Sunday, September 20, 2009

Falling Into Unit 2

Autumn is here which means the end of September and the start of colder weather is right around the corner. We have been pretty lucky over the last couple weeks of summer to have plenty of sunshine and gently cooling breezes to make the outdoors plenty inviting. As the new season grows on us in Room 108, students are developing skills of individual responsibility and learning to work hard. It's been quite rewarding to see how much progress has taken place for students in the still very young school year!

Open-Court Reading has Unit 2 titled Animals and focuses stories on a variety of animals, families and activities. Reading strategies students will be practicing are visualizing and predicting. Both strategies are important skills for engaging in stories and encouraging children to form thoughts and pictures in their minds. Phonics skills include initial and ending letter sounds of words, short vowel sounds, and blending (decoding) unfamiliar words. Writing skills like spelling, sentence structure, capitalization and punctuation are being introduced in as many ways as possible. Journaling will serve as the students greatest opportunity to explore writing in their own way. More structured writing lessons will model writing and offer focused approaches to writers' skills.

Everyday Math pushes ahead with the continuation of skills covered in unit one and introduces new concepts such as analog clocks (telling time to the hour and half hour), complements of 10 (an early concrete addition skill), number sequence, and using the number grid as a tool. If you are keeping up with math homelinks you will see many of these skills being reviewed often.

After one and a half (long) days (trapped in one room with 29 other first grade teachers) of science curriculum training courtesy of District 97 and our new publishing companies, Houghton Mifflin and Carolina's STC, science topics are finalized and will be brought into the classroom very soon. For more info on either publisher click on their name. The first grade units are Weather, Solids & Liquids, and Organisms. The units over lap each other and complement many of the other curricular pieces in a variety of ways. When we start science lessons in the classroom you should see letters and artifacts in your child's Mail folder.

More to come! Until then, I hope to see you soon on the blacktop!