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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.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Short week next week – Thursday is a conference day and No School on Friday.

Conferences – Here’s what to expect at conferences on Thursday – You will come to school with your child (in formal uniform) at your scheduled time. You will be in the room with 3 or 4 other families. You child will spend between 30-45 minutes sharing his learning journey through his chosen work samples, and activities. Then your family is invited to visit the specialists’ classrooms so your child can show you what they have been working on there. See you on Thursday!

Where We Are in Place and Time – journeys – Thank you Pokrofsky residents for marking your house and greeting us on our neighborhood journey today. It was a great opportunity to read a map and relate it to an actual journey. We were happy to find our friends’ houses!

Journeys – Field Trips! Today your child brought home field trip permission slips for 2 field trips the first week in April. We will be going to the planetarium for a virtual journey through the solar system on Monday, April 1 and to the Train Museum on Thursday, April 4 (1HM, 1DE, 1DC)  or Friday, April 5 (1AO, 1TM). All students will need a lunch from home on trip days. Please let us know if you would like to join us on one of our trips by indicating this on the note. Please return both permission slips on Monday.

Journeys – Timeline Homework – This week we are asking each family to help their child develop a timeline of significant events in their lives (learning to ride a bike, losing a first tooth, move to Moscow, birth of younger sibling, etc.). You can represent important life events with labeled photos or drawings, so that your child has a vehicle to share their life journey with the class. Timelines can be represented many ways. Your child should be as creative as they like. Of course an adult may help with some of the writing if needed, but your child should be prepared to share it with the class. Please send in the timelines any day the week of April 1.

Math –  Although we have spent the last few weeks on shapes, fractions and time, we are always reviewing addition and subtraction strategies. Help your child practice his addition strategies using playing cards to play the game Card War. Split the deck evenly. Each player turns over 2 cards and adds them. Look for your child’s addition strategies: starting with the biggest number and counting on, using doubles and double + 1 (if I know 6+6 then I can figure out 6+7 or 6+6+1), looking for pairs that make 10, thinking of ten when adding nine, etc. Need more challenge? Turn over 3 or 4 cards and see how your child groups them to add. Ask why they put those two cards together first. Why did that make adding easier?

Wow! Lots of Important Dates:

Monday, March 25 – return field trip notes

Thursday, March 28 – ES Conference Day – formal uniform

Friday, March 29 – No School – Faculty professional development

Monday, April 1 – Planetarium field trip  – Student timelines due

Wednesday, April 3 – Sign-up begins for next activity session

Thursday, April 4 – Train Museum trip for 1DE, 1HM, 1DC

Friday, April 5 – Train Museum trip for 1TM, 1AO

April 8-12 – No School – spring break

Friday, April 19 – Spirit day – dress in earth colors

Monday, April 22 – New activities begin

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

Friday, March 15, 2019

Pajamas – Thanks for sending them in their pajamas today. Hmmmm . . .  it didn’t seem to make them sleepy.

Conferences –  Thursday, March 28 is a conference day for elementary students. You should have received an email today with instructions on how to sign up for your conference time. It is not a regular school day for students, instead they attend the conference with you and lead you through some of their learning experiences. Thank you to all who have signed up already. We look forward to seeing you at Student-Led conferences!

How the World Works – materials – In the final weeks of our materials unit, the students were asked to synthesize their knowledge of materials to solve the problem of our ice-covered and slippery playground. How can we make it safe? We used the skating rink to test a variety of materials and draw some conclusions about what we think might be helpful on the slippery ice. Ask your children what they used and about the results of their investigations.

Where We Are in Place and Time – journeys – We are getting ready to begin our next unit which is all about journeys. We will be experiencing one type of journey next week, as we are coming to Pokrofsky Hills. Attention all Pokrofsky residents! On Friday, we are asking each first grade Pokrofsky family to mark their house with a sign (i.e. Liam’s House or Max lives here) and a couple of balloons that we will send home with your child. We will be practicing our map-reading skills and finding all of our friend’s houses as we venture through the neighborhood. We won’t come in, of course, but we would love if parents or younger siblings are available to greet us at the door. The first group will leave school about 8:45 (1AO, 1DC, 1HM) and the second group will be in the neighborhood around 14:00 (1TM, 1DE).  Thanks for your help with this! Hope to see you on Friday!

