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May 20-24 Newsletter  

 

 

Parents,

 

It’s the final countdown!  Students have worked hard to get to this point of the school year!  Here are just a few reminders about our week.  Tomorrow, students will be allowed to bring family board games (no electronics), a favorite stuffed animal and sleeping bags/mats/towels for a special game day. No other books/supplies are needed. Wednesday is Awards Day.  Students who will be receiving an award at 11:15 in the lunchroom on that day, should have already received a small yellow invitation.  Parents you may check your child out after the awards ceremony, if you wish.  I will have a sign out sheet.  Students will not come to school on Thursday.  On that day, due to all of the preparation with final records and such, teachers will be closing out the year with a special Teacher Inservice Day. Students who wish to receive their report cards via mail, can send in a stamped, self-addressed envelope by Wednesday.  On Friday morning, after 8:30, report cards can be picked up in the front lobby.   Those report cards that have not been picked up by the early dismissal Friday, can be picked up in the front office over the summer.  

 

This has been a wonderful year!  I'm so proud of all that each student has accomplished in 9 months.  We've grown and learned a lot in First Grade.  My love and prayers are with all of my students and families for a safe and happy summer vacation. I encourage all students to keep reading and working on Lexia and Reflex to keep those Reading and Math skills sharp over the break.  It has been an honor being your child's teacher this year! 

 

God Bless! 

 

S. Johnson

 

 

 


May 13-17 Newsletter   

Dear Parents,

On Thursday, we will have our YMCA End of the Year Swim Party. We will walk down to the Y at 9:00 and return to the school after lunch (around 12:30). If you have volunteered to chaperone, you can meet us at the Y. I will have a check-out sheet with me, in case you wish to check your child out after the party. Next Wednesday, May 22nd is our awards day assembly. You should receive an invitation this week, if your child will be receiving an award for Honor Roll for the year or Perfect Attendance. Please make plans to attend.

Reading:

In reading, we will be working on fluency and comprehension. We will not be taking a spelling, grammar or story test. I will test on Unit 5 words. We will continue to review first grade skills and introduce beginning of the year 2nd grade skills

Math:

In math, we are working on money. We will work on the names and value of the dollar, quarter, dime, nickel and penny. We will work on counting a given amount. Please practice this at home. We will then work on beginning of the year 2nd grade math skills.

Social Studies/Science:

In Social Studies, we will finish up a unit that we have started on Alabama native Helen Keller. The children have learned so much about her already. They were really shocked to find out that Alexander Graham Bell, was one of her teachers! We will continue to work on life cycles. Our cute little caterpillars have become butterflies. We released them today. The students loved seeing the transformation!  

Have an amazing week!!!

S. Johnson

 


May 6-10 Newsletter  

 

 

Parents,

This is going to be a jam-packed week! We will have field day for first grade on Thursday. You should have received a note about field day along with a shirt if your child ordered one. We will be outside for most of the` day, so read the note carefully to make sure that your child is adequately prepared for the day. Students will have to purchase Field Day wristbands to purchase items on that day. Please see the stapled note in your child’s binder for further details. Let’s see what else is planned for the week!

Reading:

In Reading, we are on the 5th story in Unit 5; “Alexander Graham Bell”, which coincides with our Science/Social Studies unit for the week. In phonics we will explore vowel digraphs and diphthongs as well as the vowel sound in “ball”. Our high frequency words are built, science, early, through and learn. Our amazing words are determined, technology, stalled, sketch, inventor, stable, biplane and speech. Our spelling words contain diphthongs aw: saw, draw, crawl, straw, law, jaw, paw, lawn, yawn, hawk, through and science. In writing, we will focus on sentences. This week in fluency we will focus on expression and intonation. Our grammar skill for the week is adverbs. Our comprehension skill focus is “sequence” using the strategy, “text structure”. We will have our story test, grammar test, and spelling test on Friday.

Math:

We will take our test on Topic 15 on Tuesday. We will then begin Topic 16, which deals with fractions. We will make halves and fourths out of circles and rectangles and draw a picture to represent a specific fraction. We will take our test on next Tuesday. We will then work on beginning of the year 2nd grade math skills. We will take our timed test on Friday.

 

Social Studies/Science:

In Social Studies, we will begin a unit on the life and legacy of Alexander Graham Bell. We will complete a time-line charting important milestones in his life! We will learn about his inventions and his contribution to modern day technology. Also, this week, we will learn about the life and legacy of Helen Keller who was a student of Alexander Graham Bell. In Science, we will continue learning about life cycles. Our caterpillars are now in their chrysalis. We have enjoyed watching them get to this stage. We will be anxiously awaiting their big reveal!  

 

Happy Mother's Day to all the awesome moms iand grandmothers in our class!!!!

Have a great week!

S. Johnson


April 29-May 3 Newsletter  

Parents,

Thank you so much for all of the help on the field trip. The children declared that it was the “best day ever!” We have one more field trip on May 16th. This is our end of the year celebration at the YMCA. We are taking our final big Reading assessment, DIBELS, today. We have a busy week ahead!

Reading:

This week, we are on the story "Simple Machines". We will also use this as our science topic this week. Our question of the week is "How can a great idea make our lives easier?" Our skills for the week are oi/oy, er/or in phonics and the spelling words which use the oi/oy sound are: oil, point, coin, join, soil, boy, oink, voice, boil, toy and include against and heavy. Our high frequency words are against, kinds, goes, today and heavy. Our story vocabulary words are machines, vacuum, pulley, inclined planes, surface, axles and lawn mower. The grammar skill for the week is pronouns. Our amazing words are gadget, convenient, pilot, cellar, equipment, engine, steer and furnace. Our comprehension skill is main idea and details using the strategy "summarize". We will take our story, grammar and spelling test on Friday.

Math:

In math, we will continue with Topic 15 which deals with geometry. The students are learning about plane and solid shapes and problem solving using various shapes. As always, please keep pressing with the addition and subtraction math fact fluency.

Science:

Along with our “simple machines” story, we will be exploring life cycles for the next few weeks. We have acquired caterpillars that we are observing as they prepare to go through metamorphosis. We will review the various stages that they go through from Egg to Adult. We will then go through the growth cycle of plants.

Have a great week!

S. Johnson

 


April 22-26 Newsletter  

Parents,

This week, our class will be taking the Performance Series which assesses reading and math growth and DIBELS which assesses reading growth. Reading will be on Tuesday morning and Math will be on Thursday morning. Please make sure students are here on time; rested and had a good breakfast. They have worked hard all year and I’m anxious to see their growth. Wednesday, April 24th is our field trip to Camp Chandler. If your child is attending, you should have received a note with reminders. If they are not attending, I have written “not attending” on the slip. Also, the completed passages for the DIBELS Next Race should be turned in on this Friday, April 26th. Students should be timed for one minute to test fluency and then one additional minute to recall at least 50% of what they read. We have such a busy week ahead!

Reading:

We are reading the 3rd story in Unit 5: “Dot and Jabber and the Great Acorn Mystery".  Our question of the week is "How do we solve mysteries?"  The comprehension skill this week is comparing and contrasting using the strategy "monitor and clarify".  Our amazing words are explanation, wonder, encouragingly, suspects, riddle, confused and case.  Our phonics skills for the week are "adding endings" and the "vowel sound in foot: oo".  We will use the latter in our spelling words for the week which are: book, food, zoo, foot, moon, look, noon, took, pool, good and includes our high frequency words instead and another.  Our high frequency words are among, none, another and instead.  Our selection vocabulary words are detectives, mystery, solved, million, meadow, hey and hurray.  Our grammar skill this week is Pronouns using "I" and "me".  We will take our grammar, spelling and story tests on Friday.

Math:

This week, we will finish Topic 14 which deals with gathering data in the forms of picture graphs, bar graphs, tally tables, etc.  We will take our test on Thursday, April 25th. Then we will begin Topic 15.  Keep practicing math fact fluency!

Social Studies/Science:                                          

We are celebrating “Earth Day” today and focusing on the earth this entire week. We will learn about how to take care of our planet through various activities.  Again, Brainpop Jr. has several videos and activities on the subject of caring for our Planet.  We will talk about ways to reduce, reuse and recycle materials to decrease the size of our carbon footprint.

Have an amazing week!

Ms. Johnson


April 15-19 Newsletter  

Parents,     

We are nearing the end of First Grade and we are really moving!  We have learned so much this year and the progress in all subjects have been phenomenal.  Let's keep the momentum going in all subject areas.  I realize activities that take place this time of year, such as baseball, recitals etc. can really leave little time for studying, but I encourage you, as I have all of the students, that school work should continue to take priority in order to keep building on this First Grade foundation.  We are almost done with the school year, but there's still a great deal of growth that can take place.  We have begun some end of the year tests to assess growth in reading and math and will continue to assess in these areas.  The students experience much success when they consistently work on weaker areas.  If I can do anything more to help you as you continue to work with your child at home, please let me know as soon as possible.  Lastly, we will be out on Friday, April 19th. Enjoy your 3 day weekend!

Reading:

This week we are exploring the question "How can we look at things in a different way?" through the story "Mole and Baby Bird".  You may access the skills to practice for this week on the pearson success website.  The amazing words are miserable, selfish, ignore, proper, freedom, shrug, fond and scarcely.  The phonics skills are syllables v/cv, vc/v and "ou"/"ow". The spelling pattern v/cv rule states that if a word has one consonant between two vowels, the consonant usually goes with the second syllable making the first vowel long.  The vc/v rule states that if you don't recognize the word when pronounced with a long vowel sound, put the consonant with the first syllable, making the first vowel short.  The high frequency words are door, wood, loved and should.  The selection words are usually, presently and borrowed.  The comprehension skill drawing conclusions will be explored by using background knowledge.  The spelling words have the "ou" sound: mouth, our, ouch, count, house, out, shout, found, cloud, round and includes should and loved. Our grammar skill for the week is pronouns.  We will take our spelling and grammar tests ONLY, on Thursday, April 18th. 

Math:

We have finished a unit on time with Topic 13 and have begun Topic 14 which deals with gathering data in the forms of picture graphs, bar graphs, tally tables, etc.  As always, continue to work on addition and subtraction fact fluency.  Each Friday we will have a 5 minute/50 problem fluency drill.  Reflex really prepares students with fact fluency gains.   Our school has made this great resource available for free to students of DPES. Also, flash cards are a great way to practice this skill as well as addition and subtraction fact games on the web.  Check out a few on our links page on dpeseagles.com. Also, Brainpop Jr. has videos for addition and subtraction as well as other math topics we have covered.

Science:

This week, we will go further into space. We will learn about the planets and our Solar System. This is always a fun topic for the students to explore. We will have a quiz on Thursday to culminate our mini-unit.

Have a great week!

S. Johnson


April 8-12 Newsletter  

Dear Parents,

The children really enjoyed the “Achievement Celebration Day”! Hopefully everyone recovered from the festivities. As we move forward this week, please continue to practice the DIBELS Next passages. They are not due until April 26th. Students will have used the packets to build reading fluency before our next testing sessions. There’s still time to practice. Just time your child using the passages for one minute. Each word read correctly counts for one point. If your child misses a word deduct a point. Each First Grade student returning a completed packet on the due date will participate in a grade level reward. (Note: Please make sure the packet is signed before returning.) Practice WILL assist your child in becoming a more fluent reader. The next DIBELS benchmark in oral reading fluency is 47+ words per minute. Students who have reached this goal should work on retelling at least ½ of what they read. For example, if they read 50 words per minute, they should be able to retell what they read in at least 25 words. Students should not just focus on the “speed”.  Retelling is also important. Please have your child practice retelling after each timed passage. We have a busy week ahead! Let’s see what’s on the agenda!

Reading:

We have begun Unit 5 in Reading which deals with Great Ideas. Our story for the week is “Tippy-Toe Chick, Go!” This story deals with the question “When does a problem need a clever solution?” We will use the strategy “monitor and clarify” to identify our comprehension focus this week, character, setting and plot (story elements). Our phonics skills for the week are “ow”, “ou” (I call them the pain sound) and final syllable –le. Our spelling words all have the “ow” sound: how, now, clown, growl, town, brown, frown, down, cow, crowd and includes eyes and never. The high frequency words are along, never, behind, pulling, eyes and toward. Our selection words are tippy-toe, favorite, potato bugs, disagreed and breath. Our amazing words are clever, predicament, exhausted, batter, intend, grumpy, furious and griddle. Our grammar skill for the week is Imperative Sentences (commands). We will take our story, spelling and grammar test on Friday.  

Math:

We will finish Topic 12 this week and will test next week. We will then begin Topic 13 which explores time to the hour, ½ hour and we’ll further venture into time to the minute in this topic.

Science:

Students have a natural curiosity about space, so this week, we will focus on the day and night sky. We will learn about the sun and the moon and other celestial sights. We will learn the phases of the moon as well as easily recognizable constellations and planets.

Social Studies:

We will explore needs and wants this week in Social Studies. We will begin learning about money and its value in our lives. We will then learn about scarcity, spending and saving.  

Have a great week!

Sarah Johnson


April 1-5 Newsletter  

Parents,

Welcome back!  I hope everyone got some much needed rest during the break. We have about 8 weeks left in this school year.  Let's finish strong!  For the next few weeks there will be a lot of assessments going on throughout the school. Our school will soon be taking the Performance Series which assesses upper grades in each subject. First grade will be using this test later in the month, to assess reading and math growth and DIBELS which assesses reading growth. I have encouraged students to read nightly and to review all high frequency words beginning with unit 1 words which can be found on the waltkek website which has a link on our class webpage. Also, each student should read their library books so that they will be ready for their AR quiz. What I’m finding is that students have taken some tests but have missed several questions on their book because they only read it once or looked through the pictures in the book. I am encouraging them to increase their reading volume, which in turn increases their reading level as they practice.   We are also assessing how well students are learning addition and subtraction facts. They can assess the REFLEX program which drills their skills daily. We’re almost finished with this school year and things may seem hectic for a while. I encourage parents and students alike to continue to stay consistent with homework and practice. It will all pay off soon! On Friday, April 5th we will have honor roll parties and a testing pep rally.  Let’s see what’s in store for the rest of the week.

Reading:

This is a review week for reading. Please practice all Unit 4 High Frequency Words and skills for the Unit test. I will test students on these words beginning on Tuesday. We will then begin taking the Unit 4 test on Wednesday and will continue through Thursday if needed. There is no other homework or tests in Reading this week due to the Honor Roll celebrations/testing pep rally on Friday.

Math:

We are starting Topic 13 this week, which deals with time.   We will learn parts of the clock, hour and minute hands, time to the hour and ½ hour.  We will learn how to read both digital and analog clocks. Please practice and review these skills at home daily.

Science:

We will be exploring life cycles for the next few weeks. We will explore and talk about insects and the stages they go through. We will also go through the life cycle of a plant. Spring is a perfect time of year for curious minds!  

Have a wonderful week!

S. Johnson

 

 


March 18-22 Newsletter  

Greetings Parents!

We have just 5 days until Spring Break begins for Autauga County Schools. We will return on April 1st. Until then, we have such a busy week ahead! Let’s see what’s in store for this week!

Reading:

We are on the last story in Unit 4, "Henry and Mudge and Mrs. Hopper's House".  After this week, we will review and take our Unit 4 test.  Please start now, going back through ALL unit 4 high frequency words to make sure that your child knows them fluently. Our skills for the week are: Phonics - "oo", and "-ly/-ful" endings; Spelling - "-ly/-ful" words slowly, useful, sadly, wonderful, careful, painful, gladly, quickly, playful, nicely and high frequency words because and across; grammar - adjectives that compare; amazing words - discover, dwell, resident, welcome, admire, sadness, substantial and tremendous; and high frequency words - across, only, told, because, opened, dance and shoes.  We will take our spelling, grammar and story test on Friday.

 

Math:

We have begun Topic 12 which explores measurement.  We will work on comparing and ordering by lengths, using indirect measurement, using units to estimate and measure length, using reasoning and measuring using different units of measure in this topic. We will take our test on Thursday on this Topic.

Science:

This week, we will continue working on changes that happen in spring including the weather.   We will review the water cycle as we explore this topic.  We will also review how the Earth's rotation makes day and night and how the revolution of the Earth makes the season's change. 

Have a wonderful week and Spring Break!


March 11-15 Newsletter  

Parents,

We are exactly two weeks away from Spring Break (March 25-29). We have a lot to do before then. The nine weeks ends on this Wednesday. Report Cards will go out next Friday, the 22nd. I appreciate all of the messages and thoughts you sent while I was out with the flu last week. Thank you also for the birthday gifts and messages. We will do our best to “catch up” this week, from my time away. Let’s see what’s in store for the coming week!

Reading:

This week, we are on the story, "Peter's Chair", which deals with outgrowing childhood items and sharing with siblings.  Our phonics skills this week are ew/ui and compound words.  Our spelling words are compound words this week.  They are: backpack, herself, lunchbox, brainstorm, outside, flashlight, suitcase, bluebird and inside.  Our high frequency words included on our test this week are “picture” and “remember”.  Our other high frequency words are stood, thought and room.  In comprehension, we will be exploring the story's "theme" using the strategy "story structure".  Our grammar skill continues with adjectives for how many.  The amazing words for this story are jealous, sibling, porridge, seriousness, relatives, secret, collector and flourish.  The grammar, spelling and story tests will be on Friday. 

Math:

We have finished Topic 11. Due to me being out last week, we will take our previously scheduled test on Monday. Then, will then begin Topic 12 which explores measurement.  We will work on comparing and ordering by lengths, using indirect measurement, using units to estimate and measure length, using reasoning and measuring using different units of measure in this topic.

Science/Social Studies:

We will continue to work on a weather and seasons unit that includes lessons on the wind, types of clouds and the water cycle. In Social Studies, we will do a mini-unit on St. Patrick’s Day. We will learn about Maewyn Succat and how he came to be known as St. Patrick. We will locate on the map and learn about the country of Ireland and the significance of shamrocks. We’ll also have a little “leprechaun” fun.

Have a phenomenal week!

S. Johnson


March 4-8 Newsletter  

Greetings Parents,

This is career week. All week long students will be learning about various career choices and what’s required to enter those careers. We will have some speakers that will come and share their career choice with the children. It’s not too late, if you would like to come one day this week to share about your career, please let me know as soon as possible. Let’s see what else is happening in class this week!

Reading:

We are on the 4th Story in Unit 4 entitled "A Southern Ranch".  The phonics skills this week are consonant patterns kn and wr; and vowel digraphs ie/igh.  Our spelling words which use the long i sound spelled with ie/igh are lie, might, bright, tight, tie, right, light, high, night, pie, and high frequency words above and laugh.  Our high frequency words are above, moon, eight, touch and laugh.  Our comprehension skill is facts and details using the strategy "questioning". Our amazing words are impression, favorite, errand, familiar, memory and stampede.  We will take our Story, Grammar and Spelling test on Friday.

Math:

We have begun Topic 11 which deals with subtracting tens and ones.  In this topic we will explore subtracting groups of 10, subtracting tens on a hundred chart, subtracting tens from two-digit numbers, using mental math to subtract tens, subtracting from a two-digit number and Problem solving using the strategy drawing a picture and writing a number sentence.  As always, keep practicing addition and subtraction fact fluency. 

Science/Social Studies:

In science, we will work on a weather and seasons unit that includes lessons on the wind, types of clouds and the water cycle. In Social Studies, we will be focusing on career choices.

Have a great week!

S. Johnson


February 25-March 1 Newsletter  

Parents,

This is Read Across America Week! In the process of this celebration, we will do a mini-author study on Dr. Seuss. We will explore facts about his life and the many books he wrote. We will have guest readers and do many fun literacy activities to go along with our reading. Monday-Thursday, the children may bring $5 to purchase a “Dr. Seuss-style” hat from the red hall, near the library, which will be worn on Thursday. . Each day will have a specific activity. Monday – Dress in green for “Green Eggs and Ham”; Tuesday – Wear wacky socks for “Fox in Socks; Wednesday – Wear a shirt from a place you have been or want to go for “Oh, the Places You’ll Go; Thursday – Wear your Dr. Seuss hat or other hat for “Cat in the Hat” and on Friday – Dress as your favorite Dr. Seuss character (no masks) for “My Many Colored Days”. It promises to be a fun week for all! This week, students may bring in their favorite Dr. Seuss books to share with the class. Please make sure that the book(s), are labeled with your child’s name. Also, this is Book Fair week! Students will have a chance to visit the book fair and make purchases through Friday morning. Please make sure all money is labeled correctly and enclosed in a sealed envelope or labeled Ziploc bag. Students should not come to school with “loose money” in their pockets. Further, Tuesday evening from 4-6:30, parents may visit the book fair and make purchases with your child. Lastly, Thursday, February 28th is Spirit Night at Launch from 4:00-8:00. This will be a “wacky”, “fun” and busy week of reading and learning!!

Reading:

Our story for the week is "A Trip to Washington, D.C.  Our amazing words are: nation, tourist, splinter, harbor, symbol, abandon, sunken and statue.  High Frequency words are found, took, mouth, wild and once.  Our Phonics skill for the week is the long o sound spelled with oa and ow and three-letter consonant blends.  Our spelling words which have oa and ow are boat, row, coat, pillow, road, yellow, soap, snow, loaf and blow.  Our comprehension skill for the week is facts and details using the strategy important ideas.  Our grammar skill for the week is "adjectives for size".  We will take our Spelling, Story and Grammar tests on Friday.

Math:

After the Topic 10 test on Monday, we will begin Topic 11 which deals with subtracting tens and ones.  In this topic we will explore subtracting groups of 10, subtracting tens on a hundred chart, subtracting tens from two-digit numbers, using mental math to subtract tens, subtracting from a two-digit number and Problem solving using the strategy drawing a picture and writing a number sentence.  As always, keep practicing addition and subtraction fact fluency. 

Social Studies/Science:

We will be learning about the life of Dr. Seuss this week. Along with learning facts about his life, we will do many literacy activities throughout the week. On Friday, we will end our week, by watching “The Lorax”.

Have a great week!

S. Johnson

 


February 18-22 Newsletter  

Students will be out of school for President’s Day on Monday, February 18th.

Parents,

Its’ a short week, but we don’t have a shortage of new experiences! Tuesday will be Spring Picture Day. Please send the picture info back with the pose that you would like for your child to have during photos. All students will be photographed regardless of purchases. Please make sure that your little on is dressed for pictures on this day. Thanks in advance for your help! Let’s see what we have on our agenda!

Reading:

We are on week two with the story "Cinderella".  The high frequency words for the week are: colors, great, sign, draw, over, drew, and show.  The phonics skills for the week are "adding endings", and vowel digraph "ea".  The spelling words which use the long vowel of e spelled with "ea" are eat, team, treat, lean, sea, please, beach, each, dream, clean and the high frequency words tested this week are colors and sign.  The comprehension focus for the week is "theme" using the strategy "visualize".  The grammar skill is "adjectives for colors and shapes".  We will take our story, grammar and spelling tests on Friday!

Math:

We will complete Topic 10 this week. We will review and then take the Topic 10 test on next Monday, February 25th.  Study guides will come home by Thursday of this week.  Also, we will take a timed addition test this Friday. 

Science:

Students will complete a STEAM activity in class this week, that goes along with our story in Reading, “Cinderella”. During this activity, students will be working together in small groups to devise a new mode of transportation for Cinderella to get to the Royal Ball. They will then “construct” it out of given materials. Finally, they will create an advertisement that endorses this “newest mode of transportation”.   During this activity, students will identify their “target audience” and come up with a strategy to “get the word out” about their invention. It promises to be fun for all!

Social Studies:

We will begin a unit on Abraham Lincoln and will then go into a unit on George Washington. As always, if you have some materials from an internet search, books, magazines that will enhance our unit of study, please, feel free to share.

 

Have a wonderful week!


February 11-15 Newsletter  

Parents,                    

We have a busy, but great week ahead. On Thursday, we will have our special snack at 1:30. Those students that would like to participate in swapping cards can bring in Valentines cards to pass out. We are steadily moving along in First Grade. I’m sure you have noticed quite a change in pace this 2nd Semester. Students are expected by now to read more independently. They should know quite a few sight words and should be reading at least 40 words per minute. We are almost at the end of First Grade and there’s still so much more to learn!   Please continue to: read daily with your child and practice high frequency/sight words to help increase their reading fluency along with using the website Lexia; review addition and subtraction facts with the Reflex website, games or flashcards to enhance memory of the math facts; and lastly encourage more independence in your child. Lastly, we are saddened that our Lorilei will be moving this week. Her last day at school will be Wednesday the 13th. We wish her family well on their new move and new adventure!

Reading:

We are on week 1 in Unit 4.  Our story for the week is "Mama’s Birthday Present”.  Skills for the week are: Comprehension - Drawing conclusions using the strategy "monitor and clarify"; Grammar - adjectives; Phonics - singular and plural possessives, vowel digraphs ai/ay; spelling words: way, day, gray, train, tail, may, mail, play, rain, afraid, about and would; high frequency words: about, surprise, enjoy, worry, give and would; and amazing words: celebrate, grateful, rarest, genuine, cherish, delicate and loot.  We will take our Spelling, Story and Grammar tests on Friday. 

Math:

We have finished Topic 9. We will begin Topic 10 on Monday. This topic deals with adding tens and ones.  Please continue to review the papers that are sent home daily. Also, as always continue to work on addition and subtraction fluency at home. Another great way to practice math facts is by going on the Reflex Math website. I have told the children that we need to increase our usage at home for this site. I’ve seen this website work first hand at increasing fact fluency. Please consider allowing your child to grow in math fact fluency by using this site to practice.

Social Studies:

We will begin a unit on Abraham Lincoln and will then go into a unit on George Washington. As always, if you have some materials from an internet search, books, magazines that will enhance our unit of study, please feel free to share. As a heads up, students will be out of school for President’s Day on Monday, February 18th.

Science:

As a part of our healthy choices mini-unit, we will be learning about Dental Health. We will explore baby and permanent teeth and how to take care of them and keep them healthy.  We will also learn about how our nutritional choices affect our tooth health. We will further learn about the importance of having regular dental visits. During this unit, we will stress the importance of brushing and flossing correctly. As a part of this lesson, on Friday, students should bring their toothbrushes along with a travel size tube of toothpaste (in a Ziploc). We will have a hands-on lesson about proper brushing techniques.

 Have a great week!


February 4-8 Newsletter  

Dear Parents,

This week, as always will be busy! We will take our Class Picture on the 7th. Please make sure that your child dresses accordingly. On Wednesday, we will have a visit from “The Tooth Fairy” to teach us about dental hygiene and the importance of practicing great habits! Our Chocolate Fundraiser kickstarts this week and will continue through February 15th. Your help with this is invaluable! Thanks in advance!

Reading

We will begin going over all skills and high frequency words for book 3.  Please look back over the announcements from previous weeks to see the skills that were covered with each story.  Check the links section on our webpage for the waltkek first grade website to practice skills that were taught in book 3.  Please review all Unit 3 high frequency words daily as they will be on the Unit 3 test.  We will review Monday-Wednesday and begin the unit test on Thursday and continue Friday, if needed.  I am encouraging the children to read as much as possible to improve fluency.  Reading daily will further encourage those who are reluctant readers to become more fluent with their reading. I just want to encourage consistency in having that "daily reading time" outside of class time.  I'm convinced that; "The more you read, the better you will read!”

Math:

We have finished Topic 9. We have been learning how to find 1 more, 1 less, 10 more and 10 less, comparing numbers using the symbols < less than, > greater than, and = equal to. We will continue with ordering numbers and making an organized list this week. The study guide comes home on Monday and we will take the test on Wednesday. Please review each question and refer to previous math papers that have come home from this topic to determine what your child should practice more. Also, there is a Brainpop Jr. video on comparing numbers that should be very helpful as a reviewing tool. Also, please continue to review addition and subtraction facts.

Social Studies:

We will begin a unit on Abraham Lincoln and will then go into a unit on George Washington. As always, if you have some materials from an internet search, books, magazines that will enhance our unit of study, please feel free to share. As a heads up, students will be out of school for President’s Day on Monday, February 18h.

Science:

This week, we are doing a mini-penguin/arctic animals unit. We will learn about where they live, what they eat and their life cycle. Students will have fun learning fun facts about our cold weather friends!

 

Have a wonderful week!

S. Johnson

 

 

 


January 28-February 1 Newsletter  

Parents,

It’s a busy week! Tomorrow is our Character Trait Day. Our counselors are asking that everyone wear yellow for the trait of the month “Respect”. As a heads up, class/group pictures will be taken on February 7th. Let’s see what’s on the agenda in class this week!

Reading:

We are on the 6th story in book 3. The story for the week is called "Where Are My Animal Friends". In this story we will learn about what animals do in the winter. Our skills for the week include: high frequency words; before, does, right, oh, good-bye and won’t; phonics we’re using the consonant pattern –dge, and comparative endings er/est. Our words in spelling this week are using er/est; our spelling words are faster, fastest, taller, tallest, shorter, shortest, sadder, saddest, bigger and biggest. Our amazing words are: hibernate, temperature, freeze, weary, migrate, autumn and bitterly. In comprehension, we will focus on drawing conclusions with the strategy using background knowledge. In Grammar this week we will be learning about contractions with not. We will take our test on Friday, February 1st.

Math:

This week we are continuing with topic 9 which deals with comparing and ordering numbers to 100. We will be exploring 1 more, 1 less; 10 more, 10 less; making numbers on a hundred chart, comparing numbers using greater than, less than and equal to symbols, ordering three numbers and making an organized list.   Also, please continue to review addition and subtraction facts. We will continue with math fluency by taking timed math drills in addition every Friday.  Please allow your child to go to the Reflex Math Website for further practice. 

Science:

This week our science lesson goes along with our story for the week “Where Are My Animal Friends?” We will discuss how nature prepares for cold weather. We will learn about hibernation and what animals do when the weather turns colder. We will discuss migration including which animals migrate during the winter.

FYI:

You have received Box Top turn in info. The next turn in is this Friday, February 1st. Also, we are in need of large bottles of hand sanitizer. If you can send some in, please do. Thanks in advance!!!

 

Have a great week!

S. Johnson


January 21-25 Newsletter  

Dear Parents,

FYI: No School on Monday! We are out for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day! Tuesday is the 100th day of school! We will celebrate and do activities that involve the number 100 throughout the day! We’ve grown so much in first grade! There’s still so much more to lean! I encourage all parents to take advantage of the school and county funded reading and math websites Reflex and Lexia. Each student has their login information. If you need to replace the login information that was sent home in the fall, please let me know as soon as possible. It really helps with math fluency and provides extra reading skill practice that strengthens your child’s reading strategies. Also you should have received a copy of your child’s DIBELS results by now along with the Report Card from the 2nd nine weeks grading period. Hopefully, this gives you an idea of what we have to work on for the remainder of the year to reach all First Grade Benchmarks. Please continue to read with your child daily. In Reading, model the appropriate fluency each day and allow your child to practice words they don’t automatically know. The mid-year benchmark for oral reading fluency was 23 words. By the end of First Grade, all students should be reading the minimum of 47 words per minute and retelling at least half of what they read. For instance, if they are reading 40 words per minute, they should be able to retell what they have read in at least 20 words. I encourage you to let your child read at least 20 minutes per day. Research shows that students who read 20 minutes per day will be exposed to 1.8 million words in a year’s time. 20 minutes of reading a day guarantees that a student’s vocabulary will continue to expand. Further, there is a strong correlation between a child’s ability to read and their academic performance. Because so much of our schooling relies on our abilities to read, children must have strong reading skills to succeed and thrive in school. In writing, by now each student should be able to write a short paragraph in summary of a story or on a given topic with correct capitalization, letter formation and punctuation. They should be applying the phonics skills in their spelling as well as the grammar skills that we have learned this year. Each sentence should be a “whole Idea”. If your child still struggles with doing this, please practice, practice, and practice even more! I encourage each of you to continue to press forward in working with your child. The benefits will be well worth the work! Thank you for all you do to make our year great!

Reading:

We are on the 5th story in book 3. The story for the week is called "I'm a Caterpillar". In this story we will learn about the life cycle of the butterfly and the stages that it goes through during Metamorphosis. This will also spill over into a science mini-unit on the life cycle of the butterfly. Our skills for the week include: high frequency words; done, visit, know, wait and push; phonics and spelling this week will include contractions and r-controlled vowels er, ir, and ur; our spelling words are her, girl, shirt, sir, first, burn, fur, bird, were, hurt, visit and hurt. Our amazing words are: cycle, insect, flurries, fragile, develop, rearrange, emerge and vessel. In comprehension, we will focus on fact and opinion with the strategy text structure. In Grammar this week we will be learning about and using the verbs am, is, are, was, and were. Our story, grammar, and spelling tests for the week are on Friday.

Math:

This week we are starting topic 9 which deals with comparing and ordering numbers to 100. We will be exploring 1 more, 1 less; 10 more, 10 less; making numbers on a hundred chart, comparing numbers using greater than, less than and equal to symbols, ordering three numbers and making an organized list.   Also, please continue to review addition and subtraction facts. We will continue with math fluency by taking timed math drills in addition every Friday.  Please allow your child to go to the Reflex Math Website for further practice.

Science:

This week, we will use our story “I’m A Caterpillar” as we discuss the life cycle of the butterfly. We will learn the names of the stages along with facts about what happens at each stage in a butterfly’s development. It promises to be a short, but busy week!

Have an awesome week!


January 14-18 Newsletter  

Dear Parents,

On Friday, there will be an Honor Roll Celebration. Students who have earned A/AB Honor Roll for this nine weeks will get to go bowling at Bama Lanes.  ALL Honor Roll students going bowling will have to have a signed permission slip before being allowed to go. The cost to bowl is $5, in addition, if students wish to purchase snacks at the concession stands, please send extra money. Students who are eligible to attend have already received a permission slip.  Please sign and return before Thursday, so that your child's name can be checked off promptly on my list. Students who do not send in a signed permission slip will not be allowed to go. We also are in need of parent volunteers to walk from the school to the bowling alley or just meet at the bowling alley. Please let me know as soon as possible so that I can add you to my list. Thank you in advance for your prompt attention to this matter!

Reading:

We are still in unit 3 which deals with the question "What is changing in our World?" We will begin the story, "Frog and Toad Together". The skills for this story are; phonics: word ending –ed and r-controlled “ar”; spelling: -ed words – plan, planned, help, helped, drop, dropped, call, called, ask, asked, again, and soon; high frequency words – few, afraid, read, soon, how and again; amazing words - gardener, sprout, shade, destroy, nature, dim, sprinkling and humongous; grammar skill: verbs from the past and future; and the comprehension skill "author’s purpose" using the strategy "visualize”. We will take our story test, grammar test, and spelling test on Thursday, January 17th.

Math:

We are continuing with Topic 8, which deals with place value.  We are exploring using tens and ones in this topic.  We will take our Topic 8 test on Wednesday, January 16th. The study guide will come home today. Please review the math pages that come home in your child's notebook daily.  We will continue with math fluency by taking timed math drills in addition and subtraction every Friday.  Reflex really provides excellent practice for addition fact fluency. Also, please see the websites listed under the links section of our webpage for further practice with addition and subtraction and for other First Grade skills. 

Social Studies:

In Social Studies, we will begin a unit on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  We will learn facts about his childhood and where he grew up. We will also talk about the fact that he was a Montgomery resident during a portion of his time as a Pastor.  We will learn about the location of his church, Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, as well as the local Civil Rights Memorial/Museum located in downtown Montgomery.  Also in this mini-unit, we will explore how differences make us unique and discuss how we could learn from each other's differences and cultures.  I love this unit and I'm excited to share it with my students!  

Have a fantastic week!

S. Johnson


January 7-11 Newsletter  

Greetings Parents!

Happy New Year!!!! We are currently in the 2nd Semester of First Grade. The children have done an awesome job adjusting to the routine in school and keeping up with homework and all that has been required of them so far. We will kick it up a notch this semester. More independence will be expected from students in class work, study habits, homework and behavior. We have a busy week ahead.   Report cards will come home on Friday. We will not have Honor Roll Celebrations for 2nd Nine Weeks Report Cards until next Friday, along with “special snack”.

Reading:

We are on the third story in Unit 3, "The Class Pet".  The skills for this story are; phonics: r-controlled or, ore, ending -es, and plural -es; spelling: plural -es words - fix, fixes, class, classes, wish, wishes, kiss, kisses, bus and buses; high frequency words - away, house, very, car, our, friends and school; amazing words -features, natural, tumble, nibble, wriggle, mature, swoop, crumple and nudges; grammar skill: verbs that do not add an -s; and the comprehension skill "fact and opinion" using the strategy "monitor and clarify.  We will take our story test, grammar test, and spelling test on Friday.  

Math:

We will begin Topic 8 which deals with Tens and Ones. Students will explore making, writing and manipulating tens and ones. We will also explore writing numbers using expanded notation. There are some excellent Brainpop and Brainpop Jr. Video lessons that contain great extra practice with this topic. This is a relatively short topic, so we will be testing within a week or so. Lastly, keep practicing math fact fluency. All students that have access to the internet should be taking full advantage of the school-funded access to Reflex math. Students should be practicing as often as possible to improve math fact fluency with addition and subtraction. Thank you for your help with this.

Science

In Science this week, we are working on a "cold weather/temperature" unit. We will explore how the world around us changes with winter weather and explore the types of precipitation we experience during this time of year.  Students will track the temperatures and learn what happens to liquids during certain temps. For this, students will be participating in small experiments.

Have a great week!

S. Johnson


December 17-21 Newsletter  

Parents,

It’s the last week before Christmas Break and the children know it! We have a lot of activities going on this week. Thursday morning, we will have special breakfast buns and milk before we watch the movie “The Polar Express”. Students should wear their snowman shirt and pajama bottoms. They may bring their pajama top to change into if needed. We will have our Christmas Party later that day at 12:00. It will be a pizza party.  Parents who are assisting with set-up/clean-up, should be in the room by 11:45. I will have a sign out sheet after the party is over.  Friday, the children who come to school, will be watching a movie with a parent volunteer as Faculty and Staff gather for a special breakfast/ fellowship time from 8:30-10:00.  We will dismiss at 12:00 on that day. 

In Reading, we are continuing with unit 3 which deals with the question "What is changing in our World?"  On Monday, we will be starting the story, "Ruby In Her Own Time".  The skills for this story are; phonics: compound words; consonant patterns ng, nk; spelling: ng/nk words – bring, bank, rink, sunk, trunk, sang, blank, pink, wing, rang, every and sure; high frequency words – any, every, were, enough, own, ever and sure; amazing words attempt, time line, flatter, lovely, event, famous, correct and common; grammar skill: verbs that add an -s; and the comprehension skill "compare and contrast" using the strategy "inferring”. We will only teach skills for this story. Due to it being a shortened week, we will not have a spelling, grammar or story test on this story.  In math, we will take our Topic 7 Test on Monday. We will then practice addition and subtraction facts for the remainder of the week.

I pray that there is an abundance of spending time with family and friends and doing things together while the children are away from school.  Students will resume school on January 8, 2019!  I hope that everyone has a most wonderful Christmas Break and a Happy New Year!                                                                                                                              

Merry Christmas and a wonderful new year,

S. Johnson


December 10-14 Newsletter  

Dear Parents,

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! We are excited about all that this season brings. We will continue with many art, writing and decorating projects this week. We will not wear them until December 20th, but we will be painting our snowman shirts on Tuesday of this week. By now, all students should have sent in a plain long sleeve white shirt so that they will have one to wear for “Polar Express Day”. Also, on December 20th, we will be doing a pizza party for lunch. We will start at 12:00. I’m asking for parent volunteers to sponsor pizza. If you would be willing to sponsor a pizza that day, please let me know. We will have pizza, chips/dip, green seedless grapes, a cookie and juice boxes. Please let me know what you would be interested in sending in to make our party a success! With all of that going on, it promises to be a fun, but busy week!

Reading

This week, we will be doing the story “A Place to Play”. The concept question is “What is changing in our world?” The question of the week is “How do places change?” The amazing words are: growth, population, public, shuffle, teeter, crooked, makeshift and spindly. The phonics skills for the week are syllable pattern cv and vowel sounds of y. Our spelling words for this week are: by, try, sunny, handy, fly, cry, lucky, silly, puppy and my, with the addition of two of our high frequency words things and always. Our high frequency words are: always, everything, things, become, nothing, stays and day. The comprehension skill is “sequence”, which we will explore through the strategy “summarize”. The grammar skill for the week is action verbs. Students should view the short clip on Brainpop Jr. on verbs. We will take our spelling, grammar and story test on Friday.

Math

We have begun topic 7. We are exploring numbers and patterns to 120 in this topic. Please review the math papers that are completed in class on a daily basis.  Also, please continue to practice addition and subtraction fact fluency with either the awesome "Reflex" program or flash cards to improve math facts fluency.

Social Studies:

We are continuing our “Christmas Around the World” unit. We will be learning about Christmas Traditions. We are also learning about traditions during Hanukah and Kwanzaa. During this unit, we will also continue to explore customs and traditions of other countries. We hope to cover the United States, Germany, South Korea, India, Mexico, England, China, Russia and several other countries/cultures. It is one of my favorite units of the year! We will end our unit on December 20th with a pizza lunch at 12:00, which will also be our Christmas Party.

Have a great week!!

S. Johnson


December 3-7 Newsletter  

Greetings Parents!

Christmas is in the air and the children know it!  This is such a busy week! First, our Reindeer Lane shopping will start on Monday, December 3rd. Our class goes Monday and Wednesday. Students who are participating should bring money in the envelope that was provided with the flyer, or another labeled envelope. Please indicate who your child is shopping for and how much should be spent on that person. Also, include the total amount sent in the envelope. Students may NOT bring loose money or money without written directions on the envelope. We have a limited amount of shopping time and 21 students to get through the shop. Your help with this is greatly appreciated. Also, we will take the DIBELS assessment on Tuesday, December 4th at 10:00. Please make sure students come to school with a good breakfast, well-rested and on time. On that day, they will be doing the Phoneme Segmentation (breaking words into the smallest sounds), Fluency (1-minute timed reading) and Retelling (recalling details from the 1-minute timed reading) portion of the test. Further, on Wednesday, December 5th, students will be taking the Reading Performance Series Test. This test is computer-based. It assesses your child’s approximate reading performance level. Also, as a heads up, I’m asking that students bring in a plain long-sleeved white shirt by Friday, December 7th. Their name should be written in the label and not just on the bag it comes in. We will be painting snowman shirts on the morning of December 11th. We will start around 8:15 and be finished no later than 10:00. Please let me know if you would be available to help with painting. We will wear them for a class picture as well as throughout the winter. This week students will be rehearsing for our very special music performance for December 10th at 9:30 in the lunchroom. Please make plans to attend. Those who ordered the gingerbread music shirts will receive them on December 7th. Please make sure students wear them to school for our music program on December 10th.

Reading

We are taking our Unit 2 Test this week. At home, please review all skills that we’ve covered so far. In class, we’ll review the phonics skills: sh, th, wh, ch, -ing, -ed, soft c (s); soft g (j), contractions with “not’ and “will”, vccv syllable patterns and long vowels a, e, I, o, u and ee. We will test all unit 2 high frequency words and grammar skills nouns (proper, special titles, months, days, holidays and plural).

Math

We will take the Topic 6 test on Monday. We will then begin Topic 7. We will be exploring numbers and patterns to 120 in this topic. Please review the math papers that are completed in class.  Also, please continue to practice addition and subtraction fact fluency with either the awesome "Reflex" program or flash cards.   

Social Studies:

For the entire month of December, we will be exploring Christmas/Holiday traditions around the world, beginning with America and moving on to Germany and other countries.  If you have information for a country or culture that you would like to share with the class, please send me a brief note so that we can plan accordingly.  We will end our studies on December 20th with our “Polar Express/Party” day.  More details tba.

Have a great week!

S. Johnson


November 26-30 Newsletter  

Dear Parents,  

I can hardly believe how quickly Fall is going! Our time in First Grade is really flying by! We have learned a lot, but there's still so much more to learn. As a heads up, I’m asking that students bring in either a plain long-sleeved white shirt/sweatshirt/hoodie by Friday, December 7th. We will be painting snowman shirts on the morning of December 11th. We will start around 8:15. I will need parent volunteers to assist with the painting. Please let me know if you would be available. We will wear them for a class picture as well as throughout the winter.  Tomorrow is our field trip to see “Junie B. Jones”. Those who have signed up to chaperone will receive a reminder note today. There's so much to do this week! Let's see what's on our academic agenda for the week!

 

Reading:

Our story for the week is "Honey Bees".  We will work on the following skills; Phonics: long e (e, ee); Comprehension: comparing and contrasting and questioning; Spelling words: feet, he, see, we, green, me, she, tree, week, be, some and family; and high frequency words also, other, family, some, new and their.  Our question of the week is "How is an insect community like a community of people?"  Our grammar skill is "nouns in sentences".  We will take our grammar, spelling, high frequency word and reading test on Friday.  Please see your child's notebook for homework for the week.

Math:

We will continue and finish Topic 6 this week, which deals with subtraction facts to 20.  We will explore making a ten to subtract, using related facts, fact families, using addition to subtract, subtraction facts to 20 and drawing a picture and writing a number sentence. We will take our test next Monday. Please continue to practice addition and subtraction fact fluency.  A great way to do this is using flash cards. 

Science:

This week, we will complete a study on honey bees.  In this unit, students will learn about the physical traits of a bee; the hierarchy of the hive; responsibilities of each member of the hive; how bees make honey and wax and the uses of both. We will end our unit on Friday, by watching “Bee Movie”.

 

Have a fantastic week!

S. Johnson

 


November 12-16 Newsletter  

Dear Parents,

This time of year always goes by so quickly. There’s always something going on. This Wednesday will be Holiday picture day. If you would like, your child may take holiday pictures. Siblings that attend DPES may take pictures together. Just let me know if your child has a sibling that they will be taking a picture with. Please include the sibling’s teacher as well, so that we can coordinate. On Friday, our school will hold our first “Friendsgiving Celebration” from 12:00-2:30. They may bring in their favorite stuffed animal and will watch movies and participate in activities that focus on friendship and kindness. Students will be able to purchase pizza by the slice and popcorn for $1 each. They should bring their own drinks from home. We will be out for Thanksgiving Break November 19-23rd. We will return to school on November 26th.

Reading:

We are on the 5th story in Unit 2 - "Life in the Forest". Our amazing words are environment, thrive, slimy, capture, require, inhale, sludge and creature. Our high frequency words are around, grow, find, under, food and water. Our spelling words which use the long u sound are: huge, tube, cute, mule, June, use, flute, rule, cube and rude. Our phonics skills are long u, long e and inflected -ed. Our comprehension skill is "Author's Purpose" and the strategy is "background knowledge". Our grammar skill "singular and plural nouns". Our skills can be reviewed on the websites in the links section and Brainpop Jr. has a video on plural nouns. We will take our grammar, spelling and story test on Friday, December 1st.  Lastly, the reading homework packet for the week is due on the day we take the tests.

Math:

We will begin Topic 6 which deals with subtraction facts to 20.  We will explore making a ten to subtract, using related facts, fact families, using addition to subtract, subtraction facts to 20 and drawing a picture and writing a number sentence. Please continue to practice addition and subtraction fact fluency.  Again, Reflex Math really improves addition fact fluency. It’s a school-purchased subscription that is a great tool for students to build math fact fluency.

Science:

Our science lessons will coincide with our story for the week - "Life in the Forest". We will explore how plant and animal communities are important to each other during the week. We will go on a virtual field trip through the forest this week!

Social Studies:

This week, we will do a mini Native American Unit and continue with our study on the Pilgrims and The First Thanksgiving.  

Have a great week!!

S. Johnson


November 5-9 Newsletter  

Dear Parents,

On Friday, we had to say good-bye to Siya, as she and her family are moving. The children wrote such touching tributes to her. I presented them as a book along with pictures from our Book Character Dress-up Day. This week will be very busy as we are presented with new learning experiences. As a heads up, on Saturday, November 17th, we will have “Johnson Family Fun Day!” We will be seeing a Matinee viewing of “The Grinch”. After the movie, we will meet at CiCi’s Pizza. If possible, please make plans to attend.  

Reading:

We are on week 4 in our reading series.  We have the story "The Big Circle" which deals with a community of dinosaurs.  We are working on long o and contractions in phonics.  In comprehension we are working on sequencing and inferring.  We will continue to work on reading with fluency.  Our amazing words are enemy, protect, holler, bluff, extinct, crater, swamp and boisterous.  Our high frequency words are down, there, inside, together and now.  Our spelling words for the week are: home, hope, rose, woke, those, bone, hose, joke, rode, stone, there and together.  Please see your child's notebook for homework assignments. 

Math:

This week, we will finish with Topic 5.  We will take our Topic 5 test on Thursday.   We will also have our timed addition test on Friday to work on fluency with math facts.

Science:

This week, we will explore dinosaurs along with our story in Reading “The Big Circle”. We will learn about the various kinds of dinosaurs and their characteristics. We will conclude our week with a “dinosaur dig”! It promises to be fun for all!!!

Social Studies:

We will further explore our mini-unit on Veterans and the military. We will continue to learn about the various branches of the military. We will also give tribute to our many Veterans that serve and protect us.   We will not be in school next Monday, November 12th in honor of our many Veterans who protect and serve.

 

Have a wonderful week!

S. Johnson


October 29-November 2 Newsletter  

Parents,

Can you believe that we are already winding down the last week in October? It’s been a very busy month! This week will be equally as busy as last week. Wednesday, October 31, is our Book Character Parade/Party. All first grade students will participate in a Book Character Parade at 1:00. We will parade around the carpool parking lot and throughout the main hall. Afterwards, we will have our party in the classroom. Most of all, we need parent volunteers to help set-up, serve and clean up. If you can help us with any of this, please let me know as soon as possible. Let’s see what’s in store on our academic agenda!

Reading:

We are on the third story in Unit 2, "Who Works Here?" which deals with workers in our communities. Our amazing words are citizen, law, branch, patrol, community, leader, headquarters and earn. Our phonics skills are consonant digraphs wh, ch, tch, ph and long i. Our spelling words which use the long i sound are: like, time, dime, kite, ride, white, hide, smile, bike and ice. Our high frequency words are live, who, out, work and people. Our grammar skill is "special titles". We will take our story, spelling and grammar test on Friday, November 2nd.

 

Math:

This week will continue with topic 5. Our focus this week will be two-question problems, making 10 to add, making 10 to add 9 and making 10 to add 8. We will also have a timed addition test on Friday to work on fluency.

Science:

This month just wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t have our spider unit. We will learn about and explore the various types of spiders and their characteristics. Students will get to write and do several art activities to go along with our unit of study. It promises to be a fun week of exploration!

Social Studies:

We will begin a unit on the U.S. Military. The children will learn about each branch of service. We will learn about their responsibilities and importance. We will always respect and hold in highest regard, our military men and women. This unit will also extend into next week, as we prepare for Veteran’s Day. In our class and throughout the school, we have several students/teachers who have moms/dads and spouses that are deployed. We will use the next two weeks to prepare letters, cards and photos to send to them. If you can assist with this, please let me know as soon as possible. It would really help if you could pick up a card or write a letter of thanks for them. Thank you in advance!

Have an amazing week!

S. Johnson


October 22-26 Newsletter  

Parents,

Thank you to all who came to Report Card Conference Day. It was a joy seeing everyone again. Hopefully, a lot of your questions were answered during our meeting time. Our honor roll party will be this Friday. Students may bring money $1-$3 to purchase items at the Block Party. Also, yearbook picture remakes will be this Friday.  Next Wednesday, October 31, is our Book Character Parade/Party. All first grade students will participate in a Book Character Parade at 12:30. We will parade around the carpool parking lot and throughout the main hall. Afterwards, we will have our party. Most of all, we need parent volunteers to help set-up, serve and clean up. If you can help us with any of this, please let me know as soon as possible. Now, let’s see what we have on our curriculum agenda for this week!

Reading:

We are on "The Farmer in the Hat" which is story 2 in Unit 2.  Our phonics and spelling this week utilize consonants c/s/, g/j/ - (soft c and soft g); and long a.  Our spelling words are face, safe, cage, name, made, make, cake, age, take, late, old and could.  The high frequency words are be, of, could, old, horse and paper. Our amazing words are group, share, borrow, rehearsal, respect, aquarium, lines and soothe.  We will re-visit "cause and effect" in comprehension using the strategy "monitor and clarify".  In grammar, we explore proper nouns.  We will take our spelling, grammar and story test on next Monday, due to it being a short week and having our honor roll party on Friday.

Math:

We will begin Topic 5 which deals with addition facts to 20.  In this topic, we will continue to work on fluency with addition facts. 

Social Studies:

During Red Ribbon Week, we will learn about making good choices, bullying, the dangers of drugs and substance abuse and how to say yes to a drug-free life! The children will participate in many activities and discussions throughout the week. Please talk with your child each day to see what they took away from our discussions.

Science:

We will explore the creepy world of “bats” this week! We will learn many facts about this nocturnal creature, beginning with a lesson on the similarities and differences between birds and bats. Students will get to write and do several art activities to go along with our unit of study. It promises to be a fun week of exploration!

Have a terrific week!

S. Johnson


October 15-19 Newsletter  

Happy Fall!               

On next Monday, October 23rd, parents will come to school at an assigned time to conference with the teacher and get the first nine weeks report card.  This is a great chance to see how your child is progressing in class, as well as a perfect opportunity to discuss matters of concern. If you have not returned the blue sign-up sheet, please do so as soon as possible, so your time can be confirmed. We will have a great and busy week!  Let's see what's on our curriculum agenda for this week!

Reading

We are beginning a new unit in book 2. In this unit, we are exploring communities. Our first story is “A Big Fish for Max”. Our comprehension skill for this story is “sequence” using the strategy “predict and set purpose”. Our amazing words are: chore, cooperation, commute, downtown, household, rule, subway and display. Our phonics focus is the sound in ball: a, al; and consonant digraphs sh and th. Our spelling words use “sh” and “th” with the words: fish, with, shop, ship, then, rush, trash, shut, shell and thin. As a reminder, we will have two of our high frequency words on the spelling tests starting this week which will make a total of 12 words. You can find the words that will appear on our spelling test marked on the list with an asterisk. Our high frequency words are catch, put, good, said, no and want. The words “good” and “want” will be on our spelling test this week. Our grammar skill is “common nouns”. Please use the Brainpop Jr. website to reinforce the concept of nouns. We will take our story, grammar and spelling test on Friday, October 19th.

Math:

We are finishing up Topic 4 and will review all of the lessons this week. We will take our Topic 4 test on Thursday.  The study guide will come home today. Students may bring it back for 3 bonus points on this test or on their lowest grade.

Science:

We will explore the growth cycle of pumpkins this week.  We will learn how a pumpkin grows from seed to fruit. We will take a virtual field trip to a pumpkin patch and find out how the pumpkins are prepared for harvest. Lastly, we will take a look at the many things that are made with and from pumpkins.

 

Have a terrific week!

