Sunday, August 30, 2015

At this time we are focusing on the 1st habit, Be Proactive.  We are learning what it looks like, feels like and sounds like.  We have chosen a Raptor Leader who demonstrated this habit in many ways.  I will be looking for another Leader when we return from our break and who demonstrates what Beginning with the End in Mind might look like at school.  The seven habits are a great way for us to help ensure success in our kids as they continue to grow and develop.
Our big news this week is preparing for the fun run by getting those pledges. For us on "D" track we are also preparing to track off.  As we do this please continue reading to keep in that good habit as well as working on math facts and writing:D Thanks!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

In our class we have had our seven habits culture week.  We talk and use our habits daily to solve problems and be better students.  As a school we will spend the next few weeks focusing on "being Proactive".  For each habit we recognize as a school, I will be watching for a student who is demonstrating all habits but is a good example of the focus habit to be our "Raptor Leader".  This program is set up so that each child in the school gets this opportunity once throughout their elementary education.
Sorry, not quite there yet but soon!  (I'm working on the school song!)
Hello all,
We will start pre-paring for the APEX fun run on Monday by having the kick off assembly with a packet of info coming home with each child.  Having four of my own children, fund raisers were not my favorite.  I do like however, the idea of getting friends and family to sponsor our children in the physical fitness endeavors as well as sponsoring any amount, even as little as a quarter a lap.  Each family also has the choice of making a flat donation (for the entire family) rather than sponsoring each child individually.  I also like the idea of not selling gift wrap door to door to all my neighbors:D
I understand that the monies earned will stay with the school and be awarded to the individual teams or teachers.  We as a team,  have decided to start working, through grants and our fun run money, to build an I-pad library to use between our four classes.  This technology will go far in helping all students to be stronger in all academic areas.  Thanks so much for your support!
I'm asking myself, "how does that happen?"  Three weeks have sailed by, we have been working super hard to get our routines and procedures down but I haven't found a min. to make a new post:} Yikes!
As you know we have started our spelling, mostly with review words.  We are working on sight words which in the past I have tested in a written format but am trying a reading format right now and am undecided which way we will settle.

We have all our baseline assessments completed and are working towards our first math Benchmark which covers verbalizing, writing and identifying numbers 1-20.  Understanding and recreating partners of numbers 1-10.  Drawing pictures that support a problem and answer and understanding grouping of fives and tens.  We have been busy!

I will also start a formal reading test to support the reading levels that we are working on now and then do a running record at least once a month followed by formal reading assessments for SEP conferences and end of school.  Please remember that reading is not about the level.  Books are not exactly a level and we work in a space of levels, i.e. (g/h) meaning I may send an easier book home while working on comprehension or a book marked "g" might really seem more like an "e".  Please don't focus on levels but on getting the "practice" the actual reading time in.  Research shows that the best indicator of a successful reader is, letter sound understanding (phonemic awareness) and rhyming and then practice doing the actual reading.  This can be by parent while the child listens for enjoyment.  Student reading to practice decoding, sight word recognition and plain old practice.  A combination of the two especially for reluctant readers or any other fun way that will get our children reading every day.  Not two days, not five days but seven days a week!

We have also been doing some writing activities as well as weaving in our science and social studies!
Each day is a new adventure.  No two days are exactly alike even with a schedule:} Lol

Thanks again to each of you for your support, kindness and sharing your child with me!  It is going to be a great year!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Hello and welcome to the blog of a true novice!
I haven't given up but and less than good at keeping up on everything that I need to do :/  Beside posting on the blog I will try to send weekly progress notes home to keep you up to date on what we are learning and where our learning is taking us.  I have also requested that you accept my invitation to "remind me" as a quick way for me to send out text reminders for up coming events and shout outs of the things that your amazing children are doing!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Hello again,
I feel like my blog was hijacked for a time. Lol

It is good to be getting back on schedule.  After tracking to celebrate Presidents Day, Birthdays, Dr. Seuss/Read across America day and our 100 day in school I am all celebrated out :D

I was pleasantly surprised to get our math benchmark and reading testing completed although all of that did not leave much time for anything else.  We have a lot of math re-teaching to work on.   I am so proud of all the children and the support that you have given them with their reading.  What a great feeling to know that most of the kids are now on or near grade level. Hip hip hooray  to all of you parents and a big hats of to you as well!!  
Thank you, thank you, thank you!  I certainly couldn't do my job without all that you do for and with your children.

We still have aways to go before the end of school but I am so please with the progress that has been made.

