We are beginning a social studies unit, “How Do We Learn About the Past?”. This unit of study will help children learn the difference between the following generations: themselves, parents and grandparents. It is based on the age of the first grade children rather than an adult perspective.
Long-long ago – grandparents
Long ago – parents
Present -1st grade students
Your child will study toys, appliances, clothing, and school experiences from each of these generations. Below are the assignments that we will be asking students to complete. Your support at home is an integral part of your child’s social studies learning and we thank you in advance for taking time out to assist him/her in the activities below.
FAMILY INTERVIEWS: Students will collect information about their family’s past through two interviews. These interviews will help your child compare and contrast their life with those of previous generations.
Attached to this letter you will find the interview sheets so students can gather historical information about a parent and grandparent. Your child practiced the questions for the interviews at school. Therefore, he/she should be able to ask the questions. Please clearly print the answers for your child under the questions. Remember to keep the language simple so your child is able to read the answers. Please also have your child draw a picture to show the answers to the questions.
If you wish, your child can complete the grandparent interview through a phone call or Skype/Facetime. If your child’s grandparent is unable to be interviewed when completing the grandparent portion of the interview, you can answer the questions to the best of your knowledge.
In the event a parent or grandparent is unavailable to complete these interviews, please select another important family member who is of the identified generation.
PHOTOGRAPHS: We encourage children to bring in any photographs that would go along with the answers to the interview. For example, you may have a picture of yourself at the age of six years old that depicts the clothing or toys of that generation. You may also go to Google Image search to find pictures of those items. We understand that you may not be able to find a photograph to coincide with each answer, yet if you do, please make a DUPLICATE copy of this picture and send it in with your child. We are recommending making copies of the photographs first as they will be shared and glued onto a class display.
TIMELINE: Please help your child select five events and complete the assignment as noted in the information attached to this note.
The FAMILY INTERVIEWS, PHOTOGRAPHS, and TIMELINE are due on:
*Monday, February 9*
We truly appreciate your assistance in the historical activities listed above. Please feel free to contact your child’s teacher with questions or concerns.
The First Grade Teachers
Mrs. Stidham, Ms. Pierce, and Mrs. Lindsay
The transition from kindergarten to first grade is a big one. While perhaps not as momentous as starting kindergarten, children have a lot to adjust to when starting first grade. First graders often spend more time at school and deal with increased academic demands, especially in terms of homework. That means that, while your kindergartener often had little or no homework, homework expectations for your first grade are ramped up: first grade homework often consists of multiple parts, including language arts, math and independent reading, and teachers may assign homework daily or in weekly packets.
Beginning first graders are sometimes put off by having more homework than they did in kindergarten. While dealing with a more intense academic program during the day, children may not be inspired to do their homework after school, and, homework can become a struggle. But the good news is that parents can help! Use the following tips to help avoid homework battles.
Break homework into small chunks
First graders have already spent all day at school. Make homework more manageable by allowing first graders to do small bits of work at a time. If your child has daily homework, let him take breaks in between each activity. If your child has weekly homework, decide which parts will be completed on each night. Remember to pile on the praise and make your child feel great about all the hard work he is doing!
Work together on homework
Homework is not only a time for first graders to practice what they are learning in school; it’s also a great way for families to communicate about what is going on in their lives. When doing homework, ask your first grader to tell you more about what she is learning in school. Make doing homework a time when you are completely focused on your child: if homework is associated with special family time, your child will come to look forward to it. Focus on what your child does right instead of stressing the mistakes she makes. Try to keep your tone positive and upbeat even if homework becomes a struggle. Homework will just become harder if it becomes a high-stress situation for you and your child.
Find out from your child’s teacher what strategies are being taught at school, then reinforce those strategies at home. For example, if first graders are practicing addition using hands-on manipulatives, find beans or blocks to help your child solve addition problems at home. Whenever possible, use the same language and materials that are being utilized by the school.
Make independent reading engaging
Oftentimes first grade homework includes a requirement to read for a certain amount of time each night. But first graders are often beginning readers and may not yet be able to decode many books independently. If you are reading to your child, ask him to read easily decodable words, or sight words he has learned, in the book. First graders can often decode leveled reading books independently, but many first graders find those books boring compared to those they are used to being read by their parents. If this is the case, write your own easily decodable book for your child to read and illustrate - just get a few pieces of paper out, write the words and have your child read and draw a picture! Some kids become much more inspired to read when reading becomes interactive.
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