Things Plants Need!

Hello Room 204 Families!

Today in class we were discussing how plants need light and water to grow, and we played a quick game together to help us see the balance that we needed. The link to the game is here, so if they want to show you at home, they can!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/scienceclips/ages/7_8/plants_grow.shtml

Sincerely,

Ms. Debelak

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Week of 9/15/14

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I hope you all had an excellent weekend! Here are the updates for this week:

Math
This week we are going to begin working on word problems and how to determine what strategy to use (addition, subtraction, etc). Homework this week will reflect this, so you can talk to your students about what the language in the problem means (i.e. how many are left = subtraction, all together = addition).

Reading
This week we are going to start introducing informational texts in reading. Informational texts are a fancy way of saying non-fiction books. We will be talking about comparing and contrast two things in a text (this week it will be all about owls vs. bats!).

BAS Testing
This year students at Bradwell will be BAS tested to assess their reading ability and growth. Testing for the fall starts today. Students will be required to read a book and answer questions about said book. Once all BAS testing is over I will send home your child’s score and ways we can push them to the next level by winter testing.

Science
We are discussing what living things need this week in science, and they will be quizzed on this on Friday. Our vocabulary words will be nutrients, needs, and shelter. They should know that plants need water and sunlight as well to grow.

Sincerely,
Ms. Debelak

Dyslexia Warning Signs

Hello Wonderful 204 Parents!

During my introductory phone calls, I spoke with a couple parents who were concerned that their children were flipping letters when they wrote and if this was something that would need an academic intervention.

Flipping letters is actually something that most educators consider grade-level appropriate until 3rd grade. As a first grade teacher, I see ALMOST ALL of my students doing it, especially for commonly flipped letters like “b” and “d”. Of course, we still want our first graders to get out of the habit as soon as possible, so when you see your student flipping letters you should work with them to edit their writing.

This article explains everything in greater detail, with some research and expert opinions to back it up: http://www.education.com/magazine/article/Kinder_dyslexia_warning_signs/

Of course, if you still have concerns that there might be something more substantial going on with your student, please reach out to me by phone or email and we can discuss the appropriate next steps.

Sincerely,

Ms. Debelak

Reading at Home!

Did you know that first grade is the year that most students learn how to read? It’s one of the main reasons I love teaching this grade. We do a significant amount of reading each day in Room 204, but the students who read at home are the students who I notice grow the most!

It’s recommended that first graders read 20 minutes a day at home with their families. Here are a couple websites that have tips and tricks for making that time as meaningful as possible:

Tips for K-5 Parents About Reading

7 Things to Do When Reading with Your Child

If you ever need any reading material at home that’s grade-level appropriate for your student, please let me know! I have paper books that I can send home for your child to keep.

Week of 9/2/14

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Welcome to Room 204! I am so excited to begin another school and to meet all of your students and you! Each Monday I will be sending home a weekly newsletter to let you know what we are learning and doing in school that week. You can also find it online at msdebelak.wordpress.com. If you have internet access at home, you can check our class website for frequent updates about what’s going on in our class!

School Hours
School is in session from 8:45am until 3:45pm each weekday. The building will open this year for students at 8:30am. Students will receive breakfast from 8:30am until 8:45am in the cafeteria (before school hours). Lunch will be at 11:05am. We will dismiss outside on the soccer/football field at 3:45pm. Please allow for our whole class to make it to the field before leaving with your student.

Home Folders
Today each student received a green folder that will be used at their home folder. This will be how your child brings papers to and from school each day, including the weekly newsletter and their homework. I will replace this folder once if it gets lost or broken, but after that it will be your responsibility to buy a new one.

This first week I have included a Student Information Survey and a Class Supplies List. I would like the survey to be returned by this Friday, September 5. I have been informed of the class supplies list the school sent out to each of you and that it does not exactly match up with the one I am sending. If you haven’t bought supplies, please follow the Room 204 one. If you already have, please check my list to see which of those supplies should stay at home and which should come to school.

Homework
We will be using homework packets for all homework this year. Homework packets will be sent home on Mondays, and they will need to be returned the following Monday. Students will be receiving homework in Math, Reading, Social Studies, and Science (but only Math & Reading the first week). There will be one piece of homework from every subject for every day of school (I.e. if it’s a five-day week, there will be 5 pages of Math, 5 of Reading, 5 of Science, and 5 of Social Studies). Students will receive 1 point for each completed page of homework in my gradebook.

Class Rules
Students in Room 204 are expected to be kind, respectful, safe, and prepared. Students adherence to these rules will be monitored by a colored chart system. Our color chart goes from green (great behavior) to red (poor behavior). You will receive a note or a call home when your student ends up on red. Further information on class rules & consequences can be found on the class website.

Medical Forms
All medical forms need to be turned in to the main office (or to me) as soon as possible. Please let me know if there is an issue with this and I can see if I can help you find a solution.

School Uniform
School uniform expectations have not changed since last year. Students are expected to wear khaki bottoms (must be longer than to the knee) and a Bradwell uniform shirt. All types of shoes are acceptable except flip flops for safety reasons. When the weather gets colder, students will not be allowed to wear sweaters over their shirts. They can, however, layer any color shirt UNDER their uniform shirt.

Birthday Treats at School
This year first graders will not be allowed to bring birthday treats in the form of food to school, due to the increasing number of food allergies we have in our classes. Your student can, however, bring in a non-food party favor item to pass out to the class. Please let me know in advance if this is the case and I can let you know how many students we have at that time.

Teacher Contact Information
If you have any questions or concerns at any time, you can call me at 815-474-8047 or email me at eadebelak@cps.edu. My contact information will always be on the bottom of the weekly newsletter for your convenience, but my number will never change. Feel free to add it to your phone!

Thank you in advance for your support and assistance this year with the students in Room 204! Please do not hesitate to reach out to me throughout the year with any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,
Ms. Debelak

First Grade, Room 204