Welcome to AAS Grade 1!

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Welcome to the Anglo-American School of Moscow’s Grade 1 Team Blog. Here you will find what’s happening in Grade 1 classrooms, student work and much more. Please check back often and feel free to leave us a message with your ideas, links and good thoughts.

Friday October 24, 2014

Halloween Parties – Thank you to all the parents who sent in treats and helped with decorations. Special thanks to all of the first grade room parents for organizing the class parties.

Autumn Break – Safe journeys to all who are travelling! Enjoy the break! See you back on Monday, November 3. Don’t forget that our clocks will go back one hour on October 26.

Afterschool Activities – The sign-up for afterschool activities has been open for some time. Did you remember to sign your child up for an activity? The next session starts immediately after the break.

How We Express Ourselves – As we discuss the ways we think, the students are beginning to see different perspectives. We have begun to use our creative thinking to solve problems and improve objects. Thank-you for all of the recyclables that help inspire our creativity!

Reading and writing – We continue to read and write poetry in class as well as small moment stories. Many students have shared poems they found or have written at home. Encourage your child to share a favorite poem. Don’t forget to share your favorite poems with your child as well.

Word Work –We will continue to work on the short o sound (as in hot, sock) after the break. Can your child sound out these sentences with the short vowel sounds we have worked on thus far?

That black cat will hop on the witch’s hat.

He can hit that flat rock with a big stick.

Visiting Author – After the break we will meet visiting author/illustrator, Harry Bliss. Check out the Library section of the Elementary Express to learn more.

Math Focus after the break:

Count back in ones from any 2 digit number not crossing a ten    28 –  6  =  ____   (On a number line find 28 and jump back 6)

Count back in ones crossing a ten, begin to think about breaking up numbers to move back to the next ten, and then subtract the rest.    34  –  6  =  ____      (Begin with 34  –  4 = 30, then 30 –  2 = 28)

Home Connection:  Begin with practice counting backwards from any 2-digit number, then try some subtraction using a number line.) This will be new for most students and it is important to use a number line to count back, so students begin to understand that taking away or subtraction is moving back on the number line and numbers will be smaller. If you have a tape-measure, this works great as a number line to 100.

Number line Game: Use two 30 cm rulers, a die and 2 different colored elastic bands. Both players wrap their band around the ruler, beginning at 30. Roll the die, move your band back that many spaces. The first one to zero is the winner.

Field Trip – We are looking forward to extending our thinking and changing our perspectives as we explore the hands-on exhibits at Experimentanium on November 11 and 12. Look for our permission slips (and your opportunity to chaperone) coming home after the break.

Important Dates:

October 27-31  –  Autumn Break – No School

November 3 – Back in school

November 3 – Session 2 afterschool activities begin

November 11, 12 –  Field trip to Experimentanium (see http://www.experimentanium.ru/)

Thursday, November 27 – Student led conferences

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Friday, 17 October, 2014

Costumes on Friday! We will wear our Halloween costumes to school on Friday (Please do not send guns, swords, or other play weapons). The day will culminate with an elementary assembly at 2:00 and our class parties at 2:30. Thank you to all who have helped organize or have volunteered to send something in for the class parties!

How We Express Ourselves – We are thinking about our thinking in this unit. Are there different ways of thinking? The first graders will be introduced to some of DeBono’s thinking hats as we inquire about our own thinking and the perspectives of others. Along with our poetry writing, we will continue to show our creative thinking in many ways. Thank you for all of the recyclables! We continue to collect:

  • Paper/toilet rolls
  • Egg cartons
  • Small boxes such as cereal boxes
  • Large and small milk and juice cartons, yogurt cartons (clean)
  • Fabric/yarn scraps, buttons, ribbon etc.
  • Cards, magazines (child friendly)

Please send things in as you collect them as we will be using them throughout the unit!

Reading and writing – As we have worked on the short a and i sounds, your child should be able to read and write these words. Play with the words by changing the beginning sound to create rhyming words.

hat      can     Dad     and                 win     sit       him      is       ill

cat      man    sad      ant                 fin      hit       trim     his      will

that     fan      mad    ask                 bin      bit       swim   this     spill

Need more of a challenge?

  trash    smash  blast    bath     flat       stick     slip       quick    fantastic

Poetry – Many students have shared poems they found or have written at home. Encourage your child to share a favorite poem.

Math Focus for Next Week:

  • Use the names of common 2D and 3D shapes and describe features
  • Begin to recognize line of symmetry and symmetrical patterns.

Math at Home: Often butterflies come to mind when we begin talking about lines of symmetry. Have your child create a drawing of a symmetrical butterfly. Look for objects with a line of symmetry in the home. If you could fold it in half, would both sides be the same?

