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Our Year In First Grade
September - Welcome to Grade 1
September is a very busy month in which students are learning new routines for the year and assuming more responsibilities. In September we focus upon story elements (setting, characters, problem, and solution). I will also be sending home “Word Rings” that should be returned daily. This includes sight words that your child knows, labeled “zoomers”. There are also “new words” that they are learning. The first grade goal is that each student recognizes and reads 200 First Grade Bedrock Words.
We also begin to introduce “The Helping Hand" to help students read tricky words. When your child gets to a tricky word in their writing they can do the following:
1. Look at the pictures
2. Look for a chunk you know
3. Go back and reread
4. Skip it and go on
5. Get your mouth ready to sound it out
In Math we are learning to identify pattern block shapes and time to the hour and half hour. Other events happening in September are Curriculum Night and School Picture Day!
October - Dot Books, Homework, and Halloween
In October we begin our weekly homework. Your child will begin to take home “Reading at Home” (RAH) Homework as well as 5 “dot books” around their reading level. The entire bag (including the homework and books) goes home each Monday and is due on Friday!
Parent volunteer opportunities begin in October. Please check the left side of the website for various volunteer opportunities.
We finish up our month with a Halloween parade and party! Students are encouraged to wear their costumes to school for this special event.
November - Fall into Conferences and our Thanksgiving Play!
Students will be learning about the Pilgrims and Native Americans. We will have a special Thanksgiving Presentation that parents and friends are welcome to attend.
You will also receive your child’s first report card in November during our parent/teacher conference.
December - Snow Is Falling and Word Rings Are Growing!
In December we begin to learn about the various holidays that are celebrated. Students demonstrate their knowledge by creating a venn diagram. Students will be participating in a Kwanzaa experience. Through the experience, students will understand the seven principals of Kwanzaa.
As cold weather is approaching – please be aware of delays/school closings that may occur. School closings are posted on the West Hartford website as well as local news stations. If there is a significant storm during the school day, please be away that school may close early! This can also be found on the website as well as the television.
Students are asked to bring in their “Give me 5” bags when there is snow so they can go out and play in the snow in the winter months. These bags include snowpants, 2 boots, and 2 mittens/gloves. I would also encourage you to leave a plastic bag in there as well for wet boots!
Our Winter Party typically occurs the last day before winter vacation. This includes various educational centers that the students rotate amongst.
January- Maps and Globes and Martin Luther King!
Students continue to explore non-fiction texts in January as we read about Martin Luther King. Students brainstorm ways that we can help to make the world a better place. The first grade hallways is full of color as our “Peace Train” is posted all the way down our hallway!
We will be focusing on using addition and subtraction to solve word problems. Your child will be expected to look for key words in word problems to help them realize if it is an addition problem or a subtraction problem. Key words include “are left” “in all” “all together”. When students complete word problems they should be drawing a picture, writing a number sentence (__+__=__ or __-__=__), and providing a labeled answer (such as 3 jellybeans).
February- Celebrations, Celebrations !
February seems to come and go very quickly in first grade. There are many different opportunities for celebration and learning. Students make predictions on groundhog days and discuss the chances that a groundhog can really predict the weather.
The 100th day of school is a very exciting day for first graders. Students are asked to bring in a collection of 100 items. We will be practicing our grouping and skip counting during this time. We will also realize how long 100 seconds really is and how much we can buy with 100 cents!
Our month is concluded with a study on two important presidents, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.
March –Oh the Places You’ll Go!
March begins with a celebration of the popular children’s author, Dr. Seuss. Parents in invited to come in and be guest readers as students enjoy listening to some of their favorite stories.
Around the 17th we get a visit from a sneaky little visitor with green feet and some gold to share! It is a mystery that we try to explain in our writing. We also write about how we can catch these sneaky little creatures we call leprechauns.
We also begin studying geography. Students will learn the difference between a map and a globe and will also be introduced to vocabulary such as “city, country, and continent”. See if your child can name all of the seven continents with our first grade jingle!
Parent conferences occur towards the end of March!
April –We’re Off To Kenya-!
Our suitcases are packed and our passports are filled out. We’re off to Kenya! During the Kenya experience students will learn the similarities and differences between themselves and someone in a different area of the world. Students will participate in researching various African Mammals and taking notes based on what they have read.
Your child’s hard work will show during our Harambee Festival and Kenyan Showcase in mid to late April.
May –Caterpillars to Butterflies –The Life Cycle !
This month begins with a small caterpillar egg and ends with an exciting butterfly release. Raising and observing caterpillars turn into butterflies is an amazing event for students. During this experience, students are able to observe and label the parts of a butterfly. Students will explain how insects use various parts of their body. For example, a mosquito has a mouth like a needle that they use to suck their food.
June –Fly away to 2nd grade!
During the last few weeks of school we are reflecting upon the skills we have learning throughout the year. More importantly, we revisit our “Hopes And Dreams” we have written during the first week of school. Students will be excited to see that they accomplished the year-long goal they set for themselves.
The last few days of school the classroom is transformed into “Camp Learned A Lot” in which students participate in educational games/activities throughout the day. This includes campfire songs as well as smores!