When we read with our first graders, there are three areas that we look for growth throughout the year: comprehension, accuracy, and fluency. This week, we modeled a strategy for students that aids in strengthening their reading comprehension: retelling in our own words.
When we finish reading, before moving on to another story, we see if we can remember the events of the story. The kids practiced retelling the events from a story by flipping back through the book, looking at the pictures, and retelling what happened in their own words. We practiced this strategy with a Mr. Putter & Tabby chapter book. The kids LOVED it!
We also talked about how good readers think about their books as they read. We focused on how when they finish reading one book, before moving on to their next book, they can stop and think.
The kids have now met: Lips the Fish, Eagle Eye, Chunky Monkey, Stretchy the Snake, Flippy the Dolphin, Skippy the Frog, and Tryin’ Lion. That is quite a list of strategies. But, most importantly, when they have tried a strategy and have a good guess of what they think their tricky word is…they NEED to be careful. Careful Caterpillar checks to make sure that their guess makes sense, looks right, and sounds right. When the kids guess a tricky word, they need to ask themselves those three questions to self check and make sure that their word makes sense, looks right, and sounds right. If it does, great! If it doesn’t, then good readers keep trying to figure it out!
You may have noticed that your first grader’s blue folder was bursting with small moment stories earlier this week. We have finished our first unit in writing and we spent the week celebrating our writing. Part of the celebration is bringing home all of their stories so they can share them with you! They have worked so hard on these stories! Ask your first grader to share these stories with you! I hope you enjoy them!
This past week we spent most of our writing time preparing a special story to share at our writing celebration! First, we picked out our best story, one that we were very proud of, to revise on our own. . When we were revising be ourselves, we followed this checklist…
Then, we edited our stories by making sure they were easy to read. After that, we got a chance to use colored pencils to add some color to our stories. Finally, on Friday, we celebrated!
During our celebration time, we had a chance to share a favorite part of our story with the whole class. Next, we read our entire story to a friend. Once we were finished sharing, we came back together and had juice for our juice toast. I am so proud of how far these first graders have come as writers since the beginning of the year.
Our first grade mathematicians have learned to solve addition stories by drawing pictures, using circle drawings, and writing equations.
This week each of our math groups brainstormed solution strategies for solving equations with missing totals. To solve 5 + 2 = ___, our first graders suggested…
…making a circle drawing underneath the partners:
…counting the partners on all their fingers:
A third strategy that we learned was: COUNTING ON!!!! Counting on is more accurate and time saving than the first two methods. When we count on, we underline the greater number and draw dots under the smaller number to show our math work. Then, we clap and say the greater number, and count on by pointing to and counting the circles under the smaller number.
We learned how to use our red quilt cards to increase our fact fluency.
This week we discussed mindful movement. We talked about our body movement and how we need to be mindful of how we are moving. Often, first graders are on the move and bump in to people or furniture around them without realizing it. To practice being mindful of our surroundings, we each put a ruler on our head and walked around our room trying to keep it balanced on top. The kids were very aware of where the furniture was, where their friends were, and what speed they were moving so that their ruler wouldn’t slip off. Since having this discussion, we have talked about being mindful of our surroundings while we are moving around the room, especially around our mailboxes or iPad cart where space is limited (no pushing/shoving).