Happy New Year!
Welcome back! I hope that you had a wonderful break that was spent with family and friends.
We are well underway in our learning as we charge towards the end of the first term. We have talked a lot about how the train has left the station and that everyone needs to be onboard in terms of wanting to learn and being prepared to work hard each and every day.
Thus far we have been focusing hard on our writing skills and in particular sounding out words to spell what we are trying to say. Perseverance and a lot of effort is being demanded from the students as we work towards becoming more independent in our work.
In Math, we are continuing forward in addition to 10 and 10 plus X (10 + 3, 10 + 5 etc). We continuously visit the strategies we have developed and practiced in class (e.g.: making 5, making 10, doubles, doubles +1 etc.). It is so very important for students to be practicing these foundational math facts (making 5, making 10, doubles, doubles +1) in order to be able to apply the strategies to the problem solving in the classroom. We will be exploring additional ideas in geometry and measurement over the next couple of weeks as well.
As in the past, I will be contacting families in regard to student progress, specifically students who are struggling academically. Report cards are beginning to be drafted (to be sent home February 14th), and I want to be as transparent with all learning challenges as I can.
1. Popcorn Days: Popcorn is sold each Friday (Thursday when Friday is a PD Day or holiday) for $1.50 per bag. Students can choose from 7 different flavours and enjoy it for snack at second nutrition break.
2. Library: We will be visiting the school library for the first time this Wednesday. Students will be able to borrow 1 book for one week. Once the book is returned to the school library, a new book may be borrowed.
3. Student Activity Fee: If you have not submitted the $20 student activity fee, we are looking to wrap up our planning based on funds received. If you have any questions about the activity fee or require assistance, please do not hesitate to contact the school office.
4. Lunches: Just a reminder to keep special treats to a minimum in your child's lunch. We are respectful to each child's tastes, we are also promoting healthy and active lifestyles including healthy food options.
5. Movie Night: A flyer was sent home last week in regards to the Parent Council movie night for January 19th in the school gym. Please check your child's green communication book for more details. Movie: Boss Baby
I receive many messages and talk with many parents on a weekly basis asking about what we are learning in the classroom. Your child is the best source of information as to what we are learning about. I encourage you to not only ask them what they are learning about, but to have them draw or write about what they are learning about. A lot of times, students at this age do not have the vocabulary to describe their learning, but are able to provide a picture/drawing that can provide a discussion point.
The grade 1 train has officially left the station and I thank you for your continued support. We have lots of ground left to cover, but we will take it at the pace the students are able to handle.
Have a great week (and stay warm!)
Although I hate to admit it, I think we are into the cold, winter weather! We were so thankful that the sun was shining today and the temperatures were not so bone chilling.
Thank you to everyone who was able to make it to the Parent Teacher meetings held last week. I hope it provided you with a brief window into your son or daughter's learning and the path as to which we are trying to take through Grade 1. If you would like to follow up your meeting with any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time. I try to keep Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings before school available for parent meetings as well as the occasional Wednesday or Thursday immediately after school, should you wish to meet in person. Please note that this is NOT a drop in meeting time, but times that can be pre-booked to meet with me (based on availability).; If you had requested a phone meeting, I am in the process of scheduling appropriate times to conduct them.
Big Ideas for this week:
Math: wrapping up patterning (repeating patterns, identifying core of a pattern, extending patterns, naming patterns); 2D geometry (naming shapes, number of sides, number of vertices), number talks (addition)
Language: reading sight word poem, building full and complete sentences, retell and summarizing stories, phonemic awareness (letter recognition and sounds)
Science: animals in the seasons (migration, hibernation, adaptation, burrow), nocturnal & diurnal animals
Health: Keeping our bodies healthy (mentally, physically, emotionally)
Music: Making music with our bodies, connecting music to patterning in math
1. Family Photo: Please do not forget to send a framed (small) family photo to school as a part of our social studies unit on family, community and responsibility. Students will be sharing their photo with the class as they describe their family (naming people & their position in the family i.e. My dad is Jim, my mom is Jackie etc). This is an important task for students to participate in as it is their first oral communication presentation to the larger group of students. All family photos and frames will be returned to you once we are moving on from this topic.