Home Connection:  Use foil, newspaper, wrapping paper, etc. to wrap a shape from home (milk carton, box, ball, etc). Bring it in to school so classmates can identify the shape and then guess what is inside.

After School Activities

The present session of After School Activities ends today. Don’t forget to pick up your child right after school every day next week, unless they have Mother Tongue language classes, in which case they will continue to be escorted to the cafeteria to wait for their language teacher.

A new activity session begins 3rd November, the first day after the break.

Playground Rules:

Please remind your children that rough play fighting is not permitted at school. This rule is in place to keep all the children safe. If a child is hurt while at recess they are asked to tell a teacher on duty.

Important Dates

Friday, October 17 – After school activities session 1 finishes No Activities next week.

Saturday, October 18 – Craft Fair

Friday, October 24 – Elementary School celebrates Halloween – all students come to school in costume

October 27-31 – Autumn Break – No School

Monday, November 3 – Second after school activity session begins

November 11, 12 field trip to Experimentanium (see http://www.experimentanium.ru/ for information on what kinds of things this organization offers)

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Friday October 10th, 2014

How We Express Ourselves – We began the unit this week with a forest walk to help inspire us to write and create. Thank you for all of the recyclables! We used some of them as we created images of autumn. Ask your child about his/her project. Throughout the unit we will be doing a number of creative activities and we would like your continued help in collecting recyclable items such as the following:

  • Paper/toilet rolls
  • Egg cartons
  • Small boxes such as cereal boxes
  • Large and small milk and juice cartons, yogurt cartons (clean)
  • Fabric/yarn scraps, buttons, ribbon etc.
  • Cards, magazines (child friendly)

This unit also focuses on different ways of thinking, and attending to other people’s perspectives. The children will be thinking about problems in creative ways to find solutions. The problem may be about playing at recess, how to write a poem or share materials. It may also involve thinking through a math problem and using different strategies to come up with the answer. Please encourage your child to problem solve at home also (“Oh, you can’t open that cheese stick. How might you solve this problem?” etc.)

Please send things in as you collect them as we will be using them throughout the unit!

Reading and writing – We’ve begun reading and writing poetry this week. Just like with our “small moment” writing, you can help your child generate ideas for poems. Any events, experiences, likes, dislikes, wonderings, can be subjects for poems. Remember to share your favorite poems with your child.

Spelling and Phonics – Each week in the homework you child is coming home with 6 words to learn to read and spell. Please practice these words with your child. The children will be talking about vowels and consonants in class and using vowels in their writing (at least one vowel for each syllable). Often children hear the beginning and ending consonants and leave out the vowels when writing words.

a e i o u

(and sometimes y)

Math Focus for Next Week:

  • Use units of time: hours in a day, days in a week, months in a year, seasonsThe goal is to have an understanding of time. Talk about the time throughout the day. We get up at six o’clock. We have dinner at 7:00 pm or 19:00. What will we be doing at 12:00 midnight? We are not learning to read times on the clock as yet, but does your child know about how long 1 minute is. What can you do for 1 minute? How long is an hour? What takes about 1 hour to do?
  • Home Connection:  Practice saying the names of the days of the week and months of the year. Does your child know what happens on a Monday? Saturday? Does he/she know which are the cold months? Summer months? (northern or southern hemisphere)

Fire Drill Practice – Our fire drill practice on Wednesday went very well. All of the first grade children were very responsible in their behavior during the practice.

This is a good time to ask you to make sure that your child wears good indoor shoes that can be worn outside if the fire bell rings and we have to vacate the building immediately. No sandals or open toed shoes! Thanks!

Important Dates

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our Canadian Friends!  Canadian Thanksgiving is Monday

Friday, October 17 – After school activity session 1 finishes

Friday, October 24 – Elementary School celebrates Halloween – all students come to school in costume

October 27-31  –  Autumn Break – No School

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Boots and Rain jackets Monday! – All first grade classes have scheduled a walk in the forest on Monday to inspire us as we begin our new unit of study. We will go ahead with our walk even if there is a light rain so please make sure your child has waterproof boots and jacket on Monday.

How We Express Ourselves – We will be starting a new unit of inquiry after the long weekend. In this unit we will be looking at different ways of expressing ideas, feelings, values etc. We will be exploring different ways of thinking, attending to other people’s perspectives, reflecting on our own thinking and how these things may affect how we act and express ourselves. We will be doing a number of creative activities and we need your help in collecting recyclable items such as the following:

  • Paper/toilet rolls
  • Egg cartons
  • Small boxes such as cereal boxes
  • Large and small milk and juice cartons, yogurt cartons (clean)
  • Fabric/yarn scraps, buttons, ribbon etc.
  • Cards, magazines (child friendly) 

Please send things in as you collect them as we will begin using them early next week!

