Warning! Super long message here!! Just some light reading for you all .
Happy December!! This week will bring us day 50 of first grade. There are three full weeks in December before Winter Break and I am excited for all the exciting work that is to come. If you've spoken to your kiddos about some new routines that we've set in place, they may have told you that we recently changed the way that we do our literacy centers. Prior to last week, I've directed students to do various tasks in multiple rotations-- they are told what to do and when to do it. Part of 1st grade is learning and practicing how to be responsible. Our new routine in literacy centers allows for students to select what "just right" activities they would like to do within 3-twenty minute rotations each day. We started slowly practicing this new routine last week and continue that work this week. It is so great to see our students take responsibility for the work that needs to be done-- but also take ownership and pride in their work. This also lends itself for some great differentiation and personalization of instruction. In both reading and math, we are building our toolbox of strategies that are going to help us. In reading, it is in their reading binder and in math, it is with their math sleeve. I encourage you to ask your student about it because they are so excited to get their different strategies that is special to who they are and what they need to grow! Though it is not expansive right now, it will become rich with information to help them flourish this year.
I am so happy that our students are becoming more responsible as first grade progresses-- but this is not without your help! Please continue to support your little one in keeping organized and completing their homework. Students are assigned homework DAILY that is due the next day-- with the exception of the reading log and 2 responses. There seems to be some confusion still with students not completing and turning in homework the next day. Unlike kindergarten at Lenart, students are NOT given a weekly packet to be turned in by the end of the week. This is a transition from last year, but has been a daily expectation since the beginning of 1st grade. Please note that homework is 10% of your child's grade and when homework is not turned it, it does negatively affect their overall grade. I want your child's grade to be reflective of where they are in their mastery of skills, rather than a no-completion. Your child's homework is collected when they turn in their red homework folder at the beginning of the day. If their red folder is not turned in, or if their homework is not in their red folder, then the homework is not received to be graded. If you notice that your child's homework is still in their backpack, please help them put their homework in the red folder to be collected! Students are also expected to bring in their agenda to school EVERYDAY. We have a routine in the classroom where students write down their homework in their agenda and though paper is provided for students to use if they forget their agenda, it can become quite messy with all the loose papers in their backpacks if they are consistently having to use the papers.
Peek into this Week
Reading - Authors have intentions, so pay attention! We are learning that as we read various books, authors have intentions of how they want their readers to feel and react. Let it be how they phrase certain things, use illustration, organize a text. This is called author's craft. In order for students to recognize the author's intentions, they need to be cognitive of the feelings they are having as they read. In your child's reading homework this week, try it out! Whenever there is a special reaction of a gasp, scared, curiosity, laughter-- have them jot it down quickly on a post-it. Then turn that post-it into a response to write more about it. Answer the questions: what emotion did the author make you feel? How did the author do that? Why is this a powerful thing for an author to do this in your book? The more practice your child has in this, the stronger reader they will become in books that are higher in reading level and complexity.
Writing - We are going to take those books that we've read in reading, and try it out in our own narrative writing! We are going to be descriptive and detailed in our character development and try out different writing techniques we've tried in our own books. Writing museum to follow!
Math - We are beginning our unit in adding up to the thousands place. This is the beginning steps for introduction of various strategies such as using the hundreds chart, open number line, decomposing numbers, and the standard algorithm (we call it place-value line-up in class). THis will also transfer over when we do subtraction in our next unit. For those students that need an extra push, they will be looking at multi-step word problems where either subtraction and/or addition will be necessary. Those students will also be pushed to add and subtract with more than just 2 addends. For students that need reinforcement, it is highly encouraged to review math fluency up until 20-- however this is where the multiple strategies of utilizing the hundreds chart and open number line will come into place.
Science - We are continuing our unit on plant and animal survival. Students will develop the idea that just like a superhero has special powers, every animal and plant has special parts and behaviors that help them to grow and meet their needs.
Social Studies - Winter holidays and traditions around the world as well as a study into communities and our own!
Upcoming Important Dates
December 3rd - Picture Day
December 13th - Quarter 2 Progress Reports Distributed
December 15th - Genevieve O's birthday
December 17th - Winter Performance
January 2nd - Return to School per updated CPS calendar*.
*You may view the updated CPS calendar for this 2019-2020 school year HERE.
Students in grades 1st through 8th will have the opportunity to complete in the Lenart RGC Spelling Bee. Students will first compete at the classroom/homeroom level. Then, winners from each homeroom will complete in the school-wide bee on January 10, 2020 at 12:30 p.m. All local school spelling bee champions will be required to participate in the online test during the time frame of 1/21/2020 through 2/7/2020. The Citywide Spelling Bee will take place on 3/12/2020. The date for each homeroom bee will be announced soon! Students were sent home today with a yellow packet of spelling bee words.
You should have received an email from me with your child's beginning of the year NWEA scores. NWEA for all Lenart students will happen in January, after winter break. More information to follow when I receive it from administration.
Message from Mr. Coulter
Below is an email from Mr. Coulter, our music teacher.
Hello First Grade Parents,
First I'd like to apologize for the information overload and lack of clarity in the dissemination of information regarding the winter festival attire. This was due to me not connecting the dots as Miss. Chin and I sought to enhance our gifted students highly anticipation Winter Festival performance. Count it to my head and not my heart and I will make every effort to do better as we move forward in helping our students be the best that they can be.
Clarification- As stated in the letter I sent home last week:
6 points – Attire
Attire for Grades k,- 8th grade All white long sleeve shirt with a collar or all white turtle neck. No T- shirts, stripes, polka dots or designs on the shirts. Solid black bottoms. Black pants for boys or girls, or skirts for the girls. No stripes, polka dots or designs on the pants or skirts. Absolutely no stretch pants, sweat pants or leggings worn as pants. Solid black shoes with black heels and soles. No gym shoes , flip flops, or open toe sandals.
Absolutely no miniskirts or revealing cloths or cloths with inappropriate designs, language, profanity or inappropriate words.
Also stated in the letter;
*ALTERNATE ATTIRE -If your class decides on a particular attire to enhance your performance, It must approved by your classroom teacher and I in advance and parents must be aware of the alternate attire, it must be specific and uniform with the entire class and you must wear it in order to receive 6 points for attire.
In recent years teachers have asked if their class can wear something else besides the black and white attire, something that coincides and enhances their performance. I always keep an open mind about this. Although I am the coordinator of our annual festival this is not MY but Lenart's festival so I try to assure it's fun, educational, and inclusive.
Kindergarten and 1st grade re the only classrooms that have 2 separate performances this year.
What does this mean - Yes they will need both attires. Hard Knock Life will be early in the program which will allow them plenty of time to change without being rushed. I'll make an adjustment to the rubric for 1st grade only so that they will receive points for both attires.
My apologies for such a long email but I wanted to be clear. If you have any additional questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you for your understanding and support. We appreciate you more than you'll ever know.