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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, September 23, 2016

Conferences! –  We look forward to meeting with you and your child at our goal-setting conferences on Friday. Thank you to all those families who have scheduled their conference. If you have not done so, please sign up for your time as soon as possible. On Friday, students come in formal uniform with their parents at their scheduled time. If you cannot be there for any reason, please let your child’s teacher know. See you on Friday!

Who We Are – CultureThank you to all of our families who have shared some of their culture with the classes. We are really broadening our horizons as we learn first-hand about events, food, celebrations and customs that are important to our classmates’ families. We have enjoyed seeing the similarities and differences in our cultures. There is still time for your family to share – please let your child’s teacher know that you would like to visit the class and help us experience part of your culture. Ask your child about some of the celebrations and food shared this week and for ideas about what your family can share.

Reading – We’ve had our first week of bringing home “just right” books for daily reading. How’s it going with your family? We hope you are finding time to read with your child each day. As we begin choosing books and we are learning about our levels, we may find that some books are too easy or too difficult. Feel free to read the book to your child or take turns reading if books are too challenging.  Remember our goal is a love of books and reading!

Homework – Those “just right” books should be coming home and back to school every day in the blue folder.  In addition to our daily reading books, we will begin sending weekly homework choice boards after our September 30th goal-setting conferences.

Writing – One of our first goals in our personal narrative writing is to generate ideas. We began this week by reading real life stories to help inspire our own writing. Any events we have experienced first-hand can be great subjects for our writing. Talk with your child about a weekend event, dinner out, time in the park, etc. These can all be good ideas for our writing.

Math – As we work on our problem-solving skills, we are also developing our number sense and computational strategies. One way to build our efficiency in working with numbers is to work with the number combinations that make ten. Visualizing this using a ten-frame is one way students become more familiar with the ten pairs

Home connection: Play Tens Go Fish – (regular deck of playing cards, Ace = 1, Queen = 0, remove jacks and kings) Cards spread face down on the table. Each player draws 5 cards and looks for partners that make 10 (3 and 7, 9 and 1, etc). Take turns asking other players for the number partner needed. If I have a 6, I might say, ”Dad do you have a 4? He gives me his 4 or responds “No, sorry, Go Fish” Then I draw a card from the pile and it is the next player’s turn. When all the cards are used, player with the most ten pairs wins.

Important Dates:

Friday, September 30 – Parent/Teacher/Child goal-setting conferences – formal uniform

Thursday, October 6 – No School – Staff development day

Friday, October 7 – No School

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Friday, September 16, 2016

Conferences! – Sign up today for the student/parent/teacher goal-setting conferences on Friday, September 30. The ES office is sending a link and instructions for your sign-up today.

Who We Are – CultureOur culture study has been much richer and meaningful because it has begun to come from our families. Aside from a visit to each of the other first grade classes to learn about cultural events or celebrations from the teachers, classes also had students and parents sharing holidays, food, and customs that are significant to them. We have enjoyed seeing the similarities and differences in our cultures. Ask your child about some of the celebrations and food shared this week and for ideas about what your family can share. Please contact your child’s teacher to volunteer to share something from your culture!

Reading – The children will begin bringing home “just right” books each day next week. Please listen to your child read each day. Sometimes the teacher will choose books and sometimes your child will choose. As we are learning about reading levels and how to choose books that are right for us, we will often bring one that is too easy or too difficult. Many times the books that interest us are not right at our levels – no worries. Feel free to read to your child or take turns reading. A love of books and reading is always our goal! Please don’t let your child struggle through any book. First grade reading should be an enjoyable experience for you and your child.

Homework – As all first graders will begin bringing home “just right” books on Monday, your child should get in the habit of carrying the blue folder to and from school everyday next week! In addition to our daily reading books, we will begin sending weekly homework choice boards after our goal-setting conferences.

Writing – We will begin to write and share personal narratives in writer’s workshop.  Students are encouraged to write about their own experiences or events that are familiar to them. The first goal for many students will be to generate ideas. “I don’t know what to write.”  Everything that happens to us can be an idea for a personal narrative. Parents can help by talking about experiences with children in detail. “What did you like best about going to the park today?” “What made you laugh when we played that game?” “Maybe you could write about it.”

Math – Problem solving is the key component in our math work throughout first grade. Students will be asked to draw or use manipulatives to demonstrate and explain their thinking. When we ask “How did you do that?”, we often learn different strategies from our classmates.

Home connection: Creating our own math problems builds our understanding and helps us solve others. Ask your child to make up a math story using the number 7.  “My Mom has 7 flowers and I give her 2 more. How many flowers does she have now?” Ask your child to show how he/she would solve it with objects or drawings.

