Friday, November 17, 2017

2nd 9 Weeks: Week 4

Important Dates:
  • Nov. 20-24: Thanksgiving Break/No School
  • Nov. 30: Family Holiday Lunch for 1st and 4th
  • Dec. 22 No School for students
  • Dec. 25 - Jan 5 Winter Break/No School
  • Jan. 8  Teacher Workday/No School for students
  • Jan. 9 Students return to School from Winter Break
  • Jan. 15 No School/MLK, Jr. Day
  • Jan. 23 1st Grade Field Trip to The Thinkery (more info. to follow at a later date)

Class Announcements…
Flat Turkey
Today, your kiddos will be coming home with a fun Thanksgiving assignment. They will bring home a "Flat Turkey" and it will spend the holiday break with them. They will fill out a page that tells about everything Flat Turkey did over break and will share with the class when we return on November 27! Students will also have the option to take photos of Flat Turkey's adventures to show the class. I will be posting pictures on Class Dojo throughout the break of what my Flat Turkey is doing.  Can’t wait to see your pictures!
November Speaking Projects
I will be recording the November speaking projects and uploading them to Class Dojo so you will only be able to see your child’s project.  From here you can review it with your child, show it to family members, etc.  But we will be discussing the 4 P’s (prepared, posture, projection, and polite participation) right beforehand again.  

Campus Announcements…
Holiday Lunch
1st grade will have a family holiday lunch on November 30.  On this date you are invited to eat a holiday lunch with your child.

OUR LEARNING NEXT WEEK...2ND QUARTER, WEEK 4
Math: This week we continue exploring concepts in Geometry.  Students will be identifying, classifying and describing 3D shapes.  Students are continually reviewing addition and subtraction concepts in a problem solving format.

Science: This will be our final week on Rocks, Soil, and Bodies of Water. This week, students will focus on rocks and how they are useful to us. Students will explore the usefulness of rocks through the creation of bricks and other hands -on activities. The test over this unit will be on Friday.

Reading with Integrated Social Studies: Using a variety of nonfiction text over customs and traditions students are going to continue to explore the features of nonfiction texts.  They will be learning about glossary, bolded words, diagrams, and maps.  

Writing: Students are going to continue developing their letter writing skills and learn about persuasive letters.  Throughout the week students will be writing various persuasive letters, trying to convince certain people they want or need something.  Students will also be faced with a big problem and will need to write a letter trying to explain why a very important school tool should not quit on them.  (This activity will go along with the book The Day The Crayons Quit.)

Friday, November 10, 2017

2nd 9 Weeks: Week 3

Important Dates:
  • Nov. 10: All School Assembly: Veterans Day (wear red, white and blue)
  • Nov. 10: Soil Samples Due
  • Nov. 16: Oral Presentations Assignment Due
  • Nov. 20-24: Thanksgiving Break/No School
  • Nov. 30: Family Holiday Lunch for 1st and 4th
  • Dec. 22 No School for students
  • Dec. 25 - Jan 5 Winter Break/No School
  • Jan. 8  Teacher Workday/No School for students
  • Jan. 9 Students return to School from Winter Break
  • Jan. 15 No School/MLK, Jr. Day
  • Jan. 23 1st Grade Field Trip to The Thinkery (more info. to follow at a later date)


Class Announcements…
Oral Presentations
Your child came home with another presentation assignment a few weeks ago (due Thursday, 11/16). Students will be using the template to write about their family holiday traditions. Students will be presenting these to the class next Thursday and Friday to continue practicing public speaking. They will be able to read off the paper or they can make posters and/or cue cards to aid them in presenting. Remember to have something to show the class. Please let me know if you have any questions. I am excited to see them share their presentations!  They are getting better every time.  Remember to focus on the 4 P’s (prepared, posture, projection, and polite participation.)  If you need an extra copy you can find it on my website under the tab HOMEWORK.  


Soil
Just a reminder, if you haven't already done so, please help your child to collect a soil sample and send it to school in a ziploc baggie by Monday. We will be observing and comparing these soils next week in Science!


