Welcome to AAS Grade 1!


RS Holistic Excellence

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, November 27, 2015

Planning Ahead? – Add this to your schedule: The Grade 1-5 holiday concert will be on Friday, December 11 at 10:00.

Conferences – It was great seeing all of you at conferences this week. Children got an opportunity to share their learning and discuss next steps. Thank you for your role in all of their progress. Please continue the conversation with your child periodically and, as always, contact your child’s teacher any time you have questions or concerns about school.

Dressed for Winter – The colder temperatures surprised us a bit today. Please make sure that your child has a hat, mittens, snowpants and boots with them each day. Often children are getting out of warm cars and items get left behind. Whatever they are not wearing at the time of drop-off should be in their bags ready to put on at our recess times.

Friday is Pyjama Day! – We have a spirit day next week. No uniforms on Friday as we are wearing our pyjamas to school. Students may also bring a stuffed toy (it must fit in the school bag) with them on Friday. It’s a great day for bedtime stories!

How We Organize Ourselves – Organization – We began our study of organizations by drawing up committees and holding meetings to plan our holiday party. The first graders selected a party element (snacks, games, cookie decorating, music and dance, or crafts) then met with their interest group to begin the planning. Like most organizations, they began to think about group goals, roles and responsibilities. Their first hand experience in planning their own party is providing a great real-life introduction to organizations.

Writing – Punctuation! It can be so exciting!! In this open writing unit, we are learning how using punctuation marks can make our writing more interesting and readable. Some of our favorite stories are all about the punctuation. Ask your child about the books Moo! or The Book with No Pictures.

Reading – Many of us are great at decoding new words in our reading, but do we know what they mean? Help your child get in the habit of noticing and questioning new words by putting sticky notes on unfamiliar words as he/she reads. Continue reading so as not to lose the story and you can talk about the words later or share them with the teacher. Teaching the word to a friend or the class is a great way to build our own vocabularies.

Math – This week students focused on making tens when adding three numbers to improve computation efficiency. (8 + 2 + 4 = ? Add the 8 and 2 first to make 10 and then add 4 for 14) We also worked on thinking about tens when we add a nine. (I can add 9 and 7 if I move one to make it 10 and 6)

Home connection:  Keep practicing pairs that make 10 by playing Tens Go Fish with playing cards. Play Add Nine, roll a die and add the roll to nine. (Keeping in mind that 9 and 5 is the same as 10 and 4) Player with the highest total gets a point. First player to 9 wins.

Taganka Gift Bags – The student council has given all elementary children a gift bag and is encouraging them to fill it as directed with holiday gifts for the less fortunate. Thank you to all who choose to participate. Filled bags can be returned anytime before Friday, December 11.

Important Dates:

Friday, December 4 – Spirit Day – Pyjama Day –  bring a stuffed toy

Friday, December 11 – Grade 1-5 Holiday Concert 10:00am

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Friday, November 20, 2015

Reports – Your child’s report will be issued this afternoon. Please let the office or your child’s teacher know if you cannot access it for any reason.

Conferences – Parent / student / teacher conferences are Thursday. If you have not made an appointment to meet with your child’s teacher, please do so. The best way to prepare for your child’s conference is to read the report and think about the “Next Steps” that you feel are important for your child. Students wear their formal uniforms. See you Thursday!

How the World Works – Materials – Most of the classes wrapped up their matter study this week by combining materials, exploring reactions and making observations. Perhaps your child can tell you about an experiment that was tried in class. Ask if he/she can tell you some of the properties of a solid, liquid, or gas. Give them some guided freedom in the kitchen to do a bit of mixing and observing of some basic household products. “What will happen if I mix this and that?”

Writing – Punctuation!! Does that sound dull and boring to you? Next week we will begin our look at punctuation by noticing how it is used in some of our favorite stories. This will be a more open writing unit, but with a focus on the use of all of those markings that add to and make our writing more meaningful. Exciting! Eh?

Reading – Help your child develop his reading fluency by asking him to reread passages and sentences after an initial sounding out. When a story is finished, go back and read a favorite page or pages a few times until fluent. “Can you make your voice sound like the character speaking?” It is OK to read the same story several times. Even if your child has read the book in school, a second reading at home will help build reading fluency.