In case you can’t read the above, (some are seeing an error message) – here it is again:

Where We Are in Place and Time – journeys – We are getting ready to begin our next unit which is all about journeys. We will be experiencing one type of journey next week, as we are coming to Pokrofsky Hills. Attention all Pokrofsky residents! On Friday, we are asking each first grade Pokrofsky family to mark their house with a sign (i.e. Liam’s House or Max lives here) and a couple of balloons that we will send home with your child. We will be practicing our map-reading skills and finding all of our friend’s houses as we venture through the neighborhood. We won’t come in, of course, but we would love if parents or younger siblings are available to greet us at the door. The first group will leave school about 8:45 (1AO, 1DC, 1HM) and the second group will be in the neighborhood around 14:00 (1TM, 1DE).  Thanks for your help with this! Hope to see you on Friday!

Journeys – Also, as part of our new unit, we will be asking each family to help their child develop a timeline of significant events in their lives (learning to ride a bike, losing a first tooth, move to Moscow, birth of younger sibling, etc.) We will have more information about this later, but you may want to begin by collecting photos that represent significant experiences that will become part of your child’s life journey timeline. We are hoping to have the timelines sent to school by April 1.

Writing – Punctuation!!! We began this writing unit by searching through books for punctuation. Why do authors use it? How does the punctuation change the writing? Make it more interesting? What would it be like to read a book without punctuation? When doing your daily reading, talk about how your child changes his voice as he reads. How did you know you should do that? What punctuation is there?

Math –  Telling time – Keep in mind that a concept of time is just as important as being able to tell the time. Talk to your children about the times of the day that are important for them. We wake up at 6:30. You get on the bus at 7:15. Your activity finishes at 4:30. How would these times look on a digital and analog clock?

Important Dates:

Friday, March 22 – Walk to Pokrofsky neighborhood

Thursday, March 28 – ES Conference Day – formal uniform

Friday, March 29 – No School – Faculty professional development

Monday, April 1 – Student timelines due

Wednesday, April 3 – Sign-up begins for next activity session

April 8-12 – No School – spring break

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

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Enjoy the long weekend! No school Thursday and Friday for students. Hope you are enjoying some Maslenitsa celebrations and Happy Women’s Day to all of our first grade Moms!

Friday is Pajama day! – The elementary student council have invited us to leave our uniforms at home and come to school in our PJs on Friday, March 15. The children are welcome to bring a favorite stuffed animal with them on Friday as well.

How the World Works – materials – Ask your child about some of the investigations he/she has done in class this week.

Writing – Punctuation!!! In writing we have started an open-genre unit with a focus on punctuation. We are enjoying some fun and expression-filled read-alouds and beginning to write our own pieces that include some expressive punctuation.

Math –  The first graders are being introduced to telling time to the hour and half-hour. We are making connections between fractions and portions of time as we think of the clock as a pizza to be shared. Thirty minutes is ½ hour and 15 minutes is ¼ hour. As the clock hands are easily mixed up, you can help your child by directing his/her attention to the shorter hour hand on the clock to begin. Just looking at the hour hand, have your child begin by telling you, It is after 4 or it is just before 8 or it is between 6 and 7. Concentrating on the shorter hour hand will help students keep the two hands straight when we begin to look at both on the clock.

Add the conference date to your calendar! – Thursday, March 28 is a conference day for elementary students. Your child will come to school with you at your scheduled time. Your opportunity to schedule a conference time will be sent home via email, soon!

Important Dates:

Thursday, March 7 – No School – Faculty professional development

Friday, March 8 –  No School – Women’s Day

Friday, March 15 – Spirit Day – Pyjama Day

Thursday, March 28 – ES Conference Day – formal uniform

Friday, March 29 – No School – Faculty professional development

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

Friday, March 1, 2019

Next week is a short week! – No school Thursday and Friday for students.

How the World Works – materials – The students are enjoying their explorations of materials. Some classes are investigating how materials change when we combine them. How are the properties of the materials different after we mix them?  Do they change in some way? We are working on projects that show how we can manipulate materials to solve a problem. Ask your child about some of the investigations he has done in class.

Reading – No matter what your child’s reading level is, we want to encourage you to continue to listen to him/her read daily.  We do not get a chance to read with your child each day in the classroom and we really count on parents to ensure that they are getting daily practice and guidance with an adult. Thank you for your help with this.

Writing – The classes have wrapped up the “How to” writing unit. The students brought, or will be bringing home, some of their writing pieces along with a rubric that lets you know how he/she is doing in this unit. We hope your child has an opportunity to share his/her writing with you.

Math –  As part of our shape unit, we are working on partitioning shapes and beginning fractions. Here’s how you can help your child build his understanding of fractions at home. Many will understand about cutting something in half to share it. Are the halves equal? Is it a fair share? Because our experience tells us that 4 is more than 2, it can be difficult to comprehend that ½ is greater than ¼. What happens if we share for 4 people? How are the pieces different? What does the number 2 mean in ½? The number 4 in ¼? Play at home cutting pieces of bread, fruit or playdoh pizzas to help your child develop a sense of the fractions one-half and one-fourth.

