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Monthly Newsletters and Shared Reading Texts
Newsletters are posted here once a month. They include important information about class and school activities. Curriculum topics are highlighted in these monthly newsletters.
Every month, we’ll also have different shared reading texts, and when possible, I’ll share information about these texts here.
September Newsletter – Grade 1 September Newsletter 2014
The Popcorn Song – The Popcorn Song – I just introduced this song on Friday, so we will be looking at this song as a Shared Reading text for next week (the second week of school). Students can use this song to help them find simple sight words to use in their writing. We’ll be adding these words to the Word Wall as well.
One, Two Buckle My Shoe – This songs aligns with our focus on rhyming words. Students can even generate their own rhyming verses for the different numbers. Replace the numerals with the number words to help the children read the number words in a meaningful context.
Willaby Wallaby – Willaby Wallaby is a funny rhyming song that gets students listening for rhyming sounds and creating their own rhymes. The video below is a great example of how the song works. Get your child to create his/her own rhyming verses using the names of various family members and friends.
Form About Classroom Visits – I’m interested in beginning these weekly (Friday) classroom visits on October 17th. This is the first Friday after the Thanksgiving long weekend. I’d love to hear more about parent interest as I plan ahead for these visits. Please complete the form below to help me with this planning. Thanks! – Aviva
October Newsletter – Grade 1 October Newsletter 2014
Down By The Bay – Students can sing/read along with the video below, and even create their own rhyming verses in the end. If your child is finding it hard to make rhymes, try giving him/her one word and seeing if he/she can figure out a rhyming pair (e.g., did you ever see a pig wearing a __________?). Students may even want to write down their rhyming verses and make a Down By The Bay Book of their own.
Humpty Dumpty – Try reading and singing this song together. Look for the rhyming words in the song, and even try to create some of your own rhyming words. Some students are focusing on syllable counting in class, so try counting the syllables in this nursery rhyme. Compare the number of syllables in each word.
Hickety Pickety Bumble Bee – We used this song/poem to review syllables and letter-names and sounds. Use names of friends or family members, popcorn words, or favourite words for this fun song/rhyme.
Raz-Kids Books – This week, instead of doing a new poem or song, we reviewed previous ones and read some Raz-Kids books together. Students worked on tracking the text and using initial sounds and picture cues to read unfamiliar words. You can use the Raz-Kids login information to review these same skills at home.
November Newsletter – Grade 1 November Newsletter 2014
Poppy, Poppy Poem – This is the shared reading text that we’re going to read aloud at the Remembrance Day Assembly. Try having your child read it at home. See if he/she can recognize some of the words in the poem, and identify the rhyming words. What other rhyming words can he/she create? Here is a recording of us reading the poem together as a class.
To prepare for Tuesday’s assembly, we spent the beginning of the week reviewing the Poppy, Poppy poem shared above. Then we looked more closely at sight words found in different texts, including previous poems/songs and Raz Kids books. Here’s a look at some of our word work done this week. We even created new words from previous ones by changing different letter-sounds. You can try an activity like this at home. Get your child to explain how he/she used one word to help spell another one.
At Rhyme – This poem allows the students to review the “at” word family. We went through the poem together and circled the “at” words: blending the sounds together to read the words. Then we looked for sight words that we know, and then we read and discussed the poem. Students could even try writing their own poem, substituting other “at” words or other word family words (e.g., “an” words) for the ones in the poem.
An Rhyme – This poem allows the students to review the “an” word family. We went through the poem together and circled the “an” words: blending the sounds together to read the words. Then we looked for sight words that we know, and then we read and discussed the poem. Students could even try writing their own poem, substituting other “an” words or other word family words (e.g., “at” words) for the ones in the poem.
December Newsletter – Grade 1 December Newsletter 2014
The Reindeer Pokey – Reindeer Pokey – Have your child look for familiar words in this song, and even try tracking the words as he/she reads/sings it. Here’s a recording of one of our singing times today. I apologize for my singing. 🙂
Five Little Reindeer – Here’s the link to the poem. Have your child look for familiar words in this poem, and even try tracking the words as he/she reads it. Encourage your child to create actions to accompany the poem. We’ve experimented with different actions in class.
