It’s going to be a cold one tomorrow! Don’t forget to send in your child’s labeled winter gear to school and remind them to put on the snow pants for recess. Also, wash those hands!!! We’ve had some yucky viruses spreading around school. Winter is back!!!
January 21 – Library Day
January 21 – MLK Jr. Day
January 21 – Happy Birthday Liv!!!
January 25 – Popcorn Day
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! If your child is eager to get to work on his/her valentines, I will be sending an e-mail later this week with our class list. :)
This week in reading, we focused in on habits of a good reader to become SUPER SMART about NONFICTION topics. We worked at finding nonfiction books that are at a level we can read most of the words and then practiced taking a sneak peek to see what we could learn about the topic, before we even read the words.
We worked hard to s-l-o-w down our reading and really pay close attention to each page and the words and pictures that help teach us. We used what we learned from one page to help us predict what else we might learn in the book. And, we spent a lot of time sharing what we had learned (in our own words).
This week in Writers Workshop, we started a new unit about Nonfiction Writing. We are just at the beginning of the unit but we have already learned so much! First graders are so excited to be teaching about topics that they know a lot about! We began the week by talking about when you write a Nonfiction book, you need to pick a topic that you are an expert about. The way that we do this is first to think of a topic that you know a lot about. Then you plan your pages across your fingers. We want to make sure that we know around 5 facts about our topic so that we can write those facts across our pages in our books.
After you plan your topic across your fingers, good teachers and writers quickly sketch their plan across the pages in their books so that they don’t forget what they want to write on that page! Once you have sketched you plan then it is time to write the words!
This week, we introduced our first graders to a new addition strategy called “Make a 10″. For the equation, 9 + 4 = ___, we can “count on” to find the total of 13. Since the total, 13, is a teen number (which has a 10 hiding inside) we helped our students notice that 9 + 4 = 10 + 3. Both of these equations produce the total 13, but solving 10 + 3 is quicker and more accurate.
We will spend much of our math time next week working with this new strategy, as it is still very new and fragile.
We had a great 4.5 days back at school and have loved the lack of snow on the playground – we can get outside so quickly!!! We also really enjoyed starting up our tub time this week – ask your first grader about it and be sure to check out the photo stream for some pictures!!! Here’s to another great week!!!
January 14 – Library Day
January 17 – PTC Meeting @ 6:30
January 18 – Happy Birthday Tristan!!!
We spent some time this week reviewing our read to self routines in our new reading spots. The kids fell right back into the swing of our workshop.
We began a new unit of study focused on nonfiction books. The kids are so excited to dig into this section of our classroom library. This past week, we read a nonfiction book all about owls. We practiced taking a sneak peek, figuring out tricky words, learning the meaning of new words, and noticing details in the pictures. It has been fun to see the kids getting excited to share their learning with the class.
As a first grade staff, we are always striving to meet the needs of each and every student. In order to do this, we studied the data from our students’ math performance so far this year, and used this information to group together students with similar areas of expertise and areas of need. For this unit, many of our students will be taking part in a “math switch” in which they may be traveling to a different classroom, so that they are able to work in the group and with the teacher that will help them reach their full potential as a math learner. Each group of math learners will be working on the same math concepts each day, but the pace and practice may look a little different.
We began new math learning this past week!! Our Unit 4 in math will focus on tens and teen numbers, place value to 100, and strategies for adding larger numbers. So far, we’ve practiced counting groups of tens.
We studied the teen numbers (11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19) and noticed that every teen number has a 10 hiding inside along with some extra ones. We also represented teen numbers using a ten stick and circles, and wrote an equation to match our work.
Welcome back, first grade families!! I hope that everyone had a wonderful break!! I am looking forward to seeing your first grader’s smiling face tomorrow. :) :) :) I also can’t wait to hear about your favorite adventures over break and share some of the fun that our family had too. We will be reviewing a lot of routines tomorrow, begin studying nonfiction books, get new reading spots and desk seats, and start morning tubs too!!! Bring on the learning!!!
January 7 – Welcome Back!!!
January 7 – Library Day
January 10 – Jet’s Pizza Night
January 11 – Early Release Day
Students are dismissed from school at 12:15. Sack lunches can be ordered through Food Service and will be sent home with your child. Please make sure your child knows if he or she needs to order a sack lunch. Feel free to send me an e-mail so I know to order a lunch for your child.
A few reminders:
Library: Our check out day is on Monday. Please help your first grader find his/her library book and make sure that it is returned to school. Right now, our class can check out any books from the picture book section, nonfiction section, and chapter books now too. These books are just for fun and can be read with your child.
Snacks: We eat snacks twice a day – one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Please send in two healthy snacks so that your child stays fueled for learning. Don’t forget a water bottle too!
Recess: We go outside for a lunchtime and end of the day recess every day unless it is raining or the “feels like” temperature is below zero degrees. Please send your child to school with boots, hats, gloves, snow pants, and coats every day. Even if there isn’t snow on the ground, spending 30 minutes outside can get really chilly.
Sweatshirts: Our classroom can be on the chilly side so if your child would like to bring a sweatshirt to keep in their locker or on the back of their chair, that would be no problem!
Transportation Changes: If your child will be leaving school a different way than normal or if your child will be leaving early for an appointment, be sure to send a note in his or her blue folder or call the office to let us know of the changes before 3:00 pm.
Take Home Books: Remember to return your child’s take home book back to school each day so he or she can choose a new one to bring home. The kids take care of this job each morning. If you notice that your child isn’t bringing a new book home, send me an e-mail and I can send home a new bag.
What an amazing Holiday Program this past week!!!! The kids sure did sparkle and shine up front. A big thank you goes out to Mrs. Bretz and our first graders who practiced tirelessly to perform our wonderful songs!!!
