WEEK OF DECEMBER 2 – DECEMBER 6

This week, in Math Workshop, we are working on collecting and interpreting data from all types of graphs. The children are organizing data, asking and answering questions about the number of data points, how many in each category and how many more/less in one category than another.

In Reader’s Workshop, we are reading for meaning and purpose. In doing so, we are reading passages and identifying the main topic and retelling key details, in addition to, determining the reason an author gives to support ideas in a text. Don’t forget to use the questioning sheets you were given at conference time to ensure your child is reading for understanding.

Turkey animated 2In Writer’s Workshop, the children have been busy sharing small moments from their Thanksgiving holiday. They are working hard on editing, capitalization and punctuation. 

In Phonics, we are learning about ending blends. A blend is when 2 or 3 consonants come together and you can hear both sounds. The blends we are covering this week were –mp as in bump, –st as in nest, and nt as in plant.

We were also introduced to a new group of our trick words. Those words were before, again, who, stop and off. We used these words in sentences. Please practice reading, writing and spelling trick words.

In Social Studies, we are learning about Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. We are not only learning about these American Heroes but we are learning about all of the non-fiction text features offered in the books we are reading. We reviewed the table of contents, bold typed words, labels, captions, maps, charts, glossary and index. We are summarizing our reading and creating our own non-fiction booklets about Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson.

 

Door animateThe holiday doors were a huge success. The children loved being able to share their customs and traditions with friends. It was fun to learn about different ways in which our class celebrates their holiday and to take a peek inside their homes. The doors are hung in the hall outside our classroom for all to enjoy.

STEM DAY was wonderful!!!  All first grade groups created their version of the game Plinko. Our challenge came from the video Caine’s Arcade. Congratulations to Ariel, Annie, Salar and Dev for being chosen as our class project winner. All groups worked so well together and displayed  great team effort!!!

Snowman animatedIf you can join us, I will look forward to seeing you at our Winter Celebration Monday, December 16th from 10:15-11:00. Thank you, in advance, to our room mothers and all of our parent volunteers.

 

 

WEEK OF NOVEMBER 18 – NOVEMBER 22

turkey in oven animatedI want to wish each of you a wonderful Thanksgiving. I know we all have much for which to be thankful. Enjoy the time with your precious children and families. I know I am looking forward to doing the same. Weekly papers, communication folders and our blog will resume on Thursday, December 5th.

WEEK OF NOVEMBER 11 – NOVEMBER15

scale animatedIn Math Workshop, this week, we worked on understanding the meaning of the equal sign in addition and subtraction equations and determined if math sentences were balanced and true or not balanced and false. (6=6, 1+4=5, 7+8-1, 4+1=5+2) We know that the equal sign means same as. We will continue working on this in class.

books animatedIn Reader’s Workshop, we continued to explore and read non-fiction books. We are also learning how to tackle super hard words in order to keep learning while reading non-fiction books. We are continuing to learn about context clues, crashing word parts together to solve the whole word, checking to see that the words we read look right and sound right and much more.

In Phonics, we are reviewing the blends from the last two weeks. A blend is when 2 or 3 consonants come together and you can hear both sounds. 

We were also introduced to a new group of our trick words. Those words were too, two, would, should and could. We used these words in sentences, wrote them in rainbow colors and played games. Please practice reading, writing and spelling trick words throughout the year. Trick words are expected to be read, spelled and applied in writing correctly.

Don’t forget that tomorrow is the Pajama Pants Challenge to support the Center for Children and Young Adults and the fifth grade “Acts of Kindness” initiative.  The children may wear pajamas to school to help raise money for the National Homeless Youth. This is a fifth-grade initiative and if your child donates $1.00 or more pajama pants are the attire of the day:)

Next week , Friday the 22nd, will be a school-wide STEM DAY. Each grade will be given an engineering challenge and we can’t wait for this fun day!!!

