Friday, November 16, 2018

Crazy Hair Day – It was a crazy day with crazy hair. Thanks for helping them participate in our spirit day!

Conferences – See you on Thursday –  There is no school Thursday, instead please accompany your child to school at your scheduled time to discuss goals and progress with the teacher. If you have not scheduled a conference yet, please contact the elementary office to do so. Students wear formal uniforms for the conference.

Your Child’s Progress – This week and next the first grade teachers are sending home some evidence of your child’s recent progress. You may have already seen our end of unit math assessment with teacher notes and a half-slip attached about meeting first grade standards at this time. You will also find a personal narrative form, highlighted to show what your child has done in our recent writing unit. You should also find a highlighted rubric from our recent Event Planning Unit. We hope you get a chance to look these over so that you can share any questions you may have at our conference next week.

How We Express Ourselves – Invention  – This week we focused on perspective in our inventions unit. Being a flexible thinker with the ability to see things from a different point of view and with a sense of empathy is an integral part of the design process. Ask your child about some of the projects he worked on this week. Did he look at objects, paintings, numbers in a different way? We will use our skills in perspective as we begin exploring problems and creating our inventions. Please continue to collect and send in your recyclables.

Save the date! – Wednesday, December 12 at 9:30 Holiday Concert – followed by Grade One Expo. After our holiday performance in the Bolshoi, parents are invited to our classrooms as we share our learning from our inventions unit. We hope you can join us!

Writing – The first graders have begun writing poetry. Do you remember any poems that you learned or wrote in school? Can you still recite them?! Share some poetry in your home language with your child.

A Note from the Elementary Student Council – The Student Council would like to encourage all students and families to support the Taganka Gift Giving Fund, taking place from November 20th to December 10th.  As a caring community, we would like to contribute Christmas gifts to the Taganka Foundation which is an organization that supports children with special needs. Your child will bring home a gift bag and more information on Monday. Of course, your participation is optional.

Important Dates:

Monday, November 19 – Taganka Gift Drive begins, fill a Holiday bag for a child in need

Thursday, November 22 – Parent\Student\Teacher conferences – No School

Wednesday, December 12 – Save the date! Holiday concert and First grade EXPO

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Friday, November 9, 2018

Friday is Crazy Hair Day – The student council invites us to show our spirit with crazy hair or hat day on Friday. We will wear our uniforms as usual, but all are welcome to go crazy on top.

Conferences – Our student/parent/teacher conferences are on Thursday, November 22. There is no school that day, instead you accompany your child to school at your scheduled time to discuss goals and progress with the teacher. You should have received an email from the ES office with instructions for signing up for your conferences. If you have any difficulty in this process, please contact the office. Students wear formal uniforms for the conference.

How We Organize Ourselves Event Planning – All of the classes have completed the event planning unit. The variety of events is evidence that each class made the unit their own. We had an art exhibition, a pumpkin day, a fall celebration, a treat day, and a “Be an Earth Protector . . . We Fight Plastic”  day. If you haven’t spoken to your child about his class event, please ask about it.

How We Express Ourselves – Invention  – Mr. O. helped provide the provocation for our new unit this week, by dropping eggs in the cafeteria. We learned that the carton does not always protect the eggs from breaking and set out to create a better egg holder. Each child worked with recyclables to construct his own egg container. We then tested them by climbing up and dropping them off of the playground equipment. Ask your child if his egg survived the drop and how he might improve his container. We will continue creating and inventing in the coming weeks.  Please continue to collect and send in your recyclables.

Reading – Thank you for keeping up with daily reading with your child. Our up-coming conferences will be a great time to let the teacher know if you feel your child is bringing home books that are “just right” for his reading level or if you have any concerns about reading.

Writing – As part of our How We Express Ourselves unit, we will begin reading and recording our observations about poetry. What is poetry? How is it different from other kinds of writing? As we take note of these differences, we will begin to write our own poems.

Math  – Get out the dominoes and practice addition strategies. Draw a domino and add – the highest wins. Does your child recognize a 4, 5 and 6 without counting? When he is adding, your child may count all of the dots. Then he may say one number (hopefully the largest) and count on. They should begin to recognize doubles and adding of 1, 2 or 3 automatically. The more often you play, the more efficient he will become.

