September 21, 2018 This week in reading students focused on the topic of what pets need. We read the story of the week, Sam, Come Back, and talked about the characters and setting in the story. Students also practiced reading and writing the weekly sight words. Every Monday, students will cut out flashcards for the sight words to keep at home. We also continued to practice working in reading groups and the expectations during small group time.
During writing time we are working on make a small book about pets. Each student chose a dream pet and named it. Then they wrote about what kind of shelter that pet would need. Next week we will continue with our book and create a cover page.
In Fundations students continued to work on identifying letters and sounds. They also practiced their handwriting for specific letters, writing their names and sequencing the alphabet. I will continue to send home occasional handwriting practice as we are working on letter formation. Next week, we will finish unit 1 and will take the unit test on Friday.
Students worked very hard during math this week! We talked about different math concepts and used different tools to add. Students practiced drawing a math picture, using bar models and used cubes and counters to help them count on. We also worked on story problems and tried to find the important information and key words in a problem. On Thursday we took the chapter 1 checkpoint. We also played math games to reinforce addition skills. Next week students will continue to learn and practice addition concepts.
The first week of October we will be working on many apple-themed activities. Please return your child's permission slip so that he/she can participate in the apple tasting on October 1st.
September 14, 2018 It was nice to see so many of you last night at the Open House. If you were unable to attend, I sent home paperwork from last night regarding our schedule, curriculum and goals for first grade. Also, if you would like to volunteer, but were not able to sign up last night please let me know. Please make sure that you have a current CORI check. Volunteering will begin in October.
Monday and Friday (8:45-9:00) for the cold/hot reads
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday (10:00-11:00) to help with differentiated reading groups
Secret Reader- we can choose a day and time together (more info to come soon!)
This week during the reading block, we worked on many review skills. Students read stories throughout the week and we focused on describing characters. Then, each student picked their favorite character from a given story and wrote about why he/she was their favorite. We practiced reading review sight words and sounded out words with short vowels (CvC words).
During the Fundations time, students worked on letter sounds and practiced their handwriting. They are working very hard to use the lines on the paper to make their writing neat! We will continue with these skills next week, as we take time to review each letter of the alphabet. Also, we practiced sequencing the alphabet. Students use the Fundations magnet boards to practice this skill.
In math, we started the first chapter focusing on addition strategies. We practiced addition facts up to 5 and drew pictures to help add numbers. Students also completed their first math journal entry with their vocabulary cards. On Tuesday and Wednesday we took the beginning of year assessment. Friday is our math game day. Students worked with a partner to play the game "Race to Trace" and "Rainbow Math" to practice their addition skills. Next week we will continue to with addition strategies.
Friday (9/21) is a half day.
Next week we will only have snack on Monday (9/17) and Wednesday (9/19) as we transition out of snack time. I will send another reminder next week about the last couple of days.
Wednesday (9/19) is the relocation drill. Please remember to send your child in sneakers on this day.
Please continue to help your child remember the BEE expectations.
September 7, 2018 First graders have been working hard all week to learn and follow the classroom expectations. We practiced using different classroom materials, learned how to use our classroom library and learned about trading in buzz chips.
The morning block will be our ELA time, so students have been working on many community building activities through reading and writing. We read many new stories and created mini projects for each one. Students also wrote about what is going to make their year in first grade a great one! They have been getting into the routine of working on a journal prompt for their morning work. The kids also took a reading baseline test to assess their beginning of year skills.
In the afternoon students have been completing many math activities. We reviewed the days of the week and sang a fun song to help remember them. Students practiced writing their numbers on whiteboards. They also worked on two glyphs this week. This is a way to show information, based on answering different questions. We also completed a “Math About Me” project to answer questions about age, birthdays, number of pets, etc. On Friday I gave a quick numbers assessment to check students’ handwriting, number reversals and number sequence. We also played a fun math game “race to trace”.
We have been going outside for an extra recess in the afternoon most days, as students adjust to the new school year. Starting next week, our extra earned recess time will be on Fridays.
Also next week we will be diving right into academics. We will continue reading stories from the review unit and will talk about characters. Students will start Fundations next week too. This is our phonics program. The first unit focuses on letter sounds and letter formation. During math we will start with addition strategies, as well as take the beginning of year benchmark test.
Starting next week I will only be sending an email blast of the weekly newsletter. If you prefer to have a hard copy please let me know and I will make sure to send it home on Fridays.
Looking Ahead: -Picture day is Wednesday (9/12) -Open House is Thursday (9/13) from 6:00-7:30 -Please continue to help your child remember the schoolwide expectations: -Bee Safe -Bee Respectful -Bee Prepared
August 31, 2018
Can you believe that the first week of school has already gone by? Although it was short, we were very busy! This week we have talked about classroom, playground, hallway, and school expectations. We have been going over many of the classroom routines and procedures such as, bathroom breaks, taking care of classroom materials, fire drills, etc. We have also spent some time getting to know each other and establishing our classroom communities.
Breakfast is available for all students every morning before the school day begins. It is provided by the school, so please do not send in breakfast foods. The monthly lunch menu will be available to view online. This year our lunch is at 11:30 so, students will be having an afternoon snack break at 2:15. Students can bring a healthy snack and water or juice. No candy or soda please!
Birthdays and holidays are an exciting time for students. We ask that parents keep our Wellness Program in mind and do not send in classroom treats. Also, if you plan to send in birthday invitations there must be enough for the entire class. The cafeteria also celebrates birthdays each month.
Dismissal time is 3:15. It is very important that you send a note or call the school if there is a change in your child’s routine.
It has been a very busy, but exciting week in the classroom. You all have very special children who are going to be a big part of the class. I have high hopes for a great year ahead of us. Thank you for all the classroom supplies that have been sent in! They will be used throughout the school year. Please fill out and return any paperwork, as they are important pieces of information. I will be sending a weekly email blast each Friday (sometimes Saturday morning) about happenings in the classroom and upcoming events. Again, feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.
August 9, 2018
Welcome to first grade! My name is Mrs. Phillips and I will be your child’s teacher in Room 13. I hope you have been enjoying the summer and the rest of what it has to offer. This will be my second year teaching at Williams Elementary and my sixth year teaching first grade in Pittsfield. Before that, I taught kindergarten in North Adams. I love teaching first grade and am so excited for the new school year!
It is my goal this year to help your child grow academically and socially. They will build their independence and have many opportunities for creative thinking. We will be reading many stories together, working on writing, practicing math facts and playing many new games. Students will be working toward fluency goals in both reading and math, so it is very important that they are reading and practicing math facts at home and in school every day.
I will be sending a letter home the first week of school with more, detailed information about the new school year. Also, feel freeto visit the classroom website- I will be updating it shortly. Open communication between home and school is so important, so please contact me with any questions, big or small. I also attached a student information sheet. Please fill this out and send it in with your child on the first day of school. I look forward to meeting you and to starting a new year with your child. Enjoy the last few weeks of summer!
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