Monday, May 22, 2017

Dear Parents,

I can’t thank you enough for joining us for our annual Race for Education this past Friday.  It was a huge success, as far as the children were concerned, with one child proclaiming it the “best day ever!”.

We will begin rehearsing for our play this week.  Thank you for assisting your children with memorizing their parts.  We had an opportunity to share our progress with each other last week and it was quite obvious how hard the children are working on be the best actors they can be.  With our costumes almost complete, it is time to make our invitations and share the excitement at school and at home! 

I truly appreciate all of the support you have given the children to enable this to be their best school year yet!

Mrs. Pam Claytor

This Week in First Grade *************

Religion  We will continue to learn of God’s love for us and our families as we work on the Family Life unit.  The topics this week include: 1 discovering that God gives us gift of a loving heart that we can use in acts of love for our family, our friends and ourselves 2 Explaining that we can control how we act on our feelings  3  understanding that learning is an important part of growing and God gives us many things to help us learn and 4 learning the importance of caring for the body.
Language Arts  We will be learning the various components of acting in a play as well as: Phonemic Awareness  Identify /ōō/ and /ŏŏ/  Phonics  Associate oo with /ōō/ and /ŏŏ/  decode words with oo Vocabulary -Understand the meanings of barefoot, crook, and pocketbook  Understand the meanings of Pattern Words Recognize and understand Memory Words live (/liv/), eight, old, hold, write Understand homographs and homophones  Comprehension  Associate words with pictures; Distinguish between reality and fantasy Spelling  Sort words by their sound-spelling patterns for /ōō/ and /ŏŏ/  Listening and Speaking  Listen for details in a CD story
Math  We will work on fractions at the beginning of the week: Making halves and 4ths of rectangles and circles -Students identify halves and fourths of circles and rectangles. They learn that shapes can be divided into equal parts called halves and quarters or fourths.  Problem Solving: draw a picture -Students draw pictures to solve problems related to parts of a whole. They learn how information in a problem can often be shown using a picture or diagram and used to understand and solve the problem.  The later part of the week will bring a preview of second grade math as we work on the final topic: Moving up to Second Grade
Science  The children will be exploring the properties of matter, while defining what matter is.  We will begin with an informal discussion to determine the understandings the children already have and what they would like to learn about matter.
Social Studies  We will continue our discussion on citizenship, combining the understandings of democracy with the history of how the United States came to be a democratic society.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Dear Parents,

There is a great deal of excitement in the air this week.  With our annual field day scheduled for Monday morning (and designing/making “costumes” for the play in the afternoon), our week begins with lots of enthusiasm.  Of course the week ends with the Race for Education on Friday morning, as well as an early dismissal at 12:25.  In between, there will be many, many more lessons, as we work on completing the curriculum of first grade.  I have recently announced the end of formal homework to the children, who, of course, found this information “cheer-worthy”!  I will also emphasize the need to practice their play assignments, read on a daily basis, and continue to practice math facts to develop automaticity.

Something to think about during your Prayer time this week: We are called to be disciples for the church and to each other.  As in the readings: the stone which the builder rejected has become the cornerstone. God loves us, as both sinners and followers.  This is a great message to help our children understand that we all make mistakes and with asking for forgiveness, we will receive God’s blessings. 

We are also beginning our unit on Family Life in Religion.  This is an archdiocesan wide program; however each school chooses the timing of the lessons.  The first grade curriculum focuses on the love of God and how our families love each other.  This will be a review of sorts, as we have covered a majority of the material during our religion lessons this year.  I hope you’ve had a chance to read the pamphlet explaining the lessons that was sent home on Friday.  Once you have finished, please return the pamphlet to school.  Thanks for your help!

May the joy of the Easter season continue to permeate your daily prayer life.


Mrs. Pam Claytor

This Week in First Grade

Religion  We will be making connections between God’s love for  us and the love we share in our families. We begin with discussing what families do for each other and how families should act toward each other.  We will also be working on understanding our uniqueness and the talents we have as a gift from God.

Language Arts  Phonemic Awareness - Identify /ou/  Phonics:  Associate ou and ow with /ou/  Decode words with ou, ow/ou/  Identify rhyming words  Vocabulary:  Recognize and understand Memory Words warm, walk, give, once, done;  Understand the meanings of Pattern Words; Understand homographs; Recognize story words house, Ms.; Recognize and understand synonyms;  Comprehension: Associate words and phrases with pictures ; Use pictures and prior knowledge; Complete sentences about a story; Identify lesson(s) that a story teaches; Categorize words; Recognize words walk, warm, give, once, done  SPELLING: Encode rhyming words with ou and ow; Spell Memory Words walk, warm, give, once, done  WRITING: Plan the setting for a story as part of the writing process; Discuss music lessons; Plan characters, a problem, and a solution for a story as part of the writing process    Fluency - Read with appropriate stress 

Math We will review the concepts of the topic of geometry before moving onto fractions.  The topic opener focuses on the fractions we use in preparing and serving food – an ideal place for discussion to take place at home as well.  The first lesson will be on making equal parts : Students determine whether a shape is divided into equal or unequal parts. They learn that a region can be divided into equal-sized parts in different ways. They also learn that equal-sized parts of a region have the same area but not necessarily the same shape.