Save the Date – Holiday Concert and First Grade Expo – Wednesday December 12th at 9:30, the first graders will be on stage performing in their holiday concert. Following the concert, parents will be invited to the classrooms as the first graders share their learning journey in their How We Express Ourselves unit.

Important Dates:

Friday, November 16 – Crazy Hair Spirit day

Monday, November 19 – Taganka Gift Drive begins, fill a Holiday bag for a child in need

Thursday, November 22 – Parent\Student\Teacher conferences – No School

Wednesday, December 12 – Save the date! Holiday concert and First grade EXPO

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Friday, November 2, 2018

Halloween  – Thank you to our class parents for organizing the first grade Halloween celebration, and thank you to all who contributed time or treats to the event! The kids loved it!

Activities Begin – New after school activities begin on Monday. Please make sure that all concerned are aware of your child’s schedule changes.

How We Organize Ourselves Event Planning – Some of the first grade classes had their events this week. One of the most important parts of the process is the reflection on how it went. Talk with your child about their classroom event. What are you planning? What was your part? How did you do? How did your group work together? What went well? What would you change if you did it again? Look for your child’s reflections on Seesaw in the next few weeks.

Help! Recyclables! – In preparation for our next unit about invention and the design process, we need your recyclables. Send in your boxes, milk or juice cartons, plastic bottles, egg cartons, fabric, ribbon, or anything else that might inspire our constructions. Please begin collecting this weekend and send in what you have on Monday. We will begin our constructions early next week and will continue collecting recyclables and creating through December.

Reading – As the temperatures dip, it is a good time to find a cozy spot to listen to your child each day. Please remember to send the books back to school.

Writing – Our week away from school inspired some great personal narratives. Although we will be moving on to another writing genre soon, we will return to some personal narrative writing later in the year. Ask your child about a writing piece s/he has been working on in class.

Math  – How about getting out the playing cards (or dominoes or dice) this week and playing Card War. It is a great way for your child to practice addition facts and strategies for adding two numbers. Begin with the ace, two, three, four, and five cards and divide them between partners. Each player turns over two cards and adds them. The highest number wins all four of the cards. What strategies does your child use? Is s/he saying the larger number and counting on? Does s/he recognize the doubles (2+2, 5+5, etc.) and find them easier? If s/he is ready for a greater challenge, add the 6s, 7s, etc.

Important Dates:

Monday, November 5 – New After School Activities begin

Thursday, November 22 – Parent\Student\Teacher conferences – No School

Wednesday, December 12 – Save the date! Holiday concert and First grade EXPO

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Friday, October 19, 2018

Enjoy the Autumn Break! Safe journeys to all who are traveling!

Halloween – All ES students come to school in costume on Wednesday, October 31. The first grade class party is at the end of the day. Parents are welcome to join the celebration (in costume or not!) at 14:30. Thank you to all of our class parents who have helped to organize this.

How We Organize Ourselves Event Planning – We continue to discuss events and their purposes. This week we turned our focus on the event we would like to plan and carry out with our classmates. Ask your children about the discussions happening in their classroom.

Reading – We are looking more closely at characters in our read-aloud stories. We are exploring external character traits (tall, glasses, dark hair, etc.) and the more important, internal character traits (something we don’t see that is harder to identify – bravery, honesty, greed, friendliness, etc). How does the author help us get to know a character? This can be a challenge for young readers, because it often requires making inferences based on a character’s actions. Talk about characters with your child when you are reading together. Is this a character you would want as a friend? Why or Why not?

Writing – With a week away from school, we are looking forward to some great personal narratives by first graders who are inspired by their activities and adventures away from school. The week may provide another opportunity to send in some photos to keep in our writing folders.

Math  – This week, first graders brought home a mid-module math assessment. It is a check-in for teachers to guide the direction of our lessons. You will see teacher notes on your child’s paper that may give you a better insight to their work. Will you be traveling over the break? Playing with coins of any currency is great math practice. Can your child count by tens? Use the tens and ones coins to practice counting and making two-digit numbers.

After School Activities – The sign-up for new activities began on October 17 and goes until the 30th. Look for the link on the Penguin Life page of the AAS website or in the ES News if you haven’t signed up already. The next session of activities begins the week of November 5. No Activities the week after the Autumn Break. Please insure that students and all who are concerned with pick-up, including bus companies, are aware of your child’s schedule changes.

