed to enjoy the company of our classmates.
We were not able to get our weather investigation in last week. So this Mystery Science adventure will happen this week. Your child will be bringing home a chart to track the weather over the weekend.
Be on the lookout for your child’s first reading homework on Tuesday night. You child will be sharing their Reading Group book with you. Every Tuesday (unless there is no school on Monday...then the homework will be Wednesday) your child will be bringing home a book to share with you. They are very proud of the progress they have been making - - get ready to enjoy another wonderful moment with your child.
This will be a very busy week at school.
We have gotten into our groove here at school! Routines are falling into place, expected behaviors are occurring, and many smiles and laughs happen during the day.
Our Painted Lady Butterflies have arrived – the “Math Giraffes” have taken on the role of Scientists. Scientists ask lots of questions and make lots of observations. We will be learning more about the life cycle of the Painted Lady Butterfly: egg, caterpillar (larva), chrysalis (pupa), and butterfly. Using our Science Journals we have begun recording our observations. Make sure you check out our journals when you come to Back-to-School Night on Monday.
This week our learning will take us deeper into the insect world. What is an insect? What is not an insect? We will continue to observe and record in our Painted Lady Butterfly journals and then take this knowledge and apply it to another insect - - fireflies.
During our Numeracy Block, we have learned some fun math games. The directions to these games were sent home for you to enjoy with your child. Has your child told you about Rekenreks? These are fun math tools that we use to help us add and subtract numbers.
With our Wonders program, we will continue to review letters and sounds – as well as Sight Words. I will be sending home a list of the First Grade Sight Words for you to practice with your child. Since these words usually can’t be sounded out, your child needs to know them quickly and with accuracy. We practice our sight words daily but reinforcement at home is necessary.
During Writer’s Workshop we will focus on sentence structure (beginning with a capital letter, ending with correct punctuation), developing ideas for our writing, and adding details to our writing.
Our new handwriting program starts this week: Size Matters. Your child will soon be producing “star-worthy” letters and words. Get ready for your child to tell you all about this.
I’m looking forward to seeing you Monday night at Back-to-School. There are always so many wonderful things to share!