Important Notes: Week 32

What a fantastic week with some beautiful weather!!!  We loved running/walking laps on the track for Mileage Club and getting to play on the 2nd/3rd grade playground.  It was good practice for next year!!  :)  I can’t believe these sweet first graders are going to be big second graders in only seven more weeks!!!

April 25 – PE Apparel Order Forms Due

April 26 – Library Day

During our science study next week, we will discuss severe weather in Michigan and talk about how to stay safe during a storm.  We’ll also keep checking in on our chicks.  The eggs have been in the incubator for 1 week now – only 2 more weeks until hatching time!!!

Mrs. Stadt :)

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Learning Update!!!

Reading:

This past week in reader’s workshop, we looked at words that were important to our topic. We practiced with a non-fiction book about the Sun & Plants. We found the words solar panels, chlorophyll, and photosynthesis to be important words. These words helped us learn and teach others about what we read about. We shared our topic’s important words with the class too!

We remembered how important it is to understand what we are reading and with some of these new topics and tricky vocabulary words, we needed to use some of the tools that nonfiction books provide for us to figure out what the new words mean.  We checked out the glossary for definitions, but also looked at the pictures, checked to see if there were any captions on the page, and reread the words in that section to look for clues.

Writing:

During our writing time this week, we reviewed all the parts of a great Non-Fiction book and took on the challenge of writing a whole book in two days using one of our expert topics from reading workshop.  The books were incredible and our first graders sure did work hard!!!

We also spent time this week talking about facts and opinions.  If we are writing a teaching page about the lunchroom in we want to include facts like:

“The lunchroom has a place to get drinks.”

“There are tables for every class to sit at in the lunchroom.”

“Sometimes, Mrs. Reagan will come and visit in the lunchroom.”

We are trying to be careful not to add opinions that tell how we feel because someone else might not feel the same way:

“I love to sit by my friends.”

“My favorite lunch is chicken nuggets.”

Next week, we will try adding comparisons and exclamations to our books!!!

Math:

During our math time this week we studied some familiar shapes: rectangles, squares, triangles and circles.  We learned that every shape has special attributes that are always true!!
Screen Shot 2014-04-26 at 11.09.54 PMWe also learned that shapes can be divided into equal parts.  When a shape is broken into two equal parts we call these halves.  When a shape is broken into four equal parts we call these fourths.  It’s important to understand halves and fourths especially when we are trying to share something (like a pizza, cookie or granola bar) equally.

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Important Notes: Week 31

What a great first week back!!!  The weather was beautiful, almost everyday, and we took advantage of it by heading out for a little extra recess time.  We also loved studying science!  We observed what it would be like if the Earth didn’t have the sun and brainstormed what might happen to a plant without heat or light.  Next week, we will discuss and explore weather!!!

April 16 – Happy Easter!!!

April 17 – Princess & Superhero Day

Your child may come to school dressed as a princess or superhero.  The kids and I brainstormed about some creative ideas in case you don’t have costumes at home. (Blankets for capes and fancy dresses for princesses.  Or, using parts of other costumes, maybe from Halloween.) Please don’t go out an buy anything new!

April 19 – Happy Birthday Carson!!!

April 19 – Library Day

April 19 – Art Show Reception @ 5:30

April 20 – Marco’s Pizza Night

April 21 – Popcorn Day

Also, I’m not sure if you heard, but we are going to be hatching some chickens in our classroom!!! :) :) :)  The kids were so excited about this announcement and will go bonkers when they see everything set up on Monday.  The eggs started in their incubator this weekend.

Please make sure to fill out this survey about sack lunches for our field to the zoo.  It was sent via e-mail over the weekend.  Here is link:  Zoo Field Trip – Sack Lunches

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Princess & Superhero Day!!!

Room 106 has done it again!!  We have earned another classroom prize and this time around the kids have creatively chosen:

Princess & Superhero Day

To celebrate your child may come to school dressed as a princess or superhero on Monday, April 17.  So much fun!!!  The kids and I brainstormed about some creative ideas in case you don’t have costumes at home. (Blankets for capes and fancy dresses or tutus for princesses.  Please feel free to use parts of other costumes too, maybe from Halloween or the dress up bin.)  Most importantly, please don’t go out an buy anything new!

We will spend a little time making some paper crowns and masks at school on Monday too!  Please leave any weapon type accessories and home.  Send me an e-mail if you have any questions. :) :)  I’ll be sure to take lots of cute photos!!!

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Learning Update!!!

Reading:

We jumped back into reading workshop this week by helping ourselves get ready to read new books by first asking what we already knew about our topic before reading. When we pulled out a new book, we asked ourselves, “What do I already know?” This helps get our mind ready to make connections to new ideas.  We spent time comparing the books in our ‘topic bags’ and really thinking about the facts we were learning.  They were able to find examples in multiple books that taught the same information, so they knew that fact must be true.  We were able to share with our partners about things we had learned.

Writing:

Our first grade writers jumped right back into their nonfiction books after spring break.  This week, we talked about adding a topic sentence to our teaching pages.  To write a topic sentence, we take our heading and restate it with a little extra detail.  For example, if our heading is The Georgetown Library our topic sentence might say: 

“The Georgetown library has many books.”