December 17 – Library Day
December 19-20 – Math Assessment
December 20 – Writing Celebration
December 20-21 – Holiday Fun Activities
We will enjoy crafts, games, snacks, and even a movie throughout the day on Thursday and Friday. Shhhhh!! These activities are a surprise – don’t tell your first grader!!!
December 21 – Popcorn Day
December 21 – No Sight Word Parent Helpers
Plan to start back in January. These first graders have been rocking their sight words!
December 28 – Happy Birthday Makenzie!!!
December 22 – January 6 – Holiday Break: No School
The homework packet coming home this week is completely optional, but it does contain some ideas for learning at home over our Holiday Break.
Check the photo stream for picture updates this week!!!
Has your weekend been as busy as ours? Baking, sledding, shopping, programs, parties… these December days are flying by so quickly!!
December 3-14 – Candy Cane Sale
December 10 – Library Day
December 13 – Dress Rehearsal @ Fair Haven Church
We will ride over to Fair Haven Church on busses in the late morning to practice for our program with all the first graders and second graders that will be performing with our class.
December 13 – Holiday Program @ 6:30
The first graders should arrive @ 6:15. There will be signs showing you were to drop off your child. Please see Mrs. Reagan’s post for more details! Click here –> Holiday Program
December 13 – Jet’s Pizza Night
December 14 – Spelling Assessment
December 14 – Early Release Day
Students are dismissed from school at 12:15. (Sack lunches can be ordered through Food Service and will be sent home with your child. Please make sure your child knows if he or she needs to order a sack lunch. Feel free to send me an e-mail to let me know.) We will not have parent volunteers for sight words this week due to the half day!
This week, we reviewed our strategies for figuring out longer and trickier words. We focused on breaking apart long words and using what we know about the smaller parts to figure out the tricky word. We also paid close attention to the beginning of words, particularly for letters that go together, like blends (fl, dr, sm) or digraphs (th, sh, ch).
Then, we focused on breaking the ending off a word and focused on figuring out the root word before adding the ending back on (ed, ing, s). And then, we also spent time looking at vowel teams and what is making those long vowel sounds. We focused in on some high frequency vowel teams (ee, ea, ai, ou, oo, oa).
We continued in our Persuasive Writing Unit. We reviewed how persuasive letters had to do with things that were important to us and that helped make our home, neighborhood, or school a better place.
Next, we learned that persuasive letters try to make someone agree with our opinion. We stated our opinions in our letter using the “I think….” sentence starter. When we state our opinion, it becomes clear what we want the other person to think as well.
We then realized that it is important to think about our audience for our letters. If there is something we want to change in our home, then the best audience for our letter is probably someone at home, not at school.
We also talked about giving good reasons in our letters. Just saying that we really want something is not good enough! We need to share with our audience why it is important to us. We also discussed mini-moment reasons. These are little stories where we share a time when we saw the problem in our own lives. After our mini-moments, we also discussed how we need to add a solution to our letter. This is how we are going to help fix the problem.
We will continue to send home letters throughout the next week or so, you might receive a letter from your first grader. I encourage you to write them back! If you do, send it along with your child’s letter back to school. We would love to share responses we get with the class!
I also ask that if you receive a letter, make sure they are working for what they ask for! Don’t just let a “please please please” letter convince you. Look for a letter that gives good reasons and ideas before agreeing to what they ask for and a solution of how they can help make this happen. Don’t worry – I also warned them that it is likely that you might not agree with their request!
These letters are so fun to read – first graders sure are creative! Thank you for your help in making this process so fun for these first graders!
Our first graders worked hard this week to prepare for our upcoming assessment. We spent our math time solving addition (missing total & missing partner) and subtraction stories using the great strategies that we’ve learned during this unit.
To support your child at home, please encourage him or her to always PROVE THEIR ANSWER when solving a story. We have taught our first graders to listen to a story and make an EQUATION that matches the story. Then we ask them to use a math mountain to solve the equation. This is demonstrated below:
Our annual Candy Cane Sale to raise money for fifth grade camp starts up this week. If your child is interested in purchasing a candy cane, send in $1.00. Candy canes will be passed out at the end of each day.
December 5 – Penguin Patch Holiday Shop
We will head down to shop in the afternoon. If your child is going shopping, please send your child’s money enclosed in the Holiday Gift Shop envelope. (If you are making out a check, please make it payable to Georgetown PTC.) Make sure to fill out the information about who your child will be shopping for and how much to spend on each person. Thank you!
We will not have library this week due to the holiday gift shop.
This week, we received notice from the SUPER SECRET DETECTIVE AGENCY that our first graders had earned a STAR for their badges because of all their hard work with snap words. They sent us off with a new mission of figuring out longer and trickier words. We focused on breaking apart long words and using what we know about the smaller parts to figure out the tricky word. We also paid close attention to the beginning of words, particularly for letters that go together, like blends (fl, dr, sm) or digraphs (th, sh, ch).
We spent time immersing the students with books that model persuasive letter writing. We read some books featuring a homeless dog who tried to persuade people to adopt him. We also read some books about a little boy who is trying to persuade his parents to get him a pet iguana, a new bedroom, and to come home from vacation so he can leave his grandparents’ house. All these books are written with such humor, that they kept us laughing all week. We used these books as a reference as we moved into our persuasive letter writing unit.
The kids noticed that the letters in the books had some things in common. One thing we noticed about persuasive letters was that the best letters had to do with things that were important to us and that helped make our home, neighborhood, or school a better place. We brainstormed some ways we could help make our school a better place to learn. We will keep adding to this list each day.