Monday, September 24

Hi Parents,

I hope this finds everyone well and enjoying the long weekend with their families. Just a few notes about this week:

*PE clothes on Wednesday.

*Library is back to Friday this week.

Reading Workshop: Several of the mini-lessons this week are about fluency and phrasing. To help motivate the children to re-read in order to increase fluency, we’ll be doing some short Reader’s Theatre pieces. If your child happens to bring his/her script home for homework, that’s fine, but please help them to put in back in their folder for school the next day.

Writing Workshop: Most of the children are working on their third or fourth story and really showing progress with their writing craft. We’ll leave a couple of days after break to write one more true, small moment, big feeling story…as I imagine lots will have new ideas when they come back. Then we’ll do a bit of revising before inviting you in for a celebration as we wrap up this first unit.

Math: Our mini lessons will focus on finding different combinations for a sum, but we’ll also launch a fact fluency program this week. The program will hopefully increase everyone’s strength and speed with the basic addition facts. Your child will work at his/her own level. It’s a fun incentive program that aims to celebrate each new level achieved. While these facts are basic addend + addend = sum, we’ll also be addressing subtraction later, as well as altering the equation in order to introduce how the “equals mark” can be moved around and represents a balance on either side of it.

UOI: This week, Puppy and Snail will be teaching us how to look at a person’s face and body posture to determine their emotions and how that influences our interaction with them. Also, we’ll hear stories from Ms. Kay about Mid-Autumn Festival when she was a little girl, make a lantern using the art of paper-folding, and learn a bit more about this holiday tradition of our host country.

Kind regards,


Monday, September 17

Dear Parents,

We had something really wonderful happen on Friday. At the close of the workshop on Thursday, I asked if anyone wanted to share their story. Typically, three or four hands will go up. Twelve went up!!! Slightly shocked, we problem solved and decided to make Friday, “Popcorn Share Day.” The kids sat on the carpet with their cups of popcorn and were treated to the really wonderful stories written by their peers. I was so proud of the writing and the way it held the attention of such a young audience. They were quite captivated. After each story, we talked about what we, as writers, could learn from that author. We paid special attention to pages where action, detailed descriptions, dialogue, and feeling words helped make the story come alive for us. I missed getting a picture of one of the presenters, but we’ll invite you all in for a writing celebration after the Mid Autumn Break. 🙂

Sunday, September 9

Hello Parents,

What a  week we had in 1D…our first birthday, leading the assembly, reading assessments, math partners, and more! Most have completed their first “true story” and are off on their second one. This week, we’ll learn to make our stories “unfreeze” and come alive with action, feelings, and dialogue in our words and pictures. In math, we came up with some strategies to help us count more accurately, and sure enough, on the 2nd round of counting the objects in the Mystery Boxes, we were much improved! This week, we’ll work on being able to name or show the strategies we use to solve addition problems. The reading assessments are completed and scored, so we aim to have each child bringing home books at their independent level. These books should be “easy” to read so that they can focus on phrasing, expression, author’s purpose, and personal connections. Lastly, all of the first graders have been assessed and placed into groups for differentiated word study. These groups begin meeting tomorrow. Reminders for the week:

ASAs start tomorrow, Mon/Wed: swimming, and Friday we have library.

A note on one of the pictures below. Do you see the photo of the three pages? That was an activity that asked the children to order numbers from least to greatest. All three pages were completed differently, and yet all are correct. The first one looks as though it has been ordered from greatest to least, but it’s not…the child saw the pigeon at the bottom/right hand corner of the page and decided that must be the starting place. After cutting out the numbers, the second child saw “99” and the third one saw “66,” but both ordered those numbers in the appropriate spaces.  First graders are fascinating!!! Warm regards, Lisa

Sunday, September 2

Sunday, September 2

Dear Parents,

Ahhhh…finally! I hope you all enjoyed the clean air and blue skies this evening. Here’s hoping for a week of fun learning and outdoor recesses. It was exciting to look at your children’s first writing samples of the year and compare them with their writing after just a few days of instruction. They are all very capable of learning new strategies and applying them to their own work independently. It’s going to be a great year! That being said, one thing that I did notice is that we have quite a few who are very cautious if they aren’t sure they have the correct answer. Making errors and mistakes is essential to learning…if we never take risks, our potential for growth is severely limited. Let’s all encourage these young ones to stretch themselves, use what they already know and have learned, and then…jump in there and give it a go! This week we have swimming on Monday and Wednesday and Library on Friday. Helpful hint…don’t send your child in their white polo on Thursdays as that is our day for Art with Mrs. Hobbes. Kind regards, Lisa

PS Tonight’s photos are of our little book buddies. When the children are working on their personal reading stamina…they have a little book buddy to read to and help keep them focused on the text