Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Dear Parents,
     What a wonderful  first week of school we had!  The children are eager to please and to demonstrate what they know.  
      It was very nice meeting all of you (or welcoming you back) at our meeting last Monday.  I enjoyed reading about your child’s interests, which you shared with me on a card.  The children beamed with delight as I shared their favorite things with the group.
     I hope to be updating this site on a weekly basis, usually on the first school day of the week.  Please look for information below to guide you in conversation with your child on what we are working on.
     Thank you so much for the trust you have placed in me and St. Augustine School in teaching your child the ways of God and their first grade education!

My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God. Psalm 63
You are my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I shout for joy.
My soul clings fast to you;
your right hand upholds me.

Have a blessed week!
Mrs. Pam Claytor

This Week in First Grade

Religion:  We will be discussing how it feels to be part of a family and making a list of ways we belong.  We will then identify the Church we belong to as the Catholic Church. Our Character Counts! lesson this will cover the pillar of responsibility.

Language Arts:  We are in a review mode as I determine how the children have grown in their reading skills over the summer.  The children will demonstrate their understanding of the letters of the alphabet and the sounds related to them. They will blend sounds to decode words.  The comprehension skillwork involves associating pictures with words and the use of prior knowledge when reading.  The children will have a review of handwriting procedures, which they may continue working on at home.  They will generate ideas before writing, through illustrations.  They will write a sentence to describe themselves. (Look for these in the hallway soon!)  The listening and speaking skills covered include listening for details in a song and a story.  Grammar skillwork involves using complete sentences and understanding how to use capital letters and end marks in sentences.

Math:  We are working on the topic of addition.  The children will be assessed for prior understanding as we begin the process of reviewing the skills they acquired in Kindergarten.  Watch for a special note to come home later this week explaining the vocabulary that we will use.

Science:  We begin with defining who a scientist is and what they do.  Safety procedures will be discussed as well.

Social Studies:  We will work on understanding the meaning of community as it relates to our classroom and school.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Dear First Grade Friends and Parents,
Welcome to First Grade! I am really excited that we are going to be learning together.  We will be learning about God, our Father, and His love for us.  There are new characters to meet in our reading books, Superkids .  We will also have fun with number bonds in our EnVision Math activities. Of course you will have plenty of opportunities to be scientists and historians, too!
I hope that you are enjoying your summer break.  I have been busy visiting with family, riding my new bicycle, kayaking the Chesapeake Bay, and reading (my very favorite free time activity!).
We are going to have a wild time learning this year!

  I look forward to seeing returning parents and meeting new parents at our Teacher Meet & Greet on Monday, August 25th.
I can't wait to see you!

Mrs. Claytor

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Dear Parents,

     Memorial Day seemed to come very early this year.  The children are counting down the final days of their school year and still working as hard as ever.  There is much to be done before they give their performance of Noah’s Ark on Friday, June 6th at 2:15 PM.  They have completed painting the scenery and gathering the props, started their masks and tie-dyed their costumes.  Most importantly, they are rehearsing the entire play together, having memorized their lines.  Thank you so much for working with your children to learn the lines!

     Our other focus these last two weeks will be in completing the Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies units.  All work will be assessed through various performance and written formats.  The only preparation your child can do is to be comfortable with their math facts and reading skills – in other words, what they have been doing all along.
     Our final unit in Religion revolves around the birthday of the church, Pentecost.  We have been discussing the many ways the Holy Spirit guides us.  It is my hope that the children will learn to ask for God’s help in all situations. 

Shout joyfully to God, all the earth,
sing praise to the glory of his name;
proclaim his glorious praise.
Say to God, “How tremendous are your deeds!”
R/ Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.

Have a blessed week!
Mrs. Pam Claytor

Monday, May 19, 2014

May 19, 2014
Dear Parents,
The children spent this past week focusing on jobs, from those chores they do at home, to class helpers, to their “dream” jobs of the future. This appears to be a class of children who are both dedicated to service to others and providing goods for others.  They are all creative in using their strengths, from writing to drawing to speaking!

There is still much work to be accomplished before the children become official second graders.  Please continue to support your child’s progress in learning to add and subtract without using their fingers.  They have a strong skill set to accomplish this goal; practice is the final component to success!
 recognize that after school family activities are taking up your time these days.  I am ending all homework assignments as of this week, in the hopes that you will be able to help your children develop their summer “work” habits.   Ms. Mackay will be sending a summer work letter home on “moving up” day, June 4th.  It will include summer reading suggestions, math practice ideas, and ways your daily home-life will provide learning opportunities.  Children need to keep their work skills fresh, with daily activities that include reading, writing, speaking, and math, as well as questioning and experimenting, and visiting new places.   I encourage you to challenge your children daily during this “break” from official schoolwork.