Review of The Reindeer Pokey and Five Little Reindeer – In preparation for our holiday concert, we reviewed The Reindeer Pokey and Five Little Reindeer with the other Grade 1 classes. Here are videos of us performing these songs just for you. Enjoy!
January Newsletter – Grade 1 January Newsletter 2015
Raz-Kids Books – This week, due to large numbers of absences, instead of doing a new poem or song, we read some Raz-Kids books together. Students worked on tracking the text and checking for understanding as they read. You can use the Raz-Kids login information (emailed to you a few months ago) to review these same skills at home.
The Big Bad Wolf – This is the little play that we read together in class this week. Yesterday and today, we shared our reading and reflection in our Daily Shoot Blog Post (Day 1 and Day 2). We’re hoping to put on a play in class next week. Students can practice their oral reading skills by reading through this play with you at home. Looking for the sight words in the play is a great way to review these simple words. See if your child can come up with some actions to do to align with the words in the text. Have fun acting out this play together!
We performed this play on Thursday, January 22nd to one of the JK/SK classes. During the week, students continued to work on reading the text: playing with their voices as well as their actions. Have them perform this play to you on the weekend. You can even both take on roles in the play.
Goldilocks And The Three Bears – Our current shared reading text is a song/drama play of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. We’ll continue working on this song/drama play in class next week. To help with the language, review the story with your child. Below is a short video telling one version of the story. Your child can also talk to you about other versions that we’ve listened to and read in class. Children may even want to use letter-sounds and familiar words to write their own version. They can always bring this version in to share with the class.
February Newsletter – Grade 1 February Newsletter 2015
The Dr. Davey Pledge – This week I introduced the students to our pledge. It’s a hard one, and we’ll continue to review it in the coming weeks. We’re looking at classroom jobs though, and how we can help each other out in the classroom and support each other as part of the Dr. Davey family. This also ties in with the focus on “responsibility” in the pledge. Try reading through the pledge together and discussing what the words mean. How can your child take responsibility at home? Make a list of ideas together.
Reviewing Shared Reading Texts – I think that regular review of shared reading texts is important. This week, we reviewed some of our previous texts, and even read a few additional Raz-Kids books together. We’ve also been writing some texts together in the morning during our literacy block, and then reading them for a combined Shared Reading and Shared Writing experience. Have fun reviewing some previous shared reading texts with your child. This is a great way to work on decoding strategies (e.g., sounding out words, looking for chunks in words to help read unfamiliar words, and using picture cues), review sight words, and increase fluency.
Jillian Jiggs – This week, I read the students a few different Jillian Jiggs texts, and together, we read the repetitive parts. The Jillian Jiggs stories are great ones for rhyming, and it’s always fun to play with rhyming words and even change some of the rhyming words to different ones: hence, changing the meaning. Try reading some rhyming books together at home. There are many available at the public library. There are also some rhyming stories available online through TumbleBooks. Find the instructions on how to access the TumbleBook Website here.
Nonsense Word Play – This week, we played with nonsense words to help students blend sounds together to read different words. In Dibels, students need to just look at a nonsense word, blend the sounds in their head, and read the whole word. We’ve looked a lot at Dr. Seuss books, and how these books make sense of different nonsense words. In the document below are some of the nonsense words that we read this week. Students then used the original nonsense words to create new ones (by changing one of the sounds). Then I wrote a short play using some of the nonsense words and many of our sight words. Reading this play aloud helped students make sense of the nonsense words. In the document below, you’ll find an extension activity that you can do at home to support your child with this skill. Students can also practice reading these nonsense words, creating some of their own, and reading ones that you write.
March Newsletter – Grade 1 March Newsletter 2015
The Raj – the raj – This is a short poem/play that I wrote to help review rhyming words, sight words, and nonsense words. Students used contextual clues to make sense of the nonsense words. We recorded our reading of the play throughout the week, and we’re continuing to practice it (with one group of students reading part 1 and one group of students reading part 2), so that we can perform it in class next week. You can practice the play at home on the weekend, and children could even try writing their own version using different nonsense words.
This week (March 9th-13th), we reviewed the poem/play of The Raj and got better at reading it together as a class. You can read this text again over the March Break to help your child work on fluency and confidence in oral reading.