S. Johnson


October 8-12 Newsletter  

Parents,

This week is a short week due to being out for Fall Break on Monday and Tuesday. Thank you to all of you who sent items for the food drive.  The girls collected the most items. Wednesday is National Walk to School Day. All children and parents who would like to join in, may meet at the YMCA parking lot for the “short trek” to school. Those who are participating should meet at the Y from 7:15-7:30. The walk will begin at 7:30.

Reading:

We have completed all stories for Unit 1.  We will review on Wednesday and begin our Unit 1 test on Thursday.  We will finish up on Friday.  There will be no other tests this week, due to this major test. 

Math:

We are continuing Topic 4 this week, which deals with addition and subtraction facts to 12. In this topic, we will explore: adding 0, 1, 2; doubles; near doubles; facts with 5 on a ten-frame; making 10 on a ten-frame; subtracting with 0, 1, 2; thinking addition; thinking addition to 8 to subtract; thinking addition to 12 to subtract; and drawing a picture and writing a number sentence. Check out the videos and practice problems on Brainpop Jr and the other math websites under our class links.

Social Studies:

This week, we will discuss fire safety. We learn ways to be safe around fire. Students will also learn the best way to prevent fires as well as what to do if a fire occurs at home or at school. This week, practice your home escape route to make sure your child knows how to respond during a scary situation.

 

Have a great week!

S. Johnson


October 1-5 Newsletter  

Parents,

This week will be another great week of learning! Thank you to everyone who sent items to school for our Applefest week. The children had a blast and learned a lot! As a reminder, we will be out for Fall Break next Monday and Tuesday.  We will also have a food drive this week.  This competition is between the girls and boys.  Each day, we are bringing in a specified item to add to either the “girl box” or “boy box”.  Monday - Macaroni/Pasta, Tuesday - Tuna/Canned meat, Wednesday - Wonderful Peanut Butter, Thursday - Quench Thirst Thursday, Friday - Fruity Friday.  At the end of the competition, the winners will get to have a pajama day.  Let's see what's on our curriculum agenda for the week of October 1-5.

Reading:

We are on the 6th and final story of Unit 1, "Animal Park".  In this story, we will explore the question of the week, "What can we learn about wild animals by watching them?"  Our comprehension skill for this story is "cause and effect" using the strategy "text structure".  Our amazing words are desert, world, silent, medicine, forest, chatter, snort and poisonous.  Our phonics skills are short u/u/ and final consonant blends.  Our spelling words for the week which have the short u/u/ sound and final consonant blends are: crust, must, trust, lump, bump, just, dusk, jump, dust and hunt.  Our high frequency words are: home, them, into and many.  In grammar, we will learn about exclamatory sentences.  Tests will be this Friday.

Math:

We have begun Topic 4. This week, we will explore doubles, near doubles, Facts with 5 on a ten-frame and Making 10 on a ten-frame. Please review the day’s lesson with the flyer that comes home daily. Work on problem areas to make sure students receive extra practice. Brainpop Jr. has a wonderful video on doubles and adding. View it with your child and stop to answer question as your child works through the video. There are also games and activities that go along with the lesson for further review and practice. Our username is dpese123 and our password is eagles.

Science:

This week, we will explore animals and their offspring. This mini-unit goes along with our story for the week in reading “Animal Park”. Students will get to choose an animal from the story and learn about them and their offspring. Eating habits, communication, and appearance are just a few things we will tackle during this unit. Students may bring any books on animals that they have at home to share with the class during this unit. I look forward to working with your child and learning this week!!

Social Studies:

Also, along with our lesson, we will explore the continent of Africa. We will learn about the people, animals, plants and weather there. Students will get to experience a virtual field trip to the African plains through a live feed. My students always enjoy seeing it up close and personal as we explore using this tool. In addition, students will locate Africa on the globe and learn more about some of the countries there. It promises to be a great learning experience for all!

Have a great week!

S. Johnson


September 24-28 Newsletter  

Greetings parents,

We have a wealth of learning this week as we celebrate and learn about one of my favorites, the apple. We will also include John Chapman (Johnny Appleseed) with this unit. I’m looking forward to a week of apple-fun!!! Let’s see what’s on the agenda for this week in class!

Reading:

 We are on the 5th story in Unit 1: "Get the Egg!" This week, we will explore the question: "Which wild animals live in our neighborhoods?" In exploring this story, my goal is to make sure that the children understand that all kinds of animals live in our neighborhood and that neighborhood animals need different kinds of food and shelter. Our amazing words are: habitat, survive, croak, hatch, chirp and moist. Our high frequency words are saw, tree, small and your. Our phonics skills this week include the short e sound and initial consonant blends. Our spelling words which have the short e sound are: men, ten, jet, bed, red, net, sled, step, leg and wet. In comprehension, the focus is "main idea and details" using the strategy "story structure". Please see the waltkek website (in the links section of our webpage), to review and practice the skills for the week. I find it a very useful tool for the children in class. We will take our Reading, Grammar and Spelling tests on Friday. Homework packets will also be due on Friday.

 Math:

 We will complete Topic 3 this week, which deals with five and ten relationships and take our test on Wednesday.  The study guide comes home on Monday.  In this topic, we have explored representing numbers on a ten-frame, recognizing numbers on a ten-frame, parts of 10, finding missing parts of 10 and problem solving: making a table. Check out Brainpop Jr. for videos on addition and subtraction and making a ten. Our log in name is dpes123 and our password is eagles. 

 Social Studies/Science

 We will work on our apple/Johnny Appleseed unit this week! We will continue to learn about the growth cycle of the apple and learn many fun facts about Johnny Appleseed. We will make applesauce in class on Wednesday and enjoy items made with and from apples. We need a couple more items to make this happen. If you are willing to help, please send me a note. Thanks in advance for your help!

 

S. Johnson                                                                                                

 

 


September 17-21 Newsletter  

Greetings Parents,

We’ve learned so much already in First Grade. I’m so proud of the students and all of their accomplishments so far. Thank you for your support in making each day the best! You send your students to class prepared and rested so that I can teach without hindrance. Your support is greatly appreciated! This week we have our coupon fundraiser underway. This will continue through next week. We will take school pictures on Tuesday, so each child can come prepared ready to be photographed. These pictures will go into the yearbook and will be used throughout the school year in a few projects. Please send the order forms back on Tuesday with your chosen pose.

Also as a heads up, September 24-28, will be our “Applefest Week”. I am asking for volunteers to send items in during that week. If you would be willing to help out, please send a note, email or text as soon as possible, so that I can continue with plans. In order to do this, I am going to need some items sent on certain days. Our applefest needs are: apples (sliced into wedges for tasting) for that Tuesday), 1 gallon sized Ziploc bag with peeled, cored and chopped Granny Smith and Red Delicious apples – combined), for applesauce on that Wednesday, 1 big bag of apples (enough for 21 students) for that Thursday, and items made from apples, (enough for 21 students to taste) and juice boxes (21) for that Friday. Students should not bring snack or snack money on that Friday as we will be sampling things made with and from apples. Also, during that week, we will be learning about the life of John Chapman, also known as “Johnny Appleseed”. I would love to have a dad or granddad come and read a book about his life (provided by me), dressed as “Johnny Appleseed”. Please let me know as soon as possible if anyone can make this a reality for our students. Thanks in advance for your help! Let's see what's in store in our curriculum this week!

Reading:

We are on the fourth story in Unit 1: "A Fox and a Kit". We will focus on "Main Idea and Details" in comprehension using the strategy "Important Ideas". Our amazing words are native, million, canopy, parent, reserve, screech, wild and observe. Our high frequency words are eat, her, five, this, four and too. Our phonics skills are inflected endings –s and –ing. Our spelling words which use inflected -s are: sit, sits, win, wins, fit, fits, hit, hits, nap and naps. Our grammar skill for the week is "Declarative Sentences". Homework packets will be due and we will take our Spelling, Story and Grammar Tests on Friday.

Math:

We will begin Topic 3 this week, which deals with five and ten relationships. In this topic, we will explore representing numbers on a ten-frame, recognizing numbers on a ten-frame, parts of 10, finding missing parts of 10 and problem solving: making a table. Check out Brainpop Jr. for videos on addition and subtraction and making a ten. Our log in name is dpes123 and our password is eagles.

Social Studies:

We will complete our unit on the continents and oceans this week. The students have really enjoyed learning the names of and locating the continents and oceans on the map. We will create our own “globe” in class during the week. Students will re-create the continents and oceans and correctly label them in class. This project is always a hit with the students!

Science:

We are continuing our studies on sound. We will do several experiments creating and manipulating sound. We will be recording our findings in our science journals and learning new vocabulary to describe sounds. We will be creating our own instruments and sound makers this week as we work on our sound unit. We will wrap up this unit on Friday with a quiz.

Have an awesome week!

S. Johnson


September 10-14 Newsletter  

Parents,

This will be a fun, but busy week of learning! Students are working hard on making great choices throughout the school day. We are all still adjusting to the new school year routine. Many students come prepared for the day, knowing if they have lunch or if they’ll need a school lunch, placing snack in the proper area or placing snack money in the snack bin and we can begin instruction right after our morning routine. Thank you so much for making sure that your child is prepared for class. With that being said, I ask for your help in one area. I’m still having students who bring money to school without a labeled envelope and without having exact change. Due to the new snack procedures, I cannot make change for snack items. Students should have exact change for snack in an envelope or Ziploc bag with exactly what they want to have for snack written on the envelope or bag. I know in a rush sometimes, it’s easy to forget, but it really slows down our day when I have to go through the list with each student who has “loose money” or “money without a label” and find out if they have enough for what they want that day. Our school fundraiser has answered this dilemma in that it has bundles of preprinted envelopes for sale. For order forms, please go on the school website under the School Publications section. Thank you in advance for your attention to this very important matter.  Lastly, we will have very special visitors joining us for lunch on the 13th.  Prattville Fire Department will come and eat lunch with my students on that day.  We're extremely excited about their visit.  I'm sure the children will have many questions to ask them!  Let's see what's in store for this week!

Reading:

We are on the third story in Unit 1: "The Big Blue Ox". We will focus on "character and setting" in comprehension using the strategy "visualize". Our amazing words are past, produce, danger, snuggle, powerful, present, transportation, serve and enormous. Our high frequency words are blue, help, from, little, get and use. Our phonics skills are -s; consonant s/z/; and short o/o/. Our spelling words which use the short o sound are: hot, pop, mop, mom, hop, ox, got, pot, lock and rock. Our grammar skill for the week is "predicates". Homework packets will be due on Friday, September 14th. Please make sure that your child is completing and turning in their homework on the due date. We will take our Story, Grammar and Spelling Tests on Friday.

Math:

We are still doing lessons in Topic 2 which deals with subtraction.  We will continue to work on stories about taking away; stories about comparing; stories about missing parts, subtraction stories and connecting addition and subtraction. Please continue to review math flyers that come home daily in their math folder.  We will take our test on this topic on Thursday. I am sending a study guide home today in preparation for the test. Students will turn in the study guide on the day of the test.

Science:

We will finish our work on Energy. We will explore sound and heat energy through fun, hands-on experiments and projects this week. Let the fun begin!

Social Studies:

We have begun a mini-unit on Maps and Globes. During this unit, we will explore map and globe skills, reading and using a map, and learning the continents and the oceans.   The website Brainpop Jr. is an excellent source to review skills learned in the classroom.

 

Have a great week!!

S. Johnson

 


September 3-7 Newsletter  

Parents,

What an exciting time to be in first grade! I hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day weekend! We are really picking up the pace in first grade! Students are adjusting well to procedures for the classroom and the school.  I am extending a warm welcome to any Grandparents that would like to come to eat lunch with their grandchild this week, in honor of Grandparent's Day.  Our lunch is scheduled from 11:07-11:30.  You can just meet us at the entrance of the lunchroom during this time.  Also, we will be taking the DIBELS assessment on Tuesday.  A huge thank you for all who have already sent in Boxtops.  We will use the money received from the Boxtops to purchase classroom supplies.  Also, as a reminder, you may donate money to our classroom account at any time during the school year for class purchases. Thank you for your help!  Let's see what we have scheduled for this week!

Reading:

This week, we are on the story "Pig in a Wig". We will be working with the short vowel sound of i/i/ and the consonant x/ks/. Our spelling words, which have the short i sound are: six, wig, mix, fix, lip, it, sit, in, did and pin. The amazing words are: career, tool, sloppy, comfort, service, scrub, exercise and search. In comprehension, we will be exploring "plot" and using the strategy "summarize". In grammar, we will be learning about "subjects of sentences". We will review short a and final -ck. Our high frequency words for our story are she, take, up and what. Our selection word is play.  The reading homework for the week is located in the page protector in the bear notebook.  It is due on Friday, September 7th.  Students should not turn in homework before Friday, as they will need it to continue to practice for their tests. We will take our spelling, grammar and story test on Friday.

Math:

We are continuing with Topic 2 which deals with subtraction.  We will continue to work on stories about taking away; stories about comparing; stories about missing parts, subtraction stories and connecting addition and subtraction. Please continue to review math flyers that come home daily in their math folder.  You can find subtraction pages for more practice on the first grade skills website under the links section on my webpage. 

Science/Social Studies:

We will continue exploring types of energy. Last week, we explored light energy. We will finish this week and then explore sound. The children will explore the many ways it is produced. Vocabulary words to look for this week around the dinner table are vibrations, waves, and pitch.   In Social Studies, we are continuing to explore the “Me on the Map” Unit. We will continue to learn about our local community.

Have a wonderful week!

Ms. S. Johnson


August 27-31 Newsletter  

Parents,

This week, we look forward to many great learning activities. In the last few weeks we learned about Lexia, which is a computer based instructional/independent practice program. Each student was assessed and then the level of instruction was determined by this brief assessment. Students were given their password and can begin working at home as well as in the classroom to build reading skills. This week, students will also be introduced to the Reflex Math program our school uses to build math fact fluency. Students will be given passwords so that they can access the program from home as well. We have 3 student computers for 21 students in our room. So, each student has limited time to work on Lexia and Reflex in the classroom each week. They also work in the computer lab once a week. Because of this somewhat limited access, working at home on these programs becomes even more important. Students go at their own pace, but have a Benchmark to reach by the end of the year. They also receive rewards for completing the required time each week and for each level that they achieve. I reward them within the classroom and our Assistant Principal, Mrs. Wilson will also recognize students. Students really look forward to being recognized for their achievements with both of these programs as well as the Accelerated Reader (AR ) Program. Students enjoy working toward a particular incentive. In the process, they strengthen their Reading, Comprehension and Math Skills. Also, next week, our class will take the DIBELS assessment.   Students will be assessed on letter and sound recognition, and how well they segment words into the smaller sounds, i.e., /c/ /a/ /t/. Results will be shared with parents after the 1st grade has completed all testing. Also, we are collecting Box Tops for Education. For each Box Top, we earn 10 cents for our classroom. I then, use the money to purchase needed classroom items and materials for instruction. Thanks in advance for your help! Here's the curriculum agenda for the week of August 27-31:

Reading:

We have spent the first few weeks reviewing kindergarten skills, but will take off with more first grade skills in reading this week.  We are beginning Unit 1 this week with the story "Sam, Come Back!"  The new spelling/high frequency word list will be placed in the binder on Monday.  Please do not remove the list from the bear notebook as we will use it every day to practice.  We will focus on Character and Setting in Comprehension.  Our phonics practice will include short a and -ck.  Our spelling words are can, dad, mad, at, cat, am, ran, back, bat and sack.  Our high frequency words are come, in, on, way and my.  In grammar, we will learn about "sentences".  Our amazing words are needs, responsibility, shelter, cuddle, tickle, faithful, fetch and heel.  We will have our story, grammar and spelling test on Friday. Homework is listed on the behavior calendar in your child's bear notebook.  Reading homework for the week is located in the page protector in the bear notebook.  The packet is due on Friday, August 31st.   Students should not turn in homework before Friday, as they will need it to continue to practice for their tests. 

Math:

We have begun Topic 2 in Math which deals with missing parts for 6, 7, 8 and 9.  We will be working with part/part/whole mats to determine the missing parts.  Please go through daily math pages that are sent home and review. 

Social Studies/Science:

This week, we will be3 working on a “Me on the map” unit. We will learn about the location of our homes, our city, our state and our country on the map. In Science, we will begin our study on Energy. During this unit, we will do several hands-on science inquiries and record our findings in our science journals. This week, we will explore light energy and observe how light passes through certain materials and is blocked by other materials. Terms to look for in discussion around the dinner table are opaque, shadows and transparent. We will then begin lessons and experiments on sound and vibrations.

Have a terrific week!

 

S. Johnson


August 20-24 Newsletter  

Parents,

We are really settling into our routine here at DPES in First Grade! We have been working really hard at learning the rules and procedures. We are still working on the procedures for inclement weather, fire drills and lock-down. We, at DPES, want our children to be prepared and know what to do in the case of an emergency situation. Further, if you have not signed up for NOTIFY ME on the dpeseagles.com website, please take a moment today to enroll. You can receive updates from the school in the case of changes in our schedule, routine, or in the case of emergencies.   This week, parents will have the opportunity to meet our awesome Principal, Mrs. Donna Finch at our APT/Meet the Principal Night on Tuesday.  There will be two sessions 5:30 and 7:00. Please make plans to attend one of these, if possible.  Also, please remember that students who are purchasing snack at school, must bring their money in either an envelope or ziploc, labeled with their name and what they are purchasing for snack that day.  We have to have EXACT change only, as the snack shack has many orders to fill and will not be able to make change.  Thanks in advance for helping us with this.  Here's the curriculum agenda for the week of August 20-24.

Reading:

We are continuing to work on the Kindergarten Review Unit. We will complete skills from three stories.  Our stories for the week are "The Big Top", "School Days" and "Farmer's Market". Our high frequency words for this week includes the words: do, yellow, look, you, are, have, that, he, is, three, to, with, for, go, here and me. Our Amazing words are: active, pavement, puddle, overflowing, lawn newspaper, banner, patio, amusing, corner, neighbor, introduce, trouble, deliver, porch and squirrel. The phonics skills include the sounds short o, short e, short u, d, l, h, r, j, w, k, v, y, z, and qu.  Our comprehension skill focus is realism/fantasy and plot. In grammar, the focus will be sentences and adjectives. In Handwriting we will work on the letters Oo, Uu, Dd, Ll, Hh, Rr, Jj, Ww, Kk, Ee, Vv, Yy, Zz and Qq. We will take a test on these skills on Friday. 

Math:

We will continue to work on addition in math this week. In this topic, we will continue to explore the following: spatial patterns for numbers to 10, making 6 and 7, making 8, making 9, introducing addition expressions and number sentences. This week, we will focus on stories about joining, adding in any order and using objects. Also, I will send a study guide home today for the Topic 1 test that we will take on Thursday. The completed returned practice page will allow your child to receive a bonus point on their lowest test, quiz or daily grade this nine weeks.

Social Studies:

This week, we will continue an "All About Me" unit. Each student will receive a letter concerning information that your child will need to work on memorizing, such ass their name, address, phone number, etc. When your child has memorized this information and is ready to recite for a grade, please return this page and I will test them.  In class, we are exploring similarities and differences in the individual and family. We will share information about our families and have fun learning more about each other! 

Science:

This week, we will do a mini-unit on the five senses that will go hand in hand with our “All About Me” unit. We will explore how we use our senses to learn about the world all around us.

FYI:

Again, please send in boxtops throughout this year as often as possible to assist in getting much needed materials in class.

Have a terrific week!

S. Johnson


August 13-17 Newsletter  

Parents,

It's been an amazing first week of school!  I'm sure your children were tired this weekend as all teachers were! It's going to take a while to get into the swing of things, but we'll get there!  I'm so grateful to have such a sweet group of students and parents!  Our first days of school were filled with learning new routines and getting to know each other.  I have thoroughly enjoyed spending time with your children and getting to know them. This week, holds much activity for our class, so let's see what's coming for the week of August 13-17th.

Reading:

We have begun our Kindergarten Review unit where we will be reading and reviewing the 40 Kindergarten sight words that I will include in each child's binder.  Please practice them daily and continue to read with your child.  Also, I have included the stories that we will be reading in class for the next few weeks.  Please allow your child to practice as much as they can at home.  This week, we will begin handwriting lessons.  We will begin with beginning letter structures; lines and circles.  Handwriting grades will be included on each report card. Students will practice in class and at home.  Periodically they will provide handwriting samples that will be graded for neatness, correct letter formation and spacing.  Correct formation will be expected each time a student writes letters or numbers.  This week,  I'm requesting that each child practice writing their first and last names at home.  Each week, we will focus on correct formation of certain letters. In grammar, we are working on nouns; particularly nouns for places.  In writing, we will work on writing sentences using the appropriate Capitalization and Punctuation. The first practice test for reading will be Friday, August 17th.  Since this will be our first test, we will take it together.   

Math:

We begin Topic 1 in math this week, which deals with counting and recognizing numbers.  Practice pages will come home for review during the week. 

Social Studies:

This week, we are working on an "All About Me" unit.  We will be learning interesting facts about each other, sharing facts about our selves, our families, homes, and interests.  The students always enjoy sharing about themselves. On Tuesday, students can bring in pictures of themselves as babies, family members or family pets in a labeled ziploc bag.  The pictures will be returned after each child has had the chance to share with their classmates.  I look forward to sharing with the children as well.  

Have a great week!

S. Johnson


August 6-10 Newsletter  

Welcome to First Grade!

This year is going to be amazing!!! I really can't adequately express how excited I am to begin the school year with you and your child.  The first few weeks are going to be a time of adjustments and learning our new routine here at DPES.  There are a few things to keep in mind this week. Carpool begins and the building opens at 7:15.  You are welcome to walk your child to class for the first day only.  Beginning Tuesday, August 7th, we will require students to walk themselves to class.  Students should come to the yellow hall with all of the other first grade students.  They will then be seated right outside of our classroom (K-4) until the 7:45 bell rings. Please make sure your child knows if they are eating a school lunch or brought their lunch from home (some forget).  Also, if students have snack money, please remind them to place it in the snack bin as soon as they get in the classroom.  Further, please make sure if your child brings money for INOW ($10), donations (any amount is greatly appreciated), handwriting paper ($8) or T-shirt ($10), that is is placed in a labeled envelope telling specifically what the money is for. 

All first grade students should wear their yellow tag for the entire first week.  Please make sure that it is properly secured with a safety pin.  Parents picking children up from carpool, should have a paper plate with your child's name/grade written in black ink and placed in the front windshield area.  Your child's name and a color which indicates where you can pick them up, will be announced by the carpool caller.  Dismissal will begin at 2:50.  Walkers will come out of the yellow hall front door and will proceed to walk down the front sidewalk.  Please instruct older brothers and sisters to wait for the younger students there.  All paperwork should be completed and returned by Friday, August 10th.  Lastly, students will be required to wear tennis shoes at P.E.  They may change, if needed. 

Reading:

This week, I will be assessing students on letters/sounds, rhyming words, Initial sounds, the first 40 Kindergarten words and a short oral reading passage.  After all students have been assessed, I will place them into the appropriate reading group.  Student groups are not final, but remain flexible as student's needs/growth occur.  By Friday, you will receive the Reading Homework sheet, reading log, and a short checklist which includes areas to work on and encourage your child to grow in.    

Math:

We will begin with a short review of math readiness skills, writing, counting and recognizing numbers, patterns, and sorting.  We will then introduce the first Topic, which deals with spacial patterns for numbers to 10.    

Social Studies:

This week, as school gets underway, we will be learning the school and classroom rules.  We will do several activities that enhance our "working together" skills.  We will learn and discuss the roles and importance of school workers throughout the school.  We will familiarize ourselves with our DPES environment and learn a bit of DPES history. 

Science:

This week, we will begin with a STEAM project on transportation and learn about ways others get to school in different parts of the world.  We will end our week by working together to complete a cooperative group project that creates a "new way" to get to school. 

I know that this week will be one of many where your child will be immersed in learning activities that "stretch them" and allow them to "R.I.S.E."! 

 

Have a great week!

S. Johnson  

 

  


July 20-August 3  

Parents,

Welcome to the wonderful world of First Grade!  School is just around the corner (August 6th), and there are a few things that would be helpful to know to get our year started off right! 

Class Assignments:  All rolls for the DPES 2018-2019 school year will be posted on the front doors of the school on the afternoon of Friday, July 20th.  I have placed my supply list in this announcement as well as mailed a hard copy. If you bring supplies to Orientation, please make sure that all items are labeled with your child's name, with the exception of items such as wipes, hand soap, etc.  (Please check the supply list to see more detail about each item.) If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Orientation for First Grade will be August 3rd at 9:00. During orientation, you and your child will get the opportunity to meet me and see the classroom.  You may also bring (labeled) supplies, purchase the First Grade handwriting paper for the year ($8); pay for INOW for grade access ($10) and contribute a donation to our classroom fund to help purchase educational resources throughout the year. My class is on the yellow hall in K-4.  Just look for the bears! 

Wish List Items: volunteers, HP 61 black and color ink cartridges, Box Tops, construction paper, Walmart or Office Depot gift cards and items for treasure box

 

Looking forward to meeting you and your child!

Ms. S. Johnson


April 30-May 4 Newsletter  

Parents,

This is going to be a jam-packed week! We will have field day for first grade on Thursday. You should have received a note about field day along with a shirt if your child ordered one. We will be outside for most of the` day, so read the blue note carefully to make sure that your child is adequately prepared for the day.

Reading:

In Reading, we are on the 5th story in Unit 5; “Alexander Graham Bell”, which coincides with our Science/Social Studies unit for the week. In phonics we will explore vowel digraphs and diphthongs as well as the vowel sound in “ball”. Our high frequency words are built, science, early, through and learn. Our amazing words are determined, technology, stalled, sketch, inventor, stable, biplane and speech. Our spelling words contain diphthongs aw: saw, draw, crawl, straw, law, jaw, paw, lawn, yawn, hawk, through and science. In writing, we will focus on sentences. This week in fluency we will focus on expression and intonation. Our grammar skill for the week is adverbs. Our comprehension skill focus is “sequence” using the strategy, “text structure”. We will have our story test, grammar test, and spelling test on Friday.

Math:

We are now on Topic 14 which deals with gathering data in the forms of picture graphs, bar graphs, tally tables, etc.  As always, continue to work on addition and subtraction fact fluency.  Again, each Friday we will have a 5 minute/50 problem fluency drill.  Again, flash cards are a great way to practice this skill as well as addition and subtraction practice on Reflex.

Social Studies/Science:

In Social Studies/Science, we will begin a unit on the life and legacy of Alexander Graham Bell. We will complete a time-line charting important milestones in his life! We will learn about his inventions and his contribution to modern day technology. Also, this week, we will learn about the life and legacy of Helen Keller who was a student of Alexander Graham Bell.

 

Have a great week!

S. Johnson


April 23-27 Newsletter  

Parents,

The “Race to DIBELS Next” will be held on Friday. Students will have used the packets that were sent home to build reading fluency before our next testing session in May. Packets are due on Thursday the 26th. Each First Grade student returning a completed packet on that day will participate in a grade level reward. (Note: Please make sure the packet is signed before returning.) The next DIBELS benchmark in oral reading fluency is 47+ words per minute. Students who have reached this goal should work on retelling at least ½ of what they read. For example, if they read 50 words per minute, they should be able to retell what they read in at least 25 words. Again, students should not just focus on the “speed”. Retelling is also important. Further, please have your child practice retelling after each timed passage. Next week is Field Day. First Grade will have our day next Thursday. It’s a busy time of year! Let’s see what’s happening this week in class!

Reading:

This week, we are on the story "Simple Machines". We will also use this as our science topic this week. Our question of the week is "How can a great idea make our lives easier?" Our skills for the week are oi/oy, er/or in phonics and the spelling words which use the oi/oy sound are: oil, point, coin, join, soil, boy, oink, voice, boil, toy and include against and heavy. Our high frequency words are against, kinds, goes, today and heavy. Our story vocabulary words are machines, vacuum, pulley, inclined planes, surface, axles and lawn mower. The grammar skill for the week is pronouns. Our amazing words are gadget, convenient, pilot, cellar, equipment, engine, steer and furnace. Our comprehension skill is main idea and details using the strategy "summarize". We will take our story, grammar and spelling test on Friday.

Math:

We are continuing in math with Topic 13 which deals with time.   This week, we will review parts of the clock, hour and minute hands and time to the hour. We will test on Friday, then begin Topic 14 which deals with data collection.

Science:

We are continuing to explore life cycles. Our caterpillars have crawled to the top of our container and have started to form the chrysalis. The children have excitedly observed them as they grew. We have transported them to the butterfly box. This week, we will be learning about simple machines. We will particularly focus on these categories: wheel and axle, inclined plane, pulley and lever. Next week, we will be growing our own plants in the classroom. Students will learn how to properly nourish a plant from a seed.    

Have a great week!

S. Johnson


April 16-20 Newsletter  

Parents,

This will be a short week. We will be out on Friday for a weather day. Let’s see what’s on the agenda for the week!

Reading:

This is a review week for reading. Please practice all Unit 4 High Frequency Words and skills for the Unit test. I will test students on these words on Tuesday. We will then begin taking the Unit 4 test on Wednesday and will continue through Thursday if needed. There is no other homework or tests in Reading this week.

Math:

We anticipated finishing measurement last week, but I was out with family and decided to wait until this week. We will finish Topic 12 and take the test on Thursday, April 19th. We will begin Topic 13 next week, which explores time to the hour and ½ hour. We’ll also further venture into time to the minute in this topic.

Social Studies/Science:

We are the proud owners of our very own caterpillar crew!  We received these caterpillars courtesy of International Paper.  We will review and see the stages a butterfly goes through beginning with the caterpillar stage.  At the end, we will release our butterflies. I love to see the children's faces light up as the caterpillars change!  Also, we will continue a mini-unit on the "Water Cycle" and “Earth Day” this week. At the end of this unit, students should be able to tell you about evaporation, condensation and how clouds form and forms of precipitation as well as ways we use water every day and ways to conserve the natural water supply.  We will learn about how to take care of our planet through various activities to honor Earth Day.  Again, Brainpop Jr. has several videos and activities on the subject of caring for our planet.  We will talk about ways to reduce, reuse and recycle materials to decrease the size of our carbon footprint.

Have a wonderful week!

S. Johnson  


April 9-13 Newsletter  

Parents,

This week is a busy one! We will have our field trip to Camp Chandler on Friday. We will be leaving the school at 8:30. Chaperones may meet us in the front parking lot and follow the school buses or meet us there. Also, please continue to practice the DIBELS Next passages. They are not due until April 26th. Students will have used the packets to build reading fluency before our next testing sessions. There’s still time to practice. Just time your child using the passages for one minute. Each word read correctly counts for one point. If your child misses a word deduct a point. Each First Grade student returning a completed packet on the due date will participate in a grade level reward. (Note: Please make sure the packet is signed before returning.) Practice WILL assist your child in becoming a more fluent reader. The next DIBELS benchmark in oral reading fluency is 47+ words per minute. Students who have reached this goal should work on retelling at least ½ of what they read. For example, if they read 50 words per minute, they should be able to retell what they read in at least 25 words. Students should not just focus on the “speed”.  Retelling is also important. Please have your child practice retelling after each timed passage.

Reading:

We are on the last story in Unit 4, "Henry and Mudge and Mrs. Hopper's House".  After this week, we will review and take our Unit 4 test.  Please start now, going back through ALL unit 4 high frequency words to make sure that your child knows them fluently. Our skills for the week are: Phonics - "oo", and "-ly/-ful" endings; Spelling - "-ly/-ful" words slowly, useful, sadly, wonderful, careful, painful, gladly, quickly, playful, nicely and high frequency words because and across; grammar - adjectives that compare; amazing words - discover, dwell, resident, welcome, admire, sadness, substantial and tremendous; and high frequency words - across, only, told, because, opened, dance and shoes.  We will take our spelling, grammar and story test on Thursday, since we are going on the field trip on Friday.

Math:

We will finish Topic 12 this week and will test next week. We will then begin Topic 13 which explores time to the hour, ½ hour and we’ll further venture into time to the minute in this topic.

Science:

This week, we will continue working on changes that happen in spring including the weather.   We will review the water cycle as we explore this topic.  We will also review how the Earth's rotation makes day and night and how the revolution of the Earth makes the season's change. 

Have a wonderful week!

S. Johnson

 


April 2-6 Newsletter  

Parents,

For the next few weeks there will be a lot of assessments going on throughout the school. Upper grade students are finishing up the ACT Aspire this week. Our school will soon be taking the Performance Series which assesses reading and math growth and DIBELS which assesses reading growth. I have encouraged students to read nightly and to review all high frequency words beginning with unit 1 words which can be found on the waltkek website which has a link on our class webpage. Also, each student should read their library books so that they will be ready for their AR quiz. I encourage them to increase their reading volume, which in turn increases their reading level as they practice.   By now, you have received the passages for the DIBELS Next Race. Students should be timed to test fluency with passages. Passages should be turned in on April 26th. We are also assessing how well students are learning addition and subtraction facts. They can assess the REFLEX program which drills their skills daily. We’re almost finished with this school year and things may seem hectic for a while. I encourage parents and students alike to continue to stay consistent with homework and practice. It will all pay off soon! On Friday, April 6th we will have honor roll parties. Thank you!!!

Reading:

This week, we are on the story, "Peter's Chair", which deals with outgrowing childhood items and sharing with siblings.  Our phonics skills this week are ew/ui and compound words.  Our spelling words are compound words.  They are: backpack, herself, lunchbox, brainstorm, outside, flashlight, suitcase, bluebird and inside.  Our high frequency words included on our test this week are picture and remember.  Our other high frequency words are stood, thought and room.  In comprehension, we will be exploring the story's "theme" using the strategy "story structure".  Our grammar skill continues with adjectives for how many.  The amazing words for this story are jealous, sibling, porridge, seriousness, relatives, secret, collector and flourish.  The grammar, spelling and story tests will be on Thursday since we are out on Friday. 

Math:

We have finished Topic 11. We will then begin Topic 12 which explores measurement.  We will work on comparing and ordering by lengths, using indirect measurement, using units to estimate and measure length, using reasoning and measuring using different units of measure in this topic.

Science:

We will be exploring life cycles for the next few weeks. We will explore and talk about insects and the stages they go through. We will also go through the life cycle of a plant. Spring is a perfect time of year for curious minds!  

Have a wonderful week!

S. Johnson

 


March 19-23 Newsletter  

Greetings Parents!

We have just 5 days until Spring Break begins for Autauga County Schools. We will return on April 2nd. Spring testing for DIBELS Next is right around the corner. The Race to DIBELS Next packets went home on Monday. Parents should time your child for one minute using the passages in the packet. Each word read correctly counts for one point. If your child misses a word, deduct a point. Use the passages throughout April. Return your child’s packet by April 26th. Practice will assist your child in becoming a fluent reader. Please note the DIBELS Next Spring benchmark goals. First graders returning a completed signed packet on April 26th, will participate in a grade level reward from our Principals! Let’s see what’s in store for this week!

Reading:

We are on the 4th Story in Unit 4 entitled "A Southern Ranch".  The phonics skills this week are consonant patterns kn and wr; and vowel digraphs ie/igh.  Our spelling words which use the long i sound spelled with ie/igh are lie, might, bright, tight, tie, right, light, high, night, pie, and high frequency words above and laugh.  Our high frequency words are above, moon, eight, touch and laugh.  Our comprehension skill is facts and details using the strategy "questioning". Our amazing words are impression, favorite, errand, familiar, memory and stampede.  We will take our Story, Grammar and Spelling test on Friday.

Math:

We have begun Topic 11 which deals with subtracting tens and ones.  In this topic we will explore subtracting groups of 10, subtracting tens on a hundred chart, subtracting tens from two-digit numbers, using mental math to subtract tens, subtracting from a two-digit number and Problem solving using the strategy drawing a picture and writing a number sentence.  As always, keep practicing addition and subtraction fact fluency. 

Science:

This week, we will continue working on changes that happen in spring including the weather.   We will review the water cycle as we explore this topic.  We will also review how the Earth's rotation makes day and night and how the revolution of the Earth makes the season's change. 

Have a wonderful week and Spring Break!

S. Johnson


March 12-16 Newsletter  

Greetings Parents,

Spring is just around the corner and we officially have two weeks until Spring Break!  There are just a few reminders for the week. All students will take Spring Pictures on Wednesday. If you want a specific pose, please indicate on the form. After Spring Break, we will not return until April 2nd. We’re in for a busy week! Let’s see what’s on the agenda!

Reading:

Our story for the week is "A Trip to Washington, D.C.  Our amazing words are: nation, tourist, splinter, harbor, symbol, abandon, sunken and statue.  High Frequency words are found, took, mouth, wild and once.  Our Phonics skill for the week is the long o sound spelled with oa and ow and three-letter consonant blends.  Our spelling words which have oa and ow are boat, row, coat, pillow, road, yellow, soap, snow, loaf and blow.  Our comprehension skill for the week is facts and details using the strategy important ideas.  Our grammar skill for the week is "adjectives for size".  We will take our Spelling, Story and Grammar tests on Friday.

Math:

After the Topic 10 test on Tuesday, we will begin Topic 11 which deals with subtracting tens and ones.  In this topic we will explore subtracting groups of 10, subtracting tens on a hundred chart, subtracting tens from two-digit numbers, using mental math to subtract tens, subtracting from a two-digit number and Problem solving using the strategy drawing a picture and writing a number sentence.  As always, keep practicing addition and subtraction fact fluency. 

Science/Social Studies:

We will continue to work on a weather and seasons unit that includes lessons on the wind, types of clouds and the water cycle. In Social Studies, we will do a mini-unit on St. Patrick’s Day. We will learn about Maewyn Succat and how he came to be known as St. Patrick. We will locate on the map and learn about the country of Ireland and the significance of shamrocks. We’ll also have a little “leprechaun” fun.

Have a phenomenal week!

S. Johnson


March 5-9 Newsletter  

Greetings Parents,

Spring is just around the corner and we have just 5 days until Spring Break!  There are just a few reminders for the week.  Wednesday is the last day to turn in Field Trip money for our April 13th trip to Camp Chandler. Also, we are in desperate need of paper towels.  I'm asking every student to send in at least 1 roll, so that we can replenish what we used during cold and flu season.   We’re in for a busy week! Let’s see what’s on the agenda!

Reading:

We are on week two with the story "Cinderella".  The high frequency words for the week are: colors, great, sign, draw, over, drew, and show.  The phonics skills for the week are "adding endings", and vowel digraph "ea".  The spelling words which use the long vowel of e spelled with "ea" are eat, team, treat, lean, sea, please, beach, each, dream, clean and the high frequency words tested this week are colors and sign.  The comprehension focus for the week is "theme" using the strategy "visualize".  The grammar skill is "adjectives for colors and shapes".  We will take our story, grammar and spelling tests on Friday!

Math:

We will complete Topic 10 this week. We will review and then take the Topic 10 test on Monday, March 12th.  Study guides will come home by Thursday of this week.  We will take a timed addition test this Friday. 

Science:

We will work on a weather and seasons unit that includes lessons on the wind, types of clouds and the water cycle.

Social Studies:

Last week, in our story “Mama’s Birthday Present”, we were introduced to a special celebration. This week will continue to explore the Hispanic culture and celebration. We will learn about traditions/celebrations as we immerse ourselves in the culture. During this mini unit, we will have many writing, art, music etc. activities. Students will get to taste foods from the culture and our story including tortillas and buenelos. For one of our activities on Thursday, we are in need of empty water bottles and colored tissue paper. If you can send these items, please let me know. Thanks in advance!

Have a wonderful week!

S. Johnson


February 26-March 2 Newsletter  

Parents,

This is Read Across America Week! In the process of this celebration, we will do a mini-author study on Dr. Seuss. We will explore facts about his life and the many books he wrote. We will have guest readers and do many fun literacy activities to go along with our reading. Each day will have a specific activity. Monday – Dress in green for “Green Eggs and Ham”; Tuesday – Wear wacky socks for “Fox in Socks; Wednesday – Wear a shirt from a place you have been or want to go for “Oh, the Places You’ll Go; Thursday – Wear your Dr. Seuss hat for “Cat in the Hat” *Supper with Seuss Literacy Night from 5:30-7:00. Friday – Dress as your favorite Dr. Seuss character (no masks) for “My Many Colored Days”. It promises to be a fun week for all! This week, students may bring in their favorite Dr. Seuss books to share with the class.

Reading:

On Monday, we will do part 1 of the Unit 3 Test. We will finish the Unit Test on Tuesday. We will then begin with our story for the week, “Mama’s Birthday Present”. Skills for the week are: Comprehension - Drawing conclusions using the strategy "monitor and clarify"; Grammar - adjectives; Phonics - singular and plural possessives, vowel digraphs ai/ay; spelling words: way, day, gray, train, tail, may, mail, play, rain, afraid, about and would; high frequency words: about, surprise, enjoy, worry, give and would; and amazing words: celebrate, grateful, rarest, genuine, cherish, delicate and loot.  We will take our Spelling, Story and Grammar tests on Friday. 

Math:

We have finished Topic 9. We will begin Topic 10 on Monday, after the test. This topic deals with adding tens and ones.  Please continue to review the papers that are sent home daily. Also, as always continue to work on addition and subtraction fluency at home. Another great way to practice math facts is by going on the Reflex Math website. I have told the children that we need to increase our usage at home for this site. I’ve seen this website work first hand at increasing fact fluency. Please consider allowing your child to grow in math fact fluency by using this site to practice.

Science:

As a part of our healthy choices mini-unit, we will be learning about Dental Health. We will explore baby and permanent teeth and how to take care of them and keep them healthy.  We will also learn about how our nutritional choices affect our tooth health. We will further learn about the importance of having regular dental visits. During this unit, we will stress the importance of brushing and flossing correctly. As a part of this lesson, on Friday, students should bring their toothbrushes along with a travel size tube of toothpaste (in a Ziploc). We will have a hands-on lesson about proper brushing techniques.

 

Have a great week!

S. Johnson


February 19-23 Newsletter  

Parents,

Even though it’s a short week, due to being out Monday for President’s Day and Inservice on Tuesday, we will use this as a review week for Unit 3. We will begin going over all skills and high frequency words for book 3 on Wednesday.  Please look back over the announcements from previous weeks to see the skills that were covered with each story.  Check the links section on our webpage for the waltkek first grade website to practice skills that were taught in book 3.  Please review all Unit 3 high frequency words daily as they will be on the Unit 3 test.  We will review Wednesday and Thursday and begin the first part of the unit test on Friday and continue on Monday. After the multiple choice portion of the test has been given, we will then begin our writing portion of the unit test. I am encouraging the children to read as much as possible to improve fluency.  Reading daily will further encourage those who are reluctant readers to become more fluent with their reading. I just want to encourage consistency in having that "daily reading time" outside of class time.  I'm convinced that; "The more you read, the better you will read!"

Math:

We are finishing Topic 9 this week. We have been learning how to find 1 more, 1 less, 10 more and 10 less, comparing numbers using the symbols < less than, > greater than, and = equal to. We will continue with ordering numbers and making an organized list this week. The study guide for this topic will come home on Friday. We will take the test on next Monday, February 26th. Please review each question and refer to previous math papers that have come home from this topic to determine what your child should practice more. Also, there is a Brainpop Jr. video on comparing numbers that should be very helpful as a reviewing tool. Also, please continue to review addition and subtraction facts.

Science:

As a part of our healthy choices mini-unit, we will be learning about Dental Health. We will explore baby and permanent teeth and how to take care of them and keep them healthy.  We will also learn about how our nutritional choices affect our tooth health. We will further learn about the importance of having regular dental visits. During this unit, we will stress the importance of brushing and flossing correctly. As a part of this lesson, on Friday, students should bring their toothbrushes along with a travel size tube of toothpaste (in a Ziploc). We will have a hands-on lesson about proper brushing techniques.

 

Have a great week!

S. Johnson


February 12-16 Newsletter  

Parents,                    

We have a busy, but great week ahead. On Wednesday, we will have our Valentine’s Day Party at 1:00. As a reminder, each child should bring in a decorated box by Tuesday. Also, those that would like to participate in swapping cards can bring in Valentines cards to pass out beginning Tuesday. We are steadily moving along in First Grade. I’m sure you have noticed quite a change in pace this 2nd Semester. Students are expected by now to read more independently. They should know quite a few sight words and should be reading at least 40 words per minute. We are almost at the end of First Grade and there’s still so much more to learn!   Please continue to: read daily with your child and practice high frequency /sight words to help increase their reading fluency along with using the website Lexia; review addition and subtraction facts with the Reflex website, games or flashcards to enhance memory of the math facts; and lastly encourage more independence in your child.

Reading:

We are on the 6th story in book 3. The story for the week is called "Where Are My Animal Friends". In this story we will learn about what animals do in the winter. Our skills for the week include: high frequency words; before, does, right, oh, good-bye and won’t; phonics we’re using the consonant pattern –dge, and comparative endings er/est. Our words in spelling this week are using er/est; our spelling words are faster, fastest, taller, tallest, shorter, shortest, sadder, saddest, bigger and biggest. Our amazing words are: hibernate, temperature, freeze, weary, migrate, autumn and bitterly. In comprehension, we will focus on drawing conclusions with the strategy using background knowledge. In Grammar this week we will be learning about contractions with not. We will take our test on Friday, February 16th.

Math:

This week we are starting topic 9 which deals with comparing and ordering numbers to 100. We will be exploring 1 more, 1 less; 10 more, 10 less; making numbers on a hundred chart, comparing numbers using greater than, less than and equal to symbols, ordering three numbers and making an organized list.   Also, please continue to review addition and subtraction facts. We will continue with math fluency by taking timed math drills in addition every Friday.  Please allow your child to go to the Reflex Math Website for further practice. 

Social Studies:

We will begin a unit on Abraham Lincoln and will then go into a unit on George Washington. As always, if you have some materials from an internet search, books, magazines that will enhance our unit of study, please feel free to share. As a heads up, students will be out of school for President’s Day on Monday, February 19th and on Tuesday, February 20th.

Science:

This week, we will begin a unit on dental health. As we learn more about keeping our bodies healthy, we will learn the proper way to take care of our teeth. Students will participate in lessons that encourage and strengthen our dental hygiene procedures.  We will continue to work on nutrition as we go throughout the month as well.

Have a great week!


February 5-9 Newsletter  

Parents,                    

We have a busy, but great week ahead. On Monday, we will take the Performance Series Assessment. It is a computerized test that assesses each student’s reading level. Tuesday is Zaxby’s Spirit Night. Our school will receive a portion of the sales from that night. Please consider having a meal to support! On Friday, Boxtops are due. Please make sure I receive them by then, so that we can turn them in and get credit. Many students have already started inquiring about our Valentine’s Day Party. We will have it on Wednesday, February 14th at 1:00. We will need the following: 3 red rectangular tablecloths (Dollar Tree), chips, dip, fruit tray, valentines-themed cookies, small red/pink plates with matching napkins (Dollar Tree), and juice boxes. We have 19 students. Also, on that day, each child that would like to participate, can bring in Valentines cards to pass out. I included a list of names at the bottom of the newsletter for those who would like to get started addressing cards early. This year, I’m asking that students bring in a decorated box/container to hold Valentines cards/treats on Monday, February 12th. Also, if you can assist, please let me know.

Reading: We are on the 5th story in book 3. The story for the week is called "I'm a Caterpillar". In this story we will learn about the life cycle of the butterfly and the stages that it goes through during Metamorphosis. This will also spill over into a science mini-unit on the life cycle of the butterfly. Our skills for the week include: high frequency words; done, visit, know, wait and push; phonics and spelling this week will include contractions and r-controlled vowels er, ir, and ur; our spelling words are her, girl, shirt, sir, first, burn, fur, bird, were, hurt, visit and hurt. Our amazing words are: cycle, insect, flurries, fragile, develop, rearrange, emerge and vessel. In comprehension, we will focus on fact and opinion with the strategy text structure. In Grammar this week we will be learning about and using the verbs am, is, are, was, and were. Our story, grammar, and spelling tests for the week are on Friday.

Math: We are continuing with Topic 8, which deals with place value.  We are exploring using tens and ones in this topic.  We will take our Topic 8 test on Thursday, February 8th. The study guide will come home on Monday. Please review the math pages that come home in your child's notebook daily.  We will continue with math fluency by taking timed math drills in addition and subtraction every Friday.  Please see the websites listed under the links section of our webpage for further practice with addition and subtraction and for other First Grade skills. 

Social Studies: We are working on a unit on Abraham Lincoln this week in Social Studies. If your child has a book or can find an article or facts about Abraham Lincoln, please feel free to allow them to share with their classmates. It’s always interesting to see and share the information the students have researched on their own in addition to what’s being taught in class.  

Science: We are starting a unit on healthy choices and dental health for the rest of the month. This week, we will talk about proper hand-washing and other techniques used in the prevention of spreading illness and nutrition. We’ll begin learning the food groups and how to utilize food to fuel our bodies. There are several Brainpop Jr. videos that reinforce what we’re learning in class. Please allow your child to review them at home.

Have an awesome week!

S. Johnson


January 29-February 2 Newsletter  

Dear Parents,

It’s official! We’ve passed the 100th day mark! We enjoyed celebrating all that we’ve learned so far in first grade and the number 100. It was great fun! This week, we will begin a series in Character Education on “kindness” and “manners”. During these sessions, we will focus on manners and treating each other respectfully. Let’s see what else is in store for the week!

Reading:

We are still in unit 3 which deals with the question "What is changing in our World?" We will begin the story, "Frog and Toad Together". The skills for this story are; phonics: word ending –ed and r-controlled “ar”; spelling: -ed words – plan, planned, help, helped, drop, dropped, call, called, ask, asked, again, and soon; high frequency words – few, afraid, read, soon, how and again; amazing words - gardener, sprout, shade, destroy, nature, dim, sprinkling and humongous; grammar skill: verbs from the past and future; and the comprehension skill "author’s purpose" using the strategy "visualize”. We will take our story test, grammar test, and spelling test on Friday, February 2nd.

Math:

We have begun Topic 8 which deals with Tens and Ones. Students will explore making, writing and manipulating tens and ones. We will also explore writing numbers using expanded notation. There are some excellent Brainpop and Brainpop Jr. Video lessons that contain great extra practice with this topic. This is a relatively short topic, so we will be testing within a week or so. Lastly, keep practicing math fact fluency. All students that have access to the internet should be taking full advantage of the school-funded access to Reflex math. Students should be practicing as often as possible to improve math fact fluency with addition and subtraction. Thank you for your help with this.

Social Studies/Science:

We will finish up our Animals unit and then begin with a mini tribute to groundhogs this week as we prepare to celebrate Groundhog Day on Friday, February 2nd. We will learn about the traits, life cycle and habitat of the groundhog as well as discuss weather patterns during the winter months.

 

Have an amazing week!

S. Johnson


January 22-26 Newsletter  

Parents, 

This week, we will condense and continue our lessons that were planned from the days we were out.  The Career Dress-up project will be due on Tuesday.  Also, 1st grade children will participate in the music program this Thursday.  Our program begins at 9:00 a.m.  Students should wear their music t-shirts that they will receive this week on that day.  Let's see what's in store for the rest of the week.   

Reading:  

Due to being out for the inclement weather days, we will begin our week by reviewing skills from last week's story "Ruby In Her Own Time".  We will then continue with the third story in Unit 3, "The Class Pet".  The skills for this story are; phonics: r-controlled or, ore, ending -es, and plural -es; spelling: plural -es words - fix, fixes, class, classes, wish, wishes, kiss, kisses, bus and buses; high frequency words - away, house, very, car, our, friends and school; amazing words -features, natural, tumble, nibble, wriggle, mature, swoop, crumple and nudges; grammar skill: verbs that do not add an -s; and the comprehension skill "fact and opinion" using the strategy "monitor and clarify.  We will take our story test, grammar test, and spelling test on Friday 

Math 

We will continue topic 7. We are exploring numbers and patterns to 120 in this topic. We will test on this Topic on Wednesday, January 24th. In addition, please continue to practice addition and subtraction facts.  We will be taking Math Fluency quizzes every Friday (3 minutes/25 problems) to assess and improve math facts fluency.  

Social Studies/Science: 

We will pick back up with our mini-unit “How our World changes in winter” this week. We will focus on Penguins and other cold weather animals this week. We will talk about hibernation and the process animals go through to prepare for cold weather survival.  

Have an awesome week! 

S. Johnson 

 


January 15-19 Newsletter  

Parents,

FYI: No School on Monday! We are out for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!

We are adjusting to the 2nd Semester pace quite nicely. I encourage all parents to take advantage of the school and county funded reading and math websites Reflex and Lexia. Each student has their login information. If you need to replace the login information that was sent home in the fall, please let me know as soon as possible. It really helps with math fluency and provides extra reading skill practice that strengthens your child’s reading strategies. Also, please make sure that your child is reading their library book in preparation for their AR test. They can take tests during the week, as long as they are passing them with 80% accuracy.  Students acquire points for each test that they passed. At the end of the school year, the top five point earners in each class, will be recognized at the First Grade awards assembly. Also you should have received a copy of your child’s DIBELS results by now along with the Report Card from the 2nd nine weeks grading period. Hopefully, this gives you an idea of what we have to work on for the remainder of the year to reach all First Grade Benchmarks. Please continue to read with your child daily. In Reading, model the appropriate fluency each day and allow your child to practice words they don’t automatically know. The mid-year benchmark for oral reading fluency was 23 words. By the end of First Grade, all students should be reading the minimum of 47 words per minute and retelling at least half of what they read. For instance, if they are reading 40 words per minute, they should be able to retell what they have read in at least 20 words. I encourage you to let your child read at least 20 minutes per day. Research shows that students who read 20 minutes per day will be exposed to 1.8 million words in a year’s time. Researchers show that 20 minutes of reading a day guarantees that a student’s vocabulary will continue to expand. Further, there is a strong correlation between a child’s ability to read and their academic performance. Because so much of our schooling relies on our abilities to read, children must have strong reading skills to succeed and thrive in school. In writing, by now each student should be able to write a short paragraph in summary of a story or on a given topic with correct capitalization, letter formation and punctuation. They should be applying the phonics skills in their spelling as well as the grammar skills that we have learned this year. Each sentence should be a “whole Idea”. If your child still struggles with doing this, please practice, practice, and practice even more! I encourage each of you to continue to press forward in working with your child. The benefits will be well worth the work! Thank you for all you do to make our year great!

Reading:

We are continuing in unit 3 which deals with the question "What is changing in our World?"  On Tuesday, we will be starting the story, "Ruby In Her Own Time".  The skills for this story are; phonics: compound words; consonant patterns ng, nk; spelling: ng/nk words – bring, bank, rink, sunk, trunk, sang, blank, pink, wing, rang, every and sure; high frequency words – any, every, were, enough, own, ever and sure; amazing words attempt, time line, flatter, lovely, event, famous, correct and common; grammar skill: verbs that add an -s; and the comprehension skill "compare and contrast" using the strategy "inferring”. We will take our story test, grammar test, and spelling test on Friday, January 19.th

Math:

We will continue topic 7. We are exploring numbers and patterns to 120 in this topic. We will test on this Topic on Thursday, January 18th. In addition, please continue to practice addition and subtraction facts. We will be taking Math Fluency quizzes every Friday (3 minutes/25 problems) to assess and improve math facts fluency.

