Grade 1/2 with mrs sundqvist
Dear Parents and Guardians,
A very warm welcome to you all. I am very pleased to be continuing my teaching in the Year 1/2 classroom for this year. I look forward to building on the wonderful achievements with my continuing Year 2 students, and building positive and trusting relationships with my new Year 1 students. Our classroom aims to foster a Growth Mindset, where mistakes are expected, respected, inspected, and corrected. Our class values are: we are kind, we are fair, we do our best.
The classroom will open at 8:45. All family members are welcome to come to the classroom to drop off their child. However, to help build independence, sometimes send your child in on their own. They are learning to bring in their reader packet, drink bottle and healthy snack to their desk each morning. Once they have done this, they are welcome to play until the bell rings at 9:00. It is very important that all students arrive at school with time to prepare and settle to get the best start to the day and to avoid interrupting the learning of other students in the morning. If your child is unwell or has an appointment and will be absent from school, please notify me or call the office.
Hats are required for outside play in terms 1 and 4. Please ensure that all hats are named, as well as jackets, lunchboxes and drink bottles. Children are to keep their hats in their chair bags in the classroom when they are not wearing them.
Please pack a healthy snack for your child to eat in the classroom – fruit, vegetables or a piece of cheese. Do not send messy items such as fruit cups or yoghurt tubs for eating at their desk, and if your child has a wobbly tooth, please cut up any apples! I strongly encourage all parents to pack a ‘nude’ lunchbox to reduce the amount of packaging waste in our environment. Students will be allowed access to their drink bottles at all times during the day.
As children take off and put on their shoes during the school day, please make sure they are able to do this independently. If they are wearing shoes with laces, make sure they can tie them, and if not, please use shoes with Velcro straps or elastic laces.
It is expected that students read every night for homework. This reading may consist of reading a book WITH your child if they are not yet reading words independently, or having your child read to you or a sibling to practice their growing skills. To build fluency, your child should read a book 2-3 times before swapping for another reader. Please note each reading night in the school diary.
Assembly will be held each Friday at 3:10pm. I welcome all family members and friends to attend. Principal Awards and Reading Awards are celebrated at each assembly.
My approach to literacy is explicit, structured teaching, based on the latest scientific research about how children learn to read. We focus on the “Big Six” aspects of reading:
- Oral language – expressing ourselves clearly through speech
- Phonemic awareness – identifying the sounds in words
- Phonics – learning the links between letters and sounds
- Vocabulary – knowing the meaning of words
- Fluency – speed, accuracy and expression in reading
- Comprehension – extracting and creating meaning from text
Students will learn the ‘code’ between letters and sounds, and use this knowledge to read and spell words. Our class will be split into groups so that each group can work at their own point of need. Some students will be learning letter names, the most common sound for each letter, and blending these sounds to read words. Some will be learning that sounds can be represented by more than one letter, and in more than one way, such as ai/ay. Other students will be focusing on a particular sound, and will learn all the spelling choices for that sound, e.g. /ai/ spelled ai, ay, a, a_e, ea, eigh, ey.
To build skills in handwriting, we will be using the Peggy Leggo handwriting approach. Students learn basic ‘strokes’ and these are combined to make letters along with verbal cues or sayings such as “tall man starts at the top, pulls down and stops.” Students will learn top to bottom orientation, left to right, and clockwise and anticlockwise directions. They also build gross and fine motor skills through daily exercises (superman, beach ball and finger touches).
On Mondays, students will be learning morphology. We will study word parts such as prefixes and suffixes, and use this knowledge to learn the meaning of new words, as well as how to read and spell them.
On Tuesdays–Thursdays students will participate in Spelling Mastery lessons. These sessions teach students in small steps, allowing practice, so that they learn the rules of spelling.
Our shared reading and writing lessons aim to develop language comprehension and writing skills. Each term we will have a focus author; for Term 1 it is Peter Reynolds. Peter’s books share themes of creativity, resilience and a Growth Mindset. Students will learn new vocabulary from these texts, and will use these new words in their writing. They will discuss comprehension questions about the text and discuss their personal opinions and the author’s message. To develop a solid foundation in writing, students will learn how to write in complete sentences, and then to expand their sentences by adding details. These skills then build to writing paragraphs, and different text genres such as procedures, information texts, recounts, and stories. Our writing will be linked to both our literature studies and our Inquiry topics.
How can you help?
When your child is reading to you, ensure they ‘sound it out’ if they get stuck on a word. Do not encourage them to guess by looking at the pictures. If they need more help, sound out the letters with them, then ask them to blend the sounds together to read the word. Ask your child if they understand the words they are reading, and provide any definitions as necessary. I would also appreciate it if you could note this in your child’s diary.
Our main aim this term is to develop students’ number sense. We will use hands-on materials and games, as well as open-ended investigations. We will do lots of counting, ordering and sequencing of numbers, and learn about place value (ones, tens, hundreds). Using real-life problem examples, students will learn different strategies for adding and subtraction, such as Friends to Ten, Doubles, and Part-Part-Whole relationships. Linking with our Term 1 Inquiry topic, we will learn about maps, and learn to give and follow directions and use positional language such as above, below, left, right, forward, around, etc. In geometry, students will explore 2D and 3D shapes, using a range of manipulative items. We will revise the concept of what is a half, as one of two equal parts of a whole or group. In measurement, we will compare items according to length, mass and capacity.
How can you help?
Talk about maths explicitly in your day-to-day lives: ask your child to count objects around them, ask how many would there be if you took away 2 or added 3? Look at numbers in the environment (e.g. house numbers) and ask what the number is. Baking with your child is a wonderful way to talk about maths (and yummy)!
Our Inquiry topic for Term 1 is “My Place in Space.” Students will learn about their place in the world, and how other places are different/similar, and how their family is connected to other places. This topic links with the STEM focus for Term 1 which is Our Solar System.
On Mondays, the 1/2 class will start the day with ICT, where they will develop digital skills on desktop and laptop computers, and Library with Mrs O’Gorman. Please remember to bring back any library books after the weekend. Following this, students will have PE with Mrs Ross. On Thursday afternoons, students will have Chinese with Miss Tan.
This year, Art and STEM lessons will be run as doubles on Fridays, and so will only run for one semester each. The 1/2 class will have STEM with Mrs Ewings for semester 1, and Art with me in semester 2. On Fridays, students will also have Resilience with Mr Dean, and Music with Mrs Wilson.
Clubs will be run in Terms 1 and 4 on Friday afternoons. Students are welcome to choose which club they want to participate in, but they make the one choice for the whole of the term. If any family members have any special skills or interests to run as a club, please contact the office.
Each week, I will upload a “weekly snapshot” of what we have been learning, as well as notification of upcoming events. I will also upload examples of our activities to class stories on ClassDojo. If you need to contact me, you can write a note in your child’s diary, send a message via ClassDojo, or pop in for a quick visit. If you wish to meet for longer, please contact me to arrange a time after school. I welcome family members in the classroom at any time, for observation or as a parent helper (Covid restrictions permitting).
All the best for a wonderful 2022!