The Bij – The Bij – We started this poem/play this week, and we’ll continue working on it next week. At home, you can even look through the text together for familiar words, and have children practice reading it aloud to help with fluency. We have only read half of it at this point, but children can even look beyond what we read in the class to help them prepare for the week ahead.
Reading Update – We’re continuing to read, The Bij. Students are working on tracking the words as they read them, and keeping up the pace to read and sing with others. Practice reading this poem/play, identifying different sight words in it first to help with ease in decoding.
April Newsletter – Grade 1 April Newsletter 2015
Important Eco House/Green Venture Trip Information – Important Reminders For Our Trip To Eco House
PebbleGo – In addition to reviewing The Bij this week, we read some information on PebbleGo together about topics of interest including worms and snakes. PebbleGo also reads the text aloud to students, so they can hear the words, track them, and read them at the same time. PebbleGo is part of our Board’s Virtual Library, and it works on both tablets and computers. You can find out more about the Virtual Library under Favourite Links. Children may want to access this resource at home to read about different non-fiction topics.
Update: We used PebbleGo again this week to read about worms, snakes, and other animals of interest, as we also reviewed The Bij for our drama performances. Next week, we’ll work on a new shared reading text. You can hear a recording of The Bij here. Children can always use PebbleGo at home to read about various topics of interest, and even write about what they learned.
The Worm – This week, we read a poem/play called, The Worm, that was shared with us by Ms. St. Amand. Students even performed this reading over Skype to a Grade 2 class at Ancaster Meadow School. Read through this poem/play with your child, and even see if your child can come up with more actions to accompany the different verses. Children may even want to create costumes or props to go with their “at home” play performance. Consider getting your child to replace the names of the animals in the text with other ones, and see how this new text varies from the original one. Your child may even want to write down the new text to share with the class.
May Newsletter – Grade 1 May Newsletter 2015
Saturday Night At The Dinosaur Stomp – This was both a modelled and a shared reading text for this week. Students read along with some of the “beats” in the book, and chimed in with the rhyming words. Your child can always try to track the text in the story as he/she listens to it. Students can also make their own beats and songs (for the dinosaurs): writing down their ideas, and then performing them with the use of a program such as Incredibox.
Dooby Dooby Moo – For shared reading this week, we read the book, Dooby Dooby Moo, together. Students worked on reading and singing the different animal noises. They also used contextual clues plus their schema to infer what happened at the end of the book. Read some stories together that allow for the shared reading of rhyming parts or songs.
PebbleGo – This week, we read some information about plants and maps on PebbeGo. This website reads the text aloud to students, so they can hear the words, track them, and read them at the same time. PebbleGo is part of our Board’s Virtual Library, and it works on both tablets and computers. You can find out more about the Virtual Library under Favourite Links. Children may want to access this resource at home to read about different non-fiction topics. They can always share what they learned in various ways (from drawings and discussions to written points).
Maps and Directions – This week, we read different maps (looking at street names and key landmarks) and different directions together. Students can explore maps using one of the suggestions on the Favourite Links Page, or they can go on a walk through the community, and try reading street signs, business names, and billboards as they walk.
Composter Instructions – We read these composter instructions, in order to make the class composters that we sent home on Thursday. These instructions helped students realize the value in reading both words and pictures. You might even want to read these instructions together and make a composter at home. Observe and discuss how the compost changes over time.
June Newsletter – Grade 1 June Newsletter 2015
Dinosaur Shared Reading – The shared reading this week was done in small groups based on student interests around dinosaurs. We read everything from books to websites to short texts on Pebble Go (through our Virtual Library). You may want to check out some of these Pebble Go texts to read together at home (your child can select a topic of interest).
If You’re ________ Dinosaur Song – Groups of students wrote their own dinosaur songs this week, and we put them together into this song. We read and sang the song together (looking closely at word patterns first). See if your child can write any additional song verses.
Here is an audio recording of one of our singing sessions.
Shared Reading Text Review – In small groups this week, we reviewed many different shared reading texts from throughout the year. The texts we reviewed depended on the students, their interests, and their particular areas of need. You can always look back at the texts shared here, and read through them with your child. Look for sight words, play with different letter-sounds (and explore how the words change), try rewriting the text by changing certain words in it, and talk about the meaning behind the different texts after reading them.