Social Studies/Science:

We are completing our Unit on the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The children have really participated and enjoyed the unit. We will also continue to work on our “How our World changes in winter” mini-unit this week as well. We will focus on Penguins and other winter animals this week. We will talk about hibernation and the process animals go through to prepare for cold weather survival. It promises to be a fun, but busy week!

Have an awesome week!

S. Johnson

Announcement Image for January 15-19 Newsletter

January 8-12 Newsletter  

 

 Greetings Parents!

Happy New Year!!!! We are currently in the 2nd Semester of First Grade. The children have done an awesome job adjusting to the routine in school and keeping up with homework and all that has been required of them so far. We will kick it up a notch this semester. More independence will be expected from students in class work, study habits, homework and behavior. We have a busy week ahead.   Report cards will come home on Wednesday. Also, on Friday, there will be an Honor Roll Celebration. Students who have earned A/AB Honor Roll for this nine weeks will get to go bowling at Bama Lanes.  ALL Honor Roll students going bowling will have to have a signed permission slip before being allowed to go. Students who are eligible to attend will receive a permission slip attached to their report card.  Please sign and return the following day so that your child's name can be checked off promptly on my list. 

Reading

This week, we will be doing the story “A Place to Play”. The concept question is “What is changing in our world?” The question of the week is “How do places change?” The amazing words are: growth, population, public, shuffle, teeter, crooked, makeshift and spindly. The phonics skills for the week are syllable pattern cv and vowel sounds of y. Our spelling words for this week are: by, try, sunny, handy, fly, cry, lucky, silly, puppy and my with the addition of two of our high frequency words things and always. Each week, we will include 2 of our high frequency words on our spelling test for a total of 12 words tested each week. Our high frequency words are: always, everything, things, become, nothing, stays and day. The comprehension skill is “sequence”, which we will explore through the strategy “summarize”. The grammar skill for the week is action verbs. Students should view the short clip on Brainpop Jr. on verbs.  Due to the bowling trip on Friday morning from 8:00-10:00, we will take our spelling, story and grammar test on Thursday.

Math

We have begun topic 7. We are exploring numbers and patterns to 120 in this topic. Please review the math papers that are completed in class on a daily basis.  Also, please continue to practice addition and subtraction fact fluency with either the awesome "Reflex" program or flash cards.    We will be taking Math Fluency quizzes every Friday (5 minutes/25 problems) to assess and improve math facts fluency

Social Studies/Science

In Science this week, we are working on a "cold weather/temperature"unit. We will explore how the world around us changes with winter weather and explore the types of precipitation we experience during this time of year.  Students will track the temperatures and learn what happens at certain temps. In Social Studies, we will begin a unit on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  We will learn facts about his childhood and where he grew up. We will also talk about the fact that he was a Montgomery resident during a portion of his time as a Pastor.  We will learn about the location of his church, Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, as well as the local Civil Rights Memorial/Museum located in downtown Montgomery.  Also in this mini-unit, we will explore how differences make us unique and discuss how we could learn from each other's differences and cultures.  I love this unit and I'm excited to share it with my students!  

FYI: *Please continue to send in Box Tops for Education.

*We are also desperately in need of:

Paper Towels

Items for our treasure box

 


December 18-20 Newsletter  

Parents,

We will have our Party on Tuesday morning at 10:00.  We will have breakfast items.  We are still in need of a few items to complete our list.  Please contact me if you are interested in helping. I will have a sign out sheet after the party is over.  On Wednesday, the children who come to school, will be watching a movie in the gym with volunteers.  We will dismiss at 12:00 on that day.  I pray that there is an abundance of spending time with family and friends and doing things together while the children are away from school.  Students will resume school on January 8, 2018!  I hope that everyone has a most wonderful Christmas Break and a Happy New Year!


December 11-15 Newsletter  

S. Johnson’s Newsletter

December 11-15

 

We have another whirl-wind of a week! Monday, the Prattville Junior High Band will come and render a concert for our students. We will finish our snowman shirts this week. We will wear them for Polar Express Day on this Friday, December 15th with pajama bottoms.   Our schedule is very tight due to testing and other activities this week. This week is Holiday Shop where students may bring money to shop for Christmas Gifts for others. Students should bring money in the designated envelope they received or a labeled envelope that tells how much they are to spend. Students who are participating in the Polar Express Day should bring in $1 for a special first grade breakfast of cinnamon rolls and chocolate milk. We will then go back to the room to watch the movie “Polar Express”. This is a day only for students and volunteers are not needed, however, we will need volunteers for our class party next Tuesday. We will have special breakfast party at 10:00. We will have items like “pigs in a blanket”, fruit, yogurt cups, juice etc. If you would like to send something and/or volunteer to assist with setup and clean up, please let me know as soon as possible.  (Whew!) With all of that going on, it promises to be a fun, but busy week! Let's see what's on our academic agenda for the week!

Reading:

We are taking our Unit 2 Test this week. At home, please review all skills that we’ve covered so far. In class, we’ll review the phonics skills: sh, th, wh, ch, -ing, -ed, soft c (s); soft g (j), contractions with “not’ and “will”, vccv syllable patterns and long vowels a, e, I, o, u and ee. We will test all unit 2 high frequency words and grammar skills nouns (proper, special titles, months, days, holidays, etc.) This unit test grade will go on the upcoming report card.

Math:

We will continue with Topic 6 which deals with Subtraction to 20. We will take our Topic 6 test on Monday, December 18th. Also, keep practicing addition and subtraction facts. The students are improving. We will continue to take timed tests to assess their fluency with them.

Social Studies:

We are continuing our “Christmas Around the World” unit. We will be learning about Christmas Traditions. We are also learning about traditions during Hanukah and Kwanzaa. During this unit, we will also continue to explore customs and traditions of other countries. We hope to cover the United States, Germany, South Korea, India, Mexico, England, China, Russia and several other countries/cultures. It is one of my favorite units of the year!

Science:

This week, we will do a fun mini unit on Reindeer. We will explore their physical traits, life cycle, habitat etc.   The students will have fun with this unit!

Have a wonderful week!


December 4-8 Newsletter  

Greetings Parents!

Christmas is in the air and the children know it!  We have 21/2 weeks before Christmas Break, and much to do before then, so let's dig in to this week's lessons.

Reading:

Our story for the week is "Honey Bees".  We will work on the following skills; Phonics: long e (e, ee); Comprehension: comparing and contrasting and questioning; Spelling words: feet, he, see, we, green, me, she, tree, week, be, some and family; and high frequency words also, other, family, some, new and their.  Our question of the week is "How is an insect community like a community of people?"  Our grammar skill is "nouns in sentences".  We will take our grammar, spelling, high frequency word and reading test on Friday.  Please see your child's notebook for homework for the week.

Math:

We will take our Topic 5 test on Monday and then begin Topic 6 which deals with subtraction facts to 20.  We will explore making a ten to subtract, using related facts, fact families, using addition to subtract, subtraction facts to 20 and drawing a picture and writing a number sentence. Please continue to practice addition and subtraction fact fluency.  A great way to do this is using flash cards.  We will be taking timed math tests weekly until the end of the year to build math fact fluency.

Science:

This week, we will complete a study on bees.  In this unit, students will learn about the physical traits of a bee; the hierarchy of the hive; responsibilities of each member of the hive; how bees make honey and wax and the uses of both.

Social Studies:

For the entire month of December we will be exploring Christmas/Holiday traditions around the world.  We will explore Christmas/Holiday traditions from several countries during the month of December, beginning with America and moving on to Germany.  If you have information on a particular country/culture that you would like to share with the class, please send me a brief note so that we can plan accordingly.  We will end our studies on December 19th with an International Cookie Swap.  More details tba.

FYI:

*All field trip money for the Davis Theatre trip on January 30th is due on Monday, no later than 8:00 a.m. No money will be accepted after that time.

*On December 6th, we will be taking DIBELS.  Keep reading and practicing those high frequency words and retelling stories that they have read. 

*On December 7th, we will be painting Snowman Sweatshirts. All students are asked to bring in a Blue Sweatshirt/Hoodie to paint by Wednesday, December 6th. Please write your child’s name in the label of the shirt and not just the bag it comes to school in to make sure there is no mix-up.

*If you would like to volunteer to help paint on December 7th, please let me know as soon as possible. I have 1 volunteer so far.

Have a great week!

S. Johnson


November 27-December 1 Newsletter  

Dear Parents,  

I can hardly believe how quickly Fall is going! Our time in First Grade is really flying by! We have learned a lot, but there's still so much more to learn. As a heads up, I’m asking that students bring in either a plain long-sleeved navy blue shirt/sweatshirt/hoodie by Wednesday, December 6th. We will be painting snowman shirts on the morning of December 7th. We will start around 8:15. I will need parent volunteers to assist with the painting. Please let me know if you would be available. We will wear them for a class picture as well as throughout the winter.  There's so much to do! Let's see what's on our academic agenda for the week!

Reading:

We are on the 5th story in Unit 2 - "Life in the Forest". Our amazing words are environment, thrive, slimy, capture, require, inhale, sludge and creature. Our high frequency words are around, grow, find, under, food and water. Our spelling words which use the long u sound are: huge, tube, cute, mule, June, use, flute, rule, cube and rude. Our phonics skills are long u, long e and inflected -ed. Our comprehension skill is "Author's Purpose" and the strategy is "background knowledge". Our grammar skill "singular and plural nouns". Our skills can be reviewed on the websites in the links section and Brainpop Jr. has a video on plural nouns. We will take our grammar, spelling and story test on Friday, December 1st.  Lastly, the reading homework packet for the week is due on the day we take the tests.

Math:

We will continue with Topic 5 and will take our test on next Monday. Also, keep practicing addition and subtraction facts. Reflex Math will increase their fluency significantly when done consistently.  It provides a fun format for practice.  The students are improving. Timed tests will assess their fluency with them.

Science:

Our science lessons will coincide with our story for the week - "Life in the Forest". We will explore how plant and animal communities are important to each other during the week. We will go on a virtual field trip through the forest this week!

Social Studies:

We are beginning a Christmas Around the World Unit, where we will explore traditions and cultures and celebrations that occur around the world during this season. If you have traveled to other countries and have pictures, books etc., that would enhance our study, please feel free to share with the class. We will culminate our unit with an International Cookie Swap and Polar Express Day; details tba.

Have an awesome week!

S. Johnson

 


November 13-17 Newsletter  

Parents,

We will have a very busy week. We have the Book Fair this week. Students who bring money for the book fair during the week, will need to bring it in a labeled envelope/ziploc that clearly earmarks the money “Book Fair”. On Thursday, from 5:00-7:00 families may visit our book fair to purchase books. Holiday pictures will be taken on Wednesday, November 15th. Students who have siblings that attend Daniel Pratt, can also take “sibling pictures”. On Friday, November 17th, the chocolate fundraiser money is due as well as the Impact Aid forms (blue). On Saturday, November 18th, we will have “Johnson Family Fun Day!” We will be seeing a Matinee viewing of “The Star”. After the movie, we will meet a t CiCi’s Pizza. I hope as many families as possible can attend. We will be out for Thanksgiving Break November 20-24th. We will return to school on November 27th.

Reading:

We are on week 4 in our reading series.  We have the story "The Big Circle" which deals with a community of dinosaurs.  We are working on long o and contractions in phonics.  In comprehension we are working on sequencing and inferring.  We will continue to work on reading with fluency.  Our amazing words are enemy, protect, holler, bluff, extinct, crater, swamp and boisterous.  Our high frequency words are down, there, inside, together and now.  Our spelling words for the week are: home, hope, rose, woke, those, bone, hose, joke, rode, stone, there and together.  Please see your child's notebook for homework assignments. 

Math:

This week will continue with topic 5.  Our focus this week will be two-question problems, making 10 to add, making 10 to add 9 and making 10 to add 8.  We will also have our timed addition test on Friday to work on fluency with math facts.

Social Studies:

This week, we are finishing up on our Native American Unit.  We will review the culture and traditions of Native Americans and will follow with our study on the Pilgrims and The First Thanksgiving.  

Science:

This week we will be doing some STEM activities. We will be recreating a Native American shelter and building a “Mayflower” to use in sink and float activities. Students will work together to complete each activity and write about their findings.

Have a great week!

S. Johnson


November 6-10 Newsletter  

Parents,

This will be a short, but busy week! We will have an even busier week before Thanksgiving Break! Our Book Fair is next week. Family night will be next Thursday from 5:00-7:00. On next Monday, at 10:00 a.m., there will be a Parents as Partners meeting. The focus will be learning styles.   The blue Impact Aid form that came home today is due by next Friday.   Also, Holiday Pictures will be taken next Wednesday. Also, on November 18th, we will have a “Johnson Family Fun Day”. The entire family is invited for a day of fun. We will go to see the matinee showing of “The Star” and then eat at Cici’s Pizza. I’m sending separate letter on Wednesday that will be due back on Monday, if you’re interested in attending our fun day out! Lastly, we are out for Thanksgiving Break November 20-24th. Let's see what's on our curriculum agenda for the week!

Reading:

We will test one day early this week. We are on the third story in Unit 2, "Who Works Here?" which deals with workers in our communities. Our amazing words are citizen, law, branch, patrol, community, leader, headquarters and earn. Our phonics skills are consonant digraphs wh, ch, tch, ph and long i. Our spelling words which use the long i sound are: like, time, dime, kite, ride, white, hide, smile, bike and ice. Our high frequency words are live, who, out, work and people. Our grammar skill is "special titles". We will take our story, spelling and grammar test on Thursday, November 9th.

 

Math:

This week will continue with topic 5. Our focus this week will be two-question problems, making 10 to add, making 10 to add 9 and making 10 to add 8. We will also have our timed addition test on Friday to work on fluency with math facts.

Social Studies:

We will pause in our Native American unit this week to explore a mini-unit on Veterans and the military. In this unit, we will learn about the various branches of the military. We will also give tribute to our many Veterans that serve and protect us.   We will not be in school this Friday in honor of Veteran’s Day. We will continue with our Native American/Pilgrim unit of study next week. 

 

Have a wonderful week!

S. Johnson


October 30-November 3 Newsletter  

Parents,

It was a joy seeing everyone again at the report card conferences. Hopefully, a lot of your questions were answered during our meeting time. This week will be equally as busy. Tuesday, October 31, is our Book Character Parade/Party. All first grade students will participate in a Book Character Parade at 12:30. We will parade around the carpool parking lot and throughout the main hall. Afterwards, we will have our party. Most of all, we need parent volunteers to help set-up, serve and clean up. If you can help us with any of this, please let me know as soon as possible. Let’s see what’s in store on our academic agenda!

Reading:

We are on "The Farmer in the Hat" which is story 2 in Unit 2.  Our phonics and spelling this week utilize consonants c/s/, g/j/ - (soft c and soft g); and long a.  Our spelling words are face, safe, cage, name, made, make, cake, age, take, late, old and could.  The high frequency words are be, of, could, old, horse and paper. Our amazing words are group, share, borrow, rehearsal, respect, aquarium, lines and soothe.  We will re-visit "cause and effect" in comprehension using the strategy "monitor and clarify".  In grammar, we explore proper nouns.  We will take our spelling, grammar and story test on Friday. 

Math:

We are completing Topic 4 and taking our test on Thursday, November 2nd.  We will begin Topic 5 which deals with addition facts to 20.  In this topic, we will continue to work on fluency with addition facts. 

Science:

We will explore the creepy world of “bats and spiders” this week! We will learn many facts about both creatures, beginning with a lesson on the similarities and differences between birds and bats. We will explore the various types of spiders and their characteristics. Students will get to write and do several art activities to go along with our unit of study. It promises to be a fun week of exploration!

Have an amazing week!

S. Johnson

Announcement Image for October 30-November 3 Newsletter

October 23-27 Newsletter  

Parents,

Thank you to all who came to Report Card Conference Day. Our honor roll party will be this Friday. Students may bring money $1-$5 to purchase items at the Block Party. Also, our Fall Festival will be on Thursday, October 26th from 5-7 pm. No time for dinner? No problem, you may purchase a $3 hot dog dinner. Come join us for a fun night for the whole family! Now, let’s see what we have on our curriculum agenda for this week!

Reading:

We are beginning a new unit in book 2. In this unit, we are exploring communities. Our first story is “A Big Fish for Max”. Our comprehension skill for this story is “sequence” using the strategy “predict and set purpose”. Our amazing words are: chore, cooperation, commute, downtown, household, rule, subway and display. Our phonics focus is the sound in ball: a, al; and consonant digraphs sh and th. Our spelling words uses “sh” and “th” with the words: fish, with, shop, ship, then, rush, trash, shut, shell and thin. Our high frequency words are catch, put, good, said, no and want. Our grammar skill is “common nouns”. Please use the Brainpop Jr. website to reinforce the concept of nouns. We will take our story, grammar and spelling test on Friday, October 27th.

Math:

We are finishing up Topic 4 and will review all of the lessons this week. We will take our Topic 4 test next week.  

Social Studies:

During Red Ribbon Week, we will learn about the making good choices and the dangers of drugs and substance abuse and how to say yes to a drug-free life! The children will participate in many activities and discussions throughout the week. Tuesday: “Hats off to being drug free!” Wednesday: Wear red; Thursday: Come and enjoy the Fall Festival from 5:00-7:00; Friday: “Wild hair day”.

Classroom needs:

HP 61 Black ink cartridges

Have a great week!

S. Johnson


October 16-20 Newsletter  

Parents,

This week is jammed-pack with learning activities!  Our field trip to the Dreamfield Farms Pumpkin Patch will be on Monday, October 16th.   We will board the bus at 8:15. Chaperones should be at the front of the school, in line behind the buses before 8:15. On next Monday, October 23rd, parents will come to school at an assigned time to conference with the teacher and get the first nine weeks report card.  This is a great chance to see how your child is progressing in class, as well as a perfect opportunity to discuss matters of concern. If you have not returned the sign-up sheet, please do so as soon as possible, so your time can be confirmed. We will have a great and busy week!  Let's see what's on our curriculum agenda for this week!

Reading:

We are continuing to assess skills for Unit 1 and complete our Unit test. We will also go back through skills and review those with which students have had difficulty. There was an error on the calendar. We will not begin Unit 2, until next week. There are no other grammar, spelling and reading tests this week.

Math:

In math, we will continue to explore skills in Topic 4.  We will work on Making 10 on a ten-frame, subtracting with 0, 1, 2 and Thinking addition.  Also, the Brainpop Jr. password lasts throughout the year. 

Social Studies:

We are continuing to learn about the continents and the oceans. Students will practice locating continents and bodies of water on the globe. We will memorize their names and locations through fun activities this week. 

Science:

We will continue to explore the growth cycle of pumpkins this week.  We will enhance our unit with a visit to Dreamfield Farms Pumpkin Patch on Monday, October 16th.   

 

Have a terrific week!

S. Johnson


October 9-13 Newsletter  

Parents,

What an awesome Fall Break!  This week is a short week.  Thank you to all of you who sent items for the food drive.  The girls collected the most items, so they will be allowed to wear their pajamas to school on Thursday.  This is also Fire Safety Week.  We will learn about how to stay safe around fire and what to do in case of fire.  Let’s see what else is in store for this week!

Reading:

We have completed all stories for Unit 1.  We will review on Wednesday and begin our Unit 1 test on Thursday.  We will finish up on Friday.  There will be no other tests this week, due to this major test. 

Math:

We are beginning Topic 4 this week, which deals with addition and subtraction facts to 12. In this topic, we will explore: adding 0, 1, 2; doubles; near doubles; facts with 5 on a ten-frame; making 10 on a ten-frame; subtracting with 0, 1, 2; thinking addition; thinking addition to 8 to subtract; thinking addition to 12 to subtract; and drawing a picture and writing a number sentence. Check out the videos and practice problems on Brainpop Jr and the other math websites under our class links.

Social Studies:

We will continue a mini-unit on Maps and Globes. During this unit, we will explore map and globe skills, using a map, and learn about types of bodies of water and land forms. We will actually learn the locations of the continents and the oceans in this unit. Again, Brainpop Jr. is an excellent source to review skills learned in the classroom.

Have a super week!

S. Johnson


October 2-6 Newsletter  

Parents,

This week will be another great week of learning! As a reminder, we will be out for Fall Break next Monday and Tuesday.  We will also finish up Topic 3 this week and take the test on Thursday. Wednesday is National Walk to School Day. All children and parents who would like to join in may meet at the YMCA parking lot for the “short trek” to school. Those who are participating should meet at the Y from 7:15-7:30. The walk will begin at 7:30.  Parents are welcome to join the walk! Also, Thursday is Spirit Night at Chappy's Deli from 4:00-8:30.  They will donate a portion of that night's sales to our school.  Please make sure they know that you are representing Daniel Pratt, so that we get proper credit.  The classroom with the most receipts will earn an ice cream party. Last, but not least, we have a food drive this week.  This competition is between the girls and boys.  Each day, we are bringing in a specified item to add to either the “girl box” or “boy box”.  Monday - Macaroni/Pasta, Tuesday - Tuna/Canned meat, Wednesday - Wonderful Peanut Butter, Thursday - Quench Thirst Thursday, Friday - Fruity Friday.  At the end of the competition, the winners will get to have a pajama day.  We have a lot to explore and do, so let's see what's on our curriculum agenda for the week of October 2-6. 

Reading:

We are on the 6th and final story of Unit 1, "Animal Park".  In this story, we will explore the question of the week, "What can we learn about wild animals by watching them?"  Our comprehension skill for this story is "cause and effect" using the strategy "text structure".  Our amazing words are desert, world, silent, medicine, forest, chatter, snort and poisonous.  Our phonics skills are short u/u/ and final consonant blends.  Our spelling words for the week which have the short u/u/ sound and final consonant blends are: crust, must, trust, lump, bump, just, dusk, jump, dust and hunt.  Our high frequency words are: home, them, into and many.  In grammar, we will learn about exclamatory sentences.  Tests will be this Friday.

Math:

We are finishing up Topic 3 this week, which deals with five and ten relationships. In this topic, we have explored representing numbers on a ten-frame, recognizing numbers on a ten-frame, parts of 10, finding missing parts of 10 and problem solving: making a table. We will take our Topic 3 Test on Thursday.

Social Studies:

We will begin a mini-unit on Maps and Globes. During this unit, we will explore map and globe skills, using a map, and learn about types of bodies of water and land forms. We will actually learn the locations of the continents and the oceans in this unit. Again, Brainpop Jr. is an excellent source to review skills learned in the classroom.

Have a super week!

S. Johnson

 


October 2-6 Newsletter  

Parents,

This week will be another great week of learning! As a reminder, we will be out for Fall Break next Monday and Tuesday.  We will also finish up Topic 3 this week and take the test on Thursday. Wednesday is National Walk to School Day. All children and parents who would like to join in may meet at the YMCA parking lot for the “short trek” to school. Those who are participating should meet at the Y from 7:15-7:30. The walk will begin at 7:30.  Parents are welcome to join the walk! Also, Thursday is Spirit Night at Chappy's Deli from 4:00-8:30.  They will donate a portion of that night's sales to our school.  Please make sure they know that you are representing Daniel Pratt, so that we get proper credit.  The classroom with the most receipts will earn an ice cream party. Last, but not least, we have a food drive this week.  This competition is between the girls and boys.  Each day, we are bringing in a specified item to add to either the “girl box” or “boy box”.  Monday - Macaroni/Pasta, Tuesday - Tuna/Canned meat, Wednesday - Wonderful Peanut Butter, Thursday - Quench Thirst Thursday, Friday - Fruity Friday.  At the end of the competition, the winners will get to have a pajama day.  We have a lot to explore and do, so let's see what's on our curriculum agenda for the week of October 2-6. 

Reading:

We are on the 6th and final story of Unit 1, "Animal Park".  In this story, we will explore the question of the week, "What can we learn about wild animals by watching them?"  Our comprehension skill for this story is "cause and effect" using the strategy "text structure".  Our amazing words are desert, world, silent, medicine, forest, chatter, snort and poisonous.  Our phonics skills are short u/u/ and final consonant blends.  Our spelling words for the week which have the short u/u/ sound and final consonant blends are: crust, must, trust, lump, bump, just, dusk, jump, dust and hunt.  Our high frequency words are: home, them, into and many.  In grammar, we will learn about exclamatory sentences.  Tests will be this Friday.

Math:

We are finishing up Topic 3 this week, which deals with five and ten relationships. In this topic, we have explored representing numbers on a ten-frame, recognizing numbers on a ten-frame, parts of 10, finding missing parts of 10 and problem solving: making a table. We will take our Topic 3 Test on Thursday.

Social Studies:

We will begin a mini-unit on Maps and Globes. During this unit, we will explore map and globe skills, using a map, and learn about types of bodies of water and land forms. We will actually learn the locations of the continents and the oceans in this unit. Again, Brainpop Jr. is an excellent source to review skills learned in the classroom.

Have a super week!

S. Johnson

 


September 25th-29th Newsletter  

 

 

Parents,                                                  

 

We will continue our apple activities through September 29th! We just can’t get enough of that awesome fruit! We will make applesauce on Friday. We are still in need of apples, bowls, spoons, napkins etc. We have a busy week. Picture Day is Wednesday, September 30th for the yearbook. All students will have their pictures made on that day, so please prepare for picture day! Check out the DPES Facebook page for current updates and needed information throughout the school year. Let's see what's on our curriculum agenda for the week of Sept. 25th – 29th.

 

Reading:

 

We are on the 5th story in Unit 1: "Get the Egg!" This week, we will explore the question: "Which wild animals live in our neighborhoods?" In exploring this story, my goal is to make sure that the children understand that all kinds of animals live in our neighborhood and that neighborhood animals need different kinds of food and shelter. Our amazing words are: habitat, survive, croak, hatch, chirp and moist. Our high frequency words are saw, tree, small and your. Our phonics skills this week include the short e sound and initial consonant blends. Our spelling words which have the short e sound are: men, ten, jet, bed, red, net, sled, step, leg and wet. In comprehension, the focus is "main idea and details" using the strategy "story structure". Please see the waltkek website (in the links section of our webpage), to review and practice the skills for the week. I find it a very useful tool for the children in class. We will take our Reading, Grammar and Spelling tests on Friday. Homework packets will also be due on Friday. Please make sure that your child is completing and turning in their homework on the due date.

 

Math:

 

We will begin Topic 3 this week, which deals with five and ten relationships. In this topic, we will explore representing numbers on a ten-frame, recognizing numbers on a ten-frame, parts of 10, finding missing parts of 10 and problem solving: making a table. Check out Brainpop Jr. for videos on addition and subtraction and making a ten. Our log in name is dpes123 and our password is eagles.

 

Social Studies:

 

We will continue to work on our apple/Johnny Appleseed unit this week! We will continue to learn about the growth cycle of the apple and learn even more fun facts about Johnny Appleseed. We will make applesauce in class on Friday. We need a couple of items to make this happen. If you are willing to help, please send me a note or text by Wednesday. Thanks in advance for your help!

 

S. Johnson                                                                                                

 

 

 


September 18-22 Newsletter  

Dear Parents,

We’ve had such a busy few weeks, learning new routines, getting acquainted with Lexia, Reflex and AR login procedures, building our vocabulary, strengthening writing and math skills and exploring the world around us! This week, we’ve still got much more to cover. We will take school pictures on Tuesday, so each child can come prepared ready to be photographed. These pictures will go into the yearbook and will be used throughout the school year in a few projects. Please send the order forms back on Tuesday with your chosen pose. Let’s see what’s in store for us this week!

Reading:

We are on the fourth story in Unit 1: "A Fox and a Kit". We will focus on "Main Idea and Details" in comprehension using the strategy "Important Ideas". Our amazing words are native, million, canopy, parent, reserve, screech, wild and observe. Our high frequency words are eat, her, five, this, four and too. Our phonics skills are inflected endings –s and –ing. Our spelling words which use inflected -s are: sit, sits, win, wins, fit, fits, hit, hits, nap and naps. Our grammar skill for the week is "Declarative Sentences". Homework packets will be due and we will take our Spelling, Story and Grammar Tests on Friday.

Math:

We are finishing up Topic 2 which deals with Subtraction. We will continue to work on subtraction story problems, counting back and subtracting using a number line this week. The study guide will come home on Thursday. We will take our Topic 2 test on Tuesday, Sept. 26th.

Social Studies/Science:

In honor of one of my favorites, the apple, we will begin a very special unit on the growth cycle. We will explore the growing process from seed to fruit and then explore items that are made from and with apples. I will need examples of various varieties of apples. If you would like to donate some, please let me know as soon as possible. Also, we will learn about the life of John Chapman, better known as “Johnny Appleseed”. I would love to have one of our fathers/grandfathers come dressed as “Johnny Appleseed” as a special surprise for the children. You will share a story that I have selected and pass out apples to the children afterwards. If you are interested, please let me know. Thanks in advance for your help!

Have a great week!

S. Johnson


September 11-15 Newsletter  

Reading:

We are on the third story in Unit 1: "The Big Blue Ox". We will focus on "character and setting" in comprehension using the strategy "visualize". Our amazing words are past, produce, danger, snuggle, powerful, present, transportation, serve and enormous. Our high frequency words are blue, help, from, little, get and use. Our phonics skills are -s; consonant s/z/; and short o/o/. Our spelling words which use the short o sound are: hot, pop, mop, mom, hop, ox, got, pot, lock and rock. Our grammar skill for the week is "predicates". Homework packets will be due on Friday, September 15th. Please make sure that your child is completing and turning in their homework on the due date. We will take our Story, Grammar and Spelling Tests on Friday.

Math:

We are continuing with Topic 2 which deals with subtraction.  We will continue to work on stories about taking away; stories about comparing; stories about missing parts, subtraction stories and connecting addition and subtraction. Please continue to review math flyers that come home daily in their math folder.  You can find subtraction pages for more practice on the first grade skills website under the links section on my webpage. 

Science:

We will continue to work on Energy. There’s just so much more to cover. We will explore light, sound and heat energy through fun, hands-on experiments and projects this week. Let the fun begin!

Social Studies:

We will begin a mini-unit on Maps and Globes. During this unit, we will explore map and globe skills, using a map, and learn about bodies of water and land forms.   The website Brainpop Jr. is an excellent source to review skills learned in the classroom.

 

Have a great week!

S. Johnson


September 4-8 Newsletter  

Parents,

What an exciting time to be in first grade! We are really picking up the pace in first grade! Students are adjusting well to procedures for the classroom and the school.  I am extending a warm welcome to any Grandparents that would like to come to eat lunch with their grandchild this week, in honor of Grandparent's Day.  Our lunch is scheduled from 11:03-11:26.  You can just meet us at the entrance of the lunchroom during this time.  Our lunch table is directly in front of the stage.  A huge thank you for all who have already sent in Boxtops.  Also, our coupon book fundraiser will continue through the end of the week. Students who sell 3 books will be invited to a special pizza party! This is a great way to earn money for our school. Thank you for your help!  Let's see what we have scheduled for this week!

Reading:

This week, we are on the story "Pig in a Wig". We will be working with the short vowel sound of i/i/ and the consonant x/ks/. Our spelling words, which have the short i sound are: six, wig, mix, fix, lip, it, sit, in, did and pin. The amazing words are: career, tool, sloppy, comfort, service, scrub, exercise and search. In comprehension, we will be exploring "plot" and using the strategy "summarize". In grammar, we will be learning about "subjects of sentences". We will review short a and final -ck. Our high frequency words for our story are she, take, up and what. Our selection word is play. We will take our spelling, grammar and story test on Friday.

Math:

We are continuing with Topic 2 which deals with subtraction.  We will continue to work on stories about taking away; stories about comparing; stories about missing parts, subtraction stories and connecting addition and subtraction. Please continue to review math flyers that come home daily in their math folder.  You can find subtraction pages for more practice on the first grade skills website under the links section on my webpage. 

Science:

We will continue exploring types of energy. We will finish up with light energy and then we will explore sound. The children will explore the many ways it is produced. Vocabulary words to look for this week around the dinner table are vibrations, waves, and pitch.  

Social Studies:

We will begin learning about communities. We will begin with the smallest parts of the community, individuals and families. We explore the many types of communities, distinguishing between rural and suburban areas.

Have an awesome week!

S. Johnson


August 28-September 1 Newsletter  

Parents,

This week, we look forward to many great learning activities. Last week, we learned about Lexia, which is a computer based instructional/independent practice program. Each student was assessed and then the level of instruction was determined by this brief assessment. Students will be given their password and can begin working at home as well as in the classroom to build reading skills. This week, students will also be introduced to the Reflex Math program our school uses to build math fact fluency. Students will receive passwords so that they can access the program from home as well. We have 3 student computers for 19 students in our room. So, each student has limited time to work on Lexia and Reflex in the classroom each week. They also work in the computer lab once a week. Because of this somewhat limited access, working at home on these programs becomes even more important. Students go at their own pace, but have a Benchmark to reach by the end of the year. They also receive rewards for completing the required time each week and for each level that they achieve. I reward them within the classroom and so does our school with a visit to a special prize cart and certificates from our Assistant Principal, Mrs. McNider. Students really look forward to being recognized for their achievements with both of these programs as well as the Accelerated Reader Program. Students enjoy working toward a particular incentive. In the process, they strengthen their Reading, Comprehension and Math Skills. Also, our class will take the DIBELS assessment on the morning of Wednesday, August 29th. Students will be assessed on letter and sound recognition, and how well they segment words into the smaller sounds, i.e., /c/ /a/ /t/. Results will be shared with parents after the 1st grade has completed all testing. Finally, we are still in need of small prizes for the treasure chest. A few suggestions are items from the dollar section at Target, Dollar Tree items such as special pens, mechanical pencils, small note pads with fun shapes, special erasers, etc. If you can send some items in that the children will enjoy, we would be most appreciative. Also, we are collecting Box Tops for Education. For each Box Top, we earn 10 cents for our classroom. I then, use the money to purchase needed classroom items and materials for instruction. Thanks in advance for your help! Here's the curriculum agenda for the week of August 28--September 1:

Reading:

We have spent the first few weeks reviewing kindergarten skills, but will take off with more first grade skills in reading this week.  We are beginning Unit 1 this week with the story "Sam, Come Back!"  The new spelling/high frequency word list will be placed in the binder on Monday.  Please do not remove the list from the bear notebook as we will use it every day to practice.  We will focus on Character and Setting in Comprehension.  Our phonics practice will include short a and -ck.  Our spelling words are can, dad, mad, at, cat, am, ran, back, bat and sack.  Our high frequency words are come, in, on, way and my.  In grammar, we will learn about "sentences".  Our amazing words are needs, responsibility, shelter, cuddle, tickle, faithful, fetch and heel.  We will have our story, grammar and spelling test on Friday. Homework is listed on the behavior calendar in your child's bear notebook.  Stapled reading homework for the week is located in the page protector in the bear notebook.  The packet is due on Friday, September 1st.  Students should not turn in homework before Friday, as they will need it to continue to practice for their tests. 

Math:

We will continue to work on addition in math this week. We will finish up Topic 1. In this topic, we have explored the following: spatial patterns for numbers to 10, making 6 and 7, making 8 and making 9. This week, we will focus on introducing addition expressions and number sentences, stories about joining, adding in any order and using objects. You may review the skill for the day by looking at your child's math flyer in their math folder. We will have our test on next Tuesday, September 5th. I will send a study guide home on Friday, September 1st.

Social Studies/Science:

This week, we will finish our "All About Me" unit. I decided to change our “Me” projects to an in-class assignment.   Students will create a collage that represents their likes, dislikes and showcases things that are special about them. If you would like to send small photographs of family or copies of baby pictures, students can use them to decorate their “Me” collage. We will also finalize recitations of personal information such as address, phone number and birthday. If you child doesn’t know this information, please make sure that time is set aside this week to practice. Final recitations will be Thursday, August 31st, for a grade in Social Studies. In Science, we will begin our study on Energy. During this unit, we will do several hands-on science inquiries and record our findings in our science journals. This week, we will explore light energy and observe how light passes through certain materials and is blocked by other materials. Terms to look for in discussion around the dinner table are opaque, shadows and transparent.

Have a terrific week!

 

S. Johnson


August 21-25 Newsletter  

Parents,

We are really settling into our routine here at DPES in First Grade! We have been working really hard at learning the rules and procedures. We are working on the procedures for inclement weather, fire drills and lock-down. We, at DPES, want our children to be prepared and know what to do in the case of an emergency situation. Further, if you have not signed up for NOTIFY ME on the dpeseagles.com website, please take a moment today to enroll. You can receive updates from the school in the case of changes in our schedule, routine, or in the case of emergencies. Everyone should have received the message that school will be dismissing at 11:00 on Monday to safely observe the solar eclipse from home. Absences will be excused for this day as well. Here's the curriculum agenda for the week of August 21-25.

Reading:

We are continuing to work on the Kindergarten Review Unit. We have two stories again this week. Our stories for the week are “Tip and Tam” and "The Big Top". Our high frequency words for this week includes the words: do, yellow, look, you, are, have and that. Our Amazing words are: active, pavement, puddle, overflowing, lawn newspaper, banner, patio, amusing, corner, neighbor, introduce, trouble, deliver, porch and squirrel. The phonics skills include the sounds short i and short o, f, ff/f/, b/b/, g/g/, d/d/, l/l/ and h/h. Our comprehension skill focus is literary elements. In grammar, the focus is “verbs in sentences". In Handwriting we will work on the letters Ii, Oo, Ff, Bb, Gg, and Dd. We will test on “The Big Top” on Friday.

Math:

We will continue to work on addition in math this week. In this topic, we will continue to explore the following: spatial patterns for numbers to 10, making 6 and 7, making 8, making 9, introducing addition expressions and number sentences. This week, we will focus on stories about joining, adding in any order and using objects. Also, I have sent a homework practice page for numbers home in your child’s binder. We’ve had several students who are writing their numbers backwards. Hopefully this practice and continual review will fix this problem. The completed returned practice page will allow your child to receive a bonus point on their lowest test, quiz or daily grade.

Social Studies:

This week, we will continue an "All About Me" unit. I’ve sent a letter concerning information that your child will need to work on memorizing. We are exploring similarities and differences in the individual and family. We are continuing to work on an "All About Me" booklet in class that will be taken for a major grade in Social Studies.

Science:

We will review what we have learned so far about the solar eclipse and how it occurs. Again, school will be dismissed at 11:00 on Monday to safely observe the solar eclipse from home. For the rest of the week, we will do a mini-unit on the five senses that will go hand in hand with our “All About Me” unit. We will explore how we use our senses to learn about the world all around us.

FYI:

Again, please send in boxtops throughout this year as often as possible to assist in getting much needed materials in class.

Have a terrific week!

S. Johnson


August 14-18 Newsletter  

 

Parents,

We've had a wonderful start to our school year! The children are working hard to learn the rules and procedures here at DPES. Students are now required to walk down to the classroom by themselves. Please continue to review your child's dismissal information with them as they can sometimes forget, until it's solidified. This is our first full week! On Friday, we will have our first "Show and Tell". Students who would like to participate, may tell about something special or bring something special to share with the class. The item should be school appropriate, fit in their bag, and not be alive. Pictures of living things are perfectly fine. There's so much to do, so here's the curriculum agenda for the week of August 14th-18th:

Reading:

We are working on a Kindergarten Review Unit. Our story for the week is "Sam!" Our high frequency words for this week includes the words: a, see, green and I. Our Amazing words are: furniture, unwind, middle, yawn, tidy, cozy and straw. The phonics skills include the sounds /a/, /m/, /s/, and /t/. Our comprehension skill focus is "character" using the strategy "questioning". In writing, we are focusing on "nouns in sentences". In grammar, the focus is "nouns for people, animals and things". In phonemic Awareness we will work on initial, medial and final phonemes, rhyming words and segmenting and blending phonemes. In Handwriting we will work on the letters a, m, t, a and s, and letter size.

Math:

We will work on addition in math this week. We will begin Topic 1. In this topic, we will explore the following: spatial patterns for numbers to 10, making 6 and 7, making 8, making 9, introducing addition expressions and number sentences, stories about joining, adding in any order and using objects. You may review the skill for the day by looking at your child's math flyer in their Bear Notebook.

Social Studies:

This week, we will begin an "All About Me" unit. We will explore similarities and differences in the individual and family. We will complete an "All About Me" booklet in class that will be taken for a major grade in Social Studies. Each child will complete a project entitled "ME" that will be due August 31st. More information will come home.  I will also need donations of white poster board in order to have the (10) needed for the projects. If you would like to send some in, please let me know as soon as possible. Thanks in advance for your help!

Science:

This week, we are exploring "living" and "nonliving" things. We will compare and contrast living and nonliving things according to their characteristics. We will begin using our science journals and learning all about "Data". We will classify, sort, graph and create while working on this topic. We will work in whole group, individually and in small groups throughout the week as we dive into science this week!

FYI:

Just a few reminders. Please send all money labeled with your child's name and the purpose in an envelope or ziploc bag. There are 18 students and it can be a bit confusing to keep up with "loose money". Also, we participate in the boxtops for education program at DPES and I would like to continue to use this tool to get needed supplies and materials for our classroom. If you can send in boxtops, please do so throughout this year as often as possible to assist.

Have a wonderful week!

S. Johnson

 


2017-2018 Supply List for S. Johnson  

Supplies for S. Johnson's 2017-2018 Class

- 1 pair scissors (Fiskars work best)

 

- 2 – 1” 3-ring binders with clear cover and pockets

 

- Canvas tote bag (can also be purchased at DPES)

 

- 2 – 3 boxes Crayola crayons (24 count only) *

 

- 4 glue sticks (large ones work best) *

 

- 2 large pink erasers

 

- 2 packs #2 pencils *

 

- 1 pack Crayola markers

 

- 3 packs copy paper – white

 

- 2 packs disinfectant wipes (Lysol, Clorox, etc) *

 

- 3 rolls paper towels *

 

- 2 bottles hand Soap (large) *

 

- 2 boxes Kleenex *

 

(2) Plain (no artwork) Folders with pockets and prongs (yellow and orange)

 

(2) Composition notebooks with wide rule pages for science and math journals

 

1 clear zipper pouch
1 supply box

 

1 pkg. Of index cards

 

DPES T-shirt

 

 

 

Items with * will need to be replenished throughout the school year as they are used frequently in our classroom.

 

 

 


May 22-26 Newsletter  

Parents,

We've entered the final countdown!  Students have worked hard to get to this point of the school year!  Here are just a few reminders about our week.  "Breakfast with Dad" will still be held on Tuesday, between 7:30-8:00.  Dads, Grandfathers or Guardians may drop by the room (K-4), to share breakfast with your favorite First Grader! Wednesday is Awards Day.  Students who will be receiving an award at 11:15 in the lunchroom on that day, should have already received a small red invitation.  Parents you may check your child out after the awards ceremony, if you wish.  I will have a sign out sheet.  Students will not come to school on Thursday.  On that day, due to all of the preparation with final records and such, teachers will be closing out the year with a special Teacher Inservice Day. Students who wish to receive their report cards via mail, can send in a stamped, self-addressed envelope by Wednesday.  On Friday, report cards can be picked up in the front lobby of the school.   Those report cards that have not been picked up by the early dismissal Friday, can be picked up in the front office over the summer.  

This has been a wonderful year!  I'm so proud of all that each student has accomplished in 9 months.  We've grown and learned a lot in First Grade.  My love and prayers are with all of my students and families for a safe and happy summer vacation. I encourage all students to keep reading and working on Lexia and Reflex to keep those Reading and Math skills sharp over the break.  It has been an honor being your child's teacher this year! 

God Bless! 

S. Johnson


May 15-19 Newsletter  

Dear Parents,

On Tuesday, we will have our YMCA End of the Year Swim Party. We will walk down to the Y in the morning and return in the afternoon. If you have volunteered to chaperone, you can meet us at the school to walk down or meet us at the Y. I will have a check-out sheet with me, in case you wish to check your child out after the party. On Thursday, we will have the Eagle Idol Talent Show for grades 1-3. Students that wish to attend should bring in $1 for admission to the show. Also, on Friday, Brusters will be here for snack time.

Reading:

In reading, we will be working on fluency and comprehension. We will not be taking a spelling, grammar or story test. I will test on Unit 5 words on Friday. We will continue to review first grade skills and introduce beginning of the year 2nd grade skills. Also, on Friday, we will have a read-in. Students may bring their favorite labeled books to share with friends along with a labeled sleeping bag/towel/mat and their favorite stuffed animal. Students should also bring or wear socks, as they will be worn in the room during the read-in. I look forward to an awesome week with my babies!!

Math:

In math, we have begun Topic 16, which deals with fractions. We will make halves and fourths out of circles and rectangles and draw a picture to represent a specific fraction. We will take our test on Thursday. We will then work on beginning of the year 2nd grade math skills. We will take our timed test on Friday.

Social Studies/Science:

In Social Studies, we will finish up a unit that we have started on Alabama native Helen Keller. The children have learned so much about her already. They were really shocked to find out that Alexander Graham Bell, was one of her teachers! We will then begin a mini-unit on the ocean. Students will get to explore creatures and common findings at the beach.

 

Have an amazing week!!!


May 8-12 Newsletter  

 

Parents,

Another busy week is in sight! We have 11 full days left in this school year! We have many activities coming up during those days, so here are a few reminders. This Friday from 7:30-8:00 Mothers, Grandmothers and Guardians are invited to join us for “Breakfast with Mom”. Enjoy breakfast with your favorite first grader and receive a small gift for Mother’s Day. If you can attend, please return the sheet included with this letter, indicating the number of people in attendance. We will likewise have our “Breakfast with Dad” the last week of school. Info will be coming later for that. Also, our end of the year YMCA field trip is May 16th. We will walk down to the Y in the morning and return in the afternoon. If you have volunteered to chaperone, you can meet us at the Y. I will have a check-out sheet with me, in case you wish to check your child out after the party. Further, the Eagle Idol will be on May 18th. Students should bring $1 to attend the school talent show. Then, on May 24th, we will have awards day for all A, All B, or A/B Honor Roll for the whole year, Perfect Attendance, AR, Performance Series and PE Awards. If your child is receiving an award, you will be notified closer to that date. Last, but not least, a huge “Thank You!!!!” to all of you for the wonderful gifts, cards and letters for Teacher Appreciation Week! It was a tremendous blessing to me!! Again, thank you!!!

In Reading, we are on the 5th story in Unit 5; “Alexander Graham Bell”, which coincides with our Science/Social Studies unit for the week. In phonics we will explore vowel digraphs and diphthongs as well as the vowel sound in “ball”. Our high frequency words are built, science, early, through and learn. Our amazing words are determined, technology, stalled, sketch, inventor, stable, biplane and speech. Our spelling words contain diphthongs aw: saw, draw, crawl, straw, law, jaw, paw, lawn, yawn, hawk, through and science. In writing, we will focus on sentences. This week in fluency we will focus on expression and intonation. Our grammar skill for the week is adverbs. Our comprehension skill focus is “sequence” using the strategy, “text structure”. We will have our story test, grammar test, and spelling test on Thursday instead of Friday.

In math, we will continue with Topic 15 which deals with geometry. The students have learned about plane and solid shapes and problem solving using various shapes. The Topic 15 Test will be on Friday, May 15th.

In Social Studies/Science, we will begin a unit on the life and legacy of Alexander Graham Bell. We will complete a time-line charting important milestones in his life! We will learn about his inventions and his contribution to modern day technology. Also, this week, we will learn about the life and legacy of Helen Keller who was a student of Alexander Graham Bell. We also hope to have a visit from a Braille Transcriptionist who works at the school and will share her job with the children next week.

 

Have a wonderful week!

S. Johnson


May 1-5 Announcements  

Parents,

Can you believe that we are winding down our First Grade year already? The time has flown by! This week is Teacher Appreciation Week and I must say that I have enjoyed being your child’s teacher. It has been a great year! We’ve grown a lot and have so much more left to conquer! Once again, we are in for a busy week. We will take the DIBELS assessment on Tuesday, May 2nd and the Math Performance Series Assessment on Thursday, May 4th. It’s just another busy week in First Grade!

Reading:

We will only test on the 4th and 5th stories in Book 5. We will learn the skills and high frequency words for all stories in the unit, but will only take the spelling, grammar and story tests for the 4th and 5th stories. This week, we are on the story "Simple Machines". We will also use this as our science topic this week. Our question of the week is "How can a great idea make our lives easier?" Our skills for the week are oi/oy, er/or in phonics and the spelling words which use the oi/oy sound are: oil, point, coin, join, soil, boy, oink, voice, boil, toy and include against and heavy. Our high frequency words are against, kinds, goes, today and heavy. Our story vocabulary words are machines, vacuum, pulley, inclined planes, surface, axles and lawn mower. The grammar skill for the week is pronouns. Our amazing words are gadget, convenient, pilot, cellar, equipment, engine, steer and furnace. Our comprehension skill is main idea and details using the strategy "summarize". We will take our story, grammar and spelling test on Friday.

Math:

In Math, we have begun Topic 15, which deals with solid and plane shapes.   We will be identifying plane shapes and solid figures, making an organized list, learning about properties of plane shapes, building with shapes, making new shapes from shapes, learning about flat surfaces and vertices, sorting solid shapes, building with solid figures, and using reasoning to problem solve with shapes.  There are a couple of Brain Pop Jr. videos on this topic.  Check them out this week!

FYI: Dates to remember:

5/1 Teacher Appreciation Week begins

5/2 DIBELS Assessment/2017-2018 upcoming 1st Grade Orientation 6:00

5/4 Math Performance Series

5/9 Visit from Autauga Public Library

5/12 Breakfast with mom 7:30-8:00

5/16 YMCA Field Trip

5/18 Eagle Idol Talent Show

5/19 Bruster’s for Snack

5/23 Breakfast with Dad 7:30-8:00

5/24 Last full day of school/Awards Day 11:15/submit envelopes if you want report card mailed

5/25 Out of school – Teacher Inservice

5/26 Last Day of School/Report Cards ½ day

Thanks and have an awesome week!

S. Johnson

                                                                  


April 24th-28th Newsletter  

We are nearing the end of First Grade and we are really moving!  We have learned so much this year and the progress in all subjects have been phenomenal.  Let's keep the momentum going in all subject areas.  I realize activities that take place during this time of year, such as baseball, soccer, recitals etc. can really leave little time for studying, but I encourage you, as I have all of the students, that school work should continue to take priority in order to keep building on this First Grade foundation.  We are almost done with the school year, but there's still a great deal of growth that can take place.  We have begun some end of the year tests to assess growth in reading and math and will continue to assess in these areas.  The students experience much success when they consistently work on weaker areas.  If I can do anything more to help you as you continue to work with your child at home, please let me know as soon as possible.  This has been an awesome team effort and I would like to continue to be of service to you throughout the summer.  Also, Field Day is Thursday. You will receive a separate letter with helpful tips and reminders for Field Day on Wednesday.

Reading:

This is a review week for reading. Please practice all Unit 4 High Frequency Words and skills for the Unit test. We will begin taking the test beginning Wednesday and will continue through Friday if needed.  There is no other homework or tests this week.

Math:

We have finished Topic 14 which deals with gathering data in the forms of picture graphs, bar graphs, tally tables, etc.  We will take our test on Tuesday, April 25th. Then we will begin Topic 15.   Again, each Friday we will have a 5 minute/50 problem fluency drill.  Keep practicing math fact fluency!

Social Studies/Science:                                          

We are reviewing a mini-unit on the "Water Cycle" and “Earth Day” this week. At the end of this unit, students should be able to tell you about evaporation, condensation and how clouds form and forms of precipitation as well as ways we use water every day and ways to conserve the natural water supply.  We will learn about how to take care of our planet through various activities.  Again, Brainpop Jr. has several videos and activities on the subject of caring for our Planet.  We will talk about ways to reduce, reuse and recycle materials to decrease the size of our carbon footprint.

                                    

Have a wonderful week!

S. Johnson


April 17-21 Newsletter  

This week is a busy one! We will have our field trip to Camp Chandler on Thursday. We will be leaving the school at 8:15. Chaperones may meet us in the front parking lot and follow the school buses. A green order form for Field Day wristbands was sent home on Thursday, April 13th.  Students may send completed order forms and money to school through the morning of April 21st.  The cost is $5 per wristband.  Also, on Friday, our DIBELS Next passages are due. The “Race to DIBELS Next” will also be held on Friday. Students will have used the packets to build reading fluency before our next testing sessions at the end of the month. There’s still time to practice. Just time your child using the passages for one minute. Each word read correctly counts for one point. If your child misses a word deduct a point. Return the passages on April 21st. Each First Grade student returning a completed packet on that day will participate in a grade level reward. (Note: Please make sure the packet is signed before returning.) Practice WILL assist your child in becoming a more fluent reader. The next DIBELS benchmark in oral reading fluency is 47+ words per minute. Students who have reached this goal should work on retelling at least ½ of what they read. For example, if they read 50 words per minute, they should be able to retell what they read in at least 25 words. Students should not just focus on the “speed”, retelling is also important. Please have your child practice retelling after each timed passage.

Reading:

We are on the last story in Unit 4, "Henry and Mudge and Mrs. Hopper's House".  After this week, we will review and take our Unit 4 test.  Please start now, going back through ALL unit 4 high frequency words to make sure that your child knows them fluently. Our skills for the week are: Phonics - "oo", and "-ly/-ful" endings; Spelling - "-ly/-ful" words slowly, useful, sadly, wonderful, careful, painful, gladly, quickly, playful, nicely and high frequency words because and across; grammar - adjectives that compare; amazing words - discover, dwell, resident, welcome, admire, sadness, substantial and tremendous; and high frequency words - across, only, told, because, opened, dance and shoes.  We will take our spelling, grammar and story test on Friday.

Math:

We are continuing with Topic 14 which deals with gathering data in the forms of picture graphs, bar graphs, tally tables, etc.  As always, continue to work on addition and subtraction fact fluency.  Again, each Friday we will have a 5 minute/50 problem fluency drill.  Again, flash cards are a great way to practice this skill as well as addition and subtraction practice on Reflex. 

Science:

We are continuing to explore life cycles. Our caterpillars have crawled to the top of our container and have started to form the chrysalis. The children have excitedly observed them as they grew. We will be transporting them to the butterfly box on Monday. We will then explore the life cycle of frogs from egg to tadpole. No, we will not be getting tadpoles in the classroom. Mrs. Johnson is doing well enough with the caterpillars! However, we will be growing our own plants in the classroom. Students will learn how to properly nourish a plant from a seed.    

FYI: Please consider donating paper towels to the classroom as we have depleted our supply. Thank you in advance.    

Have a wonderful week!

