This week your child will become more familiar with the academic routines of our classroom. Our classroom runs with multiple mini-lessons per day, followed by small group instruction and student application. Mini-lessons typically last 10-15 minutes, and serve to introduce students to a concept. Based on pre-assessment data, and in class performance, student application is differentiated to meet the needs of all students.
In order for this to be successful, students need to be comfortable in our academic routines. We will use this skill review week to practice these routines. In this way, students are able to practice the routines with skills they are comfortable with. In addition, I will use the next week or two to pre-assess your child’s strengths and needs in language arts (reading, writing, grammar, and spelling) and math.
In Language Arts this week, we will focus on the theme, “How Am I Special?” Students will read stories that demonstrate that each person has unique gifts to share with the world. Your child will begin to plan, draw, and write a story in which they explain a moment that made them feel special. Students will also review ending punctuation marks. We will review short vowels, blends, and the high frequency words: are, the, to, you, like, said, and, of, on, play, some, where.
In Mathematics students will begin the year by focusing on the number line. Using the number line they will explore counting, represent whole numbers, addition and subtraction, and will practice counting coins. In addition, your child will be introduced to math games this week. I will send home directions on how to play the games, so your child can play with you at home.
I cannot stress the importance of counting, organizing counts, and flexible thinking as the foundation for mathematical thinking. It underlies all other algebraic concepts in mathematics. Any time while you are driving, waiting at the doctor’s office, or need a distraction- count with your child.
Some counting examples are:
Count forward by 1’s from a number other than 1
Count backwards by 1’s from a number other than 1
Count forward by 5’s from a number other than 5
Count forward by 10’s from a number other than 10
Count backwards by 10’s from a high number (180)
Count forwards by 10’s from a number off the decade (not 10,20,30 etc.,-try 33 as a starting point-33,43,53,etc.)
Count backwards by 10’s from a number off the decade (try starting at 143-133,123,113,103,93,83,etc)
The greater flexibility your child has with counting forward and backwards, the better!
This week in Science your children will be introduced to their first STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) challenge. Again, the challenge will serve to teach the students the routines needed to be successful in a collaborative group…and we will have a lot of fun along the way!