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December 5th-9th, 2016

date 12/09/2016 author Amanda Walter category Uncategorized comment Leave a comment

Dear Parents,
I hope you’re all staying warm this week! It sure has been cold.  The kiddos have had several inside recesses due to sub-zero temperatures.  When the temperature is above zero, students spend the morning before school outside, as well as two 20-minute recesses.  Please make sure they are bringing appropriate winter gear with them (i.e. snowpants, boots, coats, hats, gloves, etc.) If you need help obtaining some of these pieces of clothing, please let me know.  I’d be happy to help!

In other news, we had something exciting happen this week! We have a new student from Honduras joining our class! I have been SO IMPRESSED with how kind and welcoming my students have been toward this new student.  It’s been fun to talk about how different Honduras is from where we live.  Also, it was perfect timing considering that we are discussing different parts of the world in our geography unit. 

In math this week, we wrapped up module 2.  Normally, we would do the practice assessment and end-of-module assessment right away and then start the next module.  However, the first grade team has decided that we don’t want to jump into something brand new right before Christmas, So instead, we are going to spend next week reviewing the skills that were covered in module 2.  We will do our practice test next Thursday, and have our end-of-module assessment on Friday.  This way, we will have some extra time to really master these skills, and we will be EXTRA ready for the test. ;) Since I will be creating
 
 
 
supplementary activities to help us review, there will not be math homework next week.  Yay! However, please keep a lookout for their practice tests Thursday night.  You’ll be able to use this to help them review any areas that seemed to be tricky for them. 
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Stay warm! ~Mandi J

Important Reminders

12/20àClassroom Christmas Party!
12/21à Early Dismissal at 1:00 p.m.
12/22-1/2à No School: Christmas Break
1/3à School Resumes
1/13à 2nd Quarter PBIS Reward Party


 

November 28th-December 2nd, 2016

date 12/02/2016 author Amanda Walter category Uncategorized comment Leave a comment


The countdown to Christmas break is officially on. We only have two full weeks and one short week until our break! I can’t believe how quickly time is flying.  Speaking of time flying, today marks our second quarter midterm already! How crazy is that?

I just have a few things to touch on this week.  First, you have probably noticed that your child has been writing out statements on their math homework.  (Can you believe this is first grade math?!) I know this is pretty tricky to start with, but the more we practice, the easier it will become for the kids.  Something we have been reiterating over and over in class is how there are a variety of strategies we can use to solve any given problem.  It’s been fun to see each child using their own thinking to represent math problems.  They are becoming more confident with sharing and explaining their strategies to peers as well.  This week, we focused particularly on math stories with missing parts.  The first graders have learned that we can find the missing part by adding OR by subtracting.  We will continue to practice these strategies next week. 

Also, as you know, we have officially completed our first 100 sight words! We will not begin working on the second hundred words until after Christmas break.  Instead, we will spend the next few weeks playing games to review what we’ve learned so far.  I keep track of words that kids miss each week, so I will spend time working one-on-one with your child to practice words that have been particularly tricky for them. We are going to be REALLY good at these! J

On a different note, you should see a blue note in your child’s folder about a food drive. We are having a competition to see which class can bring in the most non-perishable food items.  The winning class will receive a pizza party! Your child can bring donated items to our classroom starting next week.  Please see the note for additional information.

Finally, with Christmas break coming so quickly, the homeroom parents have begun to plan for our classroom Christmas party.  One of the activities they have planned for our class is decorating gingerbread cookies.  If anyone is willing to donate cookie-decorating supplies, it would be greatly appreciated.  They are looking for frosting, sprinkles, small candies, etc.  If you happen to pick up any of these items, just send them to school and I’ll store them here until our party.  Also, if there is anyone else that would like to help out, please let me know.   Anyone is welcome to join us! The party is scheduled for Tuesday, December 20th at 2:15 p.m.  Have a wonderful, relaxing weekend!

