Thought of the Month
"Reading should not be presented to children as a chore or duty. It should be offered to them as a precious gift." — Kate DiCamillo
During these initial weeks of school, our children has been learning how to decode multi-syllabic words and reviewing short vowels sounds. We have completed our first unit, "Look Who's Reading", and have begun second unit, "Where Animals Live’”. This comprehensive unit draws on the love and curiosity that children have for animals to expand their understanding of where and how animals live in the wild.
Please continue to practice blending strategies with your child at home. Blending is the heart of phonics instruction. Its purpose is to teach children a strategy for figuring out unfamiliar words. The ultimate goal of blending instruction is to have children sounding and blending only those words they cannot read. With diligence and patience, the blending process should become quick and comfortable for your child.
We are concluding our first math unit titled “How Many of Each?” Students have been exploring the math manipulatives and learning routines for cooperative activities. They have been counting groups of objects and developing a system for keeping track of what has been counted, and what remains to be counted. The students have also been solving basic story problems using symbols, words, and number sentences.
Many of us remember to encourage our children to read but often fail to promote creative writing as a pastime. Journaling is an excellent tool to help promote writing. As you are shopping this holiday season, pick up a journal or just a basic composition book for your child to record their thoughts, feelings, and ideas. They may choose to draw and label pictures or merely practice writing their letters and numbers correctly.
We have concluded our study of Conventions will be starting our study of the writing trait of Sentence Fluency. By the conclusion of first grade, your child should have a basic familiarity of all six writing traits. Although we study each trait individually, all traits are revisited throughout the school year especially during instructional read-alouds.
We have begun exploring the properties of solids through the use of 20 objects. Over the next few weeks we will discuss the 7 properties of solids and do several experiments to explore those properties. The properties are: color, shape, hardness, ability to roll, ability to stack, buoyancy in water, and magnetic. After observing and experimenting with the solids, we will then transition into the liquids portion of the unit.
In social studies, we have completed our Second Step Empathy Training unit and have begun our Problem Solving and Impulse Control unit. This unit teaches the students how to respond to social interactions thoughtfully rather than impulsively. To do this, thy learn problem solving steps that promote a neutral rather than hostile orientation toward peers.