Mrs. S. Johnson

Announcement Image for April 17-21 Newsletter

April 10-14 Newsletter  

Dear Parents,

For the next few weeks there will be a lot of assessments going on throughout the school. Upper grade students are finishing up the ACT Aspire this week. Our class will soon be taking the Performance Series which assesses reading and math growth and DIBELS which assesses reading growth. I have encouraged students to read nightly and to review all high frequency words beginning with unit 1 words which can be found on the waltkek website which has a link on our class webpage. Also, each student should read their library books so that they will be ready for their AR quiz. I encourage them to increase their reading volume, which in turn increases their reading level as they practice.   By now, you have received the passages for the DIBELS Next Race. Students should be timed to test fluency with passages. Passages should be turned in on April 21st. We are also assessing how well students are learning addition and subtraction facts. They can assess the REFLEX program which drills their skills daily. We’re almost finished with this school year and things may seem hectic for a while. I encourage parents and students alike to continue to stay consistent with homework and practice. It will all pay off soon. Also, we are in desperate need of paper towels and hand soap. Cold and Flu season has literally wiped us out. If you can send some to replenish, please do so. We will be out on Friday, April 14th for our weather day. Thank you!!!

Reading:

This week, we are on the story, "Peter's Chair", which deals with outgrowing childhood items and sharing with siblings.  Our phonics skills this week are ew/ui and compound words.  Our spelling words are compound words.  They are: backpack, herself, lunchbox, brainstorm, outside, flashlight, suitcase, bluebird and inside.  Our high frequency words included on our test this week are picture and remember.  Our other high frequency words are stood, thought and room.  In comprehension, we will be exploring the story's "theme" using the strategy "story structure".  Our grammar skill continues with adjectives for how many.  The amazing words for this story are jealous, sibling, porridge, seriousness, relatives, secret, collector and flourish.  The grammar, spelling and story tests will be on Thursday since we are out on Friday. 

Math:

We have finished with Topic 13.  This week, we will work on Topic 14 which deals with graphs and ways to record data. We will be learning how to read and then create our own graphs this week. We will continue this topic into next week.

Science:

We will be exploring life cycles for the next few weeks. We have acquired caterpillars that we are observing as they prepare to go through metamorphosis. We will review the various stages that they go through from Egg to Adult. We will then go through the life cycle of a plant. Spring is a perfect time of year for curious minds!  

Have a wonderful week!

Mrs. S. Johnson


April 3-7 Newsletter  

Happy Spring!

We’re in the final stretch of our First Grade year! For the next two weeks, the upper grade students (3-6), will take the ACT Aspire April 4th-13th. First Grade students will also begin the final DIBELES Assessment and Performance Series testing for math and reading soon. There's a lot to do until then, so let's see what's in store for this week!

Reading:

We are on the 4th Story in Unit 4 entitled "A Southern Ranch".  The phonics skills this week are consonant patterns kn and wr; and vowel digraphs ie/igh.  Our spelling words which use the long i sound spelled with ie/igh are lie, might, bright, tight, tie, right, light, high, night, pie, and high frequency words above and laugh.  Our high frequency words are above, moon, eight, touch and laugh.  Our comprehension skill is facts and details using the strategy "questioning". Our amazing words are impression, favorite, errand, familiar, memory and stampede.  We will take our Story, Grammar and Spelling test on Friday.

Math:

We are continuing in math with Topic 13 which deals with time.   This week, we will review parts of the clock, hour and minute hands and time to the hour. We will then begin work on telling time to the half-hour. For those who are ready, we will work on time to the minute.   Also, continue to work on addition and subtraction fact fluency.  This week we will also have another 3 minute/25 subtraction problem fluency drill.  Again, Reflex is a great website to practice math fact fluency.

Science/Social Studies

This week, in science, we will begin our mini unit on the day and night sky. In this unit, we will explore the sun, moon and stars and other planets in our solar system. We will also, do a mini-unit on natural resources in social studies. We will discuss what they are, where they are found and how we can protect them. Will do an STEM lesson on “oil spills” during this unit. There are several videos on Brainpop Jr. and Brainpop that will further enhance both units. As a reminder, our username is “dpes123” and our password is “eagles”.  

Have a wonderful week!

Mrs. S. Johnson

Announcement Image for April 3-7 Newsletter

March 27-31 Newsletter  

Greetings Parents,

I hope all of you had a spectacular Spring Break! We are revved up and ready to finish this year strong! Students will receive report cards this week. We will have our honor roll celebration Friday morning. Students that attend should bring money to purchase items during the block party in an envelope or Ziploc bag labeled “Honor Roll”. Also, we will have a pep rally on that day as we gear up for end of the year testing! This promises to be fun week for all! Also, our paper towel stash has been depleted with all of the sickness that’s been traveling throughout the school. If you can send some this week, it will be greatly appreciated. Here’s a glance at the week ahead!

Reading:

Our story for the week is "A Trip to Washington, D.C.  Our amazing words are: nation, tourist, splinter, harbor, symbol, abandon, sunken and statue.  High Frequency words are found, took, mouth, wild and once.  Our Phonics skill for the week is the long o sound spelled with oa and ow and three-letter consonant blends.  Our spelling words which have oa and ow are boat, row, coat, pillow, road, yellow, soap, snow, loaf and blow.  Our comprehension skill for the week is facts and details using the strategy important ideas.  Our grammar skill for the week is "adjectives for size".  We will take our Spelling, Story and Grammar tests on Thursday.  

Math:

We will finish Topic 12 this week and will test on Wednesday, March 29th. We will then begin Topic 13 which explores time to the hour, ½ hour and we’ll further venture into time to the minute in this Topic.

Science:

This week, we will continue working on changes that happen in spring including the weather.   We will review the water cycle as we explore this topic.  We will also review how the Earth's rotation makes day and night and how the revolution of the Earth makes the season's change. 

Have a wonderful week!

Mrs. S. Johnson


March 13-17 Newsletter  

Greetings Parents,

Spring is just around the corner and we have just 5 days until Spring Break!  There are just a few reminders for the week. All students will take Spring Pictures on Wednesday. If you want a specific pose, please indicate on the form. Friday is the last day to turn in Field Trip money for our April 20th trip to Camp Chandler. Bruster’s Italian ice will be sold during snack time on Friday. Students who wish to purchase should bring money labeled in an envelope. After Spring Break, we will not return until March 27th. We’re in for a busy week! Let’s see what’s on the agenda!

Reading:

We are on week two with the story "Cinderella".  The high frequency words for the week are: colors, great, sign, draw, over, drew, and show.  The phonics skills for the week are "adding endings", and vowel digraph "ea".  The spelling words which use the long vowel of e spelled with "ea" are eat, team, treat, lean, sea, please, beach, each, dream, clean and the high frequency words tested this week are colors and sign.  The comprehension focus for the week is "theme" using the strategy "visualize".  The grammar skill is "adjectives for colors and shapes".  We will take our story, grammar and spelling tests on Friday!

Math:

We have finished Topic 11 and will test on Monday, March 13th. We will then begin Topic 12 which explores measurement.  We will work on comparing and ordering by lengths, using indirect measurement, using units to estimate and measure length, using reasoning and measuring using different units of measure in this Topic.

Science/Social Studies:

We will continue to work on a weather and seasons unit that includes lessons on the wind, types of clouds and the water cycle. In Social Studies, we will do a mini-unit on St. Patrick’s Day. We will learn about Maewyn Succat and how he came to be known as St. Patrick. We will locate on the map and learn about the country of Ireland and the significance of shamrocks. We’ll also have a little “leprechaun” fun.

Have a wonderful week!

S. Johnson

 

 

 

 


March 6-10 Newsletter  

 

Greetings Parents,

Thank you for a successful Read across America week! The book swap was a great success on Thursday night. I still have some books available for those who would like to bring some home. The extra reading practice is needed by all. We’re working really hard at school to build our reading, writing, math fact fluency etc. at school. There is an App available for Lexia and Reflex, for which access has already been paid by the Autauga County School District and our school, Daniel Pratt. Students should be able to access Lexia at home to work towards reaching their reading skills benchmark. The goal is to be finished with Level 9 before the end of 1st grade. I have had several students already working on 2nd grade skills on Level 10. I’m working really hard to rotate each student on the 2 desktops, 1 notebook and 2 iPads for our entire class for both reading and math. However, it would really help provide more time for practice if those who have internet access outside of school, practice at home as well. Again, the Reflex math app/website is an awesome fact fluency practice tool. Students can access this through the Reflex Math App or on a desktop through the Reflex website. The username is sarah.h.johnson and each student has already received their password. If you don’t have your child’s password, please let me know and I will re-send it this week. Thank you for your assistance in ensuring the success of our students by utilizing the extra help that has been provided this year!

Reading:

We are on week 1 in Unit 4.  Our story for the week is "Mama’s Birthday Present”.  Skills for the week are: Comprehension - Drawing conclusions using the strategy "monitor and clarify"; Grammar - adjectives; Phonics - singular and plural possessives, vowel digraphs ai/ay; spelling words: way, day, gray, train, tail, may, mail, play, rain, afraid, about and would; high frequency words: about, surprise, enjoy, worry, give and would; and amazing words: celebrate, grateful, rarest, genuine, cherish, delicate and loot.  We will take our Spelling, Story and Grammar tests on Friday. 

Math:

We have begun Topic 11 which deals with subtracting tens and ones.  In this topic we will explore subtracting groups of 10, subtracting tens on a hundred chart, subtracting tens from two-digit numbers, using mental math to subtract tens, subtracting from a two-digit number and Problem solving using the strategy drawing a picture and writing a number sentence.  As always, keep practicing addition and subtraction fact fluency. 

Science:

We will work on a unit involving weather and seasons until Spring Break. We will discuss changes in the weather that are common this time of year. We will also work on safety plans for the type of severe weather that is common during this time of year in Alabama.

Social Studies:

In keeping with our story “Mama’s Birthday Present”, we will learn about the Hispanic culture. We will learn about traditions/celebrations as we immerse ourselves in the culture. During this mini unit, we will have many writing, art, music etc. activities. Students will get to taste foods from the culture and our story including tortillas and buenelos. For one of our activities, we are in need of empty water bottles and colored tissue paper. If you can send these items, please let me know. Thanks in advance!

Have a wonderful week!

S. Johnson


February 27-March 3 Newsletter  

Happy Read Across America Week!

There are several activities planned for this week.  We will have guest readers, make Dr. Seuss rhyming words hats and do our 21st Century tribute to the book “Green Eggs and Ham”. We will be having “Green Smoothies and Bagels”. We will continue with many different Dr. Seuss activities and books for the remainder of the week.  For Friday, we will need a bag of plain bagels and strawberry cream cheese spread. Also, if you would like to send a Dr. Seuss book with your child, please make sure that their name is on it.  On Thursday night, don’t forget we will be having our school-wide Read Across America Night at the school. You should have already received a flyer about the activities. Please join us for family fun! 

Reading:

This is a review week for Unit 3. On Monday, we are taking grammar, spelling, and the story test from week 6. Again, these grades will replace the lowest scores for this nine weeks in grammar, spelling and reading. We will then begin going over all skills and high frequency words for book 3.  Please look back over the announcements from previous weeks to see the skills that were covered with each story.  Check the links section on our webpage for the waltkek first grade website to practice skills that were taught in book 3.  Please review all Unit 3 high frequency words daily as they will be on the Unit 3 test.  We will review Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Then we will begin our writing portion of the unit test.  We will begin part 1 of the Unit 3 test on Thursday and finish it on Friday if needed.  I am encouraging the children to read as much as possible to improve fluency.  Reading daily will further encourage those who are reluctant readers to become more fluent with their reading. I just want to encourage consistency in having that "daily reading time" outside of class time.  I'm convinced that "The more you read, the better you will read!"

Math:

We will take our Topic 10 test on Thursday. Then, will begin Topic 11 which deals with subtracting tens and ones.  In this topic we will explore subtracting groups of 10, subtracting tens on a hundred chart, subtracting tens from two-digit numbers, using mental math to subtract tens, subtracting from a two-digit number and Problem solving using the strategy drawing a picture and writing a number sentence.  As always, keep practicing addition and subtraction fact fluency.  Flashcards are great!  Again, the Reflex website provides excellent practice for building fact fluency. 

Social Studies/Science:

We will be learning about the life of Dr. Seuss this week and finishing up our nutrition unit in Science.

Have a wonderful week!

Mrs. S. Johnson

 


February 20-24 Newsletter  

Parents,

We are steadily moving along in First Grade. I’m sure you have noticed quite a change in pace this 2nd Semester. We are almost at the end of First Grade and there’s still so much more to learn!   Please continue to: read daily with your child and practice high frequency /sight words to help increase their reading fluency along with using the website Lexia; review addition and subtraction facts with the Reflex website, games or flashcards to enhance memory of the math facts; and lastly encourage more independence in your child. This is another super short, but busy week. Due to it being a short week, we will not take the story, grammar, and spelling tests this week. We will move them to Monday, February 27th. As a bonus, I will use these grades to replace the lowest grades for story, grammar and spelling tests, ONLY if the “Where Are My Animal Friends” homework packet is returned signed and completed on Monday.

Let’s see what’s in store!

Reading:

We are on the 6th story in book 3. The story for the week is called "Where Are My Animal Friends". In this story we will learn about what animals do in the winter. Our skills for the week include: high frequency words; before, does, right, oh, good-bye and won’t; phonics we’re using the consonant pattern –dge, and comparative endings er/est. Our words in spelling this week are using er/est; our spelling words are faster, fastest, taller, tallest, shorter, shortest, sadder, saddest, bigger and biggest. Our amazing words are: hibernate, temperature, freeze, weary, migrate, autumn and bitterly. In comprehension, we will focus on drawing conclusions with the strategy using background knowledge. In Grammar this week we will be learning about contractions with not.

Math:

We will complete Topic 10 this week, which deals with adding tens and ones.  Please continue to review the papers that are sent home daily. We will test on this topic next week. Also, as always continue to work on addition and subtraction fluency at home. Once again, the Reflex website is a wonderful way for students to build basic math fact fluency.

 

Science:

This week, we will continue to focus on healthy choices.  As a part of our healthy choices mini-unit, we will be learning about Dental Health. We will explore baby and permanent teeth and how to take care of them and keep them healthy.  We will also learn about how our nutritional choices affect our tooth health. We will further learn about the importance of having regular dental visits. During this unit, we will stress the importance of brushing and flossing correctly. As a part of this lesson, on Friday, students should bring their toothbrushes along with a travel size tube of toothpaste (in a Ziploc). We will have a hands-on lesson about proper brushing techniques.

 

Have a great week!

Mrs. S. Johnson


February 13-17 Newsletter  

Parents,                    

We have a busy, but great week ahead. On Tuesday, we will have our Valentine’s Day Brunch from 11:30-12:30. As a reminder, each child that would like to participate in swapping cards can bring in Valentines cards to pass out.  Also, my heart was saddened to have learned that two of our students will be leaving this week.  Sara will be going back to Korea and Elias will be moving to Mobile.  Sara's last day will be Wednesday, February 15th and Elias' last day will be Friday, February 17th.  We already miss them!!!

Reading:

We are on the 5th story in book 3. The story for the week is called "I'm a Caterpillar". In this story we will learn about the life cycle of the butterfly and the stages that it goes through during Metamorphosis. This will also spill over into a science mini-unit on the life cycle of the butterfly. Our skills for the week include: high frequency words; done, visit, know, wait and push; phonics and spelling this week will include contractions and r-controlled vowels er, ir, and ur; our spelling words are her, girl, shirt, sir, first, burn, fur, bird, were, hurt, visit and hurt. Our amazing words are: cycle, insect, flurries, fragile, develop, rearrange, emerge and vessel. In comprehension, we will focus on fact and opinion with the strategy text structure. In Grammar this week we will be learning about and using the verbs am, is, are, was, and were. Our story, grammar, and spelling tests for the week are on Friday.

Math:

We have finished Topic 9. We will begin Topic 10 on Monday, after the test. This topic deals with adding tens and ones.  Please continue to review the papers that are sent home daily. Also, as always continue to work on addition and subtraction fluency at home. Another great way to practice math facts is by going on the Reflex Math website. I have told the children that we need to increase our usage at home for this site. I’ve seen this website work first hand at increasing fact fluency. Please consider allowing your child to grow in math fact fluency by using this site to practice.

Social Studies:

We are continuing a unit on Abraham Lincoln and George Washington this week as we learn about the job of the President. If your child has a book or can find an article or facts about either, please feel free to allow them to share with their classmates. It’s always interesting to see and share the information the students have researched on their own in addition to what’s being taught in class.  

 

Science:

We are continuing a unit on healthy choices and dental health for the next two weeks. This week, we will talk about proper hand-washing and other techniques used in the prevention of spreading illness and how to maintain a healthy smile. There are several Brainpop Jr. videos that reinforce what we’re learning in class. Please allow your child to review them at home.

Have an awesome week!

S. Johnson


February 6-10 Newsletter  

Dear Parents,

It’s official! We’ve passed the 100th day mark! We enjoyed celebrating all we’ve learned so far in first grade and the number 100. It was great fun! This week, Progress Reports will come home on Wednesday. Also, we will begin a series in Character Education on “kindness” and “manners”. During these sessions, we will focus on manners and treating each other respectfully. Let’s see what else is in store for the week!

Reading:

We are still in unit 3 which deals with the question "What is changing in our World?" We will begin the story, "Frog and Toad Together". The skills for this story are; phonics: word ending –ed and r-controlled “ar”; spelling: -ed words – plan, planned, help, helped, drop, dropped, call, called, ask, asked, again, and soon; high frequency words – few, afraid, read, soon, how and again; amazing words - gardener, sprout, shade, destroy, nature, dim, sprinkling and humongous; grammar skill: verbs from the past and future; and the comprehension skill "author’s purpose" using the strategy "visualize”. We will take our story test, grammar test, and spelling test on Friday, February 10th.

Math:

We are finishing Topic 9 this week. We have been learning how to find 1 more, 1 less, 10 more and 10 less, comparing numbers using the symbols < less than, > greater than, and = equal to. We will continue with ordering numbers and making an organized list this week. The study guide for this topic will come home on Tuesday. We will take the test on next Monday, February 13th. Please review each question and refer to previous math papers that have come home from this topic to determine what your child should practice more. Also, there is a Brainpop Jr. video on comparing numbers that should be very helpful as a reviewing tool. Also, please continue to review addition and subtraction facts.

Social Studies:

We will begin a unit on Abraham Lincoln and will then go into a unit on George Washington. As always, if you have some materials from an internet search, books, magazines that will enhance our unit of study, please feel free to share. As a heads up, students will be out of school for President’s Day on Monday, February 20th and on Tuesday, February 21st.

Science:

We are also beginning a unit on Health this week. Over the next few weeks, we will start with learning about the heart and how it works and continue with learning about how to care for our bodies with proper nutrition, sleep and exercise and end the unit with a mini-study on keeping our teeth healthy.

Have a wonderful week!

Mrs. S. Johnson

 


January 30 - February 3 Newsletter  

Dear Parents,

We have such a busy week ahead! We will be celebrating the 100th Day on Tuesday of this week. Each student is encouraged to dress as if they are 100 years or decorate a shirt to celebrate 100 days of learning. I look forward to seeing all of the children representing the number 100. It has been an awesome year so far and we’re over half way to the end of 1st grade. We will also have a balloon release. Students may purchase a balloon at school Tuesday morning for $1.00. We will share a 100 piece snack on that day as well. Each child should have already received their assigned item. We look forward to an awesome 100th Day! Let’s see what’s ahead for the rest of the week.

Reading: We are now in unit 3 which deals with the question "What is changing in our World?"  On Monday, we will be starting the story, "The Class Pet".  The skills for this story are; phonics: r-controlled or, ore, ending -es, and plural -es; spelling: plural -es words - fix, fixes, class, classes, wish, wishes, kiss, kisses, bus and buses; high frequency words - away, house, very, car, our, friends and school; amazing words -features, natural, tumble, nibble, wriggle, mature, swoop, crumple and nudges; grammar skill: verbs that do not add an -s; and the comprehension skill "fact and opinion" using the strategy "monitor and clarify.  We will take our story test, grammar test, and spelling test on Friday, February 3rd. 

Math: This week we are starting topic 9 which deals with comparing and ordering numbers to 100. We will be exploring 1 more, 1 less; 10 more, 10 less; making numbers on a hundred chart, comparing numbers using greater than, less than and equal to symbols, ordering three numbers and making an organized list.   Also, please continue to review addition and subtraction facts.

We will continue with math fluency by taking timed math drills in addition every Friday.  Please allow your child to go to the Reflex Math Website for further practice. 

Social Studies/Science: We will begin with a mini tribute to groundhogs on Wednesday, February 2nd as we celebrate Groundhog Day. For the month of February, we will begin a unit on Abraham Lincoln and will then go into a unit on George Washington. We will conclude our month with a study of African American inventors. During our study, we will zone in on famous Botanist and Inventor Professor George Washington Carver. We will learn about his work with plants and explore the many products made with and from peanuts. We will take a “virtual field trip” to Tuskegee to view the college where Professor Washington taught and performed many of his experiments. We will also discuss the contributions to the NASA space program that brilliant mathematicians and engineers, Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson made. We will watch a short video on the 1st lunar landing. As always, if you have some materials from an internet search, books, magazines that will enhance our unit of study, please feel free to share.

FYI – You can still purchase class pictures for $10 through Wednesday morning.

Thanks for all you do!

S. Johnson


January 23-27 Newsletter  

Parents,

We are adjusting to the 2nd Semester pace quite nicely. I encourage all parents to take advantage of the school and county funded reading and math websites Reflex and Lexia. Each student has their login information. If you need to replace the login information that was sent home in the fall, please let me know as soon as possible. It really helps with math fluency and provides extra reading skill practice that strengthens your child’s reading strategies. Also, please make sure that your child is reading their library book in preparation for their AR test. They can take as many tests as they wish in a week, as long as they are passing them with 80% accuracy.  Students acquire points for each test that they passed. At the end of the school year, the top five point earners in each class, will be recognized at the First Grade awards assembly. Further, please continue to encourage your child’s growth in writing sentences. Students should be able by now, to take a prompt and give several sentences that elaborate on it. Students should use correct capitalization, punctuation and grammar as well as making sure sentences express a “whole idea”. Handwriting should also be practiced several times a week to make sure that students are forming letters correctly. As I expressed at the beginning of January, the expectations have increased in all areas. We will learn as much as we can before our time in First Grade is over. Thank you for all of your help and support.

As a reminder, all of my students will participate in our First Grade music performance on Thursday, January 26th at 8:15. Students should wear an “animal” shirt, their DPES shirt or purple, black or gold. All parents are invited to attend.

Reading:

We are continuing in unit 3 which deals with the question "What is changing in our World?"  On Tuesday, we will be starting the story, "Ruby In Her Own Time".  The skills for this story are; phonics: compound words; consonant patterns ng, nk; spelling: ng/nk words – bring, bank, rink, sunk, trunk, sang, blank, pink, wing, rang, every and sure; high frequency words – any, every, were, enough, own, ever and sure; amazing words attempt, time line, flatter, lovely, event, famous, correct and common; grammar skill: verbs that add an -s; and the comprehension skill "compare and contrast" using the strategy "inferring”. We will take our story test, grammar test, and spelling test on Friday, January 27th

Math: We are continuing with Topic 8, which deals with place value.  We are exploring using tens and ones in this topic.  We will take our Topic 8 test on Thursday, January 26. The study guide will come home on Tuesday.   Please review the math pages that come home in your child's notebook daily.  We will continue with math fluency by taking timed math drills in addition and subtraction every Friday.  Please see the websites listed under the links section of our webpage for further practice with addition and subtraction and for other First Grade skills. 

Social Studies/Science: We are completing our Unit on the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The children have really participated and enjoyed the unit. I told them that they can visit the church  Dr. King was over in Montgomery as well as see the Rosa Parks children’s museum in downtown Montgomery to learn even more. We will work on our “How our World changes in winter” mini-unit this week as well. We will continue focusing on Penguins and winter animals this week. We will talk about hibernation and the process animals go through to prepare for cold weather survival. It promises to be a fun, but busy week!

Have an awesome week!

S. Johnson


January 16-20 Newsletter  

 

 

Dear Parents,

 

FYI: No School on Monday! We are out for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!

 

You should have received a copy of your child’s DIBELS results by now along with the Report Card from the 2nd nine weeks grading period. Hopefully, this gives you an idea of what we have to work on for the remainder of the year to reach all First Grade Benchmarks. Please continue to read with your child daily. In Reading, model the appropriate fluency each day and allow your child to practice words they don’t automatically know. The mid-year benchmark for oral reading fluency was 23 words. By the end of First Grade, all students should be reading the minimum of 47 words per minute and retelling at least half of what they read. For instance, if they are reading 40 words per minute, they should be able to retell what they have read in at least 20 words. I encourage you to let your child read at least 20 minutes per day. Research shows that students who read 20 minutes per day will be exposed to 1.8 million words in a year’s time. Researchers show that 20 minutes of reading a day guarantees that a student’s vocabulary will continue to expand. Further, there is a strong correlation between a child’s ability to read and their academic performance. Because so much of our schooling relies on our abilities to read, children must have strong reading skills to succeed and thrive in school. In writing, by now each student should be able to write a short paragraph in summary of a story or on a given topic with correct capitalization and punctuation. They should be applying the phonics skills in their spelling as well as the grammar skills that we have learned this year. Each sentence should be a “whole Idea”. If your child still struggles with doing this, please practice, practice, and practice even more! I encourage each of you to continue to press forward in working with your child. The benefits will be well worth the work! Thank you for all you do to make our year great!

 

Reading

 

On Friday, you should have received a letter explaining some changes in reading for this unit. If not, please let me know as soon as possible. This week, we will begin the story “A Place to Play”. The concept question is “What is changing in our world?” The question of the week is “How do places change?” The amazing words are: growth, population, public, shuffle, teeter, crooked, makeshift and spindly. The phonics skills for the week are syllable pattern “cv” and “vowel sounds of y”. Our spelling words for this week are: by, try, sunny, handy, fly, cry, lucky, silly, puppy and my; with the addition of two of our high frequency words things and always. Our high frequency words are: always, everything, things, become, nothing, stays and day. The comprehension skill is “sequence”, which we will explore through the strategy “summarize”. The grammar skill for the week is action verbs. Students should view the short clip on Brainpop Jr. on verbs. We will take our story, grammar and spelling tests on Friday, January 20th.

 

Math:

 

We have begun Topic 8 which deals with Tens and Ones. Students will explore making, writing and manipulating tens and ones. We will also explore writing numbers using expanded notation. There are some excellent Brainpop and Brainpop Jr. Video lessons that contain great extra practice with this topic. This is a relatively short topic, so we will be testing the week of January 23rd. Lastly, keep practicing math fact fluency. All students that have access to the internet should be taking full advantage of the school-funded access to Reflex math. Students should be practicing as often as possible to improve math fact fluency with addition and subtraction. Thank you for your help with this.

 

Social Studies:

 

We have begun a unit on the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The children have really enjoyed learning facts about Dr. King and discussing ways that they can now make a difference in the world in which we live. We will continue our study of this unit by incorporating literature, writing, art activities and technology with our lessons.

 

Science:

 

In Science this week, we will be exploring the world of penguins. We will learn about the life cycle, habitat, and various types of penguins in this unit. We will explore this topic through, literature, art, music and a virtual field trip.

 

Have an awesome week!

 

S. Johnson

 

 

 

Announcement Image for January 16-20 Newsletter

January 5-13 Newsletter  

Newsletter for January 5-13

Happy New Year!!!!

We are currently in the 2nd Semester of First Grade. The children have done an awesome job adjusting to the routine in school and keeping up with homework and all that has been required of them so far. We will kick it up a notch this semester. More independence will be expected from students in class work, study habits, homework and behavior. We have a busy, but short week. Report cards will come home on Monday. We will also have to reschedule our Honor Roll Party due to the inclement weather and school being out on Friday morning. When we reschedule it, students who made honor roll for the 2nd Nine Weeks should bring extra money to purchase snacks, drinks and other items; ($2-$5 should be ok), in an envelope or Ziploc specifically labeled “Honor Roll”. In the past, students have used their snack/lunch money for items and didn't have money to cover those items when it was time for snack and lunch. Thank you for your help with this matter. Lastly, we will be celebrating Career Week January 9-13. We will be learning about career choices throughout the week and will culminate on January 13th, with Career Day. We will have guest speakers that will talk to the children about their careers. On Thursday, January 12th, students should come dressed as they would for their “dream career”. Students will share individually with the class about their career and turn in the completed, provided questionnaire about their chosen career.

Reading

This week and next week, we will start reviewing for the Unit 3 test. We will begin the test on Tuesday of next week. Please continue to review high frequency words, especially this week. We will also have a writing portion of the test, for which students will be expected to respond to an open ended question using complete sentences, correct capitalization and punctuation application and making sure the sentences tell a “whole idea”.

Math

We will continue topic 7. We are exploring numbers and patterns to 120 in this topic. We will test on this Topic on Thursday, January 12th. In addition, please continue to practice addition and subtraction facts.  We will be taking Math Fluency quizzes every Friday (3 minutes/25 problems) to assess and improve math facts fluency. 

Social Studies/Science

In January, we are doing a mini unit on snow/snowmen, igloos, penguins and other arctic animals, hibernation as well as learning about changes that take place in a “new year”. We will then begin a unit on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for the remainder of January.  

FYI: *Please continue to send in box tops for education and items for the treasure chest.

Have an awesome week!

S. Johnson


December 12-16 Newsletter  

Dear Parents,

 

 

 

‘Twas the week before Christmas and all through the school….the children were busy….it was totally cool! We are winding down the first semester in a blur! Monday, we will paint our snowman shirts. We will take the DIBELS Assessment on Tuesday morning. On Wednesday, we will complete our “Tacky Christmas Shirt”. We will have Polar Express Day Thursday, December 15, 2016. Each student should wear their pajama bottoms and snowman shirt. Students may also bring a sleeping bag/mat/towel and a board game/family style game. After our breakfast on Thursday, we will watch the movie “Polar Express”. Our class party has been moved to Thursday at 1:30. We will have cookies and milk. Parents you are welcome to attend the party at 1:30. On Friday, we will dismiss at 11:30. In the morning, they will go into the gym and watch a movie with the other students in the school.   Students will get to eat lunch before dismissal, but they don’t have to bring their Bear Notebook to school on that day. We will return to school on Thursday, January 5th. Let’s see what else is in store for the week!

 

Reading:

 

We will be reviewing skills from Unit 2 this week. I will test each student on their Unit 2 words this week. We will also take our DIBELS Assessment on Tuesday morning. When we return in January, we will take our Unit 2 test. I encourage all students to take some time during the break to review skills and high frequency words in preparation for the test upon our return. You may go to the links section of our webpage and use the waltkek first grade reading website for further practice.

 

Math:

 

We have begun Topic 7, which deals with Number patterns. Brainpop Jr. has an excellent number sense video with activities that will help with further practice for this topic.

 

Social Studies:

 

We are finishing up our Christmas around the World Unit this week. Students will complete a “Christmas around the World” mini-booklet which highlight facts about each country’s celebration. In addition, we will have many stories, art and writing activities surrounding countries from our unit. As a salute to Germany, I will also be teaching the children some traditional Christmas Carols throughout the week.  

 

 

 

Have a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!

 

Mrs. S. Johnson


December 5-9 Newsletter  

Dear Parents,

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! We are excited about all that this season brings. We will continue with many art, writing and decorating projects this week. We will not wear them until December 15th, but we will be painting our blue snowman shirts this week. By now, all students should have sent in a long sleeve navy blue shirt/sweatshirt/hoodie so that they will have one to wear for “Polar Express Day”. Also, on December 15th, we will be doing a book swap. Those who would like to participate may bring in a “wrapped” book to swap during the party. With all of that going on, it promises to be a fun, but busy week! Lastly, as a heads up, we will be doing our own first grade version of a “tacky Christmas shirt” using a plain white t-shirt. We will decorate them in class on Monday, December 12th. Students may bring their plain white t-shirt by Friday, December 9th for planning purposes. If you are able to send in extra tees, please feel free to do so.

Reading:

We are on the 6th and final story in Unit 2 - "Honey Bees". Our amazing words are individual, special, slither, eagerly, industrious, creep, romp and wonder. Our high frequency words are also, other, family, some, new and their. Our spelling words which use the long e sound are: feet, we, she, be, he, green, tree, see, me and week. We will also test on the words some and family. Our phonics skills are long e using e and ee and syllables. Our comprehension skill is "Comparing and contrasting" and the strategy is "Questioning". Our grammar skill is “nouns in sentences". Our skills can be reviewed on the websites in the links section and Brainpop jr. has a video on plural nouns. We will take our grammar, spelling and story test on Friday. Lastly, the reading homework packet for the week is due on Friday.

Math:

We are finishing our Topic 6 test on Monday, December 5th. We will then begin topic 7. We are exploring numbers and patterns to 120 in this topic. Please continue to practice addition and subtraction facts.  We will be taking Math Fluency quizzes every Friday continuing into January (3 minutes/25 problems) to assess and improve math facts fluency. 

Social Studies:

We are continuing our “Christmas Around the World” unit. We will be learning about Christmas Traditions. We are also learning about traditions during Hanukah and Kwanzaa. During this unit, we will also continue to explore customs and traditions of other countries. We hope to cover the United States, Germany, South Korea, India, Mexico, England, China, Russia and several other countries/cultures. It is one of my favorite units of the year! We will end our unit on December 15th with a Cookie Swap which will also be our Christmas Party. Each child will be assigned either a recipe or a specific cookie to bring in for the party. We will only have cookies and milk on that day. If you are interested in, or have a recipe/cookie that you would like to share, please let me know. Also, if you really like to bake and would like to take on 2 recipes, please let me know!

Science:

Our science lessons will again coincide with our story for the week - "Honey Bees". We will explore the workings and hierarchy of the bee community. Students will learn about the various work assignments of each member of the hive. Students will also learn how plant life and humans depend on bees and their honey. Further, students will learn about products that we use in our daily lives that are made with and from honey or wax. We will end our unit with one of my favorite movies on Friday, “The Bee Movie”.

Have a wonderful week!

S. Johnson


November 28-December 2 Newsletter  

Dear Parents,  

I can hardly believe how quickly Fall is going! Our time in First Grade has really flown! We have learned a lot, but there's still so much more to learn. As a reminder, students should bring in either a plain long-sleeved navy blue shirt/sweatshirt/hoodie by Wednesday, November 30th. We will be painting winter shirts the week of December 5-9th. I will need parent volunteers to assist with the painting. Please let me know days and times when you would be available. We will wear them on our Polar Express Day for a class picture. There's so much to do! Let's see what's on our academic agenda for the week!

Reading:

We are on the 5th story in Unit 2 - "Life in the Forest". Our amazing words are environment, thrive, slimy, capture, require, inhale, sludge and creature. Our high frequency words are around, grow, find, under, food and water. Our spelling words which use the long u sound are: huge, tube, cute, mule, June, use, flute, rule, cube and rude. Our phonics skills are long u, long e and inflected -ed. Our comprehension skill is "Author's Purpose" and the strategy is "background knowledge". Our grammar skill "singular and plural nouns". Our skills can be reviewed on the websites in the links section and Brainpop Jr. has a video on plural nouns. We will take our grammar, spelling and story test on Friday, December 2nd. Lastly, the reading homework packet for the week is due on the day we take the tests.

Math:

We will continue with Topic 6 which deals with Subtraction to 20. We will take our Topic 6 test on Thursday, December 1st. Also, keep practicing addition and subtraction facts. The students are improving. Timed tests will assess their fluency with them.

Science:

Our science lessons will coincide with our story for the week - "Life in the Forest". We will explore how plant and animal communities are important to each other during the week. We will go on a virtual field trip through the forest this week!

Social Studies:

We are beginning a Christmas Around the World Unit, where we will explore traditions and cultures and celebrations that occur around the world during this season. Again, if you have traveled to other countries and have pictures, books etc., that would enhance our study, please feel free to share with the class. We will culminate our unit with an International Cookie Swap and Polar Express Day; details tba.

Have an awesome week!


November 14-18 Newsletter  

Parents,

This will be an even busier week than last week. We will get out for Thanksgiving Break next week! Our Book Fair is this week. Family night will be Thursday from 5-7. It closes Friday at 11:00 a.m. Also, Holiday Pictures will be taken on Wednesday. You should have already received the flyer. If not, please let me know. Also, we are out for Thanksgiving Break next week, November 21-25th. Lastly, as a reminder, please make sure that your child has their Navy Blue sweatshirt/hoodie for our painted winter shirt project by November 29th. Let's see what's on our curriculum agenda for the week!

Reading:

We will test one day early this week. We are on story 4 in Unit 2. Our story is "The Big Circle". This story continues our study of communities; specifically animal communities and how they live and care for their young. Our high frequency words for the week are down, there, inside, together and now. Our phonics skills are contractions and long o. Our spelling words which contain the long o sound are home, woke, hose, stone, hope, those, joke, rose, bone and rode. Our amazing words are enemy, protect, holler, bluff, extinct, crater, swamp and boisterous. Our grammar skill is Proper Nouns: Days, Months and Holidays. Please use the links and websites that have been provided to practice our skills for the week. We will take our story, spelling and grammar test on Thursday, November 18th.

Math:

We are starting Topic 6 this week. This topic explores Subtraction facts to 20. We will learn strategies such as making 10 subtract, using related facts, fact families, using addition to subtract, subtraction facts and the problem-solving strategy: draw a picture and write a number sentence. Again, please use the Brainpop Jr. website and other links that have been provided for practice. We will really work on subtraction fluency during this topic.

Social Studies:

We will continue with our Native Americans/Pilgrims/First Thanksgiving Unit this week. We will learn facts and do activities and sing songs with our lessons to enhance this unit. After the break, we will begin a "Christmas Around the World" unit, where we will learn about how other cultures celebrate during this time of year. If you have pictures or books or items from other cultures and countries that you would be willing to share, please let me know before the Thanksgiving Break, so that I can plan accordingly. We will end our unit with an International Cookie Swap. Thanks in advance for your help!  


November 7-11th Newsletter  

Parents,

We have a shortened week due to being out for Veteran’s Day on Friday, November 11th.   We will be honoring our Service Men and Women who serve our Country all week! Also, Progress Reports will come home on Thursday the 10th. We are also continuing with our Chocolate Fundraiser. The money raised will greatly benefit our students! We have a lot to cover in a short amount of time, so here's what's on our curriculum agenda for this week:

Reading:

We will test one day early this week, due to being out for Veteran’s Day. We are on the third story in Unit 2, "Who Works Here?" which deals with workers in our communities. Our amazing words are citizen, law, branch, patrol, community, leader, headquarters and earn. Our phonics skills are consonant digraphs wh, ch, tch, ph and long i. Our spelling words which use the long i sound are: like, time, dime, kite, ride, white, hide, smile, bike and ice. Our high frequency words are live, who, out, work and people. Our grammar skill is "special titles". We will take our story, spelling and grammar test on Thursday, November 10th.

Math:

We are finishing up Topic 5. We will review all lessons and prepare for our test on Wednesday, November 9th. Please review with the practice test for trouble spots. Also, check out the websites for math practice in the links section of our class page.

Social Studies:

After finishing our Veterans/Military mini-unit, we will continue with our Native Americans/Pilgrims/First Thanksgiving Unit. We will learn facts and do activities and sing songs with our lessons to enhance this unit. As a heads-up, after the Thanksgiving break, we will begin a "Christmas Around the World" unit, where we will learn about how other cultures celebrate during this time of year. If you have pictures or books or items from other cultures and countries that you would be willing to share, please let me know before the Thanksgiving Break, so that I can plan accordingly. We will end our unit with an International Cookie Swap. Thanks in advance for your help!  

Science:

We will be exploring a mini-unit on camouflage this week in science. Students will learn how animals use camouflage to blend into their environment. We will be discussing why animals would want to blend in and how they use camouflage to stay safe in their habitats, to help them hunt, or to communicate to others. We will end with a fun “turkey camouflage” project. Students will “camouflage” (decorate) their turkey project to blend in so that they won’t be eaten for Thanksgiving. We will display our Turkeys in the hall. Please look for the project to come home on Tuesday. They will be due by Monday, November 14th. 

Have a great week!

Mrs. S. Johnson


October 31-November 4 Newsletter  

Parents,

Thank you to all who helped to make our party/parade a success! We are off to a great start in our 2nd Nine Weeks! We have a lot to look forward to this week. As a reminder, all students should read their library book and be prepared to take an Accelerated Reader test on it before library day on Thursdays. Students may go to the library several times during the week to get new books to read and test on. They are accumulating points for each test that they pass. Every two weeks, the “AR Cart” will come around to our classroom so that students can use the points they have earned to “purchase items from the store”.   I have encouraged the children to make sure that they have “actually read the book or have “read with someone” so that they are ready to test. Quality, not quantity is my concern with AR. I want them to steadily accumulate good comprehension skills/strategies and not just accumulate points with this program. It is my goal to build proficient readers and not just “speed readers”. Students who have not taken very many AR tests are usually not bringing their book back to school or not reading at home. Your assistance with this will be greatly appreciated. Now, let’s see what we have on our curriculum agenda for this week!

Reading:

We are on "The Farmer in the Hat" which is story 2 in Unit 2.  Our phonics and spelling this week utilize consonants c/s/, g/j/ - (soft c and soft g); and long a.  Our spelling words are face, safe, cage, name, made, make, cake, age, take and late.  Our amazing words are group, share, borrow, rehearsal, respect, aquarium, lines and soothe.  We will re-visit "cause and effect" in comprehension using the strategy "monitor and clarify".  In grammar, we explore proper nouns.  We will take our spelling, grammar and story test on Friday. 

Math:

We are continuing with topic 5 which deals with addition strategies.  We will be working really hard on addition fact fluency in this topic.  Students should also be reviewing/memorizing doubles facts. Again, you may use flashcards or other addition fact games to build fluency at home.  Again, I recommend flash cards to encourage fluency as well as using some of the links on the class webpage to practice and build fluency.

Social Studies:

We will begin a mini-unit on the Military/Veterans and do a class project where we will be “adopting a deployed troop” and writing letters to them. During this most difficult time of being away from their families, I feel this will be a small way of giving back and saying “Thank You” to those who protect and serve. Afterwards, we will then begin a unit on Native Americans. This will be an on-going unit that will lead to our Pilgrims/First Thanksgiving lessons.

Have a great week!

Mrs. S. Johnson


October 24-28 Newsletter  

Parents,

It was a joy seeing everyone again at the report card conferences. Hopefully, a lot of your questions were answered during our meeting time. This week will be busy. We will kick off Red Ribbon Week on Tuesday by wearing something red. Friday will be our Book Character Parade and our party. Students will dress up as their favorite book character. If they have the book to bring on that day, that would be great! All parents are invited to watch our parade! Our book character parade will start at 12:30 in the carpool parking lot and wind through the building on the main hall. The party will follow immediately. We will have a “Monster’s Inc.” themed party this year. We have some items, but will still need fruit kabobs (ready to serve and eat), themed paper plates and napkins, and parents that will help serve and clean up after the party. If you can help us with any of this, please let me know as soon as possible. Let’s see what’s in store on our academic agenda!

Reading:

We are beginning a new unit in book 2. In this unit, we are exploring communities. Our first story is “A Big Fish for Max”. Our comprehension skill for this story is “sequence” using the strategy “predict and set purpose”. Our amazing words are: chore, cooperation, commute, downtown, household, rule, subway and display. Our phonics focus is the sound in ball: a, al; and consonant digraphs sh and th. Our spelling words uses “sh” and “th” with the words: fish, with, shop, ship, then, rush, trash, shut, shell and thin. Our high frequency words are catch, put, good, said, no and want. Our grammar skill is “common nouns”. Please use the Brainpop Jr. website to reinforce the concept of nouns. We will take our story, grammar and spelling test on Friday, October 28th.

Math:

We will begin Topic 5 which deals with addition facts to 20. In this topic, we will work on building fluency with addition. I recommend flash cards to encourage fluency as well as using some of the links on the class webpage to practice and build fluency. Encourage your children to learn the doubles facts. There are several YouTube videos that have cute songs for doing this.

Social Studies:

During Red Ribbon Week, we will learn about the making good choices and the dangers of drugs and substance abuse and how to say yes to a drug-free life! The children will participate in many activities and discussions throughout the week.

*Heads-up: In December, we will be painting white long-sleeve t-shirts. They will be due in class labeled with names by the first week in December. (They go quickly in stores!) Also, if you would be willing to come and help them paint, please let me know so that I may plan accordingly.

Classroom needs:

Treasure chest items

Box Tops

Have an awesome week!

Mrs. S. Johnson


October 17-21 Newsletter  

Parents,                                                        

Thank you chaperones for your help with our Pumpkin Patch field trip to Autauga Adventures. The children really enjoyed their time there. This week will be equally as busy. So let’s see what’s in store on our academic agenda!

Reading:

This is a review week for Unit 1. We will be going back through all of the skills for the Unit 1 test, which we will begin on Wednesday. There will be no other tests this week for reading, spelling or grammar. Also, please use the Lexia login information letter to practice skills that are needed for reading. The letter came home on Friday with the student login information.

Math:

We are finishing up Topic 4 and will review all of the lessons this week. We will take our Topic 4 test on Thursday, October 20th.  

Social Studies:

We be finishing up our maps and globes unit this week. We will review what we’ve learned so far and take our test on Wednesday, October 19th.

Science:

We will finish up our unit on the growth cycle of pumpkins and then begin a unit on bats! We will explore where they live, what they eat and the different kinds of bats and what they look like.

 

Have a great weekend!

S. Johnson


October 12-14 Newsletter  

Parents,                                                                                                  

I hope everyone enjoyed their Fall Break! This week is a very short one. Our 1st nine weeks grading period ends today. We will be going on our field trip to the pumpkin patch tomorrow, Thursday, October 13th. If you are going, please be at the school by 8:20, or meet us in the front of the building as we leave at 8:40. You can follow our buses all the way. If your child has a DPES t-shirt, please allow them to wear it. Jeans and tennis shoes are recommended. Jackets may get lost, so please keep this in mind. Chaperones, don’t forget to bring your lunch and drink. Also, you may want to pack extra drinks for later in the day. Chaperones, please bring a blanket to “picnic” on due to limited seating. I will have a sign out sheet with me for early check-outs. Each child will bring their own small pumpkin back from this trip. Larger pumpkins for chaperones are available for purchase. We look forward to a great day! Also, due to the short week and field trip, there will be NO SPELLING, GRAMMAR OR STORY TEST THIS WEEK.

Reading:

We won’t take any tests this week, but I am teaching the skills that are needed for the unit test next week, which is a review week. We are on the 6th and final story of Unit 1, "Animal Park". In this story, we will explore the question of the week, "What can we learn about wild animals by watching them?" Our comprehension skill for this story is "cause and effect" using the strategy "text structure". Our amazing words are desert, world, silent, medicine, forest, chatter, snort and poisonous. Our phonics skills are short u/u/ and final consonant blends. Our spelling words for the week which have the short u/u/ sound wand final consonant blends are: crust, must, trust, lump, bump, just, dusk, jump, dust and hunt. Our high frequency words are: home, them, into and many. In grammar we will learn about exclamatory sentences. Again, there will be no tests this week.

Math:

We have continuing Topic 4, which deals with addition and subtraction facts to 12. In this topic, we are exploring: adding 0, 1, 2; doubles; near doubles; facts with 5 on a ten-frame; making 10 on a ten-frame; subtracting with 0, 1, 2; thinking addition; thinking addition to 8 to subtract; thinking addition to 12 to subtract; and drawing a picture and writing a number sentence. Check out the videos and practice problems on Brainpop Jr and the other math websites under our class links.

Social Studies:

We will continue to explore map and globe skills, using a map, and learn about types of bodies of water and land forms.

Science:

We are learning about the growth cycle of pumpkins this week. We will discuss how the gourd changes during it’s growth cycle.

*Class Needs: Treasure Chest Items and an Electric Pencil Sharpener

Have an amazing week!


October 3-7 Newsletter  

Parents,                                                                                                  

I can hardly believe that it is already October! We are nearing the end of the first nine weeks of first grade. I am sending a sign-up sheet this week for Report Card conferences, which will be held on October 24 from 12:00-7:00. Students will not come on that day. Parents will meet with me at the chosen time to discuss student progress and receive report cards. There’s so much happening in the month of October! Please make a note of the deadlines and dates for October this month, so as not to miss anything. This week: Our food drive begins Monday, October 3-7th. Please see the note that was sent home on Friday for more specific information. On Tuesday, our total attendance will be recorded/reported. It’s important that your child is here to be counted. Decisions about our school are made using this information. Tuesday is also Spirit Night at Dairy Queen. 10% of the sales will go to our school from that night. Your help would be greatly appreciated. Wednesday is Annual Walk to School Day. Students and parents who would like to participate may meet at the McQueen Smith YMCA Branch between 7:00-7:45. Also on that day, we will have lunch visitors from our Prattville Fire Department. On Thursday, there will be a Time Management Workshop for parents at 10:00 at the school. On Friday, students may bring $3 for Frios Friday. Whew!! I know that’s a lot of information, but this is a busy time of year for us. Lastly, useful tools for topics we explore in our curriculum are Brainpop Jr., Starfall.com and the waltkek website for first grade. Just check the “links” section of our class webpage on dpeseagles.com. Let's see what's on our curriculum agenda for this week!

Reading:

We are on the 5th story in Unit 1: "Get the Egg!" This week, we will explore the question: "Which wild animals live in our neighborhoods?" In exploring this story, my goal is to make sure that the children understand that all kinds of animals live in our neighborhood and that neighborhood animals need different kinds of food and shelter. Our amazing words are: habitat, survive, croak, hatch, chirp and moist. Our high frequency words are saw, tree, small and your. Our phonics skills this week include the short e sound and initial consonant blends. Our spelling words which have the short e sound are: men, ten, jet, bed, red, net, sled, step, leg and wet. In comprehension, the focus is "main idea and details" using the strategy "story structure". Please see the waltkek website (in the links section of our webpage), to review and practice the skills for the week. I find it a very useful tool for the children in class. We will take our grammar and spelling and story tests on Friday, October 7th.

Math:

We have begun Topic 4, which deals with addition and subtraction facts to 12. In this topic, we will explore: adding 0, 1, 2; doubles; near doubles; facts with 5 on a ten-frame; making 10 on a ten-frame; subtracting with 0, 1, 2; thinking addition; thinking addition to 8 to subtract; thinking addition to 12 to subtract; and drawing a picture and writing a number sentence. Check out the videos and practice problems on Brainpop Jr and the other math websites under our class links.

Social Studies:

We will continue a mini-unit on Maps and Globes. During this unit, we will explore map and globe skills, using a map, and learn about types of bodies of water and land forms. We will actually learn the locations of the continents and the oceans in this unit.   We will also be exploring facts about Christopher Columbus. Again, Brainpop Jr. is an excellent source to review skills learned in the classroom. The username is "dpes123" and the login is "eagles". I invite you to check it out and provide your feedback!

*Class Needs: Treasure Chest Items and an Electric Pencil Sharpener

Have an awesome week!


September 26-30th Newsletter  

 

Parents,

This week will be another great week of learning! Thank you for sending in Boxtops for the class. We will have another turn in date later, so keep collecting them. As a reminder, the Pumpkin Patch field trip money and permission slips are due by 8:00 in the class on Friday, September 30th. No money will be received in the office on or after that date. We will begin a unit on the life cycle of pumpkins next week and this is our culminating activity. Also, we will take our Topic 3 Test on Wednesday. Study guides will come home on Monday. As before, please send the study guide back on the day of the test to receive extra credit. We have a lot to explore and do so let's see what's on our curriculum agenda for the week of September 28th-30th.

Reading:

We are on the fourth story in Unit 1: "A Fox and a Kit". We will focus on "Main Idea and Details" in comprehension using the strategy "Important Ideas". Our amazing words are native, million, canopy, parent, reserve, screech, wild and observe. Our high frequency words are eat, her, five, this, four and too. Our phonics skills are inflected endings –s and –ing. Our spelling words which use inflected -s are: sit, sits, win, wins, fit, fits, hit, hits, nap and naps. Our grammar skill for the week is "Declarative Sentences". Homework packets will be due on Friday, September 30th. We will take our Story, Spelling and Grammar tests on Friday.

Math:

We are finishing up Topic 3 on Tuesday, which deals with five and ten relationships. In this topic, we have explored representing numbers on a ten-frame, recognizing numbers on a ten-frame, parts of 10, finding missing parts of 10 and problem solving: making a table. We will take our Topic 3 Test on Wednesday.

Social Studies:

We will begin a mini-unit on Maps and Globes. During this unit, we will explore map and globe skills, using a map, and learn about types of bodies of water and land forms. We will actually learn the locations of the continents and the oceans in this unit. Again, Brainpop Jr. is an excellent source to review skills learned in the classroom

Science:

We will do a mini-unit on animals and their offspring. This unit goes right along with our reading story for the week “A Fox and a Kit”. We will explore similarities and differences between the parent and their offspring. Students will work in groups to research and record information on an animal. They will choose from both wild and domesticated animals. Each group will be given guidelines to follow for completion of the in-class project. They will then compile their information into a presentation for the other students. They will receive a grade based on participation, completion of the project and presentation of the information.

Have a wonderful week!


September 19-23 Newsletter  

Dear Parents,

We have an apple of a time this week! A huge thank you to those said that they would send items this week. So far, we have juice boxes for Friday, and apples for the applesauce. We are however, still in need. We would like to have a sample of various varieties of apples for Tuesday; a big bag of apples for math and science activities for Thursday; and some items made from apples to sample for Friday. Our schedule will go as follows: Tuesday: Tasting different varieties of apples. Wednesday: Making applesauce; Thursday: Apple math and science activities; Friday – Apple Tasting for snack. We will sample various food/drink items made from apples. In the middle of all of this, Picture Day is Tuesday, September 20th for the yearbook. All students will have their pictures made on that day, so please prepare for picture day! Let's see what's on our curriculum agenda for the week of September 19-23.

Reading:

We are on the third story in Unit 1: "The Big Blue Ox". We will focus on "character and setting" in comprehension using the strategy "visualize". Our amazing words are past, produce, danger, snuggle, powerful, present, transportation, serve and enormous. Our high frequency words are blue, help, from, little, get and use. Our phonics skills are -s; consonant s/z/; and short o/o/. Our spelling words which use the short o sound are: hot, pop, mop, mom, hop, ox, got, pot, lock and rock. Our grammar skill for the week is "predicates". Homework packets will be due on Friday, September 23rd. Please make sure that your child is completing and turning in their homework on the due date. We will take our Story, Grammar and Spelling Tests on Friday.

Math:

We will begin Topic 3 this week, which deals with five and ten relationships. In this topic, we will explore representing numbers on a ten-frame, recognizing numbers on a ten-frame, parts of 10, finding missing parts of 10 and problem solving: making a table. Check out Brainpop Jr. for videos on addition and subtraction and making a ten. Our log in name is dpes123 and our password is eagles.

Science/Social Studies:

We will begin our studies of the growth cycle of an apple tree, apples, and Johnny Appleseed. We will have our “Applefest’ activities throughout the week and wrap up this unit on Friday.

Have an awesome week!