Door animateIt is hard to believe that December is upon us but evidence is coming home today in the form of our holiday door project.  This project is a special first-grade holiday tradition.  I cannot wait to see the finished doors and to get a peek at the inside of your homes.  The children may complete these doors using any materials they desire.  Please take time to help them brainstorm your traditions to share in their writings.  They will present their door and read their story aloud in class.  Have them practice reading aloud what they have written to help with fluency. I am sending some extra paper. Please have your child write on the fronts only of each paper as these will be hung in the hall. Below please find a sample of two holiday doors. Our doors will be due on Tuesday, December 3rd.

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As mentioned last week, I am going to give the children an opportunity to take part in an optional report. This opportunity is intended to enhance learning and curiosity and by no means is it intended to add stress to your lives. If interested, your child may do a report on any of the following science and social studies topics we have or will be covering: light, sound, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. The report should fit your child’s learning style. Traditional reports, posters, dioramas or any other presentation format is welcome. We look forward to learning more together. Reports will be due on Friday, December 6th. We are currently learning all about sound including vibration, pitch and so much more.

Our winter class celebration will be on Monday, December 16th from 10:15-11:00. Our wonderful room moms have a sign up sheet on our class Shutterfly page. Your help is greatly appreciated. It is still weeks away but all parents are invited and I wanted to give you time to mark your calendars.

 

 

 

WEEK OF NOVEMBER 4 – NOVEMBER 8

fact family animatedIn Math, this week, we learned multiple strategies for subtracting numbers within 20. When these strategies are applied they will help master fact fluency. Please know that many of these strategies and our addition strategies are linked to the top of this blog page. Click on the link to view and to help your child master these strategies at home.  A strategy we do use in school which is not available at home are the OG bars. We have worked on related facts, fact families, counting back, and using a number line. The children are encouraged to use the strategies that help them the best. It would be most helpful if you practice addition and subtraction facts within 20 at home.  Flash cards are an excellent tool and so is Moby Max.  This week we have learned to use a number line and start with our largest number and hop back.   We know that we can also grab the larger number in our head and count back for subtraction when we have a number sentence with -1, -2, -3. We also  worked on understanding the importance of knowing our fact families or related facts. We know that the numbers 4, 2, and 6 belong to a family. By knowing that 4+2 =6 we know that 2+4 also equals 6 and that 6-4 = 2 and 6-2=4. Hopefully practicing these strategies will strengthen math fact fluency. Keep reinforcing these strategies at home!!!

books animatedIn Reader’s Workshop, we continued to explore and read non-fiction books. We are learning about all of the important text features such as a table of contents, headings, captions, labels, glossaries and an index. We are also learning how to tackle super hard words in order to keep learning while reading non-fiction books. We are learning about context clues, crashing word parts together to solve the whole word, checking to see that the words we read look right and sound right and much more.

book_and_feather-animatedIn Writer’s Workshop, we have continued to review all of the elements of a good personal narrative with our “Weekend News.” We are also continuing to write informational “How To” and “All About” booklets where we are the experts and are writing to teach our readers. We will be buddy reading our informational books to make sure our readers do not have any unanswered questions. If so, we will be revising and adding details to our books. The children love being teachers!!! We also wrote some special letters to the Veterans who will be visiting our school on Monday.

Veteran’s Day –  Please remind your students to dress in RED, WHITE, and BLUE on Monday.

In Phonics, we are learning about blends. A blend is when 2 or 3 consonants come together and you can hear both sounds. The blends we continued covering this week were bl as in block, cl as in clown, pl as in plane, fl as in flower, gl as in globe and sl as in sled.
We were also introduced to a new group of our trick words. Those words were here, any, want, eat and many. We used these words in sentences, wrote them in rainbow colors and played games. Please practice reading, writing and spelling trick words throughout the year. Trick words are expected to be read, spelled and applied in writing correctly.

As you know, The Voyager has become an important part of our character education program. Each week, we recognize students who are displaying the characteristic of the week. Two students have been selected to represent the class in recognition of displaying these special character traits. Congratulations to Annie for showing “cooperation” on a daily basis and to Ryan for displaying “perseverance” and drive each day.

