Welcome!

03 Sep 2018

Dear Parents and Families,

Welcome to an exciting year at Ray. I hope everyone had a relaxing and fun-filled summer. My name is Heather Hall and I will be your 1st grader’s teacher at Ray this year. This will be my 18th year to teach  and my 13th year to teach 1st grade at Ray. I am looking forward to the upcoming school year and can’t wait to get to know all of my new students and families!

I am eager to begin working with each student and their family to create an awesome learning environment that attends to the needs of the 1st grade student. Students will be encouraged to participate fully in class activities, field trips and cooperative groupings/discussions. Students will participate daily in team-building activities. We will work collectively to persevere, help one another and have fun, while developing a love for school and learning! In addition, this milestone year will provide opportunities for each student to become a more responsible, organized and independent individual.

Parents–starting on the first day of school please help your child get organized. Each day, set aside a time to encourage your child to unpack his/her backpack and take-home folder. Please check for important notices and updates from the school and myself. Beginning the first week of school, you will receive a weekly overview describing areas of study and upcoming events. You can also visit our classroom blog for weekly updates and helpful resources. Communication is essential. Please don’t hesitate to contact me by email or phone. I welcome your thoughts and questions and am looking forward to making first grade a successful year for your child.

Please feel free to contact me with questions and concern

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-Teach your child to tie their shoes. Find a fun trick! Watch a video! Give an incentive! Be persistent! Just make sure your child isn’t the one dragging their laces through the bathroom and cafeteria then asking the teacher to tie it.

-Keep bedtime in the routine. It may be a little later and there will be nights that bedtime doesn’t apply. But overall, if we keep our bodies in a routine with sleep, September won’t hit quite so hard.

-Choose a few family members and friends to write a letter to this summer. Ask your child to write in full sentences, ask questions and give details. Writing with a purpose makes it relevant and real for your child. Maybe someone will write them back! Include an envelope with return address and stamp to encourage that!

-Sit at the table and eat together. Really watch your child. Is he sitting on his knees, mouth wide open, food everywhere? This is how he looks in the cafeteria. Work on that.

-Encourage kindness. Find someone or several others that your child can do something simple to bring a smile. Deliver cookies, make a card, flowers, chores, a song…something simply for a smile.

-Don’t rush to the rescue. Hear me out. Our children need us. But they need us to let them learn to problem solve. If your child is in a situation that is frustrating, but not harmful (example: can’t put together a new toy, can’t open a lunchable, can’t decide which color shirt to wear) let them work it out! It saves time and our nerves to just do it! But in the long run, it’s crippling our children of the basic and necessary skill to problem solve and think through an issue…for themselves. Hang back…just a bit. They’ll be ok!

Read TO your child. I can’t encourage reading enough! Please visit the library and make books a part of your summer days. Most importantly, let your child see you read– to yourself and to them. Let them hear your silly voices. Let them tell you the best parts and predict how it will end. We tell them all the time they must read, but are we showing them WE read?

-Put down your phone. Spend an hour at the park together without any technology. Leave your phone at home, it will be there when you get back. We must look up from our screens and look at our children. They are growing so incredibly fast. We could spend this summer scrolling through strangers’ vacation pictures wishing we had their reality or we could be chasing our reality through the sprinkler in our own backyard.

Rest. Be ok with not constantly going somewhere. Society, media, Facebook all have us believing we must seize the day and do it all. Our children have worked hard and they need to rest. If we keep them in perpetual motion through the summer, it will feel like a continuation of the chaos with less homework. Squeeze in the fun, but allow the time to rest. Boredom gives way to creativity. Rest renews our bodies and our minds for all the next school year has in store.

-Give a hug – get a hug. Enjoy your family time. See you in the fall!!

Love from Ms. Hall!