Campus Announcements…
Holiday Lunch
2nd and 3rd grade will be having a Thanksgiving meal in the cafeteria next Tuesday (11/14) with invited guests. 1st grade will be eating in the classroom to make room for guests of other grade levels, so please do not join your 1st grader for lunch this day. 1st grade will have a family holiday lunch on November 30 (more info to come).


OUR LEARNING NEXT WEEK...2ND QUARTER, WEEK 3
Math: This week we will explore concepts in geometry.  Students will identify (square, circle, triangle, rectangle, rhombus, and hexagon), classify and describe 2D shapes (the number of sides, corners and if the sides are straight or curved).


Science: This week, we will continue our unit on Rocks, Soil, and Bodies of Water with a focus on Soil. Students were previously asked to bring in soil samples from home.  Students will explore the different soils in class throughout the week and discuss their properties (color, size texture, components). They will also compare and contrast the different types of soils.


Reading with Integrated Social Studies: Using a variety of nonfiction books about different customs and traditions, students will learn that authors write stories to:
~Inform: Pass along information (facts) about a particular topic/subject. (nonfiction)
Students will also explore some features of nonfiction texts: captions, pictures, and labels.  

Writing: We are bringing back letter writing!  Students will spend the next couple of weeks learning about parts of a letter, why letters are important and why people enjoy getting them.  Students will practice writing letters to various people of their choosing and discover how the content of letters changes depending on who they are writing to.

Friday, November 3, 2017

2nd 9 Weeks: Week 2

Important Dates:
  • Nov. 3 Passport to Sommer (formerly CandyLand)
  • Nov. 10 Soil samples due Friday for science class (will go home Monday 11/5)
  • Nov. 10 All School Assembly: Veterans Day (wear red, white, or blue please)
  • Nov. 20-24 Thanksgiving Break/No School
  • Dec. 22 No School for students
  • Dec. 25 - Jan 5 Winter Break/No School
  • Jan. 8  Teacher Workday/No School for students
  • Jan. 9 Students return to School from Winter Break
  • Jan. 15 No School/MLK, Jr. Day
  • Jan. 23 1st Grade Field Trip to The Thinkery (more info. to follow at a later date)


Class Announcements…
Stuff the Boots
We WON y'all!  Thank you so much to all the parents, companies and family members who donated.  I wish I had my phone ready to message out the students reactions.  They were so excited!  They were screaming and could not believe that we had just won!  To say that they are excited to silly string me is a bit of an understatement.  They are BEYOND excited!!  So a sincere thank you to everyone who was involved in helping us win.  You're child and I want to say thanks!  I can't believe we raised $2,000 for the school.  I am speechless.  
  • All this excitement means, I will be getting silly stringed on Monday 11/6 from 8:30 to 9:30am.  The best part is that YOU get to sign up to help silly string me and Mrs. Varljen!  Don’t forget to sign up below!  Please have your child wear their green 1st grade shirt on Monday for the silly stringing.  


Report Cards and Data Binders
These came home on Thursday 11/2.  Please review and discuss the common assessments with your child, but do not remove any of these work samples.  (I will return the entire binder to you at the end of the year.)  If you have any questions about what a 1, 2, 3, or 4 means on the report card, please refer to the grading guidelines tab on the 1st grade blog.  Please keep in mind, that most of the time, a 1 is given for a skill that was recently introduced and requires more practice and teacher guidance.  At this time of year, several students may have mostly 2’s. This indicates that a child is meeting expectations with minimal guidance and is progressing as expected as a learner.  Kindly return the data binder and signed report card envelope with your child by Monday. The report card is yours to keep.


Words Their Way
On Mondays, your child will bring home their Words Their Way spelling words.  These are sent home so that your child may practice sorting them according to the spelling patterns at home.