Math – Our work continues on understanding story problems. Students are asked to read, draw and write a number bond or number sentence to go with a variety of problems. A thorough understanding of these types of problems will mean that your child will be able to find solutions even when larger numbers are used.

Home connection:  Give your child a number sentence and ask him/her to make up a story to go with it. Try these: 6 + 3 = ? (for example: Six children were playing. Three more came. Then there were ???) Greater challenge: Make up a story for these: 7 + ? = 10    8 = ? + 5

Important Dates:

Friday, November 20 – Your child’s report issued online today

Thursday, November 26 – Student / Parent / Teacher Conferences

Friday, December 4 – Spirit Day – Pyjama Day

Friday, December 11 – Grade 1-5 Holiday Concert 10:00am

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

Friday, November 13, 2015

Book Character Day – We were inspired to read when we saw all of the great book character costumes today. Thank you for helping your child become a favorite character.

Field Trips! Our trips to Experimentarium were great this week. If you haven’t heard already, ask your child about some of his/her favorites.The first graders really enjoyed trying all of the great hands-on exhibits. Thank you to our parent volunteers! We couldn’t go without your help!

Conferences – We have student / parent / teacher conferences coming up on Thursday, November 26. You should have received an email from the ES office with instructions on how to sign up for a time online. If you have not scheduled a conference as yet, please do so.

How the World Works – Materials – Mystery Liquids?? – Thanks for helping your child select a mystery liquid to bring into school this week. We learned a lot of vocabulary to describe liquids (colored, transparent, viscous, foamy, bubbly, etc.) while we were guessing what liquid our friends brought. The classes have done several experiments with household materials thus far. Don’t be surprised if your first grader wants to begin raiding the fridge and cupboards at home to find materials for mixing and experimenting.

Writing – A few of the first graders showcased their “How to . . . “ writing at our assembly today. Although students will have the opportunity to do more procedural writing like this throughout the year, we will be wrapping up our “How to . . . “ focus next week.

Reading – Encourage your child to make connections to the text when doing daily reading. “Oh this reminds me of . . . “ or “I remember when I felt that way.” Making connections means he/she is thinking about the text as he reads and building understanding.

Math – We are demonstrating our comprehension of addition and subtraction by solving a great variety of word problems. Our first step is to read and understand the story. Then our most important step is to draw a picture or create a number sentence that fits the story. This is where our understanding comes through. After that, finding the answer is the easy part.

Home connection:  Can your child draw a picture or write a number bond or number sentence to illustrate this problem? Five kids were on the playground. Some more came. Then there were 9 kids. How many came?  Creating our own number stories is a good way to understand problems like this. Look for these opportunities in our weekly homework assignments.

Important Dates:

Friday, November 20 – Your child’s report will be issued online

Thursday, November 26 – Student / Parent / Teacher Conferences

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

Friday, November 6, 2015

Field Trips! Next week we are all off to Experimentarium. Our budding scientists will get a chance to touch, try, and wonder about the world with these hands-on, kid-friendly experiments. Thanks in advance to all of our parent volunteers! Your child will need a lunch and snack from home on their travel day.

1HM and 1WL –  Monday trip

1MA and 1AO – Tuesday trip

1DC – Thursday trip

New Book Sale! The PTO is having a book sale next week. Books are between 200 – 500 rubles each. The first graders are scheduled to visit the fair with their class on Wednesday. The PTO has provided a bag for each child along with a note with details about the sale. Please talk with your child about how many books you think he/she should purchase.

Friday, November 13 is Book Character Day! –  It is a student council spirit day. No uniform on Friday! To coincide with the PTO book fair, please help your child dress as a favorite book character on Friday.

How the World Works – Materials – Of course our field trips next week are going to be a great extension of our materials study. In the classroom and science lab we are continuing to learn more about properties of materials as we begin to mix household materials and observe their reactions. (What happens when we put an egg in water?  Or Vinegar? How do raisins react when put in fizzy soda? etc.)

Mystery Liquids?? – On Monday, look for a special homework assignment for our study of materials and their properties. Your child will bring home an empty bottle that he/she should fill (actually only 1/4-1/2 filled) with a mystery liquid (safe household liquid  like: soap, oil, juice, etc.) We will look closely at the properties of liquids as we make our guesses about what our classmates have brought.

