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Saint John of the Cross Parish School

Rooted in Faith Growing in Knowledge

First Grade Newsletter September 22-26, 2014

Although this week is a short week, first grade will be very busy.  Each classroom begins reading clubs this week.  Picture day is on Tuesday and students have the day off on Friday.  We are finishing up September strong.  Students are settling in the first grade routine nicely and most activities are running smoothly.  It is going to be a great year!

This week in class


We will attend the all school liturgy this Monday.  As is the tradition here at SJC, we ask each student to bring a nonperishable food item in lieu of a monetary donation.  This week we will assess each student on the Our Father prayer.    First graders are asked to learn/memorize three prayers in particular; The Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Prayer of St. Francis.

Language Arts

Reading Clubs begin this week in all first grade classrooms.  During reading clubs time small groups of students work together with the teacher on reading materials at their instructional level.   The remainder of the class completes their daily work assignments and then may work on self selected centers.  This is where our classroom volunteers come into play.  Volunteers help correct daily work, answer questions for students and manage centers which allows the teacher to freely work with her small reading group.  Thank you to those who have volunteered to help us with reading clubs.  We couldn’t run our language arts block with you!

When your child  brings home their blue reading club homework folder (on Tuesday, Wednesdays and Thursdays), please sign the log nightly and return the book and written assignment (if any) the next day.  Some books will be used multiple days whereas other books are rotated in and out daily based on the needs of your child’s reading group.  The text in the small Super Kids readers is all decodable based on your child’s current knowledge of the introduced reading skills.  The stories may be reread multiple times to help your child with fluency and comprehension.

We will be stretching our unit 3 of SuperKids over the next two weeks.  This means there is NO spelling test this Friday (also we are out of school).  The next spelling test will be on Friday, October 3.  The phonics rule in unit 3 introduces the students to words which end in -ng and -le.  Our new word wall words are do, have, a, show, how & me.
This week we will also introduce the phonic rule of magic e (or silent e). Magic e makes the vowel proceeding it say its name (or makes it a long vowel) as in words like bike, cape, bone and tube.   Although it isn’t introduced or use in the Super Kids program for a few units, as teachers we believe the first graders are ready for and will benefit from the use of this rule.   We also know this will improve their writing skills – being able to send a clearer message to the reader.


Everyone was very successful with our first math unit assessment.  The tests will be returned later this week.  We hope the review sheet was helpful.  It’s meant to mirror the actual test so students will feel prepared and not anxious about taking a math test.

This week we will work with the 100 chart.  This is an important tool in first grade.  Students should become very comfortable with the use of the 100 chart.  Families may want to print a 100 chart out and use it at home for further math practice.

We will also discuss the use of numbers all around us.  We will review addition facts through 5 and be introduced to 10 frames and the math box routine.  Our fact Tuesday strategy is +2 or learning to count on.  For example 6 + 2 + 8 or begin a 6 and then count on 2 more – 6, 7, 8.  There will be homework on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week.  Monday night’s homework will help us complete classwork on Wednesday so please be sure to return it.

Special Activities and Reminders

* Monday – all school liturgy.  Please send a nonperishable food item as a donation.

* Tuesday – Picture day.  Information was sent home last week regarding ordering and pricing.  All students will have their picture taken on Tuesday even if they forget their envelope.  It is an out of uniform day.  The photography company recommends to avoid any shade of green for the photos.

* Thursday 9/25 – Curriculum night.  Please join us as we discuss this year’s first grade curriculum.  Two presentations will be given – 7:00 and 7:30.

* Friday, 9/26 is a non attendance day for students due to a teacher’s institute.

* Wednesday, 10/1 – regular uniforms begin – no more summer uniforms.  Regular school shoes and long pants should be worn.  Gym shoes may only be worn on gym days.

* Friday, 10/3 – first trimester progress reports will go home

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