Reading and writing – with the new unit we will begin to read and reflect on poetry, and also learning how to write our own poems. If you have any favorite poems that you would like to share with us, please do let us know. We are not focusing only on rhyming poetry, but also looking at free verse poems. Traditional or sentimental poems shared within families would also be most welcome.

Math Focus for Next Week:

  • Estimate measure and compare lengths using standard units: centimeters and meters
  • Use a ruler to draw and measure lines to the nearest centimeter
  • Recognize the relationship between meters and centimeters 

Estimate at home – Think about our school rulers that are 30 centimeters. Can you find other objects that are about 30 centimeters in your house? Think about our tens sticks at school. They are 10 centimeters. Can you find other objects that are about 10 centimeters? Think of a meter stick. Look at objects around your house. Can you find things that are more than a meter? Less than a meter?

Swimming – Here is your swim day reminder.

1DC Carrie Drew’s Class – Tuesdays

1FJ Jayne Franklin’s Class – Wednesdays

1HM Monique Horvath’s Class – Wednesdays

1MA Alyssa McKillip’s Class – Wednesdays

1WL Lara Wolf’s Class – Thursdays

If your child will not swim for any reason, please send a note or email to his/her classroom teacher.

Important Dates

Friday, October 17 – After school activity session 1 finishes

Friday, October 24 – Elementary School celebrates Halloween – all students come to school in costume

October 27-31  –  Autumn Break – No School

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Friday, September 26, 2014

 

No School Thursday and Friday Next Week!  Safe journeys to all who are traveling!

How We Organize Ourselves – Our unit on organizations culminates next week with a look at our own roles and responsibilities in our school. Some classes have used this unit to help develop Essential Agreements for the classroom that will guide our work and play throughout the year.

Writing – Remind your child that Stories are everywhere! Any experience or event can be a subject for writing.  Assist us in helping your child generate story ideas by talking about everyday happenings – waking up, a pet, a loose tooth, fall off the scooter, visit to Grandmas, going to the beach, etc. Make a point of telling you child that these ‘small moments’ would be a great topic for a story in class. They do not automatically make that connection on their own and thinking up a topic for a story is one the most challenging things in the writing process for many first graders.

Homework – Due to our shorter school week, we will keep the same homework choice boards and work on the short i sound (as in lip) for the next two weeks.

 Math Focus for the Next Two Weeks:

  • Estimate, measure and compare lengths in centimeters, use a ruler
  • Estimate, measure and compare lengths in meters Homework tip: Doing homework in the same place and time every day really helps to build a homework habit and helps kids begin to take responsibility for their work.

Estimate at home – Think about our school rulers that are 30 centimeters. Can you find other objects that are about 30 centimeters in your house? Think about our tens sticks at school. They are 10 centimeters. Can you find other objects that are about 10 centimeters? Think of a meter stick. Look at objects around your house. Can you find things that are more than a meter? Less than a meter?

Dress for the Weather:  The weather is changing very quickly and it is becoming quite cold outside. Please make sure that your child is dressed appropriately for the weather. The children will go out for recess unless the temperature drops below -20 degrees Celsius.

Help! The sweaters, sweatshirts and jackets are piling up in “Lost and Found”! Please put your child’s name in all of these items. Labeled clothing gets back to the owner much more quickly and rarely ends up in the lost clothing closets. Please help us with this.

Important Dates:

Thursday, Friday October 2, 3: No School – staff development

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September 19th, 2014

How We Organize Ourselves – Next week we are wrapping up our investigation of organizations – and in particular our school organization. Classes have been discussing the roles and responsibilities we have at school and what might happen if someone does not fulfill his/her responsibility.

 Homework – Although we have been bringing books home for daily reading already, Monday we begin bringing home our notebooks with our homework choice boards.

Here are some homework tips:

  • 10 minutes of reading, and 10 minutes to complete one of the homework boxes
  • Your child will also bring home word cards with the sounds we are concentrating on that week. Read, use them in sentences, tell rhyming words or other words with this sound.
  • Choose one of the boxes that best suits your child and adapt it as you see fit
  • Work is done in the homework notebook itself
  • Choose the same time and place every day to help build a consistent homework habit (If one day is very busy with activities outside of school, perhaps you choose not to do a box that day.)
  • No stress involved, you and your child choose what will be done
  • Homework is an answer to the question “What are you doing in school?”
  • Concerns? Please let your child’s teacher know

Writing – Remember you can assist us in helping your child generate story ideas by talking about everyday happenings or events that your child experiences – loose tooth, fall off the scooter, visit to Grandmas, etc. Stories are everywhere!

