Mrs. Dickey's Class


  Word Study Focus 












These are review words from kindergarten. Handwriting is emphasized, as well as learning word study techniques.


 September focus     words:

on           be

you         here



up     am        look

it         he        looks




in (and words that rhyme)
not (and words that rhyme)
was    she

October focus words

we            have

us             down


*************************are          this

big           with



some      they

little         went



November's and December's words:

from       boy

run          girl

will           of

did            all

put            over

just            then




January focus words:

or       car         does

quick              what

him       her        saw

there      could/would

good       for         old

stop              day


February focus words:

good    for     old

stop     day  

(reviewed all past words)

ate     after     new

want    wanted

back     know     where     ask  asked


March focus words:

tell    ride    show think    many

March    under    first were     don't 

each    use   why  walk   cute

April focus words:

who    what     where when              which 

why                  how

until              next   

 now          before    

 live (2  ways to pronounce)


about        again 

around     along 

your/ you're



More cool stuff to know for these early weeks :

Everything we learn connects to past and future learning.  Past learning and experiences can be called background knowledge or schema. We learn new information best when we can make a connection to something we already know. That is why there is value in repeated review. We must know high frequency words so well that we do not mistake them for other words. We notice similarities, differences, patterns and unusual features as we study words.

Write sentences that include the words. Make sure to check for capitals and punctuation!

In the early months of math we are building number sense and practicing writing numerals. Addition and subtraction are  experienced physically long before those operations become abstract. Word problems are introduced at beginning levels to prepare for more complex problems. Children participate in thinking logically and in explaining their thinking verbally or in pictures or in writing. Much of our math work is experienced in activity centers and in game format. 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++      September

 Even though most of these words were frequently used in kindergarten. reading them is usually easier to remember than writing them. The addition of remembering what a letter looks like and how to physically form that letter can slow down the writing process. Word study is increasing the use of short vowel sounds as well as irregular high frequency words.

      We are building stamina in order to maintain independence during reading workshop. Strategies are introduced per student need and also to the whole group so that there is common conversation and discussion.

   Math  centers have provided experiences in following directions, in counting accuracy and in numeral writing to 20. Simple equations to 10 appear more frequently in this part of the year.
    Counting forwards and backwards from any number 1-120 is a skill that requires frequent practice and can be done at home. Select a sequence of no more than 6-10 numbers, for example 11---17. Practice counting forward several times; then count the same sequence backwards. When we tried it at school, the backwards sequence was a challenge for many children


Being able to recall basic high frequency words with immediacy is an essential foundation of fluent reading and comprehension. Energy should be spent gaining meaning from text, and choppy reading detracts from what makes sense. Children who stop to "sound out" every little word lose much of the meaning of the text.

The same is true of writing those high frequency words. It helps a child's written communication when he has a good mental bank of  highly used words.

Math is centered around addition and subtraction for most of the remainder of first grade. Children spend time each week exploring their "working number" , until they know all the basic facts for that number with speed and accuracy. Despite data from many experts in mathematics who say that fluency to 6 is an appropriate goal, Indiana Standards expect students to be fluent with facts to 10 by the end of first grade. 


      During November and December we study patterns that contain middle short vowel sounds, as well as common, yet challenging sight words. Learning to recognize and identify what makes a "tricky part"  and what is essential is important to independent problem-solving. 

     This is also true in math. We apply and communicate thinking strategies to arrive at sensible, provable answers.           Throughout these months children work on "composing and decomposing" numbers; that is the core of understanding addition and subtraction.



Math experiences include telling time to the hour and half hour, Counting amounts of coins will be introduced. Multiple strategies for solving addition and subtraction stories were emphasized, as was the concept of solving for an unknown partner. Reading and writing were integrated as we explored "how-to" texts. The winter NWEA exams were administered in math and language arts.



    In word study Silent e patterns and other vowel patterns were introduced and written.

In math we are learning about…

teen addition and subtraction strategies.

As we progress through the year, we encourage students to move away from relying on using fingers to solve. While counting on is a feasible strategy, students should not be using 2 hands full of fingers to add or subtract. If you see your child holding up both hands to add, suggest he try thinking of number partners, counting on the smaller number, or counting back the smaller number.(That is why a few months ago I suggested practicing counting back at home! )

      We studied place value with groups of tens and extra ones.  We also began using the less than and greater than symbols to compare quantities. 

We wrote opinion pieces and began reading more non-fiction texts so that we could prepare for writing our own non-fiction reports.



Word study included vowel patterns such as ee and ea,    

  y as a vowel, and vowel combinations that do not look like they sound. Sh, th, ch and wh were featured.

 Math focus has included place value activities (mostly tens and ones). Geometric shapes were studied and vocabulary relating to geometry was used: polygon, circle, square, triangle, rectangle, trapezoid, sphere, cylinder, pyramid, rectangular prism, corner/vertex, corners/vertices. Extending fluency of addition and subtraction facts to 10 is always an ongoing process.

In writing workshop children wrote personal narratives. They worked on stretching an idea across several pages to tell a story.

April and May

Throughout April and the remainder of the year words study will include review while introducing sound/ letter patterns that will appear in second grade. In writing workshop children will have more experiences writing opinion pieces, expository pieces (All about something, or How to do something), and narratives, stories mostly about their lives.

Math  work frequently involves solving problems and explaining strategies, while reflecting on other students' approaches compared to one's own.