Save the date! Thursday, March 28 is a conference day for elementary students. This is NOT on the school-issued calendars, so please add it. Please plan to attend this opportunity for your child to share his learning. This is not a typical school day. Students will only attend school, with you, during your scheduled conference time. More information is in the school newsletter and will be sent home via email, soon!

Important Dates:

Thursday, March 7 – No School – Faculty professional development

Friday, March 8 –  No School – Women’s Day

Friday, March 15 – Spirit Day – Pyjama Day

Thursday, March 28 – ES Conference Day – formal uniform

Friday, March 29 – No School – Faculty professional development

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

Friday, February 15, 2019

Enjoy the break! Safe journeys to all who are traveling!

It was a Super Day! Thank you for helping your child dress in superhero costumes today. It was a great way to end our teacher appreciation week. Thank you for all of the special treats from the PTO this week!

Friendship Cards – Thank you for helping your child with the friendship cards. The students really enjoyed getting them yesterday. We hope you have time to sit down with your child and share them together. Thanks to families who sent in treats as well!

How the World Works – materials – For families that have some extra time at home next week, how about allowing your child some freedom in the kitchen to predict, mix materials, and observe results. Are the materials we started with different after mixing? What happens when we heat or freeze our mixture? We encourage you to photograph or record any experiments or investigations you do to share with the class.  

Writing – A week away from school is a great time to begin writing a journal, but of course this is optional. If you are traveling, tape/glue in your boarding pass or ticket stubs. Write about the journey next to the pass or tell about your souvenir or the reason for your ticket. This is my train ticket for the metro we took to the museum. It was a hot and crowded train. We were glad to get out! Or This is my ticket to the museum. I really liked trying the experiments myself. We put our hands in a box and had to guess what was inside. The children are encouraged to share their journals when we return. It will be a great introduction to our next unit about journeys.

Math – Travelling provides great opportunities to play with math. Look at the time on your boarding pass. What part shows the hour? Minutes? How many minutes is it after the hour? How long will we be in the air? Will there be enough time for a movie? Two movies? When you have arrived, play with coins. Is there a ten? Ones? Can you show 36 using tens and ones? Can you add up the coins we have? How can we share this snack equally for 2 people? 4 people? So many possibilities to build number sense!

After School Activities – New activities begin on Monday, February 25 – the first day back after the break! This may mean different pickup schedules. Please make sure all concerned, particularly bus companies, are aware of your child’s schedule changes after the break.

Skating is finished  – No need for ice skates after the break.

Save this date! Thursday, March 28 is a conference day for elementary students. This is NOT on the school-issued calendars, so please add it. Please plan to attend this opportunity for your child to share his learning.

Important Dates:

February 18-22 – No school – Winter Break

Monday, February 25 – New activities begin

Thursday, March 7 – No School – Faculty professional development

Friday, March 8 –  No School – Women’s Day

Friday, March 15 – Spirit Day – Pyjama Day

Thursday, March 28 – ES Conference Day

Friday, March 29 – No School – Faculty professional development

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

Friday, February 8, 2019

Friendship Day is Thursday! – We will celebrate friendship day (Valentines Day) on Thursday by delivering the cards your child prepared for his classmates. Thank you for helping your child with this at home. We are looking forward to sharing them on Thursday. If you would like to send a treat to help us celebrate Friendship day, please let the teacher know.

Friday is Superhero Day!  That’s right, there is another Spirit Day next week. Thanks for sending them dressed for the past or future today. Next Friday is dress like a superhero. The students are invited to think of their own special powers and invent their own superhero or come dressed as one of their favorite superheroes. We’re sure it will be a super day!

How the World Works – materials – The first graders continue to investigate materials and their properties. Some classes have begun mixing liquids, combining solids and liquids, melting and freezing materials. Ask your child about the investigations that are happening in their room. This unit often inspires students to do some exploration at home. If your child does some “kitchen chemistry” please encourage him/her to share their investigations with photos / videos or bring in the results and tell us about it.

Writing – As we continue writing “How to” pieces, some of the students are beginning to stretch their writing by adding details or tips with some of their steps. In a “How to Make a Snowman” piece a student may write: Next roll the third snowball for the head.  Then he may add a detail or tip like this: You may need some help to lift it to the top. Ask your child about a step from one of his how to pieces. Can he think of a tip or detail to add to it?

