Monthly Archives: September 2011

WEB Books!

It has been fun getting to know our students better and better each day.  After practicing reading for a few weeks now, we are ready to start up our WEB reading program.  WEB stands for Wonderfully Exciting Books…even though the books might not always excite you, it will be Wonderfully Exciting to watch our students soar through Book after Book and grow as readers this year!!

As we are just starting up this program today, you might find your student coming home with a book that is very easy for them.  We do want all WEB books to be an easy read, but we are also in the process of assessing all students and are working on meeting with each student individually to find their independent reading level.  When we assess each child, we look to see that they are able to read the words correctly, use good fluency, and are able to understand what they read.   We have introduced the Shape GO! Map to our classes and are training our students to use this as a guide when they are retelling a story to make sure they include all details and events.  This is a new tool and until our students are able to consistently retell a story with all the details and events, we want them to practice with easier stories.  We will continue to work with and assess your student’s ability to read and fully retell a story throughout the year and then move your child up to his/her independent level.

Thanks so  much to all of you for taking time to read with your child each night!  I am also VERY appreciative of our volunteer parent readers that will start next week.  This program would not be possible without you and I am truly thankful for your dedication to our readers!  We can’t wait to see you each day, starting this coming week!

Reading Update!

We sent home our first WEB book on Friday.  Please read through the WEB Parent Letter that came home in the baggie to get more formation about the WEB reading routine.  Thanks for taking the time to read and send back those books each day.  Thanks to all of our helpful volunteers who will begin reading with our students next week!

This week, the students have worked hard to make sure they are picking JUST RIGHT books when they fill their book box.  We talked about how our brains aren’t working when we have books that are too easy, so the kids are finding books that have a few (not too many!) tricky words in them.  But to support their reading, we have begun to learn new tricks that readers use when they come to a tricky word.  We have addressed pointing to the words as you read, getting your mouth ready for the first few sounds of the word (Lips the Fish), using the picture clues (Eagle Eye), and  stretching out the sounds of a word (Stretchy the Snake).  If you hear them talking about these strategies, encourage your student to use these strategies while they read their WEB books to you at home.  Use this time to work on rereading the stories until your child can read the words smoothly, as if they were talking.  The more fluent a reader they are, the higher their comprehension will be.

We have now addressed all areas of our Shape GO! Map: triangle (characters, setting, problem), rectangle (events of the story), circle (last event), heart (lesson or intent).   We worked on retelling the events of the story using the words first, next, then, and last.  We talked about how there are often many events in a story and we focused on retelling them in order.   When you read at home, take time to ask your child who the characters are and what the setting of the story is.  These questions will open their minds up to finding these important qualities in all the books they read.

A Note From the Library

October 1 is the start of our 2011-2012 Pizza Hut Book-it program.  This program runs from October 2011 thru March 2012.  Your child will bring home a calendar for them to keep track of their reading minutes.  This calendar has a goal on it (15 minutes / night).  At the end of the month, when they have reached their goal please send the signed calendar back to school and in return they will receive a coupon for a FREE Personal Pan Pizza to be used at any Pizza Hut with no other purchase necessary.  Please direct ALL questions to Mrs. VandenBerg (our School Librarian) at

Thank You!

WEB Reading Volunteers!

Below is the tentative schedule for our WEB reading program.  I used your child’s name to mark the day of the week that I currently have you scheduled for.  Unless otherwise noted, I am planning on you to come every week.  Please look over this schedule and let me know if the day of the week and time still work well for you by sending me an e-mail.  I am very flexible, so if you need to switch days or would like to volunteer on a biweekly or monthly basis, just let me know!

I would like to send out the revised schedule no later than Friday.  This schedule will include details about what to do and where to meet me on your first day, which will be next week!  Please e-mail back before then to let me know if your scheduled day sounds okay.

If your child’s name is not listed on the chart above, but you would like to volunteer, just send me an e-mail with your availability.

I can’t wait to get this program up and running!!!  It plays such an important role in your child’s growth as a reader throughout the year and I could not manage it without your help!!!

Thanks so much!

Social Studies Update!

In Social Studies this week we have been talking about what it means to be a good citizen.  We know that one thing that a good citizen does is: follows the rules.  We talked about people we know that are good citizens.  The kids came up with… their grandparents, parents, the mailman, lunch ladies, teachers, and coaches.  We talked about why we have rules and why it’s important to follow them.  The kids did a great job connecting to George’s Rules or our classroom rules.  They talked about how if we didn’t follow rules it wouldn’t be safe.

We also talked about how a good citizen respects their leaders.  We have different kinds of leaders.  Leaders are people who have power to help them do their job. At school, the teacher’s job is to keep the students safe and to help them learn. We talked about how some people try to use power but it is not their job.  For example, a bully might try to get you to do something by using power- but it’s not their job.

We reviewed classroom rules and had great discussion about what we can do to be great citizens!

Book Order

As we get started with our school year, it is important to make sure that you have a routine set up at home that involves reading everyday.  One of the easiest ways to get your child reading, is to make sure that you have books of interest to your child available.

If you are interested in ordering any books from our Book Order, please submit your order online or to me at school by Wednesday, September 28.

Math Update!

Our first graders continued to grow as mathematicians this week!  We again focused on writing numbers, building patterns and recognizing shapes, but we added a new concept to the mix: breaking apart numbers.  When we break apart a number, we take a larger number and split it into two smaller numbers.  We call the two smaller numbers partners because when we add them together they equal the larger number.  We practiced this technique with counters and had the students turn into little lambs (who jumped over a fence to break apart their number) and practice until it really started to click.  This week, we also used our stair step tool to review the math vocabulary of more and less.  Again, thank you so much for your continued support with your child’s math homework almost every night!

PJ Day!!

The first graders in Room 104 have been working very hard to be “ready to learn” by following our Georgetown Rules of Be Nice, Work Hard and Learn Well.  Each day that our class clip has ended on Ready to Learn or above on our Rainbow Chart we’ve earned a star towards a classroom prize.  We voted on a PJ Day as our first prize and have reached our five star goal, so… Monday, September 26, will be a PJ Day day in Room 104!  Your child may wear some comfy PJ’s tomorrow!

Spelling Update!

The first three weeks of school we studied the words: and, the, & of! Our first graders recognized that and is spelled how it sounds, but the and of are not spelled like they sound! We studied the word and, and found out if we add letters to this word it makes new words! For example: band, hand, and our favorite CANDY! We are trying our best to recognize these words in our reading and trying to spell them correctly in our writing!