Sunday, March 1, 2015



Dear Parents,

Thank you so much for your help with the snow day work.  The children’s season poems are delightful!  Look for them to be hung in the hallway outside of the classroom.

Our first Stations of the Cross prayer service was an emotional experience for the teachers.  We had preK 4, kindergarten, first, second, and third graders in one classroom space to join together in praying the stations.  Using a slide presentation from Loyola press, http://www.loyolapress.com/assets/lp/stations-of-the-cross-powerpoint.swf, and second grade prayer leaders, the children participated through echo prayer.  The entire group of children were the quietest they could possibly be, fully attentive and involved.  As I said above, it was a truly beautiful, emotional experience for all.  I encourage you to use the link above to pray the stations at home as well.

This will be an unusual week.  There is an Archdiocesan required professional day on Tuesday for the teachers to be introduced to the updated language arts curriculum requirements and the process of curriculum mapping with this update.  We have our field trip scheduled for Wednesday morning and we have a half day scheduled for Friday. 

There is also a revision of my plans, due to the delayed start and snow day last week, along with the challenge of “making tens” the children experienced in their math lessons.  This means that the math assessments for both the topic and a cumulative assessment for topics 5-8 will take place on Monday and Thursday. 

I pray that your Lenten practices are bringing you and your family closer in your relationship with our loving God.

Yours,
Mrs. Pam Claytor

****************************************************

This Week in First Grade

Religion:  We will continue with our Love and Mercy in Lenten practice, as we learn more about CRS Rice Bowl stories.  The children will also understand the gifts of the Holy Spirit in their lives, a continuation of last week’s work.  There is a school liturgy this Friday.

Language Arts: the following student objectives will be covered: READING  Phonemic Awareness: Identify final /ī/ , /ē/, /ā/ ; Phonics: Recognize when y is a vowel, Associate ay with /ā/, Decode words with ay, Decode words with y/ī/, y/ē/, and ay/ā/  Vocabulary: Recognize and understand Memory Words down, too, work, many, first;  Understand the meanings of Pattern Words with y and ay;  Recognize story words boots, paper, scissors;  Discuss the meaning of “in case of rain”  SPELLING:  Spell Memory Words down, too, work, many, first; Encode Pattern Words with y and ay;  LISTENING AND SPEAKING:  Follow oral directions; Listen for details in a song; Discuss making good use of time  Comprehension: Associate words with pictures; Complete sentences about a story; Recognize text structure Sequence steps; Fluency:  Read at an appropriate rate  RESEARCH AND STUDY SKILLS  Identify steps in directions 

Math: The children will have a topic and end of unit assessment. We will then begin work on topic 9: Comparing Numbers to 100.  Please watch for the parent note to come home Thursday or Friday for information on this topic and the work the children will be completing.

Science and Social Studies:  I will be working on last week’s plans which include assessing the children’s understanding of weather and the instruments used to measure weather in science and comparing and contrasting the differences between life in a city, suburb and rural area in social studies.



Sunday, February 22, 2015



Dear Parents,

We have begun our Lenten journey.  This week the focus will be on love and mercy.  I will be sharing a story with the children that should elicit a discussion on our own feelings and those of others.  Please also encourage your child to pick a special person to pray for this Lent, someone whom they can connect the feelings of either love or frustration.  We will connect these feelings with those of the saints.  It would be a wonderful connection for you to share who your favorite saint is with your child, as well as a brief biography of the saint’s accomplishments.

We are at a mid-point with the language arts series.  There will be a cumulative assessment on all of the skills covered on Tuesday morning.  There is also a spelling assessment on Monday on the contractions we have been studying. 
The children will also demonstrate their understandings of place value with tens and ones this week.  They will have topic test on Wednesday.

I offer you this Lenten prayer for the week: “Loving God, Let me be aware of the many ways you reach out to help me today and let me stand in awe of the power that you use in such loving ways.”

Have a blessed week,
Mrs. Pam Claytor
*****************************************************************

This Week in First Grade


Religion:  We will work on the Lenten practice of Love and Mercy, learning more about the Rice Bowl service project and how the money the children save to donate will affect others.  The children will also realize that water in Baptism and holy oil in Confirmation are symbols of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Language Arts:  This week’s objectives include Phonemic Awareness Identify final /ī/ and /ē/    Phonics  Recognize when y is a vowel, Associate y with /ī/ and /ē/ .  Distinguish between y/ī/ and y/ē/.    Decode words with y/ī/ and y/ē/  .  Associate ay with /ā/.   Associate words with pictures . Phonemic Awareness   Identify final /ā/ .  Associate ay with /ā/ .     Decode words with ay .    Vocabulary  Recognize and understand memory words down, too, work, many, first.    Understand the meanings of Pattern Words with y and ay.  Recognize story words boots, paper, scissors.  Discuss the meaning of “in case of rain” .    SPELLING   Spell Memory Words down, too, work, many, first.  Encode Pattern Words with y and ay.  LISTENING AND SPEAKING   Follow oral directions .  Listen for details in a song.    Comprehension  Complete sentences about a story.  Recognize text structure.  Sequence steps.  Fluency   Read at an appropriate rate.  LISTENING AND SPEAKING   Discuss making good use of time.  RESEARCH AND STUDY SKILLS  Identify steps in directions .

