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Winter 2017 News From Mrs. Bouchard

Hello Families,
         January 30th marks our 91st day of first grade! That makes it the half way mark in our year. We’re using the occasion to celebrate all that we’ve accomplished so far, teach the concept of fractions, and highlight the expectations for the second half of our year so that students are prepared for Second Grade. 

          I’m so proud of all of the students for their daily effort and look forward to the exciting months of challenge and growth that are ahead!
How can I help my child experience a successful second half of First Grade?
Here are several things that you can do to help your child meet with his/her best success.
1. Follow a routine that provides structure. Young children depend on adults to provide structure. This enables them to feel safe. Of course, routines may be interrupted. That’s part of learning to be flexible. But, the more a child can count on a routine, the more secure he/she will feel.
2. Set aside a specific time for completing homework. When parents support homework they send a message to students that their job as a learner is important.
3. Allow students to complete the homework independently. Oh, this can be so tough! We are pulled in so many directions and sometimes just getting the homework done seems most important. Children learn responsibility and self respect when they complete their own work.
4. Promote independence. First graders are capable of so many things and develop self confidence by having responsibilities and by learning self-care tasks. Examples include: opening their own snacks, tying their shoes, packing their own backpack, selecting their own clothes,
helping to sort and put away laundry, feeding pets,  making  beds, setting the table, helping make meals, and more.
5. Arrange and encourage unstructured play times and play dates. Children thrive and learn important life lessons when given ample opportunity to play freely with other children.   
6. Provide time for fresh air and exercise. A mind that is ready to learn needs a body that is healthy and strong.
7.  Get plenty of rest. A growing body needs lots of rest to stay healthy and focused.
 In June 2016, the American Academy of Pediatrics lent its backing to the recommendations developed by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, which were published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. The current sleep guidelines:
  • Infants 4 to 12 months - 12 to 16 hours of sleep every 24 hours (including naps).
  • Children 1 to 2 years - 11 to 14 hours of sleep every 24 hours (including naps).
  • Children 3 to 5 years - 10 to 13 hours of sleep every 24 hours (including naps).
  • Children 6 to 12 years - 9 to 12 hours of sleep every 24 hours.
  • Teens 13 to 18 years - 8 to 10 hours of sleep every 24 hours.
8. Celebrate mistakes! The moment when a person makes a mistake is the moment when he/she is open to learn…it’s a teachable moment! So, try saying, “Oh, I am so glad that you did that because I can help you learn how to____.” Importantly, share your own mistakes with children and how you handle them calmly and with an accepting attitude toward yourself.
9. Encourage questioning and wondering! Ask your child open ended questions rather than answers with a specific answer. This will provide you great insight into your child’s thinking and stage of development. Additionally, it sets a pattern of open communication for the years ahead.
10. Praise specific behavior, especially effort! Rather than provide general praise  like, “You’re so smart!”, make your praise specific so that your child knows what it is that he/she did well and can repeat that behavior. If they checked their work and corrected a mistake, say, “Good for you for checking your work.” Next time, they’re likely to check their work again.
11. Keep an upbeat attitude, sense of humor, and flexible approach to parenting. There is no denying, parenting is hard work! As I always say, it’s not for sissies! But it’s also the most amazing work that you’ll ever do! From what I see so far, you’re doing a great job instilling a love of learning in your children! Thank you!
Thank you for your cooperation in providing snacks that are safe for all students. In an effort to reduce waste, please continue to provide your student with a reusable spoon or fork, if their snack requires any type of utensil.
This small gesture helps students feel like they are making a difference in protecting the earth.
What is my child learning?
Math Reading Writing Science Social
-Word problem
•Result unknown
•Change unknown
•Start unknown
-Representing and explaining our math thinking in pictures, models, and word
-Fact strategies
-Fact families
-Fractions (˝, Ľ)
•Time to the hour and half hour
-Using non-standard and standard units to measure
-Interpreting data with 3 categories
-Glued/welded sounds
-Consonant blends
Reading Fluently
Readers Workshop
Comprehension Strategies:
-Understanding Text Features
-Using Text Features
-Activating Background Knowledge
-Making Connections
 How to write:
1. Narratives
Sequenced and
detailed sentences with describing words (adjectives) and feelings
2. Opinion
Opinion statement
2-3 supporting details
Closing sentence
3. Informational
2-3 Details
Review of Air & Weather Unit
Small group project on Seasons
Mini Research Unit on Cardinals
to connect learning about air and weather with
plants and animals
Introduction to Plants & Animals Unit
-Current Events