Then, we encouraged our first graders to add more true details to the rest of the page.  We are trying to add facts, not opinions to our books!  Here are some examples:

“There are nonfiction books, fiction books, and chapter books too.  First graders can choose one book to bring home.  You must remember to bring your book back every Wednesday to get a new one from the library. ” 

Nonfiction books frequently have a conclusion at the end to summarize the big ideas.  Later in the week, we learned how to add a conclusion that restated our topic and encouraged our reader to care about our topics the way we love our topics.

“Now you know all about libraries.  I hope that you go to visit a library and find some great books to read!”

Finally, we learned how to make our pictures teach using labels, diagrams, directions arrows, captions, charts, maps, and even zooming into the most important part of our drawings.  Our books are looking great!!!

Inline image 1

Math:

This week, our mathematicians learned how to tell time to the hour and half hour!! They learned that the two different kinds of clocks that we use in everyday life are called an “analog” clock or a “digital” clock. We discussed that the shorter hand always points to the hours and the longer hand always points the minutes.

We spent lots of time reviewing and practicing drawing the time on an analog clock and on a digital clock!  The hardest part for the kids is to remember that when it is a half hour, the hour hand is half way past that hour (they often read it as the next hour ahead instead of the hour it is half past).

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Important Notes: Week 30

Welcome back!!!  I hope that your family enjoyed a lovely break.  It’s hard to believe, but we only have 9 short weeks left in first grade.  There is a whole lot of learning and fun to squeeze into our remaining days together.  This week we will start up our science unit that focuses on the sun and weather, add teaching pictures and conclusions to our nonfiction books, and begin telling time to the hour and half hour during math!!

 April 8 – Happy Birthday Andrew!!!

April 11 & 12 – Jet’s Pizza Nights

April 12 – Library Day

April 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.)

In the coming weeks, we will begin the important work of creating class lists for next year.  As a first grade team we will work very hard to ensure that your child will have a great year in second grade!  If you haven’t already, please consider filling out Mrs. Reagan’s parent survey: CLASS PLACEMENT PARENT SURVEY

Enjoy the beautiful weather today!!!

Mrs. Stadt :)

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Important Notes: Week 29

It’s a short week!!  We’re looking forward to some warm and dry weather too!!

March  29 – Library Day

March 30 – Math Assessment

March 30 – Happy Birthday Braden!!!

March 31 – April 9 – Spring Break: No School

Have a wonderful spring break!!!  Enjoy lots of rest, relaxation, and hopefully sunshine too!!!  I wish you safe travels if your family is vacationing somewhere outside of West Michigan.  See you soon!!!

Mrs. Stadt :)

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Learning Update!!!

Reading:

In Reader’s Workshop, we started a new unit focused on learning from all types of texts. We filled bags with different topics (dogs, dinosaurs, weather, plants, presidents, etc.)! The students are working with a bag of books that focus on one big idea for a few days.  Some of the books from their topic are nonfiction and some are fiction.  The first graders spend time each day reading through the books on their topic to see what they can learn and teach others about their topic.

Writing:

This week during Writer’s Workshop we jumped right into writing nonfiction books.

We talked about all that we have learned about nonfiction books this year and then we built a list of the features we will add to our nonfiction books. We then picked a topic we are all experts at, 1st Grade, and wrote a nonfiction book together.

Next week, we’ll brainstorm ideas that the kids are experts in and they’ll start writing their own.

Math:

For the last few weeks, we have created graphs and made comparisons during our math switch time.  As our expertise grew, so did our graphs! Instead of comparing just two groups of objects, most of our graphs now compare three categories of data, like the graph below:

Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 8.41.37 PM

We are always trying to make comparisons between the data in each category (group) by finding the MAGIC NUMBER. With three groups it’s a little harder to find the difference especially when comparing the top category of data with the bottom category of data. If we use a pencil to cover up the extra information, finding the MAGIC NUMBER is a breeze.

We then transitioned to solving comparison stories. Our first graders learned a new strategy called: COMPARISON BARS. Comparison bars are a visual tool for solving stories in which two amounts are compared and the difference (magic number) is either known or unknown. Check out the examples below:

Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 4.24.25 PM

Thank you (ahead of time) for helping your child on his or her homework pages this week. Be sure to check their work. This new strategy is tricky and sometimes our first graders are unsure about where the known information should go. (If the magic number or the difference is known, the information always goes inside the oval.) We will review more comparison stories next week and then we will wrap up Unit 6 with an assessment.

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Important Notes: Week 28

Only 9 school days until spring break!!!  Let the countdown begin!!!

March 20 – First Day of Spring

March 20 – Happy Birthday Gabe!!!

March 22 – Library Day

March 23 – Happy Birthday Brynlee!!!

 March 23 – PTC Meeting @ 6:30

March 25 – Mother/Son Event

We are excited to begin some new learning during our reading and writing workshop times this week.  The kids are going to LOVE jumping back into nonfiction and showing off their expertise as they write “All About” books!!!

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