Friday, January 28, 2011

February News

Thank you to all the parents who have been working so hard with their child since our return to school in January. Your commitment to helping your child succeed is greatly appreciated. The children continue to improve in all areas of the curriculum! Keep up the good work! The 20 minutes you spend with your child reading each night makes a difference. Please continue read and reread the leveled book your child brings home and review word wall words. The Math Homework Bags will FINALLY begin to be sent home next week – remember to return them at the end of the week for reorganization.

We are continuing to focus on “point of view”. When your child is reading to you at home, occasionally ask your child to stop and reflect on what s/he is reading. Ask questions such as, “How do you think the character feels?” or “What do you think the author is trying to tell us?” Encourage your child to “look at the marks (punctuation) and font” and reread using appropriate inflection in his/her voice.

We celebrated the end of our Instructional/Procedural (HOW-TO writing) unit by rereading the procedural text, Making Ice Cream AND actually making ice cream.

Your child selected his/her best two pieces of procedural writing to be added to his/her Grade One writing portfolio. All other pieces will be sent home with the rest of our Term One work. We are going to begin PERSUASIVE WRITING this month. We will be working on developing VOICE and WORD CHOICE in our writing this month as well.

Dates to Remember This Month
February 1 – January Celebration Assembly @ 9:15 in our gymnasium
February 2 – Groundhog Day – will you see YOUR shadow today?
February 3 – Chinese New Year
February 4 – Learning With Logan
February 4 – Winter Carnival (dress warmly for outdoor activities – weather permitting, of course)
February 11 – 100th Day of Grade One! We will have some special numeracy activities to do today.
February 14 – Our classroom celebration of Valentines Day – wear something/anything red today, if you would like to participate!
February 17 – Forestview Falcon Day! Wear your Forestview gear to school today
February 21 – Family Day – enjoy your time together!

The 100th Day of School
We have been counting the days to the 100th day of Grade One since our first day together in September. The children should bring a collection of 100 items to school in a Ziploc bag on February 11. Popular collections from previous years included: 100 pennies, 100 small marshmallows, 100 crayons, 100 band-aids, 100 paperclips, 100 gummy bears, 100 pebbles, 100 hockey cards. We will have some special activities throughout the day to celebrate this special number.

Note about Valentines Day
We are making special mailboxes for Valentines Day. Please try to send an empty tissue box to school by Friday (February 4).  The children can bring their own cards for their friends on the Friday before Valentines Day. If you wish to send something to school for the children to enjoy during our 2nd nutrition break, please send something healthy and nut-free.

Valentines Day Snack Suggestions:
red apples
red pepper slices
red grapes
watermelon cubes
dried cranberries

Additional Reminders
INDOOR SHOES – the children need to remember to bring indoor shoes to school everyday.
WARM OUTDOOR WEAR – we need warm mittens, hats, boots, and snow pants everyday.

At our January celebration assembly, we acknowledge the amazing efforts of our students!
Rahma – Achievement Award
Madison – Effort Award
Aidan – Character Award-Perseverance

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Point of View

Our latest "critical learning pathway" is focusing on the Reading Expectation:
By the end of Grade 1, students will:

begin to identify, with support and direction, the speaker and the point of view presented in a text and suggest a possible alternative perspective (e.g., dramatize the story, taking on the role of different characters; create drawings, paintings, or models to represent the perspective of different characters in a text).

To help the students begin to understand what the term "point of view" means, we read Amy Krouse Rosenthal's book, Duck! Rabbit! today. We created a chart that illustrates the two points of view presented in the text AND the evidence provided. Students chose the point of view that they strongly agreed with and practiced supporting their chosen perspective with three pieces of evidence from the text.

What do you see?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Welcome Back!

I hope everyone enjoyed the two week holiday! It is great to be back and ready to start the new year off with some exciting activities. We are also nearing the end of Term One; report cards will be sent home in February.

This month we will continue working on instructional/procedural writing. The children will continue to write their “HOW-TO books” that will teach the reader how to do something. We will also begin work on persuasive writing to compliment our critical learning pathway focus on ‘point of view’.

Reading and rereading some traditional stories will help us develop an understanding of “point of view”. We will read and work on retelling several stories from different characters’ perspectives. Our literacy focus will be on beginning to identify, with support and direction, the speaker and the point of view presented in a text and suggest a possible alternative perspective in the stories that we listen to as well as in the books we read during Guided Reading. We will be adding some new ‘story bits’ to our bags this month as well!

We will resume the “Take-Home Reading program” today. If you have not already done so, please make the commitment to read with your child at home every night. It is the most worthwhile 20 minutes you can spend with your child and the payoff in your child’s reading ability will be tangible! I have already seen the difference – reading and daily practice of the new “word wall words” has had so far this year.

Math Homework bags will also begin this month. I appreciate your participation in this program and I
am looking forward to hearing your feedback. Math bags go home on Mondays and should be returned on Thursdays for reorganization and redistribution.

Dates to Remember
Jan. 10 Back to School!
Jan. 27 Kindergarten Open House
Jan. 27 Family Literacy Day
In 2011, Canadians will Play for Literacy! Playing games that encourage literacy and numeracy - such as board games, card games and word games - is a great way for parents and children to practice their literacy skills and have fun.

Jan. 31 P.D. Day (no school for students)

Helping Your Child to Become Independent
I couldn’t help but notice that a lot of children have returned to school with new shoes. Many of these new shoes have laces that require tying. I hope that you will work with your child to help him/her learn to tie shoes independently. I know from experience that this can be a challenging skill to master. I have shown those students who have been requesting help from me 2 different methods of tying. I have asked them to practice at home and find out which method works best for them.
I have included a couple of rhymes that I have found helpful to repeat when tying laces.
The Two-Loop Method
You take one lace and make a loop (bunny ear),
Take the other lace and make another loop (bunny ear).
Fold one under the other and viola! - Tied shoes!
The Big Kid Method
Build a tee pee, Come inside,
Bring a friend. Close it tight so we can hide.
Over the mountain, And around we go.
Here’s my arrow, and here’s my bow!

• Keep tension tight on the laces
• Cross laces to make an X
• Pinch the center of the X (build a teepee)
• Loop one string over and through the bottom (come inside)
• Bring the same string through again (bring a friend)
• Pull the laces tight and keep tension in the laces (close it tight)
• Keep tension on both laces. Stick out a pointer finger
• Loop the lace over the finger, pinching close to the shoe (over the mountain)
• Pull pointer finger out
• Bring the free lace all the way around the loop (and around we go)
• Push the same lace through (here’s my arrow) the hole made close to the loop (and here’s my bow)

During December, our character trait was RESPECT in the classroom and in the school community. Congratulations to our December award recipients!
Chris for Academic Achievement
Holly for Effort
Sydney for Respect