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  • Thank you for the snack donations. If you are able to send in a snack for the last week of school, please do. Fresh fruit is great! The students really love grapes, cuties, bananas and apples.
  • Do you have any old magazines that we could cut up (kid appropriate)?
  • This week I will assess students on sight word knowledge and reading levels. Remember the best way to improve your child’s reading is by reading! Continue to read with your child at least 20 minutes a day.
  • I will be absent on Thursday so that I can attend my twins’ 8th grade graduation. Please remind your 1st grader of appropriate behavior with a substitute teacher.
  • This week we will not have regular math homework. Please continue to send your child with their green folder AND backpack. We will slowly be bringing home items from school.
  • Next Tuesday is the last day of school and our all school picnic. Please send snacks, a blanket and your child’s EMPTY backpack on this day. School dismisses at 3:45pm.

READER’S WORKSHOP/Daily 5

This week we will read First Grade Favorites! We will read books selected by the first graders, new and old. What is your first grader’s favorite book? For me, reading books aloud is a treasured moment in our day. During Daily 5, we will finish up some projects from the last few weeks including beetle art, summer journal collages and notebooks, and 1st grade memory books.

WRITER’S WORKSHOP

This week we will revisit the different types of writing we’ve done this year. Students will write in their First Grade Memory Books and reflect on their year. We will spend some time making thank you cards today for classroom volunteers.

MATH

Students will spend some time playing favorite math games, working on their number scrolls and finishing up their math journals.

SOCIAL STUDIES/SCIENCE

In science we will observe the small creatures we’ve added to mini terrariums. We will observe dubia roaches and silkworms. We will read about dolphins, praying mantises and honeybees and discuss characteristics of animals.

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  • Thank you for the snack donations. If you are able to send in a snack for the last couple of weeks of school, please do. Fresh fruit is great! The students really love grapes, cuties, bananas and apples.
  • Do you have any old magazines that we could cut up (kid appropriate)?
  • Students will complete NWEA testing in math and reading this week. I will also assess students on sight word knowledge and reading levels. Remember the best way to improve your child’s reading is by reading! Continue to read with your child at least 20 minutes a day.
  • 1st Grade Field Day is this Wednesday from 2:45-3:45pm. Please send extra water and snacks and have your child wear sunscreen and comfortable clothes.
  • Does your child have a talent they would like to share at the Ray School Talent Show on June 18th. Please email me ASAP if your child would like to perform.

 

READER’S WORKSHOP/Daily 5

This week we will read many books by Tomie DePaola. We will read Strega Nona, Big Anthony and the Magic Ring, The Art Lesson and Jamie O’Rourke and the Pooka. Students will write about what they would do if they had a magic object. We will explore the writing of other authors including Janell Cannon and Tomie DePaola. We will also explore variations of some traditional fairy tales including Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, The Three Little Pigs and Goldilocks and the Three Bears. We will review antonyms and synonyms.

Sight Words: many, best, cold, tell, their, which

WRITER’S WORKSHOP

This week we will continue with our unit on poetry. Students will be making summer journals using magazine clippings to collage.

MATH

This week, we will continue with unit 9 in math. We will review 3-D shapes and practice more with adding two digit numbers using base 10 blocks and the number grid. Students will wok on completing unfinished pages in their math journals and working on their number scrolls.

SOCIAL STUDIES/SCIENCE

In science we will make mini terrariums for small creatures we find in the garden (isopods and earthworms.) We will observe dubia roaches and silkworms. We will read about dolphins, praying mantises and honeybees and discuss characteristics of animals.

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  • Thank you for assisting your child with their family timelines. They look beautiful. The children are really starting to understand how to arrange events chronologically.
  • Students will be permitted to play outdoors on Mondays and Fridays until 8:55am. Students will be escorted in shortly before 9am.
  • We had a great time on our field trip to see Last Stop on Market Street. Thank you to the parents that attended.
  • We are out of snack. Please submit snacks ASAP.
  • Thanks to Jonathan’s mom for inviting our class to plant sunflower seeds last week. The kids had a great time watering the plants in the flower beds.