Our spring conferences will be help March 18th and 19th.  The scheduling window should be open on Monday.  I look forward to meeting with you all.  I hope that you have a wonderful weekend and that we have a regular no special day week next week! :}

-Mrs. Newman

Monday, January 12, 2015

Oh, my how did two months fly by since my last post??? I guess that tells you all that we have been very busy trying to get everything in before we go off track again.  This time of year always makes me nervous knowing that we have accomplished much BUT we have just as much to learn before we go to second grade!!! Yikes!
At least I have amazing kids that are up to the task especially with the help of you all!  THANK YOU!

We had the 2nd dibbles test today.  This is a mandated reading test from the state that is part of our overall reading assessment for the year.  It is really just a screener for students who are struggling.  It is helpful but since it is given by district testers in the media center some (not all) students do not perform at their best.  If you have questions after you receive your students results please feel free to call me.  Most of you are aware if your child is struggling with reading, writing or math.

A guideline would be:  If you child is reading on a F/G or above good job!!! If your child can count and write numbers to 120, skip count by 5's , 10's and 2's along with adding and subtracting numbers 1-20 good job!  If your child can use his/her spelling words in sentences, starting with a capital, ending with a period and the sentence makes sense, good job!!!!

More to come :}

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Hi everyone:}  Wow did that week go by quickly!  I hope that you all enjoyed it and the kids had a fun Halloween.  One more week and back to work.  Remember keep those kiddos reading so they don't slip in their skills.  Have a great week and I will see you soon.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Wow!  It is hard to believe that after a nice long weekend we only have this week and we will be off track for two weeks.
I know it is tempting to just put everything aside until we are back in school, but I would encourage you to keep on reading even while you are on break.  IT REALLY WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE!  This is especially important as we prepare for our testing in preparation for our student lead conferences.  This is what helps the students make growth in the reading area.  Any kind of writing especially sentences and stories are also a big help in getting the students where they need to be by the end of the year.  I would encourage you to practice basic math facts as well as working on word problems (story problems) with your child.  We read a problem. We draw the problem to show proof of our answer and then we write an equation that matches the words and the picture.  ( I usually make them up from something that is happening right then)

I just wanted to post a quick hello and give a quick yell out for continuing your good routines while off track.  Practice makes life so much easier!!!

Hope that you all have a great week :D

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Happy Monday to you all!
As a reminder, this is a short week due to our fall break which is on Thursday and Friday.  We have one week after that and we are off track.  I will be doing my informal reading assessments this week and next week and my formal reading testing when we return to school in November.  So please, please, please keep reading during our breaks.  It is amazing how every little bit helps when we are learning to read.  And how quickly the children slip backwards if they are not reading everyday.

Thanks for all those who were able to help with our STEM day, it was a great success and with donations to our fun run!  I believe the PTA will be doing one more fund raiser to help pay for the field trip buses.  This will be taking place soon.  We are also in the middle of our food drive that is put on by our student council and helps the food bank stock up for the up coming holidays.

All is going well at school and I am certainly enjoying the kids!

Let me know if you have any questions and concerns
-Mrs. Newman

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Hello again and Happy October!
It is hard to believe that it is fall.  I feel like I missed out on my summer:/  We have now been in school for over 30 days and the kids seem to be settling in and are getting use to how first grade works.  Thank you for helping me be the eyes and ears of the class.  As hard as I try I do not see or hear everything that goes on everywhere.  If there is ever a situation that you need to make me aware of please feel free to contact me.  Even though I try to be friendly and approachable, children sometimes are unsure about telling teachers if something is bothering them.  Just wanted to make sure you know that I am here for your child and am doing my best to make sure we are learning and having fun.

It gets a little stressful for the kids when we are preparing to go off track because many things have to be done.  Mainly assessments, which means I am asking the kids to work quietly a lot.  We have started our centers which the kids seem to like and helps make the quiet part not so bad.

Now that "A" is off track and "B" is back on, our rotation schedule has changed.  We have P.E. on Mondays.  Computers will be on Tuesdays.  I hope to have an art, science or social studies activity on Wednesday and then our library time will be on Thursday.  Friday's are a nice change with music and reading with our sixth grade buddies.

The kids are doing a great job on the popcorn word and spelling tests.  We will continue to write every day.
Some have asked what homework do we have in our class.  We always have at least 20 min. of reading each day.  We have our popcorn words and spelling words to study and the kids can also be working on memorizing the math facts for addition and subtraction for 1-12.  Eventually 1-20.  The better they get at recalling these the easier math will become.

