September 16, 2016
The students are very excited about first grade! I am thrilled to be spending my days with this energetic group of curious children.
We chose a class mascot, the Tiger, because we agreed that it represents us well—Tigers are smart, brave and fast! Throughout the school year we will have opportunities to learn more about this fascinating big cat, but for now, it serves as one way to build community in our classroom. These first few weeks of school are critical in building your child’s sense of confidence and security as we learn the new routines and expectations of first grade. Of course, that is done in tandem with the academic requirements of our rigorous curriculum. You will learn a lot about the academic and social aspects of your child’s first grade experience when you visit at Back-to-School Night at 7:00 p.m. on September 22. A few highlights of the program include:
*The social curriculum is as important as the academic curriculum.
*Our academic program is aligned with the Common Core State Standards.
*Math, reading, writing, science and social studies are differentiated to address the needs of your child’s learning style.
*Technology is an important component of your child’s learning.
I hope that your child has shared some of their learning with you in these first short weeks. Our focus in reading has been topics such as Why do people read? and What are the different ways that readers read? The goal is that students will recognize the wonder and power of written words in their daily life—in favorite books, on road signs, menus, cereal boxes and even video games and apps. Words and books are all around us in our classroom reinforcing the skills that we are practicing as readers. I am completing reading assessments on every student in order to prepare for the small group reading instruction that will begin very soon.
The students have been busy working on a number of projects that you will see displayed in and around our classroom including family portraits and our first grade goals. They created a poem book and added their first poem, School is Here. I am so pleased that your children love to be read to—they sit so quietly and attentive when we are reading together. A few stories that we enjoyed include The Red Ribbon, Sally’s Room, Chrysanthemum and A Quiet Place. These come from my collection of books about friendship, respect and cooperation.
While the students are getting to know each other, they are also getting to know our classroom. We are practicing many new routines and learning where things are in our room as well as how to care for them. We have explored lots of math materials including digi-blocks, pattern blocks, unifix cubes, dominoes and tools such as the number line and hundred chart. Our first math unit is Number Sense and Base Ten. All information about our curriculum can be found on the South Brunswick district website at sbschools.org.
Thank you again for the supplies that you sent to school. The students are using them everyday. Keep in mind that sneakers are required for gym on Tuesday and Wednesday. Please remember to pack a healthy snack and water bottle for your child daily. If you forget occasionally, I have pretzels and apples in the classroom. ALLERGY ALERT: We have nut allergies in our class—do not send snacks that contain nut ingredients.
The Book Fair is this week. Our class will visit the fair on Wednesday. A flyer has been sent home. If you would like your child to purchase a book, you may stop by after school to shop with your child, or send money in a labeled envelope on Wednesday. There is never an obligation to purchase books.
Thank you for returning the emergency and other forms to school so promptly. A note about media consent—if you sign the form, understand that you are withholding consent. I do take photos of my students and intend to share them in a variety of ways including a class Weebly (an online blog site) and occasionally on Twitter. My goal is that you will have a glimpse into your child’s school experience. If you withhold consent, your child can not appear in class photos. This is a personal decision for your family and I will honor your wishes.
Ask your child about…
*What are the three ways to read? (pictures, words and talking about it)
*In the book Chrysanthemum, the main character loved her name, then thought it was dreadful, then loved it again. Tell your family why she changed her mind.
*Tell your family some ways that you can take care of yourself, others and our room.
*What is a goal? Tell your family about something that you want to learn or get better at this year.
*Show your family the silent signal for making a connection or saying “me too”.
*Show your family how to build a brain-bridge. Add a bubble.
I look forward to seeing you at Back-to-School Night!
1st Grade Teacher
Greenbrook Elementary School
Attitude Determines Altitude
Click Here for Mrs. Magid's First Grade - Welcome Letter 2016-17