# First Grade – Kitah Alef

Ms. Lewis and Morah Rachel

# Archive for December, 2011

## MJGDS Students Skype with Kitah Alef Students in Memphis

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## Rocket Math Video

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## Rocket Math

This year our first graders are going to be spending time practicing and learning math facts, beginning in the operation of addition.  Our class will keep working on these facts until everyone knows all the facts in this operation instantly without any pause before answering. We will be using a program called Rocket Math (with some adaptations to fit our class needs.) Rocket Math is unique because it teaches only 2 facts and their reverses on each page (for example 1+3, 3+1, 1+2, and 2+1.) The program allows each child to go at his or her own pace, taking as many days to master those two facts as needed.  Students will be given multiple opportunities each week to show they have learned a set of facts by passing a test.  Once students “pass” a set of facts, they will color in the letter for that set on their “Rocket Chart.”

You can help your child progress and learn faster by practicing at home. Throughout the week your child will bring home a practice sheet as homework.  We most likely will send home at least two practice sheets a week. On the evening your child brings home a sheet, it will help a great deal if you practice with your child for about five minutes.  Here’s how we recommend you practice:

-Your child sits with the practice sheet in front of him/her.  The problems for the practice go in a circle around the outside of the page and should not have answers written in.  You will work only these outside facts. You may wish to tape paper over the inside part.  This is the test your child took that day or will take the next day.

-Your child reads each fact (not just the answer) aloud and says the answer. All practice is completed verbally.  There is no need for a pencil.

-If you hear either the slightest hesitation or an error on one of the facts, give your child some extra practice on that fact by immediately repeating the fact and the answer.  Then ask him/her to repeat the problem and the answer again three times.

-Your child then needs to back up three problems and begins again.

-If there is no hesitation or mistake when the problem is reached this time, be sure to praise your child and let him/her continue.  Go once around the outside of the page.  This should take less than five minutes.  If you would like to do a second session of practice, wait at least an hour, or try it again in the morning. When working with memorizing facts, two short sessions with time in between, is much more helpful than one very long session.

-Your child will be able to explain this procedure to you because we practice it in class. You may also wish to check our blog for a video clip of our class in action practicing.

Learning all the facts in an operation is a lot of work, but future success in math is dependent upon knowing facts so well that the answers come automatically without much thinking. Thank you so much for your support of this critical learning goal.  We will keep you notified of your child’s success in this important task.

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## Peek at our week-12/12

We hope you have a very Happy Hanukkah and a wonderful Winter Break!

This week we will…

-Wrap up our second reading unit by taking the unit assessment and discussing what we learned about communities in our unit.

-Compare and contrast the stories in the unit and write about our favorite story citing reasons why.

-Work with words by reviewing short and long vowels.

-Read independently to Mrs. O’Neill so we can track our reading strengths and weaknesses.

-Review past spelling words:  back, six, got, naps, step, jump, fish, take, smile, those, June, week, because.

-Begin a new math chapter on numbers to 20.  Please check your child’s folder for a math “Friendly Notes” that explains this chapter in further detail.

-Continue Rocket Math!  We are so excited! Please check the Rocket Math blog post for more information.

-Continue to learn about maps. We will focus on using what we learned about map keys and directions to go on treasure hunts in our book and in the school.

-Have some Hanukkah fun.

Reminders:

-A huge Todah Rabah to all our wonderful families for ensuring we were able to start class on time last week.  Let’s keep up the momentum–please make sure your child is ready to learn and in his/her seat by 8:15 am.

-Your child is bringing home the first volume of our Reading Practice Book.  We are beginning the second volume after break.

-We are sad to announce that Jona’s last day of school will be this Friday, 12/16.  We will have a going away party on Friday morning.

-Please check our AR blog post for updates.

-Please continue to record your child’s reading over the course of Winter Break.

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## Week of Dec. 12–Jewish Studies

It is such an exciting week for us in כיתה א but also a bittersweet week.

On the plus side, we are on our new אריאות Ariyot  starting with the letter כ. We will be Skyping with Kitah Alef in Memphis, TN on Wednesday and sharing Chanukah and Ariyot stuff.  There will be a Chanukah celebration on Friday with the whole school participating.

On the not so fun side, this is יונה Yona’s last week in our class before she and her family return to Germany. She will be missed  and our class won’t be the same without her.  But this is not

שלום  Shalom  Goodbye …. it’s just L’hitraot להתראות see you later.

Our new letter has lots of new words like:

כד  kad  pitcher

כדים  kadim  pitchers

כותב   kotev  writes for a boy

כותבת kotevet writes for a girl

כואב  ko-ev  hurts

כחול  kachole  blue

כיתה  kitah  class

We are finishing our חנוכה שמח  Chanukah Sameach  Happy Chanukah book so just ask any of us which is the correct way to light the  חנוכיה Chanukiya and we will show you  how!!

פרשת השבוע  Portion of the Week in the Torah is;

וישב Vayeshev  all about Joseph’s dreams

Because we will be out for Winter Break (and we continue reading the Torah), we will have a Torah portion to work on over vacation.