Important Dates:

October 17-30 – Sign up for second session activities

October 22-26 – No School – Autumn Break

Wednesday, October 31 – Halloween celebration – students wear costumes to school

Monday, November 5 – New After School Activities begin

Thursday, November 22 – Parent\Student\Teacher conferences – No School

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Friday, October 12, 2018

How We Organize Ourselves Event Planning – We began our new unit this week with a an inquiry into events – What is an event?  Why do we have them? Our next steps will be to choose our own event to plan, prepare for, and host in the coming weeks.

Daily Reading – Thanks for reading daily with your child. Research shows the best way for students to make reading growth is with consistent practice reading “just right” books. We appreciate your daily efforts.

Writing – The first graders are producing more and beginning to build their writing stamina. They are learning how to stretch their personal narratives by adding details to their work. They can add interest to their stories with details about thinking, feeling, or action. Ask your child about his writing and how it is going.

Math  – Work on number sense with your child by playing Counters in a Cup. Begin with 5 counters (coins, legos, paperclips). Hide some in the cup and ask your child to tell how many are missing. Keep playing until your child can easily tell the missing number, then move on to six counters, seven, etc.

Last week of Activities – We have one week left in this activity session. Sign-up for new activities begins on October 17. Look for the link on the Penguin Life page of the AAS website or in the ES News. No Activities the week after the Autumn Break.

Planning Ahead for Halloween? – All elementary students come to school in costumes on Wednesday, October 31. You may soon hear from your class parents about contributing snacks or volunteering for the first grade Halloween party. Thanks in advance for your assistance with this.

Important Dates:

Wednesday, October 17 – Wear Pink

October 17-30 – Sign up for second session activities

Thursday, October 18 – Last day of Session 1 after school activities

October 22-26 – No School – Autumn Break

Wednesday, October 31 – Halloween celebration – students wear costumes to school

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Thursday, October 4, 2018

Enjoy the long weekend!

Who We Are – Culture – As we are completing our unit, here are some questions you may want to ask your child: Tell me about something you learned about another culture. Why do you think it is important to learn about someone else’s culture? Did your work in class, make you think about a place you would like to visit to experience the culture?

Daily Reading – Keep working on developing the daily reading habit with your child. Remember the same time and place each day are a good way to start. Please let the classroom teacher know if you feel your child needs more assistance choosing “just right” books.

Writing – We hope the experiences during the 4 days away from school may inspire some personal narrative writing. Please remind your child that there are stories everywhere. If your child can attach any emotion to an event, you might say: “Hey this would be a good thing to write about.”

Pinktober – What is it? The Middle School student council has invited the elementary students  to join them in their breast cancer awareness campaign by wearing pink on Wednesdays in October. This is completely optional of course, but may be particularly poignant for the elementary students as one of the teachers is being treated at this time. We are telling the first graders it is our way of showing her we are thinking about her and wishing her well.

Math  – We have four days without school. It is a great time to get out dice, cards, or dominoes to help build number sense. You can use playing cards to play Slap Five. Use all the cards from ace to five and use the queens as zeros (remove 6-10 and jacks and kings). Split the deck in half and each player keeps a pile face down in front of them. The first player turns over one card, the second player turns over his first card next to it. They take turns putting cards on their pile. When the two cards showing on the top of each pile are a pair that make 5, the first player to slap his hand down on the deck, wins all of the cards.

Important Dates:

October 4 and 5 – No School – faculty professional development

Wednesday, October 10 and 17 – Wear Pink

Thursday, October 18 – Last day of Session 1 after school activities

October 22-26 – No School – Autumn Break

October 17-30 – Sign up for second session activities

Wednesday, October 31 – Halloween celebration – students wear costumes to school

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Friday, September 28, 2018

No School Thursday and Friday!

Puppet Theatre trip! We had a great trip to the puppet theatre on Wednesday. Thank you to our trip chaperones for joining us. If you haven’t had a chance to chat with your child about the trip, please ask him about the different puppets he saw and what he enjoyed.

Who We Are – Culture – As we begin to wrap up our unit, we shared our learning about culture with the preK and Kg students in our assembly today. Thank you to all of our families who have shared part of their culture with the classes. Our unit and understanding of culture was made much richer through your presentations and sharing. THANK YOU! Your opportunity has not passed! If you would still like to share an aspect of your culture with your child’s class, please contact the teacher to schedule a time.