Thanks for all you do to help your child have a successful school experience.
Have a great week!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Wow, how the weeks are flying by!
It is hard to believe that we only have three weeks until we go off track.
The kids have been doing really well even though we are still working on not talking during work time.
I know this must be getting old but please, please please make sure you are reading for at least 20 min. each and every night.  This is the best way to make progress with your child's reading.  This can be done by you reading to your child, your child reading to you, or a mixture of both.  
Please help make sure that your child's homework folder and books come back each day even if you didn't read them.  I have started doing my informal reading testing and will start my formal testing when we come back on track.
We have our first math test called the Benchmark this next week.  It is tricky because of the way it is written.  We have been working on adding, subtraction, drawing pictures to match our story problems and then write an equation that represents the picture.  We have also been working on grouping by 5's and 10's.  There are a lot of concepts on the test and if the children are not listening or do not understand the math language being read it becomes even more difficult but we will practice a few more days and do the best we can.
Most of the kids are doing great on their popcorn word and spelling word tests.  Thanks for studying with your student.  The review words and dictation sentences are proving to be a little more tricky.
We have been working on our opinion writing and will continue to do more pieces as well as starting some narrative writing in their daily journals.

I hope the kids are enjoying school.  I am enjoying them!  You have wonderful, amazing children.  Thanks for sharing them with me!
-Teresa Newman

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Hi everyone!
Wow is the time flying!  I have thought of a hundred things that I have wanted to tell in on the blog but have not taken the time to do so and of coarse I will not be able to remember them all now:? Yikes!
I should tell you that your children are amazing and I am enjoying them.  I hope that they are enjoying school.  The first part of the year is always tricky trying to establish our routines, rules and boundaries.  I always worry about the children the first few times I have to have someone pull a card or we move desks or my voice is stained or slightly raised due to the over use of my voice.  I hope that I have been telling them enough why things happen and that I think they are all amazing!!!! I want them to know that because I believe it!  What a fun class we have :)

We are off to a good start in our reading groups but are still moving children around and learning what we do in groups so thank you for your patience with the process.  PLEASE continue to read each and every night even if your child is already reading.  Even more importantly PLEASE send the books that I send home back each and every day because they are usually the books I use in our guided reading groups.  Also We need the homework folders returned each and every day as well.  This helps create a habit that will help the students be prepare for school for the rest of their school years and helps me in our daily routines.

The students are doing a good job learning the "popcorn" word and spelling words but still need practice understanding that our spelling words have "chunks that make new words as we change the beginning sound.  I know the words seem easy now but these chunks are the foundation for good readers and good spellers.  Many of the children are struggling because taking a test is a new experience and they have to work on their own.  They are not use to listening to the sounds to spell the word and it is stressful.  They are also working on remembering the vowel sounds so practicing a few min. each night will truly be helpful.  Especially as we ramp up our daily writing.

We will be writing daily which is new to some of the students.  We do a lot of shared writing, writing together but as we get closer to our off track and the first student led conference, we should be doing independent writing everyday!

We have also gotten a good start on our math program but have a lot to learn before we are ready for our first district math test called the benchmark.

As always, thanks for your support in all of the things we are doing!
-Mrs. Newman

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Hello all,
I just thought I would send a quick note out to say Thank you, thank you for your patience while we are getting so many things up and started.  First grade is an awesome place to be but also a difficult one with so many new piece to put into place.

We made it through picture day and the district/state mandated reading test called "dibbles".  It is really a screening test and does not give me a lot of the information that I need to place students into class room reading groups.  I am currently working on checking the students current reading level as some of those have changed over the "summer" break.  Thanks for your continued patience.  Also, FYI: many students are identified as below grade level do to the unfamiliar nature of the testing situation.  Those students who are identified are watched closely to check the validity of the test.

We have also taken our first "Popcorn Word" (high frequency word) test on all ten words for week 1 and wahoo, they all did great!!!!  I have also given the math pre-assessment and as we would assume most of what will be taught in first grade will be new information which will be good, lots to learn.

I will give the pre-assessment for the Words Their Way spelling test next week and we should be well on our way.

As a quick reminder, please send your child's reading homework envelop as well as their homework folder back every single day whether it is empty of full.  This prepares them for middle school/high school and helps me to have what I need for our groups.

I hope that your children are enjoying school, I am certainly enjoying them!  I try to tell them everyday that they are amazing because I truly believe it!  I hope they are feeling it in my actions towards them.

Well off to do some more school work!  Keep on reading!
Good Morning!
I just realized that my last post did not publish :?
I am not really sure why and of coarse I cannot remember everything that I had put in that session but I will try to post again tonight with the up coming events.  The kids are doing really well.  I hope that they are enjoying it.  School is so hard at the beginning with all the rules and reviews and procedures that we practice over and over.  We are about there and will be able to start moving onto some of our other activities.  Thanks for all you do for your kids!!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Good Morning Everyone!!!!  I hope that you all had a wonderful weekend :}

Just a couple of quick thoughts and then I will get a better post out there,  We will practice our "Popcorn Words" at school this week and take a test on Thursday.  I will send those home today.  This is still a "training" week for the children since much of what we will do will be in a different format than kindergarten.  Let me know if there is a problem with anything.  Your kids are amazing!!!  Also just so you know, I will not be here Friday but I have a wonderful Sub that has worked at our school for years and is amazing so no worries.  I hope you all have a great day! I will Post more later=}
-Mrs. Newman

Monday, August 25, 2014

Good Monday Morning!!!
I thought I better write a quick note since I didn't get it done last night :}  Weekends are always so busy.  They come and go way to quickly!  We had a good start to the school year last week and it looks like I have another GREAT CLASS!!!! Lucky me!   Thanks so much for sharing your amazing children with me.