מקץ  Miketz  pages 24 and 25   all about Pharoah’s dreams

As חנוכה Chanukah begins, we hope you enjoy the beautiful gift that our students made for you.  A BIG  תודה רבה Thank You to Morah Hanna and to Mr. Bendit for helping us make these golden treasures.

We thank you for the opportunity to work with such wonderful students and we look forward to 2012 for more fun ahead.

Have a חנוכה שמח Chanukah Sameach  Happy Chanukah!!!  And remember to rest, read and practice your חגיגת הסידור Haggigat HaSiddur parts over the break.  NOTE>>> these parts do NOT need to be memorized. Just make sure your child can read them correctly with expression.  THANKS!  Also if you need time on the Siddur pictures, the break is a good time for that!

כל הכבוד Kol HaKavod  All of the honor to our class for participating so well in our mitzvah project for our needy family.   WOW!!!

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## AR Program

We are so excited to announce that our AR program is in the final stages of being restructured! Thank you for your patience and understanding as we made our transition. We greatly appreciate your continued patience and flexibility as we restart the program.

Your child selected an AR book today from the library.  We will practice running the program next week. Here’s how you can help:

1. Listen to your child read aloud the book—several readings will not hurt.

2. Help your child with any miscues, such as reading a word incorrectly.

3. Ask your child comprehension questions using words like who, what, and where.

4. Return the AR book to school no later than Tuesday morning.

Over the remaining course of the week your child will take the AR quiz in the library with the assistance of our new librarian, Karin Hallet.  I will help with the first week of testing and book selections.  Since next week is our “practice run” please stay tuned to our blog for further information and improvements to our program.

Your child will bring home an AR book to read over the break as well.  This will help us have a jumpstart in our reading as we begin the New Year.

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## Week of Dec. 5–Jewish Studies PART 2

YOM HULEDET SAMEACH to Mrs. O’Neill!!   You are the BEST!!!

ALSO….. check out which of our students’ names start with our new, little letter י

יצחק יונה יוסף ויהושע   Yitzhak, Yona, Yosef and Yehoshuah!!!

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## Peek at our Week-Dec. 5

This week we will…

-Read the story, Honey Bees, and discuss how a community of insects is like a community of people.

-Work with words with long e (e and ee) and words with multiple syllables.

-Check our reading comprehension by exploring comparing and contrasting and previewing the text (the process of looking through the selection before reading to see pictures, read captions, and locate interesting words.)

-Practice our spelling words:   be, feet, he, see, we, green, me, she, tree, week, some, family. Bonus: their, because.

-Review what we know about nouns!

-Continue our work with position and direction by studying ordinal numbers in math.

-Begin the practicing of how to practice Rocket Math!  We are so excited!

-Continue to learn about maps. We will focus on learning about map keys and symbols and using them to read maps. We will also link math to our studies by learning about positions on the map–near, far, left, right, etc.

Reminders:

-We need your help starting our school day off right!  Did you know school starts at 8:15? This means that every child should be in his/her seat busy working on morning activities by 8:15. This also means that parents need to say goodbye beforehand.  We know that mornings can be hectic, but we greatly appreciate your assistance in starting class on time.

-Please return November Reading logs by this Tuesday, 12/6.

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## Week of Dec. 5–Jewish Studies

מזל טוב  Mazel Tov to Jona’s family on the birth of a baby girl.

נועה Noa is her name and she is precious!!!  (I love the name…. my granddaughter has the same name!!)

יונה עכשו אחות גדולה   Yona achshav achot g’dolah.  Yona is now a big sister!! (just like in our story of Bina!)

The next letter we are studying is the letter י     with words like:

יד  yad   hand

יושב  yoshev  sits for a boy

יושבת  yoshevet sits for a girl

יויו  yoyo   YOYO!!!

חגיגה  haggigah   celebration  (our Haggigat HaSiddur is on 2/11/12)

חידה  hidah   puzzle

GUESS WHO???       Who in our class begins with this little letter?

פרשת השבוע וישלח Parshat HaShavuah  the portion of the Torah that we are learning  (really coloring!!) this week is Vayishlach.

חנוכה שמח  Chanukah Sameach  Happy Chanukah

We are excited about the holiday which this year occurs during our Winter Break.  However, we have lots of work to do before then!

Hopefully, you will be hearing soon about Haggigat HaSiddur and the role that the parents play in this simcha.  You will be asked to do some preparation (it’s a surprise for your child)   of a  personalized Siddur cover.  More details to follow.  If you would like to read Torah or chant the Haftarah or would like some time to work on a certain prayer for that Shabbat morning, please let Scott Zimmerman or me know and we can assign that part.  Each family will hopefully have one adult participating in the Shabbat morning service on 2/11/12 whether it is a Hebrew or English or non-speaking part.  More details to follow.  If you have a preference already, let me know.  It will be a very memorable Shabbat.

Don’t forget in the meantime….. your siddur pictures are fabulous!! If you haven’t had a chance to take the photos with your child, please do whenever you can and send them in numbered.  We all are enjoying your creativity.

posted by Morah Rachel in Jewish Studies,Uncategorized and have Comments Off