Saturday, September 14, 2019

Week of 9/16

Dear Room 4 Parents,

I hope you're enjoying this warm weather!  It is nice to have bright and sunny days at school!

Math: We will continue to work on fluency  with addition numbers to 10, and then work our way into subtraction. The students are learning many different math strategies to solve an equation and most importantly, learning to use THE MOST EFFICIENT one. Zearn login cards will go home this week so please look for it in your child's folder.  Have your child do Zearn at home and practice logging in and out of the program as this will support their learning at school.

Grammar: We will focus on capitalizing names.

Comprehension: We will focus on noting details in the stories we read and those that we write.

Phonics: We will work to find words with short vowels and learn the reasons why the vowels are short. We will learn a vowel song that will help the students learn the vowel sounds!

Reading Workshop: Reading Workshop has started and we will continue working in Unit One learning how readers build good habits as well as learning how reading partners work together to build their skills. The students now have their own book bag filled with books at their level from our leveled library. They shop each week for new books to read independently in an area of their choice building stamina to independently read for longer periods of time. 

Writing: Students will continue to write small moment stories.  We talked about how small moment writers gather ideas by thinking about a special vacation or place.  It was so exciting to hear about the students' special places and why they are so special to him/her.  We had "author's chair" where students read their writing in front of the class!  I'm impressed!

Handwriting: We will wrap up stick letters this week and move  into writing uppercase letters.  

Word Wall Words:    so          nice        all 

Take home folders: Please take time to enjoy looking over your child's work DAILY and help your child remember to bring the empty folder back to school each day.

Important Dates:

Run For Rio: Sun, 9/15
Picture Day: Fri, 9/20
Movie Night: Fri, 9/20
Spirit Day: Wed., 9-25 Hawaiian Day
Harvest Festival: Fri, 10/11


Have a great week!
Mrs. Christensen

Friday, September 6, 2019

Week of 9/9

Dear Room 4 Parents,

It was a short and fun week!  The students have adjusted well to the routines of first grade.  I appreciate all of your support with the morning routine.  I can tell the students are proud of themselves for going up to the playground independently!  

Fall will occur on September 23rd so we will be incorporating fall activities into our schedule these next few weeks.  We will discuss the harvesting of apples and the changes that occur in the fall.  I can't wait!

Math:  In this first module, students are working towards fluency with addition and subtraction of numbers to 10 and presented with opportunities to start COUNTING ON from the bigger number and NOT counting ALL which leads students to decomposing and composing addends and total amounts. You can support this learning at home by reviewing the math worksheets your children bring home.  You can also make up your own addition/subtraction stories and have your child solve it.  Ask them, "Can you explain your answer?" or " Can you show me how you solved it by using a math strategy?".  Flashcards are another fun way to increase fluency in addition and subtraction at home too! Remember, first graders are working towards COUNTING ON from the bigger number so when they see the equation 5+3=? they would say 5 and then add 3 more on from 5. 

Reading:  Reading Workshop has started and we will continue working in Unit One learning about the many strategies readers use when they read. The students now have their own book bag filled with books at their level from our leveled library. They will shop each week for new books to read independently in an area of their choice building stamina to independently read for longer periods of time. Students met their reading partner this week and they'll continue to learn different ways they can help each other learn and grow in reading.


Writing: We will continue our narrative unit of Writers' Workshop. The students have learned how small moment writers gather ideas by thinking of strong emotions and  special moments in their lives. The class is doing a fabulous job writing!  The writing process will take about six weeks so you'll see their published book and drafts around then!  We read "Diary of a Worm" and "Diary of a Spider" to get the students excited about writing in their weekend "diary".  We will start this on Monday.  Help your child remember a few things about his/her weekend.


Handwriting: We will continue learning how to write all the lowercase letters. Students are learning when to use a capital letter, at the beginning of a sentence and when writing a proper noun. Daily handwriting practice at home is important as your child is just learning how to write the letters the magic c way and the stick way.


Word Wall Words:    not     too    her

Growth Mindset:  We focused on mindful listening and how different noises make us feel a certain way especially loud ones.  We did some mindful listening with our "sitting like a frog" meditation music.  We are working on being mindful of others during work time by keeping our voices low.  We also had a class meeting about standing up for others when there is a problem and having a growth mindset that we CAN do something to help solve problems.  Next week,  we will work on mindful eating!

