Sept/Oct. News

Dear Families,

It was great visiting with you on Curriculum Night! For those of you who were not able to attend, I did send home the information I gave out that evening in your child’s folder last week. Please don’t hesitate to call or email if you have any questions

     Thank-you for your support in reading our class poems each night, and making sure the folder gets returned to school the next day. After conferences in October I will be sending leveled books home in the folder that will also provide some coaching opportunities at home to help your child develop the strategies that good readers use by habit. I will give you more information on how you can help your child read at home during our conference.

     In last week’s folder you should have found a Math letter explaining our current unit of study “Building Numbers and Solving Story Problems.” The letter explains first grade benchmarks for the unit. In today’s folder you will find some Math homework, “Double Compare”. There are some green number cards to play the game with that you can cut apart and keep in a safe place at home for your child to use all year. The record sheets come back to school. This is not required, but encouraged, as playing a game with your child that we have played in class is a way to observe your child’s growth and thinking as a first grade mathematician. Again, the number cards stay at home for future use, but the record sheets, if completed, come back to school.

     In Writer’s Workshop we have begun writing in our ‘Weekend News” journals. We have also begun writing stories from our lives, focusing on small moments rather than big ideas. Zooming in on small moments enables children to write with detail, showing a character’s actions, dialogue and internal thinking. The children are writing in booklets, sketching a story across the pages independently after choosing an idea and planning a clear beginning, middle and end. Our lives are full of small moment stories and I can’t wait to read them all!

In Reading we are continuing to work on building stamina as independent readers by staying in one spot and reading the whole time. A big area of focus is choosing “just right” books, as those are the books that will keep a reader engaged. I will be sending leveled readers home after conferences. These will be books that are just right for your child in terms of difficulty. Your child should be able to read these books with only minimal support. We will be working in leveled groups, and the strategies we develop in small groups should be transferred to your child’s reading at home.

     Next week my class will begin the Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) tests in Reading and Math, taken by all 1st-5th grade students. These tests will provide important feedback that will help me adjust my instructional practices for the class and for your child in particular. We will also test in Feb. and June. Please email or call with questions.

     Our first field trip of the year will be on Wed., Oct. 18th to French Prairie Gardens and Family Farm. Please sign the permission slip and return with the admission fee of $8.00 by Mon., Sept. 25th. If you would like to chaperone, please indicate so on the permission slip and include another $8.00 for yourself. This was a big hit last year and tied in nicely with our study of life cycles.

Scholastic book order catalogs are here! Book orders can be placed either on the catalogs that come home with your child, or online by clicking HERE. There is also a link on the “Scholastic Book Orders” page on my blog. Online ordering can be done in a few simple steps and you can pay by credit or debit card.  You will be asked to enter our class activation code which is HCX8C.  With each order, our classroom earns bonus points and coupons, and that amounts to free books for us to enjoy!  You may also send an order from the catalogs your child brings home, but you will need to make checks payable to Scholastic, and please do not send cash.

 Important Dates to mark on your calendar:

Mon., Sept. 25th: Field trip permission slips/admission due, Scholastic book orders due.

Wed., Sept. 27th: Students dismissed at 12:10 for teacher professional development

Fri., Oct. 6th: Fun Run (our class is scheduled to run from 11:45-12:05)

Mon., Oct. 9th & Tues., Oct. 10th: Evening conferences

Wed., Oct. 11th & Thurs., Oct. 12th: Conferences – no school

Fri., Oct. 13th: Statewide Inservice Day – no school

Wed., Oct. 18th: Field Trip to French Prairie Gardens Family Farm