Weekly news Term 1

Term 1

Week 2         4.2.13

Welcome to our first full week of learning.  This week Mrs Pudsey and myself will continue to get to know our students and what they can do.  We will be establishing our reading, maths and spelling groups, in order to better cater for the needs of all students.  These groups will be flexible, and will change over the course of the year as students begin to move at different paces.

We are also establishing our weekly timetable and will post this on the website once completed.

This week we begin our work on "bugs" and our history unit "The way we were".  We are also looking forward to joining with the rest of the stage 1 team for our music and sport activities.

As soon as your child brings in a folder for their home reading, we will send home a book.  The more you read, the quicker your child develops.  Sometimes the books sent home may be a little hard or a little easy.  That's OK.  Just give your child as much or as little help as they need, to foster enjoyment and confidence.  With my own Year 2 son, I often read one page and he the next.  This makes the task less daunting, and adds the bonus of your child getting to do the listening too.  Just an idea!

Enjoy the week!


Week 3  11.2.13

This week we will be beginning our spelling programs which we often call LIPI (Lessons in Phonics Instruction)  Year 1 will be learning consonant blends - this week - st, sp, sk, sw.  Year 2 will be learning blends and vowel digraphs - this week - sh, th, ay, oo (as in book). 

In Maths, our topics this week are patterns and algebra, and time.  Patterns and algebra at Stage 1 level is counting patterns, eg counting by 2's, 5's and 10's, and finding friends of 10 and 20 eg.  4 and 6 are friends of ten because they add together to make 10, as are 3 and 7.

In time, we will be learning to tell the time o-clock, and half past.  For year 2's we will be also doing this in digital time.

Homework also begins this week.  It will be handed out on Mondays and is due back in on Friday.  Don't forget to include home reading every day if possible.

I look forward to meeting with you on Wednesday afternoon at our "Meet the teacher" meeting.

Have a great week!


Week 4  18.2.13

This week in spelling  Year 1 will be learning the consonant blends, sk, sp, sc, tw.  Year 2 will be practisising the vowel digraphs, ar, ay, oy, oo (as in book).  These sounds need to be learned as a complete sound as you cannot sound them out as in the blends.  This is also a good chance to practise rhyming words such as, May, pay, say, ray etc. 

Over these first few weeks, as part of our Focus on reading comprehension, we will be "making connections" with what we read.  This includes connecting with something we may have experienced (self), connecting with another book or author which is similar (text), or connecting with something which may be happening in the world (world).  Making connections is one of 6 strategies our students will learn this year to help them understand what they are reading.

Our spelling rule focus this week is plurals.  We are starting with simple words where we add an "s" to make it more than one.  We don't need an apostrophe when we are making a word plural.

In Maths, we continue work on Patterns and algebra.  Counting patterns and instant recall of friends of 10 and 20, are areas we will be constantly revisiting throughout the year.

We will also be looking at Data.  In year 1 and 2 we look at simple picture and column graphs and how we can organise information into a graph to make it easier to understand.

Thank you to the parents who attended last Wednesday's information session.  Working together is how we can achieve the best outcomes for our students.

Have a great week!  I look forward to getting into the classroom next week!

Week 5  25.2.13

This week in spelling, Year 1 will be learning the blends, st, sw, fl, bl and Year 2 the sounds ar, -y(as in fly), oy, and qu.

I will be finalising spelling groups this week, with a standard Year 1 and Year 2 spelling list, and extension lists in each grade for those who need it.  I have also put this week's spelling words on "spelling city" website, so that students can practise fun activities related to their words.  Instructions for finding these lists are in the homework section if you wish to use them at home.

In Maths, our topics are Addition and Money.  In addition we will be practising using a number line, and counting on and back from different numbers.  Year 2 will also look at a variety of other strategies that we can use when adding.  In money we will revise the different coins and their value, and use our knowledge of counting by 5's and 10's to count multiple coins.

I will be sending home an invitation this week to a Maths parent workshop.  This workshop will give you some ideas on how you can help your child at home with Maths, and show you how we teach different number concepts.  I hope you are able to attend.

Don't forget if your child hasn't yet brought in their recorder, we will be doing music with the stage 1 classes on Tuesdays and they will need it.

Enjoy your week!

Week 6    4.3.13

This week in spelling, Year 1 will be learning the blends, tw, sc, pl, gl. and Year 2 the sounds ck, -y, wh and all.

I have now put all students into spelling groups which are easily recognised by the colour name.  These are all on Spelling city.  I have moved a few children around.  These groups will change as the year goes on, and the children's needs change.

In Maths we will be focusing on addition and subtraction, and chance.  Each week we will also be drilling our simple number facts (addition and subtraction). 

In HSIE we are looking at changes in how life was and is now.  You might like to talk to your child about some of the differences in life growing up for you. 

Have a great week!

Week 7  11.3.13

This week in spelling, Year 1 will be learning the blends, sm, cl, bl and fl.  Year 2 will learn the sounds ang, ing, ong, ung.   Now that we are settling into our spelling routines and groups at school, we had some fantastic results in Friday's spelling tests.  Well done everyone!