We will review our rules and go over a few more procedures today and dive right into the curriculum.  I hope to start our Homework Folders this week and go over how it all works Thursday night at back to school night.  I will try to write up a take home information sheet since a few of you have already said that you have conflicts that night.

I will have a sign up sheet for volunteers.  You have to be finger printed at the District in order to volunteer in the classroom so you could go down and get that done if you haven't already and are wanting to help.  I know that you all will not be able to, I couldn't either so do not worry if your schedule is already taken up.  It is all good.  The most important thing is that you and your child read every single night for at least 20 min.  

Well back to getting ready for the children to come!  I hope that you all have a great week and I will see you on Thursday!
-Teresa (Mrs. Newman)

Friday, August 15, 2014

Hi, everyone!
I am so excited to meet you all!  In fact I am so excited that I just had to add another "helloooooo"  before school started.  I hope that you have had a wonderful break and have been able to do some fun things.  I hope that you have been reading some fun books to share in class as well.  I am always looking for a new fun book!
The only disappointment is that I though school started on Monday the 18th but in truth, we have our first day meetings on Wed. Aug. 20th.
I hope that you all enjoy your last weekend before school starts.  I look forward to meeting you soon.

-Mrs. Newman

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Well another year is about to start and as I think of the many goals that I not only have for my students, I like to think about the things that I want to change and learn about myself.  One of which is to become more technology literate.  For me, it has never been about the lack of desire but the lack of time and fear of breaking something :?  So as I push forward, I welcome your help and ideas and also your patience.  I am ready to have a wonderful year!  Mostly because I love to teach your wonderful children.

From the heart, Teresa Newman

Friday, April 11, 2014

Hello again and Happy Friday,

What a fun week we have had!  We were able to many art projects getting ready for our "art night" coming up in may, talk more about rocks, plants and will be starting a life cycle unit with butterflies next week.

We were able to start our 3rd benchmark math test and I will listen to the kids read to me next week so that I have a current reading level to report before we track off.

FYI: Our last track off is back to back with Spring Break so our last day of school is Thursday April 17th and we will return to school on May 5th.  It is a short break this time :?

I hope you all have a wonderful week and enjoy the sunshine. Talk to you soon!

Friday, April 4, 2014

This weeks "popcorn" words are:
some, come, from, front, and friend

Our Spelling words using "o" in words that follow these patterns: cvc, cvcv, cvvc
lost, soft, cross, stop
none, stone, whole, drove
road, toast, coat, float

Our review words are: they, thank, take
Our dictation sentences are: My book took time to read.  The trick made me feel sick.  It is now April.

Please study 10 min. each night.  Thanks!
What a fun and exhausting week we have had.  We started exploring change and transformation using something that we all love, Banana's.  We made banana journals and watched them change throughout the week and ended by transforming them into banana bread and banana cookies.

We have also started practicing our information writing by writing directions to make a peanut butter sandwich, YUM!  And extracting interesting information on some of our favorite animals and then sharing the information with one another.

We will be taking our third math benchmark test this coming week and have also started a "store" in which the children will spend the money that they earn throughout the week on Friday in our class store.  This is not only helping with our daily behavior which is how they earn their money, along with helping to practice counting by 1's, 5's and 10's but also  gives them practice saving for something that they really want.

Please continue to read daily for 20 min. along with asking your child detailed questions about what they read or ask them to do a re-tell.  All of these things will help with getting ready for second grade.

I hope you all have a great week- end and I look forward to having more for with the kids next week.  Thanks for sharing your amazing children with me!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Wow, it has been a really long time since my last post!  I just can't seem to find time to get everything done that needs to be done:?

Well, we made it through our conferences and I would like to say Thank you for taking the time our of you  busy schedules to come and meet with me and let the kids show you some of what we do in first grade.  As I told you last week, your children are amazing and I am enjoying them to pieces.  Everyday we learn something from each other or work together helping each other complete a task.  That is a great thing to learn this early in someone's life.

Thanks to all of you and the nightly reading that you have been willing to do, the kids are all on their way to being on grade level and ready for 2nd grade.  Please keep up the reading, re-telling and questioning.

Our spelling is coming along although I have notice a slip in those studying at home during the week :? Yikes!  We will really start working on our writing from now until the end of the year.

Thanks again for meeting with me. You are all amazing and so are your kids!