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.