“*Dr. Kenneth Zike has said that at least 50% of the children with learning problems referred to the neurological clinic at his hospital had had no traumas, no birth injuries, and no other physical deviations. Their trouble seemed to come from pressure - pressure to do a task that they did not have the maturity to do.”

~Borrowed from Robert Jackson on the world wide web.

Monday, August 31, 2009


Tuesday, September 1, 2009.
6:00-6:30 pm
Please be prompt, there is a lot to be covered. This is for parents only. Please make arrangements for your children. However, I understand that this may not work for your family. If this is the case, please make sure that your child is with you and quiet at all times. This way you can hear the presentation and ask any questions you may have.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

First Week Fun!

Our first week is done!
I have spent a great deal of time this week learning your child's strengths and areas where they need to improve. This has been an important task of mine this week in order to begin differentiating the curriculum to meet your child's needs.
I have checked:
*letter sound recognition
*beginning and ending sounds
*reading fluency
*fine motor control(coloring, cutting, gluing, writing)
*following directions
*time management
*number recognition
*number printing
*rhyming words
*color sight word recognition

Each child is reading, writing, and working at their own level from emergent to proficient. Each child is required to complete our curriculum regardless of their level. However, I will extend the activity to meet their level. I also expect all students to complete their work neatly.

This week we read the story Chrysanthemum and completed many activities using our names. The children made a flower glyph. Their name was the center portion, the petals for the number of letters in their name, and the leaves for the syllables in their name. Thursday night a homework sheet went home to interview parents about their name.

The children loved stories by the author Kevin Henkes and we read several by this author! Ask your child which was their favorite!
(Owen, Julius, Chrysanthemum, and Jessica)

Other stories we enjoyed; "I Like Myself", "Curious George Goes to School", "A my name is Alice", "First Day Jitters", "Franklin Goes to School", "The Little Engine that Could", and I am sure there are many others which I can not recall!

Friday, Froggy goes home with one lucky child. It is that child's responsibility to take care of Froggy, take him where ever they go (Froggy loves adventures!), and write about it in the accompanying journal. Feel free to send me in pictures of your child with Froggy by email, jessica_carter@scps.k12.fl.us. I can then post them on the blog and tell of Froggy's adventures!

1st grade pod is asking for a $10.00 donation in order to purchase the scholastic weekly reader and fund other activities in the classroom. Please make a check out to Sabal Point Elementary or send in cash. This is a donation and every little bit helps!

Next week, we begin homework. Watch for the homework paper to come home on Monday. This stays in your child's folder all week!
We will also be going to the computer lab on Thursday! We will be completing a great activity that is an extension of something we did this week in the classroom. Be watching for that!

Your child is welcome to bring in a snack. Please see right hand side bar for more detail! Also, send a water bottle for your child to drink throughout the day.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at 6:00 pm to 6:30 pm is Open House! This is a night for parents only, so please keep that in mind. I have a half hour to go over many things. Please be prompt! See you then! :o)
Questions, comments, concerns? Email me jessica_carter@scps.k12.fl.us


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Day 2 in Room 25

I can not begin to tell you what a wonderful class we have! The children are working very hard already! We are reviewing letters, phonics, basic math skills, and getting back into the swing of school. I am assessing the children's skills in order to best meet each of their academic needs.

We began Writer's Workshop on Monday. Today I read the story I Like Myself. I shared a secret about myself with the children and then wrote about it. Ask your child what I like about myself! The children love watching me model the lesson, write my journal entry, and then illustrate what I have written. After all, the pictures help tell the story. They are then given the opportunity to create their own piece. 5 children a day share what they have written. Imagine my joy upon hearing a child say 1st thing this morning, "Are we going to write in our journals again and then share them today?" ABSOLUTELY! I use this time to stop and work with each child. I also assess the needs to direct future instruction.

During my daily teacher directed small group time, I am asking the children to perform various activities in order to gauge the level of all students. Upon the conclusion of this, I will be creating small groups based on strengths and weaknesses. This way, I have the opportunity to meet the needs of all students and give individualized instruction to each child daily. These groups will be constantly evolving and changing based on needs.

Has your child told you about the "exercise tub" yet? It is filled with "out of the ordinary" things that force the children to exercise their small motor(writing) muscles. They think they are "playing". But, I know they are working and gaining strength in their hands which will make writing so much easier for them!

Seat work is an opportunity for the child to practice the lesson that was just given. Of all the lessons of the day, this is the most difficult for the children. There are many skills that need to be implemented by them in order to be successful at seat work. They must: listen to instruction, follow multiple step directions, manage their time wisely, stay on task, problem solve on their own, be motivated enough to complete the task that is expected, among many other skills. This requires independence on the part of your child. You can help your child in this area by assigning more tasks at home for them to do. Resist the urge to do it for them because you are in a hurry or impatient. The time you give them will pay off in huge dividends here at school!

Show and Tell has begun. I am sending home three Target bags a night. Children are randomly chosen. They are to come up with three clues and the children try and guess what they have in the bag. Who can resist a microphone for speaking and all eyes on them? We had some really cool things in our show and tell bags today! Shells from the Bahamas, a Build a Bear dinosaur that made noise, and a sea star and sea horse that washed up on Sanibel Island!

One of the greatest challenges of teaching first grade is to motivate the child. I do my best to bring fun and something different to the table in order to get the child interested.
This week we are working on getting acquainted, learning the rules, and reviewing the prior skills. Your child is gaining confidence in themselves and the class routine.

Next week we begin reading, spelling, math, social studies using the first grade curriculum.

You are welcome to contact me with any concerns or questions. My email address is jessica_carter@scps.k12.fl.us .


Live from FIRST GRADE!

Our first day is snugly under our belts and we are looking forward to 179 more days together!
Thank you for sending in all of the supplies for your child. To those of you who went above and beyond to send in extra things, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! If I do not get a chance to personally thank you, please know how very much I appreciate your generosity!

Your child is working hard to master the routine. Our day moves fast and furious. I can not believe how quickly the day went by. I am sure by the end of the week, they will be exhausted! Wait...maybe I mean I will be exhausted! hahaha :o)
Help your child through this transition by setting up a regular bedtime schedule. Don't forget to read them a bedtime story! :o)