Hi 1st grade families,
I hope you are having a great start to week 5. As I reflect back on the past couple of weeks, I am finding myself so happy with the growth that our class has made. I also am looking forward in all of the work that needs to be done before the end of 1st grade— though that may seem very far away, it goes by a lot quicker than we’d like to think. Because of all the content that needs to be covered this year, I am asking for you to have conversations with your children of what does it mean to be a student. I am finding that a lot of instructional time has been lost in transitioning from one activity to another (i.e., putting our book buckets away for reading and moving on to the carpet for writing). We also have been very limited in the instruction that is happening because students are unfocused during my lesson— which is about 20 minutes, at most. We have a lot of wiggly bodies and distracting/distracted eyes and ears.
Ideally, I would have loved to move forward toward more intensive content, however we are still a bit stuck in the routines and how to “do” school and what our role is in being an active participant as a learner. I welcome you to please have these conversations with your child at home to help connect the conversations/lessons we are having at school.
Here are some updates for this week:
Please disregard "math homework" written on your child's agenda. We write down our homework in the afternoon after lunch and have math afterwards. Our math lesson on adding and subtracting within 20 with word problems didn't go as quickly as I anticipated so I had to hold the homework to continue the lesson for tomorrow. We will have a math test on adding and subtracting fluently within 20 (word problems included) on Thursday, October 3rd. I will send home a practice test/study guide for you to use at home on Wednesday. Please make sure that your child is doing their daily reading log. More information can be found in the syllabus that was provided during curriculum night. Because we are still going over routines, we are continuing the "basics" of spelling patterns with short u and short o sounds. We will be starting a new literacy center activity this week and I want students to learn the routine of what to do during that activity and not overwhelm the kiddos with learning new, difficult content AND a routine. Please be patient as we gradually get to more challenging things-- as eager as I am in wanting to hit the ground running with content, the importance of reinforcing routines and procedures are what truly makes our classroom run seamlessly.
Homework does get graded in 1st grade and is inputted as part of your child's grade. Please check over your child's homework to make sure that it is completed and accurate. If no homework is submitted, then the grade will result in a 0% F. I want your child's grade to be reflective of mastering concepts rather than no completion. I emphasize with students to use the red folders and many of them are amazing at organizing their papers going home-- please reinforce using the red folders and each of the components at home!
Thank you to all those who came to Curriculum Night. It was a jam packed day full of information. Please take time to go over the syllabus and contents that were provided during Curriculum Night. If you were unable to attend and have questions regarding what was inside the Curriculum Night folder, please feel free to reach out and we can set up a meeting date.
During Curriculum Night, Thursday folders were sent home with parents who attended. If you were not able to attend curriculum night, the folder was sent home with your child on Friday. Students will be sent home with their graded work in the Thursday Folder every Thursday. Please take the weekend to empty out the folder, go over the papers, and sign the pink sheet that has been stapled to the cover. All Thursday folders need to be returned to school by the following Monday to have new graded papers sent home by the next Thursday.
In these last weeks we have completed 3 different drills-- fire, bus, and lockdown. Fire drills happen on a monthly basis while bus and lockdown drills happen at least once a year. This is per CPS protocol. We briefly went over the importance of drills being that even though the likeliness of these events happening are very rare, we want to be prepared. We emphasized in class the importance of being silent and keeping our full attention to the staff member/adult/teacher to fully understand directions of what to do next. Last Friday, the school had a lockdown drill. This happened during indoor recess with Ms. Daniels, our paraprofessional, and Ms. Jasmine, our recess monitor. When the lockdown drill was over, I checked-in on the students to make sure they were okay. Some kiddos had some remaining questions of what exactly a lockdown drill is for and why we have them. While I emphasized that we want to be prepared for anything that may happen, I also encouraged the students to please direct any further questions they had to their parents because I also want to respect how you and your family want to handle tough topics such as lockdown drills.
Upcoming Important Dates
3rd - Xoe K's Birthday
4th- Quarter 1 Progress Reports Distribution
14th - No School (Indigenous People/Columbus Day)
18th - Gary S's Birthday
Thank you and have a great rest of your week,