Writing – Many students were inspired to write personal narratives upon our return to school so they could share events from their week away. We are also continuing to look at and write our own “How to . . . “ pieces. This procedural writing fits very well with our materials unit as we think about the steps we follow in our experiments. Some may be writing “How to . . .”s to design their own step by step experiments.

Math – Part of our work in subtraction involves practice taking away 0 and 1. Many are capable of subtracting 1 in their heads, but do we immediately recognize that the difference of neighboring numbers on the number line is 1? We often know that 6 – 1 = 5, but do we use our fingers to find out what 6 – 5 = ?

Home connection:  Practicing counting on from any number helps us see these relationships. What number comes before 8? What number comes after 9? Making up our own subtraction problems with one as the answer, will help us recognize these problems and build our computation fluency. Try playing Equals One with cards, dice or dominoes. Draw or roll, use the number in a subtraction problem that equals one. If I draw or roll a 9, I might say 9 – 8 = 1 or 10 – 9 = 1  Writing the subtraction sentence also gives us a visual for these types of problems. If this is difficult at first, have a number line handy so your child sees the numbers together. For greater challenge: Roll or draw 2, the first is tens and the second is ones or units. If I draw 6 and 4, I might say 64 – 63 = 1, or 65 – 64= 1.

Important Dates:

November 9-12 – First grade field trips to Experimentarium

Wednesday, November 11 – PTO book sale – bring money to buy books

Friday, November 13 – Spirit Day Dress as a book character

Friday, November 20 – Your child’s report will be issued online

Thursday, November 26 – Student / Parent / Teacher Conferences

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


Friday, 23 October 2015

Autumn Break! Enjoy the week away from school. Whether you are traveling or not, we are always happy for your child to share experiences and artifacts from his/her journey when we return. We are sure there will be lots of experiences that will make for some great writing when we are back in class.
Halloween! – Thanks for sending all of those superheroes and princesses in costumes today! It makes for an exciting day. Special thanks to all of our room parents and parent volunteers for making our first grade party a success. Combining parties for the grade level was something new for first grade and we appreciate all of the effort and coordination it took to put it all together. THANK YOU PARENTS!
How the World Works – Materials – We are deep into our materials explorations and are really enjoying the time spent looking closely, investigating, experimenting and wondering. We visited each of the other classrooms this week to find out more about properties of materials with some hands-on investigations and a chance to get those hands wet, sticky, gooey, etc. In each of the other classroom visits we were learning more about solids, liquids, and gases and their properties. Ask your child to tell you about some of the experiments (most of which can be easily repeated at home) what s/he enjoyed and what s/he thought about it.
Writing – Many of the classes have begun their “How to . . . “ writing, which we are finding out can take many forms. Some are a series of illustrations with labels and directions. Some are a list of ingredients, like a recipe. Some are in a narrative format and include words like first, next, then, and last. Many students are finding out there are lots of things that they can do and teach to others. “How to . . . “s continue when we return. What would be a good subject for your child?
Math – Work continues in making connections between addition and subtraction when we are back. The goal is for your child to be able to solve a great variety of problems in an efficient manner. The best way to demonstrate understanding of a problem is to draw it, and from there decide if it is best to count on, count back, cross off, add together, etc. When we have a deep understanding of the problem, the process and solutions become clear and we are soon ready to transfer these skills to problems with greater values. One of the best ways to become familiar with problems is to write your own. Look for such opportunities in our homework assignments.
Home connection: If you are traveling (or not) play with coins this week – doesn’t matter what the currency is. Having dinner? Practice “buying” your appetizer or entree while you wait. “OK your french fries will cost 46 roubles (or cents or pence). Here are some coins, show me 46 roubles.” “OK your ice cream is . . . “ WARNING: This is not the diet we recommend all week! Challenge: “If you pay with a 100 rouble note, how much change will you get?”
Activities – New activities begin when we are back to school on Monday, November 2. Please make sure your child, driver, bus monitor and nanny are aware of the schedule changes when we resume.
Safe journeys to all who are traveling. See you on November 2.
Important Dates:
October 26-30 – No School – Autumn Break
Monday, November 2 – School resumes – new after school activity session begins
The blog will be updated each Friday. Please subscribe to get weekly updates automatically.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Halloween – Friday is our Halloween celebration! We wear our costumes to school. Class parties begin at 2:30. Thank you in advance to all of our parent volunteers!