2. Popcorn Day: Popcorn day is every Friday (or Thursday if Friday is a holiday). Students can choose from 7 different flavours to enjoy at second snack time (afternoon snack time). Each bag sells for $1.50 and all monies raised goes back to student programming and workshops. Exact money only as we are unable track down change.
3. Extra Mittens: Please include an extra (or several extra) pairs of mittens or gloves in your child's backpack. There is no where for us to dry the wet mittens between recesses and it is imperative that each child be dressed for the elements outside. Also, please label BOTH mittens/gloves in each set as it is easier to return stay mittens than to try and find a stray mitten.
4. Holiday Celebration: The tentative date for the holiday celebration is Wednesday, December 20th at 9:30 am in the gym. Once the date and time is confirmed I will communicate that further. We are practicing another piece of sign language to perform during the celebration.
5. Extended Holidays: If you know you will be on extended holidays (or any holidays during regular school days), please let us know as soon as possible. Students missing more than 5 consecutive school days must provide WRITTEN notice to the school indicating the departure date and return date.
Hard to believe that December is right at our doorstep at the end of this week! Where has time gone?!
Have a great week!
I hope everyone has survived the arrival of the winter weather. It is an adjustment all around from driving conditions to getting everyone dressed and out the door on time. We have had lots of practice the last few days in getting all of our outdoor gear on and I am hopeful that we will get better (and faster) at getting dressed.
This week is a short week for students as teachers are hosting parent meetings on Thursday evening and Friday morning. Please check your child's communication book for a confirmation notice with the date, time and room location. All meetings will be 15 minutes in length. Please be prompt for your meeting time as the schedule is full. If you are unable to make the time indicated on your confirmation notice, please communicate with me as soon as possible.
Topics by Subject:
Language Arts: -at family of words; reading comprehension strategy of beginning, middle and end; writing full and complete sentences (without focusing on correct spelling of thematic or special words)
Math: mental math strategies of adding to 5 and 10, adding doubles; introduction to group work; using math tools in our problem solving; patterning (identifying the core of a pattern, what makes a pattern, and naming patterns)
Science: How animals deal with seasonal changes (hibernation, adaptation, migrations, gathering & borrowing)
Health: how do we stay healthy (mentally, physically, emotionally)
Other Important Reminders
1. Student Activity Fee: a letter outlining most of the events and activities for this year was sent home with your child's report card. An activity fee of $20 is being asked from all students in kindergarten to grade 3 to cover the costs of workshops and field trips for the students. Please submit all activity fees ASAP. Thank you to those that have already sent the money in. Without these funds, workshops and field trips will not be able to be offered.
2. Outdoor clothing: now that the winter weather is literally upon us, please make sure to dress your child appropriately to enjoy recesses outside. Extra mittens, gloves and socks are always in high demand, especially in the afternoons. Please pack an extra pair or two in your child's bag because we have no way of drying mittens/gloves throughout the day.
3. Family Photo: We will be continuing our segment on Families in social studies and would like all students to bring in a family photo in a small frame to share with the class. Students will be asked to identify their family by name and if their siblings are older or younger. We would like to display the family photos on our science/social studies table so that students have an opportunity to look at other photos and read materials related to families. A frame is requested as we do not have wall space to hang the photos, therefore a small frame would allow the photos to be displayed on the table.
4. Lunches: Just a reminder that students have 2 snack times and a lunch time each day. Packing a balanced lunch bag with fruit, vegetables, yogurt, crackers etc will allow students to have multiple healthy options. If you have packed yogurt, pudding, soup, rice, noodles etc., please remember to pack a fork or spoon. We have gone through over 150 plastic spoons and forks thus far and it is a cost that is not covered by the school.