Mrs. S. Johnson


September 12-16 Newsletter  

Parents,

This week will be busy! Please continue to support our coupon fundraiser. A percentage of sales will go directly back into that student’s classroom to purchase much needed technology. Our class is desperately in need of a Document Camera. They cost around $200-$250. I would love to be able to raise enough funds to purchase one to use with my students this year. This piece of technology would greatly benefit students daily, as we go through our lessons. Any help that you can provide to help us reach our goal would be very welcomed. Every student that sells 5 books will be allowed to attend the bowling party. Selling 10 books will allow students to attend the bowling party for free. For families with multiple children who attend DPES, if 5 books are sold, each family member that attends DPES will get to attend the bowling party. Likewise, if 10 books are sold, they will attend free. Once again, thank you for your help!   Also as a heads up, on September 26-30, we will have “Applefest Week”. I am asking for volunteers to send items in during that week. If would be willing to help out, please send a note, email or text as soon as possible, so that I can continue with plans. In order to do this, I am going to need some items sent on certain days. Our applefest needs are: apples (sliced into wedges for tasting) for that Tuesday), 1 gallon sized Ziploc bag with peeled, cored and chopped Granny Smith and Red Delicious apples – combined), for applesauce on that Wednesday, 1 big bag of apples (enough for 15 students) for that Thursday, and items made from apples, (enough for 15 students to taste) and juice boxes (15) for that Friday. Student's should not bring snack or snack money on that Friday as we will be sampling things made with and from apples Let's see what's in store in our curriculum this week!

Reading:

This week, we are on the story "Pig in a Wig". We will be working with the short vowel sound of i/i/ and the consonant x/ks/. Our spelling words, which have the short i sound are: six, wig, mix, fix, lip, it, sit, in, did and pin. We will take a spelling pre-test on Monday. Those who make a 100 are exempt from the test on Friday. The amazing words are: career, tool, sloppy, comfort, service, scrub, exercise and search. In comprehension, we will be exploring "plot" and using the strategy "summarize". In grammar, we will be learning about "subjects of sentences". We will review short a and final -ck. Our high frequency words for our story are she, take, up and what. Our selection word is play. We will take our spelling, grammar and story test on Friday.

Math:

We are finishing up Topic 2 which deals with Subtraction. We will continue to work on subtraction story problems, counting back and subtracting using a number line this week. The study guide will come home on Tuesday. We will take our Topic 2 test on Friday, September 16th.

Social Studies/Science:

We are continuing our studies on sound. We will do several experiments creating and manipulating sound. We will be recording our findings in our science journals and learning new vocabulary to describe sounds. We will wrap up this unit on Friday.

Have an awesome week!

Mrs. S. Johnson

 


September 5-9 Newsletter  

Parents,

What an exciting time to be in first grade! I hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day weekend! We are really picking up the pace in first grade! Students are adjusting well to procedures for the classroom and the school.  I am extending a warm welcome to any Grandparents that would like to come to eat lunch with their grandchild this week, in honor of Grandparent's Day.  Our lunch is scheduled from 11:19-11:42.  You can just meet us at the entrance of the lunchroom during this time.  Our lunch table is the 2nd table from the entrance of the lunchroom.  Also, we are continuing with our Performance Series testing for math in the computer lab this week.  A huge thank you for all who have already sent in Boxtops.  Our first big turn in date is September 23rd. We will use the money received from the Boxtops to purchase classroom supplies.  Also, as a reminder, you may donate money to our classroom account at any time during the school year for class purchases. Thank you for your help!  Let's see what we have scheduled for this week!

Reading:

We have spent the first few weeks reviewing kindergarten skills, but will take off with more first grade skills in reading this week.  We are beginning Unit 1 this week with the story "Sam, Come Back!"  The new spelling/high frequency word list will be placed in the binder on Tuesday.  Please do not remove the list from the bear notebook as we will use it every day to practice.  We will focus on Character and Setting in Comprehension.  Our phonics practice will include short a and -ck.  Our spelling words are can, dad, mad, at, cat, am, ran, back, bat and sack.  Our high frequency words are come, in, on, way and my.  In grammar, we will learn about "sentences".  Our amazing words are needs, responsibility, shelter, cuddle, tickle, faithful, fetch and heel.  We will have our story, grammar and spelling test on Friday. Homework is listed on the behavior calendar in your child's bear notebook.  Stapled reading homework for the week is located in the page protector in the bear notebook.  The packet is due on Friday, September 9th.  Students should not turn in homework before Friday, as they will need it to continue to practice for their tests. 

Math:

We are continuing with Topic 2 which deals with subtraction.  We will continue to work on stories about taking away; stories about comparing; stories about missing parts, subtraction stories and connecting addition and subtraction. Please continue to review math flyers that come home daily in their math folder.  You can find subtraction pages for more practice on the first grade skills website under the links section on my webpage. 

Science:

We will continue exploring types of energy. Last week, we explored light energy. This week, we will explore sound. The children will explore the many ways it is produced. Vocabulary words to look for this week around the dinner table are vibrations, waves, and pitch.  

 

*Classroom need - We are in need of hp 61 black ink cartridge. 

 

Have a wonderful week!

Mrs. S. Johnson


August 29 - September 2 Newsletter  

Parents,

Wow! What a week we’ve had! It’s been chock full of learning activities!  This week, students will take the DIBELS assessment. Our day will be Tuesday morning. Students will be assessed on letter and sound recognition, and how well they segment words into the smaller sounds, i.e., /c/ /a/ /t/. Also, please continue to send in Boxtops and small prizes for the treasure chest. Here's the curriculum agenda for the week of August 29-September 2:

Reading:

We are finishing up on the Kindergarten Review Unit. We have two stories this week, “School Days” and “Farmers Market”. Our high frequency words for this week includes the words: for, me, go, where and here. Our Amazing words are: bargain, bursting, fact, customer, browse, library, cost and scale. The phonics skills include the sounds short u and consonants v/v/, y/y/, z, zz/z/, q, qu/kw/. Our comprehension skill focus is realism and fantasy using the strategy “background knowledge”. In grammar, the focus is “sentences". In Handwriting, we will work on the letters v, y, z, q and u.

Math:

We have now finished Topic 1. Students did really well on the test! Thanks so much for your help in reviewing the skills we worked on in class. We are beginning Topic 2 which will focus on finding missing parts of 6, 7, 8 and 9; introducing subtraction expressions and number sentences; stories about taking away; stories about comparing; stories about missing parts; subtraction stories; connecting addition and subtraction; connecting models and symbols and acting out subtraction stories. Again, you may review the skill for the day by looking at your child's math flyer in their math folder.

Social Studies/Science:

This week, we will finish our "All About Me" unit by reciting our personal information. Due to a last minute schedule change, we didn’t get to recite on Friday. However, I will test the students on their personal information this week. We will finish our mini-unit on the five senses with “Helen Keller”. We will then begin our study on Energy. During this unit, we will do several hands-on science inquiries and record our findings in our science journals. This week, we will explore light energy and observe how light passes through certain materials and is blocked by other materials. Terms to look for in discussion around the dinner table are opaque, shadows and transparent.

Have a terrific week!

 

Mrs. S. Johnson


August 22-26th Newsletter  

Parents,

We are really settling into our routine here at DPES in First Grade! We have been working really hard at learning the rules and procedures. We are working on the procedures for inclement weather, fire drills and lock-down. We, at DPES, want our children to be prepared and know what to do in the case of an emergency situation. Further, if you have not signed up for NOTIFY ME on the dpeseagles.com website, please take a moment today to enroll. You can receive updates from the school in the case of changes in our schedule, routine, or in the case of emergencies. Here's the curriculum agenda for the week of August 22-26.

Reading:

We are continuing to work on the Kindergarten Review Unit. We have two stories again this week. Our stories for the week are “Tip and Tam” and "The Big Top". Our high frequency words for this week includes the words: do, yellow, look, you, are, have and that. Our Amazing words are: active, pavement, puddle, overflowing, lawn newspaper, banner, patio, amusing, corner, neighbor, introduce, trouble, deliver, porch and squirrel. The phonics skills include the sounds short i and short o, f, ff/f/, b/b/, g/g/, d/d/, l/l/ and h/h. Our comprehension skill focus is literary elements. In grammar, the focus is “verbs in sentences". In Handwriting we will work on the letters Ii, Oo, Ff, Bb, Gg, and Dd. We will test on “The Big Top” on Friday.

Math:

We will continue to work on addition in math this week. We will finish up Topic 1. In this topic, we have explored the following: spatial patterns for numbers to 10, making 6 and 7, making 8, making 9, introducing addition expressions and number sentences. This week, we will focus on stories about joining, adding in any order and using objects. You may review the skill for the day by looking at your child's math flyer in their math folder. We will have our test on Friday, August 26th. I will send a study guide home on Tuesday, August 23rd.

Social Studies:

This week, we will continue an "All About Me" unit. We are exploring similarities and differences in the individual and family. We are completing an "All About Me" booklet in class that will be taken for a major grade in Social Studies.

Science:

We are completing a “Five Senses Unit” this week. We will explore how we use our senses to learn about the world all around us. We will also include a mini-study on “Helen Keller” as a part of this unit.

FYI:

Again, please send in boxtops throughout this year as often as possible to assist in getting much needed materials in class.

Have a terrific week!

Mrs. S. Johnson


August 15-19 Newsletter  

Parents,

It's been an awesome first week of school! Here's the curriculum agenda for the week of August 15-19th:

Reading:

We are working on a Kindergarten Review Unit. Our story for the week is "Sam!" Our high frequency words for this week includes the words: a, see, green and I. Our Amazing words are: furniture, unwind, middle, yawn, tidy, cozy and straw. The phonics skills include the sounds /a/, /m/, /s/, and /t/. Our comprehension skill focus is "character" using the strategy "questioning". In writing, we are focusing on "nouns in sentences". In grammar, the focus is "nouns for people, animals and things". In phonemic Awareness we will work on initial, medial and final phonemes, rhyming words and segmenting and blending phonemes. In Handwriting we will work on the letters a, m, t, a and s, and letter size.

Math:

We will work on addition in math this week. We will begin Topic 1. In this topic, we will explore the following: spatial patterns for numbers to 10, making 6 and 7, making 8, making 9, introducing addition expressions and number sentences, stories about joining, adding in any order and using objects. You may review the skill for the day by looking at your child's math flyer in their math folder.

Social Studies:

This week, we will begin an "All About Me" unit. We will explore similarities and differences in the individual and family. We will complete an "All About Me" booklet in class that will be taken for a major grade in Social Studies.

FYI:

Just a few reminders. Please send all money labeled with your child's name and the purpose in an envelope or ziploc bag. In a 1st grade classroom, it can be a bit confusing to keep up with "loose money". Also, we participate in the boxtops for education program at DPES and I would like to continue to use this tool to get needed supplies and materials for our classroom. If you can send in boxtops, please do so throughout this year as often as possible to assist.

 

Have a wonderful week!

 

Mrs. S. Johnson


August 11-19 Reminders  

DPES Friendly Reminders:

 

ARRIVAL:

Doors open daily at 7:15

 

· Beginning Monday, August 15, we will require students to walk themselves to class. If parents have business to handle within the school, you must enter the FRONT DOORS only, sign in at the front office, and receive a visitor pass.

 

· Park in parking lots onlyParking along the front loop is NOT ALLOWED and poses a major safety issue for our students. PLEASE USE CROSSWALKS.

 

· Carpool will open at 7:15 on both loops. Do not leave children unattended.  The back loop is a drop off ONLY and not open in the afternoon. Do not park along the back loop drop off area. The back loop off of McQueen Smith closes at 7:45 AM and the Jay Street entrance closes at 7:55 AM. Have children exit the vehicle from the passenger side.  Disable the child locks.  Do not pass other vehicles while in line.  Move all the way down to the white line in order to allow more students to unload at same time.  Please refrain from using cell phones while in carpool lines.

 

DISMISSAL:

 

· Please be patient with dismissal. Safety is the top priority. If you call the school in the afternoon, it could be difficult to get an answer. As the children develop routines, time frames will improve.

 

· If picking up through carpool, please write your child’s name AND grade on a paper plate/piece of large paper in BLACK ink and place in front windshield area.

 

· NO WALKING UP TO GET YOUR CHILD FROM THE CARPOOL AREA. We will not allow anyone to walk up and get their child; you must come through in the lane of traffic in your vehicle.  Do not pass others vehicles.  Pull to the assigned color and place your car in park.  No cell phone use while in carpool.  Children need to load in the passenger side only.

 

  • The front parking lot is not a drop off or pick up area.  Walkers ARE NOT ALLOWED TO WALK INTO THE PARKING LOT AREA. 

  • Check outs end at 2:40 PM

 

OTHER INFORMATION:

 

· Send back all completed paperwork and supplies.

 

· Parents are allowed to have lunch with their children.  Please be mindful this is not a time for parent/teacher conferences.  Please respect that this is also the teachers’ lunch period.  If you will be staying for more than one lunch period it required for you to wait in the front office or in the lunchroom between lunch periods.

 

 

 

 

 

· Students are required to wear TENNIS shoes during PE. They are allowed to change before they begin PE. Refer to the DPES dress code and PE procedures/policies under student handbook. No flip flops or slides.

 

  • Hot breakfast will be served until 7:50.  Breakfast will be “grab and go” after 7:50. No breakfast served after 8:00. 

  • Sign up for Notify Me through www.dpeseagles.com and follow us on Facebook for quick updates.


May 16-20 Newsletter  

Dear Parents,

There is such a busy week ahead! We will have Field Day on Friday, May 20th. Early bird wristbands will be distributed on Friday morning.  I recommend that each student have a labeled day sack (a vinyl tote that can worn on the back) to keep up with items throughout the day such as shoes, sunglasses, hats, or items bought during field day. Thanks in advance for your help! On Thursday, May 19th, we will have our YMCA End of the Year Swim Party. We will walk down to the Y in the morning and return in the afternoon. Students can have their swim suit/trunks under their clothes and will change back into dry clothing after swimming.  Pleases make sure that EVERYTHING IS LABELED.  If you have volunteered to chaperone, you can meet us at the Y at 9:00. I will have a check-out sheet with me, in case you wish to check your child out after the party.

Reading;

In reading, we will be working on fluency and comprehension. We will not be taking a spelling, grammar or story test. We will continue to review first grade skills and introduce beginning of the year 2nd grade skills.

Math:

In math, after our test on Topic 15, we will begin Topic 16 which deals with fractions. It is a short and easy topic, so we are going through lessons quickly. We will learn about making equal parts and describing equal parts of whole objects. We will be making halves and fourths of rectangles and circles and drawing a picture to represent a specific fraction this week. We will not be testing this topic. Upon completion, we will then work on beginning of the year 2nd grade math skills. There is also a Brainpop jr. video on fractions that you should check out this week!   

Science:

We will be doing an “Under the Sea/Beach” theme next week. I will be sharing with the students some pics from my trip to Hawaii as we explore the ocean and prepare for summer! We will do several art activities and mini-group projects as we explore this unit!

Have an awesome week!

Mrs. S. Johnson


May 9-13 Newsletter  

Parents,

Another busy week is in sight! We have 13 full days left in this school year. We have many activities coming up during those days, so here are a few reminders. Our end of the year YMCA field trip is May 19th and the following day is Field Day on May 20th. Students should purchase wristbands for field day through this week, only if desired. Early bird wristbands will be distributed on Friday, May 20th. The cost is $5 per wristband which includes 10 tickets. There will be a water slide, so students will get wet and possibly muddy on field day. Students can wear their swimsuit under their clothes to school. Girls, can wear a swim top but must wear shorts on the bottom. Boys can wear their swim trunks with a t-shirt. However, again, please be advised that they will get wet and muddy and will need an extra set to change into to come home. I recommend that each student have a labeled daysack (a vinyl tote that can worn on the back) to keep up with items throughout the day such as extra clothing, a towel to dry off, shoes, sunglasses, hats, or items bought during field day. Thanks in advance for your help! On Thursday, May 19th, we will have our YMCA End of the Year Swim Party. We will walk down to the Y in the morning and return in the afternoon. If you have volunteered to chaperone, you can meet us at the Y. I will have a check-out sheet with me, in case you wish to check your child out after the party. Last, but not least, a huge “Thank You!!!!” to all of you for the wonderful gifts, cards and letters for Teacher Appreciation Week! It was a tremendous blessing to me!! Again, thank you!!!

In Reading, we are on the last story in Book 5, Stone Garden. We will be taking our final story, grammar and spelling test this week. We will NOT be taking the Unit 5 test. This week our comprehension skill is “Theme” using the strategy “inferring”. Our amazing words are accomplish, original, (un)manned, exclaim, doubt, glider and soar. Our high frequency words are answered, different, carry and poor. Our spelling words which have the prefixes “un” and “re” are unhappy, undo, undress, rewind, refill, repay, refill, untie, unkind and reopen. The phonics focus this week is long o and long I and prefixes “un” and “re”. Our grammar skill is “conventions” such as prepositions and prepositional phrases. Again, our final tests will be this Friday.

In math, we will continue with Topic 15 which deals with geometry. The students have learned about plane and solid shapes and problem solving using various shapes. The Topic 15 Test will be on Monday, May 16th.

In Social Studies, we will begin a unit on the life and legacy of Alabama native Helen Keller. They were shocked as I gave them a heads-up that Alexander Graham Bell, was one of her teachers! We will also, have a visit from a Braille Transcriptionist who works at the school and will share her job with the children.

 

Have a wonderful week!

Mrs. S. Johnson


May 2-6 Newsletter  

Parents,

Once again, we are in for a busy week. We are officially finished with the Performance Series and will have results for the DIBELS assessment soon. Can you believe that we are winding down our First Grade year already? The time has flown by! This week is Teacher Appreciation week and I must say that I have enjoyed being your child’s teacher. It has been a great year! We’ve grown a lot and have so much more to learn before it all ends in a few weeks. Just a few things to remember for the week. This is also Career Week. On Monday, students should dress up as their favorite career choice. On Tuesday, we will go to the Career Fair in the YMCA gym to learn about career choices. On Friday, all mothers/grandmothers have been invited to attend the celebration at 12:30 in the classroom. You should have sent the form back by now letting me know if your child will have someone to attend. If not, and you do plan to attend, please let me know as soon as possible. I am in need of help from any dads or grandfathers that would like to assist on Friday, May 6th for our Mothers/Grandmothers Celebration. If you can help, please contact me as soon as possible. Also, students who have paid to decorate a Publix Mother’s Day cake will do so on Thursday. It will come home on the same day. It’s another busy time in First Grade. Let’s see what’s in store for the week.

Reading:

In Reading, we are on the 5th story in Unit 5; “Alexander Graham Bell”, which coincides with our Science unit for the week. In phonics we will explore vowel digraphs and diphthongs as well as the vowel sound in “ball”. Our high frequency words are built, science, early, through and learn. Our amazing words are determined, technology, stalled, sketch, inventor, stable, biplane and speech. Our spelling words contain diphthongs aw: saw, draw, crawl, straw, law, jaw, paw, lawn, yawn, hawk, through and science. In writing, we will focus on sentences. This week in fluency we will focus on expression and intonation. Our grammar skill for the week is adverbs. Our comprehension skill focus is “sequence” using the strategy, “text structure”. We will have our story test, grammar test, and spelling test on Friday.

Math:

In Math, we have finished with Topic 14 and will take the test on Monday, May 2nd. We will then begin Topic 15, which deals with solid and plane shapes.   We will be identifying plane shapes and solid figures, making an organized list, learning about properties of plane shapes, building with shapes, making new shapes from shapes, learning about flat surfaces and vertices, sorting solid shapes, building with solid figures, and using reasoning to problem solve with shapes.  There are a couple of Brain Pop Jr. videos on this topic.  Check them out this week!

FYI: Dates to remember:

5/2 Teacher Appreciation Week begins/Field Day Wristbands go on sale $5

5/3 Career Fair YMCA/Deadline for Field Trip $

5/5 Decorate Publix Cakes

5/6 Grandmothers/Mothers Celebration 12:30/Submit Boxtops

5/10 2016-2017 upcoming 1st Grade Orientation 6:00

5/13 Last day to purchase Field Day Wristbands $5

5/19 YMCA Field Trip

5/20 Field Day 1-3 Grades

5/25 Last full day of school/Awards Day 9:30/submit envelopes if you want report card mailed

5/26 Out of school – Teacher Inservice

5/27 Last Day of School/Report Cards ½ day

Thanks and have an awesome week!

Mrs. S. Johnson

                                                                                           


April 25-29 Newsletter  

Dear Parents,

We have such a busy week ahead!  Last week, the children enjoyed a Character Ed magic show.  It was simply spectacular!  We learned a lot about respecting others, using our manners, helping others and getting along.  We will keep rolling with even more activities this week as we wind down our year.  The "Race to DIBELS Next" has been postponed until Tuesday, April 26th, to allow students who forgot to return their packet one more opportunity to participate.  Those who return their completed/signed fluency packets will participate in the race at 1:30 p.m.  We will also begin taking the Performance Series assessment this week along with doing DIBELS on Thursday. Students have been preparing all year for these final assessments. Further, the final day to pay for the YMCA field trip is Monday, May 2nd.  Finally, the DPES Eagle Idol Talent Show will be held on Thursday, April 28th, at 5:00 for 1st-3rd and 7:00 for 4th-6th grades.  It promises to be an exciting week!  Thank you again for your hard work and dedication in this partnership of teaching your child.  

Reading:

We will only do the last 3 stories in Book 5. We will learn the skills and high frequency words for all stories in the unit, but will only be tested and focus on the last 3. This week, we are on the story "Simple Machines". Our question of the week is "How can a great idea make our lives easier?" Our skills for the week are oi/oy, er/or in phonics and the spelling words which use the oi/oy sound are: oil, point, coin, join, soil, boy, oink, voice, boil, toy and include against and heavy. Our high frequency words are against, kinds, goes, today and heavy. Our story vocabulary words are machines, vacuum, pulley, inclined planes, surface, axles and lawn mower. The grammar skill for the week is pronouns. Our amazing words are gadget, convenient, pilot, cellar, equipment, engine, steer and furnace. Our comprehension skill is main idea and details using the strategy "summarize". We will take our story, grammar and spelling test on Friday.

Math:

We are continuing with Topic 14 on Graphs. We will continue to learn about using data and the various kinds of graphs. We will take our Topic 14 test on Monday, May 2nd.

Science:

This week, our Science lessons go along with our story in Reading. We will be learning all about Simple Machines. The watlkek website and Brainpop Jr. has videos/activities/games that help students with learning about simple machines. We are using these websites in class as well.

 

Have a great week!

 

Mrs. S. Johnson


April 18-22 Newsletter  

Mrs. Johnson’s Newsletter

April 18-22

We are nearing the end of First Grade and we are really moving!  We have learned so much this year and the progress in all subjects have been phenomenal.  Let's keep the momentum going in all subject areas.  I realize activities that take place during this time of year, such as baseball, soccer, recitals etc. can really leave little time for studying, but I encourage you, as I have all of the students, that school work should continue to take priority in order to keep building on this First Grade foundation.  We are almost done with the school year, but there's still a great deal of growth that can take place.  We have begun some end of the year tests to assess growth in reading and math and will continue to assess in these areas.  The students experience much success when they consistently work on weaker areas.  If I can do anything more to help you as you continue to work with your child at home, please let me know as soon as possible.  This has been an awesome team effort and I would like to continue to be of service to you throughout the summer. 

Reading:

This is a review week for reading. Please practice all Unit 4 High Frequency Words and skills for the Unit test. We will begin taking the test on Thursday and will continue through Friday if needed. I’m sending home a Unit 4 review packet that doesn’t need to be returned. Hopefully, you will find it of use in helping your child prepare for the test. There is no other homework or tests this week.

Math:

We have finished a unit on time with Topic 13. We will take our test on Monday, April 18th. Then we will begin Topic 14 which deals with gathering data in the forms of picture graphs, bar graphs, tally tables, etc.  As always, continue to work on addition and subtraction fact fluency.  Each Friday we will have a 5 minute/50 problem fluency drill.  Again, flash cards are a great way to practice this skill as well as addition and subtraction fact games on the web.  Check out a few on our links page on dpeseagles.com. Also, Brainpop Jr. has videos for addition and subtraction as well as other math topics we have covered.

Social Studies/Science:

We are beginning a mini-unit on the "Water Cycle" and “Earth Day” this week. At the end of this unit, students should be able to tell you about evaporation, condensation and how clouds form and forms of precipitation as well as ways we use water every day and ways to conserve the natural water supply.  We will learn about how to take care of our planet through various activities to honor Earth Day on Friday, April 22nd.  Again, Brainpop Jr. has several videos and activities on the subject of caring for our Planet.  We will talk about ways to reduce, reuse and recycle materials to decrease the size of our carbon footprint.

Have a wonderful week!

Mrs. S. Johnson

Announcement Image for April 18-22 Newsletter

April 11-15 Newsletter  

Parents,

We will have a short week due to being out on Friday for the weather day. The students in 3-6 are still taking the ACT Aspire. First grade is gearing up for DIBELS and the Performance Series. On Monday, everyone will receive a reading passage packet. It’s called “The race to DIBELS Next!” Students will use the packets to build reading fluency before our next testing sessions at the end of the month. Time your child using the passages for one minute. Each word read correctly counts for one point. If your child misses a word deduct a point. Return the passages on April 25th. Each First Grade student returning a completed packet on that day will participate in a grade level reward. (Note: Please make sure the packet is signed before returning.) Practice WILL assist your child in becoming a more fluent reader. The next DIBELS benchmark in oral reading fluency is 47+ words per minute.

Reading:

We are on the last story in Unit 4, "Henry and Mudge and Mrs. Hopper's House".  After this week, we will review and take our Unit 4 test.  Please start now, going back through ALL unit 4 high frequency words to make sure that your child knows them fluently. Our skills for the week are: Phonics - "oo", and "-ly/-ful" endings; Spelling - "-ly/-ful" words slowly, useful, sadly, wonderful, careful, painful, gladly, quickly, playful, nicely and high frequency words because and across; grammar - adjectives that compare; amazing words - discover, dwell, resident, welcome, admire, sadness, substantial and tremendous; and high frequency words - across, only, told, because, opened, dance and shoes.  We will take our spelling, grammar and story test on this Thursday due to being out on Friday.

Math:

We are continuing with Time in Topic 13.  This week, we will work on "reading and using a schedule" in problem solving and reviewing telling and writing time to the hour and ½ hour.  Also, continue to work on addition and subtraction fact fluency.   Again, flash cards are a great way to practice this skill as well as addition and subtraction fact games on the web.  Check out a few on our links page. 

Science:

We will finish up the balance and motion unit this week and begin a unit on the water cycle. We will learn about the different forms of precipitation and how the water cycle works. It’s truly one of my favorite units! It promises to be an awesome unit of study!

FYI: Thank you to those who have sent in paper towels. In our classroom, we go through a roll in about a week if we cut them in half. If you haven’t had the opportunity to send some in, please consider doing so this week as we have 3 rolls left. Thank you in advance.  

Have a wonderful week!

Mrs. S. Johnson


April 4-8 Newsletter  

April 4-8

For the next few weeks there will be a lot of assessments going on throughout the school. Upper grade students will be taking the ACT Aspire for the next two weeks. Our class will be taking the Performance Series which assesses reading and math growth and DIBELS which assesses reading growth. I have encouraged students to read nightly and to review all high frequency words beginning with unit 1 words which can be found on the waltkek website which has a link on our class webpage. Also, each student should read their library books so that they will be ready for their AR quiz. I encourage them to get a new book as often as possible to increase their reading volume. It also increases their reading level as they practice with each book.  We are also assessing how well students are learning addition and subtraction facts. In the classroom , they can access the Math Facts in a Flash program which drills their skills daily. We’re almost finished with this school year and things may seem hectic for a while. I encourage parents and students alike to continue to stay consistent with homework and practice. It will all pay off soon. Also, we are in desperate need of paper towels and hand soap. Cold and Flu season has literally wiped us out. If you can send some to replenish, please do so. Thank you!!!

Reading:

This week, we are on the story, "Peter's Chair", which deals with outgrowing childhood items and sharing with siblings.  Our phonics skills this week are ew/ui and compound words.  Our spelling words are compound words.  They are: backpack, herself, lunchbox, brainstorm, outside, flashlight, suitcase, bluebird and inside.  Our high frequency words included on our test this week are picture and remember.  Our other high frequency words are stood, thought and room.  In comprehension, we will be exploring the story's "theme" using the strategy "story structure".  Our grammar skill continues with adjectives for how many.  The amazing words for this story are jealous, sibling, porridge, seriousness, relatives, secret, collector and flourish.  The grammar, spelling and story tests will be on Friday. 

Math:

We are finishing up Topic 12 with dealt with measuring with nonstandard units. We will take our Topic 12 Test on Wednesday. We will then beginning a unit on time with Topic 13.  This week, we will work on parts of the clock, hour and minute hands, time to the hour and time to the half-hour. For those who are ready, we will work on time to the minute.   Also, continue to work on addition and subtraction fact fluency.  Each Friday we will have a 3 minute/25 problem fluency drill.  Again, flash cards are a great way to practice this skill as well as addition and subtraction fact games on the web.  Check out a few on our links page on dpeseagles.com.

Science:

We will continue our science unit on balance and motion this week. We will have a blast exploring movement and balance and recording our findings in our science journals.

Have a wonderful week!

Mrs. S. Johnson


March 28-April 1 Newsletter  

Happy Spring!

I hope everyone had a restful and fun Spring Break!  We are in the final stretch of first grade. Report cards will come home on March 31st. This is also the day of the Magic Show from the fundraiser at 1:00 p.m. Also, honor roll students will be treated to a special breakfast on Friday. The upper grade students will take the ACT Aspire April 5th-8th. First Grade students will also begin Performance Series testing for math and reading soon. There's a lot to do until then, so let's see what's in store for this week!

Reading:

We are on the 4th Story in Unit 4 entitled "A Southern Ranch".  The phonics skills this week are consonant patterns kn and wr; and vowel digraphs ie/igh.  Our spelling words which use the long i sound spelled with ie/igh are lie, might, bright, tight, tie, right, light, high, night, pie, and high frequency words above and laugh.  Our high frequency words are above, moon, eight, touch and laugh.  Our comprehension skill is facts and details using the strategy "questioning". Our amazing words are impression, favorite, errand, familiar, memory and stampede.  We will take our Story, Grammar and Spelling test on Friday.

Math:

We are continuing in math with Topic 12 which deals with measurement.   We will work on comparing and ordering by lengths, using indirect measurement, using units to estimate and measure length, using reasoning and measuring using different units of measure in this Topic. We have already begun learning about nonstandard measurement and will be measuring using nonstandard units this week. We will then get into more traditional units of measure and learning how to correctly measure objects.

Science:

This week, we will begin our AMSTI Balance and Motion unit. We will learn about how objects move, i.e., spin, rotate etc. We will learn about balance. We will use hands-on experiments to explore balance and motion in this unit. There are several videos on Brainpop Jr. and Brainpop that will further enhance the unit. As a reminder, our username is “dpes123” and our password is “eagles”.

Have a wonderful week!

Mrs. S. Johnson


March 14-18 Newsletter  

Dear Parents,

We had an awesome time at Lanark. Thank you parents and chaperones for all of your help and support! If you have pictures from the trip, please email or send them to me in a text. I will be using them for an end of the year project. Further, we have just 4 days until Spring Break!  We are out on Friday and will not return until March 28th. It’s a short, but busy week. Let’s see what’s on the agenda for the week!!

Reading:

Our story for the week is "A Trip to Washington, D.C.  Our amazing words are: nation, tourist, splinter, harbor, symbol, abandon, sunken and statue.  High Frequency words are found, took, mouth, wild and once.  Our Phonics skill for the week is the long o sound spelled with oa and ow and three-letter consonant blends.  Our spelling words which have oa and ow are boat, row, coat, pillow, road, yellow, soap, snow, loaf and blow.  Our comprehension skill for the week is facts and details using the strategy important ideas.  Our grammar skill for the week is "adjectives for size".  We will take our Spelling, Story and Grammar tests on Thursday.  

Math:

We have finished Topic 11 and will test on Monday, March 14th. We will then begin Topic 12 which explores measurement.  We will work on comparing and ordering by lengths, using indirect measurement, using units to estimate and measure length, using reasoning and measuring using different units of measure in this Topic.

Science:

We will work on a unit involving weather and seasons until Spring Break. We will discuss changes in the weather that are common this time of year. We will also work on safety plans for the type of severe weather that is common during this time of year.

Social Studies:

This week, we will use our reading selection "A Trip to Washington, D.C." to explore what you might see and do on a trip to Washington, D.C.   We will discuss places and people of interest there.  I went this past summer, so I look forward to sharing info for this short mini-unit on our Nation's Capital.  If you have been and would like to share photos from your trip to enhance our unit, please send them in a labeled ziploc or envelope anytime during the week.

Have a wonderful week! 

Mrs. S. Johnson

Announcement Image for March 14-18 Newsletter

March 7-11 Newsletter  

Parents,

We had a blast this past week, celebrating Dr. Seuss and reading. The children really enjoyed the green smoothies. Thank you parents for all of your help and the birthday gifts and cards! We have a field trip to Lanark on Friday, March 11th. During the trip there will be nature hikes through the woods. Please make sure that your child is dressed accordingly.

Reading:

We are on week two with the story "Cinderella".  The high frequency words for the week are: colors, great, sign, draw, over, drew, and show.  The phonics skills for the week are "adding endings", and vowel digraph "ea".  The spelling words which use the long vowel of e spelled with "ea" are eat, team, treat, lean, sea, please, beach, each, dream, clean and the high frequency words tested this week are colors and sign.  The comprehension focus for the week is "theme" using the strategy "visualize".  The grammar skill is "adjectives for colors and shapes".  We will take our story, grammar and spelling tests on Thursday, due to our field trip on Friday!

                                                                      

Math:

We are making our way through topic 11 which deals with subtracting tens and ones.  I will send the study guide home on Tuesday. We will take our test on Monday, March 14th.  As always continue to work on addition and subtraction fluency at home.

Science:

This week, due to our field trip to Lanark, we will be reviewing the life in the forest unit. We will learn about the sights and sounds of the forest. On the waltkek website, in Unit 1, under the story “Life in the Forest”, there is a link for a virtual trip to the forest that can be used to prepare your child for what they will encounter on the Lanark trip.

                                                                        

FYI:

Please continue to send in Boxtops for Education. For each Boxtop, our class will receive 10 cents to purchase needed classroom supplies. Thanks in advance for your help!

Have a wonderful week!

S. Johnson

                                                          

Announcement Image for March 7-11 Newsletter

February 29-March Newsletter  

Happy Read Across America Week!

There are several activities planned for this week.  We will have guest readers, make Dr. Seuss rhyming words hats and do our 21st Century tribute to the book “Green Eggs and Ham”. We will be having “Green Smoothies and Bagels”. We will continue with many different Dr. Seuss activities and books for the remainder of the week.  For Tuesday, we will need a bag of plain bagels, strawberry cream cheese spread, and plates. Also, if you would like to send a Dr. Seuss book with your child, please make sure that their name is on it.  On Thursday night, don’t forget we will be having our school-wide 21st Century Read Across America Night at the school. You should have already received a flyer about the activities. Please join us for family fun! 

Reading:

We are on week 1 in Unit 4.  Our story for the week is "Mama’s Birthday Present”.  Skills for the week are: Comprehension - Drawing conclusions using the strategy "monitor and clarify"; Grammar - adjectives; Phonics - singular and plural possessives, vowel digraphs ai/ay; spelling words: way, day, gray, train, tail, may, mail, play, rain, afraid, about and would; high frequency words: about, surprise, enjoy, worry, give and would; and amazing words: celebrate, grateful, rarest, genuine, cherish, delicate and loot.  We will take our Spelling, Story and Grammar tests on Friday. 

Math:

We will take our Topic 10 test on Tuesday. Then, will begin Topic 11 which deals with subtracting tens and ones.  In this topic we will explore subtracting groups of 10, subtracting tens on a hundred chart, subtracting tens from two-digit numbers, using mental math to subtract tens, subtracting from a two-digit number and Problem solving using the strategy drawing a picture and writing a number sentence.  As always, keep practicing addition and subtraction fact fluency.  Flashcards are great!  There are several websites that practice fact fluency.  Check out our links section of our webpage for suggestions.

Social Studies/Science:

We will be learning about the life of Dr. Seuss this week and finishing up our nutrition unit in Science.

Have a wonderful week!

Mrs. S. Johnson


February 22-26 Newsletter  

Parents,

This week, February 22-26, will be our Book Swap collection week. We will be accepting books in preparation for the Read Across America Literacy Night on March 3rd from 5:30-7:00. Please donate gently used books from your home library. Students will receive tickets for each book sent in. These tickets can be exchanged for books at the book swap. Bring your family and enjoy a spaghetti dinner from 5:30-6:30 for $4 per person.

Reading:

This is a review week for Unit 3. We are going over all skills and high frequency words for book 3.  Please look back over the announcements from previous weeks to see the skills that were covered with each story.  Check the links section on our webpage for the waltkek first grade website to practice skills that were taught in book 3.  Please review all Unit 3 high frequency words daily as they will be on the Unit 3 test.  We will review Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Then we will begin our writing portion of the unit test.  We will begin part 1 of the Unit 3 test on Thursday and finish it on Friday if needed.  I am encouraging the children to read as much as possible to improve fluency.  Reading daily will further encourage those who are reluctant readers to become more fluent with their reading. I just want to encourage consistency in having that "daily reading time" outside of class time.  I'm convinced that "The more you read, the better you will read!"

Math:

We will continue with Topic 10. We are adding tens with mental math, adding to a two-digit number and problem-solving by drawing a picture and writing a number sentence.  I will send the "study guide" for Topic 10 home on Friday.  We will take the test on Monday, 2/29.  Also, continue to practice addition and subtraction fact fluency. 

Social Studies:

We will finish up our unit on Abraham Lincoln and George Washington this week.  We will continue learning facts about these former presidents.  We will do many activities to enhance our unit of study this week.  You can find videos on Washington and Lincoln on Brainpop Jr.   Check it out!

Science:

We are continuing our unit on "making healthy choices".  We will learn about food groups and nutrition this week.  On Friday, we will make Green Smoothies. I will need a large bag of frozen fruit, 1 bag each of fresh spinach and kale and small cups for each child (22). If you can send anything in, please send me a note/text by Tuesday. Thanks in advance for your help. We will be doing group projects on healthy food choices and making great choices for our bodies. It promises to be fun for all! You may also find videos on this topic on Brainpop Jr. under the health section. 

FYI:

Please continue to turn in boxtops for education.  Also, if have items that we could add to our treasure box such as pencils, novelty erasers, mini notepads, stamps, book marks, sticky notes, mini books, activity pads, pencil toppers, grippers, small stuffed animals, play doh etc., please send them to school in a bag/ziploc labeled "treasure box".  Lastly, if you would like to donate ink for our class printer, cartridges needed are #61 black and tri-color.  Thanks in advance for your help! 

Have an awesome week!

Mrs. Johnson


February 15-19 Newsletter  

Parents,

We are steadily moving along in First Grade. I’m sure you have noticed quite a change in pace this 2nd Semester. We are almost at the end of First Grade and there’s still so much more to learn!   Please continue to: read daily with your child and practice high frequency /sight words to help increase their reading fluency; review addition and subtraction facts with games or flashcards to enhance memory of the math facts; and lastly encourage more independence in your child. This is another super short, but busy week. Let’s see what’s in store!

Reading:

We are on the 6th story in book 3. The story for the week is called "Where Are My Animal Friends". In this story we will learn about what animals do in the winter. This will also spill over as a review in science on animals in winter. Our skills for the week include: high frequency words; before, does, right, oh, good-bye and won’t; phonics we’re using the consonant pattern –dge, and comparative endings er/est. Our words in spelling this week are using er/est; our spelling words are faster, fastest, taller, tallest, shorter, shortest, sadder, saddest, bigger and biggest. Our amazing words are: hibernate, temperature, freeze, weary, migrate, autumn and bitterly. In comprehension, we will focus on drawing conclusions with the strategy using background knowledge. In Grammar this week we will be learning about contractions with not. Due to it being a short week, we will not take the story, grammar, and spelling tests this week.

Math:

We will begin Topic 10 on Thursday, which deals with adding tens and ones.  Please continue to review the papers that are sent home daily. Also, as always continue to work on addition and subtraction fluency at home.

 

Science:

This week, we will continue to focus on healthy choices.  As a part of our healthy choices mini-unit. we will be learning about nutrition and how our bodies use food as fuel.  We will go through the food groups and explore how to make healthy choices during meals.  

 

Have a great week!

Mrs. S. Johnson


February 8-12 Newsletter  

Parents,                    

We have a busy, but great week ahead. On Wednesday, we will be going on the field trip to the Davis Theatre in Montgomery. We eat lunch at the school before we leave. Also, we will have our Valentine’s Day Party on Friday, February 12th at 1:00. We will need the following: chips, dip, fruit tray, valentines-themed cookies, plates, napkins and juice boxes. We have 22 students. If you can assist, please let me know. Also, on that day, each child that would like to participate can bring in Valentines cards to pass out

Reading:

We are on the 5th story in book 3. The story for the week is called "I'm a Caterpillar". In this story we will learn about the life cycle of the butterfly and the stages that it goes through during Metamorphosis. This will also spill over into a science mini-unit on the life cycle of the butterfly. Our skills for the week include: high frequency words; done, visit, know, wait and push; phonics and spelling this week will include contractions and r-controlled vowels er, ir, and ur; our spelling words are her, girl, shirt, sir, first, burn, fur, bird, were, hurt, visit and hurt. Our amazing words are: cycle, insect, flurries, fragile, develop, rearrange, emerge and vessel. In comprehension, we will focus on fact and opinion with the strategy text structure. In Grammar this week we will be learning about and using the verbs am, is, are, was, and were. Our story, grammar, and spelling tests for the week are on Friday.

Math:

We are finishing Topic 9 this week. We have been learning how to find 1 more, 1 less, 10 more and 10 less, comparing numbers using the symbols < less than, > greater than, and = equal to. We will continue with ordering numbers and making an organized list this week. Please daily, review papers/homework that should be in your child’s math folder. The study guide for this topic will come home on Tuesday. We will take the test on Thursday. Please review each question and refer to previous math papers that have come home from this topic to determine what your child should practice more. Also, there is a Brainpop Jr. video on comparing numbers that should be very helpful as a reviewing tool.

Social Studies:

We are working on a unit on Abraham Lincoln this week in Social Studies. If your child has a book or can find an article or facts about Abraham Lincoln, please feel free to allow them to share with their classmates. It’s always interesting to see and share the information the students have researched on their own in addition to what’s being taught in class.  

 

Science:

We are continuing a unit on healthy choices and dental health for the next two weeks. This week, we will talk about proper hand-washing and other techniques used in the prevention of spreading illness and how to maintain a healthy smile. There are several Brainpop Jr. videos that reinforce what we’re learning in class. Please allow your child to review them at home.

Have an awesome week!

S. Johnson


February 1-5 Newsletter  

Dear Parents,

We had a blast on the 100th day! We had many writing, reading, singing, art and math activities dealing with the number 100. It was great fun! Let’s see what’s in store for the week!

Reading:

We are still in unit 3 which deals with the question "What is changing in our World?" We will begin the story, "Frog and Toad Together". The skills for this story are; phonics: word ending –ed and r-controlled “ar”; spelling: -ed words – plan, planned, help, helped, drop, dropped, call, called, ask, asked, again, and soon; high frequency words – few, afraid, read, soon, how and again; amazing words - gardener, sprout, shade, destroy, nature, dim, sprinkling and humongous; grammar skill: verbs from the past and future; and the comprehension skill "author’s purpose" using the strategy "visualize”. We will take our story test, grammar test, and spelling test on Friday, February 5th.

Math:

This week we are starting topic 9 which deals with comparing and ordering numbers to 100. We will be exploring 1 more, 1 less; 10 more, 10 less; making numbers on a hundred chart, comparing numbers using greater than, less than and equal to symbols, ordering three numbers and making an organized list.   Also, please continue to review addition and subtraction facts.

Social Studies:

We will begin with a mini tribute to groundhogs on Tuesday, February 2nd as we celebrate Groundhogs Day. Next, we will begin a unit on Abraham Lincoln and will then go into a unit on George Washington. As always, if you have some materials from an internet search, books, magazines that will enhance our unit of study, please feel free to share.

Science:

We are also beginning a unit on Health. We will start with Dental health. Then, we will learn about making healthy choices for our bodies.

 

Have a wonderful week!

Mrs. S. Johnson


January 25-29th Newsletter  

                                                                        

Dear Parents,

We have such a busy week ahead! Tuesday is McAlister’s spirit night. We will be celebrating the 100th Day on Thursday of this week. Each student is encouraged to dress as they are 100 years or decorate a shirt to celebrate 100 days of learning. Each homeroom will vote to choose their favorite from both categories. These winners will be recognized during P.E. and one overall winner from the grade level will be chosen. The winner will be allowed to choose 3 friends to have a special pizza lunch with them on Friday with special seating in the lunchroom. I will be dressing up and look forward to seeing all of the children representing the number 100. It has been an awesome year so far and we’re over half way to the end of 1st grade. We will also have a balloon release. Students may purchase a balloon at school Thursday morning for $1.00. We will share a 100 piece snack on that day as well. We need the following: 1 large box Cheese Nips, 1 large bag of mini pretzels, 1 large bag of plain M&M’s, 1 large bag of (popped) popcorn, 1 large bag of min marshmallows, 1 large container of raisins, 1 box of Chex cereal, 1 large container of Goldfish crackers, 1 large bag of animal crackers and 1 large bag of teddy grahams. If you can send something, please let me know. Lastly, we also have several tests this week. Let’s see what’s ahead for the rest of the week.

Reading: We are now in unit 3 which deals with the question "What is changing in our World?"  On Monday, we will be starting the story, "The Class Pet".  The skills for this story are; phonics: r-controlled or, ore, ending -es, and plural -es; spelling: plural -es words - fix, fixes, class, classes, wish, wishes, kiss, kisses, bus and buses; high frequency words - away, house, very, car, our, friends and school; amazing words -features, natural, tumble, nibble, wriggle, mature, swoop, crumple and nudges; grammar skill: verbs that do not add an -s; and the comprehension skill "fact and opinion" using the strategy "monitor and clarify.  We will take our story test, grammar test, and spelling test on Friday, January 29th. 

Math: We are continuing with Topic 8, which deals with place value.  We are exploring using tens and ones in this topic.  We will take our Topic 8 test on Monday, February 1st. The study guide will come home on Wednesday. Please review the math pages that come home in your child's notebook daily.  We will continue with math fluency by taking timed math drills in addition and subtraction every Friday.  Please see the websites listed under the links section of our webpage for further practice with addition and subtraction and for other First Grade skills. 

Social Studies/Science: We are completing our Unit on the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The children have really participated and enjoyed the unit. I told them that they can visit the church Dr. King was over in Montgomery as well as see the Rosa Parks children’s museum in downtown Montgomery to learn even more. We will work on our “How our World changes in winter” mini-unit this week as well. We will be focusing on Penguins and winter animals this week. We will talk about hibernation and the process animals go through to prepare for cold weather survival. It promises to be a fun, but busy week!

FYI - You can still purchase your child's class picture for $10 through Wednesday morning.

- Also, Yearbooks are on sale through Feb. 29th for $35 each.

Thanks for all you do!

Mrs. S. Johnson

                                                        

Announcement Image for January 25-29th Newsletter

January 18-22 Newsletter  

 FYI: No School on Monday!  We are out for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day! Class Picture day is Thursday, January 21st.

Reading:

We are now in unit 3 which deals with the question "What is changing in our World?"  On Tuesday, we will be starting the story, "Ruby In Her Own Time".  The skills for this story are; phonics: compound words; consonant patterns ng, nk; spelling: ng/nk words – bring, bank, rink, sunk, trunk, sang, blank, pink, wing, rang, every and sure; high frequency words – any, every, were, enough, own, ever and sure; amazing words attempt, time line, flatter, lovely, event, famous, correct and common; grammar skill: verbs that add an -s; and the comprehension skill "compare and contrast" using the strategy "inferring”.  We will take our story test, grammar test, and spelling test on Friday, January 22nd.  I have been asked the question "How do I help my child read fluently?" many times.  Answer: To read fluently means to read words expressively and smoothly. Children who are not fluent read choppily and word-for-word. This can affect their comprehension, because they don’t remember what they have read by the time they reach the end of a sentence. Reading fluently is an important skill. To help your child learn to read fluently, one of the most important things you can do is to regularly read aloud to your child so that you’re modeling the type of reading you want your child to do. For example, if you’re changing your voice for different characters, your child will know that he or she needs to do the same. If a book that you’re reading has text features such as bold print, and you decide to read a bolded word loudly, you’re modeling that they, too, can do that while they’re reading. Another way to develop fluency is to have your child read a book over and over again. Children tend to become fluent readers after reading the same thing many times. They know when to pause, when to speed up, and when to slow down. As they listen to themselves read more and more fluently, this also helps to build their confidence. Make flashcards for high frequency words and place them in a Ziploc bag to be used by the child during “extra time”.  The more they practice, the more fluent they will become.  Children should read daily, either with an adult or older sibling to improve fluency.  The key is “practice, practice, practice”!

Math:

We will take our Topic 7 test on Tuesday, January 19th.  Then we will begin with Topic 8, which deals with place value.  We are exploring using tens and ones in this topic.  Please review the math pages that come home in your child's notebook daily.  We will continue with math fluency by taking timed math drills in addition and subtraction every Friday.  Please see the websites listed under the links section of our webpage for further practice with addition and subtraction and for other First Grade skills. 

Social Studies:

We are doing a unit on the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the month of January.  We will continue to incorporate literature, writing, art activities and technology with this unit. 

Have an awesome week!

Mrs. S. Johnson

Announcement Image for January 18-22 Newsletter

January 11-15 Newsletter  

                                                                                                                                                

Dear Parents,

Last week was a short, yet busy week. This week will be equally busy! Our writing assessment that was scheduled on our class calendar for the 20th of January has been moved to the morning of this Tuesday, January 12th. We will also have counseling on that day. We will be testing on Unit 2 in Reading beginning Wednesday. On Thursday, we will begin the Performance Series Assessment in Reading and Math. And finally on Friday we will have our Honor Roll Celebration. You should have received a copy of your child’s DIBELS results by now along with the Report Card from the 2nd nine weeks grading period. Hopefully, this gives you an idea of what we have to work on for the remainder of the year to reach all First Grade Benchmarks. Please continue to read with your child daily. In Reading, model the appropriate fluency each day and allow your child to practice words they don’t automatically know. The mid-year benchmark for oral reading fluency was 23 words. By the end of First Grade, all students should be reading the minimum of 47 words per minute and retelling at least half of what they read. For instance, if they are reading 40 words per minute, they should be able to retell what they have read in at least 20 words. I encourage you to let your child read at least 20 minutes per day. Research shows that students who read 20 minutes per day will be exposed to 1.8 million words in a year’s time. Researchers show that 20 minutes of reading a day guarantees that a student’s vocabulary will continue to expand. Further, there is a strong correlation between a child’s ability to read and their academic performance. Because so much of our schooling relies on our abilities to read, children must have strong reading skills to succeed and thrive in school. In writing, by now each student should be able to write a short paragraph in summary of a story or on a given topic with correct capitalization and punctuation. They should be applying the phonics skills in their spelling as well as the grammar skills that we have learned this year. Each sentence should be a “whole Idea”. If your child still struggles with doing this, please practice, practice, and practice even more! I encourage each of you to continue to press forward in working with your child. The benefits will be well worth the work! Thank you for all you do to make our year great!

Reading:

This week is a review week, so there are no spelling, grammar and story tests. We will be taking the Unit 2 Test this week. We will revisit skills and high frequency words from Unit 2. You can find all skills and high frequency word lists under the links section, (waltkek), of our webpage. We will begin our writing portion of the unit test on Wednesday and do Part 1 of the Unit 2 test on Thursday and finish up with part 2 by Friday.

Math:

We have begun Topic 7 which deals with counting and number patterns to 120. In this topic, we will be making and using numbers 11 to 19, counting by 10’s to 120, counting on a hundred chart, using skip counting and looking for number patterns to solve problems. Please review the math pages that come home in your child's notebook daily to reinforce these skills. We will also continue with math fluency by taking timed math drills in addition and subtraction every Friday. Again, please see the websites listed under the links section of our webpage for further practice with addition and subtraction and for other First Grade skills.

Science:

In Science, we are learning about how our World changes in winter. We will continue this unit and further it with mini-units on cold climate animals throughout the month. We are also beginning a unit on penguins. We will learn about the life cycle, habitat, and various types of penguins in this unit. We will explore this topic through, literature, art, music and a virtual field trip.

Social Studies:

We are beginning a unit on the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We will be incorporating literature, writing, art activities and technology with this unit.

Have a great week!

Mrs. S. Johnson


December 6-8 Newsletter  

Greetings:  

Happy New Year!!!! We are currently in the 2nd Semester of First Grade. The children have done an awesome job adjusting to the routine in school and keeping up with homework and all that has been required of them so far. We will kick it up a notch this semester. More independence will be expected from students in class work, study habits, homework and behavior. We have a busy, but short week.   Report cards will come home on Friday.

Reading

This week, we will begin the story “A Place to Play”. We will continue this story through next week. The concept question is “What is changing in our world?” The question of the week is “How do places change?” The amazing words are: growth, population, public, shuffle, teeter, crooked, makeshift and spindly. The phonics skills for the week are syllable pattern “cv” and “vowel sounds of y”. Our spelling words for this week are: by, try, sunny, handy, fly, cry, lucky, silly, puppy and my; with the addition of two of our high frequency words things and always. Each week, we will include 2 of our high frequency words on our spelling test for a total of 12 words tested each week. Our high frequency words are: always, everything, things, become, nothing, stays and day. The comprehension skill is “sequence”, which we will explore through the strategy “summarize”. The grammar skill for the week is action verbs. Students should view the short clip on Brainpop Jr. on verbs.

Math

We will begin topic 7. We are exploring numbers and patterns to 120 in this topic. Please continue to practice addition and subtraction facts.  We will be taking Math Fluency quizzes every Friday (3 minutes/25 problems) to assess and improve math facts fluency. 

Social Studies/Science

In January, we are doing a mini unit on snow/snowmen for fun as well as learning about changes that take place with a “new year”. Next week, we will begin working on a unit about Penguins. We will explore many facts about penguins and zone in on a few species of penguins. We will then begin a unit on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for the remainder of January.  

FYI: *Please continue to send in box tops for education. *We are also desperately in need of: Hp 61 black/color ink.

Have an awesome week!

Mrs. S. Johnson


Dec. 14-18 Newsletter  

Dear Parents,

 

‘Twas the week before Christmas and all through the school….the children were busy….it was totally cool! We are winding down the first semester in a blur! We will have Polar Express Day tomorrow. Each student should wear their pajamas. Our cool, snowmen shirts are done and ready to be worn for a class picture. We will change into them in the morning before having breakfast with the other first grade classes. After our breakfast and class picture, we will join in with another class and watch the movie “Polar Express”. Our class party will be Thursday at 1:00. Attached you should find your child’s cookie assignment for the cookie swap on Thursday. Parents you are welcome to attend the party at 1:00. On Friday, we will dismiss at 12:00. In the morning, they will go into the gym and watch a movie with the other students in the school.   Students will get to eat lunch before dismissal, but they don’t have to bring their Notebook to school on that day. We will return to school on Wednesday, January 6th. Let’s see what else is in store for the week!

