Thursday, September 21, 2017


Dear Team 108 Families,

You may have noticed in your child's HORSE folder a new lunch menu stating our schedule change.  We have switched Specials Times with Mrs. Galvin's class so starting tomorrow which is DAY 1, we now have MAP:
Day 1-Music  
Day 2 -ART 
Day 3-P.E.  

This means some of our times will also be switched around  (for the better I think).  Here is what our new schedule looks like:

7:45-8:00-Morning Jobs
8:00-8;20-morning meeting
9:50-10:15-Read Aloud
11:15-11:30-Quiet Time
12:30-12:45-Recess (Grab and GO Snack)
12:50-1:20 -Writer's Workshop
1:20-1:25-Pack Up
2:05-2:10-Closing Circle

Luckily our library day, MONDAYS, will not change, just the time we visit.  This will take a little getting used to at first, now that we are fifteen days into our routine, however I really think we will like the break of recess a little earlier in our day.

Grab and Go Snack:  Many children look forward to this second snack time however several of them say they have nothing left to eat.  Whether or not this is true, I can tell you the "extra snacks" of goldfish and graham crackers are now gone.  I have told my kiddos to have the talk with their families about packing more food howver I am not too worried if they do not eat at this time as it is shortly after lunchtime.  Again, the Grab and Go snack should be something easy to eat (a banana, a gogurt, a cereal bar, etc.).  Thank you for having a conversation with your child about this topic.  I am going to say the extra snack donations may have to stop as those snacks seemed to be of high interest to all my munchkins!  

 School picture order forms went home today however I did find a few on the floor that didn't quite make it into the HORSE folders.  Send me a quick email if you did not receive one. School picture day is next Monday the 25th

Your child's HORSE folder is their home/school folder.  Please have them check it each afternoon to see what work or notices may have come home.  It is a good habit we are building in first grade. Each morning they take it out of their backpack, check it for anything coming from home, and put it in their mailbox.

Fundations, our phonics program, has started! Fundations is a multi sensory, structured, systematic, cumulative, and explicit program with a clear and thoroughly documented research basis. The program focuses on student development by differentiating instruction, and actively engaging students in their learning.  This gives students the phonemic awareness that is needed along with guided reading instruction. Fundations is done daily in our classroom.   

In Kindergarten you may have heard about Echo the Owl.  In first grade, we still have Echo but now Echo watches Baby Echo lead the way.  In first grade we are doing a review of all the letters but will mainly focus on lower case letters for correct letter formation.  Ask your child to tell you the names of all the lines (sky, plane, grass, worm).

In first grade we use the Daily Five during literacy time.  The Daily Five is a literacy structure that allows for differentiation in the classroom and provides consistency. It is an integrated literacy instruction and classroom management system for use in reading and writing workshops. It is a system of five literacy tasks that teaches students independence.  So far our class was introduced to  Read To Self (building STAMINA or reading muscles as I call it to read quietly), Read to a buddy, Word Work and Listen to reading .  We will soon Work on Writing as part of that daily five.

In math we have explored all sorts of math manipulatives.  We have learned to play games such as Tally Ho, Penny Dice, Bunny Hop and Top It.  Currently we are learning about the number four so we are using unifix cubes, beans and straws to build this number along with talking about number model sentences (2 +1=3, etc.).  Today we learned  what a Turn Around Fact is.  Ask your child to give you an example tomorrow (3 + 1 =4 and 1+3=4).  Making sure children have the manipulatives in their hand to demonstrate how four is composed is essential.  We use manipulatives and concrete materials throughout our year.

We also started using ST Math which is game-based instructional software for K-12 and is designed to boost math comprehension and proficiency through visual learning.  Many of my friends are familiar with this program from last year and were very excited to start back up!  Those kiddos who are new to it are also excited as they have been itching to start.  Last week we learned as a class how to get Jiji the penguin to the different levels.  Lots of modeling as well as thinking out loud went into these min lessons. Ask your child what they think of ST Math?  The goal for first graders is to use this a total of one hour a week.  This does eventually happen while children are rotating through math centers.  Usually we have one station for ST Math, one instruction station to visit me and then one station where children can be independent with either a game or activity.

In social news, did you know we all have our own invisible bucket?  We've been reading many stories about feelings as well as how to treat others kindly within our classroom.  We read Have You Filled A Bucket Lately by Carol McCloud.  We all shared our connections about times when our buckets get filled up or emptied.  I encourage you to talk as a family at home about how your bucket gets filled.

Did you also know that we have a leader of each day?  That leader gets to hold the flag for the pledge of allegiance, update our calendar, point to the newsletter and be the special helper of the day.  The leader also gets to take home the newsletter!  I encourage kiddos to read it at home with families, look for hunks and chunks, play teacher and hang it in your room. The letter does not need to come back!  

On Friday, we will meet our fourth grade BOOK PALS from Miss Allison's class.  This is a long standing tradition here at BES where fourth and first graders meet throughout the year to share books, activities and create a wonderful relationship.  Fourth graders usually cannot wait for this to start as they remember being the younger ones just a few years ago.  Be sure to ask your child who their book pal(s) are on Friday!  

Here are some special dates for you to know for this year:
-October 5th- BES Woods Walk (Parents welcomed!)
-November 30th-field trip to Dover Children's Museum (parents welcomed!)
-December 21-Winter Woods Walk (Parents welcomed!)
-February 1st-McAuliffe DIscovery field trip (Parents welcomed!)
-June 7th Squam Lake field trip (Parents welcomed!)

Look for next week's Optional Homework Calendar!
More details to come!