In Science, we are learning about sound, volume, pitch,  light  artificial and natural and shadows .

I am going to give the children an opportunity to take part in an optional report. This opportunity is intended to enhance learning and curiosity and by no means is it intended to add stress to your lives. If interested, your child may do a report on any of the following science and social studies topics we have or will be covering: light, sound, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. The report should fit your child’s learning style. Traditional reports, posters, dioramas or any other presentation format is welcome. We look forward to learning more together. Reports will be due on Friday, December 6th.

WEEK OF OCTOBER 28 – NOVEMBER 1

math additionIn Math, this week, we learned multiple strategies for adding numbers within 20. Some of those strategies are counting on 1, 2 and 3, number lines, doubles and near doubles. We used our OG resources to help with all of these. We are enjoying partner math activities every day.  When these strategies are applied, they will help with our fact fluency. We also had a fun time plotting coordinates on a graph to create a Jack-O-Lantern.

book-talk-colorIn Reader’s Workshop, this week, we continued learning how to get super smart about non-fiction topics. We study each page, guess what might be coming next, chat about what we are learning with our partners and making our voices sound smooth and lively. We are becoming experts on many topics.

pumpkin animateIn Writer’s Workshop, we are working on writing teaching books.  The children are learning about the importance of informational writing and how this differs from our personal narratives. We are realizing how we are experts and can become teachers by thinking of a topic we know and understand, saying it across our fingers, sketching it across pages and finally writing our words. After carving a pumpkin in school, we started working on an informational piece on “How to Carve a Pumpkin.” We will continue to work on “small moment” stories through our Weekend News each week.

In Phonics, we are learning about blends. A blend is when 2 or 3 consonants come together and you can hear both sounds. The blends we are covering this week are br as in brag,  cr as in crab, dr as in drag, fr as in frog, tr as in trip and st as in stop.

We were also introduced to a new group of our trick words. Those words were blue, over, put, good and from. We used these words in sentences, wrote them in rainbow colors and played games. Please practice reading, writing and spelling trick words throughout the year. Trick words are expected to be read, spelled and applied in writing correctly.

Please return tallied Reading Logs tomorrow. The children do get tickets for their hard work and the logs are used for Six Flag tickets. I am sending home a new log for November in today’s papers. Continue to read at least 15 minutes per night. The children really do enjoy Raz-Kids. Continue to use this site at home. It does count for nightly reading. Please help your child remember to return his/her library books each Friday.

Clock animatedThank you, so much, to our wonderful room moms and all of the parent volunteers who helped with today’s Scarecrow Day.  A great time was had by all. It was wonderful to share the fun with so many families. Don’t forget to turn your clocks back this weekend and enjoy an extra hour of family time!!!!

WEEK OF OCTOBER 21 – OCTOBER 25

In Math, this week, we are working on place value and composing and decomposing numbers. It is important that the children understand that the two digits of a two-digit number represent amounts of tens and ones. We have written our numbers in standard form, expanded form, using lines and dots from the Orton Gillingham math training. We are also building our numbers using our OG blocks and identifying numbers that are ten more, ten less, one more and one less than a given target number.

This week, in Reader’s Workshop, we continued learning how to get super smart about non-fiction topics.  We are becoming experts on many topics.  We know that if we activate our background knowledge about a topic we are able to connect to and better understand what we read. We do this by exploring the cover of a book to determine the genre, to predict vocabulary we might encounter and to think about how prior knowledge may help in our understanding. After reading the book Pumpkin Jack, we predicted vocabulary we might find in other pumpkin books. We found most of our predictions to be accurate. We also realized the prior knowledge we gained from Pumpkin Jack better prepared us to understand the other pumpkin non-fiction books we read. We made many text to text connections between these books. Our focus right now is on comparing fiction to non-fiction texts. We realize that fiction books need to be read from beginning to end. Non-fiction texts we can scan and skim and learn through the many non-fiction text features without reading the entire book. We will continue to learn about important non-fiction text features.

