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

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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

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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

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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

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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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