 Math Focus for Next Week:

  • Addition and subtraction facts for pairs that total up to 9 (3 and 4 make 7)
  • Relate addition and subtraction facts to missing number sentences (3 + ? = 7)

Counters in a Cup Game – a great way to practice our math objectives for next week! Begin with 5 counters (coins, paperclips, legos, etc.), put some in a cup and leave the rest out on the table. Your child tells how many are hidden in the cup and makes an addition or subtraction sentence from it (2 + 3 = 5, or 5 – 2 = 3) If this is easy, try it with 6 counters, 7, more!

Conferences – It was great to meet with you today. Thanks for being part of your child’s goal setting conference. If you have any questions or concerns about school, please email your child’s classroom teacher.

 Swimming

If your child will not swim for any reason, please send a note or email to his/her classroom teacher.

Morning Arrival Routine

A number of the students arrive at school in the mornings from 8am onwards. The teachers and assistants are collecting resources, discussing the plans for the day, and possibly meeting with other teachers, specialists or parents. If students arrive early, we ask if they please leave their backpack against the wall of their classroom and head outside where there is supervision, until the teacher or assistant picks them up at 8:25am. Alternatively, if the student is with a parent or other adult, they may wait with them in the lounge area (by the cafeteria) until 8:25am and then come to the classroom. For those students coming to school by bus, we ask that parents discuss these morning routines with their children. We thank you for your understanding and look forward to greeting you at 8:25am (or 9:10am on Wednesday mornings).

 

Important Dates

Thursday, Friday October 2, 3: No School – staff development

 

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September 12th, 2014

How We Organize Ourselves – Our final weeks of this unit on Organizations will include a closer look at our school, our mission, and the connections and interdependence between departments. Parents, we would love to hear about your organization and the mission that drives it. In a couple of sentences could you share your company’s mission/goal and a simplified explanation of the structural composition with your child’s classroom teacher by email? 

Reading – As we learn to choose “just right” books, most of us are selecting books and bringing them home each day. Please read with your child every day. Our love of learning begins with a love of reading. Please remember to return classroom books every day even if your child did not get a chance to read them.

Writing – In writing we are focusing on “small moments” as story topics. Small moments are a snippet of time in which something occurs that may be suitable for your child to write about; for example a walk through the forest, roller blading on the weekend, baking cookies etc. Talking with your child on the way to school in the mornings, and giving them ideas for writing topics greatly enhances their ability to think of story topics.

Math Focus for Next Week:

  • Add by counting on in 1s from the larger number, crossing a multiple of 10 (5 + 38 = ? Begin with the biggest number – 38, hold up 5 fingers and count on 39, 40, 41, 42, 43) Order numbers up to 100 and position them on a 100-square.

Counters in a Cup Game – Begin with 5 counters (coins, paperclips, legos, etc.), put some in a cup and leave the rest out on the table. Your child tells how many are hidden in the cup and makes an addition or subtraction sentence from it (2 + 3 = 5, or 5 – 2 = 3) If this is easy, try it with 6 counters, 7, more!

Indoor Shoes – Children should have indoor shoes left in their lockers that are changed into when they arrive at school. These can also be their PE shoes. Outdoor shoes are not also to be worn in PE. Please no open-toed shoes.

After School Activities – How does my child get there? (Better late than never!) – Each day, children with activities will be walked to the cafeteria at 3:20 where they will eat a snack from home, or use their lunch card to purchase a snack. Each activity leader will meet the children in the cafeteria. All students should be picked up at 4:30 outside of their activity area.  Please make sure drivers, nannies and bus monitors are aware of the changes to pick-up schedules for activities and mother tongue language classes.

Girl scouts, afterschool swimming and mother tongue language class: please make your own arrangements to get your child to the right location.

Conferences on Friday – We look forward to meeting with you and your child on Friday for our Goal Setting Conferences. If you have not signed up for a time, please do so. If you cannot be there for any reason, please let your child’s classroom teacher know, so alternative arrangements can be made if possible. Children are requested to wear their formal uniform for their scheduled conference.

 

Swimming – Here is your swim day reminder.

1DC Carrie Drew’s Class – Tuesdays

1FJ Jayne Franklin’s Class – Wednesdays

1HM Monique Horvath’s Class – Wednesdays

1MA Alyssa McKillip’s Class – Wednesdays

1WL Lara Wolf’s Class – Thursdays

If your child will not swim for any reason, please send a note or email to his/her classroom teacher.

Important Dates

Friday:  No school – Parent/student/teacher Goal Setting Conferences

Thursday, Friday October 2, 3: No School – staff development

The Blog will be updated every Friday. Please subscribe to get notifications.