Sunday, November 16, 2014

Dear Parents,

 This week marks the end of the first trimester in first grade.  If you are surprised at the speed that our time flies, you are not alone!  The children are all amazing in the way they use their skills to build new connections.  We, as their teachers, are very proud of how hard they work and the dedicated joy with which they approach learning.

I would like to thank you for your generous response to both the primary team collection of peanut butter and jelly and the student council canned food drive.  The food pantry will be receiving over 3,500 items collected from the entire student body.

Another important thank you for the initial response to the Annual Fund Drive.  We, as a school community, strive for 100% participation in this drive.  As you are aware, the various groups to which we apply for grants take a hard look at these participation numbers when making their decisions as to our worthiness to receive their funds.  Let’s make first grade class the first one with 100% participation! 

It is truly hard to believe that Thanksgiving and the season of Advent are so near.  The children will be participating in many seasonal activities in the weeks to come.  Please help your child to learn the lyrics to the C.H.R.I.S.T.M.A.S. song that came home last week.  The Christmas program is scheduled for Monday, December 1st, 3 short weeks away.  They sing the song in the classroom daily and have the first verse and the refrain down, but need a bit of help with the rest of the song.

My next blog update will be on Monday, December 1st.  The week of the 24th, which is comprised of 2 half-days, will be a review week.  There will be a spelling test on Monday, (the 24th) as well as a unit assessment in language arts.  We will participate in the Turkey Trot and annual Thanksgiving meal sponsored by the student council on Tuesday. 

It is my prayer that your family will truly find the goodness of our loving God in your Thanksgiving celebration.  Happy Thanksgiving!
A Christian brings peace to others. Not only peace, but also love, kindness, faithfulness and joy.” Pope Francis

May you find many peace-filled opportunities this week,
Mrs. Pam Claytor

This Week in First Grade
Religion:  We will discuss why it is important to say Thank You, as we name the special gifts we want to thank God for. 

Language Arts -  The children will be working on the following skills this week:   Phonics -Decode words with er/ėr/ and ed/ed/, /d/, /t/  Vocabulary - Generate ideas before writing; Write a poem with a pattern ; Recognize and understand Memory Words look, your, the, was, are, for; Discuss idioms “in a pickle” and “Willikers!” ; Discuss the meanings of puzzled, clenched, and unclenched ; Recognize sniffed and smelled as synonyms Understand sensory words   Comprehension - Use pictures and prior knowledge; Understand text features; Complete sentences about a story;  Summarize; Compare and contrast texts; Recall story details ; Use pictures and prior knowledge; Answer questions about a poem; Recognize rhyme and rhythm; Recognize patterns in text; Associate rebus pictures with words; Use pictures   Writing Associate sentences with pictures; Generate ideas before writing; Write sentences about a problem and solution; Write a poem with a pattern     Grammar usage and mechanics - Understand and form words with prefix un-  Listening and Speaking - Listen and respond to oral presentations ; Discuss helping others      Fluency - Read at an appropriate rate; Read rhythmically 

Math -  We will work on thinking addition to 8 in order to subtract on Monday, then continue with thinking addition to subtract up to 12 on Tuesday.  The children are making connections between the math facts involved in addition and those in subtraction when they are “thinking” addition.  They will practice drawing a picture to solve a problem and then write a number sentence to explain their work.  After reviewing the addition and subtraction facts to 12, the children will demonstrate their understanding through a unit assessment on Friday.

Science – The children will use their background knowledge to make connections in explaining how animals take care of their needs.  The food chain, camouflage, and habitat of various animal groups will be discussed.

Social Studies – The first Americans and settlers and their lifestyles will be discussed.  The children will compare and contrast the needs of these two groups.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Dear Parents,

I want to share how proud I was of my students, your children, as they participated in the field trip activities.  All were so very well behaved and actively engaged that they received compliments from both museum personnel and other adults observing them!  I also would like to thank all of the parents who volunteered to join us and the ones who were able to join us, after a lottery was used to choose them.

Thank you for assisting your children with their baptism “project” page.  This has been a very helpful exercise in bringing the children to an awareness of their initiation into the Church.  They are so very excited to share their pictures with each other.  All picture pages will be on display in the hallway until Thanksgiving, when they will be returned.

 As Mrs. Schratz noted in the monthly newsletter, we are in the process of completing our first trimester.  The amount of growth the children have demonstrated is such a joy to see. Your support has been invaluable!

Finally, the children are very excited to bring in both canned goods for the Student Council’s food drive and the peanut butter and jelly being collected by the primary team classes. If you haven’t had a chance to do so, we will still be looking for donations this week.

Let us give thanks for the many blessings we experience through the eyes of the children!

May you be blessed in many, many ways this week,
Mrs. Pam Claytor

This Week in First Grade

Religion: We will begin the week realizing that, as Christians, we are followers of Jesus and sharing our baptism stories.  We will then move on to the love that God shares with all and His expectation that we also share love with everyone.  We will also discuss that God made us to be with Him in heaven.