Important Reminders
12/2à 2nd Quarter Midterm
12/20àClassroom Christmas Party!
12/21à Early Dismissal at 1:00 p.m.
12/22-1/2à No School: Christmas Break
1/3à School Resumes
1/13à 2nd Quarter PBIS Reward Party


Spelling Test Dates
 

  • Red Group: Friday (12-9)
  • Yellow Group: Monday (12-5)
  • Green Group: Wednesday (12-7)

 

November 14th-22nd, 2016

date 11/22/2016 author Amanda Walter category Uncategorized comment Leave a comment

I haven’t had many questions about the math homework lately.  I’m hoping that means the help sheet I sent was helpful and things are going smoothly with the homework.  On my end, I have been very impressed! Kids have been working really hard and telling ME how to do the problems on the board.  It’s great to see their progress.  We’ll continue working on these skills when we return from Thanksgiving break as well. 

When we return from break, we will also be working on sight word list 10.  We will not begin list 11 until after Christmas break.  This will be really nice because it allows us a couple weeks of review to solidify what we’ve learned so far.  There’s a lot of research out there that shows how many sight words kids know is directly related to the level they are able to read at. It is really making a difference, and I hope you are able to see their improvement with reading at home as well. 

Also, please remember that the kids’ winter concert is on Thursday, December 1st at 6:00 p.m.  Please see the note with additional information in your child’s folder.  Due to concert rehearsals throughout the week, we will not have social studies or sharing next week. 

  Finally, here are the next test dates for spelling:   
 

  • Red Group: Thursday (12-1)
  • Yellow Group: Monday (12-5)
  • Green Group: Tuesday (11-29)
 
Have a wonderful, relaxing weekend!

Important Reminders
11/23-11/25à No School (Thanksgiving Break)
12/1à K-4 Holiday Program at 6:00 p.m. in high school Auditorium
12/2à 2nd Quarter Midterm
12/20à2nd Quarter PBIS Party & Classroom Christmas Party!
12/21à Early Dismissal at 1:00 p.m.
12/22-1/2à No School: Christmas Break


 

October 31st- November 4th, 2016

date 11/04/2016 author Amanda Walter category Uncategorized comment Leave a comment

I hope everyone has had a great week! As always, we’ve been busy, busy, busy here at school.  As I mentioned in last week’s newsletter, last Friday marked the end of the first quarter.  I spent time over the weekend completing your child’s report card.  These were submitted to the office and will be sent out next week. When you receive them please take some time to look them over.  If your child scored a 1 or a 2 in any area, this is an indication of where improvements can be made.  I did include some comments you can refer to, but please let me know if you still have any questions.

Since it is officially the end of the quarter, kids who have demonstrated excellent bronco pride were invited to attend our PBIS party in the gym today.  The kids were able to participate in games such as Egg Roulette, Mario Kart, and Defy Gravity.  There were also several prizes available such as certificates for free ice cream, bowling, etc.  Kids’ names were drawn out of a hat for these things.  Now that it is the second quarter, kids will start with a new behavior card.  They will have a brand new chance to earn our reward party for the end of this quarter.    

In addition to this school-wide party, we have our own class-wide incentive for good behavior as well.  The kids can earn tokens in various areas of the school for showing bronco pride.  These tokens are put in a jar in our class.  Once they reach 100, they get to vote on a reward.  They reached their 100th token last week.  As a class, we brainstormed ideas for rewards.  We held a preliminary vote to cut our list down to three choices.  This week, the kids had their final vote.  The winning choice was “Electronic/Toy Party.”  So here are the details for what this will look like:

                First, we will have this party on Friday, November 11th from 2:30-3:00.  The kids will be allowed to bring in their choice of ONE electronic (tablet, hand-held game, etc.) OR ONE toy from home.  I understand many parents may not have electronics such as these or be comfortable with the idea of their child bringing an expensive electronic to school, so it is completely fine if your child brings a favorite toy instead. We decided as a class that items brought from home will be kept in a safe place in our classroom throughout the day.  During our party time, kids will be allowed to play with the item they brought from home and with other kids.  These items will then be brought home that day.  Also, I’d like to note that we have limited outlets to use for charging, so if your child brings an electronic, please make sure it is fully charged before your child brings it to school.  If you have any questions, please let me know!

