Monday, September 26, 2016


Dear Parents,

The children did very well on their first spelling test this past Friday.  They are excited about this success, which is understandable given the hard work they put into getting ready for the test.   Thank you so much for your support! The word patterns and memory words will vary in difficulty from unit to unit, however I believe the children truly benefit from both review and challenge.  Please feel free to help your child pick 2-4 words to add to the list (and send me their revised list) that they would like to learn how to spell.  It is most helpful if the words reflect things going on around them (real world application). I would also like to remind you that the spelling practice work should be turned in the day of (or day before) a test is scheduled. 

I am delighted to share that Mrs. Brunner (Jacob’s mom) and Mrs. Kohler (Andy’s mom) have agreed to take on the responsibilities of room parents for this year.  We will be meeting later this week to discuss monthly birthday celebrations, class parties, scheduling lunch volunteers, etc.  Their support is invaluable to all of us – I want to thank them upfront for all the little ways they will bring extra joy to our classroom experience this year!

Thank you so much for your help!

May you find many peace-filled moments with your families this week!

Mrs. Pam Claytor

This Week in First Grade 
Religion:  We will be discussing God’s greatest gift, His son, Jesus this week.  The children will review the story of Jesus’ birth, learn that Jesus lived in Nazareth with Mary and Joseph and describe how the Holy Family obeyed God and prayed to Him.
Language Arts:  Phonics work -  sh/ ch/ tch  initial and final position/ pattern words     Vocabulary  memory words: I, my, she, her, he, his Spellingmemory words, plus pattern words from phonics focus     Comprehension skills – use pictures and prior knowledge; complete sentences about a story; monitor comprehension; recognize plot ( problem and solution)   Grammar – understand and use nouns and pronouns      Listening and Speaking follow oral directions; listen for details in song      Study Skills  - identify and use a table of contents
Math:  We will continue to work on understanding Subtraction  as the children work on the parts of 9, all kinds of stories: stories about taking away, stories about comparing, and stories about missing parts. 
Science: Having identified light as an important energy source that we receive from the sun, the children will begin to understand that light travels in waves in bundles of energy called photons. 
Social Studies:  We will continue our discussion of jobs, moving from those we are responsible for at school and home to those of the world of work.  The children will learn that we all have jobs to do and that some jobs are for pay, while others are done are voluntary.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Dear Parents,

The children shared the many ways they help out at home this past week as we discussed the jobs they have at home and those here at school. It sounds as if you have wonderful, responsible children!

We will be discussing ways to be helpful and kind in all areas of our lives this week.  It is a joy to hear their ideas, which reflect the care you take to model outstanding behavior.  I believe all of the teachers who work with your children would join me in thanking you for supporting the children in so many ways to be kind in all interactions, especially when they are challenged to let something go.

"Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude."

May your week be filled with grace, love, and gratitude.
Mrs. Pam Claytor

This Week in First Grade
Religion: The focus continues on God’s greatest gift of His son Jesus. We will also learn of the Blessed Trinity and review the sign of the cross.  The Character Counts! focus of responsibility will be discussed as well, making a connection to the jobs we have that help others.

Language Arts: Reading Phonics Blend sounds to decode words Vocabulary Read Memory Word put, said you, said Understand the plural boxes Understand compound words sandbox and windmill  Comprehension  Associate words with pictures; Use prior knowledge; Complete sentences about a story ; Determine important ideas; Draw conclusions; Associate sentences with pictures   Spelling- Encode letters for sounds; Encode words in word families; Listening and Speaking- Listen for details in a song and a story; Listen and respond to oral presentations  GRAMMAR, USAGE, AND MECHANICS- Understand dialogue punctuation; Identify an apostrophe; Understand singular possessives  Writing Expressive Writing- Generate ideas before writing; Write sentences about similarities.
Note- there is a spelling test on Friday of this week.  See the homework page for details.

Math: We will begin with the topic 2 opener on Monday and learn a game to play at home.  The topic is Understanding Subtraction; the children will now focus on the parts of 6, 7, 8, and 9 and when using subtraction is appropriate.  They will learn how subtraction number sentences can be used to show a missing part and solve a problem.