Reading:

We are on our 6th and final story in Unit 2, “Honey Bees”. I will teach all skills for the story, but we will not have our story, grammar or spelling test this week, due to it being a short, but busy one! When we return in January, we will review and take our Unit 2 test. I encourage all students to take some time during the break to review skills and high frequency words in preparation for the test upon our return. You may go to the links section of our webpage and use the waltkek first grade reading websitefor further practice.

Math:

We have finished Topic 6 and after our test today will begin Topic 7. We will finish Topic 7 in January, which deals with Number patterns. Brainpop Jr. has an excellent number sense video with activities that will help with further practice for this topic.

Social Studies:

We are finishing up our Christmas Around the World Unit with a Cookie Swap on Thursday at 1:00. Please send cookies on Thursday morning so that we can prepare for the party.

 

Have an excellent week!

Mrs. S. Johnson


December 7-11 Newsletter  

Dear Parents,

We have another whirl-wind of a week! The First Grade music program will be Tuesday at 6:00 during the Parents as Partners meeting. Wednesday, the Prattville Junior High Band will come and render a concert for our students. Also, on Wednesday, we will be painting our long sleeve white snowmen shirts. We will wear them for Polar Express Day on December 15th with pajama bottoms. We will take the DIBELS assessment this Thursday morning. Lastly, we will start our Canned Food Drive in an effort to give back!  Each day, students should bring in the designated items: Macaroni Monday - (boxed pasta, ramen, mac and cheese); Tuna Tuesday - (canned meat, ravioli and Sphaghetios); Wonderful Wednesday - Peanut Butter; Thirst Quench Thursday - (juice boxes, Capri Sun); and Fruity Friday - (canned fruit, apple sauce and fruit pouches). Our schedule is very tight due to testing and other activities this week. (Whew!) With all of that going on, it promises to be a fun, but busy week! Let's see what's on our academic agenda for the week!

Reading:

We are on the 5th story in Unit 2 - "Life in the Forest". Our amazing words are environment, thrive, slimy, capture, require, inhale, sludge and creature. Our high frequency words are around, grow, find, under, food and water. Our spelling words which use the long u sound are: huge, tube, cute, mule, June, use, flute, rule, cube and rude. Our phonics skills are long u, long e and inflected -ed. Our comprehension skill is "Author's Purpose" and the strategy is "background knowledge". Our grammar skill "singular and plural nouns". Our skills can be reviewed on the websites in the links section and Brainpop jr. has a video on plural nouns. We will take our grammar, spelling and story test on Friday. Lastly, the reading homework packet for the week is due on Friday.

Math:

We will continue with Topic 6 which deals with Subtraction to 20. We will take our Topic 6 test on Monday, December 14th. Also, keep practicing addition and subtraction facts. The students are improving. We will continue to take timed tests to assess their fluency with them.

Social Studies:

We are continuing our “Christmas Around the World” unit. We will be learning about Christmas Traditions. We are also learning about traditions during Hanukah and Kwanzaa. During this unit, we will also continue to explore customs and traditions of other countries. We hope to cover the United States, Germany, South Korea, India, Mexico, England, China, Russia and several other countries/cultures. It is one of my favorite units of the year! We will end our unit on December 17th with an International Cookie Swap which will also be our Christmas Party. Each child will be assigned either a recipe or a specific cookie to bring in for the party. We will only have cookies and milk on that day. If you are interested in, or have a recipe/cookie that you would like to share, please let me know. Also, if you really like to bake and would like to take on 2 recipes, please let me know!

Science:

Our science lessons will coincide with our story for the week - "Life in the Forest". We will explore how plant and animal communities are important to each other during the week. We will go on a virtual field trip through the forest this week!

Have a wonderful week!

Mrs. S. Johnson                                      


November 30-December 4 Newsletter  

Dear Parents,  

 

I can hardly believe how quickly Fall is going! Our time in First Grade has really flown! We have learned a lot, but there's still so much more to learn. Also, we will be painting Christmas Shirts on Tuesday, December 8th. The students will need a plain long-sleeve white shirt for this project. We will wear them on our Polar Express Day for a class picture with Santa. As a heads up, they can be found at the Turtle Shell School Supply Store in Downtown Prattville. Also, we will take the DIBELS reading assessment on the morning of Thursday, December 10th. Phoneme Segmentation, Nonsense Word Fluency, Oral Reading Fluency and Retelling will be assessed. There's so much to do! Let's see what's on our academic agenda for the week!

Reading:

We are on story 4 in Unit 2. Our story is "The Big Circle". This story continues our study of communities; specifically animal communities and how they live and care for their young. Our high frequency words for the week are down, there, inside, together and now. Our phonics skills are contractions and long o. Our spelling words which contain the long o sound are home, woke, hose, stone, hope, those, joke, rose, bone and rode. Our amazing words are enemy, protect, holler, bluff, extinct, crater, swamp and boisterous. Our grammar skill is Proper Nouns: Days, Months and Holidays. Please use the links and websites that have been provided to practice our skills for the week. Homework is due on Friday, December 4th. We will also take our grammar, spelling and reading test on Friday.

Math:

We are starting Topic 6 this week. This topic explores Subtraction facts to 20. We will learn strategies such as making 10 subtract, using related facts, fact families, using addition to subtract, subtraction facts and the problem-solving strategy: draw a picture and write a number sentence. Again, please use the Brainpop Jr. website and other links that have been provided for practice. We will really work on subtraction fluency during this topic.

Social Studies:

We are beginning a Christmas Around the World Unit, where we will explore traditions and cultures and celebrations that occur around the world during this season. Again, if you have traveled to other countries and have pictures, books etc., that would enhance our study, please feel free to share with the class. We will culminate our unit with an International Cookie Swap and Polar Express Day; details tba.

Have an awesome week!

Announcement Image for November 30-December 4 Newsletter

November 16-20 Newsletter  

 

Parents,

 

We’ve had a really busy week! It has been great! We will have an even busier week before Thanksgiving Break! Our Book Fair is this week. Family night will be Thursday during the Parents as Partners meeting at 6:00. Tuesday is Chappy’s Spirit Night. The purple Impact Aid form is due on Wednesday. Also, Holiday Pictures will be taken on Wednesday. Lastly, we are out for Thanksgiving Break November 23-27th. Let's see what's on our curriculum agenda for the week!

 

Reading:

 

We will test one day early this week. We are on the third story in Unit 2, "Who Works Here?" which deals with workers in our communities. Our amazing words are citizen, law, branch, patrol, community, leader, headquarters and earn. Our phonics skills are consonant digraphs wh, ch, tch, ph and long i. Our spelling words which use the long i sound are: like, time, dime, kite, ride, white, hide, smile, bike and ice. Our high frequency words are live, who, out, work and people. Our grammar skill is "special titles". We will take our story, spelling and grammar test on Thursday, November 19th.

 

Math:

 

We are finishing up Topic 5. We will review all lessons and prepare for our test on Tuesday, November 17th. Please review with the practice test for trouble spots. Also, check out the websites for math practice in the links section of our class page.

 

Social Studies:

 

We will continue with our Native Americans/Pilgrims/First Thanksgiving Unit this week. We will learn facts and do activities and sing songs with our lessons to enhance this unit. After the break, we will begin a "Christmas Around the World" unit, where we will learn about how other cultures celebrate during this time of year. If you have pictures or books or items from other cultures and countries that you would be willing to share, please let me know before the Thanksgiving Break, so that I can plan accordingly. We will end our unit with an International Cookie Swap. Thanks in advance for your help!  

 

Have an awesome week and Thanksgiving!

Mrs. S. Johnson


November 9-13 Newsletter  

Parents,

We have a shortened week due to being out for Veteran’s Day on Wednesday, November 11th.   We will be honoring our Service Men and Women who serve our Country all week! We are inviting all Active and Retired Military Parents and Grandparents to enjoy lunch with us in the lunchroom on Tuesday, November 10th. Please meet us at the entrance of the lunchroom at 11:17. We will also write letters to one of our deployed troops this week thanking them for their service. Our Book Fair begins on November 12th. Also, Progress Reports will come home on Friday the 13th. (No pun intended - J) We have a lot to cover in a short amount of time.  Here's what's on our curriculum agenda for this week:

Reading:

We are on "The Farmer in the Hat" which is story 2 in Unit 2.  Our phonics and spelling this week utilize consonants c/s/, g/j/ - (soft c and soft g); and long a.  Our spelling words are face, safe, cage, name, made, make, cake, age, take and late.  Our amazing words are group, share, borrow, rehearsal, respect, aquarium, lines and soothe.  We will re-visit "cause and effect" in comprehension using the strategy "monitor and clarify".  In grammar, we explore proper nouns.  We will take our spelling, grammar and story test on Friday. 

Math:

We are continuing with topic 5 which deals with addition strategies.  We will be working on addition fact fluency in this topic.  Again, you may use flashcards or other addition fact games to build fluency at home.  We will complete this topic on Friday.  The study guide for our test will come home on Friday. We will take our test on Topic 5 on Tuesday.

Social Studies:

We are working on our Veterans/Military unit now, but will soon be starting our Native American/Pilgrim/First Thanksgiving unit that will continue for the remainder of November.  We will be using a variety of stories, projects, lessons that help us to learn facts about our unit.  

Thanks,

S. Johnson

Announcement Image for November 9-13 Newsletter

November 2-6 Newsletter  

Parents,

Thank you to all who helped to make our party/parade a success! We are off to a great start in our 2nd Nine Weeks! We have a lot to look forward to this week. Our DPES Spirit Night on Tuesday, November 3rd will be at Arbys. Our Fall Festival will be on Thursday, November 5th from 5-7 pm. Tickets will be purchased in the music room that night for $10 and will include all games and activities, inflatables, petting zoo with mini horses, mini cows, mini sheep and more! No time for dinner? No problem, you may purchase a $3 hot dog dinner with chips and drinks included, $1 popcorn, $2 cotton candy or $3 caramel apples. Come join us for a fun night for the whole family! Also, remember if you would like to donate leftover Halloween candy to our “giving jar”, we will be making baskets to give away during the holidays. Now, let’s see what we have on our curriculum agenda for this week!

Reading:

We are beginning a new unit in book 2. In this unit, we are exploring communities. Our first story is “A Big Fish for Max”. Our comprehension skill for this story is “sequence” using the strategy “predict and set purpose”. Our amazing words are: chore, cooperation, commute, downtown, household, rule, subway and display. Our phonics focus is the sound in ball: a, al; and consonant digraphs sh and th. Our spelling words uses “sh” and “th” with the words: fish, with, shop, ship, then, rush, trash, shut, shell and thin. Our high frequency words are catch, put, good, said, no and want. Our grammar skill is “common nouns”. Please use the Brainpop Jr. website to reinforce the concept of nouns. We will take our story, grammar and spelling test on Friday, November 6th.

Math:

We will begin Topic 5 which deals with addition facts to 20. In this topic, we will work on building fluency with addition. I recommend flash cards to encourage fluency as well as using some of the links on the class webpage to practice and build fluency. Encourage your children to learn the doubles facts. There are several YouTube videos that have cute songs for doing this.

Social Studies:

We will begin a mini-unit on the Military/Veterans and do a class project where we will be “adopting a deployed troop” and writing letters to them. During this most difficult time of being away from their families, I feel this will be a small way of giving back and saying “Thank You” to those who protect and serve. Afterwards, we will then begin a unit on Native Americans. This will be an on-going unit that will lead to our Pilgrims/First Thanksgiving lessons.

Have a great week!

 

Mrs. S. Johnson


October 26-30 Newsletter  

Parents,

It was a joy seeing everyone again at the report card conferences. Hopefully, a lot of your questions were answered during our meeting time. This week will be busy. We will kick off Red Ribbon Week on Monday by wearing our red mustache t-shirt or something red. Students will also be able to purchase a mustache for $1.00.  We will have an assembly in the lunchroom with our counselors to talk about what this week means. Friday will be our Book Character Parade and our party. Our book character parade will start at 12:30 in the carpool parking lot and wind through the building on the main hall. The party will follow immediately. We have some items, but will still need juice boxes, fruit such as grapes, strawberries etc. (ready to serve and eat), dip, themed paper plates and napkins, and parents that will help serve and clean up after the party. If you can help us with any of this, please let me know as soon as possible. Let’s see what’s in store on our academic agenda!

Reading:

This week is a review week. We will review all skills from unit 1 for the test on Monday and Tuesday.   Wednesday, we will begin our unit 1 test. We will complete it on Thursday. We will then begin Book/Unit 2 on November 2nd.

Math:

We are finishing up Topic 4 and will review all of the lessons this week. After readjusting our schedule, we will take our Topic 4 test on Thursday, October 29th.  

Social Studies:

During Red Ribbon Week, we will learn about making good choices and the dangers of drugs and substance abuse and how to say yes to a drug-free life! The children will participate in many activities and discussions throughout the week.

*Heads-up: In December, we will be painting white long-sleeve t-shirts. They will be due in class labeled with names by December 2nd. (They go quickly in stores!) Also, if you would be willing to come and help them paint, please let me know so that I may plan accordingly.

Classroom needs:

HP 61 Black ink cartridges

Flash cards to practice addition/subtraction facts

Pink rectangular erasers

 

Have an awesome week!

Mrs. S. Johnson

Announcement Image for October 26-30 Newsletter

October 19-23 Newsletter  

Parents,

Thank you chaperones for your help in making the field trip last week, as the kids have said, "The best day ever!!" This week will be equally as busy. Thursday will be our honor roll block party. Friday will be Parent Report Card Conference Day. Students will be out and parents will come at their assigned time to meet with me. Lot’s to do! So let’s see what’s in store on our academic agenda!

Reading:

We are on the 6th and final story of Unit 1, "Animal Park". In this story, we will explore the question of the week, "What can we learn about wild animals by watching them?" Our comprehension skill for this story is "cause and effect" using the strategy "text structure". Our amazing words are desert, world, silent, medicine, forest, chatter, snort and poisonous. Our phonics skills are short u/u/ and final consonant blends. Our spelling words for the week which have the short u/u/ sound wand final consonant blends are: crust, must, trust, lump, bump, just, dusk, jump, dust and hunt. Our high frequency words are: home, them, into and many. In grammar we will learn about exclamatory sentences. We will take our story test on "Animal Park", our grammar test on Exclamations, and our spelling test on Thursday.

Math:

We are finishing up Topic 4 and will review all of the lessons this week. We will take our Topic 4 test on Wednesday, October 28th.  

Social Studies:

We be finishing up our maps and globes unit this week. We will review what we’ve learned so far and take our test on Wednesday, October 21st.

 

Have a great weekend!

S. Johnson

Announcement Image for October 19-23 Newsletter

October 12-16 Newsletter  

Parents,

We're rolling right on through Fall at a great pace! Our children had a blast at International Day on Thursday! Kudos to the organizers of this awesome event! This week is a short week, but there's still a lot to learn and do!   Useful tools for topics we explore in our curriculum are Brainpop Jr., Starfall.com and the waltkek website for first grade. Just check the “links” section of our class webpage on dpeseagles.com. Let's see what's on our curriculum agenda for this week!

Reading:

We are on the 5th story in Unit 1: "Get the Egg!" This week, we will explore the question: "Which wild animals live in our neighborhoods?" In exploring this story, my goal is to make sure that the children understand that all kinds of animals live in our neighborhood and that neighborhood animals need different kinds of food and shelter. Our amazing words are: habitat, survive, croak, hatch, chirp and moist. Our high frequency words are saw, tree, small and your. Our phonics skills this week include the short e sound and initial consonant blends. Our spelling words which have the short e sound are: men, ten, jet, bed, red, net, sled, step, leg and wet. In comprehension, the focus is "main idea and details" using the strategy "story structure". Please see the waltkek website (in the links section of our webpage), to review and practice the skills for the week. I find it a very useful tool for the children in class. We will take our grammar and spelling tests only this week on Friday, October 16th.

Math:

We are beginning Topic 4 this week, which deals with addition and subtraction facts to 12. In this topic, we will explore: adding 0, 1, 2; doubles; near doubles; facts with 5 on a ten-frame; making 10 on a ten-frame; subtracting with 0, 1, 2; thinking addition; thinking addition to 8 to subtract; thinking addition to 12 to subtract; and drawing a picture and writing a number sentence. Check out the videos and practice problems on Brainpop Jr and the other math websites under our class links.

Social Studies:

We are continuing our maps and globes unit with a mini-unit on Christopher Columbus. We will finish up this unit by Friday of this week. There are some videos on this topic that the children have enjoyed watching on Brainpop Jr.   The username is "dpes123" and the login is "eagles". I invite you to check it out and provide your feedback!

Classroom needs:

hp61 black and color ink cartridges 

 

Have a wonderful week!

Mrs. S. Johnson

Announcement Image for October 12-16 Newsletter

October 5-9 Newsletter  

Parents,                                                  

This week will be a short, but busy one due to being out for “Fall Break” on October 9th and 12th. We will take our Story and Grammar tests on Thursday. We will take our Topic 3 Test on Wednesday. Wednesday is National Walk to School Day. All children and parents who would like to join us may meet at the YMCA for the “short trek” to school. Please join us! Thanks to all who helped with our DPES Playground fundraiser. Our children will benefit greatly from your generosity. Also, on Thursday, we will celebrate the many wonderful cultures here at DPES with International Day. The students will visit the YMCA to learn about the various cultures.

Let's see what's on our curriculum agenda for the week of October 5 -9.

Reading:

We are on the fourth story in Unit 1: "A Fox and a Kit". We will focus on "Main Idea and Details" in comprehension using the strategy "Important Ideas". Our amazing words are native, million, canopy, parent, reserve, screech, wild and observe. Our high frequency words are eat, her, five, this, four and too. Our phonics skills are inflected endings –s and –ing. Our spelling words which use inflected -s are: sit, sits, win, wins, fit, fits, hit, hits, nap and naps. Our grammar skill for the week is "Declarative Sentences". Homework packets will be due on Thursday, October 8th. We will take our Story and Grammar Tests on Thursday.

Math:

We are finishing up Topic 3 on Tuesday, which deals with five and ten relationships. In this topic, we have explored representing numbers on a ten-frame, recognizing numbers on a ten-frame, parts of 10, finding missing parts of 10 and problem solving: making a table. We will take our Topic 3 Test on Wednesday.

Social Studies:

We have begun the first part of our mini-unit on Christopher Columbus, which deals with map and globe skills, but we will divert to our Mini-units on China and Mexico in Preparation for International Day on Thursday. During this week, we will continue to explore continents and some of the countries represented in our class.

Science:

We will continue a mini-unit on "Fall". We will explore weather patterns in fall, the type of crops that are harvested during this season as well as special fall celebrations. Thanks again for all you do! Have an amazing week!

S. Johnson

Announcement Image for October 5-9 Newsletter

September 28-October 2 Newsletter  

Parents,                                                  

We have extended our apple activities through September 30th! We just can’t get enough of that awesome fruit! A huge thank you to those who sent in items for Friday.  We have a busy week. Picture Day is Wednesday, September 30th for the yearbook. All students will have their pictures made on that day, so please prepare for picture day! Our final days for the Carwash fundraiser are September 28-30th. For every $15 carwash, our school will receive $5 for needed playground equipment. Our first grade code is 5682. Please help us spread the word. Check out the DPES Facebook page for current updates and needed information throughout the school year. Let's see what's on our curriculum agenda for the week of Sept. 28th - October 2nd.

Reading:

We are on the third story in Unit 1: "The Big Blue Ox". We will focus on "character and setting" in comprehension using the strategy "visualize". Our amazing words are past, produce, danger, snuggle, powerful, present, transportation, serve and enormous. Our high frequency words are blue, help, from, little, get and use. Our phonics skills are -s; consonant s/z/; and short o/o/. Our spelling words which use the short o sound are: hot, pop, mop, mom, hop, ox, got, pot, lock and rock. Our grammar skill for the week is "predicates". Homework packets will be due on Friday, October 2nd. Please make sure that your child is completing and turning in their homework on the due date. We will take our Story, Grammar and Spelling Tests on Friday.

Math:

We will begin Topic 3 this week, which deals with five and ten relationships. In this topic, we will explore representing numbers on a ten-frame, recognizing numbers on a ten-frame, parts of 10, finding missing parts of 10 and problem solving: making a table. Check out Brainpop Jr. for videos on addition and subtraction and making a ten. Our log in name is dpes123 and our password is eagles.

Social Studies:

We will begin a mini-unit on Maps and Globes. During this unit, we will explore map and globe skills, using a map, and learn about types of bodies of water and land forms.   Again, Brainpop Jr. is an excellent source to review skills learned in the classroom.

 

Have a wonderful week!

S. Johnson

Announcement Image for September 28-October 2 Newsletter

September 21-25 Newsletter  

Parents,

This week will be busy! I have decided to turn Applefest Day (which is noted on your child’s September Calendar), into Applefest Week. In order to do this, I am going to need some items sent on certain days. Our applefest needs are: apples (sliced into wedges for tasting) for Tuesday), 1 gallon sized Ziploc bag with peeled, cored and chopped Granny Smith and Red Delicious apples – combined), for applesauce on Wednesday, 1 big bag of apples (enough for 21 students) for Thursday, and items made from apples, (enough for 21 students to taste) and juice boxes (21) for Friday. Please send me a note, email or text if you can send items. Student's should not bring snack or snack money on Friday as we will be sampling things made with and from apples. Please continue to support our carwash fundraiser. The first grade code is 5682. We gain $5 for each $15 carwash for new playground equipment. Tuesday is Zaxby’s Sprit night from 5-8. Let's see what's in store in our curriculum this week!

Reading:

This week, we are on the story "Pig in a Wig". We will be working with the short vowel sound of i/i/ and the consonant x/ks/. Our spelling words, which have the short i sound are: six, wig, mix, fix, lip, it, sit, in, did and pin. We will take a spelling pre-test on Monday. Those who make a 100 are exempt from the test on Friday. The amazing words are: career, tool, sloppy, comfort, service, scrub, exercise and search. In comprehension, we will be exploring "plot" and using the strategy "summarize". In grammar, we will be learning about "subjects of sentences". We will review short a and final -ck. Our high frequency words for our story are she, take, up and what. Our selection word is play. We will take our spelling, grammar and story test on Friday.

Math:

We are finishing up Topic 2 which deals with Subtraction. We will continue to work on subtraction story problems, counting back and subtracting using a number line this week. The study guide will come home on Tuesday. We will take our Topic 2 test on Thursday, Sept. 24th.

Social Studies/Science:

We are continuing our studies of the growth cycle of an apple tree, apples, and Johnny Appleseed. We will have our Applefest activities throughout the week and wrap up this unit on Friday.

Have an awesome week!

Mrs. S. Johnson

Announcement Image for September 21-25 Newsletter

Spetember 14-18 Newsletter  

 

Parents,

What an exciting time to be in first grade!  Students are adjusting well to procedures for the classroom and the school.  I am extending a warm welcome to any Ggrandparents that would like to come to eat lunch with their grandchild this week, in honor of Grandparent's Day.  Our lunch is scheduled from 11:17-11:40.  Just meet us at the entrance of the lunchroom during this time.  Our lunch table is located right at the entrance of the lunchroom.  Also, we are continuing with our Performance Series testing for math and reading in the computer lab this week.  We will also have counseling this week for the first time.  The students will go to counseling twice a month.  Examples of topics that our counselor will deal with during the group sessions are, getting along with others, respecting others, bullying, etc. The students always enjoy their time with the guidance counselor, Mrs. Brownell.  Discuss topics that were covered with your child to further enhance their sessions.  A huge thank you for all who sent in Boxtops.  They have been turned in to the company.  We will receive the money from those in December.  We will use the money received from the Boxtops to purchase classroom supplies.  Also, as a reminder, you may donate money to our classroom account at any time during the school year for class purchases.  Finally, our Marc-1 carwash fundraiser for needed playground equipment will continue throughout the month of September. For each $15 carwash, our school will receive $5.   Our first grade code is 5682.  Thank you for your help!  Let's see what we have scheduled for this week!

 

Reading:

We have spent the first few weeks reviewing kindergarten skills, but will will take off with more first grade skills in reading this week.  We are beginning Unit 1 this week with the story "Sam, Come Back!"  The new spelling/high frequency word list will be placed in the binder on Monday.  Please do not remove the list from the bear notebook as we use it every day to practice.  We will focus on Character and Setting in Comprehension.  Our phonics practice will include short a and -ck.  Our spelling words are can, dad, mad, at, cat, am, ran, back, bat and sack.  Our high frequency words are come, in, on, way and my.  In grammar, we will learn about "sentences".  Our amazing words are needs, responsibility, shelter, cuddle, tickle, faithful, fetch and heel.  We will have our story, grammar and spelling test on Friday. Homework is listed on the behavior calendar in your child's bear notebook.  Stapled reading homework for the week is located in the page protector in the bear notebook.  The packet is due on Friday, September 18th.  Students should not turn in homework before Friday, as they will need it to continue to practice for their tests. 

 

Math:

We are continuing with Topic 2 which deals with subtraction.  We will continue to work on stories about taking away; stories about comparing; stories about missing parts, subtraction stories and connecting addition and subtraction. Please continue to review math flyers that come home daily in their math folder.  You can find subtraction pages for more practice on the first grade skills website under the links section on my webpage. 

 

Science:

We will be working on the growth cycle of an apple in science this week.  We will be reading about and doing activities that help us explore this topic.  We will be culminating our activities on September 25th. 

 

*Classroom need - We are in need of hp 61 tri-color and black ink cartridges. 

 

Have a wonderful week!

Mrs. S. Johnson

 


September 7-11 Newsletter  

Parents,

I hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day weekend!  We are really picking up the pace in first grade!  Let's see what's ahead for the week of September 7--11!

Reading:

We are reviewing skills from the Kindergarten unit. I will test the children on the 40 Kindergarten sight words that we have been reviewing since the beginning of school. There will be no other tests this week, but I would like for each child to catch up on their daily reading. We will begin Unit 1 next week.

Math:

We are continuing with Topic 2 which deals with subtraction.  We will continue to work on stories about taking away; stories about comparing; stories about missing parts, subtraction stories and connecting addition and subtraction. Please continue to review math flyers that come home daily in their math folder.  You can find subtraction pages for more practice on the first grade skills website under the links section on my webpage. 

Science:

We will be finishing up the five senses unit and then begin working on the growth cycle of an apple in science this week.  We will be reading about and doing activities that help us explore this topic.  We will be culminating our activities on September 25th.  You will receive a letter regarding our "Applefest" activities on that day by next week.  

Social Studies:

We will begin learning about the life of John Chapman (Johnny Appleseed).  We will explore his work and facts about his life during this mini-unit.  Again, we will culminate our activities on September 25th. 

FYI:

Cici’s pizza night is September 7th from 5:00-9:00.

Bruster’s Snack Friday will be September 11th. Students who wish to purchase, should bring $2.00.

The first Boxtop turn in deadline is this Friday, September 11th. Thanks for all of your help!

Performance Series Testing Thursday, September 10th, of this week. 

Remember to spread the word about and participate in our Car Wash Fundraiser at Marc One. For every $15 wash, DPES will receive $5. What a great way to support our school!

Please continue to send in Boxtops for education and items for our treasure chest.

 

Have an awesome week!

Mrs. S. Johnson


August 31st-September 4th Newsletter  

Parents,

Wow! What a week we’ve had! It’s been chock full of learning activities!  We will continue this week with using the Performance Series Assessment to assess Math and Reading levels. Please see the pink calendar in your child’s B.E.A.R. notebook to see other school events for the week. Also, please continue to send in Boxtops and items for the treasure chest. Here's the curriculum agenda for the week of August 31-September 4:

Reading:

We are finishing up on the Kindergarten Review Unit. We have two stories this week, “School Days” and “Farmers Market”. Our high frequency words for this week includes the words: for, me, go, where and here. Our Amazing words are: bargain, bursting, fact, customer, browse, library, cost and scale. The phonics skills include the sounds short u and consonants v/v/, y/y/, z, zz/z/, q, qu/kw/. Our comprehension skill focus is realism and fantasy using the strategy “background knowledge”. In grammar, the focus is “sentences". In Handwriting, we will work on the letters v, y, z, q and u.

Math:

We have now finished Topic 1. Our test on this topic was moved to Tuesday, September 1st, so that I could get some extra review in, since I’ve been out. We will then begin Topic 2 which will focus on finding missing parts of 6, 7, 8 and 9; introducing subtraction expressions and number sentences; stories about taking away; stories about comparing; stories about missing parts; subtraction stories; connecting addition and subtraction; connecting models and symbols and acting out subtraction stories. Again, you may review the skill for the day by looking at your child's math flyer in their math folder.

Social Studies/Science:

This week, we will finish our "All About Me" unit. I will test the students on some basic information that they need to know: full name, address, birthday, and phone number; on Thursday. Also, we will work on how we learn about and experience the world around us by exploring our five senses and our bodies in Science. This week, we will also begin our study on the life of John Chapman also known as “Johnny Appleseed”. As we explore his life and legacy we will pay tribute to the apple in science. We will learn about the life cycle of the apple from seed to fruit. We will culminate our celebration of the life of Johnny Appleseed with special “apple treats” on Friday, September 25th. On this day, students won’t need to bring a separate snack/juice.

Have a terrific week!

 

Mrs. S. Johnson


August 24-28 Newsletter  

Parents,

We are really settling into our routine here at DPES in First Grade! We have been working really hard at learning the rules and procedures. We are working on the procedures for inclement weather, fire drills and lock-down. We, at DPES, want our children to be prepared and know what to do in the case of an emergency situation. Further, if you have not signed up for NOTIFY ME on the dpeseagles.com website, please take a moment today to enroll. You can receive updates from the school in the case of changes in our schedule, routine, or in the case of emergencies. Here's the curriculum agenda for the week of August 24-28.

Reading:

We are continuing to work on the Kindergarten Review Unit. We have two stories again this week. Our stories for the week are "The Big Top" and “School Day”. Our high frequency words for this week includes the words: are, have, that, they, two, he, is, three, to and with. Our Amazing words are: amusing, corner, neighbor, introduce, trouble, deliver, porch, squirrel, classmate, education, polite, principal and recess. The phonics skills include the sounds short o and short e, d/d/, l/l/, h/h/, r/r/, j/j/ and k/k/. Our comprehension skill focus is literary elements. In grammar, the focus is “simple sentences". In Handwriting we will work on the letters Dd, Ll, Hh,Rr, Jj, Kk, Ee and Oo. We will test on “The Big Top” on Friday.

Math:

We will continue to work on addition in math this week. We will finish up Topic 1. In this topic, we have explored the following: spatial patterns for numbers to 10, making 6 and 7, making 8, making 9, introducing addition expressions and number sentences. This week, we will focus on stories about joining, adding in any order and using objects. You may review the skill for the day by looking at your child's math flyer in their math folder. We will have our test on Friday, August 28th. I will send a study guide home on Tuesday, August 25th.

Social Studies:

This week, we will continue an "All About Me" unit. We are exploring similarities and differences in the individual and family. We are completing an "All About Me" booklet in class that will be taken for a major grade in Social Studies.

FYI:

Again, please send in boxtops throughout this year as often as possible to assist in getting much needed materials in class.

Have a terrific week!

Mrs. S. Johnson


August 17-21 Newsletter  

Parents,

It's been an amazing first week of school.  I'm so grateful to have such a sweet group of students and parents!  Our first days of school were filled with learning new routines and getting to know each other.  I have thoroughly enjoyed spending time with your children and getting to know them.  Due to uncontrollable circumstances, I will have to be out beginning Tuesday August 17.  I will be back on Tuesday August 25th.  However, Ann Wesolowski, who is a wonderful substitute teacher, will be here in my place.  She has had MUCH experience with First Grade students.  I have the utmost confidence that they will be in great hands!  The week, holds much activity for our class, so let's see what's coming for the week of August 17-21st:

Reading:

We have begun our Kindergarten Review unit where we will be reading and reviewing the 40 Kindergarten sight words that I have included in each child's binder.  Please practice them daily and continue to read with your child.  Please record, their reading time on the provided reading log.  Also, I have included the stories that we will be reading in class for the next few weeks.  Please allow your child to practice as much as they can at home.  Also, as I mentioned at Orientation, handwriting practice is also very important.  I have requested that each child practice writing their first and last name.  Each week, we will focus on letter formation of certain letters.  The letters for this week are Cc, Pp, and Nn. In grammar, we are working on nouns; particularly nouns for places.  In writing, we will work on writing sentences using the appropriate Capitalization and Punctuation. The first practice test for reading will be Friday, August 21st.   

Math:

We begin Topic 1 in math this week, which deals with counting and recognizing numbers.  Practice pages will come home for review during the week. 

Social Studies:

We are working on the unit "All About Me".  We are off to a great start with the "Me" projects that have come in from each student.  They look great!  We will continue to discuss family and pets this week. 

FYI:

If you are able to send items for our treasure box, please feel free to do so.  Mechanical pencils, notepads, stickers, books, etc. would be great!  The children are excited to use the treasure box as a means of reward. 


May 18-22 Newsletter  

There is such a busy week ahead! We will have Field Day on May 20th. Early bird wristbands will be distributed on Wednesday, May 20th. I will also need a tent or canopy on Field Day that will provide shade for students throughout the day as well as a place to keep their things throughout the day outside. There will be a water slide, so students will get wet and possibly muddy on field day. Students can wear their swimsuit under their clothes to school. Girls, can wear a swim top but must wear shorts on the bottom. Boys can wear their swim trunks with a t-shirt. However, again, please be advised that they will get wet and muddy and will need an extra set to change into to come home. I recommend that each student have a labeled day sack (a vinyl tote that can worn on the back) to keep up with items throughout the day such as extra clothing, a towel to dry off, shoes, sunglasses, hats, or items bought during field day. Thanks in advance for your help! On Thursday, May 21st, we will have our YMCA End of the Year Swim Party. We will walk down to the Y in the morning and return in the afternoon. If you have volunteered to chaperone, you can meet us at the Y at 9:00. I will have a check-out sheet with me, in case you wish to check your child out after the party.

Reading;

In reading, we will be working on fluency and comprehension. We will not be taking a spelling, grammar or story test. We will continue to review first grade skills and introduce beginning of the year 2nd grade skills. On Friday, we will have a read-in. Students may bring their favorite labeled books to share with friends along with a labeled sleeping bag/towel/mat and their favorite stuffed animal. Students should also bring or wear socks, as they will be worn in the room during the read-in. I look forward to an awesome week with my babies!!

Math:

In math, we will finish up Topic 16 which deals with fractions. It is a short and easy topic, so we are going through lessons quickly. We have learned about making equal parts and describing equal parts of whole objects. We will be making halves and fourths of rectangles and circles and drawing a picture to represent a specific fraction on Monday. We will take our test on this topic on Tuesday, May 19th.  We will then work on beginning of the year 2nd grade math skills. There is also a brainpop jr. video on fractions that you should check out this week!   

Science:

We will be talking about parts of plants and their growing cycle. We will have art projects, literature and activities that help us understand the growth cycle better. There is also a Brainpop Jr. video on this topic as well.

Have an awesome week!

Mrs. S. Johnson

 

Announcement Image for May 18-22 Newsletter

May 11-15 Newsletter  

Mrs. Johnson’s

May 11-15 Newsletter

 

Parents,

Another busy week is in sight! We have 12 full days left in this school year. We have many activities coming up during those days, so here are a few reminders. Tomorrow, Tuesday, May 12th is our Mother’s/Grandmother’s Celebration in the classroom at 1:00. If you arrive before then, please wait in the hallway until everyone is allowed to enter at 12:55. The last day to send in boxtops will be this Friday, May 15th. Also, we will have Field Day on May 20th. Students should purchase wristbands for field day this week only, if desired. Early bird wristbands will be distributed on Wednesday, May 20th. The cost is $5 per wristband which includes 10 tickets. I will also need a tent or canopy on Field Day that will provide shade for students throughout the day as well as a place to keep their things throughout the day outside. There will be a water slide, so students will get wet and possibly muddy on field day. Students can wear their swimsuit under their clothes to school. Girls, can wear a swim top but must wear shorts on the bottom. Boys can wear their swim trunks with a t-shirt. However, again, please be advised that they will get wet and muddy and will need an extra set to change into to come home. I recommend that each student have a labeled daysack (a vinyl tote that can worn on the back) to keep up with items throughout the day such as extra clothing, a towel to dry off, shoes, sunglasses, hats, or items bought during field day. Thanks in advance for your help! On Thursday, May 21st, we will have our YMCA End of the Year Swim Party. We will walk down to the Y in the morning and return in the afternoon. If you have volunteered to chaperone, you can meet us at the Y. I will have a check-out sheet with me, in case you wish to check your child out after the party. Last, but not least, a huge “Thank You!!!!” to all of you for the wonderful gifts, cards and letters for Teacher Appreciation Week! It was a tremendous blessing to me!! Again, thank you!!!

In Reading, we are on the last story in Book 5, Stone Garden. We will be taking our final story, grammar and spelling test this week. We will NOT be taking the Unit 5 test. This week our comprehension skill is “Theme” using the strategy “inferring”. Our amazing words are accomplish, original, (un)manned, exclaim, doubt, glider and soar. Our high frequency words are answered, different, carry and poor. Our spelling words which have the prefixes “un” and “re” are unhappy, undo, undress, rewind, refill, repay, refill, untie, unkind and reopen. The phonics focus this week is long o and long I and prefixes “un” and “re”. Our grammar skill is “conventions” such as prepositions and prepositional phrases. Again, our final tests will be this Friday.

In math, we will finish up Topic 15 and begin Topic 16, which deals with fractions. Topic 15 Test will be on Friday, May 15th.

In Social Studies, we will finish up a unit that we have started on Alabama native Helen Keller. The children have learned so much about her already. They were really shocked to find out that Alexander Graham Bell, was one of her teachers! We will also, have a visit from a Braille Transcriptionist who works at the school and will share her job with the children.

 

Have a wonderful week!

Mrs. S. Johnson


May 4-8 Newsletter  

Parents,

Once again, we are in for a busy week. We are officially finished with the Performance Series and will be taking the DIBELS Assessment this Thursday. Can you believe that we are winding down our First Grade year already? The time has flown by! It is Teacher Appreciation week and I have enjoyed reading all of the letters from the students! Most of all I have enjoyed being your child’s teacher. It has been a great year! Let’s see what’s in store for the week.

Reading:

In Reading, we are on the 5th story in Unit 5; “Alexander Graham Bell”, which coincides with our Science unit for the week. In phonics we will explore vowel digraphs and diphthongs as well as the vowel sound in “ball”. Our high frequency words are built, science, early, through and learn. Our amazing words are determined, technology, stalled, sketch, inventor, stable, biplane and speech. Our spelling words contain diphthongs aw: saw, draw, crawl, straw, law, jaw, paw, lawn, yawn, hawk, through and science. In writing, we will focus on sentences. This week in fluency we will focus on expression and intonation. Our grammar skill for the week is adverbs. Our comprehension skill focus is “sequence” using the strategy, “text structure”. We will have our story test, grammar test, and spelling test on Friday.

Math:

In Math, we are continuing Topic 15, which deals with solid and plane shapes.   We will be identifying plane shapes and solid figures, making an organized list, learning about properties of plane shapes, building with shapes, making new shapes from shapes, learning about flat surfaces and vertices, sorting solid shapes, building with solid figures, and using reasoning to problem solve with shapes.  There are a couple of brain pop videos on this topic.  Check them out this week!

FYI:

Please remember to RSVP for the Mothers/Grandmothers Celebration on next Tuesday, May 12 at 1:00. I would like to finalize my plans as soon as possible. Also, if there are any dads or grandfathers that would like to assist on that day, please contact me as soon as possible.

Thanks and have an awesome week!

Mrs. S. Johnson

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April 27-May 1 Newsletter  

 

 Parents,


 This week is a busy one! It is Career Week and we will be learning about career choices. If you would like to talk to the class about your career, please let me know as soon as possible. Tuesday, is Spirit Night at Marco’s Pizza. Our school will earn 10% from each order. We will also finish taking the Performance Series assessment on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon from 12:40-1:10. Students have been preparing all year for these final assessments. The final day to pay for the YMCA field trip is Friday, May 1st. Further, field day t-shirt order forms are coming home today. The sixth grade students chose our super hero theme this year. All t-shirt orders are due in by Friday, May 1st. Also, please take a moment to participate in this parent survey in order to help us collect information for school improvement decisions. Here's the address http://www.advanc-ed.org/survey/public/8557264 . Also, there is a link for the students to take a survey. Here is that address: http://www.advanc-ed.org/survey/public/1723760. Thank you again for your hard work and dedication in this partnership of teaching your child.  

 

Reading:

We will only do the last 3 stories in Book 5. We will learn the skills and high frequency words for all stories in the unit, but will only be tested and focus on the last 3. This week, we are on the story "Simple Machines". Our question of the week is "How can a great idea make our lives easier?" Our skills for the week are oi/oy, er/or in phonics and the spelling words which use the oi/oy sound are: oil, point, coin, join, soil, boy, oink, voice, boil, toy and include against and heavy. Our high frequency words are against, kinds, goes, today and heavy. Our story vocabulary words are machines, vacuum, pulley, inclined planes, surface, axles and lawn mower. The grammar skill for the week is pronouns. Our amazing words are gadget, convenient, pilot, cellar, equipment, engine, steer and furnace. Our comprehension skill is main idea and details using the strategy "summarize". We will take our story, grammar and spelling test on Friday.

 

 Math:

We are continuing with Topic 14 on Graphs. We will continue to learn about using data and the various kinds of graphs. We will take our Topic 14 test on Thursday, April 30th.

 

Science:

This week, our Science lessons go along with our story in Reading. We will be learning all about Simple Machines. The watlkek website and Brainpop Jr. has videos/activities/games that help students with learning about simple machines. We are using these websites in class as well.

 

Have a great week!

Mrs. S. Johnson

 

 

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April 20-24 Newsletter  

Mrs. Johnson’s Newsletter

April 20-24

We are nearing the end of First Grade and we are really moving!  We have learned so much this year and the progress in all subjects have been phenomenal.  Let's keep the momentum going in all subject areas.  I realize activities that take place during this time of year, such as baseball, recitals etc. can really leave little time for studying, but I encourage you, as I have all of the students, that school work should continue to take priority in order to keep building on this First Grade foundation.  We are almost done with the school year, but there's still a great deal of growth that can take place.  We have begun some end of the year tests to assess growth in reading and math and will continue to assess in these areas.  The students experience much success when they consistently work on weaker areas.  If I can do anything more to help you as you continue to work with your child at home, please let me know as soon as possible.  This has been an awesome team effort and I would like to continue to be of service to you throughout the summer. 

Reading:

This is a review week for reading. Please practice all Unit 4 High Frequency Words and skills for the Unit test. We will begin taking the test on Wednesday and will continue throughout the week as needed. There is no other homework or tests this week.

Math:

We have finished a unit on time with Topic 13. This week, we will begin Topic 14 which deals with gathering data in the forms of picture graphs, bar graphs, tally tables, etc.  As always, continue to work on addition and subtraction fact fluency.  Each Friday we will have a 5 minute/50 problem fluency drill.  Again, flash cards are a great way to practice this skill as well as addition and subtraction fact games on the web.  Check out a few on our links page on dpeseagles.com. Also, Brainpop Jr. has videos for addition and subtraction as well as other math topics we have covered.

Social Studies/Science:

We are beginning mini-units on the "Water Cycle" and “Earth Day” this week. At the end of this unit, students should be able to tell you about evaporation, condensation and how clouds form and forms of precipitation as well as ways we use water every day and ways to conserve our natural water supply.  We will learn about how to take care of our planet through various activities to honor Earth Day this week.  Again, Brainpop Jr. has several videos and activities on the subject of caring for our Planet.  We will talk about ways to reduce, reuse and recycle materials to decrease the size of our carbon footprint.

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April 13-17 Newsletter  

                                    

Reading:

We are on the last story in Unit 4, "Henry and Mudge and Mrs. Hopper's House".  We will review next week and take our Unit 4 test.  Our skills for the week are: Phonics - "oo", and "-ly/-ful" endings; Spelling - "-ly/-ful" words slowly, useful, sadly, wonderful, careful, painful, gladly, quickly, playful, nicely and high frequency words because and across; grammar - adjectives that compare; amazing words - discover, dwell, resident, welcome, admire, sadness, substantial and tremendous; and high frequency words - across, only, told, because, opened, dance and shoes.  We will take our spelling, grammar and story test on Friday.

Math:

We are continuing with Time in Topic 13.  This week, we will work on "reading and using a schedule" in problem solving and reviewing telling and writing time to the hour and ½ hour.  We will take our test on this topic on Friday.  The study guide will come home on Tuesday.  Also, continue to work on addition and subtraction fact fluency.  Each Friday we will have a 5 minute/50 problem fluency drill.  Again, flash cards are a great way to practice this skill as well as addition and subtraction fact games on the web.  Check out a few on our links page. 

Science:

This week is our final week on our space unit.  We have learned a lot about the sun, moon and Earth. We will continue this week learning about the other planets in our Solar System. Check out a few quick videos on "Brainpop Jr." that highlight space this week!

Have a wonderful week!

Mrs. S. Johnson

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April 6-10 Newsletter  

Parents,

I hope that each family had the opportunity to enjoy their Spring Break.  I'm grateful to be back and with my students!  Lots to do, so let's dig in!

Reading:

This week, we are on the story, "Peter's Chair", which deals with outgrowing childhood items and sharing with siblings.  Our phonics skills this week are ew/ui and compound words.  Our spelling words are compound words.  They are: backpack, herself, lunchbox, brainstorm, outside, flashlight, suitcase, bluebird and inside.  Our high frequency words included on our test this week are picture and remember.  Our other high frequency words are stood, thought and room.  In comprehension, we will be exploring the story's "theme" using the strategy "story structure".  Our grammar skill continues with adjectives for how many.  The amazing words for this story are jealous, sibling, porridge, seriousness, relatives, secret, collector and flourish.  The grammar, spelling and story tests will be on Friday. 

Math:

We are beginning a unit on time with Topic 13.  This week, we will work on parts of the clock, hour and minute hands, time to the hour and time to the half-hour. For those who are ready, we will work on time to the minute.   Also, continue to work on addition and subtraction fact fluency.  Each Friday we will have a 3 minute/25 problem fluency drill.  Again, flash cards are a great way to practice this skill as well as addition and subtraction fact games on the web.  Check out a few on our links page on dpeseagles.com.

Science:

We will start a unit on "Space".  We will start by exploring our planet Earth.  We learned about Earth's rotation and revolution around the sun.  We also explored Earth's satellite, the moon.  We will continue with our study this week learning about the sun and how all 3, the sun, moon, and Earth; work together. We will continue after Spring Break learning about the other planets. 

Have a wonderful week!

Mrs. S. Johnson

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March 23-27 Newsletter  

Happy Spring!

We have just 4 days until Spring Break!  We are out on Friday and will not return until April 6th. Honor Roll students will be treated to a special breakfast on Tuesday. We have our SOAR bowling activity on Wednesday at Bama Lanes.  Students will pay at the door on that day.  We will be walking to Bama Lanes from the school.  To ensure student safety, I will need parent volunteers that day.  If you can accompany us, please let me know as soon as possible. Each student attending needs to bring $5 for admission and a little extra spending money if they wish to purchase refreshments or go to the arcade while we’re there. There's a lot to do until then, so let's see what's in store for this week!

Reading:

We are on the 4th Story in Unit 4 entitled "A Southern Ranch".  The phonics skills this week are consonant patterns kn and wr; and vowel digraphs ie/igh.  Our spelling words which use the long i sound spelled with ie/igh are lie, might, bright, tight, tie, right, light, high, night, pie, and high frequency words above and laugh.  Our high frequency words are above, moon, eight, touch and laugh.  Our comprehension skill is facts and details using the strategy "questioning". Our amazing words are impression, favorite, errand, familiar, memory and stampede.  We will not take our Story, Grammar or Spelling test this week due to the short week/many activities planned.

Math:

We finishing up Topic 12.  We will take our test on Wednesday. 

Science:

This week, we will be working on changes that happen in Spring including the weather. We will be doing several art and writing projects as we explore this topic.  We will also talk about how the Earth's rotation makes day and night and how the revolution of the Earth makes the season's change. 

Have a wonderful week!

Mrs. S. Johnson

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March 16-20 Newsletter  

Dear Parents,

This is going to be a fun, but busy week! We have our rescheduled field trip to Lanark on Monday. We have Computer Lab on Tuesday and Spring Pictures on Friday. Let’s see what else is on the schedule for the week of March 16-20.

Reading:

We are on week 3 in Unit 4.  Our story for the week is "A Trip to Washington, D.C.  Our amazing words are: nation, tourist, splinter, harbor, symbol, abandon, sunken and statue.  High Frequency words are found, took, mouth, wild and once.  Our Phonics skill for the week is the long o sound spelled with oa and ow and three-letter consonant blends.  Our spelling words which have oa and ow are boat, row, coat, pillow, road, yellow, soap, snow, loaf and blow.  Our comprehension skill for the week is facts and details using the strategy important ideas.  Our grammar skill for the week is "adjectives for size".  We will take our Spelling, Story and Grammar tests on Friday. 

Math:

We have begun Topic 12 which explores measurement.  We will work on comparing and ordering by lengths, using indirect measurement, using units to estimate and measure length, using reasoning and measuring using different units of measure in this Topic.

Science:

We will work on a unit involving weather and seasons until Spring Break. We will discuss changes in the weather that are common this time of year. We will also work on safety plans for severe weather that is common during this time of year.

Social Studies:

This week, we will use our reading selection "A Trip to Washington, D.C." to explore what you might see and do on a trip to Washington, D.C.   We will discuss places and people of interest there.  I will be going this summer, so I look forward to this short mini-unit on our Nation's  Capital.  If you have been and would like to share photos from your trip to enhance our unit, please send them in a labeled ziploc or envelope anytime during the week. 

Have a great week!

S. Johnson 

 

Announcement Image for March 16-20 Newsletter

March 9-13 Newsletter  

Parents,

We had a blast this past week, celebrating Dr. Seuss and reading. The children really enjoyed the “green smoothies and bagels”. Thank you parents for all of your help and the birthday gifts and cards! We have a field trip to Lanark on Thursday, March 12th. During the trip there will be nature hikes through the woods. Please make sure that your child is dressed accordingly.

Reading:

We are on week two with the story "Cinderella".  The high frequency words for the week are: colors, great, sign, draw, over, drew, and show.  The phonics skills for the week are "adding endings", and vowel digraph "ea".  The spelling words which use the long vowel of e spelled with "ea" are eat, team, treat, lean, sea, please, beach, each, dream, clean and the high frequency words tested this week are colors and sign.  The comprehension focus for the week is "theme" using the strategy "visualize".  The grammar skill is "adjectives for colors and shapes".  We will take our story, grammar and spelling tests on Friday!

                                                                        

Math:

We are making our way through topic 11 which deals with subtracting tens and ones.  I will send the study guide home on Tuesday. We will take our test on Monday, March 16th.  As always continue to work on addition and subtraction fluency at home.

Science:

This week, due to our field trip to Lanark, we will be reviewing the life in the forest unit. We will learn about the sights and sounds of the forest. On the waltkek website, in Unit 1, under the story “Life in the Forest”, there is a link for a virtual trip to the forest that can be used to prepare your child for what they will encounter on the Lanark trip.

                                                                          

FYI:

Please continue to send in Boxtops for Education. For each Boxtop, our class will receive 10 cents to purchase needed classroom supplies. Thanks in advance for your help

Announcement Image for March 9-13 Newsletter

March 2-6 Newsletter  

Happy Read Across America/Breakfast Week!

There are several activities planned for this week.  Today, we have had guest readers, made Dr. Seuss rhyming words hats and enjoyed eating green eggs and ham in class. We will continue with many different Dr. Seuss activities and books for the remainder of the week.  On Friday, we will do our 21st Century tribute to the book “Green Eggs and Ham”. We will be having “Green Smoothies and Bagels”. If you would like to send an item to school, please send me a note or text. We will need, a large container of fresh spinach, a container of kale, a large bag of frozen fruit, a bag of plain bagels, strawberry cream cheese spread, and plates. Also, if you would like to send a Dr. Seuss book with your child, please make sure that their name is on it.  On Thursday, (which is also my birthday), we will be having our school-wide 21st Century Read Across America Night at the school. You should have already received a flyer about the activities. Please join us for family fun and experience technology in our school. 

Reading:

We are on week 1 in Unit 4.  Our story for the week is "Mama’s Birthday Present”.  Skills for the week are: Comprehension - Drawing conclusions using the strategy "monitor and clarify"; Grammar - adjectives; Phonics - singular and plural possessives, vowel digraphs ai/ay; spelling words: way, day, gray, train, tail, may, mail, play, rain, afraid, about and would; high frequency words: about, surprise, enjoy, worry, give and would; and amazing words: celebrate, grateful, rarest, genuine, cherish, delicate and loot.  We will take our Spelling, Story and Grammar tests on Friday. 

Math:

Today, we started Topic 11 which deals with subtracting with tens and ones.  In this topic we will explore subtracting groups of 10, subtracting tens on a hundred chart, subtracting tens from two-digit numbers, using mental math to subtract tens, subtracting from a two-digit number and Problem solving using the strategy drawing a picture and writing a number sentence.  As always, keep practicing addition and subtraction fact fluency.  Flashcards are great!  There are several websites that practice fact fluency.  Check out our links section of our webpage for suggestions.

Science/Health:

We are finishing up our “food unit” this week. We will end on Friday, with our “Green Smoothies and Bagels” activity. I hope the children have learned a lot through this unit. We have had fun learning about food choices.

 

Have a wonderful week!

Announcement Image for March 2-6 Newsletter

February 23-27 Newsletter  

Parents,

Last week was power-packed!  We will continue the momentum this week with many learning activities and assessments.  Let's see what's in store!

Reading:

This is a review week for Unit 3. We are going over all skills and high frequency words for book 3.  Please look back over the announcements from previous weeks to see the skills that were covered with each story.  You may also view the Pearson website as well as the waltkek first grade website to practice skills that were taught in book 3.  Each child was given a 1/2 sheet high frequency word list with "practice" in blue ink a few weeks ago.  Please review those words daily as they will be on the Unit 3 test.  We will review Monday and Tuesday and begin our writing portion of the unit test.  We will begin part 1 of the Unit 3 test on Wednesday and finish up the remainder of the week, if needed.  We will have our "Growth Period" on Thursday from 8:15-9:15 as usual.  You will find a reading log for the remainder of February and March in your child's notebook on Monday.  Please have them to read daily and record.  I am encouraging the children to read as much as possible to improve fluency.  This log will help those who are reluctant readers to move forward in their fluency with practice.  If they are not able to finish an entire book in one session, then just record the page numbers on the "book title" column.  I just want to encourage consistency in having that "daily reading time" outside of classtime.  I'm convinced that "The more you read, the better you will read!"

