A Peek at Week 7

A Peek at Week 8

Bible, Devotions, Prayer – We will continue working on learning our theme verse this week and will begin a new verse for the month of October.  Watch for a new paper coming home this week with the new verse. In Bibel this week we’ll begin reading about Moses.  Highlights from this unit include: God preserved the Israelites, delivered them from Egypt, taught them how to worship him, and brought them to the Promised Land. God took loving care of the Israelites. God had a plan to use Moses to deliver the people from slavery. God gave the Ten Commandments to direct people in their relationship with him and others.

Math – We continue working on addition and subtraction facts to solve story problems. This week we continue focus on some new adding strategies – math experts tell us that it’s OK for kids to use their fingers to solve equations and we also continue learning new strategies to make us more efficient.

Phonics – This week we continue working on practice with Most Common Words. We’ll also begin working on blends – consonants that work in partnership with L and R.

Reading Workshop– This week our focus during reading workshop is on our inner reading voice. This is the voice that stops us when something doesn’t make sense, that asks questions and that makes connections between what we are reading and our real lives.

Writing Workshop– We continue focusing on writing SMALL moments.This week our focus is on how to bring our stories to life – to make them more interesting to read.

Social Studies/Science – This week we continue in Space Systems: Patterns and Cycles. We be looking at the cycle of the sun this week and how it moves through the sky.

Dates to Note:

Friday, October 4- Grandfriends’ Day (see previous post for schedule). *** Please let me know if your child does not have a special visitor coming so I can partner him/her up with a classmate that morning.**

Friday, October 11- Foot Frolic Frenzy – Please encourage your child to get pledges for Foot Frolic Frenzy!  Our goal is 100% participation in returning pledge envelopes (I got two pledges this weekend!) Every pledge helps – big and small!

Tuesday, October 15 – Special performance by members of the Grand Rapids Symphony

Monday, October 21 – First field trip – Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium

A Peek at Week 6

A Peek at Week 6

Thanks to God for…

  • A restful weekend with a family wedding!
  • Students who are learning and growing every day!!!
  • Parents who ask great questions!

Bible, Devotions and Prayer – This week we’ll be reading about Joseph.  Some focus points for this unit include: Joseph’s dreams indicated that he would one day rule over his family.  Through Joseph, God preserved his chosen people during a famine. God was with Joseph throughout his life. Joseph trusted God and believed in his promises.

Math – Our work in unit 2 this week will build on the first unit, using addition and subtraction facts to solve story problems. We also continue to work on number partners and fact fluency. We’ve begun meeting in small math groups so we’re learning how to work with partners, rules and routines for several games, and have just added an iPad/Osmo activity.

Phonics – We continue working on letter group reviews this week and on reviewing most common sight words. We are practicing how to hear the different sounds of the short vowels and writing simple words that use those vowel sounds.

Reading– We will continue work on the routines of Reading Workshop and how to work with a partner. We’ll practice think-pair-share, how to read to our partners and how to help our partners when they are stuck on a word.

Writing – We are working on our Small Moments narrative writing unit. The focus of this unit is to write about real events that have happened to us or things that we have done – personal experiences. We’ll be focusing on how to add more details to our writing and to our pictures. One of our first topics is on how to write about a SMALL moment and not try to tell everything that happened over a whole day, or over a whole trip.

Social Studies/Science – This week we begin our first Science unit which is called Space Systems: Patterns and Cycles. We’ll begin by gathering some information about where the sun is at different parts of the day and making some predictions together.

A field trip is coming up! On October 21 we will visit the public museum and planetarium as part of our science unit on Space. We will leave school at about 9:15 and will be back around noon. I am planning on Laura Huisman, Lena Clemo, and Erin Crison. Thanks!!!

Dates to Note:

Mondays, September 23 – MAP testing (measures student progress and growth in math and reading)

Friday, October 4- Grand Friends’ Day (see previous post for schedule). Pleas let me know if your child does not have a special visitor coming so I can partner him/her up with a classmate for the morning.

Friday, October 11- Foot Frolic Frenzy – Start encouraging your child to get pledges for Foot Frolic Frenzy!  Our goal is 100% participation in returning pledge envelopes (I got two pledges this weekend!) Every pledge helps – big and small!