Math –  We will be introducing time to the hour and half hour to the first graders. Telling time is a many-layered skill that can be difficult for children, but you can help by talking about times in the day and developing their concept of time. How long is a minute? What can I do in a minute? About how long is an hour? What can you compare an hour with? A movie is longer than an hour. We eat dinner in less than an hour. Encourage your child to set timers to measure time. How long does it take to: Get dressed for school? Drive to school? Brush my teeth? Read one chapter?  Walk to the park? etc.

After School Activities – There is one more week of this activity session. The sign-up for new activities ends on Tuesday. New activities begin on Monday, February 25 – the first day back after the break!

Important Dates:

Tuesday, February 12 – Last day to sign up for activities

Thursday, February 14 – First Grade Friendship day – Send in cards for your classmates  / last day of this activity session

Friday, February 15 – SuperHero Day! Dress as a superhero.

February 18-22 – No school – Winter Break

Monday, February 25 – New activities begin

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

Friday, February 1, 2019

Field Day! – Thank you to our PE teachers for organizing the great activities outside and to the high school students who helped run them. We really enjoyed our time out playing in the snow. Thank you also to the PTO parents who provided the hot chocolate. After getting about in that deep snow, we think many of the first graders will sleep well tonight!

Friday is a spirit day! – The elementary student council has invited us to leave our uniforms at home on Friday as they have declared it Back in Time or Back to the Future day. We can choose to dress from a time long ago or think about what we would like to be in the future. There are so many possibilities. What sparks your imagination?

How the World Works – materials –Thanks for sending mystery liquid bottles. We used them to practice telling about the properties of liquids. Ask your child how he would describe the mystery liquid. Can he use words like transparent, colored, bubbly, etc.? Some have begun to investigate further by mixing solids and liquids. Ask your child about some of the explorations done in class.

Writing – We are beginning to add features to our “how to” writing such as an introduction or a hook. This is our way of grabbing the reader’s attention and drawing them into our pieces. Often our hook is a question. Do you like to play in the snow? Read this book to learn how to dress before going out. Are you hungry? Here’s how to make a tasty sandwich. Ask your child how he introduced some of his “how to” books.

Math –  Although we will continue working on addition and subtraction problem-solving, we have begun a new unit with a focus on shape. Look for 2-D (triangles, rectangles, circles, etc.) and 3-D (cylinder, cubes and spheres, etc.) shapes around the house. Can you find or make 5- or 6-sided shapes? Can you find a cone? Rectangular prism?

PTO Book Swap – Next week your child will get a great opportunity to purchase good books at very reasonable prices at the PTO book swap. The students brought home plastic bags this week with information about the book fair. Send in the bags and money on Wednesday so your child will be ready to shop when his class visits the fair.

Friendship Day is coming! – Thursday, February 14 is Valentine’s day, but in first grade we are calling it Friendship day. We will celebrate friendships by asking every child to bring a card for each of his/her classmates. We are giving you some notice as your child may want to work on a few cards each day. More information about Friendship day as well as your child’s class list came home in the blue folder today.

Important Dates:

Wednesday, February 6 – Sign up for new after school activities begins

February 6-9 – PTO used book fair

Friday, February 8 – Spirit Day – dress  – Back in Time / Back to the Future

Thursday, February 14 – First Grade Friendship day – Send in cards for your classmates  / last day of this activity session

February 18-22 – No school – Winter Break

Monday, February 25 – New activities begin

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

Friday, January 25, 2019

Field Day is Friday! – Our PE teachers have some great games and activities planned for fun in the snow on Friday. Students should be bundled up for an extended time outside – hats and waterproof gloves or mittens are a must along with the usual snow pants and jackets. We also recommend an extra pair of socks so we have a warm, dry pair to put on when we come back to class. Thank you in advance to our PE department!

How the World Works – materials – The first graders have begun some investigations into solids and liquids. We are working on the properties of both. Some classes have observed changes in solids when mixed with a liquid or what happens when we mix two liquids. Homework – Today, your child brought home an empty bottle so that s/he can share a liquid from home. Please read the instructions attached to the bottle and return it on Monday less than half full. Can your child describe the liquid’s properties? Is it colored? Transparent? Bubbly? Slow-moving or viscous, etc.? Thanks for your help with this!

Writing – The students are getting into their “How to” writing. Ask your child about the “how to” pieces s/he is writing. Can s/he tell you the steps using words like first, next, then, after that, finally, etc.? Is there a beginning “hook” to grab the reader and an ending sentence?

Math – This week your child brought home the unit 2 math assessment. You will find a slip attached as well as teacher notes written on the assessment that will give you a better idea of how your child is doing at this point in time. Please let the teacher know if you have any questions.  