Thank you for  helping your child memorize their part for Noah’s Ark.  Our initial run-through went well.   

Let us all be disciples, sharing the good news in words and actions this week.
Mrs. Pam Claytor

This Week in First Grade
Religion:  We will discuss what makes birthdays special as an introduction to the birthday of the church: Pentecost.  The children will recognize that the Church is a world community of all kinds of people.
Language Arts: The focus this week is on growing up. The phonics skills are a bit more challenging as the children work with the variant vowel combinations au and aw, blending these sounds in words, as well as learning to spell words with them.    The comprehension focus is on summarizing text in nonfiction articles.  We will continue to use pronouns in sentences and look for them in the articles we read.  Organizing using a list in order to write a report is our writing goal this week.
Math:  We will work on acting out a story to solve a problem, identifying a fractional part of a set, and subtracting ten from a number.
Science:  The children will recognize that all things are made of matter and define the properties of matter.
Social Studies:  We will work on the vocabulary that describes citizenship and determine the  information and understanding the children bring to our final unit: Good Citizens.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Dear Parents,
     Happy Mother’s Day, belatedly!  I do hope all of you had a day of the special attention and pampering you truly deserve!
     Thank you so much for chaperoning our CBEC trip this past Friday.  The children’s pure excitement was both warming and infectious as we explored our beautiful bay under brilliant blue skies. I believe we are all going to be more respectful of the, due to our experience at the Chesapeake Bay.
     I believe everyone had a great time during the Race for Education last week.  Thank you to all the parents who came to cheer us on and volunteered in so many different jobs!
     Another thank you and well done is due for the Spring Fling also.  The children truly enjoyed the festivities.
     We will have our annual May Procession this week on Thursday morning, as well as the first school mass at which our second grade first communicants will attend and receive the Eucharist.  This is a very special time for our entire school community. The children should bring flowers from the garden to include in the first grade vase being presented to our blessed mother. Please join us if you can; we begin @ 9 AM with a school mass, followed by the procession.
Breaking news:   The children tested out of the spelling work this week.  All got 100% on the pretest :)
May God’s face shine upon you this week!
Mrs. Pam Claytor

This Week in First Grade

Religion:  We will focus on Mary during this month of May, as well as discover that holy songs are prayers.
Language Arts    The children will build and blend words with the variant vowel oo again this week as they work on the sound found in the words broom and moon.  The comprehension focus is on using classification and categorization as a tool.  The children will read nonfiction articles to learn about many different types of jobs.  They will work on learning that pronouns take the place of nouns as the grammar focus.  Finally, the children will be working on writing interesting sentences.  
Math:  The children have been using “money” to buy things  and give change (with paper money so far).  They will continue this work and add coins to the mix.  This is an introductory skill that they can work on this summer as a “real life” experience.  They will also identify fractional parts of a whole, write observations about a graph, and measure line segments to the nearest centimeter.
Science: We will  explore the properties of objects through observation; recognize that all things are made of matter; recognize that all matter takes up space and has mass.
Social Studies:   We will be reviewing what we’ve worked on in the chapter, Everything Changes and demonstrating what we understand.

Monday, May 5, 2014

May 5, 2014
Dear Parents,
We had a busy week last week, with the children eager to make connections between their “worldly” understandings and the materials we are working on.  Many have a new vocabulary and understanding of the Chesapeake Bay to work with.  I hope you, too, will find time to learn about God’s gift of the largest estuary in the United States.  We are all looking forward to our field trip to the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center this Thursday!  I hope you received the note with vital information as to what to wear and bring last Thursday.  If, somehow, the note did not get home, please let me know. 
We are looking forward to the Race for Education and Spring Fling, both taking place this coming Friday. It will be so nice to have you join us as we celebrate St. Augustine School!
The Lord’s love reaches to heaven: let us give thanks and praise, alleluia!
Mrs. Pam Claytor

This Week in First Grade

Religion   Our Family life unit focus continues with the discussion of the ways we learn , as a gift from God.  We can show our love for God, our neighbors, and ourselves through our actions.

Language Arts    The children will build and blend words with the variant vowel oo again this week as they work on the sound found in the words broom and moon.  The comprehension focus is on using classification and categorization as a tool.  The children will read nonfiction articles to learn about many different types of jobs.  They will work on learning that pronouns take the place of nouns as the grammar focus.  Finally, the children will be working on writing interesting sentences.  

Math  We’ll be using our math fact knowledge as we branch out to adding 3 or more digits.  This is a popular activity, which the children are quite adept at challenging each other.  It is a fun thing to do in the car, or while waiting in line with you.  We will also work on rounding a number to the nearest multiple of ten and counting paper money as we play E-Bay shopping.

Science   We will prepare for our trip to the CBEC this week, reviewing concepts and vocabulary.

Social Studies   The children will continue to work on the concept of the past and timelines.