Saturday, September 14, 2013

Newsletter Week of September 16

Dear Parents,

First off, thank you so much for helping your children and making this first week of regular homework a success. It really does make a difference!

This has been a great week in First Grade! Here's what we've been up to:
  • In STEM we worked in small groups to create a container with handles that will support 3 or more apples while students take at least ten steps. The students were only allowed to use tin foil, tape, waxed paper, yarn, paperclips, popsicle sticks, straws, index cards, styrofoam trays, and paper plates. They did a great job sharing their own ideas and listening to other's suggestions. Additionally, they have devised incredibly creative designs and problem solve extremely well! I am very proud of their team work. 
  • In Art we learned how to draw self-portraits. We focused on how to draw people realistically and how adding details makes a big difference. 
  • In Language Arts we finished our first rotation of reading groups and read Sam in the Bag. This story focuses on the "at" and "ap" sounds as in cat, mat, and cap. The students are very excited to learn to read! To aid comprehension, we've been practicing how to re-tell stories by summarizing the beginning, middle, and end. We have also been learning how to write sentences that start with a capital letter and end with a period. 
  • In Social Studies we have been learning about citizen's rights and responsibilities by discussing why rules are important at home and school as well as why they must be applied fairly. We watched Kelso's Choice, a movie about what to do if there is a problem on the playground. We also read and discussed books about how to make friends, how to be a good friend, and the importance of respect and good manners. 
  • In Math we have been working on recognizing, writing, and counting numbers up to 120.
It's been wonderful getting to know your children better! I'm looking forward to a wonderful rest of the school year filled with lots of fun and learning!


Mrs. Kamhout

Other Information

TOYS: Please remember that all toys need to stay at home. Too many tears are shed over prized possessions that are lost or stolen at recess. Our class has several balls that the children are welcome to play with and our playground is lots of fun!

SHOES & ZIPPERS: If possible, please practice tying shoes and zipping zippers with your child. Here's a video with three great ways to teach children how to tie their shoes.

Fun Ways to Practice Spelling Words

Online Computer Fun:  (Make sure you ask Mom or Dad first.)

Shaving Cream: Spray shaving cream on a table or a cookie sheet and practice writing the spelling words in the shaving cream.

Scratch n' Sniff: Write letters with glue on paper, then sprinkle with Jell-O. Makes a super Scratch n' Sniff when tracing over the letters.

Fishing for Words: On 3" x 5" cards print the students spelling words, fold in half, and fasten each with a paper clip. Place the cards in a large fish bowl. Using a toy fishing pole or a long stick, place a magnet on the string. Your child goes fishing for a spelling word to practice.

Finger Paint Bags: Place a dab of finger paint in a freezer-strength zip-lock bag, tape the bag closed for extra strength. Your child then lays the bag flat on the table and writes the word on the bag with a finger. The word will disappear like magic!

Record a Word: Use a tape recorder to practice spelling words.

Disappearing Act: Help your child perform a real disappearing act. Children write their spelling words with chalk on black construction paper. Then you can spray it with a spray bottle of water and watch their words disappear, and later return when it dries.

Scrabble Spelling: Place the wooden letter squares from a Scrabble game on the Scrabble rail. Students can use the squares to spell the weekly words or to write a sentence of words. Incorporate math practice by having them add the number values printed on the squares to find the week's "most valuable word."

Word Cubes: Use blocks with letters to arrange their weekly words.

Spelling Magic: Try a little magic to teach spelling words! Write words on white construction paper with white crayon (press hard!). Paint over the paper with watered down tempera paint or watercolors. Words appear like magic!

Magnetic Cookie Sheet: Arrange assorted magnet letters on a cookie sheet. Use the letters to form the weekly spelling words.

Paint Your Words: Use small paint brushes to paint words 5 times.

Salt Box Spelling: Pour salt into the lid of a box (approx. 1/4" deep). Practice writing the words in the salt with a finger.

Alpha-Bit Spelling: Use cereal to write spelling words. Don't forget to have a snack with the words you make!

Sandy Words: Write the spelling words in glue, sprinkle sand over the glue. Trace over the words with fingers for practice. They make terrific flash cards!

Rainbow Words: Practice words with felt markers, alternating colors for a rainbow look.

Put It In Print: Cut out letters from a newspaper to spell the weekly spelling words.

Spelling Squares: Practice the words on graph paper. Use 1 box for each letter. Figure out which spelling word is in the shortest, longest, etc.

Sandpaper: Write the words on sheets of sandpaper. The students can really feel their words!

Alphabet Stamps: Find a cheap set of rubber stamps with letters on them and practice stamping the words.
         Play dough: Use cookie cutters that are letters of the alphabet or form the dough into the letters 
         of the words

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