I just have a few reminders:

  • Our publishing party is tomorrow morning at 8:10. If you like, please bring a snack to share.
  • Tomorrow is also library day.
  • Oct. 23- no uniforms. The kids need to wear old clothes that might get paint on them in art class.
  • Oct. 26- no school for students.


Math Facts

Dear Parents,

This year my students are going to be spending time daily practicing and learning math facts, beginning in the operation of addition. Our class will keep working on these facts until everyone knows all the facts in this operation instantly, without any pause before answering. We will be using a fun and motivating program called Kicking It Math! It will take only a few minutes each day of class time, but students will keep working until they have mastered all the facts.

A fact is mastered when it can be answered instantly, without any pause. Kicking It Math! is unique because it teaches only 2 facts and their reverses at each level. For example 6+3, 3+6, 4+5 and 5+4. The program allows each child to go at his or her own pace, taking as many days to master those two facts as needed. Students are given an opportunity daily to show they have learned a set of facts by passing a timed five minute test. We consider a pass to be 100% correct or just one mistake. Once students “pass” a set of facts, they color in the belt for that set on their “Karate Belt Chart.”

On Fridays I will send home the math quizzes from the week. Please take time to look them over and support your child with any facts they may be struggling with. Flashcards are helpful for review.

On the quizzes I use a check mark to indicate an error, a dot to indicate a reversed number and a line to indicate no answer. I return the quizzes to the children daily and ask that they be ‘fixed and finished’. When they correct an error I write a ‘c’ for correct over the check mark. If your child did not have time during the week to fix all mistakes then please help him/her complete the corrections at home.

Learning all the facts in an operation is a lot of work, but future success in math is dependent upon knowing facts so well that the answers come automatically without much thinking. You can also help by sharing with your child the importance of learning math facts. Thank you so much for your support of this critical learning goal. I will keep you notified of your child’s success in this important task.

On another note, it was a pleasure meeting with all of you at parent teacher conferences. I wish you all a lovely holiday!


Linda ILL

Fun Week!

We had a great time this week reading with partners. We learned to sit knee to knee, shoulder to shoulder with the book in the middle. The students are trading off reading pages, echo reading and taking picture walks. They are encouraged to help each other decode and look for picture clues rather than tell the word.

Welcome to 1B!

It was a pleasure spending the last two days with my new students. We are getting to know each other as we learn new routines and make new friends.

I have had the opportunity to read aloud several books that help children identify how they are feeling about the start of the new school year. One book was called First Day Jitters it was about having jitters or feelings of nervousness. We had fun decorating cups and making a special fruit punch to drive the jitters away. Another book was called Have You Filled a Bucket Today? This story emphasized being kind to others (filling a bucket) versus being rude (emptying a bucket).

We also read The Kissing Hand which inspired a scavenger hunt around campus. Magically, the book’s main character, a racoon, escaped from his book to lead us around to everything we needed to see at Jingshan. We visited our assistant principal’s office, Nurse Judy, the music and art rooms, the gym, the office, the cafeteria and the library.

We also read Officer Buckle and Gloria which inspired us to discuss and make class rules. They are:

  1. Be kind.
  2. Be safe.
  3. Try your best.

I’m looking forward to meeting with you all at Back to School Night this Wednesday. I will run through a bunch of slides which should you fill in on most of what we will be doing in grade 1. The presentation will last about 20 minutes and I will present twice at 4:00 and 4:20. I will post the slides on this blog in case any of you miss the presentation or would like to refer back to it later.

Swimming starts in 1B on August 22 through September 14th. Please remember to send swim gear on Thursdays and Fridays!

June 1, 2018

Dear Parents,

In spite of all the excitement about summer, the learning is still going strong in 1B!

We are reading series books and also writing our own chapter books. The students have created characters that they are sending on all kinds of adventures!

We spent our math time this week working with fractions. The children have labeled, sorted and colored halves, thirds and fourths. We also made ‘fracterpillars’ (fraction caterpillars) out of three different colors of pompoms. The students then wrote a fraction for each color.

Our study of plant structures continued this week with the students planting cuttings, bulbs and roots. They are observing and documenting the plant growth as they realize that plants don’t just grow from seeds.

Next week, Ms. Shepard has given her music students the opportunity to play a musical piece in front of 1B. She has invited students to bring an instrument from home on Tuesday for this in class performance. This is optional.

If you have any library books kicking around home, please make sure they are returned to school by Thursday.

You are invited to join us at 8:00 on the morning of June 13 in our classroom. Each child will receive an end-of-year award. The children will also share their published piece of realistic fiction writing with you.

Kind regards,

Linda ILL

PS If your child will be departing early this year, please let me know.

May 18

We started new units in both reading and writing workshop this week! We are reading series of books that focus on one main character and the problems they encounter. We are also writing our own series of realistic fiction. The students have made up and named pretend characters and then imagined problems for them to encounter. Next week we will focus our efforts on realistic story endings.

In math we are wrapping up our study of 3D shapes by mapping out our planned city using a class grid.

We will continue learning about plant needs next week as we plant wheat seeds in clear straws to see their various parts as they grow.

Remember, we will celebrate our AMPed learning on Wednesday morning at 8:00 to 9:00 in the school SPAH.

Thursday we will meet with our book buddies to tour their photo exhibition accompanied by poetry written by 1B.

If your child will depart prior to the last day of school, please let me know for planning purposes.

Also, we are making up class lists for grade 2 next week. If your child will not be attending grade 2 at SIS please let our school office know.