Campus Announcements…
Honor Wall Pictures Needed
Sommer Elementary would like to invite our active duty, retired, or reserve service members to join us in honoring our Nation’s Heroes at our Veteran’ Day Assembly on November 10th, 2017 at 7:35am. coffee and Snacks will be available for our special guests following the assembly in the library. If possible, please fill out and submit this RSVP.
We will also be putting up our Honor Wall again this year. Please attach a COPY of your Veterans picture to the appropriate ½ page on THIS form. We ask that you DO NOT SEND ORIGINAL copies of pictures as they will be on display and children will be looking and touching them. The Deadline to turn in Photos for the Veterans Wall is Tuesday, November 7th. If you still have your picture from previous years, please feel free to send it back in!


OUR LEARNING NEXT WEEK...2ND QUARTER, WEEK 3
Math: We will continue our subtraction unit. Students will practice subtraction using strategies, movement, games and tools with numbers from 1-20. The students will also practice matching subtraction problems with subtraction number sentences.


Science: This week, we will begin our unit on rocks, soil, and bodies of water. Students will learn and make observations about different bodies of water and discuss how water is useful to us. We will also explore the different sources of water in the state of Texas.  Soon we will start our unit on soil.  Please send in a soil sample in the bag that was sent home today.  (Please do not send any mud.)  All soil samples are due by 11-10-17.


Reading with Integrated Social Studies:  Using a variety of books from different genres and about different customs and traditions, students will learn that authors write stories to:
~ Entertain: Just tell a good story that may be sad, funny, scary, etc.
~ Persuade: Convince a reader to think a certain way about a particular topic/subject/idea.  

Writing:  Students will continue working on their “How-To” they started last week.  This week’s focus will  be on revising, editing, and adding needed illustrations to ensure that their “How-To’s” are clear and easy for others to follow.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

2nd 9 Weeks: Week 1

Important Dates:
  • Oct. 30 Flu vaccines (with signed permission forms only - CANCELED)
  • Oct. 31 Dress up as your Favorite Book Character Day (bring the book as well)
  • Nov. 2  TAG Testing Information Night in Cafeteria (5:45-6:45 PM)
  • Nov. 3 50’s Day (dress up in fun 50’s clothing)
  • Nov. 3 Picture Retakes
  • Nov. 3 Passport to Sommer (formerly CandyLand)
  • Nov. 10 All School Assembly: Veterans Day
  • Nov. 20-24 Thanksgiving Break/No School
  • Dec. 22 No School for students
  • Dec. 25 - Jan 5 Winter Break/No School
  • Jan. 8  Teacher Workday/No School for students
  • Jan. 9 Students return to School from Winter Break
  • Jan. 15 No School/MLK, Jr. Day
  • Jan. 23 1st Grade Field Trip to The Thinkery (more info. to follow at a later date)

Class Announcements
Stuff the Boots: We have done it, everyone!  We gathered $1,850 this period!  So we have Snickers living with us for a couple days.  The students are EXTREMELY excited!!  Thank you to everyone who has reached out to family, friends, and companies in order to help us gather this amount.  

Halloween: Next Tuesday, the school is having book character dress up day. Students may dress up as a character from a book and can bring the book with them to show the class. We will also be doing some fun activities this day. Mrs. Gustafson and I have created a sign up genius for some of the items we need for our activities. If you are able to send anything in, please sign up!

50’s Day: Next Friday (11/3), we will be celebrating the 50th day of school with a 50's themed day. Students can dress up in 50's attire (a sheet with some ideas went home today) and we will have fun activities planned throughout the day. Mrs. Gustafson and I have created a sign up genius for some of the items we need for our activities. If you are able to send anything in, please sign up!

Spelling Testers: Mrs. Gustafson and I will be doing flexible groups with our classes for spelling this year. On Friday's we could use an additional person to help administer the spelling test to varying groups. If you are interested, please sign up! http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0e48aba728a13-spelling

Sight Words: These have started to come home. 10 words went home last week and 10 are going home in folders today. Look for a pale green paper. You can use these as flashcards to help your kiddos practice. They will get a new list of 10 words each week as we continue throughout the year.