In literacy, we begin work this week on explanations. This will link in nicely with our science work as well, as we look at how we read and construct explanations about how things work. We also begin a new focus in our comprehension work on predicting what might happen in our reading.  This helps us to predict words, and make better sense of our reading.

In talking and listening we are also beginning more structured sessions where students present a variety of topics to the class. (the note explaining this will be posted on our page shortly)

In Maths this week we will do work on multiplication.  At our level, we talk a lot about groups of - so 4 X 3   is the same as 4 groups of 3, or 4 rows of 3.  We are still representing multiplication with pictures, and at this stage do not need to learn tables until we have this clear understanding of what multiplication is.

We are also looking at 2D shapes, and will identify hexagons, trapeziums and rhombuses, in addition to our more basic shapes.

I look forward to hearing about our backyard safari information this week. 

Have a great week!

Week 8      18.3.13

This week in spelling Year 1 will be learning the blends gl, pl, sl and br.  Year 2 will be learning the sounds ch, er, oo (as in moon) and all.

We continue our work on explanations.  These are texts which explain how or why something works. .

This week's task in news time is for children to tell us how to do something - a procedure.  They are welcome to prepare something, or just do it impromptu.  Last week's backyard safari presentations were great.  I know there are a few more to go.  We will complete these this week.

In Maths this week we will be looking at division.  At our level this begins with sharing items into groups.  We will introduce the division sign, but will be saying, "12 shared into 3 groups" and drawing pictures to represent this.  We also will be learning about angles.

For craft, I am looking for donations of crafty items - newspaper, paper towel rolls (not toilet rolls), magazines, egg cartons etc.  If you are able to send in any of these items, we would greatly appreciate it.

Don't forget our Easter hat parade is coming up on the day before Good Friday.  We look forward to seeing some fantastic Easter hats!

Have a great week!

Week 9   25.3.13

This week in spelling Year 1 will be learning the blends sm, cl, sn and cr.  Year 2 will be learning the sounds ow, er, oo (as in moon) and ai.

I am sending home with homework this week an explanation task that will be Week 11's talking and listening task.  If you need any assistance with this, please feel free to ask.   This week's task is for children to share a favourite book and tell us what they think of it (a simple book review).

In Maths we will be introducing fractions  (half and quarter)  This will be dividing a shape into either 2 or 4 equal parts.   We will also look at  measuring length.  Initially this will be measuring with informal units - eg how many hands long is the table, or how many popsticks long.  We will then begin measuring using cm on a ruler.

Thank you to those who have been sending in craft items.  We are always in need of these items.

This week will be a short week with Good Friday, and our Easter Hat parade day on Thursday.  Don't forget your Easter hat for Thursday.  We look forward to you joining us for this fun day.

I will be out of the school on Tuesday at a workshop to learn more about our new English curriculum which will be introduced next year.  Mrs Pudsey will be covering for me and I know the children will enjoy having her again for the day.

Parent teacher interviews begin this week.  If you haven't yet returned this note, please do so as soon as possible. 

I have added 2 new pages to our class website.  Notes page -  I will include any class notes/information which goes home as I often find stray notes outside in the afternoon which obviously haven't made it home.   I am also beginning to add some class photos.  Please ensure that you have returned and signed your permission to publish note (from the beginning of the year) so that I can include your child's photo.

Have a great week and enjoy your Easter break!

Week 11      8.4.13

Oops - I've missed a week.  Where has the term gone?

This week we will spend some time revising some of our topics in English and Maths to ensure we have learned concepts.  As last week was a short week, we will again be looking at the same spelling sounds - Year 2, what we call bossy "e" words.  In these words, adding an "e" changes the vowel sound.  So in the word, pin, adding "e" changes it to pine.  In year 1 we revise the sounds sl, br, gr, fr.

There will be no spelling lists this week, or homework.  It is still important to read as much as possible.  I will be giving out home reading awards and homework awards this week to those students who work hard to practise their skills at home on a regular basis.

This week will be our last week of the Sport in Schools program.  We also invite you to join us for our first Term assembly of the year on Thursday.

I am looking forward this week to seeing and hearing our class "explanation" tasks.  These tasks will form part of our talking and listening assessment.  These are due on your child's news day, but we will fit them in earlier if your child is ready.

We had a wonderful time on Friday at Darling Harbour.  Not only was the IMAX movie awesome (I enjoyed just watching all of our students reaching out trying to touch the lifelike butterflies and bugs that looked so close) but we had lots of fun playing in the playground.  What a great way to end our Science unit.

I will be in Homebush for Wednesday and Thursday this week at a technology conference.  I hope to come back with lots of great ideas and information to help our school move forward in this area.  On that note, this week we will be creating computer slide shows about our excursion.  I hope to post some of these on our website later this week.  I am also going to trial our students using an I-pad in the classroom to create stories.  I am very excited about the future possibilities of technology at Colo Vale.

Don't forget to look in the gallery on the school's home page for our photos from Pirate Day and our excursion.  I am able to bulk post photos in this area, rather than one at a time as I do in our class section.

Thank you to all those parents who have attended parent teacher interviews in the last couple of weeks.  I appreciate the support you have given to our class and your child.  

Enjoy your break -  I look forward to an exciting Term 2 after the holidays.