Library: We visit the library on Tuesdays.  Please have your child bring their library book to school on or before Tuesday so they can check out another book.  If you think your child has lost their library book, please contact Kelli Lowe in the library.

Take home folders: Please take time to go over your child's work daily and help him remember to bring his empty folder back to school each day.


A big THANK YOU goes out to Karli Grigsby (Gabrielle's mother) and Adriana Rodoni (Joseph's mother) for volunteering to be our Room Parents.  Yay!  THANK YOU!

Needed supplies:
nonfiction books (new or used)
baby wipes


Important Dates:
Parent Alliance Meeting: Thurs, 9/12
Run For Rio: Sun, 9/15
Picture Day: Fri, 9/20
Movie Night: Fri, 9/20
Harvest Festival: Fri, 10/11


Enjoy the warm weather!
Mrs. Christensen

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Week of 9/2

Dear Parents,

It was wonderful to see you all at Back to School Night. I know that was a lot of information to take in in one night so don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have questions or need clarification. You have my contact info now.

Math: We will continue working in our Engage New York Program in Module One working on finding groups of 8 and 9  in a picture and counting on from 5. We will be working with number bonds and subitizing as well. You can continue to support this learning at home by reviewing the math worksheets your child brings home and encouraging your child to work on math on the Starfall program. Flashcards are another fun way to help your child add and subtract at home too!

Reading: We will enjoy two new stories from our Houghton Mifflin Reading Series that will focus on helping your child evaluate a story and think about cause and effect in a story.
Reading Workshop has started and we will continue working in Unit One learning about the many strategies readers use when they read. The students now have their own book bag filled with books at their level from our leveled library. They will shop each week for new books to read independently in an area of their choice.

Writing; Writing happens across the curriculum and will continue this week as the students write to the Mystery Person, and during our Language Wall Time. We are into our narrative unit of Writer's Workshop learning about how writers gather ideas by thinking about a strong emotion they have had to help them write a story. We will continue to gather ideas next week and then move into picking a seed!

Handwriting: We will finish learning how to write all the lowercase letters and start learning how to write the capital letters. Daily handwriting practice at home is important as your child is just learning how to write the letters the magic c way and the stick way.

Word Wall Words:       favorite         find          who



Reminders:
Take home folders: Please take time to go over your child's work daily and help him remember to bring his empty folder back to school each day.


Needed supplies:
nonfiction books (new or used)
antibacterial wipes
baby wipes
12 large paint brushes
4 small head phones for our chrome books

Important Dates:
Site Council Meeting: Tues, 8/27, 2:30-4:00 in the library
Labor Day (no school): Mon, 9/2
Parent Alliance Meeting: Thurs, 9/12
Run For Rio: Sun, 9/15
Picture Day: Fri, 9/20
Movie Night: Fri, 9/20
Harvest Festival: Fri, 10/11


Have a nice Labor Day weekend!
Mrs. Christensen

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Week of 8/26

Dear Fabulous First Grade Parents!

We are off to a great start!  Our first full week of school went smoothly learning the routines and guidelines for our class.  Please remember to drop off your child on the upper playground if you arrive at school before 7:55.  Students are found roaming the halls and/or in the classroom without adult supervision.  Now that they are in first grade, the class is working on being independent and responsible students.  It would be very helpful (if you're not doing so already) to say "good-byes" at the bottom of the stairs so that your child can play independently and line up on their own when the bell rings at 7:55.  This will help make a smooth and calm transition into the classroom.  If your child is having a challenging time going to the upper playground on their own, you can encourage your child to join the line as we walk down to the classroom.  

Math:  The students have been working on being "detectives" by finding groups of 5 in a picture and counting on from 5.  This concept will help students add/subtract quickly by finding groups of 5 without having to count from "1".  We also worked on subitizing which tied into lesson 1.  After students found groups of 5 and counted on to find their answer, they showed their work in a number bond.  Please review your child's math work (concepts) found in their daily folder.  You can also help your child at home by learning math facts to 10.  Flashcards are a great way to practice!

