November News

I would like to thank you all for taking the time to meet with me at conference time! I enjoyed meeting with each of you and discussing your child's progress in first grade. I love that you are such a supportive, communicative group of families!
There will be a lot to accomplish over the next couple of months, so here is a quick update on what your child will be focusing on:

In Fundations, we will be adding more "glued sounds" to our existing sound "all". These sounds will be explored all year long, then reviewed and built upon, in 2nd grade.  Students learn that a "glued" sound is a group of letters that work together to make a sound. These sounds help them not only figure out unknown words while reading, but also help them spell words while writing, allowing them more freedom to get their thoughts down on paper.

Everyday Math has us working on visual patterns this month and telling time to the half hour. We spend a great deal of time studying the number grid patterns, building number sense in students to help them understand place value. This is all in preparation for learning addition and subtraction facts. Just as we expect instant sight word recognition in reading, we will expect some instant fact recognition in math, however we also want students to understand what those numbers mean, allowing them to apply those concepts and solve more difficult facts.

During our reading time, we will be continuing to strengthen students retelling abilities, as well as identifying an author's main idea. Students will be working in groups with texts at their ability to practice these concepts.

We have spent a great deal of time working on the trait of ideas in writing. Students have become much more comfortable with thinking of topics to write about and we will continue to revisit this to make sure they are showing variety in their topic choices. As we move forward, we will now begin to explore the trait of organization, which is writing events in a sequenced order. We will first focus on beginning, middle and end, and as students progress, we will add details to make our writing even better. Many students are still working on their handwriting skills, so we will practice letter/word formation throughout this time. Some great activities that enhance this skill that your child could do at home are: working with clay/playdough, creating things with the small legos, coloring and cutting. These activities all strengthen the muscles needed to have well controlled handwriting.

In science, we have learned about the five senses and now will be looking at germs, nutrition and exercise in our unit on health. Students will explore the 5 main food groups, learning about nutrients and vitamins, and digestion. An intern with the school nurse, will come into our classroom to do a lesson on germs and the importance of washing properly. We will also discuss the importance of getting enough exercise.

As the weather begins to become colder, please remember to send your child to school with a jacket. We will have outdoor recess, unless the temperature goes below 20 degrees or it rains. Once snow begins to stick to the ground, all students must wear snow pants and boots in order to go onto the playground area, or field. If they do not wear these items, they will need to stay on the paved area. I also am begging you~please, please, please, mark your child's belongings. You would be surprised how many children do not know their own boots, snow pants or even jackets. Several times, students have the same gear as another student as well, which can be confusing if things are not marked.

As always, if you have any questions/concerns, please feel free to email me at jdowe@sau74.org.

Have a wonderful month!