Monthly Archives: February 2012

Reading Update!

This week in reading, we focused in on different strategies that we can use during our Read to Someone time.

We are experts with our Check for Understanding checkmark, but this week, we introduced a new way to use it.  When the students are reading with a partner, one partner is going to read a page of their book and before going on, they are going to check to make sure that their partner understood (and was listening) what was just read.  So, the partner who read will stop and ask their listening partner, “Who did I just read about and what just happened?”  If the partner answers correctly, they will go on to the next page.  If the listening partner can’t remember the answer to one of the questions, then the reader will reread that page and ask the questions again.  They are doing a great job with this to see if their partners are following along with them.

Another new strategy that we introduced was our Guard Dog. One area that we find our students making errors in with accuracy is when they read, they often read quickly and don’t pay attention to the words closely enough to notice that they are adding words, skipping words, or switching out words (a instead of the).  So, we introduced the guard dog as a way for the students to be on the lookout for their partners to see if they are letting in (or out) any unwanted words.  The reading partner points to the words as they read and the listening partner keeps watch to see if they are reading the words correctly.  If the listening partner notices that their partner skipped, switched, or added a word that isn’t right, they get to let out a quiet growl to alert their partner to stop and fix up what they just read.

Obviously, the kids have had fun practicing their growling!  Both of these strategies are helping keep the kids focused readers while working with partners.

Writing Update!

This week, the students got back into our study of Angela Johnson’s writing.  We reviewed what we already know about her as a writer: she adds ellipses to slow down her readers and add suspense.  We read another book of hers, Do Like Kyla, and noticed that she had some words in her book that she repeats over and over again.  The kids called these again and again words.  We also noticed that her again and again words weren’t just any words, she had chosen words that helped readers to not forget the main idea or heart of her story.  We had so many kids try putting again and again words into their stories to help us not forget the heart of their stories, and they turned out so cute!  Way to go first graders for trying something new to make your stories even better!!

Math Update!

Our first grade mathematicians worked very hard this week! It was a busy, busy, busy assessment week for all of them! They proved their skills and expertise with the Unit 4 assessment mid-week. Their hard work and dedication to this unit really shined through! On Thursday of this week, our little math experts took the Unit 4 Benchmark also. This Benchmark was a mixture of math problems from all of the previous units. Everyone did a fantastic job!

Coming up next week, we will get new Math Switch groups and we will begin working with coins again 🙂

Coin Wars!

This year the Georgetown Parent Club will be holding our second fundraiser of the school year the Coin Wars from February 27 – March 1! The object of the event is for each class/team to collect as many SILVER coins as possible during the “war” to help raise funds for school supplies, field trips, events, etc. NO PENNIES orCANADIAN coins are permitted in the container. Students bring U.S. silver coins to school and place them in the container in their classroom.

The parent club is also looking for Dad participants to promote the Coin War during lunch recess.  If you know any Dad’s with flexible daytime schedules please let Amanda Troyer know at

Prizes are as follows:

1st place class: Special, extra long lunch and dessert with Principal

2nd place class: Ice Cream party

3rd place class: Pizza party

Highest earning grade level: extra recess and PJ Day

Let’s earn one of those prizes First Graders! I know we can do it!

Biweekly Reports & Conferences!

I hope that you have all enjoyed getting our biweekly reports to update you more frequently on how your child is performing in the classroom and how you can support them at home.  We are taking these next two weeks off from reports since we will be working on report cards and comment pages this weekend and then we will meet with you at conferences next week to talk with you in person.  So, if you were expecting an update this weekend, you will receive one the weekend of March 10.  If you just received your update this past weekend, you will get your next biweekly report the weekend of March 17.

Thanks so much for your support from home and we look forward to meeting with you during your conference time next week!

Winter Conference Schedule