Reading Homework – Many families talked about reading “just right” books during our goal-setting conferences. We hope your child is developing a daily reading habit with the books he is choosing from the classroom. You will often find that the books brought from the library are not “just right” books. The library is our chance to choose anything of interest to us. Speak to your child if you find they are often bringing the same type of book home and you feel they need a change.

Writing – Often generating ideas for writing is the most difficult part. Please think about helping to inspire your child’s personal narrative writing by sending in some photos of family trips or events. As mentioned previously, one photo of a child on an amusement park ride or at the beach or riding bikes with cousins can inspire lots of good writing. Thanks for your help with this.

Math  – One beginning strategy for addition is to count on. You can practice this with your child with dice, cards, or dominoes. First roll a die. Can your child say the number without counting the spots? If they are recognizing the dot patterns and numbers without counting, you are ready for two dice. Roll two, which is highest? Ask your child to say the highest number and count on the dots from the second die. Using the dice rolls as part of a game to see who rolls the highest number and keeping a tally of points can be one way to keep your child interested. More challenge: Use playing cards or dominoes for higher numbers. Does your child recognize 9 dots on a domino?

Important Dates:

October 4 and 5 – No School – faculty professional development

Thursday, October 18 – Last day of Session 1 after school activities

October 22-26 – No School – Autumn Break

October 17-30 – Sign up for second session activities

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Friday, September 21, 2018

Conferences – It was great to meet with families at our goal-setting conferences today. Thank you for taking the time to share information and set goals for your child. As many families are fighting the stomach virus that is going around, you may have been unable to attend. If so, please contact your child’s teacher to reschedule your conference.

Puppet Theatre trip! As part of the culmination of our culture study all of the first graders are off to the puppet theatre on Wednesday. We will see puppets from around the world as well as a performance of Puss and Boots. Your child will need a snack and lunch from home on Wednesday.

Who We Are – Culture Homework – To help us identify aspects of our culture as opposed to things we like, we are asking the students to return their “Me in a Bag” with a few artifacts from their culture. This time we may not have a favorite toy, but we might have something that tells about our family traditions and culture. Please bring the bags in anytime next week.

Reading Homework – So how did the first week of bringing home “just right” books go for your family? Did you read in the same place and at the same time each day to begin to build a reading habit? Just like any healthy routine you are trying to start, missing one day, makes it easier to miss a second and third day and no habit develops. Although we would like your child to initiate this, it may not happen at first. Please ask about the book and declare a “reading time” at home. Thank you for your help with this. Happy reading!

Writing –  As we begin writing personal narratives, it can be difficult for students to think of experiences they believe are worthy of putting down in writing. Although we know stories are everywhere and nearly any experience when told with detail and emotion is a good idea, this can be a challenge for some writers. How about providing a bit of inspiration for your child? Aside from talking about possible writing subjects or events, you can send in some photos that could inspire personal narratives. Students will keep the photos in their writing folders and refer to them when they need an idea to write about. One photo of a child on an amusement park ride or at the beach or riding bikes with cousins can inspire lots of good writing. Thanks for your help with this.

Math  – Here’s a game to try at home to help your child become more efficient with number combinations. Use playing cards to play Turn Over Ten. Remove the jacks and kings (queens become zeros). Lay the cards face down, in four rows of four. Players take turns turning over 2 cards, looking for pairs that make 10 (2 and 8, 7 and 3). If they find a pair they keep it and use the extra cards to fill the vacant spaces. When all of the cards are paired, the player with the most “tens” wins. Some families may want to begin with Turn Over Five. When your child is feeling comfortable with the pairs that make five, move on to six and seven. Need more challenge: Use the jacks (11), queens (12), kings (13) and jokers (zero) and try Turn Over Thirteen.

Important Dates:

Wednesday, September 26 – First Grade Puppet theater field trip

October 4 and 5 – No School – faculty professional development

Thursday, October 18 – Last day of Session 1 after school activities

October 22-26 – No School – Autumn Break

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Friday, September 14, 2018

See you at Goal-Setting Conferences on Friday! – If you haven’t signed up for a time, please do so. No school for elementary students on Friday, instead we will see you with your child at your scheduled time. We look forward to meeting with you. Students should wear formal uniforms.

Who We Are – Culture – This week some of the first grade families began sharing their culture and traditions with their child’s class. Our understanding of culture grows with each presentation. We’ve seen some traditional dress and photos of celebrations, as well as tasted some favorite foods.  We look forward to learning more about each other and our cultures in the coming weeks. If you haven’t contacted your child’s teacher to volunteer, please do so. Scroll down to last week’s blog for ideas on what you might share.

