Happy September!


The students have begun their literacy centers! During this independent work time, the students rotate through activities that review previously taught concepts and have a chance to apply new strategies and skills. Reading centers will focus on phonics, reading fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and there’s even some time to practice spelling words! This week, during centers, the students created goals for the year. Their goals will be on display at Curriculum Night (this Tuesday, September 17th, from 7:00 – 8:00 P.M.)

After listening to many picture books, we began our first read aloud chapter book this week. Our first book, Roxie and the Hooligans has so many great life lessons: Treating others with respect, problem-solving, working together, and not panicking when things aren’t going well! The students are using this text to practice visualizing or making a movie of the story in their minds. Research shows us that strong readers have a vivid picture of what they are reading in their minds and the students are doing a great job!


The students took their first spelling test last week on words containing short and long “a” sounds. Throughout the week we practice our words by sorting them based on their sounds and the way they look. During their reading centers, the students do an activity called, “Look, say, cover, spell, check.” This is a great way to practice spelling words at home too! All the students need to do is look at a word, say it out loud, cover it up with their hand, spell the word, and remove their hand to check the word. The students’ second test on long and short “e” words was stapled in their planners this morning and next week they will study words containing the long and short “i” sound, like in the words quick and price.  


Next week, the students will begin our Write Traits curriculum. Using this curriculum, the students will create ideas for writing, organize their work, choose stronger words, build sentence fluency, and practice writing conventions. Our first unit focuses on choosing good story ideas from the students’ own lives that they can fill with vivid details. Your family’s activities from this weekend could be the topic of your child’s story!


The students are hard at work in unit one of our math curriculum, Everyday Math. They are practicing telling time to the closest minute. This is a tricky skill that students can practice anytime they see an analog clock! They are also working on adding up coins and money into the hundreds and number grid puzzles. The number grid puzzles have students think of the number that is one less or one more than a given number, as well as what is ten more or ten less than that number. For example: What is one more than 55? One less? Now, what number is ten more than 55? Ten less? This is another skill you can practice with your child by giving them any one, two, or three-digit number. We will continue to study these skills next week, as well as place value, calendars, greater than, less than, and equal to, and how to use calculators efficiently.

Social Studies

Our first social studies unit is about being a good citizen. The students have watched videos about the ways citizens help their communities through volunteering, staying informed, and voting. They have read articles and worked in groups to come up with ways citizens can support each other. The students have also studied how famous citizens made positive impacts on their communities. So far, the students have learned about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Jane Goodall, Harriet Tubman, Susan B. Anthony, Jackie Robinson, Ben Franklin, Rosa Parks, and John Deere (did you know he invented the steel plow that revolutionized farming in tough clay AND he was a mayor?) We will continue to study good citizens next week and begin to learn about the different types of communities (rural, suburban, urban, and online communities!)