5. Extra Clothing: When you come for your parent meeting at the end of this week, please take the time to check your child's ziplock bag of extra clothing to ensure that it is weather/season appropriate and that it still fits.
I am attempting to find time to upload a large number of photos about our learning in the classroom over the past several weeks. Once they are posted, please ask your child what the photo is about or what we were talking about when I took the picture. They are the best source of information as to what we are learning in the classroom. Often we hear the response of "nothing" or " I don't remember", but showing them a photo may help jog their memory as to what happened throughout the day. Here is a good list of questions to ask instead of "how was your day today?" or "what did you learn today".
I look forward to meeting everyone this week during our parent teacher meetings. As always, if you have any questions in the mean time, please do not hesitate to communicate with me.
The week is off and running! I hope that you have had a chance to review your child's report card and talk about your child's strengths and areas of need. We are always moving forward and learning tends to change rapidly and frequently. If you have not yet already signed and returned the slip, please do so. Also, please return the green form asking for interview preference time for November 23rd and 24th. We will try our best to accommodate all requests, however it is not always possible.
I thought it was important to provide you with the expectations for grade 1 students in Ontario. This is a checklist format document that is a simplified version of the official Ministry of Education documents. Please refer to this document frequently to see what students are expected to be able to do independently by the end of grade 1.
Shoeboxes for the North
As a school we have taken on the initiative of filling 2 shoe boxes per class for children in Canada's north. We are asking families to donate items to fill the shoe boxes. Our class will be focusing our 2 boxes, a girl and a boy between the ages of 6-8 years old. All items must be new and in original package. Think about what small items your child has fun with that would fit in the shoe box. No food is permitted. All donations will be accepted until the end of November. Please see the link below for more ideas and information about our shoebox campaign.
This Week's Focus:
Math: Patterns & non-patterns; how to tackle group work & problem solving; introduction to problem solving
Language: Reading comprehension strategies of beginning, middle, end and retell; creating and writing complete sentences; phonetic letter sounds and letter blends
Social Studies: Family
Science: Seasonal changes (Summer to Fall, Fall to Winter)
Art: Primary Colours
Music: Introduction to different beats; sounds we can make with our body (clapping, stomping, snapping etc)
Health: Germs; healthy living
1. Appropriate Dress: Now that the cold weather is upon us in a bone chilling way, it is imperative that each child be dressed appropriately to play outside. Students must have hats, mitts/gloves, jacket, snow pants, and boots in order to be comfortable to play outside at each recess. Students are not kept inside during cold weather until the temperature hits -25 degrees celsius with the wind.
2. Green Communication folder: Please check and remove all papers in your child's green communication folder on a daily basis. Items in the pocket on the left hand side are items to be left at home.
3. Lunch Program: Tonight is the last night to order and pay for any of the 3 lunch program options. I sent the link over the weekend should this be of interest to you. All money raised going towards Parent School council initiatives that are all student centered.
4. Milk Program: Lunch time milk program orders are due this Thursday (November 16th). Forms (I believe they were purple) were sent home last week.
5. Photo Retake day: School photo retake day is this Thursday (November 16th). Only those students who have a note indicating that they are to have their photo redone will be taken for their photo.
6. Movie Night: Parent School Council is having their first movie night of the year this Friday (November 17th) in the school gym. The movie will be Captain Underpants. A notice was sent home last week with exact details about cost, food etc.
7. Student Activity Fee: A pink letter was included in the envelope with your child's report card outlining the events and activities we are anticipating to participate in this year. A student activity fee of $20 is being asked for each student from kindergarten to grade 3 to cover the costs for the activities that require costs. You will have noticed that there are a large number of free programs and activities that students will partake in. Should you require financial assistance, please contact Mrs. Tammy McCormack in confidence.
