Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Unit 4 Underway...

Hey blog frequenters thanks for checking in on the classroom action. This week Unit 4 is in full swing with an exciting array of new material ranging from reading to social studies, and science to math. A lot what we are doing is becoming closely intertwined as the first grade curriculum demands that many skills be introduced and practiced for the first time.

Math has put the student in the pilot's seat for navigating new instruments such as rulers and thermometers. Taking measurements and reading temperatures are just a few of the skills being added to the fast filling bag of first grade necessities. This bag of skills will come in mighty handy as science lessons begin focusing on observations and analysis.

Reading is focusing on jobs around the neighborhood and in the community. More in-depth kinds of stories and writings are emerging from the Open Court series, and don't forget the ever important pre-decodables!

Keep up the positive reinforcement at home and I will see you on the blacktop!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thanksgiving Break

It was a very quick week full of review and house cleaning. These two days were a great opportunity to review strategies and skills covered thus far in the year. Students were especially fond of the spelling review game "Sparkle!" If you have not heard about "Sparkle" yet, you must ask your child about it. The real game of Dominoes was introduced and children seemed to grasp the initial concepts about the game. If you are familiar with the playing of dominoes and terminology I would encourage you to play some with your child and/or family. Reading review focused on a number of different reading and comprehension strategies as well as the imaginative Unit 4 introduction activity "Sketch-to-Stretch."

I hope you all have a delightful Thanksgiving Holiday with family and loved ones! If you are traveling, please do so safely!

Gobble Gobble!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Completion of Unit 3

This week marked the end of Unit 3 in both Open-Court Reading and Everyday Math. Assessments were administered during class periods on both Wednesday and Thursday. Students all worked extremely hard to complete both assessments and are now ready to engage in Unit 4 for both content areas.

Open-Court Reading shifts from "Things That Go" to "Our Neighborhood at Work." Unit 4 focuses on types of jobs and the skills necessary to perform the tasks of different kinds of neighborhood employment. Phonics skills associated with this unit will include newly acquired letter combinations such as -ar (as in card) and -er, -ur, -ir (as in chipper, fur, bird).

Everyday Math will now be spiraling back to some already familiar kinds of number awareness such as temperature, time-telling, and money changing. Basic addition skills will continue to improve along with subtraction skills as both will be incorporated in concepts new and old.

Social Studies and Science activities will continue on the path of introduction concepts and experiences such as those incorporating properties, phases of matter, the life cycle, biological and ecological studies. Geography skills will also be introduced as students become more familiar with maps of the United States and the World. Directional awareness will build from the cardinal directions onward to ordinal directions. Essential map reading skills will also be isolated including map keys, scales, and locations.

Please continue all you are doing at home with your child. Reading abilities are improving across the board and it is due to increased phonemic awareness, decoding/blending skills, and modeling of reading. I ask you continue to read with your child every night and encourage them to read as much as possible to you. * Keep your eyes open for the next Scholastic Book order coming after Thanksgiving! *

Thanks for reading my blog and never underestimate the effort in focus and hard work!

-Mr. Reynolds

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Happy Veterans Day!

** A quick reminder that Monday will be a musical show and tell during the music period. Please have your child bring in an item, talent, or other related to music. **

This week marks the end of Unit 3 in both reading and math. End of unit assessments will be administered on Wednesday and Thursday (Game Days.) Your child should be prepared if you have been keeping up with predecodable readings, Home Links, and been in attendance on a regular basis. I ask you take extra initiative to ensure well-rounded, healthy meals and plenty of sleep for the entire week.

See you on the black top!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Week Wrap-up...

*Congratulations to you for checking my blog for this post if you noticed there was not a Mr. Reynolds' Reader in your child's mail folder today. I'm hoping to make the full transition to online updates by the time reports cards come out (December 7, 2007.)

The week was fast, focused and similar to the title of our Open-Court big book story of the week "On the Go." We read and learned about different types of transportation including something as simple as your feet to something as complex as a rocket ship.

Number awareness and manipulation continued to increase speed as we accelerated towards new skills such as frames and arrows and number-line counting (skipping.) Please keep working on addition facts at home. Subtraction is just around the corner...

Using our transportation theme we constructed a classroom train full of cars traveling to different states in the USA. We learned directions from the compass rose on our classroom map and had found little difficulty navigating our way across a map of the world. The students were excited to find different states and landmarks as we read our issue of Time for Kids.

Please continue to read nightly with your child and work together on the Home Links.

** Picture retakes are next Wednesday, November 14 at 8:45am. **

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Weekly Newsletter - Vol.1 Issue 8

Here is the weekly Reynolds' Reader for the week of October 29, 2007. My hope is to eventually move away from paper copy of my reader and have it published online only.

Mr. Reynolds' Reader - Volume 1 Issue 8

If you read this post or have successfully viewed any of my newsletters online in the pdf format please leave a message to let me know. I am trying to get an idea of my audience out there. Thanks!