While we are on the topic of voting for things, I want to mention another area that was voted on this week. As some of you may have seen on the school facebook page, the fifth and sixth graders held a mock presidential election this week.  On Tuesday, students in the school were given the choice to participate.  If they wanted to vote, they were given a ballet in which they had to indicate whether they wanted Donald Trump or Hilary Clinton to be our next president.  They then got to place their ballets in an official box and receive and “I VOTED” sticker.  It was a fun, real-life experience for the kids.  It was also quite hilarious to hear the thoughts of some of these kids’ regarding the presidential candidates.  The winner of our mock election will be announced next Tuesday.  It will definitely be interesting!

Last but not least, here are each group’s next spelling tests:
 

  • Red Group: Thursday (11-10)
  • Yellow Group: Monday (11-14)
  • Green Group: Wednesday (11/16)
 
Have a wonderful, relaxing weekend!

Important Reminders
11/11à Class Party (We earned 100 tokens for good behavior!)
11/16à Early dismissal at 1:00 for staff professional development.
11/23-11/25à No School (Thanksgiving Break)
12/1à K-4 Holiday Program at 6:00 p.m. in high school Auditorium


 

October 17-21, 2016

date 10/21/2016 author Amanda Walter category Uncategorized comment Leave a comment

We’ve had an AWESOME week! The kiddos have been in a groove, and we’ve been working SUPER hard.  We frequently talk about how working hard makes our brain smarter and how we are all in charge of our own brains.  This is obviously resonating with my students, as they are totally rocking it!  It was one of those weeks where I just had to stand back and smile at the progress we’ve made thus far.  They are making me so proud.  I hope you have been able to see their improvement at home too!

We kicked off our bullying awareness week with a pep assembly in the gym.  We watched some older kids do a skit about bullying, and we talked about ways to help others who are being bullied.  On Tuesday, our class got together with Mr. Keehn’s 6th graders for “Be a Buddy not a Bully Day.” We taught the 6th graders what we had learned about what makes day and night.  The 6th graders helped us identify things we can see during the day and at night.  The kiddos also got to do a collaborative art project with their entire grade during specials this week.  They made a giant collage with their hands to show how we “lift each other up.” Finally, I really enjoyed hearing all the kind things that many of our students did for others throughout the week.  I hope this spirit of kindness continues to linger throughout the rest of our school year. 

In other news, each of the spelling groups in my classroom had their first test at some point this week.  You should have seen these come home with their scores. (My green group has theirs in their folders today.)  I’ve had a ton of questions about how this new program works, so I thought it might be helpful to include a list of the developmental stages of spelling in this newsletter:
When spelling, young students begin by correctly identifying the initial letter in a word.  It then progresses as follows:
 

  • Initial consonants
  • Final Consonants
  • Short Vowels
  • Digraphs (sh, ch, th, wh)
  • Blends (bl, fl, cr, tr, etc.)
  • Common Long Vowels
  • Other Vowels
  • Inflected Endings
Of course, there are many other stages that build upon the ones I have listed.  However, it is unlikely that we will get to them during first grade.  With this program, we focus on one of these listed features at a time.  They will have picture cards to sort based on the feature they are working with.  Throughout the week, kids will practice sorting and writing these words at school.  For their test, I will randomly pick 8 words that contain the feature they’ve been working on.  They will be held accountable for spelling that feature correctly, as well as any feature they have already mastered.  For example, if your child is working on digraphs, they must correctly identify the digraph in their spelling word, as well as the initial consonant, final consonant, and any short vowels.  As long as they have these things, their word is marked as correct.  If they make a mistake with a feature they have not yet mastered, it does not count against them. I know it sounds crazy that we are not always worried about correct spelling with this SPELLING program.  J However, as they continue to progress through each level of development, correct spelling will come. Hopefully this helps with any confusion that still exists.  If not, let me know! Here are each group’s next test day:
 