Next Week’s Photo schedule – . All should wear formal uniforms with white button-up shirt and tie.

1HA – Tue Sep 20

1WL – Wed Sep 21

Important Dates:

Friday, September 30 – Parent/Teacher/Child goal-setting conferences – formal uniform

Thursday, October 6 – No School – Staff development day

Friday, October 7 – No School

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Friday, September 9. 2016

Who We Are – Culture – Thank you to those parents who have stepped forward and offered to share something from your culture with your child’s class. We’d love to have more parent volunteers.Our culture study is much more valuable when it comes from our families. Perhaps you could get together with another first grade parent/family who share similar cultural experiences. There are many ways you can share: How about creating a display for our hallway bulletin board or table? You could visit your child’s classroom and share a special holiday or tradition that is important to your family. Introduce us to some music or a dance from your culture. Share a dish from your home country that your family enjoys. Can you think of another way to share your culture with the first graders? We need you! Please contact your child’s teacher to volunteer to share something from your culture!

Math – We are working on our number sense in math with an emphasis on problem solving. Students are using counters and drawings to show their understanding and explain their thinking. Creating and solving their own math stories is a great way to build understanding of word problems and allows students to work with numbers at their own level.

Home connection:  Ask your child to show you how to play the Counters in a Cup game. Begin with 5 coins. Hide some under a cup and ask your child to tell how many are hidden. When your child is comfortable using 5 objects, move on to 6, 7, etc.

After School Activities – Activities begin on Monday! Check the Penguin Life link in the weekly news to confirm your child’s activities. Please make sure your child, driver, Nanny,  bus monitors, and bus company are aware of the schedule changes each day. First graders with activities are taken to the cafeteria at 3:20 where they can buy a snack with their lunch cards or eat a snack from home. Each activity leader will pick up the children from the cafeteria at 3:30. Please make note of the room where your child’s activity takes place so that you can pick him/her up at 4:30. Bus riders will be escorted to their buses.

Photos – . All should wear formal uniforms with white button-up shirt and tie. Here are the dates for first grade photos:

1AO – Wed Sep 14

1DC – Wed Sep 14

1HM – Fri Sep 16

1HA – Tue Sep 20

1WL – Wed Sep 21

Important Dates:

Saturday, September 10 – PTO Family BBQ, Fun Run and Wellness Fair – All welcome!

Monday, September 12 – After School Activities begin

Friday, September 30 – Parent/Teacher/Child goal-setting conferences – formal uniform

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Friday, September 2, 2016

Who We Are – Culture – Thank you to all for helping your child prepare his/her “Me” bag. We have enjoyed sharing them and learning about each other. Please help your child develop his own sense of culture by talking about specific foods, music, dance, traditions or holidays that are important to your family. As we move deeper into culture and identity we would like to invite parents to share some of their culture with the class. We are very fortunate to have families from so many different cultural backgrounds and we can learn so much from you. You’re Invited! Please share something important to your family and/or culture with the first graders. There are many ways you can share: How about creating a display for our hallway bulletin board or table? You could visit your child’s classroom and share a special holiday or tradition that is important to your family. Introduce us to some music or a dance from your culture. Share a dish from your home country that your family enjoys. Can you think of another way to share your culture with the first graders? We need you! Please contact your child’s teacher now to volunteer to share!

Culture and Art Connection – As the first graders look at patterns in art, we are wondering if you have patterned fabric that may be associated with your culture. Our art teachers have requested that your child bring in cloth examples of patterns from your family’s culture or examples that are representative of a place you have lived/visited.

After School Activities – Activity sign up began on Wednesday. Check the link in the Elementary Express for the list of activities and your chance to register your child.

Homework – Officially our homework begins after our parent/teacher/child goal-setting conferences on September 30. Some students have begun choosing books from the classroom to take home to read. As we learn more about your child and his/her reading levels, we will begin sending daily readers home. Thanks for carrying the blue folder each day as it helps us develop classroom routines.

Important Dates:

Now  – Sign-up for After School Activities

Saturday, September 10 – PTO Welcome BBQ

Monday, September 12 – After school activities begin

Friday, September 30 –  Conferences – Parent/Teacher/Child goal setting conferences- formal uniform

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Friday, August 26, 2016

First Week! – It has been great getting to know your children this first week of school. We are excited about the year ahead and  look forward to working with you. Please look for our blog posts updated each Friday to find out about our learning journey and follow the important dates and events in first grade. Please also check out the Elementary news in the AAS weekly newsletter sent to you each Wednesday.

