Saturday, September 20, 2014

Subject Updates

After progress reports coming home, I want to share a few important things with you! :)

Reading: The end of the first grading period goal is a DRA of 6-8. (Preferably an 8)  I just finished the DRA testing today, Tuesday, September 16, 2014.  That is why the progress reports are coming home on Wednesday, September 17, 2014.  We will shortly begin guided reading groups to work with your child and others at a similar DRA level.  What does this mean for you?  It is possible to look up books through Scholastic Book Wizard online and get DRA levels and leveled book suggestions.  It is possible that your local library might be able to help with this also.  We will also use this information when finding books in the library from now on.  I do allow them to find one on level book and one free choice book that you can read with them if it isn’t on their level.  Also, I am attaching a comprehension sheet that can be used with any book.  One side is for fiction and the other side is for non-fiction.  Please don’t just read with your child.  Please talk about the book.  This is almost as important as reading.
Writing:  Again, we have been writing a lot.  We are working on getting the letters formed correctly and on the line.  This means that using capital letters should only happen at the start of a sentence OR for a proper noun.  Please encourage your child to use lowercase letters when proper to do so. Punctuation at the end of sentences is also what a first grader should be able to do by the end of the first grading period.
Math: We are learning to do basic addition and subtraction. PLEASE encourage your child to show their work.  At this age it means, draw a model to represent the equation.  It is not enough to simply know the answer.  They have a test coming up the beginning of next week.  They need to know the following vocabulary: sum, addends, and difference. We have been working on this in class.  The homework for the next week will really focus on this!  Again, please be sure that they are modeling their work on the paper and not just using their fingers.  I tell them I cannot take their fingers with me when I look at their work.  Another big thing in math is the realization that much of what is written they CAN read!  Reading plays a huge part in math. Even though we read them together, having the words on the page can sometimes be a stumbling block.
Social Studies: We are working on our character.  How can we fill someone’s bucket and why do we have rules?  The hardest part with this is writing.  If your child is having trouble writing sentences this impacts some of what we do in social studies.  Also listening and hearing what is said is important here too.
Science: We are working on properties and the ways we use the 5 senses when we talk about properties.  We have discussed sink vs float as well as used our senses with sour Skittles and animal crackers.  Writing is a big part of science also.  We have to be able to write our observations down and show what we know.

The biggest thing that I want to share about where we are so far is all of the positive behaviors that I see out of each and every child in the room.  No one is perfect, but this group of kids is one to be proud of!  They are hard workers and want people to know that they care about themselves and others! This is a difficult skill to teach and they already have it.  If I have one big favor from all of you it is to remind them how smart they are regularly!  They often seem to forget this important piece and they are each and every one SO smart! We all bring different talents to the table which makes us our own smart, unique beings.  The self-esteem will help take them a long way in all of their subject areas—along with the work we do every day! 

Thank you for being part of our learning team this year! If you have any questions or need any further information, please let me know!  As always, I post regular updates to the webpage.  If you forget where to look, it is on the cover of your child’s agenda and you can also google: