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Learning at AASWelcome 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.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Goodbye! Best wishes to all of our first grade families who are moving on to new countries, new jobs, new schools and new adventures!

Safe journeys everyone!

Reports – Your child’s final report will be issued today. Please contact the office if you cannot access it for any reason.

Celebration! Thank you to all the parents who organized and contributed to the first grade party yesterday. The kids had a great time! Special thanks to our room parents for taking a leadership role once again.

Parents, Thank you all for chaperoning class trips, tying ice skates, daily reading, sharing your culture, drying hair after swimming, helping with homework, sending birthday treats, and the many more things you have done to help your child in his/her first grade experience. We appreciate your commitment to your child’s education.

Tips for maintaining skills over the summer holiday.

Reading – 10 minutes a day (listen when you can). Read with/to your child in his first language too!

Writing – Keeping a journal is the best way to maintain skills and interest in writing. Glue/tape in pictures or souvenirs from the day, with a few sentences and drawings about the event. Draw a cartoon with speech bubbles about an event, make a list, write a poem, draw and write the steps you use to do something you are good at.

Math – Games with playing cards, dice or dominoes are a great way to help build number sense. Using coins in any currency is good practice. Make up prices and have your child “buy” his dinner wherever you are. 

More – The AAS website has links to many online sites that can provide interesting and educational experiences for your child. Your child will be able to login to IXL math and RazKids reading all summer long as well  – and here is the link to other online reading – ebooks.

Don’t forget to get outside and just have fun!

Important Dates:

Monday, August 21 – Open House for 2017-2018 school year

Tuesday, August 22 – First day of school

Enjoy the summer holiday!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Wow! We are down to our last three days!

Field Day! – We enjoyed our time on the field today. Thank you to our PE teachers for organizing all of the great activities and our specialist teachers for running the stations. Also, thanks to the PTO for the ice cream – always a highlight!

Field Trip to the Bee Apiary – The weather didn’t dampen our spirits on our field trip on Thursday. We had a great time learning about bees, making candles, and tasting some sweet honey. Thank you to our parent chaperones who joined us and endured the rather long bus journey! It was a great day out.

Field Trip Monday!! – As a culmination of our creativity unit, we are visiting Experimentarium Monday morning. We are really looking forward to all of the great hands-on experiments. Thank you in advance to our parent volunteers who will be joining us. We will be traveling over our lunch time, so students will need a lunch from home.

How We Express Ourselves – Creative thinking – We’ve been wrapping up our creativity unit this week. Many students showed growth in their thinking as they took on suggestions or ideas from others to improve their inventions. A great number of first graders embraced the view that invention is often a cyclical process of failure and attempts. Often they persevered and completed an original construction with a problem-solving goal, such as the “Bed-Maker 2000” robot or the “Mosquito Killer”. Thanks for sending in all of the recyclables and thanks for accepting many of them back home in the form of first grade inventions!

Reading – Don’t forget that wherever there is an internet connection, there are books available to your child. You can access them through the library link on the AAS website or here ebooks. You might want to bookmark this one for your travels.

Writing – Poetry – We hope you get time to sit down with your child and enjoy some of his/her poetry.  Many are finding it an easy, accessible, and enjoyable way to share ideas. Of course we encourage the first grade writers to continue experimenting with the many forms of writing we worked on this year – personal narratives, how to, nonfiction / informational, opinion, and poetry.

Math – As mentioned many times over the school year, the best number sense growth often comes from games with dice, cards, dominoes, coins, etc. We recommend games that don’t feel like math practice to maintain skills over the holiday. Check out the previous week’s blog post for some good math stories to try with your child. Remember, an answer should always be accompanied by an explanation of his/her strategy and perhaps a drawing to demonstrate thinking.

Looking for Books – Please check your shelves at home for classroom and library books. Often books checked out to the class or teacher are taken home for readers. Thanks for having a look around for any books that should be returned to school.

Leaving early? – If your child will be leaving school before our final day, please let the teacher know. We’d like to make sure we say goodbye to our friends, and they get all of their belongings and art work. Also, it may make a difference for parents planning our end-of-year celebrations.

Important Dates:

Monday, June 19 – Field trip to Experimentarium – Students need a lunch from home

Tuesday, June 20 – First grade end-of-year party 2:00

Wednesday, June 21 – Last day – No Late start –  Closing ceremonies at 11:00 – Dismissal at 12:00

The blog will be updated each Friday. Please subscribe to get weekly updates automatically.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Thursday – Field Trip to the Bee Apiary! – The First Graders will be out all day on Thursday at Kuzminiki Park Bee Apiary. All students will need a lunch, snack and water bottle from home. Much of our day will be outside so please dress for the weather.

Friday – Field Day! – We are looking forward to a fun-filled morning of activities on the field. Thanks in advance to our PE teachers for organizing all the games. Please dress for action. Bring water bottle, hat and apply sunscreen at home if necessary.

How We Express Ourselves – Creative thinking – The students have been busy inventing. Many began with a problem. Some thought about something they don’t like to do and how they could make it easier. After initial attempts, we will look to our classmates for ideas that might improve our invention. Our next steps will be to determine who might want to buy this invention and how will I market it?  This weekend is your last chance to collect and send in your recyclables, as Monday will be our final recyclable drop-off day.

Reading – Even though we are not sending homework choice boards, please maintain our daily reading for enjoyment. This is a habit we are encouraging students carry right through their summer holidays. Of course it is great to have books in hand, but as we travel that is not always possible. The students were very excited by the variety of electronic books available to them as introduced by our librarian this week. You can access them through the library link on the AAS website or here ebooks. You might want to bookmark this one for your travels.

Writing – Poetry – We are finding that many of the first graders are prolific poets. Some are enjoying the freedom in poetry writing without guidelines for length, punctuation and format. Many are finding that repetition (something we try to avoid in other writing forms) adds a welcome rhythm to their pieces. Some are experimenting with sound words and including WHOOOOSH! BOOOOM! and whispers in their work.

Math – Here are a few math stories to try with your child. Can he/she show how they would solve it using counters or drawings? Can he/she retell the story with a drawing?

I have 8 stickers. My friend gives me 10 more, How many stickers do I have now?

I have 8 stickers. My friend gives me some more. Now I have 15 stickers. How many did my friend give me?

I have some stickers. My friend game me 9 more. Now I have 14 stickers. How many did I start with?

I have 11 stickers. My friend has 18. How many more does my friend have?

Need a greater challenge: Try problems of the same formats with larger numbers.

Looking for Books – Please check your shelves at home for classroom and library books. Often books checked out to the class or teacher are taken home for readers. Thanks for having a look around for any books that should be returned to school.

Leaving early? – If your child will be leaving school before our final day, please let the teacher know. We’d like to make sure we say goodbye to our friends, and they get all of their belongings and art work. Also, it may make a difference for parents planning our end-of-year celebrations.

Important Dates:

Thursday, June 15 – All day field trip to Kuzminiki Park to the Bee Apiary

Friday, June 16 – Field Day – dress for an extended time outside

Monday, June 19 – Field trip to Experimentarium

Tuesday, June 20 – First grade end-of-year party 2:00

Wednesday, June 21 – Last day – No Late start –  Closing ceremonies at 11:00 – Dismissal at 12:00

The blog will be updated each Friday. Please subscribe to get weekly updates automatically.

Friday, June 2, 2017

See you at International Fair tomorrow!

Field Trip notes came home today! – We are excited about two upcoming trips – Thursday, June 15 to Experimentarium and Monday, June 19 to  Kuzminiki Park Bee Apiary. Please fill out both forms and return them by Friday, June 9. Don’t forget to let us know on the form if you would like to join us on one of these trips.

