I asked the children to talk with someone at home about their Hopes & Dreams in 1st Grade. We made a list of ideas in school today. Tomorrow they will write about their hopes & dreams or "wishes" for 1st Grade.
When we prepared for Friday fun today, many children were still missing homework from the week and several were below 90% on DoJo for the week.
If you saw my other post about the Shamrock cookies, I suspect that may have contributed to the emotions I saw at the end of the day. The cookies were not Friday fun, but I think some of the children misunderstood and thought they weren't going to get one. Friday fun was a very brief extra recess (less than 10 minutes).
After we packed up to go home, we had juice (left over from Valentine's Day) and passed out the cookies. We talked about the homework and behavior expectations for Friday fun. We also discussed that some children were upset because they thought the cookies were part of Friday fun.
Learning to take personal responsibility can be hard. At school we spend a lot of time helping children understand this. We model and coach them to recognize when they are blaming other people for their mistakes and how they could have done things differently
I appreciate your support in everything you do at home to help us learn and get along at school. I hope you all have a very nice weekend!
Every morning, the children take their homework out and it's checked off with a stamp. We have a checklist on a clip board to mark if it is done, incomplete, missing, etc. Children have until the end of the week to bring in their assignments if they left them at home. We also have extra copies available if they can't find it.
Before Friday fun, we review the checklist. There were even children who presented it at the last moment today. If an assignment is still missing, they use this time to do it.
Many students are unable to participate in reading group discussions. They have one book for the week with an expectation to read it 3 times each night. By the end of the week, children should have read the text about a dozen times. Repeated readings build familiarity with the text which helps improve fluency and comprehension.
After 3 days and 4 nights with a text, several children could not identify key details. Instructionally, I'm concerned about children not being able to do this. As we talked about it, a lot of children acknowledged that they had only read the book on the first night and for many that was only 1 time. The less they interact with the text, the harder it is for them to build comprehension, improve fluency and master the standards being taught.
I need your help to ensure they read a minimum of 20 minutes each night which includes repeated readings of their Baggie Book. Most 1st graders need an adult to help facilitate this as part of a nightly routine.
1st grade is an opportunity to set your child on a path for success in school. This begins by establishing a path built on scholarly habits that will guide them through the learning years and indeed life. Everything we do now will have an impact for years to come and is a sound investment in their future.
Thank you for all you do. Remember YOU are your child's 1st and most important teacher!
I was absent on Monday and Tuesday when Math Homework 4.1 and 4.2 were given.
Today I checked to see if they had these assignments. We did not have time to go over them.
There is NO new math homework tonight but we will go over it tomorrow. So please just leave these in their folder.
Each week your child will get a new book and a card outlining what they need to do each night with their book. There are things to focus on each night with their reading group book in addition to reading it. Help your child keep track of their reading minutes on the monthly Book It calendar too! And don't forget you can count reading minutes from your Baggie Book, library books and Razzkids onlline reading.
Review & practice reading the vocabulary words listed on the back of their card, locate them within the text, and discuss the meaning of the words.
High Frequency Words & Decoding Strategy
Review & practice the decoding strategy written on the front of their card (when appropriate). Hunt for High Frequency Words in the text and color them on the sheet provided- one side of the sheet has Kindergarten & 1st Grade words; the other side has the 2nd Grade words. Don't forget to practice the High Frequency Word list that your child should keep in their bag daily. Parent volunteers check them periodically throughout the week.
Review & practice the standard written on the front of their card as it applies to the text. Discuss the text with your child and encourage thoughtful responses that are grounded in evidence from the text. They need to demonstrate good understanding of the text.
Fluency & Reading Standard
Review the Fluency Rubric and practice reading smoothly, with few errors and strong comprehension.
Last week I attended a three day conference called Capturing Kids' Hearts. It was inspiring and affirming because it spoke to my heart about school & classroom culture and rapport with students to establish a positive and effective learning environment.
One of the first things we are going to do is create a Social Contract. With young children this process will take about a week as we explore four questions and record our thoughts.
The first question is:
How do you want to be treated by me?
Talk about it with your child. On Monday we will begin recording our Social Contract.
We are launching reading groups! It is important that they bring the Baggie Book bag back to school daily. As they begin this routine, please help establish a routine and help them follow it.
The Baggie Book bag will go home Monday - Thursday night. There will be a Book-It calendar in the bag. This is a reading incentive program from Pizza Hut. Each month, they will have a new Book-It calendar. If they read 20 minutes or more each day, they may color the date on the calendar.
The books they bring home should be at an independent level. That means they should be comfortable reading them with little help. They should be comfortable and confident and able to ready the text with increasing fluency, expression and comprehension. They are expected to read the Baggie Book 3 times or more (until they can read it smoothly with few errors).
Thank you for all you do to support reading at home. We are a TEAM in establishing daily reading practice.
Tomorrow morning is our end of year MAPs assessment for math.
Give them the positive pep talk. Let them know you believe in them and encourage them to do their very best. It means so much to know you care.
I look forward to seeing them bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and ready to rock this math assessment!
We are following a strategic process in reading to foster a deeper understanding of text through sustained interaction. Students dig deeper with multiple reads while thinking, questioning and discussing the text over and over again. This process is called Close Reading. You can read more about this process in the March 13 post below called Close Reading with Baggie Books.
After practicing with texts that were written on paper, we are moving into real books. Of course we cannot color and highlight the text in a book. So we are using a graphic organizer to capture and record this process as we interact with a text. I've attached a copy for your reference. Nonfiction organizer for Close Reading. Students use this document to record vocabulary for discussion and clarification as well as their thinking. We call this our "Jot Thoughts." We code these thoughts by type:
P What we picture in our mind
? What we wonder or question
I What we find interesting
heart What we feel, our emotions
TT Text to text connection
TS Text to self connection
TW Text to world connection
Nonfiction texts are packed with details to support the main idea or topic of the book. In order to narrow the focus and tune into the many details, we often break the text into smaller parts to read and digest. We use Post-its to identify a stopping point and record that page number on our Reading Logs.
You can help support this process by having them read the assigned section multiple times and encouraging them to discuss it with you. Help them clarify their understanding by having a conversation about interesting vocabulary, difficult words, or confusing parts. You can also ask them to identify the main idea of each section as well as important details. This helps us organize ALL the facts contained in a text into related groups (subtopics) of information that can be identified as the important details that support the main idea.
Yesterday we learned about Limericks, a short, funny and often nonsense poem with 5 lines that follow a strict rhyming pattern (AABBA). A famous limerick is Hickory Dickory Dock.
A Hickory Dickory Dock
A The mouse ran up the clock.
B The clock struck one.
B The mouse ran down.
A Hickory Dickory Dock!
Tonight they will plan and write a limerick as part of their Baggie Book assignment. I welcome you to participate. Writing a limerick is fun and offers a great opportunity to exploring ideas and rhymes together.
Steps to plan a limerick:
The children helped plan and write this one in class today.
Interesting character: deadly snake
Fun-sounding place: El Paso
Rhyme with place: lasso
Problem: he has no hands
Result: he is lonely
There was a deadly snake from El Paso,
who tried to catch friends with a lasso.
But without any hands,
He fell in the sand!
That poor lonely snake from El Paso!