We spent some time this week reviewing our read to self routines. 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. They have found books about animals, planets, weather, people, vehicles, and much more.
We talked about how important it is to warm up to their book before trying to read. Nonfiction books are filled with new vocabulary words and if we take the time to look through the pictures, we often have a general idea of what is going on and can make better guesses as we tackle new words. Encourage your first grader to warm up to new books before they read the words!
This week, we transitioned back into writers’ workshop starting by diving into some nonfiction ALL ABOUT books. We studied books that were written to teach us new facts about one topic and then the kids tried writing one all on their own. We will continue to work on writing that teaches next week, as we move into our unit on HOW TO writing.
This week, we also introduced the first graders to a new kind of writing called CONSTRUCTED RESPONSE. Good readers are able to respond to their reading by answering questions about what they’ve read. A CONSTRUCTED RESPONSE is a way of fully answering a question (RACE) and this is something they are expected to be able to do independently by third grade. We will start practicing these types of writing exercises each week.
Our first graders started this practice by playing a game called WOULD YOU RATHER? The kids listened to questions and figured out their answer, and then practiced fully responding to the question in a format that shows they understand the question (restate question – I would rather…), then, answer the question (answer – ALL parts), and give a reason for their choice (because…). We will continue to work on this throughout the school year and we will grow in our expectations of what they are adding to their CONSTRUCTED RESPONSE. If you see any constructed response papers come home, have your child read through their response with you and point out those three parts (restate, answer).
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.