How the World Works – Materials – Our second exploration of materials and their properties was a closer look at ice. Ask your child about what he/she noticed when the class worked in the science lab manipulating ice with other materials. Our study of materials will begin to include a more specific look at properties of solids, liquids and gases with a visit to each of the first grade classrooms for experiments next week.

Writing – Many of the classes did an investigation of “How to . . . “ books as a beginning to our informational writing unit. With your child, share examples of instructions or “How to”s  that you use in daily life – recipes, electronic map\directions, instructions for flat-pack furniture, care instructions on clothing labels, etc. Help your child think of things he can do on his own. Can you make a sandwich, draw a dog, build a snowman, set up a game, create a monster, etc.? Maybe these are possible subjects for your own “How to . . . “ book.  

Math – The connections between addition and subtraction continue to be our focus in the coming weeks. We are working to develop and use strategies that are thoughtful and efficient in problem solving as well as critiquing our thinking. For example: If we have a number bond with the numbers 3, 6, and 9, can we make the equation 3 + 9 = 6, or 6 – 3 = 9?

Home connection: Play Go Fish (a variation of Tens Go Fish with doubles) with playing cards. Cards are face down on the table. Each player draws 5 cards and looks for doubles in his hand (3 and 3, 6 and 6). When you make a pair you put it down in front of you and tell what it equals. First player asks any other player for a card he needs. If that player has the card, he gives it up. If not, he says, “No, sorry, go fish” and the asking player draws a card from the pile. Take turns until all the fish from the pile are taken. Winner has the most number pairs. Challenge: Keep the face cards in the deck as 11, 12, and 13 or give the doubles fact and the doubles + 1 fact when you place a pair on the table.

Activities – No after school activities next week! Please make sure that your child, driver, bus monitor, and nanny are aware of these changes. registration is open now for the next session of after school activities. They begin when school resumes after the break Monday, November 2.

Important Dates:

October 14-19 – After school activity registration with Penguin Life

Friday, October 23 – Halloween celebration – kids wear costumes to school

October 26-30 –  No School – Autumn Break

Monday, November 2 – School resumes – new after school activity session begins

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

Friday, October 9, 2015

Winter Already??? – The snow is beautiful, but are we ready for it? Thanks for making sure your children have the proper attire for playing outside each day.

How the World Works – Materials – We are starting our materials unit with a focus on change. We will learn about properties and get a chance to explore what happens when we combine and manipulate materials. We began this week with an exploration of paper. Ask your child what he/she did in the science lab this week.

Who We Are – Culture – Although we are moving away from our unit on cultures, this is a study that continues throughout the year as we learn more about our classmates and explore our world. You are invited to share traditions, celebrations or artifacts from your family’s culture at any time. As your holidays or traditions spark your child’s interest, please encourage him/her to share that interest with the class. Thank you to all who have shared and helped build our understanding of culture.

Writing – The children enjoyed sharing their writing with parents or peers this week as a culmination of our Cultures unit and our personal narrative writing. Although we will often be writing personal narratives (small moment stories) throughout the year, in the coming weeks we will move to an informational writing focus. We will begin with an exploration of “How to . . .” books to look for text features we might include in our own procedural writing. You can help your child by pointing out things he is expert at or can do by himself that may be future topics of his own “How to . . . “ books.

Math – As we explore the relationship between addition and subtraction. We are learning there are many ways to solve some math problems. Next we will begin looking at strategies for working efficiently – for example: For 9 – 7 = ?  Is it better to count back 7 from 9 or more efficient to count up from 7? Looking closely at the problem and a deep understanding of the numbers is essential for choosing the best strategy.

Home connection: As we worked on learning the doubles facts, play Doubles Dice – Roll the die. Tell your partner what double your roll would be. Need a greater challenge? Roll 2 dice or tell your partner what the double + one would be.

Important Dates:

Thursday, October 15 – last day of after school activities

October 14-19 – After school activity registration with Penguin Life

Friday, October 23 – Halloween celebration – kids wear costumes to school

October 26-30 –  No School – Autumn Break

Monday, November 2 – School resumes – new after school activity session begins

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