READER’S WORKSHOP/Daily 5

This week we will read variations of Jack and the Beanstalk. We will read Waynetta and the Cornstalk and Kate and the Beanstalk. After reading each version, we will focus on questions the kids have for Jack or the Giant. This quarter first graders will hear weekly books that come author or genre studies. We will explore the writing of other authors including Janell Cannon and Tomie dePaola. We will also explore variations of some traditional fairy tales including Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, The Three Little Pigs and Goldilocks and the Three Bears. We will practice spelling words with –ture at the end.

Sight Words: Off, those, read, pull, don’t, your

WRITER’S WORKSHOP

This week we will begin our final writing unit on poetry. Students will hear two poems this week that focus on reinventing a regular object- a pencil sharpener and overhead lights. Students will begin to play with their own ideas for poems and sign a poetry promise that gives them freedom to break the rules of writing.

MATH

This week, we will continue with unit 9 in math. This unit is a year-end review of the topics we have covered. This week we will spend more time using number grids for counting 10 more and 10 less. We will also solve 2 digit addition problems. Encourage your child to share how they are solving problems involving 2 digits. Please so not teach “carrying the 1 and regrouping”, it may hinder your child’s conceptual understanding of this mathematical topic.

SOCIAL STUDIES/SCIENCE

In science we will record observations of the rye and alfalfa seeds after the mowing. We will learn about more families around the world and how objects have changed over time (then and now). We will begin to work on creating summer journals using magazine clipping to make collage covers.

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  • Walk-a-Thon:  

The Ray School Walk-A-Thon is this Friday, May 18th! Thanks to the following students and their families: Ivy, Nico, Gabi, Jonathan, Michelle, Leif, Khloe, Favour, Nicolai, David, Ivy, Kristell, Aila, Ian and Michael! These students have already registered and raised $1,340 collectively! Way to go!

Register your student(s) for the Walk-a-Thon today at http://rayschool.dojiggy.com Please join us on Friday on the BIG KIDS playground, we will be walking starting at 10:15am.

  • Students will be permitted to play outdoors on Mondays and Fridays until 8:55am. Students will be escorted in shortly before 9am.
  • Please submit the field trip form (again), the first copy did not include the date and we need a signed copy with all relevant information.
  • We are having a roller skating party to raise funds to offset costs for this year’s 8th grade graduation activities! Please join us on May 20th from 12:30–3:30 pm at The Rink located at 1122 E 87th Street, Chicago, IL 60619.

READER’S WORKSHOP/Daily 5

This week we will books by Janell Cannon. We will read Verdi, Pinduli and Crickwing. We will compare and contrast the various texts and look at common themes in multiple texts. This quarter first graders will hear weekly books that come author or genre studies. We will explore the writing of other authors including Janell Cannon and Tomie dePaola. We will also explore variations of some traditional fairy tales including Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, The Three Little Pigs and Goldilocks and the Three Bears. We will practice spelling words with long vowel pairs and endings –tion and -ture.

Sight Words: has, ask, live, how, round, then (Spelling Test on Friday)

Vocabulary: molt, droopy, marveled, antics, scattered

WRITER’S WORKSHOP

This week we will finish our persuasive letter writing unit. We will begin our final writing unit on poetry. Students will hear two poems this week that focus on reinventing a regular object- a pencil sharpener and overhead lights.

MATH

This week, we will begin unit 9 in math. This unit is a year-end review of the topics we have covered. I will use this as an opportunity to reteach some concepts that have challenged the students, including telling time to the half hour and defining attributes of 2-d and 3-d shapes.

SOCIAL STUDIES/SCIENCE

In science we will record observations of the rye and alfalfa seeds and wheat seeds we planted. Students will “mow” the grass and observe what happens during regrowth. We will record different plants we observe in Amanda’s Garden and begin to investigate how to make new plants with clippings. Students will read Scholastic Kids: Lend a Hand to Lemurs. We will begin our family timeline project and do make some 1st grade timelines in class.

