Week #2, First Grade Newsletter: Two Letters Are Better Than One!

To the Parents of Room 109: 

Welcome to our First Grade Newsletter! Remember to join us here each Friday to learn all about what is going on in First Grade! 

This week, the students had a very good week. We spent a little more time reinforcing our classroom routines and rules. The students learned how to check in on the smartboard in the mornings. They also did pretty well completing and turning in all of their homework assignments, too. They even played a charades game with the classroom rules to help solidify their understanding and their importance in the classroom to maintain a safe and clean learning environment. We also continue to discuss the school’s behavior expectations as well as acceptable lunchroom behaviors.  

On Tuesday, we participated in our first All-School Mass at the church. The students were introduced to our three main school priests: Father Ken, Father Elmer, and Father Dan. They were incredibly kind and welcoming to our First Grade Students. Some of the students were a little nervous to be in their first mass with the other students. However, we practiced entering and exiting their pews; how to received their blessings from the priests; and acceptable behaviors during mass. They must have made a particularly good impression because Father Elmer stopped by our pews at the end of mass. He thanked our First Graders for behaving so well in mass. They could not have been happier to receive such positive feedback.   

In our classes, we continued immersing the students in the curriculum. Our focus in these early months will be on improving their handwriting, phonic awareness, math readiness, and reading comprehension. In writing, we practiced proper formations and placement of the letter pairs: Aa to Jj using the interactive smart board and individual white boards. We also worked on reinforcing letter-sound recognition for “Bb”, “Hh”, and “Mm”. We continued our oral work with compound words as well as identifying beginning and ending sounds in words in phonics.  

We also completed a few writing exercises with words that begin with B. We did some word play with the <ch> and sight words using PlayDoh this week as well. Today, we also took our second Spelling Test on some <ch> words and a few more sight words. While both classes did some nice work, the students found being tested on the dictation sentences particularly challenging at this time. We, the teachers, are encouraging the students to practice reading aloud and writing out sentences as often as they write their spelling words. They also are encouraged to draw a picture demonstrating what is happening in each sentence. It helps the students create an image of the sentences which may help them to visualizer and remember it more easily. 

In Religion, we are learning about the Creed; how they might have acted if they were visiting baby Jesus for the first time. We also discuss the process for reading scripture, understanding it, and praying to God to deepen their understanding of it. The students talked about what gifts they might give and what they might say. We also talked about how prayer can be a form of mediation for some people. We also discussed why we pray several times a day in school. Although the students ask several questions about prayer, it is obvious that many of them enjoy praying in their classroom and school communities.  

In Math, we continued in our math class with “Simple Solutions” textbooks as bell work. It is a great way to gage our students’ understanding as well as review a number of mathematical concepts at once. Then, we worked on the “Go Math” curriculum and continued exploring addition concepts, counting on, and practiced solving simple addition word problems.  

In Reading, we read the story, “Dragons and Giants” and discussed the story elements, compared main characters, and practiced retelling the story in three main parts: beginning, middle, and end.  

In Science, we continued our unit on the five senses and discussed how the world might be different without our senses to help us navigate it. They also started creating a mini book about their five senses. During a nature walk, one of our classes saw a cicada, and we identified the three main body parts of an insect. It was a good week in science! 

We started our full schedule of Specials this week. The students have received another excellent report from their teachers. They also started visiting the library for the first time this week. They look forward to checking out new library books each week. 

We hope that you will join us again next Friday to learn about how well our first graders are growing, learning, and developing into the bright, young global citizens of tomorrow. As always, thank you, parents, for your continued support throughout this school year.  

Remember: If you have any questions or need to contact your child’s teacher, we are both extremely actively on Class Dojo. If you have not yet logged your child into Class Dojo, please do so to hatch your child’s monster avatar as soon as possible. We will be posting photos, homework assignments, and messaging daily about our first graders! 

Have a lovely Labor Day and see you next Tuesday, 

Mrs. Jinifir Fermando-Nwoye (Room 109)


To the Parents of Room 110: 

We are at the end of another week in Grade 1.  This week was busy, with the children working on the letter “B”, and circling their best letter.  We took our second Spelling test, and hopefully did a great job on that.  We practiced in class doing a spelling bee, and this helped us to remember these works that begin with “ch”.
In Reading, we worked on comparing the characters in “Stellaluna” and “Frog and Toad.”  We enjoyed learning about the characters, setting, and details in the story.  We draw our favorite scene from “Frog and Toad” and enjoyed re-telling the details in the story to our classmates!
In Math, we are learning how to add by putting two groups together.  We are learning how to read and write addition sentences.  In Simple Solutions, we are learning many different math terms and continue to improve with this.
In Science we are still working on measuring.  We also did some work with our five senses and will make a little book to further understanding.
In Religion we continue to learn about all of God’s creations.  We see and appreciate all that God has given us and continue to thank him for everything.
This is a long weekend with Monday as a day off, so we wish all of our families a Happy Labor Day weekend. Enjoy your time with family.

Mrs. Cynthia Kasnicka (Room 110)