Monday, May 1, 2017

Welcome to the Month of May!

Hi Team 108 Families!  I hope everyone had a great Spring vacation!  Our family enjoyed a 
"stay-cation" by doing a few day trips.  My oldest daughter, Olivia, performed in a musical called Suessical Jr. so we were quite busy with rehearsals and her actual performances .  Hard to believe how quick a week flies by and now that we are back, we only have seven weeks together as Team 108 (38 days to be exact).

This morning our whole school came together for a Welcome Back Community Meeting.  Each grade shared a part of the meeting.  First graders did a fabulous job at setting the expectations and then we heard a special song written by fourth graders on kindness.  Miss Robinson told our school that teachers will be on the look out to catch kids being kind to other kids this week.  Kindness can be something as small as smiling at a friend in the morning or as big as helping a friend clean up their spilled milk.  Talk to your child this week about what kindness looks like at your own home and how you can be kind to others in your family.  

If you haven't heard, today we welcomed a new student to our Team.  Matthew Radomski is our newest team member to join and we couldn't be happier!  This group of kiddos really do well with helping friends who are new to our community and were just overjoyed to hear the news before leaving for spring break.  If you happen to see Matthew or his family around town, be sure to welcome them to town!  

Today a blue sheet came home.  On top you will find the New Hampshire animal your child chose along with resources to use with the support of an adult.  Children have two weeks to gather information about their animal and then bring it back to school.  Your child will then use this important information that s/he collected to create poems, projects and more!  You will get to see all the fabulous work at our Education Fair on June 1st.  This is an open house for families to come see the hard work displayed throughout classrooms, visit next year's classrooms and stop by the Book Fair.    Just a note; this blue sheet will take the place of our Homework Calendar. 

In math today we discussed what equal parts mean.  We then had to show how we could make our own equal parts using post it notes.  Tomorrow we will begin talking about fractions and using our pretend "fraction machine" while we use fraction strips.    We will focus on whole, halves and quarters this entire week.    Be ready to ask your child what a whole, a half and quarters are.  

In literacy we continue to use FUNdations on a regular basis.  Students know digraphs, blends, glued sounds, base words, suffix -s and just recently became familiar with closed syllable words.  Ask your child how to tell if a word is closed syllable (hint*:  It has a short vowel sound as in a in apple and is closed in by a consonant or consonants).  Now with unit 10, students will learn suffix endings -ed and -ing. 

 This is our first year using this program and I have to say I have been very impressed with my students' abilities to mark up sentences, know the correct terminology and be held accountable for correct spelling.  As a parent, I can say I wish that my fourth grader had this in her primary years as spelling is a major concern in the higher grades.  We continue to learn new trick words weekly that usually follow some sort of spelling pattern.  Today's introduction to the words now, how and down all followed the -ow pattern.  We now have over 50 trick words added to our wall!  

In conjunction with this program, we have also learned about parts of speech.  Nouns, verbs and adjectives have been the focus around our Word Work.  Today students had to think of a noun and then write five adjectives to describe that noun.  This was tricky to do, especially on a Monday after Spring vacation however my kiddos did great using their brain power!  Kiss your brains TEAM 108!  

In Writer's Workshop, we continue to write realistic fiction.  This is where we, as writers, can use our imagination to create stories that could actually happen.  Students are working hard to add dialogue, make their characters come to life and to add detail to their stories.  Challenge your child one night this week to make up a realistic fiction story before bedtime. 

A permission slip is coming home for Squam Lake Science Center.  All chaperones are welcomed however only three from each class can come on the bus.  If you would like to meet us there, that is fine too!  This is an AWESOME field trip to come to and we go no matter what....rain or shine!  Hope you can join us!  

Finally,  please make sure your child has appropriate clothing for recess time.   We definitely are having some unseasonably cool weather right now and I heard it will be like this for the next two weeks.  Coats or sweatshirts are needed daily especially since we have a half hour recess in afternoon.  Thanks so much for your support!  

Enjoy your night!  

Monday, February 6, 2017

"Pal"entine's Day!C

Hi Team 108 Families!  The month of January seemed to fly by and now with February here, we are packed with activities right up until Winter Break!  

Next Tuesday, February 14th, first grade will have Valentine rotations (or as I like to call it.."Pal"-entine rotations!).  Each rotation will involve creating and decorating cards and gifts to give to the senior citizens at White Rock Hill, as they are having a special dinner at their dining hall and have said they would like our special gifts.  

In our own classrooms, we will exchange valentines with each other.  Last week each student should have brought home a list of class names written out by your child.  I will add names below so you can double check in case you missed seeing the list come home.  Children are encouraged to make valentines.  Remember homemade ones are the best so feel free to be creative!  We will be making large envelopes to hold our valentines so you may attach treats if you would like but please do not feel like it is necessary.