Math: The children will work on ways to make numbers by breaking apart a ten to make 10 ones.  They will learn that numbers greater than 10n can be named in more than one way and have the same value.  They will use groups of 10s and 1s to show and write a given 2 digit number.  They will organize, using a list, so that all outcomes are accounted for when solving a problem.  Finally, they will be introduced to the topic of comparing numbers to 100, writing the numbers that are 1 more or 1 less and 20 more or 10 less than a 2 digit number.

Science:  We will review and assess the vocabulary and concepts they have been working on under the topic of weather.  They will understand that the weather changes with the seasons.

Social Studies:  The children will describe the difference in features among a city, a suburb, and a town.  They will compare and contrast the way people live in a city, suburb, or town.


Monday, February 16, 2015



Dear Parents,

Thank you so much for the delicious treats and thoughtful valentines!  The children were quite delighted to share their valentines and enjoy the treats (there were no leftovers – every bit of cheese, salami, pepperoni, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, celery, dip, cookies, apples and dip, and donut holes was eaten!) as we celebrated Valentine’s Day this past week.  Thank you, also, for helping the children to bring in pasta and sauce for the Elkridge Food Pantry.  The children are eager to explain the various ways they earned their donations.

Wednesday, February 18th  is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten season in the Church.  Our student body will attend mass and receive ashes.  We will discuss the ways we can consciously choose to change during this time of prayer, fast, and alms giving.  Lent is also a time for family prayer and reflection.  I find Catholic Icing a supportive website to use for ideas of ways to share this holy season with the children:  http://www.catholicicing.com/lenten-activities-for-children/

An opportunity for service to our neighbors in need is to donate gently used shoes.  The middle school religious education group of my parish, St. John/Sacred Heart in Chestertown has made this their service project, with a goal of collecting 1000 pairs of gently used shoes by the end of February.  They are half way to their goal as of Sunday, Feb. 15th.  If you have shoes that could be donated, please send them to school by Friday, February 27th.


“Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.”  Mother Theresa

May your week be filled with smiles,
Mrs. Pam Claytor
**********************************************************************

This Week in First Grade

Religion  The children will understand that the Holy Spirit is the gift of God’s love. They will name ways the Holy Spirit helps us make good choices.  The season of Lent will be introduced as we discuss the meaning of Ash Wednesday. 

Language Arts: Student Objectives   READING - Structural Analysis  Read contractions with n't   Structural Analysis and Vocabulary Read and understand compound words based on their parts  Read and understand contractions with n't   Vocabulary Discuss talent shows, Discuss talent shows , Recognize story words pigeon and book, Discuss pigeons and the meaning of attic, Discuss names for baby animals   Comprehension  Use pictures and prior knowledge, Complete sentences about a story, Recognize text structure, Summarize, Recognize plot: Beginning, middle, and end, Recall story details, Generate questions to determine important ideas, Draw conclusions  Fluency  Read with expression, Read with natural phrasing   LISTENING AND SPEAKING  Discuss forgiving others  Fluency  Read with expression Listen and respond to oral presentations  WRITING  Revise and edit a draft as part of the writing process, Publish a story as part of the writing process    SPELLING   Encode words with endings -ing and –ed,  Apply spelling rules for adding endings   Phonics and Structural Analysis    Decode words with the noun suffix -er  GRAMMAR, USAGE, AND MECHANICS  Understand and form words with the noun suffix -er 
Math: We continue our work on understanding tens and ones this week.  Students count groups of 10, up to 10 tens, and write how many. They learn that the decade numbers to 100 are built on groups of ten. They also learn that when there are only tens, counting by 10s can be used to find how many there are in all.  The children will understand that the two digits of a two-digit number represent amounts of tens and ones. The Students model a two-digit number and write its expanded form. They learn how a number greater than 10 can be represented as the sum of the tens and the ones.

Science:  We will continue our exploration of weather vocabulary and concepts.  The children will learn about the tools used to measure weather.  We will also discuss weather extremes, which is usually a popular topic for first graders. (note: this is a continuation of the work we began last week)

Social Studies:    We will focus on how location affects life: different areas, climate, latitude, and longitude. The children will discuss the influence weather has on everyday experiences.