During conferences, I discussed with many parents, the importance of finding just-right books for your child to grow as a reader. By using the letter grade (C-J) on your child’s report card and the wonderful website below, you will find many great options on your child’s reading level. You can search by reading level, grade level equivalent and so much more. 

Here is the website that lists books by level.

https://www.kidsbookseries.com/list/sorted-by-accelerated-reader-level

Also, don’t forget RAZ-KIDS. You received your child’s log-in earlier in the year. They can  start in their lettered book-room. This is a great option to include in your monthly reading log.

pumpkin animateIn Writer’s Workshop, we are working on writing teaching books.  The children are learning about the importance of informational writing and how this differs from our personal narratives. We are realizing how we are experts and can become teachers by thinking of a topic we know and understand, saying it across our fingers, sketching it across pages and finally writing our words. We are working on an informational piece on “How to Carve a Pumpkin.” We will continue to work on “small moment” stories through our Weekend News each week.

In Phonics, we learned the Floss Rule: When /f/, /l/, /s/, or /z/ is heard after a short vowel, one syllable word, the /f/, /l/, /s/, /z/ are doubled at the end of the word.

Examples: bluff, thrill, less and buzz

We were also introduced to a new group of our trick words. Last week’s words were one, very, ask, came and your. This week’s words were help, than, last, next and going. We used these words in sentences, wrote them in rainbow colors and played games. Please practice reading, writing and spelling trick words throughout the year. Trick words are expected to be read, spelled and applied in writing correctly.

  I would like to officially welcome our 20th student Virginia and her family to our class and Mt. Bethel. We are looking forward to sharing the rest of this year together!

 Science animatedCongratulations to our wonderful classroom scientists who participated in the STEM Fair. Hats off to Carter, Dev, Ryan and Salar.  I am very proud of each of you and your hard work. Dev did a wonderful job of presenting his project to the class. We would love for the others to do the same if they so desire. 

mbesf-logoThank you so much to all of the families who have already given so generously to our wonderful Mt. Bethel Patron Drive. We, are so appreciative of all of the support and wonderful programs made possible because of this important drive. Please don’t forget to support this drive as your children are the fortunate ones to receive the many, many benefits!!!

Scarecrow animated I am looking forward to our Scarecrow Day celebration on Thursday, October 31st. Please dress your child as a scarecrow and come help us celebrate from 9:30-10:30. Thank you to our wonderful room moms for coordinating this day and thank you to all of the parents who are donating supplies, participating and organizing the centers. If you haven’t signed up, there is still time.

WEEK OF OCTOBER 7 – OCTOBER 11

This week, in most academic areas, the children have reviewed and completed many summative assessments for these first nine weeks. Just a reminder, next week, conference week, is an early dismissal week with a 12:20 dismissal. I look forward to discussing your child’s progress with you at that time. Please arrive promptly at your scheduled time. Also, please knock on the door at your scheduled time so that I know you are waiting. I do try very hard to remain on schedule especially for our families who have back to back sibling conferences. PLEASE CHECK THE TIME ON YOUR CELL PHONE AS THE HALL CLOCKS MAY BE INACCURATE.

  Monday will be our in-school High Touch – High Tech field trip on magnets.  Feel free to have your child wear his/her class t-shirt that day.

thank you animatedThank you to all of the families who have already given so generously to our Mt. Bethel Patron drive. We, as teachers, are so appreciative of all of the support and programs made possible because of this important drive. A Foundation contribution provides Mt. Bethel with enrichment programs, STEAM and teacher training not covered by the Cobb County budget! These critical elements elevate the education received by our children and differentiate Mt. Bethel from a typical public school. We would love 100% class participation!!!

Due to conference week preparation, I will not be sending weekly papers or communication folders this week or next. I look forward to sharing this information in person. I will also not be posting a blog next Thursday.