Mrs. Tibbetts
Mrs. Coburn
Mrs. Rader

Our team would LOVE to have some special snacks on Palentine's Day if you would like to donate.  Please keep in mind, we do need to be NUT FREE!  Please email me if you would like to sign up donate.  The following items would be nice to have:

17 Holiday plates/ napkins
17 flavored water/juice boxes
17 Valentine Treat
17 Valentine Treat

This week is a busy one as we are teaching our Space Systems Unit for science.  First grade classes will participate in a science lesson learning about the seasons, the sun, moon and earth and how they are all related, day and night and constellations.  As a culmination to this unit we will have a real planetarium come visit our school this Friday!!!!!  This was generously provided by the P.T.O.  Today  our class learned about the earth, moon and sun.  Ask your child to show you his/her craft and what special facts s/he could tell you about them.

On Thursday we will have two special events!  It is actually the 100th day of school so Mrs. Rader has some exciting events planned for the day!  We also will visit the Invention Convention and our own Sam will present as one of the inventors!  So proud of you Sam!  

We will be eating lunch in our classroom that day so please make sure it is a NUT FREE lunch on Thursday!  

Our phonics program Fundations  has given us some important rules and words to learn over the past month.  Recently we have added the -ang, -ing, -ong,  and -ung chunk to our letter boards.  These are called GLUED sounds (if you hear the term from your child).  Today we added the -ank, -ink,-onk,-unk to our letter boards.  We also have learned about base words and the suffix -s.  Plus some very tricky sight words; where, there, here, were, do, does, why, by, my, try and tomorrow we are adding two and put!!!  WOW!  This program sure does move quick but I have to say I am loving what I am seeing my first graders do and how they notice all these rules while reading during guided reading groups.

In math last week we had fun learning our doubles facts (if you heard the song "Doubles, Doubles,  I can name Doubles"....then you are welcome!!!  I couldn't get it out of my head either!!!).  We also practiced doubles plus one.  We talked about the importance of needing to know our fast facts in first grade to be ready for more challenging math next year!  

So proud of my kiddos last week for how they handled our "secure campus" situation on Thursday.  Our team was great at listening and did just what they were supposed to do.  It is a scary thing to our young learners (and our big adults!!!!) but following our procedures in place is essential when these sort of things happen.

Finally the date went out this year but I want to make sure everyone is aware of the First Grade Concert on March 23rd at the High School.  Our kiddos are working very hard to learn all the songs, including our state song (ask your child to sing it for you tonight!). Mark your calendars!  

Lots of sickness going around B.E.S. right now, especially in our classroom.  We will be in need of some soft tissues soon for sure!  We are trying hard to remember to cough in our elbow and keep the hand washing with soap going throughout the day!  Lots of Clorox wiping and opening our window up to get some fresh air during the day.  Here's hoping spring comes sooner than later!  

Have a good night!  

Monday, January 9, 2017

Time To The Half Hour

Brrrrr!  It was a TWO indoor recess kind of day due to such frigid temperatures!  Luckily it is supposed to warm up later this week so we are hopeful to get some outdoor time.  Please continue to send your child in with all their snow gear daily along with a change of shoes as we do make every effort to get out each day!  

This morning we reviewed the suffix ending -s and talked about what the base word means during our morning meeting. We also reviewed our two new trick words:  are and were.  These words, along with the upcoming 5 sight words are challenging!  Ask your child to find them in books, write them on the bathtub wall or sing them to you each night before going to bed.  

We have started using the program, A-Z READING in our classroom during literacy time using the Ipads.  This free app has kids choosing the text book they would like to listen to.  Each child has a guided level that I already chose for them depending on their reading level, however there are several books to choose from.  The first time each child listens to the book being read to them, while the words are highlighted.  The second time, each child reads the book on their own.  Then there are comprehension questions to answer.  We've just started with this program but be on the lookout to use it at home with your child in the next couple of weeks.  Our team really enjoy it and it has some great non fiction text to choose from as well!  

In math today we learned how to write and tell time the half hour.  We talked about saying it two ways; for example you could say 8:30 or half past eight.  We practiced using our mini Judy clocks along with our white boards.   I encourage you to point out the time to the half hour at home and see if your child can tell you the time.  We will practice more with time over the next two days.

Today a new challenge from Mrs. Ruest is coming home!  Also there is a new homework calendar coming home as well.  Send those book bags back so new books can come home!  Remember we also have library on Thursday.

Mrs. Ruest was our special guest at the end of our day today to explain the Invention Convention to us.   Invention Convention is in February.  This is where students are encouraged to create/invent something to help people or make lives better and then present it to the whole school through a day of tours and presentations.  A form about this went home last week however we have extra if you want another one for your child.  