Tuesday, October 15 – Special performance by members of the Grand Rapids Symphony

Monday, October 21 – First field trip – Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium

A Peek at Week 5

A Peek at Week 5

PICTURE DAY TOMORROW! Our class is scheduled at 9:30AM.

Bible – This week we continue with stories of Jacob and Esau. Here are some focus points for this unit. Jacob’s wise and unwise choices were used by God to fulfill his promises to Abraham and Isaac. God made, kept, and fulfilled his promises just as he keeps his promises to us today.

Math – Our work this week will wrap up the first unit on number partners and fact families. We’ll continue practicing with whole group work, in games and with hands-on activities. Our second unit will build on the first, using addition and subtraction facts to solve story problems. We will complete a unit test at the end of the unit. This lets me know what I should continue working on with your child.

Phonics – We continue working on letter group reviews this week and on reviewing most common sight words. We are practicing how to hear the different sounds of the short vowels and writing simple words that use those vowel sounds.

Reading– We will continue work on the routines of Reading Workshop as well as building our reading stamina with lots of practice. We’re practicing how to read and share with a partner and to use our reading time well. Another focus will be on re-reading books to work on good reading expression and on retelling books that we’ve already read.

Writing – We are working on building stamina for more and more writing this week. Students are being challenged to write more than one sentence per page and to start to write with more details than they did in Kindergarten. This week we’ll be working on how to give good feedback to a partner about his/her writing. We’ll also begin to focus more on narrative writing – writing about things that we’ve done or things that have happened to us.

Social Studies/Science – We will continue in our unit on social skills for about one more week focusing on feelings, manners, friendship and growth mindset. We read a lot of picture books as part of this unit and have already had some great discussions.

***NOTE*** A field trip is coming up! On October 21 we will visit the public museum and planetarium as part of our upcoming science unit on Space. I would like to have 3-4 parent chaperones come with us to help lead small groups through the museum. We will leave school at about 9:15 and will be back around noon. Sorry, no younger siblings are allowed. Please let me know via email if you are interested in coming.

Dates to Note:

Monday, September 16 – Picture Day

Mondays, September 16 & 23 – MAP testing (measures student progress and growth in math and reading)

Friday, October 4- Grand Friends’ Day (see previous post for schedule)

Friday, October 11- Foot Frolic Frenzy (we run 10:45-11:15 am)

Tuesday, October 15 – Special performance by members of the Grand Rapids Symphony

Monday, October 21 – First field trip – Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium

Grandfriends’ Day

We will be celebrating Grandfriends Day on Friday, October 4. This is a special day where your child can invite a grandfriend to visit our classroom, go out to recess, and enjoy a program that the K-4 students have been working hard on. Special invites for grandfriends were sent home this week. Here’s the schedule for the day:

Kindergarten & 1st grade        

9:00-9:45      Classroom visiting   

9:45-10:05    Recess

2nd-4th grade

9:00-10:00    Classroom visiting

10:05-10:25   Recess

Kindergarten – 4th Grade

10:35              Program in the GYM

1st Grade Homework

Dear Families,

Each day your student works hard to become a better reader, writer, and mathematician. They explore, write, build, sing, create and socialize – it is a long day. When students arrive home, we do not want them or their families burdened with hours of extra work. Extra-curricular activities and family time are important. Additionally, students need the opportunity to explore, play, and be little!

Research shows that developing fine and gross motor skills, building imaginative thinking skills, and fostering a sense of creativity are critically important skills for young learners. Additionally, these ‘non-academic’ skills build a strong foundation for the learning that happens inside our classroom.

For homework, we ask only that you spend time each night reading with your child. Based on the research by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the website  Homework Help Secrets indicates, “Reading is the single most important skill necessary for a happy, productive and successful life. A child that is an excellent reader is a confident child, has a high level of self esteem and is able to easily make the transition from learning to read to reading to learn.” 

Each night that you read with your child, have him/her color in one shape on that month’s reading log. These reading logs should be kept in a safe, visible location at home. On the back of your child’s reading log, we have attached an OPTIONAL choice board. These choice boards are suggestions of activities that will help your child build fine and gross motor skills, creativity, and imaginative skills. As students complete an activity, they may color that square in. Reading logs and calendars should be returned to school at the end of the month. We appreciate your support as we explore a new avenue for monthly homework. We look forward to hearing your feedback.