Thank you for your continued support with classroom initiatives and student learning.
We are off to a wet start to the week, one that feels like we live in a tropical location that experiences hurricanes and tropical storms. I hope everything is safe and dry as we wait for these storms to pass. Thank you to those that sent apples last week for our apple sauce. The students were split in their taste for our creation, but there certainly wasn't any left at the end of the day!
This week is one of much excitement around Halloween. We are trying to keep things as normal as possible to ensure that learning is always at the forefront. Tomorrow we will have MathMash in the gym from 9:30-11 am. All primary grades (grades 1-3) will be participating in a rotation of math games lead by our intermediate students. Parents are more the welcome to come, see and lend a hand. Please sign in at the office before proceeding to the gym. Students are permitted to wear the costumes tomorrow morning to the math games, however all accessories including masks, swords, shields, fake blood etc. are not permitted at school. Please remind your child that it is their responsibility to keep their costume safe and return it home for the evenings festivities.
All of our learning this week will focus around a central theme of pumpkins. We will be looking at the life cycle of a pumpkin in science, measurement of pumpkins in math and of course reading and writing about pumpkins in Language. Today students wrote wonderful descriptive writing pieces of a haunted house and painted their Frakenbuddy with watercolours.
Report cards are in the process of being written. Student progress is always top of mind for all teachers and parents. As a part of being transparent with your child's progress I will be contacting all families by the end of the week should their child be demonstrating difficulty in any subject areas. We will be able to meet to discuss these difficulties and create a road map to help guide the student moving forward.
Due to the wet weather in the school yard, please be sure to send your child with appropriate outdoor wear including rain boots, warm coat and extra clothing. Extra clothing is necessary should your child fall into or be splashed by a puddle.
Dates to Remember:
Oct. 31- MathMash math games in the gym
Nov. 2nd- Mrs Ranger at Math PD
Nov. 3rd- Scholastic Orders due
Nov. 6th- School picture orders due to the main office
Nov. 9th- Report Cards sent home
Nov. 10- Official School opening & Remembrance Day ceremony
Nov. 10- Mrs. Ranger at Math Leadership conference
Nov. 24&25- Parent Teacher Interviews
Lastly. please refrain from providing candy or treats in your child's lunch. While it is a great surprise, it is not ideal for learning. Should students have excess sugar/treats in their lunch, they will be asked to put them in their school bag to be eaten at home. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
I look forward to another busy week of learning and excitement.
This week is off to a fast start. Our days are full of so much learning that we run out of time to fit it all in.
English Language Arts
- thematic poem with sight words
- weekly sight words: it, the, blue, jump, three
- writing using word bank of thematic words
- composing 5
- reading bar graph of information gathered
- creating bar graph from information gathered
- using a numberline
- proportionality of a numberline
- seasonal changes of autumn
- life cycle of an apple
- apple inquiry
- safety & establishing expectations
- low organized games
- throwing & catching a variety of objects
We are still working on routines and expectations since it is just the beginning of our third week together. You help in reinforcing the expectations of learning and being prepared for school. Students are expected to bring their green communication folder to and from school each and everyday so that it is a vehicle of communication and collaboration. Please check this folder on a daily basis and remove all notices and handouts that are sent home. If you write a note in the communication book, please leave the book open to that page to indicate to the classroom educators that there is a note.
As the weather has been changing on what seems to be a daily basis, please be sure to send your child with appropriate clothing. The mornings are cool and all students must go outside for recess; therefore, warm jackets, sweaters, hats mitts etc. are strongly suggested. Also, please make sure that the bag of extra clothing in your child's bin is seasonably appropriate.
Halloween is coming up next Tuesday and plans are underway for a morning of math activities in the gym for all grade 1-3 students. We will follow up with smaller centres of activities in our own classroom in the afternoon. Students reminded that the activities in the morning will require movement between stations, therefore should they wear their costume, it must be one that is comfortable and flexible to participate. Masks, swords or shields are not permitted to be brought to school. Post Halloween, please refrain from adding treats and candy in your child's lunch. While it is a fun surprise for them, a class of 21 students eating sugary treats is not a conducive learning environment. Any further direction from administration will be communicated when available.
