11/5//14
The Kick and Pass homework that is in your child’s binder is due on Monday, Nov. 10th.  There are two activities that your child needs to do on the back page.  Please sign the last page when your child has it finished, then send it back to school.  Thanks.
Tie Dye Dress up Day is November 12, 2014.  If your child doesn’t have any tie dye clothing, just have him/her wear anything colorful.
Remember that PTO Family Bingo will be at 6:30 on Friday in the big gym.
Thanks for the generous food donations to the Food Shelf.  Food will be collected on Thursday and Friday.


10-30
A lot is due tomorrow: spelling packets, reading calendars, and Halloween costumes!   
The spelling packets are due tomorrow, and we will be testing on the words.  New spelling words and packet will be coming home tomorrow.  If your child already can already spell all the words in the packet, please help him/her think of five words she/he would like to learn to spell and write them on the packet.  I will test your child on those words next Friday.
Please total the number of minutes your child has read in October, sign the calendar, and send back to school tomorrow.  A new calendar will come home Friday afternoon.  The children need to read at least 250 minutes in November as well.
Please send your child’s costume to school in a backpack or bag tomorrow.  We will dress up in the afternoon for our party.
Happy Halloween to all! 


9-23
Your child is bringing home the first sheet that will go into a Reading Folder.  Please have your child read the green sheet, then teach your child how the paper should be inserted into the Reading Folder.  The little slip attached to the green sheet should be signed and brought back to school.  I asked the children to cross out the boxes that show how many times your child read the green sheet every night.  I don’t need that information. Some children need to read the sheet four times, some might need 10 times, and some might need one time.  Remember that short, repeated practices are the best way for children to learn., so spread practice out over several days.
The review words on the green sheet are phonetic words, words that can be sounded out.  If your child is unsure of the word, please have her/him stretch out the vowel.  Am would sound like this: aaaaaaaaaaam.  It makes it easier to sound out a word if there is not a silence between the sounds.
We are working on reading the sentences fluently, or smoothly and with a reasonable speed.  We want our reading to sound like our talking.
How is your child’s teddy bear float coming?  The floats will be coming to school on Oct. 2,  and the parade is at 8:15 on Oct. 3.  You are invited to watch the parade.  The best place to watch it is in the entry way or in the big gym; there will be a pathway in the big gym for the children to walk through.  If you come and watch the parade, please take your child’s float home with you on Friday morning.
 
9-18
Yesterday was Constitution Day.  We talked about the Constitution jin first grade terms; we learned it was written over 200 years ago, it was the basis for our government, the government is divided into three parts, and the Bill of Rights was added to give us some very important rights.  You might want to take a minute to see if your child remembers any of this information.  (Don’t expect them to remember it; it’s pretty abstract.  It’s good for them to hear the information again, though.)
How are you doing with the teddy bear float?  Remember that we bring the float to school on Oct. 2 for the parade on October 3rd.
Today your child is bringing home a yellow Home Link sheet.  This particular Home Link is a parent sheet.  This is one you will want to keep since it explains the concepts your child is learning and even has the answers to the Home Links your child will be bringing home for homework.
The pouch in your child’s binder needs to stay in the binder.  This is where I will be putting word cards and other things your child needs to work on at home.  Please look to see if your child has word cards in the pouch (each day I will be putting cards for different children in the pouches).  Please practice the word cards every day—keep it short and light.  It often takes many repetitions in order to remember some words.

9-15-14
We have been practicing reading with expression, especially when they see a question mark or an exclamation mark.   When children first start reading with expression, they overexaggerate—they need to do this at the beginning but will calm the expression down very soon.  Please encourage this expression now so the students don’t read in monotone voices later.
We were underlining words today in our book.  This concerned some children who are used to a system where just the words they don’t know are underlined.  I told them I will be having them underline words for many reasons and it doesn’t mean they don’t know the words.  I assured the students I would let you know underlining doesn’t always mean the students can’t read those words.  J 

9-11-14
We were unable to get to the library today; there was back-to-back NWEA testing (for grades 2-5).  It looks like there will some time tomorrow, though, so look for those books tomorrow afternoon.
A lot of the first month in first grade is spent learning routines, reviewing skills, working on control and independence,  assessing what each child knows, learning social skills, getting used to first grade expectations, and learning how to learn.  Research shows that the time spent working on these skills at the beginning of the year results in lot more time for academics later (and creates a much happier class!)  I know the work coming home right might be too easy/too hard for your child.  Know that those are not the only skills worked on during the day.  I will work very hard to meet each child’s needs this year, but we need more independence before we can work in small groups.
Almost everyone read the book I See last night; awesome!  If you did not, please listen to your child read it tonight and send back the little slip.  Another book is coming home tonight.  Please keep the books in a safe place; these books go in a Book Box. 
In fact, your child has more homework!  There is a half-sheet of paper coming home today that explains the Book Box your child needs to make.  This box will hold all the books your child is bringing home this year.

9-7-14
Remember that our pictures will be taken tomorrow.  Our class time is 9:00.  Please send the order form and money if you want your child’s picture taken. 
I would like to send these notes electronically, but I got very few e-mail addresses.  Would you please e-mail me the address(es) you would like to have receive these notes?  It would be very helpful if you would also write the name of your child and your first name as well.  If you do not have access to a computer, please send me a note in the planner so I can send home a paper copy. 
We will be using magazines for a project, so if you have any old ones you no longer need, please send them to school.  I will let you know when our box is full.  Thanks.