Dear First Grade Families,

First Grade has gotten off to a great start!!  We wanted to update everyone on some of the exciting things that have been going on in First Grade.

Classroom community building is very important.  Each morning we begin with a morning meeting where we greet each other and often have time to share “important news” from our lives.  We are learning to be respectful of others, as well as our surroundings.  We are becoming a tightly knit community of learners and teachers.  The children teach Sarah and myself all new things everyday.  It is very exciting to be part of such a wonderful group!

Our current writing unit is Personal Narrative: Writing Small Moment Stories.  We have been learning to tell the stories of our lives.  The children are thinking about ways to help the reader feel as if they are experiencing the moment.  They are working on bringing their stories to life using talking, moving, feeling, and thinking.  Details help to paint a picture in the reader’s mind.  Each child is learning to “zoom in” on important events that have occurred to him or her.  The stories are amazing! As we discussed at the open school night, you can support this work by continuing to model excellent story telling for your kids every day at home!  In addition, please help the children continue to see their lives as the lives of a writer…there are stories just waiting to be told at every corner.

Our current unit in reading is Building Good Reading Habits.  We have been reviewing familiar reading habits and strengthening them.  We have also learned new reading habits for reading long and strong.  We have been taking time to “do something at the end of each book”, for example retelling the story to ourselves, retelling a favorite part, rereading the book…just to name a few.  We have been also learning new habits for tacking hard or tricky words.  We are thinking about (when we get to a tricky word): What looks right? What sounds right?, and What makes sense?  The running start is one of our favorite strategies.  Readers should always reread as they are tackling a hard word.  We have also begun working with reading partners to practice good reading habits and also to develop strong book talk.

In math we are making great discoveries about numbers.  Some of the children have begun to discover shortcuts or “rules’ for the rest of us to use when solving math problems. Many of these concepts are helping us to solve more complicated multi step math problems.  We have been working on decomposing numbers and part/whole relationships.  We are beginning to work with doubles and near doubles.

Our first Mystery Reader will be Friday, September 29th. Please try to keep the “Mystery” in mystery reader, it really adds to the excitement.  Please let us know if you still need to sign up for a Mystery Reader date.

Other notes of importance:

  •  Birthday Snack – We love celebrations!  Keep in mind the celebration should be 10-15 minutes. For our birthday celebrations this year, we invite you to join our class and share a special treat of your child’s choice during snack time. Please give us a week’s notice to plan a celebration, and remember, goodie bags are not permitted during school celebrations.
  • Changes to dismissal need to be given in writing.  Please send a note either weekly or the morning of a dismissal change.
  • Please be sure to label your child’s belongings such as jackets, sweaters, water bottles, lunch boxes, and snacks.  This is very helpful when something goes missing.

As always thank you so much for all of your support!  Please feel free to reach out with any questions, comments, and our delights.

All the best,

Kristin and Sarah