Science We will go back to the beginning of our lessons to review what a scientist does: makes inquiries, then tests a theory. The children will recognize that a situation that people want to change or create can be approached as a problem to be solved through engineering.

Social Studies We will be discussing how the ideas of the founders of the United States led to our independence as a nation, and the connection of our independence day celebration, the 4th of July.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Dear Parents,

On behalf of Mrs.Ciepiela, Miss Joy, and myself, I’d like to thank all of you for the kind words and thoughts, along with an absolutely beautiful New Guinea Impatiens hanging basket for teacher appreciation week. It will serve as a special reminder of your kindness all summer (and hopefully longer indoors)!

The gospel for this week brings the story of the trusted voice of the shepherd and the response to this trusted voice of his sheep.  It is one of the stories Jesus uses to help us understand the love of his father for all of us that is not told as hyperbole, but, rather based on the understanding of the way sheep followed their shepherd’s voice.  We, as a community called to service, are in the position to shepherd others who need guidance, particularly in coming to know the goodness of the Lord.  Here are a few discussion questions for your family:  How do you know Jesus cares for you?  How does our family shepherd each other? 

This will, hopefully, be a week of regular schedules and activities, with the exception of the daily opportunity to come out of uniform.  Please see the schedule for dress-down color days in the Friday Flier from last Friday, which is online. There is a $2 fee each day being collected for a special project the 8th grade is running to help others.

I’d like to take this time to wish all of the first grade mothers and grandmothers a Happy Mother’s Day!  You truly deserve the many thoughts and prayers your children offer every day.  My gift to you is the completion of scheduled homework. Beginning Monday, May 15th , there will no longer be official homework each day; rather you may choose to have your child work on any papers that come home, or choose family time in the evening.  Please continue to read with your child daily, as this is vital to keeping up with the skills the children have acquired this year.

May our loving Lord keep you in His care this week,
Mrs. Pam Claytor

This Week in First Grade

Religion: The children will begin to form understandings of the presence of God's love in the sacraments.

Language Arts:  Phonics  Associate ar, or, ear with /ėr/, Decode trickers with ar, or, ear/ėr/ , Decode words in an article, Decode words with r-controlled vowels,  Associate ou and ow with /ou/, Decode words with ou, ow/ou/, Identify rhyming words 
Vocabulary - Use context clues to complete sentences, Understand the meanings of trickers with ar, or, ear/ėr/, Discuss slumber parties and the meanings of snuggled and creepy, Discuss making things, stars, and flashlights, Understand and use sequence words first, next, then, last ,  Recognize story words eyes, Mrs., pretty, Discuss things operated by remote control, Understand the meanings of runaway, horrible grin, thud, and the idioms “I must be seeing things” and “what on earth” , Recognize and understand synonyms,
Comprehension - Associate pictures with words and sentences , Use pictures and prior knowledge, Answer questions about a story, Generate questions to distinguish between reality and fantasy, Compare and contrast texts using a graphic organizer, Recognize text structure, Sequence steps, Complete sentences about a story, Understand characters, Understand descriptive language, visualize, Draw conclusions,   SPELLING - Encode trickers with ar, or, ear/ėr/, Sort words by their spelling patterns for /ėr/, Encode rhyming words with ou and ow  Fluency - Use proper pitch and volume, Read at an appropriate rate , Read with expression    LISTENING AND SPEAKING - Discuss fears and helping others feel less afraid , Listen and respond to oral presentations  WRITING – Writing: Write directions with sequence words, Use organizational structure, Write a story for pictures in a sequence, Use organizational structure    GRAMMAR, USAGE, AND MECHANICS - Understand adverbs with the suffix –ly, Understand the use of commas in a list  RESEARCH AND STUDY SKILLS - Follow written directions  

Math:  We continue to work on the topic of Geometry this week.  We will be identifying solid figures - Students identify and name standard geometric solids and recognize them in the environment. They learn that many everyday objects closely approximate standard geometric solids. The children will learn vocabulary: flat surfaces and vertices -Students count the number of flat surfaces and vertices on geometric solids. They learn that many solid figures are comprised of flat surfaces and vertices. They also learn that the flat surfaces on prisms are called faces. They will sort solid figures- Students identify geometric solids such as sphere, cone, cylinder, rectangular prism, and cube. They learn to sort solid figures by various attributes. They also learn that many sets of solid figures can be sorted in more than one way. We will be building with solid figures-Students combine solid figures to make new solid figures. They learn how solid figures can be combined to make other solid figures. Finally, the children will work on problem solving: use reasoning -students use clues to solve riddles about plane shapes and solid figures. They learn how some problems can be solved by reasoning about the conditions in the problem. 

Science: The children will be sharing their field trip experience as they write and illustrate their own newspaper article to encourage others to visit the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center.  Thank you so much for all of your help as chaperones!  A wonderful time was had by all.

Social Studies:  We will discuss various patriotic holidays, as well as songs and symbols of our democracy.
We begin preparing for our performance, along with the second grade, of Noah’s Ark this week.  Look for a note, along with your child’s lines to come home early in the week.