Math:

We will continue with Topic 10. We are adding tens with mental math, adding to a two-digit number and problem-solving by drawing a picture and writing a number sentence.  I have already sent the "study guide" for Topic 10 home.  We will take the test on Friday, 2/27.  Also, continue to practice addition and subtraction fact fluency. 

Social Studies:

We will finish up our unit on Abraham Lincoln and George Washington this week.  We will continue learning facts about these former presidents.  We will do many activities to enhance our unit of study this week.  You can find videos on Washington and Lincoln on Brainpop Jr.   Check it out!

Science:

We are continuing our unit on "making healthy choices".  We will learn about food groups and nutrition this week.  You may also find videos on this topic on Brainpop Jr. under the health section. 

FYI:

Please continue to turn in boxtops for education.  Also, if have items that we could add to our treasure box such as pencils, novelty erasers, mini notepads, stamps, book marks, sticky notes, mini books, activity pads, pencil toppers, grippers, small stuffed animals, play doh etc., please send them to school in a bag/ziploc labeled "treasure box".  Lastly, if you would like to donate ink for our class printer, cartridges needed are #61 black and tri-color.  Thanks in advance for your help! 

Have an awesome week!

Mrs. Johnson

Announcement Image for February 23-27 Newsletter

February 17-21 Newsletter  

Parents,

We are steadily moving along in First Grade. I’m sure you have noticed quite a change in pace this 2nd Semester. We are almost at the end of First Grade and there’s still so much more to learn! Please continue to: read daily with your child and practice high frequency /sight words to help increase their reading fluency; review addition and subtraction facts with games or flashcards to enhance memory of the math facts; and lastly encourage more independence in your child. This is another short, but busy week. Let’s see what’s in store!

Reading:

We are on the 6th story in book 3. The story for the week is called "Where Are My Animal Friends". In this story we will learn about what animals do in the winter. This will also spill over as a review in science on animals in winter. Our skills for the week include: high frequency words; before, does, right, oh, good-bye and won’t; phonics we’re using the consonant pattern –dge, and comparative endings er/est. Our words in spelling this week are using er/est; our spelling words are faster, fastest, taller, tallest, shorter, shortest, sadder, saddest, bigger and biggest. Our amazing words are: hibernate, temperature, freeze, weary, migrate, autumn and bitterly. In comprehension, we will focus on drawing conclusions with the strategy using background knowledge. In Grammar this week we will be learning about contractions with not. Our story, grammar, and spelling tests for the week are on Friday.

Math:

We will begin Topic 10 on Tuesday, which deals with adding tens and ones.  Please continue to review the papers that are sent home daily. Also, as always continue to work on addition and subtraction fluency at home.

 

Science:

This week, we will continue to focus on dental health and healthy choices.  We will have a visit from the "Tooth Fairy" on Tuesday of this week.  We will be doing a special tooth brushing lesson on Wednesday.  Please allow your child to bring a travel size tube of toothpaste and their toothbrush in a ziploc bag on this day, so that they can "actively participate".  As a part of our healthy choices mini-unit. we will be learning about nutrition and how our bodies use food as fuel.  We will go through the food groups and explore how to make healthy choices during meals.  

 

Have a great week!

Mrs. S. Johnson

Announcement Image for February 17-21 Newsletter

February 9-13 Newsletter  

Parents,                    

We have a busy, but great week ahead. On Wednesday, we will be going on the field trip to the Davis Theatre in Montgomery to see the musical “Fly Guy and Other Stories”. We will load the buses at 8:25 and return to the school before 11:30. Chaperones will follow the bus. Also, we will have our Valentine’s Day Party on Friday, February 13th at 1:30. We will need the following: chips, dip, fruit tray, valentines-themed cookies, plates, napkins and juice boxes. We have 20 students. If you can assist, please let me know. Also, on that day, each child that would like to participate can bring in Valentines cards to pass out. Here are the student’s names:

Girls: Amiya, Da’Miyah, Jhanvi, Zoe, Emelia, Abigail, Jaquelin and Tristann

Boys: Michael, Donavan, Cameron, Benjamin, Kayden, Zachary, Owen, Marvin, Aidan, Gavin, Trayton and Timothy

Lastly, we will be saying goodbye to one of our students, Owen. Wednesday, will be his final day with us, so if you would like to send his Valentines card in early, you may do so by Wednesday. We will truly miss him!

Reading:

We are on the 5th story in book 3.  The story for the week is called "I'm a Caterpillar".  In this story we will learn about the life cycle of the butterfly and the stages that it goes through during Metamorphosis.  This will also spill over into a science mini-unit on the life cycle of the butterfly.  Our skills for the week include: high frequency words; done, visit, know, wait and push; phonics and spelling this week will include contractions and r-controlled vowels er, ir, and ur; our spelling words are her, girl, shirt, sir, first, burn, fur, bird, were, hurt, visit and hurt.  Our amazing words are: cycle, insect, flurries, fragile, develop, rearrange, emerge and vessel.  In comprehension, we will focus on fact and opinion with the strategy text structure.  In Grammar this week we will be learning about and using the verbs am, is, are, was, and were.  Our story, grammar, and spelling tests for the week are on Friday.

 

Math:

We are finishing Topic 9 this week. We have been learning how to find 1 more, 1 less, 10 more and 10 less, comparing numbers using the symbols < less than, > greater than, and = equal to. We will continue with ordering numbers and making an organized list this week. Please daily, review papers/homework that should be in your child’s math folder. The study guide for this topic will come home on Monday. Please review each question and refer to previous math papers that have come home from this topic to determine what your child should practice more. Also, there is a Brainpop Jr. video on comparing numbers that should be very helpful as a reviewing tool.

Social Studies:

We are working on a unit on Abraham Lincoln this week in Social Studies. If your child has a book or can find an article or facts about Abraham Lincoln, please feel free to allow them to share with their classmates. It’s always interesting to see and share the information the students have researched on their own in addition to what’s being taught in class.  

Science:

We are continuing a unit on healthy choices and dental health for the next two weeks. This week, we will talk about proper hand-washing and other techniques used in the prevention of spreading illness. There are several Brainpop Jr. videos that reinforce what we’re learning in class. Please allow your child to review them at home.

Have an awesome week!

S. Johnson

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February 2-6 Newsletter  

Happy 100th Day!! We have been in school for 100 days today! We had many writing, reading, singing, art and math activities today dealing with the number 100. It was great fun! Let’s see what’s in store for the rest of the week!

Reading:

We are still in unit 3 which deals with the question "What is changing in our World?" Today, we started the story, "Frog and Toad Together". The skills for this story are; phonics: word ending –ed and r-controlled “ar”; spelling: -ed words – plan, planned, help, helped, drop, dropped, call, called, ask, asked, again, and soon; high frequency words – few, afraid, read, soon, how and again; amazing words - gardener, sprout, shade, destroy, nature, dim, sprinkling and humongous; grammar skill: verbs from the past and future; and the comprehension skill "author’s purpose" using the strategy "visualize”. We will take our story test, grammar test, and spelling test on Friday, February 6th.

Math:

This week we are starting topic 9 which deals with comparing and ordering numbers to 100. We will be exploring 1 more, 1 less; 10 more, 10 less; making numbers on a hundred chart, comparing numbers using greater than, less than and equal to symbols, ordering three numbers and making an organized list.   Also, please continue to review addition and subtraction facts.

Social Studies:

We are beginning a unit on Abraham Lincoln and will then go into a unit on George Washington. As always, if you have some materials from an internet search, books, magazines that will enhance our unit of study, please feel free to share.

Science:

We are also beginning a unit on Health. We will start with Dental health. Then, we will learn about making healthy choices for our bodies.

 

Have a wonderful week!

Mrs. S. Johnson

Announcement Image for February 2-6 Newsletter

January 26-30 Newsletter  

Dear Parents,

We have such a busy week ahead! We have Performance Series Reading Tests on Tuesday and Wednesday morning along with beginning a new “growth time’ in reading beginning on Thursday of this week. We also have several tests this week. Let’s see what’s ahead for the rest of the week.

Reading:

We are now in unit 3 which deals with the question "What is changing in our World?"  On Monday, we will be starting the story, "The Class Pet".  The skills for this story are; phonics: r-controlled or, ore, ending -es, and plural -es; spelling: plural -es words - fix, fixes, class, classes, wish, wishes, kiss, kisses, bus and buses; high frequency words - away, house, very, car, our, friends and school; amazing words -features, natural, tumble, nibble, wriggle, mature, swoop, crumple and nudges; grammar skill: verbs that do not add an -s; and the comprehension skill "fact and opinion" using the strategy "monitor and clarify.  We will take our story test, grammar test, and spelling test on Friday, January 30th.  We are taking our mid-year phase of the Performance Series Test on Tuesday and Wednesday morning of this week.

Math:

We are continuing with Topic 8, which deals with place value.  We are exploring using tens and ones in this topic.  We will take our Topic 8 test on Friday, January 30th. The study guide will come home on Tuesday. Please review the math pages that come home in your child's notebook daily.  We will continue with math fluency by taking timed math drills in addition and subtraction every Friday.  Please see the websites listed under the links section of our webpage for further practice with addition and subtraction and for other First Grade skills. 

Science:

We are completing our “How our World changes in winter” unit.  We will be focusing on winter animals this week. We will talk about hibernation and the process animals go through to prepare for cold weather survival. We will take a quiz on “Animals in Winter” on Friday, January 30th.

 

Have a great week!

Mrs. S. Johnson

Announcement Image for January 26-30 Newsletter

January 19-23 Newsletter  

FYI:

*No School on Monday, January 19th! We are out for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!

*Class Picture day is Thursday, January 22nd.

 

 

Reading:

 

We are now in unit 3 which deals with the question "What is changing in our World?"  On Tuesday, we will be starting the story, "Ruby In Her Own Time".  The skills for this story are; phonics: compound words; consonant patterns ng, nk; spelling: ng/nk words – bring, bank, rink, sunk, trunk, sang, blank, pink, wing, rang, every and sure; high frequency words – any, every, were, enough, own, ever and sure; amazing words attempt, time line, flatter, lovely, event, famous, correct and common; grammar skill: verbs that add an -s; and the comprehension skill "compare and contrast" using the strategy "inferring”.  We will take our story test, grammar test, and spelling test on Friday, January 23rd.  I have been asked the question "How do I help my child read fluently?" many times. Answer: To read fluently means to read words expressively and smoothly. Children who are not fluent read choppily and word-for-word. This can affect their comprehension, because they don’t remember what they have read by the time they reach the end of a sentence. Reading fluently is an important skill. To help your child learn to read fluently, one of the most important things you can do is to regularly read aloud to your child so that you’re modeling the type of reading you want your child to do. For example, if you’re changing your voice for different characters, your child will know that he or she needs to do the same. If a book that you’re reading has text features such as bold print, and you decide to read a bolded word loudly, you’re modeling that they, too, can do that while they’re reading. Another way to develop fluency is to have your child read a book over and over again. Children tend to become fluent readers after reading the same thing many times. They know when to pause, when to speed up, and when to slow down. As they listen to themselves read more and more fluently, this also helps to build their confidence. Make flashcards for high frequency words and place them in a Ziploc bag to be used by the child during “extra time”. The more they practice, the more fluent they will become. Children should read daily, either with an adult or older sibling to improve fluency. The key is “practice, practice, practice”!

 

Math:

 

We will take our Topic 7 test on Tuesday, January 20th. Then we will begin with Topic 8, which deals with place value.  We are exploring using tens and ones in this topic.  Please review the math pages that come home in your child's notebook daily.  We will continue with math fluency by taking timed math drills in addition and subtraction every Friday.  Please see the websites listed under the links section of our webpage for further practice with addition and subtraction and for other First Grade skills. 

 

Social Studies:

 

We are doing a unit on the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the month of January.  We will continue to incorporate literature, writing, art activities and technology with this unit. 

Announcement Image for January 19-23 Newsletter

January 12-16 Newsletter  

Dear Parents,

Last week was a short, yet busy week. The students had a blast at the SOAR/Honor Roll Celebration. They were positively “glowing” afterwards! You should have received a copy of your child’s DIBELS results by now along with the Report Card from the 2nd nine weeks grading period. Hopefully, this gives you an idea of what we have to work on for the remainder of the year to reach all First Grade Benchmarks. Please continue to read with your child daily. In Reading, model the appropriate fluency each day and allow your child to practice words they don’t automatically know. The mid-year benchmark for oral reading fluency was 23 words. By the end of First Grade, all students should be reading the minimum of 47 words per minute and retelling at least half of what they read. For instance, if they are reading 40 words per minute, they should be able to retell what they have read in at least 20 words. In writing, by now each student should be able to write a short paragraph in summary of a story or on a given topic with correct capitalization and punctuation. They should be applying the phonics skills in their spelling as well as the grammar skills that we have learned this year. Each sentence should be a “whole Idea”. If your child still struggles with doing this, please practice, practice, practice! I encourage each of you to continue to press forward in working with your child. The benefits will be well worth the work! Thank you for all you do to make our year great!

Reading:

This week is a review week, so there are no spelling, grammar and story tests. We will be taking the Unit 2 Test this week. We will revisit skills and high frequency words from Unit 2. You can find all skills and high frequency word lists under the links section, (waltkek), of our webpage. We will begin our writing portion on Wednesday and do Part 1 of the Unit 2 test on Thursday and finish up with part 2 by Friday.

Math:

We have begun Topic 7 which deals with counting and number patterns to 120. In this topic, we will be making and using numbers 11 to 19, counting by 10’s to 120, counting on a hundred chart, using skip counting and looking for number patterns to solve problems. Please review the math pages that come home in your child's notebook daily to reinforce these skills. We will also continue with math fluency by taking timed math drills in addition and subtraction every other Friday. Again, please see the websites listed under the links section of our webpage for further practice with addition and subtraction and for other First Grade skills.

Science:

In Science, we are learning about how our World changes in winter. We will continue this unit and further it with mini-units on cold climate animals throughout the month. We are beginning with a unit on penguins. We will learn about the life cycle, habitat, and various types of penguins in this unit. We will explore this topic through, literature, art, music and a virtual field trip.

Social Studies:

We are beginning a unit on the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We will be incorporating literature, writing, art activities and technology with this unit.

Have a great week

Announcement Image for January 12-16 Newsletter

January 5-9 Newsletter  

Greetings:  

Happy New Year!!!! We are currently in the 2nd Semester of First Grade. The children have done an awesome job adjusting to the routine in school and keeping up with homework and all that has been required of them so far. We will kick it up a notch this semester. More independence will be expected from students in class work, study habits, homework and behavior. We have a busy, but short week.   Report cards will come home on Thursday. Also, on Thursday, there will be a Honor Roll/SOAR Celebration. It will be a “Glow Party” in the gym. Students may wear glow in the dark shirts/items on that day. Candy and Sodas will be available for purchase for $1 each.

Reading

This week, we will be doing the story “A Place to Play”. The concept question is “What is changing in our world?” The question of the week is “How do places change?” The amazing words are: growth, population, public, shuffle, teeter, crooked, makeshift and spindly. The phonics skills for the week are syllable pattern cv and vowel sounds of y. Our spelling words for this week are: by, try, sunny, handy, fly, cry, lucky, silly, puppy and my with the addition of two of our high frequency words things and always. Each week, we will include 2 of our high frequency words on our spelling test for a total of 12 words tested each week. Our high frequency words are: always, everything, things, become, nothing, stays and day. The comprehension skill is “sequence”, which we will explore through the strategy “summarize”. The grammar skill for the week is action verbs. Students should view the short clip on Brainpop Jr. on verbs.

Math

We have begun topic 7. We are exploring numbers and patterns to 120 in this topic. Please review the math papers that were completed in class on a daily basis.  Also, please continue to practice addition and subtraction facts.  We will be taking Math Fluency quizzes every Friday (3 minutes/25 problems) to assess and improve math facts fluency. 

Social Studies/Science

Due to time constraints, we will be alternating Social Studies and Science from week to week so that we can get a greater concentration of each subject.  We are doing Science for the rest of this week. We are working on a unit about Penguins. We will explore many facts about penguins and zone in on a few species of penguins. We will begin a unit on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. next week. 

FYI: *Please continue to send in box tops for education. *We are also desperately in need of: items for our treasure box.

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December 15-19 Newsletter  

Dear Parents,

 

‘Twas the week before Christmas and all through the school….the children were busy….it was totally cool! We are winding down the first semester in a blur! We will have Polar Express Day tomorrow. Each student should wear their pajamas. Our cool, snowmen shirts are done and ready to be worn for a class picture. We will change into them in the morning before having breakfast with the other first grade classes. After, our breakfast and class picture, we will join in with another class and watch the movie “Polar Express”. Also, we will get to go outside to watch our principals and Santa on the roof as a reward for collecting food items for the canned food drive last week. Our class party will be Thursday at 1:00. Each students should have their cookie assignment for the International Cookie Swap on Thursday. If you have misplaced your recipe or cookie assignment, please let me know as soon as possible. Parents you are welcome to attend the party at 1:00. On Friday, we will dismiss at 12:00. In the morning, they will go into the gym and watch a movie with the other students in the school. Students will get to eat lunch before dismissal, but they don’t have to bring their Notebook to school on that day. We will return to school on Tuesday, January 6th. Let’s see what else is in store for the week!

Reading:

We are on our 6th and final story in Unit 2, “Honey Bees”. I will teach all skills for the story, but we will not have our story, grammar or spelling test this week, due to it being a short, but busy one! When we return in January, we will review and take our Unit 2 test. I encourage all students to take some time during the break to review skills and high frequency words in preparation for the test upon our return. You may go to the links section of our webpage and use the waltkek first grade reading website and Pearson Success website for further practice.

Math:

We have finished Topic 6 and have begun Topic 7. We will finish Topic 7 in January, which deals with Number patterns. Brainpop Jr. has an excellent number sense video with activities that will help with further practice for this topic. You may also view the Pearson Success website to practice skills from this topic.

Social Studies:

We are finishing up our Christmas Around the World Unit with an International Cookie Swap on Thursday at 1:00. Please send cookies on Thursday morning so that we can prepare for the party.

 

Have an excellent week!

Mrs. S. Johnson

Announcement Image for December 15-19 Newsletter

December 8-12 Newsletter  


Parents,

 

We have another whirl-wind of a week!  I mistakenly place DIBELS assessment on the newsletter for last week, but we have it on Thursday morning instead.  (Oops--sorry for the inconvenience).  However, we will start our Canned Food Drive in an effort to give back!  If the whole school collects 4000 cans, administration will be sent to the roof for the second year in a row!  Each day we will bring in the designated items: Monday - (boxed pasta, ramen, mac and cheese); Tuesday - (canned meat, ravioli and Sphaghetios); Wednesday - Peanut Butter; Thursday - (juice boxes, Capri Sun); and Friday - (canned fruit, apple sauce and fruit pouches).  Tuesday is McCallister's Spirit Night.  Our schedule is so tight due to testing and other activities this week, we will not be able to paint the long-sleeve white shirts that were due this week.  We will move the project to January and do snowmen.  Instead, on Wednesday, please allow your child to bring in a plain white t-shirt to participate in making our own kid version of a "Tacky Christmas Shirt"!  We will wear them on Thursday for a "fun" photo with Santa! Also on Thursday, the Prattville Junior High Band is coming to do a Christmas Concert for our Daniel Pratt students in the afternoon.  Also, there will a Drop and Shop and Holiday Dance from 6:00-9:00 on Friday.  (Whew!)  With all of that going on, it promises to be a fun, but busy week!  Let's see what's on our academic agenda for the week!

Reading:

We are on the 5th story in Unit 2 - "Life in the Forest".  Our amazing words are environment, thrive, slimy, capture, require, inhale, sludge and creature.  Our high frequency words are around, grow, find, under, food and water.  Our spelling words which use the long u sound are: huge, tube, cute, mule, June, use, flute, rule, cube and rude.  Our phonics skills are long u, long e and inflected -ed.  Our comprehension skill is "Author's Purpose" and the strategy is "background knowledge".  Our grammar skill "singular and plural nouns".  Our skills can be reviewed on the websites in the links section and Brainpop jr. has a video on plural nouns.  We will take our grammar, spelling and story test on Friday.  Lastly, the reading homework packet for the week is due on Friday. 

Math:

We will continue with Topic 6 which deals with Subtraction to 20.  We will take our Topic 6 test on Friday, December 12.  We will then begin Topic 7. 

Social Studies:

We are continuing our Christmas Around the World Unit.  The students have had a ball learning about Christmas Traditions.  We are also learning about traditions during Hanukah and Kwanzaa.  During this unit, we will also continue to explore customs and traditions of other countries.  We have discussed, Germany and South Korea so far.  We will continue with India, Mexico, England, China, Russia and several other countries/cultures. It is one of my favorite units of the year! We will end our unit on December 18 with an International Cookie Swap which will also be our Christmas Party.  Each child will be assigned either a recipe or a specific cookie to bring in for the party.  We will only have cookies and milk on that day.  Recipes or an assigned cookie will come home on Tuesday in their binder.  If you really like to bake and would like to take on 2 recipes, please let me know!

Science:

Our science lessons will coincide with our story for the week - "Life in the Forest".  We will explore how plant and animal communities are important to each other during the week.  We will go on a virtual field trip through the forest this week! 

 

Have a wonderful week!

Mrs. S. Johnson 

 

Announcement Image for December 8-12 Newsletter

December 1-5 Newsletter  

Dear Parents,

 

I can hardly believe it is already December! Our time in First Grade has really flown! We have learned a lot, but there's still so much more to learn. As a reminder, the deadline to turn in Field Trip $ for Davis Theatre is Tuesday, December 2nd at 8:00. No money will be accepted in the front office. Also, we will be painting Christmas Shirts on Friday, December 12th. The students will need a plain long-sleeve white shirt for this project. We will wear them on our Polar Express Day the following week for a class picture with Santa. They can be found at the Turtle Shell School Supply Store in Downtown Prattville. Also this week, we will take the DIBELS reading assessment on the morning of Thursday, December 4th. Phoneme Segmentation, Nonsense Word Fluency, Oral Reading Fluency and Retelling will be assessed. There's so much to do! Let's see what's on our academic agenda for the week!

Reading:

We are on story 4 in Unit 2. Our story is "The Big Circle". This story continues our study of communities; specifically animal communities and how they live and care for their young. Our high frequency words for the week are down, there, inside, together and now. Our phonics skills are contractions and long o. Our spelling words which contain the long o sound are home, woke, hose, stone, hope, those, joke, rose, bone and rode. Our amazing words are enemy, protect, holler, bluff, extinct, crater, swamp and boisterous. Our grammar skill is Proper Nouns: Days, Months and Holidays. Please use the links and websites that have been provided to practice our skills for the week. Homework is due on Friday, December 5th. We will also take our grammar, spelling and reading test on Friday.

Math:

We are starting Topic 6 this week. This topic explores Subtraction facts to 20. We will learn strategies such as making 10 subtract, using related facts, fact families, using addition to subtract, subtraction facts and the problem-solving strategy: draw a picture and write a number sentence. Again, please use the Pearson Success website and other links that have been provided for practice. We will really work on subtraction fluency during this topic.

Social Studies:

We are beginning a Christmas Around the World Unit, where we will explore traditions and cultures and celebrations that occur around the world during this season. Again, if you have traveled to other countries and have pictures, books etc., that would enhance our study, please feel free to share with the class. We will culminate our unit with an International Cookie Swap and Polar Express Day; details tba.

Have an awesome week!

Announcement Image for December 1-5 Newsletter

November 17-21 Newsletter  

Parents,

We had a really busy week!  It has been great!  We will have an even busier week before Thanksgiving Break!  You are invited to join us for a class feast on Wednesday, November 19th at 11:17.  We will meet in the lunchroom to get our traditional Thanksgiving Dinner (see school menu), and bring our tray to the classroom, where we will have our class feast.  If you would like to join us for the feast, please send me a text or a letter by Tuesday, so that the lunchroom can plan accordingly.  Let's see what's on our curriculum agenda for the week!

Reading:

We are on the third story in Unit 2, "Who Works Here?" which deals with workers in our communities.  Our amazing words are citizen, law, branch, patrol, community, leader, headquarters and earn.  Our phonics skills are consonant digraphs wh, ch, tch, ph and long i.  Our spelling words which use the long i sound are: like, time, dime, kite, ride, white, hide, smile, bike and ice.  Our high frequency words are live, who, out, work and people.  Our grammar skill is "special titles".  We will take our story, spelling and grammar test on Friday, November 21st.

Math:

We are finishing up Topic 5.  We will review all lessons and prepare for our test on Thursday, November 20th. Please review all pages that come home daily for trouble spots.  You will find additional practice on the pearson success website.  The new password and username will come home on Monday.  I have added new websites for math practice in the links section of our class page. Check them out today!

Social Studies:

We will continue with our Native Americans/Pilgrims/First Thanksgiving Unit this week.  We will learn facts and do activities and sing songs with our lessons to enhance this unit.  After the break, we will begin a "Christmas Around the World" unit, where we will learn about how other cultures celebrate during this time of year.  If you have pictures or books or items from other cultures and countries that you would be willing to share, please let me know before the Thanksgiving Break, so that I can plan accordingly.  We will end our unit with an International Cookie Swap.  Thanks in advance for your help!  

 

Have an amazing week!

Mrs. S. Johnson

Announcement Image for November 17-21 Newsletter

November 10-14 Newsletter  

Parents,

We have had an abundance of sickness travel through our room.  However, for the most part, we are on our way to better days.  We have a lot to cover in a short amount of time.  Here's what's on our curriculum agenda for this week:

Reading:

We are on "The Farmer in the Hat" which is story 2 in Unit 2.  Our phonics and spelling this week utilize consonants c/s/, g/j/ - (soft c and soft g); and long a.  Our spelling words are face, safe, cage, name, made, make, cake, age, take and late.  Our amazing words are group, share, borrow, rehearsal, respect, aquarium, lines and soothe.  We will re-visit "cause and effect" in comprehension using the strategy "monitor and clarify".  In grammar, we explore proper nouns.  We will take our spelling, grammar and story test on this Friday. 

Math:

We are continuing with topic 5 which deals with addition strategies.  We will be working on addition fact fluency in this topic.  Again, you may use flashcards or other addition fact games to build fluency at home.  The children have really enjoyed learning "The Doubles Rap". 

Social Studies:

We are working on our Native American/Pilgrim/First Thanksgiving unit for the remainder of November.  We will be using a variety of stories, projects, lessons that help us to learn facts about our unit.  Our class feast will be on November 19th in the classroom.  Details will follow soon.

 

Thanks,

S. Johnson


November 3-7 Newsletter  

Parents,

Thank you to all who helped to make our party/parade a success! We are off to a great start in our 2nd Nine Weeks! Please help us in our endeavors to raise funds to purchase desktop and laptop computers and replace playground equipment that was taken down due to safety hazards.  It's all for the children!  Please join us as we host two events this week; our DPES Spirit Night on Tuesday, November 4th, at Five Guys from 5-9 and our Fall Festival on Thursday, November 6th at DPES from 5:30-7:30.  There will be many activities and fun for all at the Festival.  You will be able to give a donation through our "Giving Tree" project.  For each donation, your child's name will go on a leaf on the tree.   A busy week and fun for all!  Let’s see what we have on our curriculum agenda for this week!

Reading:

We are beginning a new unit in book 2. In this unit, we are exploring communities. Our first story is “A Big Fish for Max”. Our comprehension skill for this story is “sequence” using the strategy “predict and set purpose”. Our amazing words are: chore, cooperation, commute, downtown, household, rule, subway and display. Our phonics focus is the sound in ball: a, al; and consonant digraphs sh and th. Our spelling words uses “sh” and “th” with the words: fish, with, shop, ship, then, rush, trash, shut, shell and thin. Our high frequency words are catch, put, good, said, no and want. Our grammar skill is “common nouns”. Please use the Brainpop Jr. website to reinforce the concept of nouns. We will take our story, grammar and spelling test on Friday, November 7th.

Math:

We will take our math test on Topic 4 on Monday, November 3rd. We will begin Topic 5 on Tuesday. Topic 5 deals with addition facts to 20. In this topic, we will work on building fluency with addition. I recommend flash cards to encourage fluency as well as using some of the links on the class webpage to practice and build fluency.

Social Studies:

We will begin a mini-unit on the Military/Veterans and do a class project where we will be “adopting a deployed troop” and writing letters to them. During this most difficult time of being away from their families, I feel this will be a small way of giving back and saying “Thank You” to those who protect and serve. We will then begin a unit on Native Americans. This will be an on-going unit that will lead to our Pilgrims/First Thanksgiving lessons.

 

Have a great week!

Mrs. Johnson

Announcement Image for November 3-7 Newsletter

October 28-31 Newsletter  

Parents,

After such an amazing field trip, I have two words "cow train"! Thank you chaperones for your help in making this as the kids have said, "The best day ever!!" We also had a blast on our "Farm Safety" field trip.  This week will be equally as busy. Friday will be our combined honor roll and SOAR block party, our Book Character Parade and our party. Whew!!! Our book character parade will start at 12:15 and the party will follow immediately. If you haven't received a letter concerning the party yet, please let me know as soon as possible. If possible you can make plans to join us. Just let me know if you plan to attend. Let’s see what’s in store on our academic agenda!

Reading:

We will take our story test on "Animal Park", our grammar test on Exclamations, and our spelling test on Monday. On Wednesday, we will begin our unit 1 test. We will complete it on Thursday. We will then begin Book/Unit 2 on November 3rd.

Math:

We are finishing up Topic 4 and will review all of the lessons this week. We will take our Topic 4 test on Monday, November 3rd. We will then begin Topic 5 on November 4th.

Social Studies:

We begin Red Ribbon Week on Monday by wearing Red. We will learn about the dangers of drugs and substance abuse and how to say yes to a drug-free life! The children will participate in many activities and discussions throughout the week.

 

Have a great weekend!

S. Johnson

Announcement Image for October 28-31 Newsletter

October 20-25 Newsletter  

 

 

 

 

Parents,

This week is jammed-pack with learning activities!  We have two field trips this week.  The first field trip on Tuesday, October 21st,  is only for teachers and students. We will be visiting the R.H. Kirkpatrick Agriculture Pavillon in Autaugaville for Farm Safety Day.  Please be reminded that students must wear closed-toe shoes (tennis shoes), blue jeans and a provided t-shirt which they will put on when the arrive to school on Tuesday.  If they need a school lunch, it should have been indicated on the signed permission slip, otherwise they should bring a sack-lunch.  Also, the admission to the field trip is a non-perishable canned good item for the food drive.  They will donate this food to families in need in our area.  The second field trip is to the Dreamfield Farms Pumpkin Patch on Friday, October 25th.   Lastly, report cards will come home on Thursday, October 24th.  We will have a great and busy week!  Let's see what's on our curriculum agenda for this week!

Reading:

We are on the 6th and final story of Unit 1, "Animal Park".  In this story, we will explore the question of the week, "What can we learn about wild animals by watching them?"  Our comprehension skill for this story is "cause and effect" using the strategy "text structure".  Our amazing words are desert, world, silent, medicine, forest, chatter, snort and poisonous.  Our phonics skills are short u/u/ and final consonant blends.  Our spelling words for the week which have the short u/u/ sound  and final consonant blends are: crust, must, trust, lump, bump, just, dusk, jump, dust and hunt.  Our high frequency words are: home, them, into and many.  In grammar we will learn about exclamatory sentences.  Because of our field trips this week, I have changed the story, grammar and spelling tests date for this story to Monday, October 28th.  Please plan accordingly.

Math:

This week, we will continue to explore skills in Topic 4.  We will work on Making 10 on a ten-frame, subtracting with 0, 1, 2 and Thinking addition.  Please reminded that I have given each student their password for the IXL website which will last until October 31st for further practice with the math and grammar skills. Also, the Brainpop Jr. password lasts throughout the year. 

Social Studies:

We are exploring the farm in conjunction with our field trip.  We will explore animals found on a farm and safety on a farm with learning activities which include art and writing activities. 

Science:

We will be exploring the growth cycle of pumpkins this week.  We will culminate our unit with a visit to Dreamfield Farms Pumpkin Patch on Friday, October 25th.   

 

 

 

Announcement Image for October 20-25 Newsletter

October 13-17 Newsletter  

 

Parents,

We're rolling right on through Fall at a great pace!  The children had a blast watching our Principals participating in the "Ice Bucket Challenge" on Friday!  They were great sports!  This week is a short week, but there's still a lot to learn and do!   Useful tools for topics we explore in our curriculum are Brainpop Jr., Starfall.com, waltkek website for first grade, and ixl. Please look for login info to come home on Tuesday, with your child for a trial with the ixl website that will last until October 31st. Please give me your feedback on these websites.   Let's see what's on our curriculum agenda for this week!

Reading:

We are on the 4th story in Unit 1: "Get the Egg!"  This week, we will explore the question: "Which wild animals live in our neighborhoods?".  In exploring this story, my goal is to make sure that the children understand that all kinds of animals live in our neighborhood and that neighborhood animals need different kinds of food and shelter.  Our amazing words are: habitat, survive, croak, hatch, chirp and moist.  Our high frequency words are saw, tree, small and your.  Our phonics skills this week include the short e sound and initial consonant blends.  Our spelling words which have the short e sound are: men, ten, jet, bed, red, net, sled, step, leg and wet.  Our grammar skill is "interrogative sentences".  In comprehension, the focus is "main idea and details" using the strategy "story structure".  Please see the waltkek website (in the links section of our webpage as well as the ixl website), to review and practice the skills for the week.  I find them very useful tools for the children in class.  We will take our story, grammar, and spelling test on Friday, October 17th. 

Math:

We are beginning Topic 4 this week, which deals with addition and subtraction facts to 12.  In this topic, we will explore: adding 0, 1, 2; doubles; near doubles; facts with 5 on a ten-frame; making 10 on a ten-frame; subtracting with 0, 1, 2; thinking addition; thinking addition to 8 to subtract; thinking addition to 12 to subtract; and drawing a picture and writing a number sentence.  Check out the videos and practice problems on Brainpop Jr. and IXL.

Social Studies:

We are continuing our maps and globes unit with a mini-unit on Christopher Columbus.  We will finish up this unit by Friday of this week. There are some videos on this topic that the children have enjoyed watching on Brainpop Jr.   The username is "dpes123" and the login is "eagles".  I invite you to check it out and provide your feedback!

 

Announcement Image for October 13-17 Newsletter

October 6-10 Newsletter  

Parents:

This week will be a short, but busy one due to being out for “Fall Break” on October 10th and 13th. We will take our Story, Spelling, Grammar and Topic 3 tests on Thursday. Also, Wednesday is National Walk to School Day. All children and parents who would like to join us may meet at the YMCA for the “short trek” to school. We will earn money for our school for high participation from students and parents. Please join us! Thanks to all who helped with our DPES canned food drive. Many children and families will benefit from your generosity.

Let's see what's on our curriculum agenda for the week of October 6 -10.

Reading:

We are on the fourth story in Unit 1: "A Fox and a Kit". We will focus on "Main Idea and Details" in comprehension using the strategy "Important Ideas". Our amazing words are native, million, canopy, parent, reserve, screech, wild and observe. Our high frequency words are eat, her, five, this, four and too. Our phonics skills are inflected endings –s and –ing. Our spelling words which use inflected -s are: sit, sits, win, wins, fit, fits, hit, hits, nap and naps. Our grammar skill for the week is "Declarative Sentences". Homework packets will be due on Thursday, October 9th. We will take our Story, Grammar and Spelling Tests on Thursday.

Math:

We are finishing up Topic 3 on Wednesday, which deals with five and ten relationships. In this topic, we have explored representing numbers on a ten-frame, recognizing numbers on a ten-frame, parts of 10, finding missing parts of 10 and problem solving: making a table. We will take our Topic 3 Test on Thursday.

Social Studies:

We have begun the first part of our mini-unit on Christopher Columbus, which deals with map and globe skills. We are exploring parts of the globe to include bodies of land and bodies of water. During this week, we will continue to explore continents and some of the countries represented in our class, and the many types of water sources. As we progress in this unit, we will do many activities to learn more about the life of Christopher Columbus and his adventures as an explorer.

Science:

We will continue a mini-unit on "Fall". We will explore weather patterns in fall, the type of crops that are harvested during this season as well as special fall celebrations. Thanks again for all you do! Have an amazing week!

S. Johnson                                                                                        

Announcement Image for October 6-10 Newsletter

September 29-October 3 Newsletter  

Parents,

Wow! Applefest Day was a blast!  We immersed ourselves in apple activities throughout the day and culminated with a tasting session of things made with and from apples!  A huge thank you to all of you for making our day such a success!  (I hope they weren't too wired coming home on Friday!) 

On Monday, we will have picture re-makes for those who would like to have their child's picture re-made for the yearbook.  You must return the picture package that was sent home to re-do pictures on Monday.  Also,, our DPES canned food drive begins on Monday, Sept. 29 - Friday, Oct. 3rd.  Let's all do our part to give to this worthy cause!  Let's see what's on our curriculum agenda for the week of Sept. 29th - October 3rd.

Reading:

We are on the third story in Unit 1: "The Big Blue Ox".  We will focus on "character and setting" in comprehension using the strategy "visualize".  Our amazing words are past, produce, danger, snuggle, powerful, present, transportation, serve and enormous.  Our high frequency words are blue, help, from, little, get and use.  Our phonics skills are -s; consonant s/z/; and short o/o/.  Our spelling words which use the short o sound are: hot, pop, mop, mom, hop, ox, got, pot, lock and rock.  Our grammar skill for the week is "predicates".  Homework packets will be due on Friday, October 3rd.  We will take our Story, Grammar and Spelling Tests on Friday. 

Math:

We are taking our Topic 2 test on Monday, Sept. 29th.  We will begin Topic 3 on Tuesday, which deals with five and ten relationships.  In this topic, we will explore representing numbers on a ten-frame, recognizing numbers on a ten-frame, parts of 10, finding missing parts of 10 and problem solving: making a table.

Social Studies:

We will begin a mini-unit on Christopher Columbus.  During this unit, we will explore map and globe skills.  We will do many activities to learn more about the life of Christopher Columbus and his adventures as an explorer. 

Science:

We will begin a mini-unit on "Fall".  We will explore weather patterns in fall, the type of crops that are harvested during this season as well as special fall celebrations. 

 

Thanks again for all you do!  Have an amazing week!

 

S. Johnson

Announcement Image for September 29-October 3 Newsletter

September 22-26 Newsletter  

Parents,

This week will be a busy one!  We will turn in our "ME" projects on Thursday.  Our Applefest Day is Friday.  Student's should not bring snack or snack money on Friday as we will be sampling things made with and from apples.  Let's see what's in store in our curriculum this week!

Reading:

This week, we are on the story "Pig In A Wig".  (Please note, that their is an error on the behavior calendar.)  We will be working with the short vowel sound of i/i/ and the consonant x/ks/.  Our spelling words, which have the short i sound are: six, wig, mix, fix, lip, it, sit, in, did and pin.  The amazing words are: career, tool, sloppy, comfort, service, scrub, exercise and search.  In comprehension, we will be exploring "plot" and using the strategy "summarize".  In grammar, we will be learning about "subjects of sentences".  We will review short a and final -ck.  Our high frequency words for our story are she, take, up and what.  Our selection word is play.  We will take our spelling, grammar and story test on Friday. 

Math:

We we are finishing up Topic 2 which deals with Subtraction.  We will continue to work on subtraction story problems, counting back and subtracting using a number line this week. The study guide will come home on Thursday.  We will take our Topic 2 test on Monday, Sept. 29th. 

Social Studies/Science:

We are continuing our studies of the growth cycle of an apple tree, apples, and Johnny Appleseed.  We will have our Applefest activities on Friday to wrap up this mini-unit. 


September 15-19 Newsletter  

Parents,

Busy! Busy! Busy! Would adequately describe this past week!  The ball is really rolling in our class!  Let's see what's ahead for the week of September 15-19!

Reading:

We are beginning Unit 1 this week with the story "Sam, Come Back!"  We will focus on Character and Setting in Comprehension.  Our phonics practice will include short a and -ck.  Our spelling words are can, dad, mad, at, cat, am, ran, back, bat and sack.  Our high frequency words are come, in, on, way and my.  In grammar, we will learn about "sentences".  Our amazing words are needs, responsibility, shelter, cuddle, tickle, faithful, fetch and heel.  We will have our story, grammar and spelling test on Friday.  Please see the behavior calendar in your child's bear notebook for homework.  I have given them their reading homework packet that is due on Friday, September 19th.  Students should not turn in homework before Friday, as they will need it to continue to practice for their tests. 

Math:

We are continuing with Topic 2 which deals with subtraction.  We will continue to work on stories about taking away; stories about comparing; stories about missing parts, subtraction stories and connecting addition and subtraction. Please continue to review math flyers that come home daily in their math folder.  You can find subtraction pages for more practice on the first grade skills website under the links section on my webpage. 

Science:

We will be working on the growth cycle of an apple in science this week.  We will be reading about and doing activities that help us explore this topic.  We will be culminating our activities on September 26th.  You should have already received a letter regarding our "Applefest" activities on that day.  If not, please let me know as soon as possible. 

Social Studies:

We will learn about the life of John Chapman (Johnny Appleseed).  We will explore his work and facts about his life during this mini-unit.  Again, we will culminate our activities on September 26th. 

FYI:

Performance Series Testing Tuesday and Wednesday this week. 

Constitution Day Assembly in the lunchroom on September 17th at 9:15.

Please continue to send in boxtops for education.

 

Have an awesome week!

Mrs. S. Johnson


September 8-12 Newsletter  

Parents,

Wow! What a week we’ve had! It’s been chock full of learning activities and testing sessions. We will continue this week with DIBELS testing on Monday. We will also continue to test using the Performance Series Assessment to assess Math and Reading levels. Here's the curriculum agenda for the week of September 8-12:

Reading:

We are finishing up on the Kindergarten Review Unit. We have one final story this week, “Farmers Market”. Our high frequency words for this week includes the words: for, me, go, where and here. Our Amazing words are: bargain, bursting, fact, customer, browse, library, cost and scale. The phonics skills include the sounds short u and consonants v/v/, y/y/, z, zz/z/, q, qu/kw/. Our comprehension skill focus is realism and fantasy using the strategy “background knowledge”. In grammar, the focus is “sentences". In Handwriting, we will work on the letters v, y, z, q and u.

Math:

We have now finished Topic 1. Our test on this topic is on Monday, September 8th. We will then begin Topic 2 which will focus on finding missing parts of 6, 7, 8 and 9; introducing subtraction expressions and number sentences; stories about taking away; stories about comparing; stories about missing parts; subtraction stories; connecting addition and subtraction; connecting models and symbols and acting out subtraction stories. Again, you may review the skill for the day by looking at your child's math flyer in their math folder.

Social Studies/Science:

This week, we will continue an "All About Me" unit. We will work on how we learn about and experience the world around us by exploring our five senses and our bodies in Science. The "ME" project that will come home on Tuesday, will be due by September 25th. This week we will also explore the life of John Chapman also known as “Johnny Appleseed”. As we explore his life and legacy we will pay tribute to the apple in science. We will learn about the life cycle of the apple from seed to fruit. We will culminate our celebration of the life of Johnny Appleseed with special “apple treats” on September 26th. On this day, students won’t need to bring a separate snack/juice.

Have a terrific week!

 

Mrs. S. Johnson


September 8-12 Newsletter  

Parents,

Wow! What a week we’ve had! It’s been chock full of learning activities and testing sessions. We will continue this week with DIBELS testing on Monday. We will also continue to test using the Performance Series Assessment to assess Math and Reading levels. Here's the curriculum agenda for the week of September 8-12:

Reading:

We are finishing up on the Kindergarten Review Unit. We have one final story this week, “Farmers Market”. Our high frequency words for this week includes the words: for, me, go, where and here. Our Amazing words are: bargain, bursting, fact, customer, browse, library, cost and scale. The phonics skills include the sounds short u and consonants v/v/, y/y/, z, zz/z/, q, qu/kw/. Our comprehension skill focus is realism and fantasy using the strategy “background knowledge”. In grammar, the focus is “sentences". In Handwriting, we will work on the letters v, y, z, q and u.

Math:

We have now finished Topic 1. Our test on this topic is on Monday, September 8th. We will then begin Topic 2 which will focus on finding missing parts of 6, 7, 8 and 9; introducing subtraction expressions and number sentences; stories about taking away; stories about comparing; stories about missing parts; subtraction stories; connecting addition and subtraction; connecting models and symbols and acting out subtraction stories. Again, you may review the skill for the day by looking at your child's math flyer in their math folder.

Social Studies/Science:

This week, we will continue an "All About Me" unit. We will work on how we learn about and experience the world around us by exploring our five senses and our bodies in Science. The "ME" project that will come home on Tuesday, will be due by September 25th. This week we will also explore the life of John Chapman also known as “Johnny Appleseed”. As we explore his life and legacy we will pay tribute to the apple in science. We will learn about the life cycle of the apple from seed to fruit. We will culminate our celebration of the life of Johnny Appleseed with special “apple treats” on September 26th. On this day, students won’t need to bring a separate snack/juice.

Have a terrific week!

 

Mrs. S. Johnson


September 8-12 Newsletter  

Parents,

Wow! What a week we’ve had! It’s been chock full of learning activities and testing sessions. We will continue this week with DIBELS testing on Monday. We will also continue to test using the Performance Series Assessment to assess Math and Reading levels. Here's the curriculum agenda for the week of September 8-12:

Reading:

We are finishing up on the Kindergarten Review Unit. We have one final story this week, “Farmers Market”. Our high frequency words for this week includes the words: for, me, go, where and here. Our Amazing words are: bargain, bursting, fact, customer, browse, library, cost and scale. The phonics skills include the sounds short u and consonants v/v/, y/y/, z, zz/z/, q, qu/kw/. Our comprehension skill focus is realism and fantasy using the strategy “background knowledge”. In grammar, the focus is “sentences". In Handwriting, we will work on the letters v, y, z, q and u.

Math:

We have now finished Topic 1. Our test on this topic is on Monday, September 8th. We will then begin Topic 2 which will focus on finding missing parts of 6, 7, 8 and 9; introducing subtraction expressions and number sentences; stories about taking away; stories about comparing; stories about missing parts; subtraction stories; connecting addition and subtraction; connecting models and symbols and acting out subtraction stories. Again, you may review the skill for the day by looking at your child's math flyer in their math folder.

Social Studies/Science:

This week, we will continue an "All About Me" unit. We will work on how we learn about and experience the world around us by exploring our five senses and our bodies in Science. The "ME" project that will come home on Tuesday, will be due by September 25th. This week we will also explore the life of John Chapman also known as “Johnny Appleseed”. As we explore his life and legacy we will pay tribute to the apple in science. We will learn about the life cycle of the apple from seed to fruit. We will culminate our celebration of the life of Johnny Appleseed with special “apple treats” on September 26th. On this day, students won’t need to bring a separate snack/juice.

Have a terrific week!

 

Mrs. S. Johnson


September 8-12 Newsletter  

Parents,

Wow! What a week we’ve had! It’s been chock full of learning activities and testing sessions. We will continue this week with DIBELS testing on Monday. We will also continue to test using the Performance Series Assessment to assess Math and Reading levels. Here's the curriculum agenda for the week of September 8-12:

Reading:

We are finishing up on the Kindergarten Review Unit. We have one final story this week, “Farmers Market”. Our high frequency words for this week includes the words: for, me, go, where and here. Our Amazing words are: bargain, bursting, fact, customer, browse, library, cost and scale. The phonics skills include the sounds short u and consonants v/v/, y/y/, z, zz/z/, q, qu/kw/. Our comprehension skill focus is realism and fantasy using the strategy “background knowledge”. In grammar, the focus is “sentences". In Handwriting, we will work on the letters v, y, z, q and u.

Math:

We have now finished Topic 1. Our test on this topic is on Monday, September 8th. We will then begin Topic 2 which will focus on finding missing parts of 6, 7, 8 and 9; introducing subtraction expressions and number sentences; stories about taking away; stories about comparing; stories about missing parts; subtraction stories; connecting addition and subtraction; connecting models and symbols and acting out subtraction stories. Again, you may review the skill for the day by looking at your child's math flyer in their math folder.

Social Studies/Science:

This week, we will continue an "All About Me" unit. We will work on how we learn about and experience the world around us by exploring our five senses and our bodies in Science. The "ME" project that will come home on Tuesday, will be due by September 25th. This week we will also explore the life of John Chapman also known as “Johnny Appleseed”. As we explore his life and legacy we will pay tribute to the apple in science. We will learn about the life cycle of the apple from seed to fruit. We will culminate our celebration of the life of Johnny Appleseed with special “apple treats” on September 26th. On this day, students won’t need to bring a separate snack/juice.

Have a terrific week!

 

Mrs. S. Johnson


September 2-5 Newsletter  

Parents,

We are really settling into our routine here at DPES in First Grade! We have been working really hard at learning the rules and procedures. We’ve had our first Tornado drill and a Fire drill is soon to follow. We are also becoming aware of the procedures for a lock-down. We, at DPES, want our children to be prepared and know what to do in the case of an emergency situation. Further, if you have not signed up for NOTIFY ME on the dpeseagles.com website, please take a moment today to enroll. You can receive updates from the school in the case of changes in our schedule, routine, or in the case of emergencies. This week is a short week due to the Labor Day Holiday on September 1st, so we will be moving at a fast pace. Here's the curriculum agenda for the week of September 2-5:

Reading:

We are continuing to work on the Kindergarten Review Unit. We have two stories again this week. Our stories for the week are "The Big Top" and “School Day”. Our high frequency words for this week includes the words: are, have, that, they, two, he, is, three, to and with. Our Amazing words are: amusing, corner, neighbor, introduce, trouble, deliver, porch, squirrel, classmate, education, polite, principal and recess. The phonics skills include the sounds short o and short e, d/d/, l/l/, h/h/, r/r/, j/j/ and k/k/. Our comprehension skill focus is literary elements. In grammar, the focus is “simple sentences". In Handwriting we will work on the letters Dd, Ll, Hh,Rr, Jj, Kk, Ee and Oo.

Math:

We will continue to work on addition in math this week. We will finish up Topic 1. In this topic, we have explored the following: spatial patterns for numbers to 10, making 6 and 7, making 8, making 9, introducing addition expressions and number sentences. This week, we will focus on stories about joining, adding in any order and using objects. You may review the skill for the day by looking at your child's math flyer in their math folder. We will have our test on Monday, Sept. 8th. I will send a study guide home on Thursday, Sept. 4th.

Social Studies:

This week, we will continue an "All About Me" unit. We are exploring similarities and differences in the individual and family. We are completing an "All About Me" booklet in class that will be taken for a major grade in Social Studies. Each child will complete a project entitled "ME" that will be due in September. Thank you parents that have sent in some white poster board that is needed for a project. However, I am still in need of donations of white poster board. I need 8 more. If you would like to send some in, please let me know as soon as possible. Thanks in advance for your help!

FYI:

Again, if you can send in boxtops, please do so throughout this year as often as possible to assist in getting much needed materials in class. Lastly, please be reminded that I would like to meet with volunteers in September to discuss plans for the year with which I will need assistance. It will be an informal meeting at "House of Java" on September 5th, at 4:00. If you are interested in attending there’s still time to let me know so that I can plan accordingly. Thank you parents who have already replied. Fyi, "House of Java" has an indoor playground for the children.

Have a terrific week!

Mrs. S. Johnson


August 25-29 Newsletter  

Parents,

It's been an awesome first week of school!  Here's the curriculum agenda for the week of August 25-29th:

Reading:

We are working on a Kindergarten Review Unit.  Our story for the week is "Snap!"  Our high frequency words for this week includes the words: like, the, one and we.  Our Amazing words are: adult, depend, gallery, scurry, childhood, portrait and entertain.  The phonics skills include the sounds c/k/,k p/p/ and /n/.  Our comprehension skill focus is "setting" using the strategy "predict and set purpose".  In writing, we are focusing on "nouns in sentences".  In grammar, the focus is "nouns for places".  In phonemic Awareness we will work on initial, medial and final phonemes, rhyming words and segmenting and blending phonemes.  In Handwriting we will work on the letters c, p, n, and letter size. 

Math:

We will work on addition in math this week.  We will begin Topic 1.  In this topic, we will explore the following: spatial patterns for numbers to 10, making 6 and 7, making 8, making 9, introducing addition expressions and number sentences, stories about joining, adding in any order and using objects. You may review the skill for the day by looking at your child's math flyer in their math folder. 

Social Studies:

This week, we will begin an "All About Me" unit.  We will explore similarities and differences in the individual and family.  We will complete an "All About Me" booklet in class that will be taken for a major grade in Social Studies.  Each child will complete a project entitled "ME" that will be due in September.  I will need donations of white poster board in order to have the (11) needed for the projects.  If you would like to send some in, please let me know as soon as possible.  Thanks in advance for your help!

FYI:

Just a few reminders.  Please send all money labeled with your child's name and the purpose in an envelope or ziploc bag.  There are 21 students and it can be a bit confusing to keep up with "loose money".  Also, we participate in the boxtops for education program at DPES and I would like to continue to use this tool to get needed supplies and materials for our classroom. If you can send in boxtops, please do so throughout this year as often as possible to assist.  Lastly, I would like to meet with volunteers in September to discuss plans for the year with which I will need assistance.  It will be an informal meeting at "House of Java" on September 5th, at 4:00.  If you are interested in attending, please let me know this week.  Fyi, "House of Java" has an indoor playground for the children. 

 

Have a wonderful week!

Mrs. S. Johnson  


Orientation Info  

Parents,

Welcome to the wonderful world of First Grade!  School is just around the corner and there are a few things that would be helpful to know to get our year started off right! 

Class Assignments:  All rolls for the DPES 2014-2015 school year are posted on the front doors of the school.  I have placed my supply list in this announcement as well as mailed a hard copy. If you bring supplies to Orientation, please make sure that all items are labeled with your child's name, with the exception of items such as wipes, hand soap, etc.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Orientation for First Grade will be August 14th from 2:00-2:45. During orientation, you and your child will get the opportunity to meet me and see the classroom.  You may also bring supplies  and purchase the First Grade handwriting paper for the year ($8), and pay for INOW ($10 per family) during that time.  My room is on the yellow hall in K-4.  Just look for the bears! 

Wish List Items: Items for Treasure Box, Small dry erase boards, Large Area Rug, CD Player with headphones for listening center, children's books on audio (cd or cassette)

 

Looking forward to meeting you and your child!

