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

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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

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Friday, December 14, 2018

Happy Holidays to Everyone! Safe journeys to all who are traveling!

First Grade Expo – It was great to see so many parents here for our concert and Expo. Thank you for giving us your time, and allowing us to share our learning. Clearly, the first graders enjoyed having their parents at school and showing off their work. Maybe the expo gave you some ideas for holiday activities. Hmmm . . .  how about a family “lego boat challenge or flinker” (doesn’t float or sink to the bottom, but is suspended in the water). Perhaps you might like to write some poetry together or produce a better egg carrier?!

Skating – Each class is looking for parent volunteers to help tie skates. Check out our schedule below and clink on the link to sign up If you can help your child’s class with skating in January: https://goo.gl/forms/bkOF0igDP9yFg1Z92  

Mondays1DC (12:10), 1HM (14:00)  First day on the ice is Monday, January 14.

Tuesdays 1TM (12:15)  First day on the ice is Tuesday, January 8 (our first day back at school!)

Wednesdays1AO (10:10)  First day on the ice is Wednesday, January 9.

Thursdays1DE (12:15)  First day on the ice is Thursday, January 10.

Holiday Celebration – Thank you room parents for organizing the first grade party today. The teachers really appreciate that you take charge and they are able to enjoy the festivities along with the kids. Thank you to all of the families that contributed time, food and fun to our holiday celebration!

Reading – Ahhhh the holidays . . .  a great time to cuddle-up with a good book. If you are not traveling with books, you can always find some online at Epic books or log in to your child’s Raz Kids account.

Writing – Poetry folders came home with a half-sheet attached about some of the things your child was introduced to and you might look for in his/her work. We hope you find the time to sit down together and enjoy your child’s poetry writing.

Math –  It’s worth repeating . . .  Getting ready to travel? Visiting relatives? Don’t forget to pack a deck of playing cards, dice or dominoes (or wrap up some new ones for a holiday gift). Playing games with family is a great way for kids to build number sense – grandparents are particularly good for this!

Returning late? If your child will not be returning to school on Tuesday, January 8, please let the teacher know for planning purposes.

Important Dates:

Tuesday, January 8 – school resumes – activity sign-up ends –  No Activities this first week

Monday, January 14 – New activities begin

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Friday, December 7, 2018

Formal uniform on Wednesday for our Concert and Expo!

Holiday Concert – We are excited about our time on stage. Please join us for the grades 1-4 holiday concert on Wednesday at 9:30 in the bolshoi theater. The first graders will help you get into the spirit of the holidays as they will be on stage singing and playing. And that’s not all . . .

First Grade Expo – Immediately following the concert (about 10:30-11:15), the first graders will be sharing their learning from their How We Express Ourselves unit on invention and creativity. With your child as guide, you will travel through the first grade classrooms to see our learning process and experience some activities first hand. We are looking forward to sharing our work with you!

Ice Skating –  All first graders are required to bring their skates and hats to school next week for a try-on and helmet fitting. (We will not be on the ice.) Here is the day your child will need skates and hats at school next week:

Monday – 1DC, 1HM, 1AO  bring skates and hats to school for try-on

Tuesday – 1TM  bring skates and hats to school for try-on

Thursday – 1DE  bring skates and hats to school for try-on

Each class is looking for parent volunteers to help tie skates. Check out our schedule below and clink on the link to sign up If you can help your child’s class with skating in January: https://goo.gl/forms/bkOF0igDP9yFg1Z92  

Mondays1DC (10:10), 1HM (14:00)  First day on the ice is Monday, January 14.

Tuesdays 1TM (12:15)  First day on the ice is Tuesday, January 8 (our first day back at school!)

Wednesdays1AO (10:10)  First day on the ice is Wednesday, January 9.

Thursdays1DE (12:15)  First day on the ice is Thursday, January 10.

Thank You for sending in your recyclables. As we are completing our unit next week, culminating with our Expo, we are finished collecting recyclables. Thank you!

Friday is a spirit day! – The elementary student council have invited us to leave our uniforms at home on Friday and participate in Wacky Winter Dress Day. Your child is invited to wear holiday colors or clothing, winter hats, etc.

Holiday Celebration – Thank you in advance to our room parents and all who have helped to organize or contribute to our holiday celebration on Friday. You are all welcome to join us at 14:30 on Friday to wish our friends happy holidays and safe journeys.

Writing – We look forward to sharing some of our poetry next week at the Expo! Although we are completing our poetry unit, this is a writing form that we hope has inspired students to try some poetry on their own or when they have free-writing.

Math –  Look for a mid-unit math assessment that came home in your child’s blue folder today. You will see teacher notes that may give you some insight as to your child’s progress at this time. Any questions or concerns, please contact the teacher. Getting ready to travel? Visiting relatives? Don’t forget to pack a deck of playing cards, dice or dominoes. Playing games with family is a great way for kids to build number sense – grandparents are particularly good for this!

Leaving Early / Returning late? If your child will not be in school each day through Friday, December 14 or will not be returning to school on Tuesday, January 8, please let the teacher know for planning purposes.

