August 28 Champathon Update

We are headed into the last days of our Champathon to raise money for playground, learning commons and technology improvements at Cheatham Hill Elementary.  Our class has already raised $64 dollars per dance move which will bring in almost $2000.  Excellent job, first grade families.  If you would like to join us for the final event – the danceathon – we will be dancing from 8:15 – 9:00 this Friday, August 30 in the gymnasium.

August 21 We are scientists!

Today, we learned that scientists observe, measure, sort, build, research, write, and have fun!  Take a look at our photo gallery for a peek at our day.

This week, I began sending home reading folders.  I hope that you enjoy reading with your child.  While it is important for your child to read to you – to build fluency and confidence – remember it is also important for you to read with your child.  When you read to your child, you model fluent reading, show your child that you enjoy reading, and create memorable moments with your child.  Please remember, however, that while I think that it is important for you to read with your child as often as possible and the books I send home in your child’s folder are specifically chosen to match his or her reading abilities, homework is always optional.  Please do not stress if you have a busy evening or your family chooses to bond in other ways on some nights.

Tomorrow, I will be sending home Reading and Math Inventory reports.  These are tests we take on the computer three times a year, to monitor progress in these two areas.  While these tests can provide valuable information, they are only a small part of how I measure your child’s progress.  As you look at scores, please keep in mind that your children are new to this type of testing and still learning how to take tests and how to take tests on the computer, so scores may be lower that expected as children are still developing listening, testing, and computer skills.  In addition to academic skills, we will also be working on these other important skills throughout the year.

August 13 In the Beginning . . .

I have had so much fun this week, getting to know our new first graders and watching them got to know one another.  Everyone has made at least a few new friends, and I’m beginning to hear more names and less “that guy” or “that girl!”  This week, we have been showing what we learned in kindergarten and learning first grade routines.  We have been counting to 120, building our silent reading stamina, writing super sentences, and learning the meaning of patriotic songs.

Tomorrow and Thursday, we will be taking the Math and Reading Inventories.  These two tests, taken on the computer, will help me plan appropriate instruction for each student and will help us measure the growth your child makes in these two areas.  I will share more information after the testing is completed.

Tomorrow night, I will send home your child’s first homework.  We have been working on retelling with key details.  Your child will bring home illustrations from the story Cookie’s Week.  Have your child order the cards and then retell the story.  S/he should say something like “On Monday, Cookie did something, and something went everywhere” for each illustration.  We have been practicing telling with expression, so the story should make you laugh and smile!  Enjoy!

August 3 Welcome!

Welcome new first grade families!  Our journey has begun.  We have had an exciting two days, getting to know one another and navigating our new classroom.  I have been so impressed with our adventurers – they are already showing an eagerness to learn, to take on new challenges and to ask question when they don’t understand.  In the coming week, we will continue to learn about classroom routines, curriculum, and expectations, as I learn more about our little learners in order to create just-right activities to ensure they all continue to grow as a group and individually.

If you would like to learn more about first grade and our little learning community, Kindergarten, First and Second Grade Open House will be on Thursday, August 8 starting at 6:00pm.  The evening will be divided into two sessions, to help those who have students in two different grade levels.  During both sessions, I will give you a quick peek at what your child’s day will look like and share information about curriculum, behavior management, and family involvement.  I hope to see you on Thursday!