Campus Announcements…
TAG Information
11/2 5:45-6:45 - TAG Information meeting with parents.
11/13-12/8 - Referrals accepted for January/February testing window.
1/15 - Testing for gifted services will begin
4/1 - Final decisions regarding placement will be mailed out

From the Literacy Vertical Team…
Dress Up As Your Favorite Book Character Day is on Tuesday, October 31. Students and staff are encouraged to dress up as their favorite book character and bring a book to go along with their character to share as well.

From the Library...
We will be collecting Coins for Coats through November 1 in each classroom.  The class with the most collected funds at the K-2 level and 3-5 level will win an assortment of books pulled from the book fair for your classroom library!

From PTA…
Stuff the Boots
Our school's annual Stuff the Boots Fall Fundraiser started Monday 10/16 and runs for TWO weeks through 10/27.  Double your donation through your company, check out PTA Facebook page this week for a list of known companies that match. We encourage you all to donate online instead of sending in the paper donation form (unless matching) and help us reach our $35,000 goal. Let's Stuff the Boots, together!
Veterans Day Assembly
Sommer Elementary would like to invite our active duty, retired, or reserve service members to join us in honoring our Nation’s Heroes at our Veteran’ Day Assembly on November 10th, 2017 at 7:35am. coffee and Snacks will be available for our special guests following the assembly in the library. If possible, please fill out and submit this RSVP.
Honor Wall
We will also be putting up our Honor Wall again this year. Please attach a COPY of your Veterans picture to the appropriate ½ page on THIS form. We ask that you DO NOT SEND ORIGINAL copies of pictures as they will be on display and children will be looking and touching them. The Deadline to turn in Photos for the Veterans Wall is Tuesday, November 7th. If you still have your picture from previous years, please feel free to send it back in!

OUR LEARNING NEXT WEEK...2ND QUARTER, WEEK 2
Math: Students will be introduced to subtraction using strategies, movement, games and tools with numbers from 1-20. The students will practice subtraction problems and identifying subtraction words to describe what is happening in the math story. Students will also learn how to write subtraction number sentences.

Science: Students will continue to explore magnetism and patterns of movement. We will have a variety of hands on activities and experiments to reinforce learning including: magnetic bowling, testing magnet strength using paperclips, and Willy the Worm (using magnets to make a “worm” move through a maze in different movement patterns).

Reading with Integrated Social Studies:  Students will continue to explore different types of questions that we use during reading.  We will learn that there are two types of questions “thin” (simple; very short answer like ‘yes’ or ‘no’) and “thick” (require reader to think deeply about what they read).  Students will also explore calendars as a tool to measure time and how we are able to ask those “thin” questions about what is happening.  We will also explore how these questions can also be asked about not only stories, but about pictures as well.

Writing:  Students will select something they know how to do or make well and generate steps (instructions) to teach someone how to do what they have selected.  Students will learn what it takes to write a “How-To” book and how missing details (or adding something not needed) can lead to confusion for the reader.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

1st 9 Weeks: Week 9

Important Dates:
  • October 16 - 27: Stuff the Boots! Fall Fundraiser through PTA.  
  • Oct. 19 -Oct. 24: Book Fair
  • October 20: PTA Movie Night and Book Fair is open late
  • Oct. 23-Oct. 27: Red Ribbon Week
  • October 30: Free Flu Shot Clinic
  • October 31: Dress up as favorite book character

A Few Reminders:
RED RIBBON WEEK: Next week (October 23-27)
At Patsy Sommer Elementary School we are celebrating making healthy choices:
  • Monday - "I'm a JEAN-ius! No drugs for me!" - Students are encouraged to wear jeans and red tops to show support for Red Ribbon Week
  • Tuesday - "SOCK it to drugs!" - Students are encouraged to wear crazy socks
  • Wednesday - "TEAM up against drugs!" - Students are encouraged to wear their favorite sports shirt or a Sommer t-shirt
  • Thursday - "Say PEACE OUT to Drugs!" - Students are encouraged to wear tie dye and peace signs
  • Friday - "Let's be CRAZY about being drug free!" - Students are encouraged to have crazy hair

BOOK FAIR:
Our Fall Scholastic Book Fair will open after school on October 19th!  Please stop by and shop for popular and timely titles for everyone in your family.  Funds raised will benefit our library program, helping to pay for author visits, books, library supplies, and events such as the Bluebonnet Breakfast.  Our goal this fall is $18,000 in sales!  You can shop online from October 9th-26th at http://onlinebookfairs.scholastic.com/default.aspx?f=3771594
Books ordered online will be delivered to the school with no extra shipping charges!