  • Red Group: Tuesday (10-25)
  • Yellow Group: Thursday (10-27)
  • Green Group: Monday (10/31)
 
Thanks and have a wonderful weekend!
~Mandi J
 Important Reminders
10/24à Mrs. Walter will be gone for a training.  First graders will have a substitute all day.
10/28à End of First Quarter
10/28à Halloween Party (Let me know if you can help out!)

 
  • Parade starts at 2:00 p.m. The party will be in our classroom immediately following the parade.  Your child should not wear their costume to school.  They will be allowed to change before the parade. 
11/4à First Quarter PBIS Reward Party in the gym! Students who have had demonstrated excellent bronco pride will be invited to attend! J

 

October 10-14, 2016

date 10/14/2016 author Amanda Walter category Uncategorized comment Leave a comment

I hope you’ve all had a wonderful week! It’s been another great week here at school.  Perhaps the highlight for many students was our visit from the Belmond Fire Department yesterday.  We had a couple fire fighters come to our classroom to talk about fire safety and prevention.  They brought the kiddos coloring books and water bottles to take home.  (Several kiddos chose to keep their coloring books at school to work on during any spare time they might have.) We were also able to hop on the top of the fire truck for a ride around the town.  The kids were pretty excited!

On a completely different note, I wanted to address a mistake I made with our math this week.  In our curriculum, we teach addition and subtraction through many types of word stories.  Lately, we’ve been working on subtraction stories where one of the parts is missing. When we started, we taught students to look for the part we knew in the story and cross it off of our picture to help us figure out the part we didn’t know.  As we continued, the curriculum made a switch to circling the part we knew to find the missing part.  The first grade team discussed how this switch was confusing to students in past years because many would answer the question with the part they circled since that’s what they were used to.  Because of this, we decided to keep our teaching consistent this year and keep going with the strategy of crossing off the part we know.  HOWEVER, it was a complete oversight on my end that the directions on the homework said otherwise. My associate helps me out by checking our math homework each day, and she has been correcting based on how I was teaching it.  Anyway, I know this caused a bit of confusion at home this week, so I apologize for that.  Thanks to those of you who reached out for clarification.  I will be watching that more carefully to prevent any more confusion in the future.   
 
Looking forward into next week, we have a few exciting things going on for National Bullying Prevention Week.  Our guidance counselor, Kelli Johnson, has planned a week of fun events to bring bullying awareness to our school and community.  There was a note sent home earlier this week with details about the activities happening each day.  Here is a brief summary as a reminder:

Monday: Bullying Awareness Assembly
Tuesday: Be a Buddy not a Bully Day (We will be partnering with Mr. Keehn’s 5th grade class for an activity.)
Wednesday: Random Act of Kindness Day (Flood facebook with pictures of kind acts.)
Thursday: Lift Each Other Up Day (Kids will be a doing a special project with their specials teachers.)
Friday: Wear blue for bullying awareness!

Finally, just another reminder about our new spelling program.  Last week you received a letter about your child’s group along with a calendar indicating their test day.  These tests start next week! Remember, we are only focusing on certain features of words that are developmentally appropriate for your child.  So for example, if your child is working on initial sounds, their words will be counted correct on their test so long as they have correctly indicated the first letter. If your child is working on short vowels, they will be held accountable for writing that correct vowel along with initial and final consonants since they have already mastered those stages. They brought home picture card sorts to practice with this week in their book baggies. Here are the test days for each group next week:
 

  • Red Group: Monday
  • Yellow Group: Wednesday
  • Green Group: Friday
Thanks and have a wonderful weekend!