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Walk-a-Thon:  

The Ray School Walk-A-Thon is May 18th! Any student that is registered by Friday, May 11th and collected at least $5 will receive a special treat. Nicolai, David, Ivy, Kristell, Aila, Ian and Michael have already registered and raised $335 collectively! Way to go!

Register your student(s) for the Walk-a-Thon today at http://rayschool.dojiggy.com

  • Students will be permitted to play outdoors on Mondays and Fridays until 8:55am. Students will be escorted in shortly before 9am.
  • Please submit the field trip form (again), the first copy did not include the date and we need a signed copy with all relevant information.
  • Thanks for supporting your child through my absences on Friday of last week and yesterday. My son was ill, but is doing much better.

READER’S WORKSHOP/Daily 5

This week we will read versions of Little Red Riding Hood. We will compare and contrast the various texts and look at common themes in multiple texts. This quarter first graders will hear weekly books that come author or genre studies. We will explore the writing of other authors including Jannell Cannon and Tomie dePaola. We will also explore variations of some traditional fairy tales including Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, The Three Little Pigs and Goldilocks and the Three Bears. We will practice spelling words with the sound /er/ spelled er, ir and ur.

Sight Words: any, going, from, some, thank (Spelling Test on Friday)

Vocabulary: cunning, lurking, sly, naïve

WRITER’S WORKSHOP

This week will continue our unit on persuasive writing. Students will learn about what persuasive writing is, how to plan for persuasive writing, brainstorming ideas and drafting a letter. We will read The Perfect Pet and I Wanna Iguana.

MATH

This week, we will finish unit 8 in math. Students will learn a new game called Make My Design. Students will make a fraction book and complete and create some number grid puzzles. Students will take a timed test on basic addition facts up to 10. Has your child been practicing facts with the fact triangles? J

SOCIAL STUDIES/SCIENCE

In science we will record observations of the rye and alfalfa seeds and wheat seeds we planted. Students will “mow” the grass and observe what happens during regrowth. Students will read Scholastic Kids: Lend a Hand to Lemurs.

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  • Walk-a-Thon:  

The Ray School Walk-A-Thon is May 18th! Any student that is registered by Friday, May 4th will receive a special treat. Nicolai, David and Michael have already registered and raised $175 collectively! Way to go!

Register your student(s) for the Walk-a-Thon today at http://rayschool.dojiggy.com

  • Students will be permitted to play outdoors on Mondays and Fridays until 8:55am. Students will be escorted in shortly before 9am.
  • This Wednesday is International Night at Ray. Please attend if you can.
  • We need snacks! Please consider sending in 25 healthy snacks (gluten free, peanut-free snacks are appreciated!) Thanks so much to Michael, Michelle, Madison and Leif for their recent donations!
  • Our class will join the other 1st graders and 6th graders to begin a composting/recycling program in the lunchroom. Thanks to Jonathan’s mom for helping with this project.

READER’S WORKSHOP/Daily 5

This week we will read versions of Cinderella. We will compare and contrast the various texts and look at common themes in multiple texts. This quarter first graders will hear weekly books that come author or genre studies. We will explore the writing of other authors including Jannell Cannon and Tomie dePaola. We will also explore variations of some traditional fairy tales including Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, The Three Little Pigs and Goldilocks and the Three Bears. We will practice spelling words with the sound /er/ spelled er, ir and ur.

Sight Words: him, old, open, take, then, walk (Spelling Test on Friday)

Vocabulary: glared, astonishment, charms, declared, refreshments

WRITER’S WORKSHOP

This week will start our unit on persuasive writing. Students will learn about what persuasive writing is, how to plan for persuasive writing, brainstorming ideas and drafting a letter. We will read Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and Hey Little Ant.

MATH

This week, we will continue unit 8 in math. Students will learn a new game called Make My Design. Students will build with three-dimensional shapes and make new shapes with 5 squares. Students will make a fraction book and practice telling time to the half hour. We will have a data day on Wednesday. Students will create a survey question, collect data and record their findings on a bar graph.