Scarecrow animatedGet your calendars ready. Thursday, October 31st is first grade Scarecrow Day. More information will follow but we will be having special centers from 9:30-10:30 on that day. It is a great photo op and all parents are welcome to visit us during this time. The children are encouraged to come to school dressed as scarecrows and only scarecrows. Some costume ideas are overalls, jeans, straw hats, flannel shirts, etc. Thank you, in advance, to all parents helping with this special day and especially our wonderful room mothers who will be organizing this special time.

WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 30- OCTOBER 4

Clock animatedIn math, this week, we started working on telling time to the hour and the half-hour. Reviewing this, at home, on digital and analog clocks would be beneficial to the children, particularly time to the half-hour. This concept is much harder for the children. We have been practicing with small individual clocks. It takes a very watchful eye when reading and writing time to the half-hour. We will learn that as the minute hand approaches the six on the clock, the hour hand is pushed halfway between the current hour and the next upcoming hour. If the hour hand is between the 5 and the 6, we say that when reading a clock the time must be 5:30 because the hour hand is still in the 5TH hour…it is just halfway through. It would be impossible for the time to be 6:30 because the hour hand hasn’t even touched the six yet and 6:30 is still in the future. When drawing the hands on the clock, we will be using our individual clocks to set the time and then copy the hands in the proper place. At this time, the children are introduced to but not assessed on this concept.

In Reader’s workshop, we are continuing to work  independently on describing characters, setting and major events in a story using key details. We are also exploring the difference between books that tell stories and books that give information. 

Pencil animatedIn Writer’s Workshop, we continue to edit our stories.  We are checking to make sure that by sequencing events we include temporal or transitional words, add details to make our stories interesting and provide a sense of closure. We had fun writing about our fall break!

We were also introduced to a new group of  trick words. Those words were little, what, will, jump, and thing. Please practice reading, writing, and spelling trick words throughout the year.

Scarecrow animatedGet your calendars ready. Thursday, October 31st is first grade Scarecrow Day. More information will follow but we will be having special centers from 9:30-10:30 on that day. It is a great photo op and all parents are welcome to visit us during this time. The children are encouraged to come to school dressed as scarecrows and only scarecrows. Some costume ideas are overalls, jeans, straw hats, flannel shirts, etc. Thank you, in advance, to all parents helping with this special day and especially our wonderful room mothers who will be organizing this special time.

Ticket trading will take place tomorrow. The children returned from fall break rested and ready to learn. As a reward, all children may wear pajamas on Friday.  If your child tells you they may also wear slippers, bring a stuffed animal, eat lunch in the classroom or other rewards, it is because they have earned tickets throughout the month.

Calendar 2 animatedPlease return tallied Reading Logs if you have not already done so.  The children do get tickets for their hard work.  This week, I sent home a new reading log for October.  Continue to read at least 15 minutes per night. The monthly goal is to read 300 minutes. 

thank you animatedThank you to all of the families who have already given so generously to our wonderful Mt. Bethel Patron Drive. We, as teachers, are so appreciative of all of the support and wonderful programs made possible because of this important drive. A Foundation contribution provides Mt. Bethel with enrichment programs, STEAM and Technology instructors, teacher training, and technology not covered by the Cobb County budget!  These critical elements elevate the education received by our children and differentiate Mt. Bethel from a typical public school. The Foundation has provided the funding for Orton-Gillingham training in phonics and math and has provided me with many wonderful resources to enhance the curriculum. I am incredibly thankful to you and the foundation for this amazing educational opportunity which will directly benefit our class.

So, if you’re on the fence as to whether you want to donate, please consider what your donation can do for your child and our school. It would be wonderful for our class to have 100% participation!!!!!