Reading Homework – On Monday the first graders will begin bringing home a book each day as we officially begin our daily reading homework. We ask that families listen to their first grader read for at least 10 minutes each day, but encourage more if your child is interested. The goal is to develop a reading habit and a love of books and stories. This should be an enjoyable experience for both of you. The children are working on choosing “just right” books independently.  At first you may find that these books seem too easy or too difficult as we develop our skills in choosing. If you find it is too difficult, please take turns reading or ask your child to find words s/he knows on the page and you read the rest. When you finish, ask your child what s/he thought about the level and the two of you should decide if it was “just right” or what s/he should look for next time.  Remember this should be an enjoyable experience for you both. Please return the books to school each day. Thank you for your help with this.

Writing – The first grade classes are beginning a unit on personal narrative writing. We are writing about things we have experienced first hand. It can be an afternoon in the park, a birthday party, shopping trip or any event we have experienced. Soon we will find that stories are everywhere. You can help your child generate story ideas by simply saying, “That was fun! It would be a great thing to write about.” Talking about events and asking questions can also spark writing ideas. “Remember when you fell off your scooter? That would be a good thing to write about.”

Online Math and Reading – We recommend daily reading with a book from the classroom and playing math games that are recommended in the blog, but if you feel the need to supplement these, you can use Raz-kids or IXL at home. Your child will bring home the login information in their blue folders.

Important Dates:

Friday, September 21 – Parent-Student-Teacher Goal Setting Conferences formal uniforms

Wednesday, September 26 – First Grade Puppet theater field trip

October 4 and 5 – No School – faculty professional development

Thursday, October 18 – Last day of Session 1 after school activities

October 22-26 – No School – Autumn Break

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Friday, September 7, 2018

Who We Are – Culture – As our unit begins, we are aware that culture is a hard word to define. So this week the students rotated through each first grade classroom where the teachers introduced them to an element of their own culture. Ask your child about meeting the other teachers and what they learned about culture.

Thank you to families who have already volunteered to share your culture with your child’s class. We look forward to hearing from more families to be scheduled in the coming weeks. Please share your culture! Unsure about what to do? Share a special holiday or tradition that is important to your family. Introduce us to some music or a dance from your culture. Share a dish from your home country that your family enjoys. Teach or show us a particular sport or game popular in your culture. Can you think of another way to share your culture with the first graders? It can be 10 minutes or 30 minutes – whatever you are comfortable with. We need you! Please contact your child’s teacher now to volunteer to share!

Field Trip! As part of our unit on culture, all of the first grade classes will be visiting a puppet theatre on Wednesday, September 26. Permission slips came home this week. As the tickets are pre-purchased, we can only take two parent volunteers for each class. If you are free and would like to help chaperone our trip, please let us know on the permission slip and return it as soon as possible. Thank you!

Math – After our introductory work in math, we are ready to begin our first module with a focus of addition and subtraction to ten. Please check your child’s blue folder for the Eureka parent page (this is our main math resource). It will guide you through some of the work and vocabulary we will use with the students in this first math unit.

Yearbook Photos – Get out those formal uniforms (ties!) for our yearbook photos. Here are the dates for the first grade classes. Please wear the white button up shirt, blue trousers, skirt or dress, dark shoes, and ties on your picture day. Students are welcome to bring other shirts to change into after the photo if you wish. Here is your photo day:

1AO – Tuesday, September 11

1DE – Wednesday, September 12

1HM – Thursday, September 13

1TM – Friday, September 14

1DC – Tuesday, September 18 (Save your smiles for the next week!)

After School Activities Begin Monday – Please make sure your child, driver, nanny and bus company all are aware of changes in your child’s schedule.

Mother-tongue classes – If your child is part of the Mother-tongue after school program, please let the teacher know which days s/he will be taking lessons.

Save the date – Friday, September 21 for our goal-setting conferences!

Important Dates:

Saturday, September 8 – PTO Welcome BBQ, Fun Run, Wellness Fair

Monday, September 10 – After School Activities Begin

Friday, September 21 – Parent-Student-Teacher Goal Setting Conferences

Wednesday, September 26 – First Grade Field Trip to the Puppet Theatre

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