Bus Safety

Today Buster the Bus came to teach us about being safe on the school bus. Safety is one of the things the Big Bossy Teacher Books says that we will be exploring in Grade 1. As many of us take the bus everyday to and from school and we all take the bus on field trips, bus safety is important for us to learn. We can then demonstrate our learning about bus safety every time we ride the school bus. During the assembly we earned this certificate for answering questions about what we had learned. Ask your child to explain the safety rule that each picture shows.

Grade One Power Words

Your child has learned to read and write many words during the short time he or she has been in school. There are many high frequency word lists or sight word lists available on line that give you an idea of what words your child should be able to read at what grade level.  These are the words that research suggests appear most often in texts at a particular grade level. Two of the most common lists are here:

Dolch Words By Grade Level

Fry Sight Words (The First 100)

Grade One Power Words differ from high frequency or sight words because these are the words that the children need to learn to use correctly in their writing by the end of Grade One in order to be best prepared for the material that will be introduced in Grade Two. Children move through several developmental phases as they learn to write words.  From the early stage of using only the first letter to represent a word, your child is experimenting with the spelling of words.  Throughout the early years of primary inventive spelling is encouraged so that children become confident writers and are able to get their ideas on paper. By the end of Grade 3 and into Grade 4 more standardized spelling emerges. By this age and grade level your child should have a strong foundation in phonemic awareness(hearing the individual sounds in words), a good knowledge of phonics (what sounds letters make) as well as an understanding of the patterns that make up words.  All of this put together takes time to develop and creates an ability to use more formal spelling.

Below you will find The Grade One Power Words List. This list consists of the words often used in the children’s writing and many of these words have to be learned as they can’t all be sounded out. The children will be told that if these words are used correctly it will give their schemas enough power to be in Grade 2 next year. All completed work will be need to be edited for these words using one of the editing techniques we have learned this year at school. The goal is for the children to spell these words correctly in their writing by then end of Grade One without using the word list as a model.

Grade One Power Word List

Children gain knowledge about spelling by reading and writing. The more a child reads, the more words he or she is exposed to and this exposure helps spelling develop. You can help your child learn the Grade One Power Words by pointing them out while reading to your child or while reading with your child. When you are done reading go back and look at a few of the power words. Talk about the letters that make up the words while your child traces the letters with a finger. What does your child notice about the word? Can the word be sounded out? Are there any patterns in the word that your child recognizes?  Can your child use the word in a new sentence? Can your child write the word yet?

Keep in mind that many children can easily memorize words and spell them correctly when given in isolation but have difficulties using the words in the context of their own writing. As teachers and parents we need to look at each child and figure out what strategies work best for him or her to learn to use the Grade One Power Words independently. 

Tinker Tuesday

Today was our first “Tinker Tuesday”. On Tinker Tuesday, students will be given a challenge. We are hoping to inspire them to find solutions and modify their thinking when things don’t go according to plan. We want them to take more risks when they are creating and to learn from their mistakes. By focusing on the process, students take responsibility for their learning and begin to understand that there are many ways to solve a problem.

When you are playing with your child at home, you can encourage this type of thinking. Challenge your child to persevere through difficult tasks. Ask them if they can find another way. If they are building with Lego, can they rotate the bricks to make it more stable rather than just giving up? Encourage your child to tinker at home with everyday materials. If you are looking for ideas google: STEM or STEAM ideas for kids.

Math Talk Monday

Thank you for sending in all the Math Talk Monday pictures from the break. It looks like everyone had lots of fun with family and friends. We sat in small groups to look for all the math we could find in the pictures. Here is some of the conversations I was able to overhear!

New Goal For A New Year

As we begin our new year, some of the goals are changing in the classroom environment. Today we learned that using big sentences with lots of detail makes us sound more interesting.  Adding details ensures that children move beyond just stating what they know to explaining how they know what they know. This is a very important skill as your child moves forward in his/her education. In our room we have posted this goal:

Use big sentences with lots of details when you talk and when you write.


To support your child’s learning in this area you may wish to revisit the blog post below.

Oral Language