One more quick note.....on Friday, April 14th, the P.T.O. will have the NIGHT OF SONGS at the Bow High School !  This night is for anyone who like to karaoke.  Mrs. Rader is actually in charge of this event and would love to see some of my kiddos from Team 108  out there!   Have your child find some friends, pick a song or songs and put together some dance moves!   Mrs. Ruest and I will offer Thursday after school practices starting after February vacation if anyone wants help from 2:30-3:30 (Bow Youth kiddos can participate too...).  Last year this night was a blast and kiddos loved seeing the "Teacher Surprise" at the end of the night.  Even if your kiddo doesn't want to get up in front of everyone, you should still come see the performances...and you can bet your bottom dollar there will be another teacher surprise!  Mark your calendars!!!!  

Stay warm!  

Thursday, January 5, 2017

We've Almost Made It!

We've almost made it through our first week back!  I sure am proud of the hard work my kiddos are producing.  I told them I will start referring to them as "Almost Second Graders" now that we are almost half way through our year together.  

Yesterday during our Fundations lesson, we learned the vocabulary word suffix.  We also learned the term "base word" and when adding the suffix -S to a word makes it plural.  Learning that the /z/ sound can be made by z and s will now help us during Writer's Workshop, as many kids want to write a z at the end of their words.  Test your child's knowledge about this tonight by giving them a plural word and ask them to tell you the base word.

Our Fundations program really has us becoming reading stars as we now know consonants, vowels, some glued sounds (all, am, an), digraphs (ch, sh, wh, th, ck) and now the suffix -s plus about 25 trick words along with WORDS of the DAY!  Our team  is pretty awesome at our daily lessons and are excited to build words on our letter boards (both real and nonsense) as well as write down sentences that are dictated. Ask your child how to mark up glued sounds (hint:  we put a box around them).

In math this week we have been working with empty number lines.  An empty number line has no numbers or markers and is a visual representations for recording and sharing students' thinking strategies during the process of mental computation.  Students have to decompose numbers to get to the final product.  This is a tricky skill however I am very impressed with how this group has tackled this challenge.  Next week we are onto learning time to the half hour!  

Tomorrow is a whole school meeting assembly where each grade takes a part of our meeting.  The first graders will be doing the share portion and will be singing our "Chubby Little Snowman" song.  Ask your child to sing it to you tonight!  

Stay warm!  

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Back To The Grind!

Our team did a great job today at remembering their routines and first grade expectations.  While  I did have a few tears,  numerous yawns and a couple of "When is it the end of the day?", I think for the most part my kiddos did fabulous!  So kudos to you all for getting them here and with a smile!  I bet early bedtime won't be too hard tonight!  

A few important things have happened in Team 108 over the past two months!  

Cody became a proud big brother again back in November!   Congratulations to him and his family on their new addition!  
We've also celebrated quite a few birthdays!  Happy Belated Birthday to Marianna who turned 7 in November and to Brianna and Elizabeth who celebrated their birthdays in December!  

Tomorrow we will celebrate Ryan's birthday!  What a way to kick off our new year!   Happy Birthday Ryan!!!!!!

Just a reminder,  we always acknowledge birthdays throughout our school year!  This includes summer birthdays!  If you want to send in an edible treat, I ask that it be nut free.  Non edible treats are fun too such as pencils, erasers, etc.  The birthday child may also have a guest reader come into our class and read a favorite book if this is an option.  Just email me and we can set up a time. 

Finally, I am sure this is old news to many of you but we did have a new team member join our class during our last week of December together.  His name is Sylas.  We welcome him and his family to Bow!  He has had plenty of friendly helpers showing him the "ropes" around B.E.S.  What a lucky fellow!  

A big thank you to all the families who volunteered to bring in donations for our Night Tree Walk or happened to volunteer that day.  How festive it felt with the snow falling as we walked into the Bow Woods to decorate the trees.  We could not have done this day without you all so thank you again!  

Our optional homework calendar went home today as well as new books.  Please be aware that this week I will start to benchmark each child on their current reading levels however the books coming home should still be easy for your child to read.  Report cards come out next month (early February) and I am very excited to see how each child has progressed with both their reading and their math.  They should be very proud of themselves!  

Great job today having all my friends remember their snow gear and shoes!   Make sure everything is labeled too!   Remember tomorrow is p.e so sneakers are a MUST!  Also library is on Thursday!  Pack those books if you haven't yet.  

Have a great night!  

Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!  Hopefully everyone has been able to catch up on their sleep and relax over the past week.   I know I am looking forward to getting back into our routine.  Here is a look at our week ahead!  

Tomorrow will be Day #3 for specials so we will have music with Mrs. O'Connor.  With that being said, we then will have p.e. on Wednesday, art on Thursday and music again on Friday.  Please make sure your child has the appropriate footwear for Wednesday.  

