Sunday, October 1, 2017

Week 8 - Oct. 1st to 5th

Dear parents, we want to thank you for taking the time to read our blog to see our highlights of the week; and also to find out what will first graders be up to in the next few days. It's hard to believe that we are already in week 8 of our learning journey!. We had a fun week of celebrations of learning in Reading and Writing, where proud first graders showcased the fruits of their hard work. We also closed the week with a great Celebration of Respect, where students participated in the banner gallery walk as they enjoyed a popsicle treat sponsored by the PTO. We want to thank our room moms for helping us to make the writing celebration a fun and sweet one :).
Our Core Value of the month is Responsibility, we will be reading the book "I Wanna Iguana" by Karen Kaufman Orloff. We have a copy in the library. Also, if you are interested in reading it at home with your child and reinforcing this value but you can't find it at the library, you can borrow our class copy, please just contact your teacher directly.


What will we be learning this week?


Our first grade readers had a great week that closed up with a fun celebration, where they were able to show KG students, what good readers do. They had a great time! We finished our first reading unit, and we will start this week our new unit: "Learning About the World, Reading Non Fiction"

This week our first grade readers will learn: 

Teaching Point 1 - Getting our class library ready to explore differences between Fiction and Non-Fiction books.
Teaching Point  - Using everything we know (text features) to help us understand our books.
Teaching Point 3 - Using Headings to help guide our reading.
Teaching Point 4 - Using every visual (images, labels, captions, etc) to understand more about subjects.
Teaching Point 5 - Reading our books like a reporter to emphasize main points

Practicing reading with partners in preparation for their celebration

Reading Celebration with KG

Reading with KG
Reading with KG


What a fabulous writing celebration we had! First graders shared with their parents and peers the result of all the hard work and skills that they've been learning during our "Small Moments" unit. Thank you for being part of this small-big success!. Now it's time for them to start learning how to write "All About", and "How To" Non Fiction books. At home you can support your child by talking about the things that they are "experts" at, or things they know how to do well.

Teaching Point 1 - Writers get ready to write by teaching All About topics
Teaching Point  2 - Writers tell information across their fingers, sketch, and then write.
Teaching Point 3 - Writers keep readers in mind, writing to answer their questions.
Teaching Point 4 - Non Fiction writers teach with pictures, as well as words.

Also this week, first grade authors will take a walk around the school to brainstorm things that they know a lot about, or things that they are really good at.

First Graders preparing their pieces for their celebration


First grade mathematicians will begin this week putting to practice everything they have learned so far about numbers, parts in numbers, and addition; in the mid module assessment that will take place on Sunday; followed by a review day when we will give students feedback about it.

Lesson  25 - Using counting on to solve math stories with unknown parts, and relate them to subtraction.
Lesson  26 & 27 - Counting on to find the unknown part using the number path.

First Grade mathematicians working with their partners


First grade scientists are becoming experts in observing and recording their findings. When you're on campus, please encourage them to show you their garden and explain to you the parts of the plants, and what changes they have observed. At the end of last week, we planted beans in ziplock bags to confirm or change our predictions about wether or not plants need soil to sprout and grow. This coming week we will continue to record observations on both our garden, and our ziplock bags; and we will also learn about the life cycle of a plant.

First Grade Scientists observing and recording

Collaborating with partners

One key to coaching mindset beliefs in children lies in how parents and teachers praise and motivate children .
“Many of the things we do to motivate our kids are sapping their desire to learn,” says Dweck.
It was once thought telling children how smart they are would give them confidence in their abilities, the desire to learn, and the hardiness to withstand difficulty.
“The self-esteem movement got it wrong. Praising children’s intelligence may boost their confidence for a brief moment, but by fostering the fixed view of intelligence, it makes them afraid of challenges, it makes them lose confidence when tasks become hard, and it leads to plummeting performance in the face of difficulty”
Research shows that praising the process—children’s effort or strategies—creates eagerness for challenges, persistence in the face of difficulty, and enhanced performance.
“What we’ve found in study after study is that ability-praise backfires. Emphasising effort gives a child a variable that they can control. They come to see themselves as in control of their success. Emphasising natural intelligence takes it out of the child’s control, and it provides no good recipe for responding to a failure.”

8 tips for promoting a growth mindset in kids:

  1. Help children understand that the brain works like a muscle, that can only grow through hard work, determination, and lots and lots of practice.
  2. Don’t tell students they are smart, gifted, or talented, since this implies that they were born with the knowledge, and does not encourage effort and growth.
  3. Let children know when they demonstrate a growth mindset.
  4. Praise the process. It’s effort, hard work, and practice that allow children to achieve their true potential.
  5. Don’t praise the results. Test scores and rigid ways of measuring learning and knowledge limit the growth that would otherwise be tapped.
  6. Embrace failures and missteps. Children sometimes learn the most when they fail. Let them know that mistakes are a big part of the learning process.
  7. Encourage participation and collaborative group learning. Children learn best when they are immersed in a topic and allowed to discuss and advance with their peers.
  8. Encourage competency-based learning. Get kids excited about subject matter by explaining why it is important and how it will help them in the future. The goal should never be to get the ‘correct’ answer, but to understand at a fundamental, deep level, and want to learn more.
PTO: Halloween Carnival Help Needed
October 27th, 3-7pm
The Elementary School Halloween Carnival is an amazing afternoon of fun and games run by the PTO and parents with the help of high school students organizing the activity booths. We need candy donations for the trick or treat lane. Without the candy, there won’t be a trick or treat lane this year. There is a box labelled Candy Donation in the ES/MS/HS Office.

In addition, we will have a bake sale every Tuesday from 3--4 by the front gate to raise funds for the carnival. Any baked goods or cash donations are highly appreciated. Cash donations can either be given to Mr. Reda our cashier in a sealed envelope labelled Halloween, or during bake sales we will have a box labelled Halloween. Thank You for the needed support.  

Age Group and Tuesday Swim School

Reminder to make sure that you have paid the fees to the school cashier. Final reminders will go out next week with swimmers being held out of the programs if not paid by October 5. The payment sheet can be found here if needed.

Important Dates
October 5th - 3:30pm Booster Club School store opening 
October 5th - Tuesday Swim school payment due date.
October 11th - 2:00 - 3:00pm Christy Curran Writing Workshop for parents 

If you have any questions or feedback for the first grade team please don't hesitate to contact us.

Your Partners in Learning
Taryn Carr (
Gaby Morales (
Charlie Saunders (

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