Sunday, March 22, 2015



Dear Parents,

The children are deservedly proud of finishing their testing booklet.  There were many times that the material was challenging and they persevered, doing their very best with the information they had.  We have one part of the testing, the OLSAT  (a test of skill level)  left to complete next week.  It is likely we will work on this Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, first thing.  I appreciate the support you gave your children this past week, with good nutrition, exercise and proper rest.  This will also help this coming week.  The testing we have left is made up of brain puzzles; are mostly fun for the children and will not stop our forward progress in academic areas.  This means that homework resumes this week. 

I am hopeful that first grade will win the ice cream party that comes with 100% of the class returning at least 5 labels for the Race for Education on Monday, the 23rd.   Your child will be copying the names that you have written down onto letters (for example you will have given the label Mr. and Mrs. Smith and have written on a separate sheet Mom-Mom and Pop-Pop.  It is very helpful when your child can read the writing – please print the letters carefully.  As you can probably imagine, having 29 children write letters to 5 or more people is a daunting task, but certainly manageable with your help!  Thank you for your help with this.

This is the 5th week of Lent.  Our focus this week is on family customs and traditions, particularly those celebrated with the sacraments. A wonderful family tradition is family prayer.  You might start with adding a morning prayer to your day. 

May God bless all of you this week,
Mrs. Pam  Claytor
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This Week in First Grade
Religion:  We will complete the lessons we began this past week in the Growing in Love series.  We will also focus on the messages of the 5th week of Lent.  There is a primary level Stations of the Cross service at 1:15 in the first grade room on Friday.

Language Arts:  Student ObjectivesREADING   Phonics and Structural Analysis- Decode words ending in ier, iest; Identify base words in words with endings; Read contractions formed with is, am, are, will; Associate a with /ā/, e with /ē/, i with /ī/, o with /ō/, u with /ū/; Decode long-vowel trickers;   Read contractions formed with is, am, are, will    SPELLING - Spell Memory Words their, now, always, because, been; Spell contractions formed with is, am, are, will; Encode long-vowel trickers; Encode Pattern Words ending in ier, iest; Apply spelling rule for adding endings to words with final y; Encode base words    Vocabulary- Understand homophones you're, your;  Understand story words and idioms;  Discuss amusement parks and photo albums   GRAMMAR, USAGE, AND MECHANICS - Recognize and use an apostrophe;    Comprehension  - Make predictions;  Understand captions; Monitor comprehension and use fix-up tips;
Identify main idea and supporting details using a graphic organizer  Writing  Plan a personal narrative as part of the writing process GRAMMAR, USAGE, AND MECHANICS Understand adjectives;  Recognize and use an apostrophe

Math:  We begin a new topic on Monday with the topic opener story.  The children will then begin their work on adding groups of 10: Students add two multiples of 10 for sums to 100. They learn how adding groups of 10 is similar to adding numbers less than 10. Students use a hundred chart to add multiples of 10 to two-digit numbers. They learn that when adding tens to a two-digit number, only the tens digit changes.  Students add a multiple of 10 to a two-digit number. They learn that when adding tens to a two-digit number, only the tens digit changes.  Students add numbers mentally. They learn that techniques for doing addition calculations mentally involve changing the numbers or the expression so the calculation is easy to do mentally.

Science:  We will begin work on learning about the Chesapeake Bay this week.  This is the beginning of a unit about the science of life in the state of Maryland, which will culminate in a field trip with our 7th grade buddies to the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center on May 13th  - all chaperones are welcome :).   

Social Studies: We will continue our comparison of life in city, suburb and rural areas, with Maryland areas as a focus.






Monday, March 16, 2015



Dear Parents,

Testing week is here!  The children have practiced answering questions and relaxation breathing.  Thank you again for supporting this busy time with lots of outdoor play time, nutrition and a good night’s sleep.  Having the children here on time is also a big help.  While we will be doing some math and language arts lessons next week, however, there will not be any official homework.  Of course reading for fun should always be on a to-do list!

Speaking of lists, the list of supplies that are low has grown exponentially in recent weeks.  Please ask your child if he or she is in need of: glue sticks, pencils, or erasers.  They will receive the third and final pack of crayons at the end of the month.  If you originally sent in 3 packs of crayons, then your child doesn’t need any more.
I pray that your family Lenten journey will be blessed this week.

Yours,
Mrs. Pam Claytor
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This Week in First Grade

Religion:  We will be working on the Family Life concepts of God’s Gift of Family, Self, Life, Love, and Community.

Language Arts: This week’s objectives  - Phonics  Decode words that end with ier and iest  ; Vocabulary  Recognize and understand Memory Words their, now, always, because, been  Discuss fortune cookie and wishes  Understand idioms  ;  Comprehension   Use pictures and prior knowledge  Complete sentences about a story  Monitor comprehension and use fix-up tips  Understand setting and its importance  Complete sentences about a story  Recall details ;    Fluency   Read with expression  LISTENING AND SPEAKING  Discuss looking out for others  Listen and respond to oral presentations   WRITING  Generate ideas before writing  Write about a personal wish  Focus on a central idea 

Math:  Topic: 9, Lesson 5 -Problem Solving: make an organized list; we will have a review on Thursday of topic 9 lessons.

Science/ Social Studies: there is a STEM assembly on Friday.  I will be using the afternoon instruction time for language arts and math.


Sunday, March 8, 2015



Dear Parents,

I hope you have enjoyed the precious gift of time together the winter weather has afforded us this past week.   I believe the children will be quite ready to get back to the routine that, being a first grader open to the joys of learning, is all about.

I will be preparing the children for the Stanford testing that will take place the week of March 16th using a practice test this week.  I believe the most important message for the children is that the test is to show what they are learning and to teach me, as their teacher, what I need to help them to be better learners. With this in mind, it is important to make sure the children have a full night’s sleep, plenty of opportunities to actively play in fresh air, and to eat properly, with special emphasis on a hearty, protein focused breakfast.

We continue our Lenten journey this third week of Lent with a visit to the CRS website to learn more about how the gift of alms affects the people of Niger.  Our prayer will be:

Loving God, we pray that all people gain opportunities to express their dignity through meaningful work.

The CRS website is a wonderful way to share discussions of these stories at home as well: http://www.crsricebowl.org/stories-of-hope/week-3/

May God bless your family and home this week.

Mrs. Pam Claytor

This Week in First Grade   You will probably recognize these plans as the ones I had for last week!

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 an 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.