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Congratulations to Z.P. our October Star Citizen!!
Happy Thanksgiving!

We are thankful for so many things in first grade!  If you didn't get to see the students' computer lab project, please scroll down to the blog post from last week.  The children were given the prompt, "I am thankful for," and we quickly brainstormed as a class different things that might make their lists.  This is a somewhat brief writing project, since the children needed time to be able to type their work.  As the year progresses, we will be publishing our writing more and more on the computer.  If your child needs extra keyboarding practice, you may want to explore: http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/typing/.

This is a free online resource that encourages children to become more familiar with the keyboard.  First graders often find it difficult to use the traditional hand positions for typing since their hands are still pretty small, so for us, we are aiming for the children simply to develop their familiarity with a qwerty keyboard rather than traditional touch-typing skills.  

I received a couple of questions from parents about the "tardy" policy at school.  Our school day begins promptly at 7:50 am.  Children need to be in their classroom (not just in the school building) at 7:50 to be on time for school.  Children who arrive after the 7:50 bell must check in with the school office and get a tardy slip.  However, please consider that the children often benefit from a few extra minutes to take care of their morning routine.  Children who arrive earlier are able to turn in their daily folder, pack their coat in their backpack, make their lunch choice, and sharpen two pencils to be ready for the day, all without rushing or worry.  Having a peaceful start to the morning can make such a difference.  So, even though it is not required, please consider helping your child arrive at the classroom no later than 7:45.  Thank you for your consideration of this suggestion!

Now that it is getting colder, I am asking the children to wear their jackets to recess.   I generally ask the children to wear whatever jacket they wore to school in the morning.  Our usual recess time is close to 10 am, so it is often still chilly.  Please make sure that your child's jackets are labeled with his/her name.  Thank you!

Next week, we will be finishing our history unit focusing on past and present.  You may want to discuss some concepts with your child such as:
- How have schools changed from long ago to today?
- How have houses changed from long ago to today?
- How has transportation changed from long ago to today?
- How has family life (children's games and chores, e.g.) changed from long ago to today?

We will also be finishing our math unit on skip counting.  You can help your child be prepared by practicing counting to 100 by ones, twos, fives, and tens.  The students also need to be able to count backward from 30 to zero.

Finally, one of our goals in first grade is for the students to share their writing with others.  One way we will do this is to take turns sitting in the "author's chair" and reading our writing to the class.  Almost all of the children had the opportunity to share their writing in the last few days.  I will add the last couple once we return to school next week.  The children were reading their favorite pattern book.  Next week, we will be writing nonfiction question and answer books.  

Thank you again for your tremendous support and enthusiasm during AEW week.  I told the children that I would be mentioning them by name as I make my "I'm thankful for" list on Thanksgiving.  I am also thankful for the gift of working with a wonderful group of parents.  Thank you!!

 


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