Upcoming Dates to Remember:
October 26- Mrs. Ranger away presenting at a conference
October 27- Guardians of the Children presentation @ 10am
October 31- Spooky Halloween Math morning
November 2- Mrs. Ranger away for Math PD
November 9- Report cards sent home
November 10- Mrs. Ranger away for Math leadership conference
November 10- Remembrance Day ceremony in gym @ 10am (all welcome)
November 23-24- Parent-Teacher Interviews (23rd evening & 24 morning)
November 24- PD Day for students
Welcome parents to our official grade 1 class for 2017-18 at Vimy Ridge!!
Thank you for your patience and understanding over the last month while we welcomed many new students and reorganized the classes to best support student learning. We have successfully settled all students into their permanent classes and learning is well under way.
I will be providing you with weekly updates (hopefully) on the learning happening in class to better help you support your child in the classroom and at home.
I am working on updating my webpage as well as our class Twitter account. Please be sure to bookmark both sites it keep up with our learning on a regular basis. (Note: Students will not be posting online themselves and only those who have indicated permission via the media release form will be included in any images online). Our class twitter account is a closed account so only those who request to follow us and are approved can view the posts.
Your child has been provided a GREEN communication book. In this plastic pocket folder you will find a pocket on the left for items and notices to be LEFT AT HOME, while the pocket on the right are items to be signed and returned promptly to school. PLEASE CHECK THIS FOLDER DAILY! Also inside the folder is a small notebook for communication between home and school. Please feel free to write me a note and I will be using the notebook as a way to communicate with you.
If at any time you have questions about any of the learning happening in the classroom, please do not hesitate to contact me.
This week's learning:
Language Arts: Guided reading poem "Fall Fun"; focus sight words (I, a, in, and, run), phonetic sounds (beginning sounds and blended letter sounds), punctuation at the end of a sentence (period, question mark and exclamation mark)
Math: Number talks (introduction and structure); daily graphing; favourite numbers; representing numbers via tally marks and ten frames
Science: Cycles vs sequence; where do we experience cycles (days of the week, months of the year, time, seasons etc)
Phys. Ed.: Terry Fox Run - $2 for donation for the Terry Fox Run in support of cancer research
Meet the Teacher 2.0:
Due to the class shuffle after meet the teacher night, Madame Dale (Core French teacher) and I would like to invite you to drop in to meet us on Thursday, October 12th anytime between 4-5:30 pm. We will be in our classroom (room 115) and willing to discuss our teaching philosophy, classroom structure and specific grade 1 expectations for the year. This is an informal meet and greet but lots of key information will be shared as to what to expect this year.
Please note that this is NOT a parent teacher interview where student progress is to be discussed.
We are fortunate enough to have Ms Crissi in our classroom every Friday as a part of her student teaching practicum from SUNY Potsdam. Ms Crissi will be working with all students over the next several months as she prepares for a future teaching career of her own.
Upcoming Dates to Remember:
Wednesday, October 11th- Terry Fox Run ($2 donation & wear red & white)
Thursday, October 12th- Meet the Teacher meet & greet 4-5:30 pm
Friday, October 13th- School photo day (do NOT wear green)
Tuesday, October 31st- Primary Math games morning
Friday, November 10th- Remembrance Day ceremony
Friday, November 24th- P.D. Day (Parent teacher Interviews)
How to Contact me:
Email is the best option to contact me. Although I do not respond during teaching time, I do periodically check my messages throughout the day.
I look forward to meeting you on Thursday after school and collaborating with you to best support your son or daughter in grade 1. Please do not hesitate to reach out if there is anything.
Have a great week!