Sunday, October 19, 2014

Dear Parents,

It was so nice to meet with you to discuss your child’s progress!  I appreciate the effort to work together with you in building a strong foundation for your child to succeed.  Your insights, coupled with my observations will give all of us guidelines to work with.

One of the suggestions I am putting into place is more information on ways to help your child work on their spelling memory and pattern words.  Of course some words are hard to sound out to spell; these memory words must be worked on to put them into long term memory.  I am including the list of suggested activities below and will add them to the homework page for you to use weekly.

This week is Character Counts! week at St. Augustine School.  There are many special activities planned to promote a positive learning experience when discussing what good Christian character looks like. Don’t forget to send your first grader in blue on Monday (an out of uniform day!).  Blue is the color of the pillar of Trustworthiness, which happens to also be the pillar we have been working on during the month of October.

May your week be filled with blessings!
Mrs. Pam Claytor

This Week in First Grade

Religion:  We will be focusing on God’s creation, from reading Genesis to discussing ways to take care of the gifts God has given us.  We will also be working on the pillars of good character, coordinating with the Character Counts! theme.

Language Arts:  We are working on Unit 2 in language arts at this time.  I expect to cover lesson numbers 159-163 or 164.  The skills that will be worked on include: Phonics work -  Decode words with th  Vocabulary  Recognize and understand Memory Words where, what, why, when, which, who; Recognize story words O.K., super 
Comprehension skills  Use pictures and prior knowledge;  Complete sentences about a story;  Monitor comprehension and use a fix-up tip: Think about what makes sense; Understand character 
Writing skills -  Write for different purposes (to ask questions)   
Grammar Understand and use question words and question marks 
Listening and Speaking - Discuss giving gifts    
Research and study skills -  Generate questions for investigation 
Fluency - Observe punctuation; Read with expression 

Math:  After reviewing the skills from understanding subtraction and some additional reinforcement, I will assess the children’s progress.  We will then move into topic 3: Five and Ten Relationships.  I hope to cover the subtopics of representing numbers on a ten frame, parts of 10 and missing parts of 10.  As the children have completed work with parts of the numbers 6, 7, 8, and 9, they should begin to learn the fact families: 1+5=6, 3+3=6, 4+2=6 and so on.

Science:  The children will recognize that living things grow and change, most often resembling the adult form they are derived from.  We will start with plants, looking at their structure, learning vocabulary to identify the parts of a plant, and making the observation that from seed to full grown plant a plant will resemble the one it started from.

Social Studies:  The children will use a map key and its symbols to locate and identify points or areas on a map.  They will develop an understanding that a map is a picture of an area in a form that is useful in different circumstances.

Spelling Homework Menu of Suggestions:
Please note:  for the activities that can’t be put into a notebook to be checked, please write a note indicating the activity and who worked with the child in the notebook.
For the visual learner:
1   Write the memory words 3 times each.  For more interest: when writing your words, use a different colored pencil or marker for each word.
2.    Type the memory and pattern words 3 times each. Try using a different font or color.
3.    Make a word find puzzle  using the memory word at Complete the puzzle.  You may need some help making the puzzle the first few times.
4.    Make a crossword puzzle  at Complete the puzzle.  You may need some help making the puzzle the first few times.
5.    Write a sentence, that demonstrates you know the meaning of the word, for four or more of the words.
6.    Write a story or poem using the new words.
Make a word ladder by changing the beginning, middle and end letters to make new words.  For example:          hat

    For the kinesthetic learner:   
1. Draw a picture for four or more words, labeling the pictures with the words.  Challenge – can  you make one picture that uses all of the words?
2.    Play a card game, gathering the letters needed to make the words.
3.    Play a game of memory, finding the matching word cards.

For the auditory learner:
1.    Make up a cheer or rap to spell the words
2.    Spell the words aloud to an adult while traveling in the car.

Remember: Spelling homework not only prompts students to practice their spelling words. It can also help get family members involved in the learning process.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Dear Parents,

I am looking forward to meeting with you for our mid-trimester conferences.  The conference schedule allows for no more than 15 minutes per family, which is usually enough to let you know what a great job your child is doing in school!  It would be helpful if you would write down any questions you may have to bring with you to the conference.

We will be reviewing all subject areas this week in first grade.  Please continue to help your child read favorite books and to practice math facts each day.  I am sure they would like it if practicing vocabulary and facts was a fun game.  If you remember how to play Concentration, Old Maid, War, or Go Fish card games, you have a great way to reinforce these skills.  Simply make a double set of cards for any skill and play with your child.  We, too, will be playing different games in school to reinforce and challenge the learning we have worked on thus far.

Parenting pointers from the St. John’s,  Rock Hall, Maryland church bulletin:  "Kid’s self-doubts are never ending. Am I good enough? Smart enough? Pretty enough?  One way to counsel the doubtful is to help your child recognize his or her genuine strengths – not the superficial ones.  Reinforce them as they struggle to be true to their best convictions.  It is never too early to help your child with the message that they should please themselves, not seek another’s approval."

Let us praise God for all the gifts He has given to us!

Mrs. Pam Claytor