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.

May 4

Thanks to all of you for supporting our field trips and learning outside of the classroom! Our field trips this week were meaningful to the students as they had real life experiences. Our discussion today focused on why food costs more at a fancy grocery store than it does at the wet market. The children were very thoughtful and their responses about cost of transport, building maintenance, packaging etc. were insightful.

This week we did a lot of reflecting on our learning as we prepare our portfolios for the upcoming conferences on May 10. I’m looking forward to the day and the children are excited too.

We have started our new science unit about plants and animals. The children have planted alfalfa and rye grass. Later we will trim the plants and see which ones survive and why. Next week, we will plant wheat seeds in a clear straw to clearly observe how wheat grows.

In math, we will continue our study of 3D shapes as we construct buildings to form a community.

We have library next Tuesday.

Field Trips

Our field trip to Ole grocery store is Wednesday May 2.

Your child should….

-wear a school shirt

-bring a plastic or cloth bag (to put the food they buy in)

Your child should NOT…

-bring money or valuables

Our Wet Market trip will be Friday, May 4.

Your child should…

wear closed toe shoes

-wear a school shirt

-bring a plastic or cloth bag (to put the food they buy in)

Your child should NOT..

-bring money or valuables

Your child will bring home the food they bought at the market, please use it in your meals this week and send email photos of how the food was used. We will use it to compare different types of food we eat.

April 20

Thanks once again to all of you who accompanied us on our field trip today. We got lucky with nice, cool weather. When we returned from the trip we watched a slide show of pictures I had taken at the temple and the children’s insights were remarkable. They described it as a place that felt safe, comfortable, peaceful and calm. They understand it was built by fisherman to bring them blessings and protection. They could explain it meets the needs of people in our culture who want a place to pray (or ‘make wishes’) for their wants and needs.

On Monday, you will see yet again another permission slip come home. This slip will cover two field trips that we will take the first week in May to Ole Grocery Store and the Wet Market. The children will discover how where they live (near the sea) is reflected in what is sold at the wet market (produce and fish) as opposed to the imported goods at Ole. They will also purchase items and compare the price of local and imported goods.

We wrapped up our study of measurement in math this week. We are now embarking on a geometry unit. In writing workshop, we are continuing to focus on writing opinions, but now we are reviewing restaurants and eating establishments. In reading workshop, we are preparing to make audio recordings of our favorite books for the school library. The children are working on developing their fluency, expression and timing when reading aloud.

Next week, we will also celebrate and learn about Earth Day.

Monday, April 23- our visiting author, Helaine Becker will present to the students. *The students will also have swimming in PE class. Please remember to send swim gear!

Tuesday, April 24- Library day! Learning Comes Alive in Chinese class, 1:25pm.

Wednesday, April 25- the 9th graders will come to teach us a nutrition lesson, we go to the literacy lounge to meet our book buddies at 11:00

Thursday, April 26- vision screening, swimming in PE!

Friday, April 27- Talent show at 1:00. We are currently slotted for swimming but Mr. Elliott is looking for a date to reschedule. We will keep you posted.

Wear blue and green for Earth Day.