Sunday, May 1, 2011

May News

Everyday when we add another ‘straw’ to our place value chart where we keep track of how many days we have been in Grade One, I am amazed! We are approaching the 150th day of school already!
We will be concluding our unit on non-fiction (All About books) writing this month in addition to reading and writing about insects. Descriptive writing will also be a focus this month. To support your child in writing, you may wish to practice describing items in your home. I strongly recommend that you do lots of talking first. In fact, you may just wish to make this a “talking activity”. Model how to describe things using interesting (“juicy”) words or adjectives to make your description interesting. For example, you may wish to describe a tree in your yard with the observation, “Our sturdy maple tree looks like it is starting to wake up from its winter sleep.” If your child wishes to write or draw, encourage the use of sensory words by asking, “What does your [lamp] look like? Why is it needed in your room? Why do you like it?
One of the reading strategies that we will be focusing on when reading this month is “synthesizing”. Synthesis is the process of ordering, recalling, retelling, and recreating into a coherent whole. A synthesis occurs as you summarize what has happened and what it means to you. One of my favourite books for demonstrating synthesizing to the children is The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown.
We will discuss how reading can ‘transform’ our thinking. We will be drawing and writing about what we know about a topic before we read a book AND then drawing and writing about the topic AFTER we read a book. This way, we see how our thinking changes (a synthesis occurs) sometimes when we read a book.

In Mathematics this month, we will be finishing concepts in measurement and exploring transformational geometry. We will also begin activities related to probability and data management towards the end of the month.
Try some of these activities with your child:
 Ask your child to put away or get objects by using directional words such as above, below, next to, and left or right.
 Do puzzles together.
 Estimate how many things cover an area (for example, how many jelly beans will cover each of the cookies we are making?) Check to see if your estimates are reasonable.
 Look in the mirror together and see what happens as you move closer to and farther away from the mirror.
 Fold a piece of paper in half. Draw a shape on one side, touching the fold. Cut out the shape with the paper still folded. Have your child decorate the shape to show symmetry on each side of the fold line.
 Look for ways to use probability language at home. Take turns completing sentences that start “I sometimes...,” “I never…,” and “I always…” Other probability terms include possible, impossible, chance, probably, likely, and unlikely.
Play cards games or board games with your child, and talk about what sometimes, always, or never happens, and what’s possible or impossible, and about what will probably happen.

At our April celebration assembly today, the following students were recognized for their achievements.
Christopher – Achievement
Levi – Effort
Sierra – Responsibility

Dates to Remember
 May 2-6 - Scholastic Book Fair in the library
 May 10 – Jump Rope for Heart pledge forms due
 May 12 – Jump Rope for Heart – we will be skipping!
 May 13 – each division will be recorded as a full group singing ‘O Canada’; we should hear ourselves soon on the morning announcements
 May 16 – we will begin wearing pedometers and counting how many steps we take each day; we are going to ‘walk around the world’!
 May 23 Victoria Day – no school
 May 24 – walk for Ronald McDonald House charity
 May 27 – 2nd Annual Forestview Talent Show @ 1:40 in the gym

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