SOCIAL STUDIES/SCIENCE

In science we will record observations of the rye and alfalfa seeds we planted last week and plant wheat. Students will read Scholastic Kids: Sunflower Snack and Lend a Hand to Lemurs.

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  • Walk-a-Thon incentive:  win a $500 mattress

Any student or Ray staff member who is registered at http://rayschool.dojiggy.com and has begun fundraising by midnight on Friday April 27th will be entered in a raffle to win a Simmons queen mattress set worth $500.  The winning student or staff member can come to our mattress sale on May 6th to try out the mattress set and have it delivered for free to their home! While exercise is important for health, a good night’s sleep is also important – make sure you’re getting quality sleep with a new mattress thanks to Just Get Sleep, our mattress sale fundraising partner!  Register your student(s) for the Walk-a-Thon today.

  • Students will be permitted to play outdoors on Mondays and Fridays until 8:55am. Students will be escorted in shortly before 9am.
  • We need snacks! Please consider sending in 25 healthy snacks (gluten free, peanut-free snacks are appreciated!)
  • Our class will join the other 1st graders and 6th graders to begin a composting/recycling program in the lunchroom. Thanks to Jonathan’s mom for helping with this project.

READER’S WORKSHOP/Daily 5

This week we will read versions of The Three Little Pigs. We will compare and contrast the various texts and look at common themes in multiple texts. This quarter first graders will hear weekly books that come author or genre studies. We will explore the writing of other authors including Jannell Cannon and Tomie dePaola. We will also explore variations of some traditional fairy tales including Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, The Three Little Pigs and Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

Sight Words: again, fly, give, her, let, put (Spelling Test on Friday)

Vocabulary: spoil, fault, huffed, shame, framed

WRITER’S WORKSHOP

We are completing our unit on Opinion writing this week. Students will write a book recommendation for a favorite book and focus on using evidence from their books to support their reasons.

MATH

This week, we will continue unit 8 in math. This unit focuses more on shapes, including 3-D shapes and also exposes students to equal parts (halves and fourths) and the whole. This week we will begin to look at the importance of determining the size of the whole when comparing fractions. We will also discuss names for equal parts. Students will use circles and triangles to make new shapes. Students will also begin to identify attributes of 3-D shapes.

SOCIAL STUDIES/SCIENCE

In science we will start a new unit on living things. Students will begin to identify what all living things need and ways living things can differ, specifically plants and animals. We will read several books about Earth Day, recycling and reducing waste.

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  • Parent teacher conferences are this Wednesday (4/18/18, 12-6 pm). Here is the sign-up link: http://signup.com/go/WossoWQ If you are not able to attend, please contact me to schedule an alternative conference date.
  • Students will be permitted to play outdoors on Mondays and Fridays until 8:55am. Students will be escorted in shortly before 9am.
  • We need snacks! Please consider sending in 25 healthy snacks (gluten free, peanut-free snacks are appreciated!)
  • The Book Fair is this week. Visit the book fair with your child on Wednesday, when you come for report card pick up or send in money with your child to visit during school hours.

READER’S WORKSHOP/Daily 5

This week we will read Just a Dream by Chris Van Allsburg. This quarter first graders will hear weekly books that come author or genre studies. We will explore the writing of other authors including Jannell Cannon and Tomie dePaola. We will also explore variations of some traditional fairy tales including Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, The Three Little Pigs and Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

Sight Words: review

Vocabulary: litter, future, dump, waste, destruction, pollution

WRITER’S WORKSHOP

We are completing our unit on Opinion writing this week. Students will write a book recommendation for a favorite book and focus on using evidence from their books to support their reasons.

MATH

This week, we will begin unit 8 in math. This unit focuses more on shapes, including 3-D shapes and also exposes students to equal parts (halves and fourths) and the whole. This week we will begin to look at the importance of determining the size of the whole when comparing fractions. We will also discuss names for equal parts.