Important Reminders
10/19
à Early dismissal at 1:00 for staff professional development
10/24à Mrs. Walter will be gone for a training.  First graders will have a substitute all day.
10/28à End of First Quarter
10/28à Halloween Party (Let me know if you can help out!)
11/4à First Quarter PBIS Reward Party in the gym! Students who have had demonstrated excellent bronco pride will be invited to attend! J

 

October 3rd-7th, 2016

date 10/14/2016 author Amanda Walter category Uncategorized comment Leave a comment

I want to extend a HUGE thank you to those of you who made the time to meet with me for conferences.  It was great to be able to fill you in on how your child is doing.  If you were not able to make it, please let me know a different time that would work for you and we’ll set something up. 

If you were scheduled for a Tuesday night conference, I forgot to send you with our parent letter on our new spelling program.  It is included in your child’s folder today.  It outlines the activities that your child will be completing at school to help them learn how to spell words.  This spelling program focuses on features of words rather than rote memorization of how to spell words.  They are split into different groups depending on their developmental level. Some kids are working on correctly identifying initial sounds in words, some are working on using the correct short vowels, and some are working with harder digraphs.  Your child’s group is indicated on the front of the letter, and their assessment day is attached to the back of the letter.  If you have any questions about this new program, don’t hesitate to contact me.  We are just starting to roll out our groups, so your child will receive their words at some point this week.

Looking forward into next week, we will be back on our normal schedule with our regular routines.  We will continue with our usual sharing days and the first graders will be introduced to the fourth list of sight words. Please remind them to be responsible with their reading and math homework each night.  Finally, if you would like your child to have their pictures retaken, please send their original pictures back by Friday, October 14th.  I hope you have a wonderful weekend!   

Important Reminders:

10/12à Early dismissal at 1:00 for staff professional development
10/13à Fire Prevention & Safety Day: Visit from the Belmond Fire Department & rides on the fire truck!
10/19à Early dismissal at 1:00 for staff professional development
10/24à Mrs. Walter will be gone for a training.  First graders will have a substitute all day.
10/28à End of First Quarter
10/28à Halloween Party (Let me know if you can help out!)

 

September 26-30, 2016

date 09/30/2016 author Amanda Walter category Uncategorized comment Leave a comment

It has been a wonderful week! It is officially fall, and I’m sure enjoying the weather.  This change in seasons coincided nicely with our science unit on the weather and the seasons. We have been graphing the low temperature over the last two weeks, and we have noticed how the weather has cooled down the last few days. Now that the weather is cooling down, I’d like to remind you to make sure your kiddos are coming to school in proper attire.  They spend time outside before school, and they have two 20-minute recesses throughout the day. Some of them have been a bit chilly this week (especially in the mornings).

Now that the kids are rocking and rolling at our reading rotations, the first grade team has begun practicing something new that we will be adding to our program. (You’re probably thinking…”holy moly…. how much more!?”) Now that each part of our reading program has been put into place and things are running smoothly, we do need to begin focusing on spelling as well. Over the summer, I received some training on a spelling program called “Words Their Way.” It is totally different from the traditional approach of teaching spelling.  The first grade teachers and our literacy coach have been working to get this program up and running, and we are finally ready to go! Something I REALLY like about this new approach to spelling instruction is that it is differentiated to meet kids where they are at.  That means there will be several different spelling groups based on where kids are at developmentally. Because there will be several groups, different kids will take spelling tests on different days.  Our team has created a letter to give you a better idea of how it works. We are really excited about it! I will be going over this program in more detail, as well as where your child falls developmentally, at our conferences next week.  

Speaking of conferences, I am really looking forward to meeting with you all face-to-face.  We have a lot to talk about! I am still waiting to hear back from a handful of you on whether or not your conference time works.  If your scheduled time will not work for some reason, please let me know and we will work something out.  I can definitely stay later or schedule a conference on another day if needed. 
Throughout the next week during the mornings, afternoons, and conference times, kids will be able to check out the Scholastic book fair in our school library.  Our Title I teacher has included information on this book fair in your child’s folder.  Feel free to send money with your child to school or walk through it when you come for conferences. If any of you are interested in volunteering at the book fair for an hour or two, please let me know as soon as possible.  They especially need help during conference times. 