Who We Are – Culture – This is the title of our first unit of inquiry and it is going to be a great way to get to know each other. What makes us who we are? Often international school students have a great mix of cultural influences – Mum’s, Dad’s, the host country’s. We will begin learning about each other by sharing our identity bags. Today, each child brought home an “All about Me” bag.  He/she began decorating the bag with drawings that tell about themselves.  We ask you to help your child select items to put in the bag that are important to him/her and your family. More detailed instructions are inside the bag. Please help your child choose objects/photos to share with the class on Monday. We look forward to learning more about our classmates as they share their bags and introduce themselves next week. Again, please return the bags on Monday.

Routines – The first graders are met on the playground each day at 8:25 (except Wed – 9:10). The playground has adult supervision from 8:00. If you are bringing your child into the building, we ask that you help us with hallway congestion and remain in the student lounge area until 8:25. Thank you.

PE – Keep your child’s schedule handy to know which days he/she should come to school dressed for physical education.

Library – Most of the first grade classes visited the library this week. Please check your child’s class schedule to see when his/her library books should be returned to school each week.

Swimming next week! All first grade classes will be swimming next week. Please make sure your child’s swim bag has swimsuit, cap, goggles, towel and flip-flops/shoes for the deck – all labeled please.

Here are our swimming days:

1DC – Mondays

1WL and 1HM – Tuesdays

1AO – Thursdays

1HA – Fridays

Important Dates:

Wednesday, August 31  – After school activity sign-up begins

Saturday, September 10 – PTO Welcome BBQ

Monday, September 12 – After school activities begin

Friday, September 30 –  Conferences – Parent/Teacher/Child goal setting conferences- formal uniform

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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

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

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

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

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

Tips for maintaining skills over the summer holiday.

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

Writing – Keeping a journal is the best way to maintain skills and interest in writing. Glue/tape in pictures or souvenirs from the day, with a few sentences and drawings about the event. Draw a cartoon with speech bubbles about an event.

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

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

First and foremost – Don’t forget to get outside and just have fun!
Enjoy the summer holiday!

Important dates:

Monday, August 22 – Open House – Meet your child’s second grade teacher

Tuesday, August 23 – First Day of School

Friday, June 10, 2016

***Note: Wednesday, June 15 school begins at 8:30 it is not a late start. Dismissal is at 12:00.

Thank You Parents! We received letters, notes, flowers and gifts as part of teacher appreciation week. Thank you to our first grade parents and the PTO for all the treats, gifts, and attention we received this week.

Bee Apiary – We had a great day out on Thursday, which included some sweet honey! (We were happily on the bus home before the rain fell.) Thank you to all of our parent volunteers! Ask your child about the trip and why it is important to protect the bees – one of earth’s natural resources.

Field Day! Thank you to the PE teachers for organizing an activity-filled morning on the field!

Sharing the Planet  – People can make choices to help support the earth’s resources – Our trip to the bee apiary helped us make connections between our actions and effects on our natural world. Aside from being a fun day out, our field trip was a great culmination to our waste and resources unit.

Reading – Don’t forget to check shelves at home for classroom and library books AND continue that consistent reading practice over the summer!

Writing – Many of the first graders were prolific nonfiction book writers. As our portfolios and writing folders come home, please give your child some time to share his/her informational writing pieces with you.

Math – The first graders have spent a great deal of time working to become problem solvers in math. Reading and understanding what happens in a math story is the first step. Next students are encouraged to retell the story using manipulatives or drawings. Then they show their thinking process through number bonds or equations. Working with understanding and explaining the steps involved in solving have been the focus of much of our math work this school year.

Home connection: Make up math stories with your child. Have your child use legos or drawings to retell the story. How would he/she show that in a picture, number bond, or equation? Can your child make up a problem of his/her own?

Leaving AAS? Please inform the school office if your child will not be at AAS for grade two. Please make sure your child’s teacher knows this as well so that all can have an opportunity to say goodbye to their classmates.

Leaving early for holidays? As room parents are planning end-of-year celebrations, and we would like to make sure all students get their art work, portfolios and locker possessions, please let your child’s teacher know if they will not be here through our last school day, Wednesday, June 15.   

Reports – Your child’s final report will be issued electronically on Wednesday. Please take time to access and read it.

Important Dates:

Tuesday, June 14 – End of school year celebrations begin at 2:30 – Parents welcome!

Wednesday, June 15 –  Last day – 8:30 start – 11:00 closing ceremony –  12:00 dismissal

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