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Friday, November 30, 2012

Grade 1 Gazette

What a wonderful week back! 

Reading and Writing
This week we have had our eyes peeled for punctuation!  We’ve been on the lookout for quotation marks because we know that they tell us a character is talking.  We read The Polar Express, Auntie Clause and How the Grinch Stole Christmas this week and talked about how the author expected us to read these books.  Before we read we brainstormed about who the characters were and what kind of voices they would use.  It’s been so fun to notice all of the ways an author gives us clues to read in a certain way; punctuation, bold words, italics, and underlining.  We even noticed some authors place the words on the page in a way that gives us a clue, like the word “whoosh”, “whooshing” across the page! 

Not only do we notice these things in books, but we are starting to incorporate them into our own stories.  Chances are if you read one of our stories you’ll spot a bold word, exclamation point, or even some quotation marks! 


Please remember that your child should be reading their reading group books every night.  Research shows that repeated reading is one of the best ways to help children progress as readers.  Inside your child’s homework folder you will find the check-off sheet that should be completed together and signed by you.  Thanks for all of your help with homework!

  • The TMP K-1 Winter Concert is Thursday, December 13th at 7pm at Parkade Baptist Church. Mrs. Cox will send home more details later on.  She has asked that children wear holiday colors and dress nicely.  Please do not feel the need to buy anything special for this event.
  • First Grade will have a Brown Bag Lunch on December 11th at 11:55 in your child’s room
  • Remember to turn in your Book-It calendar

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Grade 1 Gazette

There will be no homework or Friday folders sent home next week due to the short week! Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! 

This week in reading we have continued to talk about what it means to be a fluent reader.  We discussed how fluent readers not only look at the punctuation to tell them how to read, but they also take over the voice of the character in the story using expression.  We saw that authors use quotation marks to let the reader know when the character is talking. We read 3 Billy Goats Gruff, 3 Little Pigs, and Goldilocks and the 3 Bears. We practiced using different voices that fit the characters when they talked. Next week we will start working on reader’s theatre (plays) to practice looking at punctuation and using expression. We will be showing the performances at our brown bag lunch!

In math this week we made turkeys to help us come up with different ways to make numbers.  After coming up with all the addition combinations, we thought about subtraction combinations that would also make their numbers. We displayed our math turkeys in the hall for everyone to see before the holiday. Take a look!


  • The TMP K-1 Winter Concert is Thursday, December 13th at 7pm at Parkade Baptist Church. Mrs. Cox will send home more details later on.
  • First Grade will have a Brown Bag Lunch on December 11th at 11:55 in your child’s room
  • No School on Friday, November 16th – Parent Teacher Conferences
  • Thanksgiving Break is November 21st – 25th
  • Cookie Dough Orders are Due back Tuesday, November 20th

Friday, November 9, 2012

Grade 1 Gazette

This week we looked at how punctuation is used in books and how it tells a reader to read the story.  We looked the same sentence written five different ways.  Each time it had the exact same words in the exact same order, but they sounded different because of how punctuation was used in the sentence.  Authors use punctuation to tell readers how they want their story to be read. 
This is what we talked about:
* when a sentence ends in a period, you use a normal voice
* when it ends with an exclamation point, you read the sentence with lots of feeling (that feeling can be excitement, fear, anger, joy, etc)
* when a sentence ends with a question mark, your voice goes up at the end of the sentence
* bold words and underlined words are to be read with lots of feeling

When reading with your child at home, point out the punctuation as you read and ask them how you should read it or how your voice changed when you read it.  Have fun with it!

Mark Your Calendar
  • The TMP K-1 Winter Concert is Thursday, December 13th at 7 pm at Parkade Baptist Church.  Mrs. Cox will send home more details later on.
  • First Grade will have a Brown Bag Lunch on December 11th  at the regular lunch time (11:55).
  •           No School on Friday, November 16th – Parent Teacher Conferences
  •          Thanksgiving Break is November 21st – 25th

Friday, November 2, 2012

Grade 1 Gazette

What a wonderful week in first grade!  Our classroom was full of phantoms, super heroes and fairies on Wednesday and fabulously dressed first graders on Friday!  In your child’s Friday folder you will find your assigned conference time.  We look forward to meeting with you!  Please return the form to let us know if you will be able to come to your scheduled conference time. 

In reading this week we read several books with missing words.  We used all of our reading strategies to figure out what the author had missed.  Below is a list of the strategies we used.  We will be referring to these strategies and using them throughout the year.
  • Look at the picture
  • Skip the word and think about what would make sense, then come back to fix it.
  • Go back and reread
  • Look at the beginning and get your mouth ready
  • Look for a part of the word you know
  • Sound it out (try different sounds for example sometimes "a" makes a short sound, sometimes it makes a long sound)

A Note from our Counselor Ms. Gibson
Below is a list of general developmental milestones that can help you understand the social and emotional progress a first grader will make over the school year. The average first grader is extremely  egocentric and wants to be the center of attention. Keep in mind that every child is different and may not fit perfectly into this framework.

Want to be the “best”  and “first”
Have boundless energy
May be oppositional, silly, brash, and critical
Cry easily
Show a variety of tension-releasing behavior
Are attached to the teacher
Have difficulty being flexible
Often consider fantasy to be real

Where they are going:
First graders are learning to understand themselves.
Encourage first graders as they:
Develop a positive, realistic self-concept
Learn to respect themselves
Begin to understand their own uniqueness
Gain awareness of their feelings
Learn to express feelings
Learn how to participate in groups
Begin to learn from their mistakes   


  • No School Tuesday, November 6th - Election Day and Teacher Work Day
  • No School November 21st - 23rd - Thanksgiving Break
Thanks! Mrs. Russo, Mrs. Jackson, Ms. Phipps