On a very exciting note, we have our very first student of the month! At the end of each month, each teacher will get to nominate a student from their class to be their “star student!” These students will have their pictures hung in the entry of our school.  They will also receive a certificate and be featured on our school website as well as on our classroom bulletin board.  Next week, I will include a write-up in our classroom newsletter on our star student as well! I find that this is such a great way for the kiddos to get to know each other better.  It also serves as a great motivator to students to continue showing bronco pride. 

Finally, picture re-takes will be Friday, October 14th.  If you would like your child’s pictures to be retaken, please have them bring back their original packet by that day. Also, there will be NO SHARING next week due to the short week. I hope you all enjoy your weekend! Looking forward to seeing you next week!

~Mandi J
Important Reminders

10/3à No School: Teacher Work Day
10/4 & 10/6à Early dismissal at 2:00 for parent-teacher conferences.
10/7à No School: Conference Comp Day
10/12à Early dismissal at 1:00 for staff professional development

 

September 19-23, 2016

date 09/30/2016 author Amanda Walter category Uncategorized comment Leave a comment

It was nice to get back to our regular routine this week! I am SO, SO happy about how well my students are doing with our literacy group rotations! It’s always a bit of a challenge to get it up and running, as well as to teach the students how to work independently in other areas while I meet with small reading groups.  This year’s class is taking off with it though. Much to my surprise, several kiddos have mentioned to me that it is their new favorite time of the day. Yay! You may have noticed that when your child brings home a book each night it is labeled with a sticker indicating their level.  Every couple of weeks, I conduct running records on kids to see if they are ready to move up to the next level.  I will send these home when I do them along with a note indicating if they will be moving to the next level.  If their test indicates that they are not ready (not reading with 95% accuracy), I will send it home with notes on things we need to keep working on. 

Something else you should have seen this week was your child’s reading and science tests from last week. If your child had a tricky time with either of these tests, I pulled them aside this week to go over it with them.  I will continue to do that throughout the year with any test we take.  However, if you ever have questions or concerns yourself about them, don’t hesitate to contact me.  Now that our first round of official tests are done, our gradebook on infinite campus is up and running. You should be able to log in via our school’s website to access your child’s grades.  In our school, we have a grading scale of 1-4 that is broken down like this:

4: 90-100% (Excelling)
3: 80-90% (Proficient)
2: 60-80% (Developing)
1: 59% and below (Beginning)
 
Lastly, I have included your child’s FAST scores in their folders as well.  As I mentioned previously, there are several components of the FAST assessment.  If your child struggled in any area, it is highlighted on their score sheet.  You will also be able to compare your child’s overall composite score to the benchmark score for the fall testing period.  Students who are below the benchmark score will be put into an intervention group and receive extra support beginning next week.   We will be talking more in depth on this during our conferences the first week in October.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
~Mandi J

Important Reminders

9/26-9/29à Homecoming Week!
                Mon: Pajama Day
Pep Rally at 9:00 a.m.
                Tues: Black-Out Day
                Wed: Wacky Wednesday
                Thurs: Favorite Sports Team Day
                Fri: School Spirit Day
                                Parade at 2:30 p.m.
10/3à No School: Teacher Work Day
10/4 & 10/6à Early dismissal at 2:00 for parent-teacher conferences.
10/7à No School: Conference Comp Day

 

September 12-16

date 09/16/2016 author Amanda Walter category Uncategorized comment Leave a comment

As you know, things have been a bit different this week.  Our routine was a bit thrown off due to the kids having a substitute on Monday and then again on Wednesday afternoon while I was FAST testing students.  All in all though, things were handled pretty well and we are getting right back on track. We will have to do one more beginning of the year assessment called MAP in the next few weeks.  I’ll keep you in the loop on when that will be as soon as administration lets us know.  As far as the results of your child’s FAST assessment, I will be entering scores and filling out paperwork over the course of the next week.  You can expect to see your child’s assessment results in their folder next Friday. 

