News From Room 108

September 18, 2017


  • Thank you for all the kleenex boxes and ziplocks. We are well stocked due to your generosity!
  • Thank you for all those healthy snacks and lunches. They go a long way to fuelling “humming” brains!
  • We welcome a new student to our class. We had to do a bit of re-structuring in Grade One. Hopefully, we are done for the year, but I never say it is over and done until we are past Thanksgiving!

Reading and Writing News

In September, we focus on building routines in everything. These routines provide the structure and patterns that allow students to operate independently and confidently. It seems overwhelming in these first days, but all the students are becoming pros. It is also wonderful to see friends giving gentle and respectful reminders to their buddies to keep them on track. That is teamwork!

In Language, we continue to work on reading, writing, and oral language development through our All About ________ stories and activities. We are learning to ask complete questions and to always answer them in full, clear sentences. The interviews are great fun for all of us. We learn how we are different and how we are similar. We also learn to ask further questions that “dig deeper” and give us more specific answers to things we wonder about. Hmmm...that sounds like Math and Data Collection, too!

As well, we are working on writing skills using frame passages. Frame passages scaffold students writing. They build confidence. An example of a frame passage would be:


__________ there,

__________ ____________ everywhere.

We have also started to write independently. We are learning to use words posted in the room and to use our sounds to “stretch - it - out” so we can spell words using our growing phonetic skills. This is HARD work and it means taking risks. It is important to really be positive and reinforce these initial writings. I always ask students to read their work back to me and then find one item to praise and one item for a next step.

Classbooks written and illustrated by the students will be going home. You can read these at home and I ask you return them the next day so that we can pass them onwards to the next student. Please keep them in their ziplock bag so they stay neat and clean.

We read together all day long. We do have a particular time in the day where we read “just right” books to ourselves, practising smart reader strategies. So far, our steps and strategies are:

  1. First, do a picture walk and talk to yourself about what you see in the picture.
  2. Next, go back to the beginning of the book. Look at the picture on the page and then, track under each word and try to read the word, thinking about the picture and what makes sense.
  3. Finally, read the book two more times (at least). Celebrate!

Each day, I try to conference directly with at least 3 children at this time.

Mathematics News

In Math, we are working on data collection (learning about our class) and about sorting activities. The purpose of sorting activities is to teach us to look critically and think about what is the same and what is different. It also teaches us to look for relationships and patterns.

We are always working on number skills. We play oral games such as “Tell me one more” and we work with dot plates, working to automatically see numbers less than 10 and to realize that we can decompose all numbers into other numbers.

Math Games to Play at Home With Your Child:

Numbers, Numbers Everywhere

Go on a Number walk with your child. Where do you see numbers?

Make a list (you can be the recorder for your child).

Why are they there?

What does that number mean in that place (all about context)?

Do you find any interesting patterns or combinations of numbers?

Where is the weirdest place you found a number?

One More, One Less

Call out a number and pose the question to each other. Do this in the car orally, or do it with playing cards at the kitchen table, or do this on scrap paper waiting at the dentist (so they see/write the number). Be creative!


Player 1: “What is one more than (5)?”

Player 2: “6. What is one more than 11?”

Hint: Start with just “one more”. Move onwards to “one less” once the pattern of the game is established. ALWAYS give thinking time. The idea here is PERFECT practice! We do not want to create patterns of errors.

FYI: Vince Lombardi actually said, “Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.” That is why NOT rushing and taking time to think is so important.

Other Classroom News


“Snuggle Up And Read” will start Monday Sept. 25 and so will the five weekly word wall words. I will try to post a note on Monday to give you some tips about practicing these words at home. I cannot stress enough how critical this practice is for reading success. These words build confidence in so many ways.


Prayer is an important part of our day - we pray often and we thank God regularly throughout the day for His blessings. As well, we pray for special intentions. If you would like someone special prayed for, please send it in your agenda (names not required). Trust me, God seems to listen EXTRA hard to little children when they pray.

Digital Citizenship

All the Grade One students will be coming together for a lessons over the next week or so on Digital Citizenship. These lessons have been created by our school board. It is important that we learn from easiest days that we need to be honest, honorable, and wise when we are using digital technology.

Have a great week! We sure will at school.

Cathy Vachon