Mrs. S. Johnson

 

Supplies for Mrs. Johnson’s Class 2014-2015

(4) plain folders with pockets only (yellow, blue, green, and red)

(2) white 1 inch ring binders with clear pocket

1 pkg. of notebook paper

2 reams of copy paper
1 zipper pouch with holes
3 rolls of paper towels

1 box of Kleenex

2 containers of hand sanitizer

2 containers of antibacterial wipes

antibacterial hand soap

Girls: 1 box (sandwich size) Ziploc bags

Boys: 1 box (gallon size) Ziploc bags

pencils

crayons

1 supply box

scissors

1 pkg. Of index cards

glue sticks

markers

tote bag

DPES T-shirt

 

 

 

 

 

 

Announcement Image for Orientation Info

May 19-23 Newsletter  

Parents,

Another busy week is in sight!  We will have Field Day on May 21st.  Students should have already purchased wristbands for this, or should make plans to purchase them on Field Day, if desired.  Early bird wristbands will be distributed on Tuesday.  Students should wear them back to school on Wednesday.  Also, by now you should have received a pink sheet that details our 1st Grade Field Day events.  I am going to need some parents that will volunteer to help supervise for portions of the day.  If you can come and assist at all, please let me know as soon as possible.  I will also need a tent or canopy that will provide shade for students throughout the day and as we eat lunch outside.  We have been advised that it will be a hot day outside with possible temps up to 94!  Please make sure to put sunscreen on your child before coming to school.  If they need to apply more, they can bring it in their bag.  They can also bring or purchase water on Field Day.   There will be a water slide, so students will get wet and possibly muddy on field day. Students can wear their swimsuit under their clothes to school.  Girls, can wear a swim top but must wear shorts on the bottom.  Boys can wear their swim trunks with a t-shirt.  However, again, please be advised that they will get wet and muddy and will need an extra set to change into to come home.  I recommend that each student have a labeled daysack (a vinyl tote that can worn on the back) to keep up with items throughout the day such as extra clothing, a towel to dry off, shoes, sunglasses, hats, or items bought during field day.  We also are in need of bubbles and sidewalk chalk as we will have a station for that outside.  The bubbles can be individual bottles or a big bottle. You can start sending them in as soon as you can. Thanks in advance for your help!

On Friday, we will have our YMCA End of the Year Swim Party.  We will walk down to the Y in the morning and return in the afternoon.  If you have volunteered to chaperone, you can meet us at the school to walk down or meet us at the Y.  I will have a check-out sheet with me, in case you wish to check your child out after the party. 

In reading, we will be working on fluency and comprehension.  We will not be taking a spelling, grammar or story test.  We will continue to review first grade skills and introduce beginning of the year 2nd grade skills.  On Thursday, we will have another read-in as we did a few months ago.  Students may bring their favorite labeled books to share with friends along with a labeled sleeping bag/towel/mat and their favorite stuffed animal.  (No, the stuffed animal does not have to be labeled...lol)  Students should also bring or wear socks, as they will be worn in the room during the read-in.  I look forward to an awesome week with my babies!! 

In math, we will finish up Topic 16, which deals with fractions.  Again, we will make halves and fourths out of circles and rectangles and draw a picture to represent a specific fraction.  We will take our test on Tuesday. We will then work on beginning of the year 2nd grade math skills. We will take our timed test on Thursday. 

In Social Studies, we will finish up a unit that we have started on Alabama native Helen Keller.  The children have learned so much about her already.  They were really shocked to find out that Alexander Graham Bell, was one of her teachers!  We also, had a visit from a Braille Transcriptionist who works at the school and shared her job with the children. 

Lastly, a huge thank you to our Career Day speakers, Mr. Chynoweth who talked to us about being a lawyer; Mrs. Asberry, who talked to us about being a CNA; Mr. Davis, who told us all about the Airforce and the requirements; and Mrs. Fleming who told us all about recycling.  The children and I really learned a lot and were really inspired.  They were encouraged to continue to work hard in school and in life to achieve their dreams. Once again, "Bravo!" to our presenters!  

Announcement Image for May 19-23 Newsletter

May 12-16 Newsletter  

Parents,

This week is even busier than last week!  We had a visit from one of the librarians at Autauga Public Library along with her dog "Gabby"!  The children had a wonderful time listening to a story and learning about what's available at the Public Library through the summer program.  Please review the information that each child brought home.  I highly recommend becoming a part of the summer reading program.  There's a lot to offer!  I will be participating with students this summer from our church youth group.  It's true, that the more you read, the better you will read!  So once again, I highly recommend enrolling your child for the summer reading program if possible. 

Tuesday is the "dough raising night" at Domino's Pizza for Daniel Pratt.  20% of the purchases from families from Daniel Pratt will go back to our school to add to our technology fund to replace those computers that could not be upgraded.  Your child received a flyer that has to be filled out and presented at the store or to the delivery person in order for our school to receive credit for the purchase.  The homeroom with the highest participation will receive a free pizza party and the student who will be chosen randomly will receive a store tour with four friends.  Thanks in advance for your help!

The last day to pay for the YMCA field trip that will take place on Friday, May 23rd is this Wednesday, May 14th at 8:00 a.m.  No money will be accepted in the office. If you need a replacement letter, please let me know as soon as possible. 

The last day to purchase Field Day wristbands will be this Friday on May 16th by 8:00 a.m.  Again, no money will be accepted in the office after this time.  The cost per wristband is $5.  There are 10 tickets on each wristband worth 50 cents each.  First Grade Field Day will be Wednesday, May 21st.  There is a letter coming home that will contain the schedule for the day.

This Friday is Career Day for first grade.  We will have several speakers that will come to talk to us about their career and what it takes to pursue certain careers.  If you would like to be a speaker on Career Day, it's not too late, just let me know so that we can get you on the schedule.

Daniel Pratt has a growing population of children from other countries.  So, Thursday, May 15th is International Day here at Daniel Pratt! We will have several cultures and nationalities represented from across the globe.  We will be visiting the displays and learning about other cultures and countries this Thursday morning.

In Reading, this is a review/testing week.  I have already begun teaching skills and high frequency words from weeks five and six.  We will continue reviewing skills and high frequency words from Unit 5.  We will begin with the writing and phonics portion of the Unit 5 test on Wednesday.  We will conclude the test on Thursday.  We will not have a story test, grammar test, or spelling test this week or next week.

In Math, we are finishing up Topic 15 which deals with solid and plane shapes.  You should have already received the study guide for topic 15.  We will take the test on Wednesday.  We will then begin topic 16 which deals with fractions.  We will learn about making equal parts, describing equal parts of whole objects, making halves and fourths of rectangles and circles and drawing a picture to represent a specific fraction.  We will take our test on this topic on next week.  There is also a brainpop jr. video on fractions that you should check out this week!   

Lastly, we will be learning about inventions/inventors such as Alexander Graham Bell and the Wright Brothers this week in Science.  We will discuss what great ideas can lead to and how great ideas have developed over time.  One such invention is the evolution of the telephone. Again, brainpop Jr. has a wealth of videos that will coincide with our discussions this week.          

Announcement Image for May 12-16 Newsletter

May 5-9 Newsletter  

Parents,

This week is a busy one!  We will take the DIBELS assessment on Wednesday morning.  Students will be tested on nonsense words, reading fluency and story recall.  They will read a passage in one minute and retell what they have read.  The goal for the end of the year is, at minimum, 40 words per minute and retelling a minimum of 50% of what they read.  Students have been preparing all year for these final assessments.  Thank you again for your hard work and dedication in this partnership of teaching your child.   

Reading:

This week, we are on the story "Simple Machines".  Our question of the week is "How can a great idea make our lives easier?"  Our skills for the week are oi/oy, er/or in phonics and the spelling words which use the oi/oy sound are: oil, point, coin, join, soil, boy, oink, voice, boil, toy and include against and heavy.  Our high frequency words are against, kinds, goes, today and heavy.  Our story vocabulary words are machines, vacuum, pulley, inclined planes, surface, axles and lawn mower.  The grammar skill for the week is pronouns.  Our amazing words are gadget, convenient, pilot, cellar, equipment, engine, steer and furnace.  Our comprehension skill is main idea and details using the strategy "summarize".  We will take our last story, grammar and spelling test for Unit 5 on Friday.  Next week, we will be teaching skills from the last two stories and preparing for the Unit 5 Test.  We will take the Unit 5 test on May 14th and 15th. 

Math:

We are continuing with Topic 15 on Geometry.  We will continue to learn about plane and solid shapes.  We will be building and problem-solving with plane and solid shapes as well as learning about each shapes attributes.  We will take our Topic 15 test next week.

Science:

This week, our Science lessons go along with our story in Reading. We will be learning all about Simple Machines.  The watlkek website and Brainpop Jr. has videos/activities/games that help students with learning about simple machines. We are using these websites in class as well.    


April 28 - May 2 Newsletter  

Parents,

This week, grades 3-6 will take the ASPIRE assessment.  Our First Grade students are preparing for the DIBELS Assessment which will be given in the coming weeks.  It has been requested that we do not have morning volunteers due to the ASPIRE assessment and making sure our students have minimal distraction during this time.  This will be a busy week!

Reading:

We are reading the 3rd story in Unit 5: Dot and Jabber and the Great Acorn Mystery".  Our question of the week is "How do we solve mysteries?"  The comprehension skill this week is comparing and contrasting using the strategy "monitor and clarify".  Our amazing words are explanation, wonder, encouragingly, suspects, riddle, confused and case.  Our phonics skills for the week are "adding endings" and the "vowel sound in foot: oo".  We will use the latter in our spelling words for the week which are: book, food, zoo, foot, moon, look, noon, took, pool, good and includes our high frequency words instead and another.  Our high frequency words are among, none, another and instead.  Our selection vocabulary words are detectives, mystery, solved, million, meadow, hey and hurray.  Our grammar skill this week is Pronouns using "I" and "me".  We will take our grammar, spelling and story tests on Friday. 

Math:

We are now on Topic 15 which deals with Geometry.  We will be identifying plane shapes and solid figures, making an organized list, learning about properties of plane shapes, building with shapes, making new shapes from shapes, learning about flat surfaces and vertices, sorting solid shapes, building with solid figures, and using reasoning to problem solve with shapes.  There are a couple of brain pop videos on this topic.  Check them out this week!

Science:

We have finished with our unit on Habitats.  All projects are due by April 30th.  We are beginning a new unit in Science called "balance and motion".  This is a hands on unit and we will explore the many sides of motion and what causes balance. 

 


April 21-25 Newsletter  

Parents,

We are nearing the end of First Grade and we are really moving!  We have learned so much this year and the progress in all subjects have been phenomenal.  Let's keep the momentum going in all subject areas.  I realize activities that take place this time of year, such as baseball, recitals etc. can really leave little time for studying, but I encourage you, as I have all of the students, that school work should continue to take priority in order to keep building on this First Grade foundation.  We are almost done with the school year, but there's still a great deal of growth that can take place.  We have begun some end of the year tests to assess growth in reading and math and will continue to assess in these areas.  The students experience much success when they consistently work on weaker areas.  If I can do anything more to help you as you continue to work with your child at home, please let me know as soon as possible.  This has been an awesome team effort and I would like to continue to be of service to you throughout the summer. 

Reading:

This week we are exploring the question "How can we look at things in a different way?" through the story "Mole and Baby Bird".  You may access the skills to practice for this week on the pearson success website.  The amazing words are miserable, selfish, ignore, proper, freedom, shrug, fond and scarcely.  The phonics skills are syllables v/cv, vc/v and "ou"/"ow". The spelling pattern v/cv rule states that if a word has one consonant between two vowels, the consonant usually goes with the second syllable making the first vowel long.  The vc/v rule states that if you don't recognize the word when pronounced with a long vowel sound, put the consonant with the first syllable, making the first vowel short.  The high frequency words are door, wood, loved and should.  The selection words are usually, presently and borrowed.  The comprehension skill drawing conclusions will be explored by using background knowledge.  The spelling words have the "ou" sound: mouth, our, ouch, count, house, out, shout, found, cloud, round and includes should and loved. Our grammar skill for the week is pronouns.  We will take our spelling, reading and grammar tests on Friday, April 25th. 

Math:

We are having fun learning about graphs.  So far, we have covered pictographs, bar graphs and tally charts.  We will continue to explore graphs and will make our own graphs to sum up a given set of information.  We will take our test on Topic 14 on Friday, April 25th.  Also, please continue to practice fluency with addition and subtraction facts with your child.  We are going to take our next timed test on Thursday, April 24th.  Also, please feel free to explore the videos and activities on brainpop jr.  The children really enjoy this resource.

Science:

We are still exploring habitats.  The students have really learned a lot about habitats and the animals that dwell in each one.  For a major grade in Science, each student should create a habitat diorama.  The students should choose from either a forest, rainforest, desert, ocean, freshwater or arctic habitat.  They will use a shoe box, cereal box or something equivalent to those sizes to create a habitat diorama.  They should create a background which includes the essential natural resources for their chosen habitat.  They should include animals in their habitat.  These can be drawn on paper and cut out, sculpted from clay or a similar material, or plastic figurines may be used.  The project should include a summary describing the habitat.  The grade for this project will be derived from the following: Summary 30 pts., habitat diorama 60 pts., and oral presentation 10 pts. I'm moving the due date for the habitats project to April 30th.  Late projects will have a 20 pt. deduction for each day late. The summary can be written or typed.  It should be at least a 1/2 page.  Correctly used capitalization and punctuation will be noted in the summary.

Social Studies:

We will learn about how to take care of our planet through various activities to honor Earth Day this week.  Again, Brainpop Jr. has several videos and activities on the subject of caring for our Planet.  We wil talk about ways to reduce, reuse and recycle materials to decrease the size of our carbon footprint.   


April 14-18 Newsletter  

Mrs. Johnson’s Newsletter

April 14-18

Reading:

We have begun Unit 5 in Reading which deals with Great Ideas. Our story for the week is “Tippy-Toe Chick, Go!” This story deals with the question “When does a problem need a clever solution?” We will use the strategy “monitor and clarify” to identify our comprehension focus this week, character, setting and plot (story elements). Our phonics skills for the week are “ow”, “ou” (I call them the pain sound) and final syllable –le. Our spelling words all have the “ow” sound: how, now, clown, growl, town, brown, frown, down, cow, crowd and includes eyes and never. The high frequency words are along, never, behind, pulling, eyes and toward. Our selection words are tippy-toe, favorite, potato bugs, disagreed and breath. Our amazing words are clever, predicament, exhausted, batter, intend, grumpy, furious and griddle. Our grammar skill for the week is Imperative Sentences (commands). We will take our story, spelling and grammar test on Friday.  

Math:

We have finished a unit on time with Topic 13.  We will take our test on this topic on Tuesday, April 15th.  We will then begin Topic 14 which deals with gathering data in the forms of picture graphs, bar graphs, tally tables, etc.  As always, continue to work on addition and subtraction fact fluency.  Each Friday we will have a 5 minute/50 problem fluency drill.  Again, flash cards are a great way to practice this skill as well as addition and subtraction fact games on the web.  Check out a few on our links page on dpeseagles.com. Also, Brainpop Jr. has videos for addition and subtraction as well as other math topics we have covered.

Science:

We finished up the "Water Cycle" last week. We have begun a unit on Habitats. We will explore forest, rainforest, desert, ocean, fresh water and arctic habitats. Please remember that you can check out videos on "Brainpop Jr." that highlight habitats this week! Students will pick a habitat to re-create using a cereal or shoe box or something equivalent to those sizes during this study of habitats. A rubric will come home on Thursday, showing grading requirements for this project which will be a major science grade. For planning purposes, the project will be due on April 28th.

FYI:

The snack shack will be selling popsicles on Fridays until the end of school for $1. All proceeds go toward upgrading classroom computers.


April 7-11  

Reading:

We are reviewing all of the phonics, comprehension, spelling and grammar skills for unit 4 this week. We will take our Unit 4 test beginning on Thursday. We will finish it up on Friday.  Please go back through all high frequency words, and use the links on our page to review unit 4 skills. On Tuesday, April 8th, we will be taking the performance series test to assess Reading skills from 9:35-10:45.

Math:

We began a unit on time with Topic 13 today.  This week, we will continue to work on parts of the clock, hour and minute hands, time to the hour and time to the half-hour. For those who are ready, we will work on time to the minute.  We will take our test on this topic on Next Monday.  The study guide will come home on Friday.  Also, continue to work on addition and subtraction fact fluency.  Each Friday we will have a 5 minute/50 problem fluency drill.  Again, flash cards are a great way to practice this skill as well as addition and subtraction fact games on the web.  Check out a few on our links page. On Friday, April 11th, we will be taking the performance series test to assess Math skills from 11:45-12:55.

Science:

We are finishing up the "Water Cycle" this week. Students should now be able to tell you about evaporation, condensation and how clouds form and forms of precipitation. This week we will talk about ways we use water every day and ways to conserve our natural water supply.  Please remember that you can check out a quick video on "Brainpop Jr." that highlights the water cycle this week!

FYI:

Our re-scheduled field trip to Davis Theater is April 9th.  We will see "Junie B. Jones".  A reminder has already been sent home. We will leave the school at 8:40 and return around 11:30. All chaperones should drive. We will eat a grab and go lunch upon our return to school.  


March 31 - April 4  

Happy Spring!

I hope that each family had the opportunity to enjoy their Spring Break.  I'm grateful to be back and with my students!  Lots to do, so let's dig in!

Reading:

We are on the last story in Unit 4, "Henry and Mudge and Mrs. Hopper's House".  We will review next week and take our Unit 4 test.  Our skills for the week are: Phonics - "oo", and "-ly/-ful" endings; Spelling - "-ly/-ful" words slowly, useful, sadly, wonderful, careful, painful, gladly, quickly, playful, nicely and high frequency words because and across; grammar - adjectives that compare; amazing words - discover, dwell, resident, welcome, admire, sadness, substantial and tremendous; and high frequency words - across, only, told, because, opened, dance and shoes.  We will take our spelling, grammar and story test on Friday.

Math:

We are continuing with measurement in Topic 12.  This week, we will work on "using reasoning" in problem solving, measuring using different units and using nonstandard units in measuring.  We will take our test on this topic on Friday.  The study guide will come home on Tuesday.  Also, continue to work on addition and subtraction fact fluency.  Each Friday we will have a 5 minute/50 problem fluency drill.  Again, flash cards are a great way to practice this skill as well as addition and subtraction fact games on the web.  Check out a few on our links page. 

Science:

This week is all about the "Water Cycle".  We are learning about evaporation, condensation and how clouds form and forms of precipitation.  We will also discuss "ground water" and "run-off" and their uses.  We will talk about ways we use water every day and ways to conserve our natural water supply.  Check out a quick video on "Brainpop Jr." that highlights the water cycle this week!

FYI:

Our re-scheduled field trip to Davis Theater is April 9th.  We will see "Junie B. Jones".  A reminder will be sent home before the trip. 

 


March 17-21  

Parents,

This week is flying by already! We have a full agenda this week with our SOAR celebration at Bama Lanes on Wednesday. We will walk to Bama lanes from the school shortly after the 8:00 announcements.  If you can walk with us, please send me a note or message via text, or email.  Also, Friday is the Lanark Field Trip.  As a reminder, I will not be here on Thursday, or Friday of this week.  Ms. Byrd will sub for these two days. Spring break begins next week!  Students should return to school on Monday, March 31st. 

Reading:

This week, we are on the story, "Peter's Chair", which deals with outgrowing childhood items and sharing with siblings.  Our phonics skills this week are ew/ui and compound words.  Our spelling words are compound words.  They are: backpack, herself, lunchbox, brainstorm, outside, flashlight, suitcase, bluebird and inside.  Our high frequency words included on our test this week are picture and remember.  Our other high frequency words are stood, thought and room.  In comprehension, we will be exploring the story's "theme" using the strategy "story structure".  Our grammar skill continues with adjectives for how many.  The amazing words for this story are jealous, sibling, porridge, seriousness, relatives, secret, collector and flourish.  Due to the field trip on Friday, the grammar, spelling and story tests will be Thursday instead. 

Math:

We have begun Topic 12 which explores measurement.  We will work on comparing and ordering by lengths, using indirect measurement, using units to estimate and measure length, using reasoning and measuring using different units of measure in this Topic.  We will continue the topic after Spring Break. 

Science:

We are working on a "Space" unit.  We are currently exploring our planet Earth.  We learned about Earth's rotation and revolution around the sun.  We also explored Earth's satellite, the moon.  We will continue with our study this week learning about the sun and how all 3, the sun, moon, and Earth; work together. We will continue after Spring Break learning about the other planets.    


March 10-14  

Happy March Parents!

Last week was awesome!  Thanks for your birthday cards and messages and for the sweet party that was given by the students!  You guys rock!  There are just weeks until Spring Break.  There's a lot to do until then, so let's see what's in store for this week!

Reading:

We are on the 4th Story in Unit 4 entitled "A Southern Ranch".  The phonics skills this week are consonant patterns kn and wr; and vowel digraphs ie/igh.  Our spelling words which use the long i sound spelled with ie/igh are lie, might, bright, tight, tie, right, light, high, night, pie, and high frequency words above and laugh.  Our high frequency words are above, moon, eight, touch and laugh.  Our comprehension skill is facts and details using the strategy "questioning". Our amazing words are impression, favorite, errand, familiar, memory and stampede.  We will take our Story, Grammar, Spelling, and High Frequency Word Tests on Friday.

Math:

We are in Topic 11.  This week we will focus on using mental math to subtract tens, using the problem solving strategy "draw a picture and write a number sentence and reviewing all skills in topic 11.  We will take our test on Friday.  Also, continue to practice addition and subtraction fluency.  Flash cards are a great way to practice this skill.

Science:

This week, we will be working on changes that happen in Spring.  We will be doing several art and writing projects as we explore this topic.  We will also talk about how the Earth's rotation makes day and night and how the revolution of the Earth makes the season's change. 

FYI:

Our SOAR celebration is next Wednesday at Bama Lanes.  Please only return the pink form.  Students will pay at the door on that day.  We will be walking to Bama Lanes from the school.  To ensure student safety, I will need parent volunteers that day.  If you can accompany us, please let me know as soon as possible.  Also, as noted on the behavior calendar, I will be unable to attend the Lanark field trip as I will be out Thursday and Friday of next week.    


March 3-7  

Happy Read Across America/Breakfast Week!

There are several activities planned for this week.  There is a special break planned for students who wear their red Read Across America Week t-shirt or a "Dr. Seussy" type shirt on Monday.  We will have guest readers and will be enjoying many different Dr. Suess activities and books.  If you would like to send a Dr. Seuss book with your child, please make sure that their name is on it.  Friday is fox in socks Friday.  Students may dress up in crazy socks and the snack shack will be selling some "crazy snacks". 

Reading:

We are on week 3 in Unit 4.  Our story for the week is "A Trip to Washington, D.C.  Our amazing words are: nation, tourist, splinter, harbor, symbol, abandon, sunken and statue.  High Frequency words are found, took, mouth, wild and once.  Our Phonics skill for the week is the long o sound spelled with oa and ow and three-letter consonant blends.  Our spelling words which have oa and ow are boat, row, coat, pillow, road, yellow, soap, snow, loaf and blow.  Our comprehension skill for the week is facts and details using the strategy important ideas.  Our grammar skill for the week is "adjectives for size".  We will take our Spelling, Story and Grammar tests on Friday. 

Math:

The test for Topic 10 will be on Monday, March 3rd.  We will begin Topic 11 which deals with subtracting with tens and ones.  In this topic we will explore subtracting groups of 10, subtracting tens on a hundred chart, subtracting tens from two-digit numbers, using mental math to subtract tens, subtracting from a two-digit number and Problem solving using the strategy drawing a picture and writing a number sentence.  As always, keep practicing addition and subtraction fact fluency.  Flashcards are great!  There are several websites that practice fact fluency.  Check out our links section of our webpage for suggestions.

Social Studies:

We will be doing a mini-unit on "Our Country/Leaders".  This unit goes hand-in-hand with our story in Reading "A Trip to Washington, D.C."  As always, if you have any pictures or items that would go along these lines, please feel free to send them in.  Thanks!

Announcement Image for March 3-7

February 24-28  

Parents,

This week is going to be super busy!!  We have several activities this week.  The bookfair is going on through Friday.  We will have our Read Across America Night at DPES on Thursday from 5:00-7:00.  You should have received a purple sheet explaining the activities for the night.  Please be reminded that all first grade students will sing on Thursday.  If your child has a Read Across America Shirt, they may wear it for the performance.  You will also get a chance to purchase books from the bookfair for your child on Thursday.  I hope to see as many of you as possible there!

Reading:

We are on week two with the story "Cinderella".  The high frequency words for the week are: colors, great, sign, draw, over, drew, and show.  The phonics skills for the week are "adding endings", and vowel digraph "ea".  The spelling words which use the long vowel of e spelled with "ea" are eat, team, treat, lean, sea, please, beach, each, dream, clean and the high frequency words tested this week are colors and sign.  The comprehension focus for the week is "theme" using the strategy "visualize".  The grammar skill is "adjectives for colors and shapes".  We will take our story, grammar and spelling tests on Friday!

Math:

We are making our way through topic 10 which deals with adding tens and ones.  I will send the study guide home on Friday. We will take our test on Monday, March 3rd.  As always continue to work on addition and subtraction fluency at home.

Science:

This week, we are learning about nutrition and how our bodies use food as fuel.  We will go through the food groups and explore how to make healthy choices during meals.  The children are really learning a lot already! 

FYI:

We are in dire need of paper towels, hand sanitizer and hand soap.  If you can send these items in to help, please do so when you can.  Thanks in advance for your help.     


February 17-21  

Parents,

We have a short week and lots to accomplish.  We will have our Field Trip to Davis Theater on Friday, Feb. 21st.  Those of you who have paid to chaperone the trip can come to the school to follow the buses or meet us there.  Just let me know which you would prefer before Thursday.  On our calendar it shows tests to be taken on Friday, but that was an oversight.  We will take tests on Thursday instead.  Again, thanks once again for your help in making our Valentine's Party a success!  The children had a great time!  Lastly, there are a few things we need in the classroom.  If you can help by sending anything, it will be great appreciated!  *Paper towels, *Large bottles of hand sanitizer, *Clorox wipes, *small prizes such as novelty pencils, erasers, mini notepad, and boy/girl specific prizes etc. to fill a treasure box that will be used during the spring, and lastly *boxtops for education.  Thanks again for your help with these items.

Reading:

This week, we are reading the story "Mama's Birthday Present".  Skills for the week are: Comprehension - Drawing conclusions using the strategy "monitor and clarify"; Grammar - adjectives; Phonics - singular and plural possessives, vowel digraphs ai/ay; spelling words: way, day, gray, train, tail, may, mail, play, rain, afraid, about and would; high frequency words: about, surprise, enjoy, worry, give and would; and amazing words: celebrate, grateful, rarest, genuine, cherish, delicate and loot.  Again all tests will be taken on Thursday of this week due to our field trip on Friday.

Math:

We are finishing up topic 9 and will take our test on Wednesday, February 19th.  We will begin Topic 10 which deals with adding with tens and ones.  Also, please continue to practice addition and subtraction fluency as we will continue to test in this area. 

Science:

This week, we will focus on Dental Health.  We will have a visit from the "Tooth Fairy" on Wednesday of this week.  We will be doing a special tooth brushing lesson once again on Thursday.  Please allow your child to bring a travel size tube of toothpaste and their toothbrush in a ziploc bag on this day, so that they can "actively participate". 


February 10-14  

Parents,

Let me just say "thank you!" With your help, we have exceeded our goal for giving 100 food items to "God's Kitchen"!  I'm just overwhelmed with gratitude for the kindness that is continually shown to help others in need.  Thanks to you, people who are homeless and in need of a home-cooked meal will get one!  My mother and father, who are Overseers for this ministry, Mr. and Mrs. Horton, send their thanks to you as well!  We will be making our presentation to this entity this week. You guys rock!!!

FYI:

We will have our Valentine's Day party on Friday of this week.  There's a slight change, as the party will be held in the afternoon.  We will have our party at 12:30. We will exchange Valentine's Cards before the party.  Please send in a shoebox by Wednesday of this week.  We will decorate our boxes that will hold the cards.   Also, if you are able to send in stickers and other decorations to use for this purpose, please send them by Wednesday also.  Lastly, if you have extra boxes that you can bring in to use, please send those in as well.  We have 19 students in our class: Hunter, JaMarcus, Anna, Jane, Jasmine, Ava, Teagan, Luke, Joshua, Jessica, KeAndre, Luke C., Malachi, Presley, Baylie, Matti, John Sidney, Ethen and Lily.  On that day, we will need cupcakes, chips and dip, juice boxes, plates, napkins and small treat bags with party favors in them.  If you are able to send any of these items, please text me or send me an email as soon as possible.  Thanks again!

Reading:

This is a review week.  We will be taking our Unit 3 Test on Wednesday and Thursday of this week.  We will be going over all skills that we have covered in this unit.  Please make sure to review high frequency words as well.  You can review skills for this unit on the waltkek website for First Grade. 

Math:

We are starting topic 9 which deals with comparing and ordering numbers to 100.  We will be exploring 1 more, 1 less; 10 more, 10 less; making numbers on a hundred chart, comparing numbers using greater than, less than and equal to symbols, ordering three numbers and making an organized list.   Also, please continue to review addition and subtraction facts. 

Social Studies:

We are beginning a unit on Abraham Lincoln and will then go into a unit on George Washington.  As always, if you have some materials from an internet search, books, magazines that will enhance our unit of study, please feel free to do so. 

   

Announcement Image for February 10-14

February 3-7  

Parents,

Did last week just totally surprise us or what?  I hope all of you fared well during the storm.  I'm sure the children will have plenty of interesting conversations about their adventures in the snow this week!

Reading:

This week, we will move onto our next story in reading.  We will review the skills from "I Am A Caterpillar", because these skills will seen again on the Unit Test.  New homework packets come home on Monday.  Please continue to practice reading fluency with your child, making sure they know their high frequency words.  Please check the links section of this webpage to practice the high frequency words from all units.  

Math:

We will pick up where we left off.  We will review Topic 7 skills and be ready to do Topic 7 test on Wednesday.  Also, continue to practice addition and subtraction fact fluency with your child as we will continue timed tests this week.  

FYI:

On Friday we will celebrate the 100th day of school.  We will be collecting 100 food items to share with the ministry "God's Kitchen".  Please see last week's announcement for more details.  

We will have our Valentine's Day Party on February 14th.  That will be a half day for students, so we will have our party in the morning.  We will have breakfast items.  Please look for more details this week.

 

Social Studies:

We are beginning a unit on Abraham Lincoln this week.  We will then move on to George Washington.  If you have any books or interesting facts to share, please feel free to do so.  

 


January 27 - 31  

Dear Parents,

This is the final week in January!  Can you believe it?  Time has flown this month and so have we!  We are in the 2nd Semester of First Grade and are progressing quite nicely!  Let's see what's in store for this week!

FYI:

We will celebrate the 100th day of school on Friday, February 7th.  In conjunction with that day we will be finishing up a 100 food item drive to go to supply a local pantry, "God's Kitchen", that feeds the homeless and less fortunate 365 days a year. My mother and father are overseers in this ministry and along with volunteers, provide hot meals to those in need on a daily basis.  Our goal is to provide 100 food items which include items such as rice, beans, pasta, sugar, flour, canned foods etc. to help stock the pantry in honor of our 100th day of school.  Please start sending in items this week and if you have others in your community who would like to donate, please gather those items and send them to our classroom.  We will present the items to "God's Kitchen" when we have reached 100.  Also students will be able to pay $1 to wear a hat and $1 to wear sunglasses.  Wristbands will be sold on that Tuesday morning in the red hall beginning at 7:15 a.m. 

Reading:

We are on the 5th story in book 3.  The story for the week is called "I'm a Caterpillar".  In this story we will learn about the life cycle of the butterfly and the stages that it goes through during Metamorphosis.  This will also spill over into our science mini-unit on the life cycle of the butterfly.  Our skills for the week include: high frequency words; done, visit, know, wait and push; phonics and spelling this week will include contractions and r-controlled vowels er, ir, and ur; our spelling words are her, girl, shirt, sir, first, burn, fur, bird, were, hurt, visit and hurt.  Our amazing words are: cycle, insect, flurries, fragile, develop, rearrange, emerge and vessel.  In comprehension, we will focus on fact and opinion with the strategy text structure.  In Grammar this week we will be learning about and using the verbs am, is, are, was, and were.  Our story, grammar, and spelling tests for the week are on Friday.

Math:

We are continuing with Topic 7 which deals with number patterns to 120.  We will take our test on this topic on Thursday, January 30, of this week.  The study guide will come home on Monday.  We will also take our timed math fluency drill on Friday.  Please continue to practice memorizing addition and subtraction facts to 10. 

Science:

This week, we will be learning about the life cycle of the butterfly.  We will go through the stages of Metamorphosis and explore what happens at each stage of development.  If you would like to send in any materials from internet search, books, magazines etc that will enhance our unit of study, please feel free to do so. 

 


January 19 - January 24 Newsletter  

Parents,

Last week was a busy one with Performance Series Testing for both Reading and Math. We are currently completing all mid-year assessments to see what we have to work on for the remainder of the year to reach all First Grade Benchmarks. Please continue to read with your child daily. In Reading, model the appropriate fluency each day and allow your child to practice words they don’t automatically know. By the end of First Grade all students should be reading the minimum of 40 words per minute and retelling at least half of what they read. For instance, if they are reading 40 words per minute, they should be able to retell what they have read in at least 20 words. In writing, by now each student should be able to write a paragraph in summary of a story or on a given topic with correct capitalization and punctuation. They should be applying the phonics skills we have learned this year in their spelling. Each sentence should be a “whole Idea”. If your child still struggles with doing this practice, practice, practice! I encourage each of you to continue to press forward in working with your child. The benefits will be well worth the work! Thank you for all you do to make our year great!  Please remember that we will be out on Monday, January 19th, in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Reading:

We are still in unit 3 which deals with the question "What is changing in our World?".  On Tuesday, we will be starting the story, "Frog and Toad Together".  The skills for this story are; phonics: word ending –ed and r-controlled “ar”; spelling: -ed words – plan, planned, help, helped, drop, dropped, call, called, ask, asked, again, and soon; high frequency words – few, afraid, read, soon, how and again; amazing words - gardener, sprout, shade, destroy, nature, dim, sprinkling and humongous; grammar skill: verbs from the past and future; and the comprehension skill "author’s purpose" using the strategy "visualize”.  We will take our story test, grammar test, and spelling test on Friday, January 24th. 

Math:

We will begin Topic 7 which deals with counting and number patterns to 120.  In this topic, we will be making and using numbers 11 to 19, counting by 10’s to 120, counting on a hundred chart, using skip counting and looking for number patterns to solve problems. Please review the math pages that come home in your child's notebook daily to reinforce these skills.  We will also continue with math fluency by taking timed math drills in addition and subtraction every Friday.  Again, please see the websites listed under the links section of our webpage for further practice with addition and subtraction and for other First Grade skills. 

Science:

We are learning about how our World changes in winter.  We will continue this unit and further it with mini-units on cold climate animals throughout the month.

Social Studies:

We are finishing up a unit on the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  We have been incorporating literature, writing, art activities and technology with this unit.  We will have "Dream Day" on January 22nd.  Each student should dress-up in attire that they would wear while working in their "dream career".  This is a major grade for this nine weeks.  Students will earn points by: dressing-up 50 pts., writing or typing a short summary of what their dream career would be – 25 pts., giving an oral presentation on the career they choose - 25 pts. Dream Day presentations will be due on January 22. 


January 10-17  

Happy New Year!

We have a lot to do this Semester in First Grade!  Let's dig right in!

Reading:

We are now in unit 3 which deals with the question "What is changing in our World?".  On Monday, we will be starting the story, "The Class Pet".  The skills for this story are; phonics: r-controlled or, ore, ending -es, and plural -es; spelling: plural -es words - fix, fixes, class, classes, wish, wishes, kiss, kisses, bus and buses; high frequency words - away, house, very, car, our, friends and school; amazing words -features, natural, tumble, nibble, wriggle, mature, swoop, crumple and nudges; grammar skill: verbs that do not add an -s; and the comprehension skill "fact and opinion" using the strategy "monitor and clarify.  We will take our story test, grammar test, and spelling test on Friday, January 17th.  I have been asked the question "How do I help my child read fluently?" many times.  The answer and some tips on doing this are listed below:

Answer: To read fluently means to read words expressively and smoothly. Children who are not fluent read choppily and word-for-word. This can affect their comprehension, because they don’t remember what they have read by the time they reach the end of a sentence. Reading fluently is an important skill. To help your child learn to read fluently, one of the most important things you can do is to regularly read aloud to your child so that you’re modeling the type of reading you want your child to do. For example, if you’re changing your voice for different characters, your child will know that he or she needs to do the same. If a book that you’re reading has text features such as bold print, and you decide to read a bolded word loudly, you’re modeling that they, too, can do that while they’re reading. Another way to develop fluency is to have your child read a book over and over again. Children tend to become fluent readers after reading the same thing many times. They know when to pause, when to speed up, and when to slow down. As they listen to themselves read more and more fluently, this also helps to build their confidence.

Math:

We have begun Topic 8 which deals with place value.  We are exploring using tens and ones in this topic.  We will be taking a test on Thursday, January 16th.  The study guide will come home on Tuesday.  Please review the math pages that come home in your child's notebook in preparation for the test.  We will also continue with math fluency by taking timed math drills in addition and subtraction every Friday.  Please see the websites listed under the links section of our webpage for further practice with addition and subtraction and for other First Grade skills. 

Science:

We are learning about how our World changes in winter.  We will continue this unit and further it with mini-units on cold climate animals througout the month.

Social Studies:

We will be doing a unit on the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the month of January.  We will incorporate literature, writing, art activities and technology with this unit.  As we progress further in this study, we will have "Dream Day".  Each student will be able to dress-up in attire that they would wear while working in their "dream career".  I will send a rubric home next week that further explains how each student will receive their grade which is a major grade this nine weeks.  Dream Day presentations will be due on January 22. 

 


December 9-13  

Parents,

This week is going to be a busy one!  First Grade has DIBELS on Tuesday.  Oral fluency, retelling and nonsense words will be tested this time around.  We will begin our Unit 2 Test on Wednesday afternoon and continue on Thursday.  Also on Thursday of this week, we will paint snowmen sweatshirts, as I will be out of the classroom administering DIBELS to 2nd grade students during the morning on Wednesday.  We will have a visit from Santa on Friday.  Your child may take a picture with Santa for $5.  Every child will get to sit on Santa's lap and request one thing from their list.  On Friday afternoon, the Prattville Junior High Band will come and render Christmas music for the students.  As you can see, this week is chock full of excitement.  We have one more full week until Christmas break begins on December 20.  I sent graded papers home on Monday, because this week is busy and I wanted to make sure that was done early in the week.  Here's what's happening in all subjects for the week:

Reading:

We are reviewing for the Unit 2 Test that will begin on Wednesday of this week.  Please see the website on the links page of this webpage for specific practice.  The link should take you to the waltkek page.  Just google waltkek if you are having trouble viewing the link and go under the First Grade Unit 2 area.  All high frequency words, phonics skills, grammar skills and enrichment activities from Unit 2 can be found on this site.  Students will also need to practice retelling a short story after reading aloud.  I have included a practice page in their notebooks this week as an example. 

Math:

We are finishing up Topic 6 this week.  We will take the test on Wednesday.  Also on that day, we will begin Topic 8.  I have included a study guide to prepare for the test on Wednesday.  It does not need to be returned. 

Social Studies:

We are still learning about Christmas traditions around the world.  So far, we have learned about Germany, Poland, and Russia.  We will continue to compare and contrast traditions in America with traditions around the globe. 

 

 


December 2-6  

  

 

Greetings Parents!

Christmas is in the air and the children know it!  We have 3 weeks before Winter Break, and much to do before then, so let's dig in to this week's lessons.

Reading:

We have begun Unit 3 this week and are on the story "A Place to Play". In comprehension, we are working on sequence.  In grammar we are working with action verbs.  Our phonics skill for the week deals with  y as a vowel (long i as in try and long e as in any).  We are also working on the lonely vowel sound of o as in no, e as in me, and i as in hi.  Our high frequency words are always, everything, things, become, nothing, day and stays.  Our spelling words for the week are: my, by, try, sunny, handy, fly, cry, lucky, silly, puppy, things and always.  Next week is review week.  We will review skills from Unit 2 and take our Unit 2 test. 

Math:

We have begun Topic 6 which deals with subtraction facts to 20.  We will explore making a ten to subtract, using related facts, fact families, using addition to subtract, subtraction facts to 20 and drawing a picture and writing a number sentence. Please continue to practice addition and subtraction fact fluency.  A great way to do this is using flash cards.  We will be taking timed math tests weekly until the end of the year to build math fact fluency.

Social Studies:

For the entire month of December we will be exploring Christmas/Holiday traditions around the world.  We will explore Christmas/Holiday traditions from several countries during the month of December, beginning with America and moving on to Germany.  If you have information on a particular country/culture that you would like to share with the class, please send me a brief note so that we can plan accordingly.  We will end our studies on December 19th with an International Cookie Swap.  I will send home recipes next week.  Please make enough to share with the class during the party and for them to take 1 home. 

FYI:

*We are still in need of a class Christmas tree.  If you would like to donate one, please contact me as soon as possible.  I would really love to have a tree up in the room by the end of this week.  Students may bring one ornament from home to help decorate the class tree.  All ornaments will be returned by December 19th.

*On December 10th, We will be taking DIBELS.  Keep reading and practicing those high frequency words and retelling stories that they have read. 

*On December 11th, we will be painting Snowman Sweatshirts. All students are asked to bring in a Blue Sweatshirt/Hoodie to paint by Monday, December 9th. Please write your child’s name in the label of the shirt and not just the bag it comes to school in to make sure there is no mix-up.

*If you would like to volunteer to help paint on December 11th, please send a letter as soon as possible so that arrangements can be made.

*On December 13th, we will have a visit from Santa for First and Second Grade classes and the Prattville Junior High School Band will come and perform Christmas Music for our students.  

*On December 17th, we will have our SOAR Celebration.  This will be a visit to Wonder World.  Details will be announced closer to that date.

*On December 19th, we will have a Book swap/International cookie swap during our party at 1:00. Each child may bring a book to swap and recipes for the cookie swap will come home the week before the swap.  

 


November 18-22  

This week is our final week before Thanksgiving Break.  We will be out for the week of November 25-29.  We will return to school on December 2nd. 

Please join us for lunch on Wednesday, November 20th at 11:03 as we have our class feast.  We will get our Thanksgiving-themed lunch from the lunchroom and take it back down to the classroom.  If you would like to join us for this day, please send a note Tuesday morning, so that I will know how many to expect for lunch. 

Reading:

Our story for the week is "Honey Bees".  We will work on the following skills; Phonics: long e (e, ee); Comprehension: comparing and contrasting and questioning; Spelling words: feet, he, see, we, green, me, she, tree, week, be, some and family; and high frequency words also, other, family, some, new and their.  Our question of the week is "How is an insect community like a community of people?"  Our grammar skill is "nouns in sentences".  We will take our grammar, spelling, high frequency word and reading test on Friday.  Please see your child's notebook for homework for the week.

Math:

We are finishing up with Topic 5.  We will work on Word problems with three addends; Adding three numbers; Making 10 to add 8 and reviewing for our test.  We will take our test on Thursday. 

Social Studies:

We are finishing up our unit on Thanksgiving/Native American Culture/Pilgrims.  We will continue to learn about the Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving.  We will also include a short table manners lesson during the week. 

 


November 11-15  

Parents,

This week we have the following going on in our classroom:

Reading:

We are on the story "Life in the Forest".  This story explores the interdependence of plants and animals.  In phonics we are working on the long u sound, long e and inflected ending -ed.  Our spelling words have the long u sound: huge, tube, cute, mule, June, use, flute, rule, cube and rude.  Included in our high frequency word list this week are around, find, food, grow, under and water.  The comprehension skill is "Author's Purpose".  We will also use "Background Knowledge" as we read our story for the week.  Our grammar skill this week explores "Singular and Plural Nouns".  Our tests on grammar, spelling, our story, and high frequency words will be on Friday.  Please see your child's notebook for homework.

Math:

This week will continue with topic 5.  Our focus this week will be two-question problems, making 10 to add, making 10 to add 9 and making 10 to add 8.  We will also have our timed addition test on Friday to work on fluency with math facts.

Social Studies:

This week, we are working on our Native American Unit.  We will explore the culture and traditions of Native Americans and will follow with our study on the Pilgrims and The First Thanksgiving.  We will conclude our study with a class feast on next Wednesday, Nov. 20th, during lunch.  We would love for you to join us for lunch on that day as our lunchroom will be serving a Thanksgiving themed lunch.  We will walk down to the classroom after getting our lunch and have our feast there. 

 


November 4-8  

Happy November!  Here's what we have going on in the classroom this week:

Reading:

We are on week 4 in our reading series.  We have the story "The Big Circle" which deals with a community of dinosaurs.  We are working on long o and contractions in phonics.  In comprehension we are working on sequencing and inferring.  We will continue to work on reading with fluency.  Our amazing words are enemy, protect, holler, bluff, extinct, crater, swamp and boisterous.  Our high frequency words are down, there, inside, together and now.  Our spelling words for the week are: home, hope, rose, woke, those, bone, hose, joke, rode, stone, there and together.  Please see your child's notebook for homework assignments. 

Math:

We are taking the Topic 4 test on Monday, November 4th.  We will begin Topic 5 which deals with addition facts to 20.  In this topic we will continue to work on fluency with addition facts. 

Social Studies:

We will begin our Native American unit this week.  We will continue with a unit on The Pilgrims and finish with a Thanksgiving unit.  We will end our unit with a feast at the end of the month.

FYI:

Field trip $ for the play "Henry and Mudge" is due on Friday, November 8th by 8:00.   Money can not be turned into the office after this time. 


October 28-Nov. 1  

Reading:

This week our story is "Who Works Here".  In this story, we will explore community helpers and how they help to make our neighborhood a nice place to live.  In phonics, we will cover long i, wh, ch, tch and ph.  Our spelling words for the week have the long i sound; time, like, white, ride, smile, kite, bike, ice, dime, hide and include the words who and work.  Our high frequency words for the week are people, who, work, out and live.  Our grammar skill for the week includes special titles.  The comprehension skills for the week are "Author's Purpose" and "Important Ideas".   We will conclude our studies this week with a Reading Test, Grammar Test and Spelling Test on Friday.

Math:

This week in math we will continue with adding and subtracting to 12.  We will explore subtracting with 0, 1, and 2; Thinking addition; Thinking addition to 8 to subtract; Thinking addition to 12 to subtract; and Problem Solving: Draw a picture and write a number sentence.  We will take our test on Monday, November 4th.

Social Studies:

This week in Social Studies, we will focus on red-ribbon week.  Our goal this week is to increase awareness of the effects of drugs and to give strategies to deal with bullying.  On Monday, we dressed in red and signed a pledge to be drug free; on Tuesday, our theme was "Life is a work of art...color it drug free!  On Wednesday, the theme is "Give drugs the boot and be all you can be....not a bully!"  On Thursday,  we will "Show good character and spook out drugs....we are drug free!"  Please talk with your child daily about what we are learning/discussing in class. 

FYI:

We will have our Book Character parade on Thursday at 12:30.  Please see the note that was sent home last week for your child's assigned item(s) for the party.  Parents, grandparents, etc. are invited to watch our character parade and then join us for refreshments afterwards. 

 


October 21-25  

Reading:

This week in reading we are on the story "The Farmer in the Hat".  In phonics, we will be introducing long a with silent e; ai, ay, soft c and soft g.  The comprehension skill for the week is cause and effect.  We will continue to work on nouns particularly proper nouns.  Please check your child's Notebook for their spelling list with week 2 words and the high frequency words for the week.  

Math:

We are still on Topic 4: Addition and Subtraction facts to 12.  We will work on near doubles, facts with 5 on a ten-frame, making 10 on a ten-frame, subtracting 0, 1, and 2; and thinking addition.  Please review papers that come home daily for the concepts we worked on for that day.

Social Studies:

We are continuing our maps and globes unit and finishing up with Christopher Columbus.  Ask your child to review facts learned by looking at the globe together.  We will focus on a new science unit next week.

FYI:

On Monday, October 21, we will have the first grade SOAR celebration.  Those who have an adequate number of points (at least 90) will attend.

Also, on Monday, we will visit our school computer lab.  We will go each Monday to enhance our children's computer literacy skills. 

Please continue to send in boxtops for education.  They are really adding up!

On Thursday, October 24, we will have Rocktoberfest at our school.  Please make plans to attend.  Each grade level has been working hard to decorate the halls for this special event.  Parents and friends who attend will have the opportunity to vote for their child's hallway by giving a donation.  The grade level with the most votes wins $550 per teacher to be used to purchase technology needs for their classroom. I would like to purchase an item that all the children can use at school to enhance our classroom.  See you there!!!!!


Announcement Image for October 21-25

October 14-18  

Greetings,

Fall is in the air and we are well underway with wonderful learning experiences.  This is a short week due to our fall break.  There's a lot to do even in a short week, so let's see what's in store for us in class this week.

Reading:

We took our Unit 1 test last week and are beginning a new Unit in book 2.  In this unit we are working on the concept question "What is a community?"  Our story for the week is "A Big Fish For Max".  Homework was sent home on Thursday of last week.  If your child did not get their homework for the week, please send me a note or email as soon as possible.  

Math:

We are beginning Topic 4 this week which deals with addition and subtraction facts to 12.  We will be working with doubles and near doubles as well as continuing work with ten-frames.  Please continue to work with your child on each daily page that comes home.  Addition and subtraction facts should be reviewed as well.  Overall, I'm pleased with their progress with our math concepts.

Social Studies:

This week, we are doing a mini-unit on Columbus.  We will continue to explore maps and globes along with this unit.  Ask your child facts that they have learned in class.

FYI:

We will have our field trip to the pumpkin patch on this Friday.  Please make sure that your child dresses appropriately for the weather.  We will wear DPES t-shirts if they have them.  We look forward to an awesome time at Dreamland Farms!

 


October 7-11  

Reading:

This week is a review week in reading.  We will take the Unit 1 assessment this week.  We will start with the writing portion of the test on Tuesday.  We will then do the rest of the test on Wednesday and Thursday.  I have included practice pages in each student's binder over the last two weeks to practice skills from this unit.  Please also review high frequency words from all stories, short vowel sounds, final blends and grammar skills from this unit for the test. 

Math:

We are finishing up on Topic 3.  We will take the Topic 3 test on Wednesday.  Please review the study guide for the test that has been included in your child's binder. 

Social Studies:

We are continuing our maps and globes unit.  The children have had fun learning about continents and oceans.  We are studying landforms this week and working on directions; north, south, east and west.  We will use what we have learned to practice reading maps.  We will begin our Christopher Columbus unit next week.

FYI:

We will be out of school on Friday, October 11th and Monday, October 14th.   


September 30-October 4  

Happy Fall!

This week we have a lot to cover, so let's jump right in!

Reading:

Our story for the week is "Animal Park".  In this story we will explore the concept of animals on a nature reserve.  In phonics we will be working on final consonant blends and the short u sound.  Our spelling words which feature these sounds are: crust, bump, jump, must, just, dust, trust, dusk, hunt and lump.  Our challenge words are: many and into.  Our high frequency words are: home, them, into and many.  As we read this week, we will focus on the comprehension skill "cause and effect" by using the strategy "text structure".  In grammar, we will work with exclamatory sentences.  We will take our reading, grammar and spelling tests on Friday.

Math:

We will begin topic 3, which deals with five and ten relationships.  We will be representing numbers on a ten-frame, recognizing numbers on a ten-frame, practicing parts of 10, finding missing parts of ten and making a table this week.  Please review daily papers and practice skills that we worked on in class to make sure that your child has adequate practice with more difficult skills.  

Social Studies:

We will begin a unit on Christopher Columbus.  We will explore maps and get more familiar with continents and bodies of water on the globe. If your child would like to bring in fun facts to share with the class, please send them as we explore this topic together.

Science:

We are working on a mini "living things" unit.  As with social studies, if your child would like to bring in fun facts or pictures of living things, please send them as we work on this unit.

FYI:

*Please continue to send in boxtops for education.

*We will have a book character parade on October 31.  Details will come home in a few weeks.

*If your child would like to purchase items from the supply store, please send a note so that I can make sure that they get what they "need".    


September 23-27  

Reading

This week we are reading the story "Get The Egg".  Our phonics skills are short e and initial consonant blends.  Our high frequency words are saw, tree, small and your.  Our spelling words have the short e sound; men, red, step, ten, net, leg, jet, sled, wet and bed.  We are focusing on the comprehension skill: main idea and details as well as learning about story structure.  In writing, we will focus on organization.  Our grammar skill for the week deals with Interrogative Sentences.  Homework for the week, can be found in your child's reading notebook.

Math

This week, we are finishing up our Topic 2 lessons dealing with subtraction.  Please continue to review the daily papers that come home.  We will have our test on Friday of this week.  The study guide will come home on Tuesday. 

Social Studies

This week, we are continuing our mini-study on the life of Johnny Appleseed.  We will end our unit on Thursday, with some apple-centered activities. 

Science

We are doing a mini-unit on the life cycle of apples.  We will have art projects, research and discussions to help us learn more about this topic. 


September 16-20  

Reading:

This week, our story is "A Fox and a Kit".  The skills we will be covering in this story are: inflected ending -s; words ending with -ing; Main Idea/Details; declarative sentences and personal narrativesThis week our high frequency words are: eat, five, four, her, this and too.  Our spelling words are: sit, sits, win, wins, fit, fits, hit, hits, nap, naps, her and too. Our weekly reading and spelling tests are on Friday. 

Math:

We are continuing to explore missing parts.  Please review your child's lesson with the math page that comes home daily. All students should practice subtraction and addition to help build their fluency in these areas. 

Social Studies:

We are working on Johnny Appleseed this week.  We will continue this concept throughout next week.

Science:

We are doing a mini-unit on the life cycle of apples.  We will explore from seed to fruit.  We will end our study with a mini-apple fest next week.

 


September 9-13  

Greeting

We are settling into our new school routine quite nicely!  There are a few things to be mindful of as the week progresses.  There will be several tests this week.  Your child brought home a practice page for math to prepare for our test on Topic 1 on Tuesday.  This does not need to be returned.  Also, we will have our Reading Test as well as our Spelling Test on Friday.  Homework, which is due on Friday, can be found in the Reading Notebook.  Lastly, we will have Show and Tell on Friday.  Students may bring appropriate items to share with the class. 

Reading

This week, we are reading the story, "The Big Blue Ox".  In phonics, we are working on the short o sound, plural -s, and consonant s /z/.  Our spelling words which use the short o sound and the High Frequency Words, can be found in the Reading Notebook.  Please practice these words nightly.  Also, you will find your child's September Reading Log in their notebook.  Please make sure that your child reads daily.  Please record the title of their book(s) and sign.  I check their log to make sure they are getting an appropriate amount of reading practice. 

 

Math

This week, we are beginning Topic 2, which deals with subtraction.  Please see the daily math pages and practice any skill that your child is having problems with.  We will begin with solving for missing parts after our test on Tuesday. 

 

Social Studies

This week, we are doing lessons on Bullying.  Students will do various writing assignments and participate in class discussions on the topic throughout the week. 

 

FYI

*Please send boxtops for education.  I receive 10 cents for every boxtop.  Boxtop money is used to purchase classroom supplies. 

*Picture Day is this Friday.  Make sure students are prepared to take their picture for the yearbook.