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

We’re on a high after that spectacular performance last Friday when 1G presented Aesop’s Fables.

Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate all of the boys’ hard work. I continue to be blown away by the talent, enthusiasm and knowledge of each of the boys. Also, thank you for coming to meet with me on Tuesday at our three-way conference. Your son will continue to work hard to achieve the goals that he’s set for himself. Feel free to check in with him to see how it’s going.

We had a wonderful time learning about Chinese New Year on Tuesday. Thank you to all of the parent volunteers who helped create such a memorable experience for the students.

We’re beginning to inquire into our new unit, “Sun and Earth,” which focuses on the impact of the sun on the Earth. This will be broken up into four main components: the sun as energy; the sun’s impact on living things; cycles (day and night, seasons and the water cycle); and the Earth as part of the solar system. The boys’ questions seem to be circling around energy and the sun’s energy (How hot is the sun? How was the sun made?). This is the direction we’ll take.

Looking ahead, we’ll make energy chains and talk about the transfer of energy from one object to another. We’ll follow this with a discussion on rotation, tilt and orbit and how seasons and time are created. The boys seem really engaged and their questions are out of this world.

In guided reading, the focus has been on decoding words and what do when reaching a difficult word. The boys and I are working on these strategies: sound it out; use the picture clue; read the sentence and use the other words in the sentence to figure it out.

Once the students have determined the unknown word, they need to ensure that they understand what they’ve just read. Often this means rereading the sentence with the tough word. All that said, feel free to give your son very challenging words and focus on reading for meaning at home. Your home experience is intended to be fun and stress-free.

We’re on our fifth math unit, which focuses on place value, number stories and basic facts. The unit extends students’ understanding of addition and subtraction. The boys will make up and solve number stories and help to foster links between verbal representations and concrete, pictorial and number model representations.

We’ll celebrate our 100th day in class on Wednesday, Feb. 21. I invite the boys to bring in 100 of something on that day. We’ll brainstorm some ideas that might be helpful when thinking of how to carry 100 items and will discuss how small items would work best. Potential ideas include: Cheerios; stamps; stickers; drawing 100 things; pennies; tally marks; and beads.

We’ll use these things as a part of some math stations, and I’ll ask the boys to organize and group them. It’s always interesting to see all the different ways we can group 100 things. I look forward to seeing what the boys of 1G come up with.