Tuesday, December 16, 2014



December 15, 2014
Dear Parents,
Is there anyone out there who is not enjoying the joy of the season through their children’s eyes?  I feel blessed times 28, to share this joy with my first graders!  I would like to give you and your children a small gift:  there will be no more official homework from me until we return from the Christmas break.  I know how truly busy you are and the many family traditions that are taking place.  I will be sending the math papers home, with which you may have your child “teach” you how to do the work.  As for language arts, I do hope that you will continue to read with your child daily, perhaps having him or her try reading some favorite holiday tales.
May our newborn savior bless you and your families abundantly during this wonderful season!
Merry Christmas!
I look forward to celebrating a new year with you when we return!   
Sincerely,
Mrs. Pam Claytor
I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.  Charles Dickens

This Week in First Grade
Religion The children will  share their understanding of the birth of our Lord in different forms: through art, song, acting, and prayer.
Language Arts  reading: Phonics
Decode words with short-vowel patterns ; Decode words with long-vowel patterns; Decode words with short- and long-vowel patterns 
Vocabulary
Recognize and understand Memory Words said, only, you, out, of, here  identify rebuses for giant, princess, knight, and castle 
Understand antonyms foolish and clever  Recognize and understand Memory Words said, only, you, out, of, here ; Identify rebuses for giant, princess, knight, and castle  Understand antonyms foolish and clever; Recognize and understand Memory Words said, only, you, out, of, here 
Identify rebuses for giant, princess, knight, and castle; Understand antonyms foolish and clever 
Comprehension
Use pictures and prior knowledge;Complete sentences about a story; Visualize; Draw conclusions; Use pictures and prior knowledge;
Complete sentences about a story; Draw conclusions; Use pictures and prior knowledge ; Answer questions about a poem ; Recognize text structure ;
Recognize patterns in text  Fluency  Read with expression; Read rhythmically  LISTENING AND SPEAKING Discuss good practices for playing together with friends; Discuss good practices for playing together with friends;  Listen and respond to oral presentations ; WRITING Generate ideas before writing; Write sentences about a character  SPELLING  Spell Memory Words said, only, you, out, of, here; Encode words with long vowels  GRAMMAR, USAGE, AND MECHANICS Understand and form plurals with -s and -es 

Math   The children will complete topic 5 this week as they work on word problems with 3 addends, review addition facts to 20, and take a test to determine their understanding.  We will also begin a conversation on subtraction facts to 20, topic 6 in our series.
Science  We will begin a unit on the sun, moon, and planets. The children have shared their current understanding of vocabulary inherent in this unit and we will now begin to build new knowledge.  We will begin with understanding the process and interactions of earth’s systems and the dynamics of earth and other objects in space.
Social Studies  The children will connect their science and religion lessons with social studies as they write and read a chart for information on weather and how it affects children from around the world.  They will also discuss family Christmas traditions, making connections between their traditions and those of children from other countries.

Sunday, December 7, 2014



Dear Parents,

The children have embraced our Advent journey.  They are learning about the symbolism of the Advent wreath and the concept of waiting patiently.  This is a good thing for us to practice!  Of course they are also excited with the changes happening as each one shares how their household is preparing for Christmas.  I do remember my own children were often quite tired as the days grew shorter in daylight and they resisted going to bed – there are so many specials on TV.  Amid the busyness of this time, I do hope that you include the beautiful prayers of Advent at your family table.  Don’t forget to add time for reflection and sharing.  Your children have wonderful ideas and incredible grace to share with you!   

Yours,
Mrs. Pam Claytor

“Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God”  Isaiah 40:1      Many of us find the holidays a difficult time, as we grieve the loss of a loved one, are taking care of the seriously ill, or have untold worries.  Don’t forget to take time to share comfort with others.


This Week in First Grade

Religion The children will discuss personal experiences with promises as they connect God’s promise to send a savior to the world.  The will share what it means to be holy and connect their understanding to the Holy Family.      