SOCIAL STUDIES/SCIENCE

In science we will start a new unit on living things. Students will begin to identify what all living things need and ways living things can differ, specifically plants and animals. We will read several books about Earth Day, recycling and reducing waste.

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  • There is no school for students this Friday, April 13th, 2018.
  • Parent teacher conferences are around the corner (4/18/18, 12-6 pm). Here is the sign-up link: http://signup.com/go/WossoWQ
  • Students will be permitted to play outdoors on Mondays and Fridays until 8:55am. Students will be escorted in shortly before 9am.
  • Please submit the field trip money ($17) and form if you have not. We are working on securing a date for sometime in May. I will let you know when we have a specific date reserved.
  • The Rock-A-Thon is this Wednesday at 9:15 am. Please attend if you are able.

READER’S WORKSHOP/Daily 5

This week we will read One Green Apple. This quarter first graders will hear many stories that feature diverse characters. We will identify story elements such as characters, setting, character development and author’s purpose. We will use the book to make predictions and inferences. Students will continue to identify character traits that support a growth mind set and perseverance. We will review ABC order, antonyms and words with the ng sound/spelling.

Sight Words: made, over, did, down, only- SPELLING TEST ON THURSDAY

Vocabulary: shepherd, graze, cider

WRITER’S WORKSHOP

We are continuing on with our unit on Opinion writing. This week we are finishing our book on favorite places in the neighborhood. Students will work on writing a complete paragraph and combing sentences using conjunctions. Students will continue working on ongoing pieces with partners to edit and revise.

MATH

This week, we will finish with unit 7 in math. Students will continue to practice the routine called “What’s My Rule”. Students will apply strategies for finding unknowns in this routine. Students will identify the rule and unknown input numbers. Students will learn about the minute hand and digital representations of time. Students will play the games Tric-Trac, Salute and Penny, Dime, Exchange.

SOCIAL STUDIES/SCIENCE

In science we will conduct an experiment that focuses on how our eyes adapt in darkness. We will read Scholastic News: Sunflower Snack and Drip, Drop.

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  • Students will be permitted to play outdoors on Mondays and Fridays until 8:55am. Students will be escorted in shortly before 9am.
  • Next week is spring break. There will be no school 3/26-3/30. Please work on sight words and math facts (using triangles) over the break.
  • LSC Forum/PTO meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 20th at 5:30pm.
  • Please submit the field trip money ($17) and form if you have not. We are working on securing a date for sometime in May. I will let you know when we have a specific date reserved.

READER’S WORKSHOP/Daily 5

This week we will read Big Red Lollipop. This quarter first graders will hear many stories that feature diverse characters. We will identify story elements such as characters, setting, character development and author’s purpose. We will use the book to make predictions and inferences. Students will continue to identify character traits that support a growth mind set and perseverance. We will review ABC order, antonyms and soft c and hard c sounds.

Sight Words: while, place, under, always, father- SPELLING TEST ON FRIDAY

Vocabulary: invited, fair, plead, scurries, aside

WRITER’S WORKSHOP

We are continuing on with our unit on Opinion writing. This week we are starting a new book that will feature our favorite places in the neighborhood. Students will work on writing a complete paragraph and combing sentences using conjunctions. On Thursday, we will combine students’ writing to make a classroom book.

MATH

This week, we will continue with unit 7 in math. Students will start to identify addition facts that can be used to solve subtraction facts. We will learn a new game called Salute. Students will work on counting up and back to solve subtraction facts. Students will use attribute blocks this week and identify various attributes of the blocks including color, thickness, size and shape. On Thursday we will have an exploration day. Students will play the attribute train game, salute and practice dividing shapes into equal parts.

SOCIAL STUDIES/SCIENCE

In science we will use flashlights and mirrors to change the direction of light. We will read Me on the Map and Time for Kids: What’s the Buzz and You are What you Eat.

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