Language Arts: We will be working on the following skills to complete Unit 3: Phonics Decode words with ng and le, sh, th, tch  Identify rhyming words    We will also be starting on Unit 4  with an introduction: Phonemic awareness- identify /ėr/ ; Identify /ed/, /d/, /t/ Associate er with /ėr/  Phonics: Associate ed with /ed/, /d/, /t/  Decode words with er and the ending -ed Vocabulary: Discuss the meaning of scrub-a-matic;Understand sequence words    Comprehension:Use pictures and prior knowledge, Answer questions about a poem; Recognize patterns in text  Recognize sequence of events   Fluency: Read rhythmically   Writing Write a poem with a pattern  Spellling:Review spelling of Memory Words do, have, show, how, me, a  Encode words with ng and le and plural -s  Assess spelling (Test on Wednesday, November 12th)
Grammar, Usage:  Understand verbs and the ending -ed  ; Use verbs to understand time of action  Listening and Speaking: Listen for details in a song; Follow oral directions Listen and respond to oral presentations 

Math: We will continue to focus on facts up to the sum of 12, including fact families, patterns such as adding 0,1or 2 to a number, the doubles facts and recognizing doubles plus one.  The children will use a 10 frame to identify facts with 5 on a ten frame and making 10 on a ten frame.  They will also work on subtraction patterns using 0, 1, and 2.  Finally, the children will work on “thinking addition” before we review at the end of the week.

Social Studies:  The children will share their thoughts and experiences from the field trip, as well as write about what they learned of the world of work, planning in a community, and needs and wants. We will then begin a discussion of the traditions of Thanksgiving.

Science:  The children will complete their journal entries on various animal group characteristics before working on understanding  the interrelationships between animals, such as the food chain.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Dear Parents,

I want to share how wonderful the Halloween party was for the first graders and their seventh grade buddies.  The food, which was so generously provided by many first grade parents, was both delicious and delightful to the eye.  It ranged from the savory to salty, to sweet, all presented in a most delightful manner!  The children also enjoyed a puppet craft activity, which was lovingly provided by the seventh grade parents.

The children are now looking forward to their field trip this coming Friday, the 7th.  They will be very excited to share the experience with you when they get home.  Please note that your child will need to bring a bag lunch and drink, as well as wear their dress uniform for the field trip.

It was brought to my attention this past week that the enrichment side of the math worksheet was very challenging for many children (their parents and teachers as well!).  I wanted to remind you that, while the children are expected to complete the practice side, the enrichment side is completely optional. I believe this side has been manageable for the children up to this point; that said, please glance at it and decide, knowing your child’s level of comfort with the work, whether to have your child complete the page.

One final thought: It is a true privilege to teach in a Catholic School, as I have been doing for 25 years (this year!).  The children and families I have had the opportunity to work with have such incredible devotion, sacrificing in so many ways for their children to have a faith based education.  As Mrs. Schratz will shortly note in the monthly newsletter, the annual giving fund activities begin very soon.  I have already written a check in thanksgiving for my wonderful class this year.  I truly hope you will find an opportunity to send in a donation, in any amount you are able to send. Let’s make first grade the first class with 100% participation this year!

Mrs. Pam Claytor

PS A quick reminder for the girls in the class: wear shorts under your jumper to be able to do gymnastic types of activities!

Whoever is happy will make others happy too.  Anne Frank

This Week in First Grade

Religion  The children will be learning about the meaning of being welcoming as a prelude to learning about the sacrament of baptism.  The focus will be on how the Church welcomes all of us through this, the first sacrament we all receive. The children will want to share a picture of their baptism, if you have one that can be brought to school.

Language Arts:  We will be working on the following skills this week:  Phonics:  Decode words with ng and le ; Phonemic Awareness: Associate picture names with rhyming words   Vocabulary: Recognize and understand Memory Words do, have, show, how, me, a  Recognize story words blow, story; Categorize words associated with up and down   Comprehension: Use pictures and prior knowledge; Understand text features; Complete sentences about a story; Generate questions to distinguish reality and fantasy;  Recognize plot: Problem and solution; Sequence events   Fluency: Read with natural phrasing  Listening and Speaking: Discuss taking turns and working together 

Math  The children will work on understanding math facts that are easily remembered.  These include how to add 0, 1, or 2 to a number, as well as the doubles and near doubles facts.  This is the point where the children should be developing and automaticity in reciting their fact families, quickly leaving the use of fingers for counting behind.

Science  We will continue to review the differences in animals and the growth changes between young animals and adult animals.  The children will also be identifying the characteristics of the various animal groups.

Social Studies   We will discuss the difference between needs and wants and the decisions families must make when budgeting for needs.  The children will connect these concepts to the field trip experience.