Science:  The children will be building a word map to share their understanding of the biggest star and natural light – the sun.  They will make connections with last week’s lessons on natural vs man-made light sources and shadows.

Social Studies: The children will make a Venn Diagram to compare jobs they have at home with those they have at school.  This lesson also connects with the religion focus of responsibility.  The children will also discuss the reasons for rules, both at home and at school.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Dear Parents,

Our recent focus on the gifts of creation included discussion reflecting the gifts we receive from each other, especially those who teach us.  The children traced their hands and listed people who teach them on their hand print, recognizing the gift of a helping hand. We’ve put the handprints together to make a beautiful flower recognizing God’s gifts.  You will find it hanging proudly outside of our classroom.
I want to thank you for the helping hands you give each day as teacher, cheerleader, and, most important, parent.  It is a true gift to be able to work with you.

Homework begins this week.  You’ll find it via the homework button on this blog. Please take time to read the explanatory note I will have placed in your child’s folder on Monday.  Briefly: your child will need a bound book of some sort to do their spelling practice work (if you can find a primary handwriting composition style book, that would be great!) as well as complete the math page when it is in the homework folder (note: if we have an assessment, there is no official math homework that day – a great day for playing a math game!)  I am hopeful that you will be reading with your child on a daily basis and using the recording sheet to mark progress.  Finally, you will also be receiving log in information for both the math (www.pearsonrealize) and language arts (  taped in the homework folder on Monday.  Both sites are very helpful for practice work; the math site may also be used to preview the next day’s lesson (and helpful to you for the math vocabulary and language we’ll be using).

May your week be filled with peace, as you act as an instrument of peace,

Mrs. Pam Claytor

This Week in First Grade

Religion: We will learn how much God loves us, in that, He sent His son Jesus to be with us.  Special emphasis will be placed on Jesus being God’s greatest gift.  We will also reflect on the Character Counts! pillar of Responsibility.

Language Arts: We’ll be working on the following skills: Reading  Phonics  Blend sounds to decode words    Phonemic Awareness: Identify rhyming words  Vocabulary  Discuss the game “Follow the Leader”; Understand the meanings of fit and fitness; Read Memory Words for, you; Read Memory Words like, to; Understand the meanings of closet, puck; Discuss sports equipment; Read Memory Words of, no; Read Memory Word was   Comprehension: Draw conclusions from pictures; Associate words with pictures ; Use prior knowledge; Complete sentences about a story; Draw conclusions; compare and contrast;   Spelling: Encode medial vowels to complete names; Encode words in word families; Spell Memory Words for, you, like, to, was   Listening and Speaking: listen for details in a song, Listen and respond to oral presentations, Listen for details in a story and songs Writing: Handwriting - Form exclamation marks and question marks  Expressive Writing- Generate ideas before writing; Write sentences about a snack  GRAMMAR, USAGE, AND MECHANICS: Form plurals with -s ending; Identify exclamation marks and question marks

Math: The children continue to work on skills in the first unit: Understanding Addition.   They will be working on: an Introduction to Addition Sentences and Number Expressions- Students write addition number sentences to find the whole, given two parts. They learn that parts of a whole is one interpretation of addition. They learn how addition number sentences can be used to show parts of a whole. Stories About Joining - Students write addition sentences to solve stories about joining. They learn that joining parts to make a whole is one interpretation of addition. They learn how addition number sentences can be used to show joining situations.  Adding in any order -Students learn to add in any order and learn that two numbers can be added in any order. Problem solving using objects-Students use objects to solve story problems. They learn how some problems can be solved by using objects to act out the actions in the problem.

Science: The children will begin with sharing their understandings of what light is and where it comes from by building a word web that will include vocabulary.  They will make connections between light and shadows.

Social Studies:  The children will compare rules from home with rules at school. They will  tell why responsibility is important.  They will make a list of classroom duties, connecting their discussion with real life application.