Language Arts: READING 1. Vocabulary Recognize and understand Memory Words there, from, be, to, we, or  ; Recognize and understand Memory Words said, only, you, out, of, here  2. Comprehension Recall details  3. Phonemic Awareness Identify and distinguish between short- and long-vowel sounds Phonics Associate vowels with short- and long-vowel sounds; Identify and mark short and long vowels;  Associate short-vowel sounds with consonant-and-vowel patterns; Identify and mark long vowels in CV words ; Recognize and understand 4. Memory Words said, only, you, out, of, here; Identify rebuses for giant, princess, knight, and castle; Understand antonyms foolish and clever  SPELLING Spell Memory Words there, from, be, to, we, or ; Encode words with -ing and -ed ; Spell Memory Words said, only, you, out, of, here; Encode CV Pattern Words GRAMMAR, USAGE, AND MECHANICS Understand and use the conjunctions and  and,  or .  LISTENING AND SPEAKING Listen for details in a song; Listen and respond to oral presentations; Discuss good practices for playing together with friends  Fluency Read with expression Writing Generate ideas before writing; Write a dialogue between characters Comprehension Use pictures and prior knowledge ; Complete sentences about a story; Visualize; Draw conclusions 

Math   The children will continue to work on learning addition facts to 20.  As they learn various ways to work out the problems, your children should be working on learning the fact families by rote.

Science  We will start on a new unit, Sky and Weather.  The children will make classroom posters to explain vocabulary inherent to this unit as a pre-assessment.

Social Studies  The children will connect their science and religion lessons with social studies as they write and read a chart for information on weather and how it affects children from around the world.  They will also discuss family Christmas traditions, making connections between their traditions and those of children from other countries.

Sunday, November 30, 2014



Dear Parents,

I would like to wish you and your family a happy Advent season.  The children will be introduced to the advent wreath today when they help to make one for the classroom bulletin board.  I hope you, too, have had the opportunity to light the first candle at home.  We (my family) had the tradition of lighting the candle before our dinner after saying a prayer.

They say if you don’t like the weather in Maryland, wait a while and it will change – this seems especially true at the moment – we had low 30s during the day last week and the upcoming forecast is a roller coaster.  I have a rule that the children must wear the jacket they wore to school for our first recess (which is @ 10:35) and then I may give them permission to wear only a sweater or sweatshirt during the lunch recess. Conversely, we will be going outside to play on a daily basis, no matter the temperature.   Please send your child to school dressed for the early morning weather AND PUT THEIR NAME ON ALL CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES.  I have a growing collection of sweatshirts without identification!

Consider this meditation for the week:  Jesus, I want to dedicate this season to seeking you more fully.  Come, Lord, and make me ready to greet you when you come again!”

Sincerely,
Mrs. Pam Claytor
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This Week in First Grade

Religion   We begin the Advent season making the connection of the concept of waiting with how the people of the old testament waited for the coming of a savior. They will discuss their understanding of the Advent wreath, old testament prophets, and Maranatha, which means “Come, Lord Jesus”.

Language Arts   We will be working on the following skills this week:  Vocabulary - Recognize and understand Memory Words there, from, be, to, we, or ; Understand describing words; Understand antonyms; Understand the meaning of yuck  Phonics- Decode words with endings -ing and -ed Comprehension Understand action words;  Understand idiom sopping wet; Use pictures and prior knowledge; Complete sentences about a story;  Generate questions; Understand characters;  Recall story details ; Monitor comprehension and use a fix-up tip: Think about what makes sense  WRITING -Plan a character using a graphic organizer Fluency -Observe typographical clues; Read with appropriate stress; Read with natural phrasing SPELLING- Spell Memory Words there, from, be, to, we, or ;  Encode Pattern Words with -ing and -ed ; Apply spelling rules for adding endings Apply spelling rules for adding -ing and -ed endings  GRAMMAR, USAGE, AND MECHANICS - Understand verbs and the endings -ing, -ed ;Use verbs to understand time of action  LISTENING AND SPEAKING -Follow oral directions;  Discuss thinking for yourself


Math   The children will be working on many different math skills this week as we start a new topic: addition facts to 20.  After viewing the topic opener,  ”Monkey Doubles”, we will explore the doubles plus 1 facts, doubles plus 2 facts and problem solving with 2 questions.  Please continue to work with your child on developing an automaticity of math facts.

Science  The  children will explore through inference that an animal’s color can make it hard to see. Describe and name ways animals can stay safe.  They will then take demonstrate their understanding through a unit assessment.

Social Studies  The children will describe the earth and name the continents and oceans as they begin their unit, Where We Live.