Reading:  Students chose leveled books from our classroom library.  They have several books in their desk that they will use for Reader's Workshop.  The class practiced how to choose leveled books from our library and also practiced silent reading in a quiet area in the classroom.  We will continue this next week.  I'll talk more about this at Back to School Night.

Writing:  Students did an amazing job writing similes for their cool writing/art project!  They wrote about themselves and made a cool water color background for their writing piece. You'll see them at Back to School Night.  The projects are darling!  Next week, we will start Writer's Workshop and discuss "small moments".

Growth Mindset:  We practiced the routines of meditating by having a calm mind and body.  We "sat like a frog" and practiced breathing, sitting still and being present in the moment.  Students continue to fill each other's buckets with compliments and kind words.  I'm so grateful to have such a kind and compassionate class.  


Physical Education:  We have P.E. on Tuesdays.  Please have your child wear sneakers on this day.

Back to School Night is on Thursday, August 29th.  This as an adult only event so please have childcare set up for the evening.  I'll go over curriculum, homework, volunteering, and answer any questions you may have.

Reminders:
Back to School Night:  August 29th 6-6:30, 6:35-7:00 Principal’s Welcome/Parent Alliance
School Site Council: Tuesday, August 27th from 2:30-4:00 in Library

Have a relaxing weekend,
Mrs. Christensen


Friday, August 16, 2019

Weekly Update 8/16

Dear First Grade Parents,

We had a wonderful three days of school getting to know one another and
learning the routines of the classroom!  We read the nursery, “Humpty Dumpty”
and discussed the importance of being “safe” at our school. The students had
a blast discussing Humpty Dumpty and his unsafe behaviors!

The class also discussed ways on  how to show empathy, compassion, and kindness. 

We read the story, “How Full Is Your Bucket?” and the students made a list of
ideas on how to fill a person’s bucket ( i.e. giving compliments,being kind, sharing,
helping) and also how to drain a person’s bucket ( i.e. being unkind, saying
negative comments, being greedy).  The students used the list to write about how
they can fill someone’s bucket. I was impressed with their work! You’ll find their
ideas on the bulletin board.  

In Math, the students practiced printing numbers correctly.  We reviewed the

concept of grouping by 5’s and 10’s. We reviewed how to subitize (a way of
instantly counting) and the students showed their work on  a whiteboard.  Students
were excited to share out their answers in front of the class. 

In Writing, students wrote about themselves for our Monthly Writing bulletin board. 

Students will have a prompt once a month and their writing piece will be displayed
on the “Monthly Writing” bulletin.  Stop by anytime to check it out.

Next week, we will dive into Reader’s Workshop.  We will go over the basic

guidelines on how to be a better reader. Some of you have inquired about helping
out in the classroom. Unfortunately, we will not be having Centers this year due to
our Reader’s Workshop curriculum.  I do need a parent to do copies once a week
and the time is very flexible. Let me know if you’re interested. I will also need help here
and there with special projects throughout the year.  If you’re available to help with an art
project on Monday at 8:00, please let me know. Please check with the office to confirm
you’re cleared with the district.

I’ve purchased supplies for the students’ pencil boxes. To keep it simple and less

distracting, please keep personal supplies at home as it is creating confusion for some students.  If students would like to bring decorative pencils to school, that would be fine.

The plastic folder that was sent home on the first day of school will be

used to send home forms, flyers, class work and homework. Please have
your child bring it to school daily.


Starting this Monday, the students will walk to their designated pick up area on
their own.  If your child is going home with someone other than their normal pick
up person, please send a note to school.  If you choose to email me, please do so
before 6:30 a.m. so I’m able to read it before school.


Please email or call me with any questions or concerns you may have throughout
the year.  I will respond within 24 hours. You can also call the school if it’s an
emergency. 

Classroom supplies needed and much appreciated:
tissue boxes
paper towels
baby wipes

hand sanitizer
antibacterial soap
antibacterial wipes
Ziploc bags
cups
paper platesprize box items (dollar store type)
Gummy Bears

gift card to Target or Staples


Reminders:
Sign and return school forms as soon as possible
Back to School Night:  August 29th 6-6:30, 6:35-7:00 Principal’s Welcome,
Parent Alliance
School Site Council: Tuesday, August 27th from 2:30-4:00 in Library


Thank you for your support and positive feedback!  Have a nice weekend!
Mrs. Christensen