Now that we are out of our back-to-school unit in reading, we are going to hit the road running.  We are focusing heavily on sight words and blending letters together to create words.  Your child has been placed into a small reading group and we have been practicing our literacy center rotations throughout the week.  As I mentioned in our previous newsletter, your child will be bringing home their book from our small reading groups beginning on Monday. It will come home in a “book baggy” that I give them along with a reading log.  The purpose of this is for them to reread their book with you each night in order to build confidence and fluency.  I ask that you please sign the reading log each night so that I know your child has read their book with you.  As far as the level your child will be reading at, I have listened to them read and placed them at their instructional level.  This means it should be a text that they can read with 90-95% accuracy with support.  Once they are able to read with 95% accuracy or higher independently, they will be bumped up to the next level.  This typically occurs every couple of weeks.  In many kids, I often see that movement to the next levels may be slow and steady within the first few months, but then something will click and they will just take off.  (I LOVE when this happens!) The goal for the end of the year is for your child to be reading at a level J with 95% accuracy. If your child surpasses this goal before the end of the year, they will moved into the reading counts program, which is what is used in second grade.  It is a bit more independent and involves a computerized comprehension test with each book they read. 

This week was a lot of “firsts” as far as tests in our classroom go as well.  Your child took their first weekly assessment in reading.  The weekly assessment is a quick check done each Friday to make sure your child is grasping the phonics and comprehension skills taught in class.  It is also a way for us to identify what skills need to be worked on more in our small groups with certain kids. These tests will come home on Monday after I have had a chance to score them and enter them into our gradebook.  Also, your child took their first sight word test.  Attached to this newsletter is a copy of their sight words, which I will include every week.  I have highlighted any words that they missed along with list 2, which will be our focus for next week. Along with all these reading tests, your kiddo had their very first science test as well! We’ve been learning about the difference between living and nonliving things and how our five senses relate to this.  These first tests can be a bit tricky as students are still learning how to follow directions, as well as how to take a test in general.  When we test, I display the test on my promethean board and read the test questions and possible answers while pointing to each one to help your child know what to do.  It involves a lot of listening and following directions, which is hard for some.  This may be reflected in your child’s test.  Overall though, I’m quite happy with how we did as a class! The kids will get the hang of it as the year goes on.  When I send these tests home, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns!

Finally, one last note about math.  There were a couple tricky lessons this week.  Our Wednesday and Thursday lessons, in particular, were over equivalent number sentences.  (Can you believe this is now a first grade skill?! I was telling one parent this week that I don’t think I personally learned this skill until middle school.) I want to let you know that it was hard for MANY. So if your child struggled a bit, they are not alone.  This is going to be a skill that is spiraled back to continuously throughout the year.  If your child was one that had a hard time, I will be pulling them back into a small a group for extra help with this skill.  I have attached a “help sheet” to this newsletter that explains how we teach it in school and how you can help at home.  For now, know that this skill is a work in progress, and it will take some time for your little one to fully grasp it.  Also, remember that it is good for kids to be challenged to think deeper, but if your child reaches a frustrational level we need to back off a bit.  The last thing I want is for them to lose confidence.  Sometimes they appear to be getting it in class but it’s a different story when they go home.  So please keep me in the loop if your child is having a hard time with their homework.  Alrighty, that’s it for now! I hope you all have a wonderful, relaxing weekend!    

Important Reminders
9/21à Early dismissal at 1:00 for staff professional development
9/23à 1st Quarter Midterm
9/26-9/29à Homecoming Week!
            Mon: Pajama Day
Pep Rally at 9:00 a.m.
            Tues: Black-Out Day
            Wed: Wacky Wednesday
            Thurs: Favorite Sports Team Day
            Fri: School Spirit Day
                        Parade at 2:30 p.m.