Please see below regarding the Foundation video link.    https://vimeo.com/349108842

thank you animatedA huge thank you to Annie’s mom and Marco’s grandmother for watching our class while I had my grade level TPV today. A great time was had by all:)

Next Thursday, October 10th is an Early Release Day for the Cobb County School District.  Buses will leave campus at 12:30 p.m.  The After School Program will, as usual, be available.  If your child attends a FACT Club, they will begin at their regularly scheduled time.  You may either send your child to ASP ($7 per student) or your child my go home on the bus and you can bring them back to school for their club. As a reminder, if you need to change your student’s normal Thursday dismissal, please complete the Mt. Bethel Transportation Change Form available on the Mt. Bethel website and send it to me. 

 

WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 16 – SEPTEMBER 20

measuring tape animatedIn Math Workshop, we began our unit on measurement. We are measuring using non-standard tools such as connecting cubes. We had a great time measuring our room using large and small footprints. We read a wonderful book, How Big Is A Foot? The text illustrated the importance of a standard unit of measure. We have also ordered objects by length using the vocabulary words shortest to longest.

In Reader’s Workshop, we are continuing to work  independently on describing characters, settings and major events in a story using key details. This is a great concept to work on at home with your children. We are also exploring the difference between books that tell stories and books that give information. We also continue to learn new strategies for solving hard words. This week, we worked on context clues. We have worked on trying it two ways. If the short vowel sound doesn’t make sense, we try the long vowel sound. We do a slow check of the word and think about what word would make sense. Please continue with nightly reading and recording the minutes read on your child’s reading log. The more we read, the better a reader we become.

In Writer’s Workshop, we continue to work on writing personal narratives, small moment stories in which students recount two or more appropriately sequenced events including some details, using temporal words to show event order and providing a sense of closure.  We are reinforcing capitalization, punctuation and editing.

In Phonics, we learned the final consonant -ck Rule : -ck comes at the end of a word, after a short vowel is heard!

Examples: lick, back, sick and pick

We were also introduced to a new group of our trick words. Those words were long, that, out, read, and but. Please practice reading, writing, and spelling trick words throughout the year.

Conference Letters will come home on Tuesday, October 1st with the time and day of your scheduled conference. I have tried to accommodate your requests as best as I could, while working around scheduling fourteen sibling conferences.

I want to thank Olivia’s mom for sorting our Weekly Readers. I am so appreciative of her time and help:)

October will bring our Mt. Bethel Patron drive. We, as teachers, are so appreciative of all of the support and programs made possible because of this important drive, such as, Orton-Gillingham Phonics, Orton-Gillingham Math, Kagan training, The Voyage, and so much more. 

HAVE A WONDERFUL FALL BREAK, ENJOY YOUR CHILDREN and I will see you back at the blog on October 4th!!!!!

 

WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 9 – SEPTEMBER 13

This week, in Math Workshop, we worked on math word problems. We concentrated on keywords such as in all and how many were left to determine the operation needed to solve the problem. We circled the information we were given (numbers), we underlined the question we were solving while looking for key words, we drew an OG math picture, built it with our OG bars and wrote a math sentence to solve.

In Reader’s Workshop, we are working on describing characters, setting and major events in a story using key details. We used the books Stephanie’s Ponytail and Jake Goes Peanuts this week. We continue to use our graphic organizers to record this information. We are also learning about the difference between books that tell stories (fiction) and books that give information (non-fiction.)

In Phonics, we are learning about digraphs: Two consonants that go together to make one new sound (th, ch, sh, wh). 

Examples: this, chat, bath, shut and whip

We were also introduced to a new group of our trick words. Those words were them, make, some, come and were.  Please practice reading, writing and spelling trick words throughout the year.

In Writer’s Workshop, we continue to work on writing personal narratives, small moment stories in which students recount two or more appropriately sequenced events including some details, using temporal words such as first, next and finally to show event order and providing a sense of closure.  We are reinforcing capitalization, punctuation and editing.

In Social Studies, we are learning to identify our city, county, state and nation.

If you are willing to sort some Weekly Reader magazines  please let me know. You are welcome to take them home to sort or find a spot at school to do this. If interested, please send me an email and thank you in advance for your help.