In class, we will be talking about the new year and resolutions.  Each child will have the opportunity to to set a goal for him/herself.  Your child may benefit from having a conversation about this prior to returning to school tomorrow.  I know for myself, one of my new year's resolutions will be to blog more and inform families about our weekly learning. I also have a ton of pictures to post!  Be on the lookout for those soon.  

For math we will be reestablishing routines and the use of both ST Math and Xtra Math.  Our lessons will focus on number lines and then progressing to empty number lines.  

Our writing unit will continue to focus on Fact and Opinion.  We will watch a couple of advertisements for Story Land and Canobie Lake Park to focus on "hooks" and how to be convincing when writing.  

Winter weather continues to be strong.  Please make sure your child has all their snow gear items each day AS WELL AS a change of shoes.  Sitting criss cross applesauce in boots is not comfortable.  Also this is a great time to make sure your child has all gear LABELED!!!!  Throwing in an extra pair of mittens or dry socks could also be beneficial to your child.  

Looking forward to seeing all my kiddos tomorrow!  Again, Happy New Year to you all!  

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

December Happenings!

Our field trip to the Children's Museum was a hit!  A big thank you to our chaperones and for those who sent in the graham crackers.  We had a handful of sleeping children on the way home which is a true testament that it was a GREAT day!  Pictures to follow so keep checking back for updates!  I have a TON to share from our past two months....I just need  time to upload them to our blog!

December sure is an exciting month!  We started to feel that holiday spirit yesterday as snow fell during our school hours.  Just a reminder, now that there is snow on our playground, please help your child remember their snow gear.  We DO go out everyday, both morning and afternoon (with weather permitting).  Children who would like to play in the field or on the playground equipment need to have the following items:  hat, mittens, snow pants, jacket and boots.  Please also help your child remember a CHANGE of shoes for our classroom.  Labeling all items with your child's name is essential as we have many items that look alike.  Finally, many children have difficulty stuffing all these items and school things into a school backpack. Having another bag is helpful to carry and keep things separate.  Thank you for all your support!  I can tell you I am SUPER proud of TEAM 108 for already showing they can get dressed quickly and independently!  (Ask your child about our Snow Song countdown and how much time we have to get dressed.  It seems impossible but these kiddos are doing it!) Have your child dress at home by her/himself.  The more the practice, the better they get at it! 

This Friday, the PTO is having a special movie night showcasing The Polar Express.   To get ready for this event, first graders are invited to wear their pajamas to school this day and can anticipate Polar Express activities throughout our day together!  Please be sure your child has shoes to wear at school rather than slippers in case of an evacuation.

We have several items in need this month for our special celebrations.  I will be sending you a link for the Sign Up Genius later today.  We are out of soft tissues in our classroom and could use more donations as well.  Thank you again for all that you do!  We couldn't do it without you!

On December 22nd,  first graders will go on a Night Tree Walk.  This event is to replicate the book, The Night Tree, by Eve Bunting.  Students will prepare edible decorations for the woodland animals as the first part of our morning  and then  head out to the Bow Woods to decorate a tree and sing Christmas carols with other first grade classes.  After our morning recess, we then will come back indoors to enjoy some holiday treats and some hot cocoa.  (See the Sign Up Genius to help with items for this special day)  Family members are welcomed to join us on this special day.

Have you heard we are learning  about pennies and nickels?   We've been working hard to recognize, sort and count these two coins together.  Today we played COIN SCOOP where students had to use a spoon and scoop out coins (pennies and nickels) and count up the value.  We also played STORE, where kids could find items in our classroom that they wanted to buy and then had to  show the store clerk (Mrs. Rader) the amount of each price tag.  We know when counting money, it helps to START with the coins that are worth the most.  Ask your child to sing the money song to you (if you haven't heard it're welcome)!

In literacy, we've learned about words with double letters (f, l, s).  We've also  learned the trick words: was, one, said, I, you, your and they.  Ask your child how to spell all these words and be AMAZED!  If your really want to be amazed....ask your child to sing the "THEY" song (Mrs. Rader has a song for everything)!  Today in your child's HORSE folder you will see the story, THE BIG MESS.  In class, we found our trick words, our double letter words, quotation marks and punctuation marks.  We also practiced scooping our phrases so we were not reading like robots.  Ask your child to read the story to you tonight and see if they can point out all of the items I just mentioned.  Reading it more than once helps with fluency .  Encourage your child to keep it by their bedside and read it throughout the week.  Reading in a monster or bear voice can add some fun too!    

In Writer's Workshop, we are finishing up our Narrative unit and are ready to move on to our Opinion Unit.  Thank you for helping your child find five items from a collection.  We will be using these items to generate our writing throughout our unit.  If you haven't sent them in yet, please do so by Thursday.

Stay Warm and be on the lookout for the Sign UP Genius later this evening!  Thank you again for all that you do!