Sept. 18, 2016

September 18, 2016

Dear Parents,

My daughter and I always say that we wish we could be a fly on the wall and watch Sadie (2nd grade) and Joey (K) in action. Since as of yet, I haven’t seen any flies in my classroom, I thought I’d give you a snapshot view of what’s been going on in

Room 235.

1. The children are all amazing and making such good progress. Three weeks ago they embarked on their journal writing journey and the results have been fantastic. Yes, I’ll admit that it is difficult to read what some of them have written, but they are giving it their all and that is what counts. Some of them are writing two or more pages, full of such creative thoughts. I can’t wait to see what the future will bring.

2. This Monday we will be writing out third Weekend News. They understand the whole process and work hard writing about their weekend.

3. So far we have written two summaries. It’s a difficult concept for six year olds, but they are learning how to incorporate the important details in a story when writing a summary.

4. We have been working on our first book called “Things I Love”. On each page, the children write about something they love and why they love it. They will be each working with a parent volunteer to glitter a fabulous cover. Look for this book to come home in a week or two.

5. We have been delving into the story “A Color of His Own” by Leo Lionni. We are learning to identify the main idea of the story as well as supporting details. We have also written the order of events in this story. We will be done with this packet by the end of the week.

6. We have learned about number bonds, an extremely important concept in Singapore Math. We have been playing the “target game”. I give the target number and one addend and a child has to give the other number to complete the equation. Nothing like doing algebra in first grade. Please spend time at home playing this game so that your child has instant recall of combinations of different numbers.

7. We have been practicing counting by 5’s and tallying. I am going to have a parent work with each child to make sure that he/she can do both.

8. We have been doing lots of problem solving. I always tell the children that it’s not the answer to a problem that is important. Rather the most important thing is  how a child shows on a paper the strategy that was used to solve the problem.

9. In Social Studies we have been talking about the importance of rules and what would happen if there were no rules in the classroom. I read the children a book about rules and then gave each of them a post it note so they could write “Why are rules important?” They put their notes on my white board and I read each of the answers to them, followed by an insightful discussion.  We then wrote our own set of classroom rules. We will begin talking about good citizenship and what that means in different area of their lives.

10. The children have embraced homework and they have said that they love doing it. They all know  where to put their homework when they walk in the room. Please give me feedback about how doing  homework is going for your child.

11. I have met with my four reading groups every day. Your child is in a group with other children who are reading at that level. The class is learning to work independently during this time so I can focus on the children sitting at my table.

12. We have become “Bucket Fillers” (okay most of the time) and the children have bonded together to form a loving Room 235 Family.

So that’s a short version of life in first grade. Just a few more things before I end my “novel”. Picture day is this Wednesday. If you would like to send the envelope before Wednesday, I will just hold onto it.

Tomorrow you will be getting a permission slip for our first field trip. All of first grade will be going to Gibb’s Farm on September 30th. We would appreciate it if you could return the form and send in the money to cover the cost of the trip by Friday at the latest.

If you have not as yet looked at the volunteer google doc that I send out last week, please take a moment to do so. I hope that lots of you sign up to volunteer in October.

It was so wonderful meeting with all of you at Curriculum Night. The reason that I have great students is because I have great parents. I’m so excited to go on this first grade adventure with all of you. Your kind words fuel me to work harder and harder each day so that every child in the class will walk out of first grade knowing that he/she has “reached for the stars”.

Best,

Joyce