CHARACTER DRESS UP DAY:
We will be doing character dress up day on October 31. Students are invited to dress up as their favorite book character! Please bring a book with your favorite character in it to share with your class.

OUR LEARNING NEXT WEEK...2ND QUARTER, WEEK 1
Math: Students will introduced to double facts and double plus one strategies. They will practice addition facts using doubles up to 9.  This week’s spiral review will focus on reviewing 2D shapes based on the Kindergarten TEKS.

Science:  This week, we will begin our unit on Magnets and Patterns of Movement. Students will learn about how magnets can push or pull certain objects through hands-on activities and exploration.

Reading & Integrated Social Studies:  Students will explore how forming questions as they read helps them create a stronger meaning of what they are reading.  They will be introduced to four different types of questions that can be made while reading both fiction and nonfiction.  The types of questions include:
  • Questions that are answered in text (already done)
  • Questions that are answered from your background knowledge
  • Questions whose answers can be inferred from the text
  • Questions that can be answered by having a discussion with others
Questioning will be explore through the use of a variety of text.

Writing: This week’s writing focus will be on pronouns, transition words, and adverbs (as indicators of time).  Students will spend time looking at how pronouns can be used in their writing in place of a noun when it has already been introduced.  They will be using pronouns like: he, she, them, we, I, her, his, they, etc.  Students will also gain an understanding of how using transition words (first, second, next, then, finally, etc.) in their writing helps show the passing of time and the order in which events take place.  Throughout the week there is be various activities giving students opportunities to hear and see how each of these concepts are used within writings so they are able to apply them to their own.

Campus Announcements:
Stuff The Boot PTA Fundraiser:
This is the biggest fundraiser our PTA does all year and is all for the benefit for our school and kiddos!  Our class goal is to raise $600.00.  There are treats and surprises along the way for the classes that raise the most money that I know our class would greatly enjoy.  More information can be found on our school’s PTA website and that is also where online donations can be made.  There are many employers that will match donations, up to a certain amount, that families make.  Thank to everyone in advance for your support for our school and kids!

Coins for Coats Fundraiser:
Coins for Coats in a fundraiser put on by our library as a way to help raise money to buy coats for other kiddos who may not have a warm coat to wear when the colder months come.  This year’s dates are:  October 25, 26, and 27.  The class with the most collected funds at the K-2 level and 3-5 level will win an assortment of books pulled from the book fair for your classroom library!  Our goal this year is at least $10 from each classroom.  Please have your child bring in their coins so that we are able to help others stay warm this winter.  

Flu Shots:
Our district has teamed up with Healthy Schools, to offer your child a free Flu Vaccine regardless of your health insurance coverage. We’ve made it as convenient as possible to safeguard your child against the flu this season. Be on the look-out for your child to bring home their “Teach Flu a Lesson” consent form this week. All you have to do is fill out the form, and have your child return it to his or her teacher. We will take care of the rest and remember there’s no cost involved to you. The Healthy Schools team will be at our school vaccinating students on Monday October 30th from 8 a.m to 11:30 am.

Box Tops:

PE is collecting Box Tops for Education. Each box tops is worth 10 cents. The money that we earn goes towards updating our PE equipment and the purchase of NEW equipment! We are having a contest between grade levels for the most box tops collected. Please send the Box Tops in a baggie, with your child’s grade level, to their classroom teacher or the gym. A grade level reward will be awarded at the end of October and the end of November. We collect these Box Tops for Education all year long!!