We are also sending a Bible memory sheet home which is can be a fun way to practice the scripture we are learning together that month. Each time your child reads or says the verse, he/she can color in one part of the picture. We’ll also practice the verse together at school.

Thank you! The First Grade Teachers

Peek at Week 4

A Peek at Week 4

Devotions, Prayer & Bible – This week we continue reading about Abraham.  Highlights from this unit include: God chose Abram’s family to be the ancestors of his chosen people. Jesus fulfilled God’s promises to Abraham and his descendants. We praise God for his promises and their fulfillment.

Math – Our work this week will continue to work on number partners and fact families. We’ll practice this will whole group work, in games and with manipulatives.

Phonics – We’ll be working on letter group reviews this week and on reviewing most common sight words. Your child will bring home a copy of the 3o most commonly used words that he/she should have mastered in kindergarten. Many children would benefit from extra practice reading these words as they are very commonly used and many cannot be sounded out.

Reading– We will continue work on the routines of Reading Workshop as well as building our reading stamina with lots of practice. We’re practicing how to share our reading with a partner and setting goals to do more and more reading. I’ll continue reading with students this week to find good reading levels that I can start working with them on. I plan to start meeting with small groups next week.

Writing – We are working on building stamina for more and more writing this week. Students are being challenged to write more than one sentence per page and to start to write with more details than they did in Kindergarten. We also are working on strategies for spelling unknown words. If your child is doing writing at home and asks you about a work they don’t know how to spell, you can encourage them to stretch the word out and listen for each of the sounds.

Social Studies/Science – We will continue in our unit on social skills, friendship and growth mindset. We read a lot of picture books as part of this unit and have already had some great discussions.

Dates to Note

  • September 13: Prayer Circles begin
  • September 16: GRCES Picture Day
  • October 4: Grandfriends’ Day

Peek at Week 3

Peek at Week 3

Devotions, Prayer & Bible – We began the year with a quick review of the stories of Creation. Last week we read about Noah and the Tower of Babel. We also began reading about Abram and God’s call for him to move to a new land.  The focus in these stories is God’s care for us. Highlights from this unit include:

We study the Bible because it is God’s Word.
Students will recall familiar Bible stories.
God created and cares for the world.
Sin entered the world through Adam and Eve’s disobedience and ushered in hardship, sickness, and death.
God promised a Savior to conquer sin and restore creation.

Math – Our main focus in this first unit is working on number partners and working on our fact fluency. You will see pages from our math journal coming home each week. Sometimes these are done whole group, sometimes with partners, and sometimes in a small teacher group. If you take a moment to look them over, you will have an idea of what we are working on in math that week.

Phonics – We begin the year with a review of the letter groups, how to form words, and hearing sounds in different positions of words. I’m pleased with the work we’ve been able to do already – your children came from kindergarten with a good foundation!

Reading Workshop– Our overall class goal is developing routines for reading workshop and building independent reading stamina. We’re practicing how to read independently and are working on a goal of 20 minutes for the whole class. This is a great minimum goal to set for your child to read at home as well.

Writing Workshop – This week we will continue with routines for writing workshop including how to think of ideas, how to add more details to our sketches and words, and figuring out how to spell unknown words.

Social Studies/Science – We begin the year with a unit on social skills, friendship and growth mindset. We read a lot of picture books as part of this unit and always have some great discussions.

Dates to Note

  • September 6: Chapel – all are invited
  • September 13: Prayer Circles begin
  • September 16: GRCES Picture Day
  • October 4: Grandfriends’ Day

Have a good weekend!

Parents, First, I’d just like to tell you what a delight your children have been these two weeks (already two weeks!!!) of school! I love getting to know them and they have been such hard workers already in first grade!

I want to offer a food consideration and request for our class. One of your child’s friends and classmates is allergic to peanuts and ALSO tree nuts like cashews and almonds.  This is a life-threatening allergy so we want to make sure our classroom is a safe place for him. Sun butter is ok and is a great option if your child misses peanut butter sandwiches. Thank you to those who have reached out with food questions and for being extra careful when packing your child’s lunch! It’s a team effort and we want to take excellent care of all of our kids!