Attention New Students and any who missed school photos! – Those who have not had their photo taken because they started late or were away that day should wear formal uniforms on Tuesday for their photo.

Important Dates:

Monday, January 28 – return mystery liquid bottle

Tuesday, January 29 – New students or those who missed – yearbook photos – formal uniform

Friday, February 1 – Winter Field Day, Reports issued electronically

February 6-9 – PTO used book fair

Friday, February 8 – Spirit Day – dress  – Back in Time / Back to the Future

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

Friday, January 18, 2019

How the World Works – materials – The first graders enjoyed some material explorations this week in the science lab. Mrs. McKinney got our interest peaked with her demonstration of ice changing state. Then we got our hands in and explored with our own ice balls adding colors, salt, sugar, and water to see what would happen. Ask your children what they did and observed during their science lab visits this week. Thank you Mrs. McKinney!

Writing – After reading and taking note of some “How to” stories this week, the students began writing their own “how to” pieces. You can help your child by talking about topics for their writing. Brainstorm some things they can do themselves and how they could write about it. Ask your children about the pieces they have started already.

Reading – We are exploring nonfiction informational books in reading. If your child usually brings home fiction stories, encourage him/her to bring home some nonfiction books for their daily reading.

Math – The students have been working on the number pairs that make ten and are beginning to use that knowledge to compute other problems. If I know what makes ten, I can use it to add 3 numbers efficiently. 6 + 7 + 4 = ?  I know that 6 and 4 make 10 and 7 more is 17.  Practice this skill with your child. Get out the playing cards and each player draws three. Add them up. The highest wins. What strategies does your child use, beyond counting all of the shapes? Encourage him/her to look for numbers that go together easily like pairs that make ten and doubles and then add the third card.

Important Dates:

Tuesday, January 29 – New students or those who missed – yearbook photos – formal uniform

Friday, February 1 – Winter Field Day, Reports issued electronically

February 6-9 – PTO used book fair

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

Friday, January 11, 2019

Friday, January 11, 2019

Thank you. We appreciate your swift response to the road closures yesterday. We hope the kids enjoyed their day off today.

Happy New Year to all of our First Grade Families! We jumped right in this week with new units and the students are working well, despite the change in sleep schedules!

How the World Works – materials – We began our new unit of inquiry this week which is an exploration of materials and their properties. We will explore, combine, and attempt to change materials as we learn about the states of matter in this hands-on unit. We are looking forward to guiding our young scientists in their observations and investigations.

Writing – Although many of the students went back to personal narrative writing this week in order to share some of their holiday experiences, the first grade classes began reading and exploring informational “How to . . .” books. In the coming weeks we will discover common elements of “How to” books, think about procedures that are familiar to us (how to make a sandwich, how to get dressed to play in the snow, how to make a snowman, etc.) and begin writing our own “how to” books.

Reading – Please continue to listen to your child read each day. Research shows that one of the best ways to become a better reader is through consistent practice with “just right” books.

Math –  Place value can be a difficult concept for many children. How can 3 be more than 5? Answer: When it is in the number 35. It can be a challenge for many to understand in this number 3 represents three tens or 30. Many students may begin to comprehend this, but continue to reverse the tens and ones. You can help your child build his/her understanding by playing the Place Value Game. Each player divides a piece of paper in half and writes tens at the top of the left side and ones or units on the top of the right side. Spread the playing cards (ace to 9, queens can be zeros) face down on the table. Take turns drawing two cards and placing them on your chart. As the highest number wins, watch as your child discovers which number is best to put in the tens place. Need greater challenge? Add a column for hundreds, thousands . . ., draw one card at a time and decide if you want to put it in the tens or ones place BEFORE you look at your second card; partners place each others’ cards on the chart to try to give them the lowest number.

Skating – Some of the first grade classes were out on the ice this week (1TM, 1AO and 1DE) as our ice skating unit began. Classes 1HM and 1DC will need skates on Monday for their first session on the ice. Here is a reminder of our skating days:

Mondays1DC (12:10), 1HM (14:00)

Tuesdays 1TM (12:15)

Wednesdays1AO (10:10)

Thursdays1DE (12:15)  

Check out our schedule and click on the link to sign up if you can help your child’s class with skate tying: https://goo.gl/forms/bkOF0igDP9yFg1Z92  

Activities Begin Monday – The new session of after school activities begins next week. Please make sure that students, drivers, nannies, and bus company are aware of your child’s schedule changes.

Important Dates:

Monday, January 14 – New activities begin

Tuesday, January 29 – New students or those who missed – yearbook photos – formal uniform

Friday, February 1 – Winter Field Day, Reports issued electronically

February 6-9 – PTO used book fair

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