First Grade Blog 9/8/2014

Hi to All First Grade Parents,

Welcome to my first blog of the year. I would like to make you aware of some of the things that we will be doing this week. There are 22 children in First Grade this year, 16 girls and 6 boys .

This is a very exciting year since we have three new series of textbooks. One is our new reading program from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt called “Journeys” which is a Catholic identity based reading program that includes phonics and sight word based multi-task program. We will be giving you your child’s password so that you can access the program from home. I do not have these yet but I will be sending them as we get this up and running from the publisher.

The second new series is a new Religion series called the “We Believe” series. Our third new series is our Handwriting book called “A Reason for Writing” which teaches the basics of handwriting skills and uses sentences from Scripture for practice work. These both look appealing and good. I will discuss more about our other programs at Back to School Night on this Wednesday night, September 10th.

Reading: I will be sending home a list of sight words that the children should have become familiar with in Kindergarten along with the 6 new sight words for this unit. They are and be help play with you. Please practice these with your child to help them to memorize them as they are used in the passages that we will be reading. This week the vowel sound that we will focus on is SHORT a . The consonant sounds to practice are

p   f   n and d.

There are 5 vowels : a e i o u. There must be at least one vowel in a word but there can be more. When we refer to “short vowels” it usually means a single-vowel word and I will introduce the short vowel sounds first. I will use a controlled list of words that follow the rule that I am teaching because our language has many “rule breakers” that do not follow the rule and will confuse the children.

The short vowel sounds are Short a as in (cat),   Short e as in (egg), Short i as in (igloo), Short o as in (octopus) and Short u sound as in (umbrella).

In addition to phonics we will work on story comprehension, main idea and finding details when we read a story called “What Is a Pal?” and “Nan and Dan”. There is a thing called the “Readers Notebook” which is their workbook and we will do some pages in that as well.

Religion: We will learn about God’s creation of the Earth and the story of Adam and Eve. We will talk about the concept that Jesus is God’s greatest gift to us.

Math: We are practicing the formation of the numbers 1-12 correctly. When children form any and all letters and numbers I use the expression “start at the top and drop” so that they will develop a habit of printing and writing from the top of the letter or number to the bottom. This really helps in their control of printing each one. I ask that you help them at home to develop this habit. We will talk about what each number means and the concept of “one more” and one fewer” and number order.

Social Studies: We are learning about each other , our class and our families.

SPECIALS: Classes in the special subjects will begin this week. They are as follows:

Monday-         Computers (12:55-1:40)   Mr. Bonica Computers will begin next week.

Tuesday:           P.E. (1:40-2:25) Coach McKnight

Wednesday:   Music (12:55-1:40)   Mr. Brandt

Thursday:         Library (12:55-1:40)   Mrs. Pruess

P.E. (1:40-2:25)   Coach McKnight

We now have a longer Recess in the morning and no afternoon recess but I will have a bathroom and drink break in the afternoons in the beginning weeks of school. Please send any food in a lunch box since we have very smart crows here who know when recess is over and are not afraid to rip at brown lunch bags! It is much easier for the children to manage their food if they have a firm container to keep it in. I have told them that I do not want them to ask another person for some of their snack and they are hungrier at the beginning of school it seems (and in the middle and at the end of school) so please send extra so your child has enough to eat. Thanks!

BACK TO SCHOOL NIGHT-     Wednesday     September 10th   5:30-7:30

 I look forward to meeting you all and telling you about first grade and what this year will bring. See you there!

Have a great week and God Bless .


Mrs. Eileen Bonica