Friday, October 14, 2016

October Update

It's been a great first month of school! The children have been busy making friends, learning new routines, and figuring out what first grade is all about. We enjoyed meeting with you at conferences and hope you've been able to connect with your child's learning via Seesaw.  Each month, I also post an update on this website to give you an overview of all the learning that has been happening at school. Here is a little glimpse into what's been going on in room 26:


In reading, we have been working on reading LONG and STRONG! We decorated our very own book boxes and are beginning to fill them with lots of just-right books. We have also started working in reading groups to introduce strategies for problem solving words, building vocabulary, and developing fluency. Later in October, we will begin our take-home reading routine. At this time, you can expect your child to bring home a baggie of books nightly to practice as a part of the homework. We will send more information in a note soon. Thank you for your help with this important part of developing your child as a reader.


We have a strong bunch of writers in room 26!! They have been learning to identify small moments in their own lives that could become a story on paper. We call these "seed ideas." Our young authors are also learning to tells their stories over many pages, adding details to both the pictures and words. Their writing folders are bursting with stories. We'll be ready to publish our first books in just a few weeks! Thank you for your help with the writing folder project. These folders will be a helpful tool for new writing ideas all year long.


We have already finished 3 units in our new Singapore math curriculum, Math in Focus. In these first units, the first grade mathematicians learned to think more deeply about the relationship of numbers and the concept of addition. They were challenged to discover how many possible ways there are to create a total (also called a "whole"). Next, we began to think about addition through math stories. This has challenged the first graders to see math in their own lives and to develop an ability to show and explain our thinking through pictures, equations, and discussion. Now we are moving into a unit about subtraction that will keep building this mathematical foundation for our young learners. If you are interested in knowing more about this new curriculum, please see the posting below about Math Night (Note that this event is a parent-only meeting).


In Science, we are continuing our study of rocks and the Earth. Our field trip to Minnehaha falls was the perfect start to our first grade science work. We practiced our observation skills while sketching and writing about rocks and the landscape. Next in our science unit, we'll be creating our very own collections of rock specimens! The first grade scientists will get their first experience with rock collecting from the HUGE collection of rocks at Hedberg Aggregate Company. We're ready to be "rock hounds!"

Social Studies/CARE

Our CARE theme during October is PARTICIPATION! We've started having conversations and reading books in the classroom about what it means to participate at school and in our communities. This will be a perfect topic for discussion as we lead up to our social studies work on voting and elections.


October will end with some Halloween fun! The Halloween costume parade will take place on Monday, October 31st. As you and your child plan for this special day, please consult the Lower School Handbook for costume guidelines. We will also celebrate in the classroom with Halloween activities and treats!

Happy Fall!

Ms. Bennett and Ms. Madden

Important Upcoming Dates:

October 17 Hedberg Aggregate Field Trip (AM)-Non Uniform. (Chaperoned by teachers only.)
October 17 Picture Retakes (If your child retakes...he/she will need a uniform for the picture).

October 18   Math Meeting for Parents 6:30 PM-Chapel (Childcare available)

October 19   Unity Day (non-uniform). Wear orange to support bullying prevention.
October 19   Swimming Unit 1 Ends in PE

October 20-21 No School/Teacher Workshops

October 31 Halloween Costume Day+Parade (Approx. 8:45 AM in Gym A)

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