Important Dates:

Monday, December 10 – Last day for Taganka Gift bag collection

Wednesday, December 12 – Holiday concert and First grade EXPO – wear formal uniform

Wednesday, December 12 – Sign-up begins for January activities

Thursday, December 13 – Last day of Session 2 after school activities

Friday, December 14 – grade one holiday celebration – spirit day – holiday dress

Tuesday, January 8 – school resumes – activity sign-up ends –  No Activities this week

Monday, January 14 – New activities begin

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Friday, November 30, 2018

Book Fair Next Week – Your child brought home a small plastic money bag with information about next week’s book fair. Here are the days for the first grade class visits to the book fair: Tuesday – 1HM and 1DC, Wednesday – 1TM, Thursday – 1DE and 1AO

Formal uniform on Friday – We will have a concert dress rehearsal with photos, so please wear formal uniforms on Friday. We will also have formal uniforms for the concert and Expo on Wednesday, December 12.

Ice Skating Begins! All first graders are required to bring their skates and hats to school the week of December 10 for a try-on and helmet fitting. (We will not be on the ice.) Check out our skating schedule:

Mondays1HM, 1DC  Need skates and hats at school for your try-on day Monday, Dec 10. First day on the ice is Monday, January 14.

Tuesdays 1TM  Need skates and hats at school for your try-on day Tuesday, Dec 11. First day on the ice is Tuesday, January 8 (our first day back at school!)

Wednesdays1AO  Need skates and hats at school for your try-on day Monday, Dec 10. Please note *** Try-on day is different from skating days due to our Expo. First day on the ice is Wednesday, January 9.

Thursdays1DE  Need skates and hats at school for your try-on day Thursday, Dec 13. First day on the ice is Thursday, January 10.

How We Express Ourselves – Invention  – This week students took a closer look at inventions and how they progressed. Most of us did not recognize the first telephone and now our phones serve as cameras, entertainment, and our connection to limitless information! We have been exposed to a number of invention stories. When the students begin creating their own inventions, we hope they can persevere through attempts and design changes as have many of the inventors we have read about. We will be working on our inventions in the next few weeks. Thanks for sending in your recyclables. We will continue collecting until Friday, December 7.

Holiday Concert and First Grade Expo – The first through fourth graders will be taking turns on stage to perform in our holiday concert on Wednesday, December 12 at 9:30. Following the concert, first grade families are invited to join us in our classrooms for our Expo (directly after the concert until 11:15). Parents are welcome to try some of our invention and creativity projects as we share our learning process. We hope you can join us!

Writing – We are learning that poetry is often a short burst of emotion or action that might inspire a feeling or reaction from the reader. Ask your child about some of his poems and please share some poetry in your home language with your child.

Math –  The first graders are working on the number pairs to make 10. A great way to practice this is to use playing cards to play Tens Go Fish. All the cards (take out jacks and kings, queens are used as zeros) are face down in a pile. Each player takes 5 and checks his hand for any pairs that make 10 (2 and 8, 7 and 3, etc.) to lay on the table in front of him. The players take turns asking another player for a card he needs to make a ten. Dad do you have a 4? Yes, here you go. OR, No, sorry go fish. If no, then the asking player draws a card from the pile. When the cards are all gone, the winner is the player with the most number pairs that make ten.

Leaving Early? If your child will not be in school each day through Friday, December 14, please let the teacher know. This will assist our room parents in planning for our holiday celebration.

Important Dates:

All next week: Taganka Gift bag collection – until December 10

December 4-6 – New Book Fair – check specific day above

Friday, December 7 – Formal uniform for concert rehearsal and photos

Wednesday, December 12 – Holiday concert and First grade EXPO – wear formal uniform

Wednesday, December 12 – Sign-up begins for January activities

Thursday, December 13 – Last day of Session 2 after school activities

Friday, December 14 –  Spirit day – Wacky Winter Dress up day. Grade one holiday celebration at 2:30

Tuesday, January 8 – school resumes – activity sign-up ends

Monday, January 14 – New activities begin

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Friday, November 23, 2018

Conferences – It was great to meet with families on Thursday to share our progress and next steps. Thank you for taking the time to be here.  As always if you have any questions or concerns, please contact your child’s teacher at any time.

How We Express Ourselves – Invention  – This week we turned our attention to problem-solving and inventions. What would you create to help get your kite from a tree or to get across a very busy street, or to get a cookie jar down safely, etc.? We worked on problem-solving plans and inventions. Ask your child about a problem s/he tried to solve this week.  Please continue to collect and send in your recyclables as we continue to design and invent.

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 began our poetry unit with an investigation of poems and how they are different from other writing. What makes it a poem? Most of the classes began with list poems, choosing a topic like a season and writing a list of words that make you think of that season. Ask your child about some of the poems s/he has been working on in writing. Try writing a list poem with your family.

Math – As we have been working on all the number pairs that make 10, our next step is to use that knowledge to add 3 numbers. Use playing cards (or dice if you want to begin with numbers to 6) to play Draw Three at home to practice this. Each player takes three cards and adds them. The partner with the highest number wins. What strategies does your child have for adding? At first s/he may count all of the dots. Then it is hoped they move on to putting the largest number in their head and counting on from there. Some may then begin recognizing numbers that go together easily like doubles and then counting on. Are they able to recognize pairs that make ten quickly and then add the third card?

Important Dates:

All next week: Taganka Gift bag collection – until December 10

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

Wednesday, December 12 – Sign-up begins for January activities

Thursday, December 13 – Last day of Session 2 after school activities

Friday, December 14 – last day of school before our winter holiday

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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

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

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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