Heads Up

Welcome to Heads Up, your one-stop source for news about your son’s upcoming activities and events.

A message from Year 1

The boys are summing up their unit on choices. We’ve discussed what makes a good friend, how to get along and what to do in problem situations. We’ve used picture books, drama and games to help solidify the understanding of the central idea that people can make a difference through thoughts, words and actions.

In language, we’re working on printing magic “c” letters. Magic “c” letters  begin with the c formation: a, c, d, g, q, o. To help with spelling words independently, we’ve introduced “Bubble gum spelling.” The idea is for the boys to “give it a try” when they’re spelling unknown words. We call it bubble gum to help the boys understand that they need to stretch out the words and listen for all of the sounds when spelling.

In math, we continue to work through our second math unit: “Everyday Uses of Numbers.” The boys will explore number grids, complements of 10, analog clocks, pennies (more for one to one correspondence, we’ll talk about the historical aspect of the penny and how it’s obsolete), nickels (they still exist), addition and subtraction number stories.

Are you interested in drilling math at home in a less abusive fashion? Next time you go to the store for a small item, bring change and let your son select which coins to use and have him count the change. Next will be the beginning of our third math unit: “Visual Patterns, Number Patterns and Counting.” The boys will explore the steady development of some important Year 1 topics. Telling time will be extended to the half hour, dimes will be added to the existing collection of coins to be counted, and work will begin on solving simple addition and subtraction problems. We’ll focus on three main areas:

  • exploring numeric, visual and concrete patterns;
  • introducing addition and subtraction on the number line and with the frames and arrows routine;
  • and finding the value of collections of dimes, nickels and pennies.

We enjoyed Norval on Thursday as a chance to get to know each other and kick off our new unit about rocks and minerals. The boys got to explore all different kinds of rocks, paying special attention to the layers of soil along the embankment of Cole’s Creek. During our new unit, students will design the focus of each of the weeks to answer their own questions. We’re specifically looking at rocks and minerals, their properties, attributes, uses and sustainability. The unit will begin with a significantly large amount of rocks, dust and sand poured on to the carpet. The boys will be given an hour, with tools such as magnifying glasses and scales, to ask questions about rocks. They’ll wonder aloud while we record what they wonder about. They’ll then sort their questions into four weeks of learning.

  • How was your son’s day? Is “fine” still driving you crazy? Rather then “How was your day,” try:
  • What’s the temperature tonight? What will that feel like? (I teach Celsius)
  • When is the hottest time of day? Why?
  • What’s a “magic c” letter?
  • What’s a tally mark? Show me a tally for [pick some random number].
  • What are positive emotions? What are negative emotions? What can you do to help calm yourself down in class or on the playground?

I’m looking forward to chatting with each of you on Friday and discussing how the boys are settling into school. If you would at any point like to chat more, just drop me an email.