Monday, 2 September 2013


Welcome to the grade my grade one blog! First of all, thank you for taking the time to log on to this site. You can become a follower by clicking the bar on the side. This will be the primary means of communication throughout the year so that I can keep you informed about the curriculum each month, give you extra ideas about websites and activities that you can use to help support your child's learning at home, and fill you in on details about homework, special days etc.

It's going to be a fantastic year. I am so eager and excited to get to know each and every one of your precious children. I will do everything I can to make them feel safe, happy and cared for at school. I appreciate your trust and faith in me to share this wonderful learning experience with you and your child.

If you ever have any questions or concerns, please feel free to send me a note in the agenda and I can call you or we can set up a meeting. My goal is to keep you informed about what your child is learning and how they are doing at every step of the way. I am never too busy to chat with you about your child's progress.

Here are a few important items to kick start the year........

Students will be writing in the agenda each and every day at school. Its an important skill for them to learn in grade one and its a great way for me to keep in touch with you at home. I do ask that you please check the agenda each day because sometimes we put last minute reminders about special days, trips etc. I may also write notes home in the agenda for you to read. If you could quickly sign your initials when you read it.... it should take about 10 seconds I promise....... and I will do the same to let you know that I have seen anything that you have written. This is always the best way to get in touch with me because I don't always get to the phone or email throughout the busy day at school but I do check agendas first thing each morning. Thank you so much for your help with this in advance. I know that evenings can be busy for families, but this is a great way to keep the lines of communication open.

School Supplies:
Some of the important items that your child will need to help them be successful this year will be the following items:
-crayons and markers
-pencil sharpeners
-calculator (we do begin to teach some fundamental skills by exploring a calculator)
-pencil case
-ruler (this is a great tool to help with math skills.... the bigger the better)
- please donate box or two of Kleenex for your child to share with the class....... we get lots of stuffy noses throughout the year. Thank you in advance :)
- if you have a pair of headphones that you are okay to let your child leave at school, please label and send in. Students can store them in their desk and use them for computer time. Don't feel like you have to rush out and buy some, its just an extra item that your child might enjoy
- water bottle
- a change of clothing to be kept in your child's backpack

I do ask if it's at all possible, that you send your child with a pair of indoor shoes. Ms. Sabatino requests that children have proper running shoes to participate in gym class. Sandals and crocs etc are not safe and kids wont be able to play the fun games. Please pick a pair of shoes that your child can do up independently ( i.e. Velcro etc) as it gets really tricky for me to tie the laces of all the kids. Its also a good idea to have separate running shoes for inside and out, especially on the muddy days so we don't get dirt on our rug.

We have two nutrition breaks throughout the day. Some parents like to label or divide kids lunches so that they know what to eat each break and don't eat everything all in the morning and feel hungry in the afternoon. Whatever works for you, just an idea that might be helpful.

Field Trips:
I truly believe that children's learning is enriched by experiences outside the walls of a classroom. I will do my best to plan as many great experiences for trips as possible throughout the year. We would love to have parents and grandparents come and volunteer on each trip. I am legally required to have a certain supervisor to child ratio on each trip so I always welcome anyone who would like to volunteer and help us out. We do ask, for the safety of each child, that you have an up to date police reference check on file at the office. Its a good idea to get this in as soon as possible if you plan to com on a trip or help out at school this year. We are so thankful for parents who give their time to volunteer.

Star of the Day:
Each student will have a special day when they get to lead morning calendar time, line up at the head of the class line and have special responsibilities throughout the day. I don't create a calendar with the star names, I just follow our class list so that each child gets several turns throughout the year in order. Students may bring in show and tell anytime they wish, but I do ask that toys and valuable items stay at home in case they get lost or go missing. Good ideas for show and tell are pictures, things they have made, shells from the beach on a family vacation etc....

The Curriculum This Month:

Reading and Writing: This month we will be exploring a variety of wonderful books that I will read aloud and others that the children and I will read together. I will be doing various letter sound and reading assessments on your child to help me better understand where they are at and how I can best plan my program to meet their needs. In the next few weeks we will begin guided reading groups with leveled books.... more details to come. Our writing program kick starts from the very beginning of school. We will review our letter sounds and work at using them to form complete sentences. I try to find silly and fun topics for kids to write about and encourage children to share their work with the class so that we can celebrate their achievements. You can support your child at home by encouraging them to write as often as possible. Some great ideas are grocery lists, letters to friends or family.... any real life, purposeful writing is a great way to encourage a child to write. You can also continue to read to your child each day. We will begin our home reading program in a few short weeks and your child will be reading a short text to you each night! I will send information packages home when we begin the program.

Math: We are practicing our counting skills, by ones all the way to 100 and also counting by 2's, 5's and 10's.  The class will also begin a unit on sorting and patterning. Children will learn to classify various shapes and objects by specific attributes like the number of sides, ability to stack or roll, type of animal etc. We will also work on creating repeating patterns using these different attributes. You can support your child at home by doing a few of these activities:
- Make a colour pattern using different coloured crayons or markers ( green, yellow, yellow, green, yellow, yellow). Have your child describe the pattern and tell you what comes next.
- Sort laundry or grocery items with your child ( all socks, all shirts). Have them tell you why they are all the same.
- Collect various shoes at home and put them into a pile. Ask your child to sort them (summer and winter, laces and Velcro, adult and child etc. Ask them how they decided which shoes to put into which pile.

Social Studies: We will begin a unit on Rules, Relationships and Responsibilities. Students will help to create various important rules that will help our class function as a cohesive unit. We will explore special and important relationships in their lives and what kinds of responsibilities are important to be a helper at home and school.

Art: The kids will examine all kinds of different tools to create art. From different paints, to oil and chalk pastels, modelling clay and even various materials that we find outdoors. We will have so much in art and soon you will have some beautiful masterpieces to hang on your kitchen fridge! Art days are always on Fridays, so its a good idea to send your child in clothing that you don't mind getting a little dirty. I have paint smocks but we do sometimes have spills etc. If you have any extra paint smocks or old shirts that have been washed, we always appreciate the donations to our classroom.

We are diving right into grade one! It's going to be a very special year.
Thanks again for taking the time to read this. I look forward to meeting you at Meet the Teacher Night!

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