How We Express Ourselves – Creative thinking – The first graders are talking about inventions.  Do you have a favorite invention/inventor? Tell your child about an invention you would find very hard to live without. We are finding that nearly every invention story begins with a problem and a plan to tackle that problem. This is generally followed by several failures, and after a great deal of perseverance, success! Optional Homework – Find out about an inventor or invention that interests you, maybe one from your home country. Please have your child tell the class about it next week. As we continue inventing, your recyclables are a valuable resource. Please keep collecting and sending in your recyclables. – egg boxes, plastic bottles, cardboard boxes, fabric, ribbon, wood, etc)

Writing – What is poetry? That’s a tough question. The first graders are beginning to read and explore poetry. How do I know if this is a poem or a story? How is poetry different from other kinds of writing? We will begin to define poetry and then we will jump in and create some of our own poems. Please share poems or poets that are familiar to you with your child.

Math – Much of the math work in our final weeks will be a review of concepts and strategies we explored this year. As it has all year long, this will include math stories and problem-solving. It is our goal that students have a repertoire of strategies to represent numbers and tackle problems. Can they show it with counters or tens and ones blocks? Can they draw it? Show it on a numberline? Number bond? Tape diagram? Can they break apart and put together numbers to make computations easier? Are they looking for and making tens in computations?

Home Connection: Read and discuss one of these problems with your child. Can he/she choose an operation to solve this? Can he/she show you one? Two? Or 3 different ways to represent it? There were 9 students on the playground. Eight more came out to play. How many are on the playground now? Greater challenge: Max had 11 markers. His Mom gave him some more markers.  Now he has 18 markers. How many did his Mom give him? Even greater challenge: There were many kids on the playground. Nine more kids joined them. Then there were 25 kids on the playground. How many kids were on the playground at the start?

Looking for Library Books – Please check your shelves at home for classroom and library books. Often books checked out to the class or teacher are taken home for readers. Thanks for having a look around for any books that should be returned to school.

No Homework – Although your child will still be bringing books home for daily reading, this week was our last homework choice board. Of course we continue to encourage the first graders to design, construct, and share projects that they make at home. And there is one optional homework idea for this week. (See Creativity unit above)

Activities Finished – No after school activities next week. Please make sure students, nannies, drivers, bus monitors, and bus companies are aware of your child’s schedule changes. Mother tongue classes continue.

Leaving early? – If your child will be leaving school before our final day, please let the teacher know. We’d like to make sure we say goodbye to our friends, and they get all of their belongings and art work. Also, it may make a difference for parents planning our end-of-year celebrations.

Important Dates:

Saturday, June 3 – International Fair 11:30-15:00

Thursday, June 15 – All day field trip to Kuzminiki Park to the Bee Apiary

Friday, June 16 – Field Day

Monday, June 19 – Field trip to Experimentarium

Tuesday, June 20 – First grade end-of-year party 2:00

Wednesday, June 21 – Last day – No Late start –  Closing ceremonies at 11:00 – Dismissal at 12:00

The blog will be updated each Friday. Please subscribe to get weekly updates automatically.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Spirit Day – Thanks for sending them in their matching clothes for Twin Day!

How We Express Ourselves – Creative thinking – The students are creating with enthusiasm. Many are getting inspired by classmates and changing their thinking and designs while creating. This is an important part of the design process. When we can see shortfalls in our construction, our peers can provide valuable assistance and advice as we rework our plan. Often perseverance and the courage to make changes after initial failures, are the keys to success in inventing. Do you have a favorite invention/inventor? Tell your child about an invention you would find very hard to live without. As our creative work continues, please keep collecting and sending in your recyclables. – egg boxes, plastic bottles, cardboard boxes, fabric, ribbon, wood, etc)

Writing – As we are wrapping up our opinion writing, we are beginning to look ahead to our next writing unit – poetry. Parents, did you ever have to memorize a poem as a student? Do you have a favorite poet/poem? Do you know any funny or silly poems you heard as a child? Even though the poems you remember may be difficult for your child to understand, share a poem or some ideas about why a certain poem interested you. What is special about poetry?

Math – As we finish our shapes and fraction unit, we will move back into more problem solving work. One of the important concepts we will review is the meaning of the equal sign. Are these statements true?  6+3=3+6, 7=3+4, 10+10+6=20+6, 7+7=14+3 (Many will believe this is true, because seven and seven make fourteen, and then they continue with the next operation.)

Home Connection: Do some backward problem-solving. If you see this equation 8+6=14, can you make up a story that fits the problem? What if the problem has a missing addend?  (7+?=16) Can you tell a story that matches the equation and find the solution? (There were 7 kids on the playground. Some more came out to play. Then there were 16 on the playground. How many more kids came out to play?)

Next week is the last week of after school activities

Important Dates:

Thursday, June 1 – Last day of after school activities

Saturday, June 3 – International Fair 11:30-15:00

Thursday, June 15 – All day field trip to Kuzminiki Park to the Bee Apiary

Monday, June 19 – Field trip to Experimentarium

Wednesday, June 21 – Last Day – NOT late start, closing ceremony, dismissal at 12:00

The blog will be updated each Friday. Please subscribe to get weekly updates automatically.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Spirit Day on Friday! – It is Twin Day on Friday, May 26. Dress like a friend.

How We Express Ourselves – Creative thinking – The first graders have been creating with purpose. They have been using the recyclables to plan, design and build a number of projects. Some have created toys, others have made devices to help cross a busy street. They are stretching their thinking, by trying to see ordinary objects in new ways. Please continue to collect and send in your recyclables. – egg boxes, plastic bottles, cardboard boxes, fabric, ribbon, wood, etc)

Writing – First graders are full of opinions. They can tell you their favorite color, season, pet, etc and tell you why they like it. Ask your child about some of the opinion pieces he/she has been working on. Have a family brainstorm about opinions and help your child develop some other ideas for opinion writing.

Math – This week there’s been a lot of talk about a ‘fair share’ in math. We are looking at beginning fractions and the importance of dividing shapes or groups equally. We are concentrating on halves and fourths, but many students are ready to explore other fractions as well.  

Home Connection: Show some fair sharing by dividing things into equal parts at home. Can your child cut and share a slice of bread for 2 people, 4 people? Share a banana. Make a playdoh cake or pizza. How would you share it? Use animal crackers or breakfast cereal. If I have 12 pieces can I share it equally for 2, 3, 4, 6 people? How would I do it?

Important Dates:

Friday, May 26 – Twin day! Dress like a friend.

Thursday, June 1 – Last day of after school activities

Saturday, June 3 – International Fair 11:30-15:00

The blog will be updated each Friday. Please subscribe to get weekly updates automatically.

Friday, May 12, 2017

How We Express Ourselves – Creative thinking – Part of our unit focus is on perspective. Seeing something from a new vantage point often opens up our thinking. Many of the first graders made changes in their egg drop projects after taking a gallery walk and seeing what others had done. It is not always easy to take on another’s idea and incorporate it to make your design better. We will practice changing our perspective and using our imaginations as we look at ordinary objects with a new view. “This is a spoon, but it could also be a guitar for a mouse.” “This is an ice cream stick, but it could also be . . .” We will also be inventing, designing and creating objects, so please send in your recyclables. Please continue to collect and send in your recyclables. – egg boxes, plastic bottles, cardboard boxes, fabric, ribbon, wood, etc)

Writing – So what’s your opinion about that? Do you have a favorite you can tell about? The students are beginning to write about things they feel strongly about. Here are some of their titles, “Winter is the Best!” “Waking Up is the Worst” “The Perfect Pet!” This week we began writing our opinions. What do you feel strongly about? Share your opinion and some reasons for it with your child and ask him/her to do the same.

Math – Our shape study continues in math. Students are beginning to share the properties and vocabulary associated with 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional shapes – vertices, edges, faces, etc. We are also learning some of the names of shapes –  sphere, cube, cylinder, etc.

Home Connection: Seek out shapes at home. How many flat faces or surfaces does it have? Are all of the faces the same shape? Can it roll? How many edges does it have? Vertices?

Important Dates:

Thursday, June 1 – Last day of after school activities

Saturday, June 3 – International Fair 11:30-15:00

The blog will be updated each Friday. Please subscribe to get weekly updates automatically.