Learning Update!!!

Reading:

The kids have gotten quite good at finding books around the room that are ‘just right’ books to keep in their book boxes.  As the kids were reading this week, we noticed that some kids finished all the books in their book boxes and needed to start all over reading their books again.  This lead us into discussions of how readers set goals for how many books they will read each day.  And we introduced a bookmark that they used to set a goal and then keep track with tally marks to see how many books they actually read that day.

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Before each reading block, the kids would think about how they did the day before and think about the book choices they had in their book boxes and then set a goal for how many books they would read that day.  We tracked our goals for a few days to see if our numbers were growing in how many books we were able to read each day.  It also helped us notice if we actually had picked books that were ‘just right’ for us as readers.  All in all, they spent a ton of time reading this week and building their reading stamina!

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Writing:

We have been continuing our work on Small Moment stories this week.

We learned that good writers include the 3 W‘s in their writing:

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By including the 3 W’s on our first page, it helps the reader know what is going on in the story.

We also worked on sketching a quick plan of the beginning, middle, and end of our story before we even write the word, so that we can remember what we wanted each part of our story to include.

Math:

During our math time this week we continued to break apart larger numbers into smaller partners. We used whiteboards and markers, counters, stair steppers, and activities from our math workbook to visualize the partners, switch partners, and doubles partners for the numbers 8, 9, and 10. Challenging your first grader to write and show each set of partners in a variety of ways has helped to increase number sense and flexibility with these numbers.

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We also continued to use our knowledge of partners and patterns to practice addition (+0, +1, +2) and subtraction (-0, -1, -2) facts. This week in particular, we practiced adding and subtracting doubles partners (1+1, 2-1, 2+2, 4-2, 3+3, 6-3, etc.), and discovered that a number minus itself equals 0 (8-8 = 0).

Mind Up:

You might hear your student talking about our MIND UP time during the day.  Mind Up is a curriculum that helps teach students about their brains and how their brains work in order to help them be more proactive in how they approach learning and social interactions.

So far, we have learned some key areas of the brain.  You may have heard your first grader talking about these three key parts of the brain: Prefrontal Cortex, Amygdala, and Hippocampus.  The prefrontal cortex is what we call our WISE LEADER, it is where our smart thinking happens (math, reading, etc.).  Our Hippocampus is where our memories are stored, we called is our MEMORY SAVER.  And the amygdala is the part of our brain the helps us stay safe when we are in danger, we call it our SECURITY GUARD.

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Wrinkled Hearts

Today we wrapped up our discussion about kindness in our classroom and on the playground.  We’ve been talking about using a bug & a wish to stand up for ourselves, being bucket fillers who share compliments, and acting like a buddy, not a bully.

This afternoon we read the story Chrysanthemum, and used a paper heart to demonstrate what happened to Chrysanthemum whenever the girls in her class made fun of her name.  Whenever Chrysanthemum wilted from the bullys’ words, we crinkled the heart.  This happened over and over in the story.  Once we had finished reading, we tried to fix the heart with a band aid, but the wrinkles were still there.  The heart was a visual to show how our words and actions are hard to erase.

Ask your child about their crinkled heart and remind them to be a bucket filler at home and at school!

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Important Notes: Week 3

We are looking forward to some fun activities coming up this week and hoping for great weather on Friday!!!

September 17 – Constitution Day

September 19 – Stuffed Animal Day

Your child may bring a stuffed animal to school.  Read this post for more details –> 10 star prize

September 21 – Library Day

Don’t forget to send your child’s library book back to school today,

September 22 – Picture Day

If you are ordering pictures, please send in your child’s picture envelope on or before Thursday.

September 23 – Olympic Walk-A-Thon

We are pumped up and excited to walk in support of our school!!!  Plan to wear RED, WHITE, & BLUE and comfy shoes on Friday.  The first graders will be walking on the track from 9:45-10:30.  Donation envelopes can be sent in on or before Monday, September 26.

This week your child will bring home some important reading homework.  On Monday, look for an envelope in your child’s blue folder containing sight words to practice.  Plan to keep this envelope in a safe place, so you and your child can practice these sight words quickly every night.  New sight words will be sent home when your child moves on to a new set at school.  Sometimes this will happen in just a couple of days.  Other times it may take a week or two before your child receives a new set.  Please save all of your child’s sight words, so you can go back and review some of the older ones periodically.  Knowing many words by sight will help to boost your child confidence and fluency as a reader.  Thank you so much for your support at home!

Finally, if you are interested in helping out in our classroom this year and have not already filled out this survey, please do!  It is okay for your younger children to come along with you when you help out with our sight word practice.

Sight Word Parent Volunteer Survey

Mrs. Stadt :)

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Stuffed Animal Day


stuffed-teddy-bear-transparentThe first graders in Room 106 have been working very hard to be “ready to learn” by practicing our First Grade Rules every day: follow directions quickly, raise your hand to speak, make smart choices, and be kind.  Each day that our class clip has ended on “Ready to Learn” or above on our class Rainbow Chart we’ve earned one star (or more!) towards a classroom prize.  We voted to have a stuffed animal day as our first prize and have reached our ten star goal, so… Monday, September 19, will be Stuffed Animal Day in Room 106!

On Monday, Your child may bring in a cuddly animal to snuggle with and read to throughout the day!  If needed, please send along an extra bag for your child’s stuffed animal to travel in. Thank you and way to go Room 106!!!

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Learning Update!!!

Math:

We are off to a great start with our wonderful math program.  During the first two weeks of school, we’ve been visualizing, representing, and breaking apart numbers using a variety of math tools: counters, stair steppers, and number cards.  When we break apart a number, we take a larger number and split it into two smaller numbers.  We call the two smaller numbers partners because when we add them together they equal the larger number.  So far, we’ve discovered the partners (and switch partners) for 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. (Check out the chart below!)  We have also used our knowledge about partners and patterns to solve addition (+0, +1, +2) and subtraction problems (-0, -1, -2).

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During our math routine, we have been hard at work practicing with our 120 number grid, money flip chart, number path (<–link), and secret code cards.  This routine involves a series of math activities that we will continue building on each day for the rest of the year to strengthen our students’ flexible with numbers.

Finally, thank you for helping your child complete the math homework that came home on Monday. We will continue to send home packets of work on Mondays and will give you a whole week to have your child complete them and return them to school the following Monday.

Reading:

This week, we began readers’ workshop.  This is such a wonderful time in our classroom.  We have enjoyed reading some great stories together and we have started building the foundation of our independent reading time.  Readers get better at reading by practicing, so we focused this week on building their independence for reading by themselves (read to self time).  We are working together to figure out the best routines that will help us be successful during this time.  So far we have the following:

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Just like great readers do, the kids have learned how to pick books that interest them and is  ‘Just Right’ for them.  We used the three strikes approach.  The students pick a book and then open to any page.  They read one page and every time they come to a word they don’t know, they would put one of their fingers up.  If they get to three fingers up, then that’s three strikes and that book is too tricky.  If they have fewer than three fingers up, then the book is ‘Just Right!’  It has also been fun to see their confidence and enthusiasm build with their independent reading time as we practice picking out and reading books each day.

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Writing:

During Writer’s Workshop, we have been writing small moment stories.  A small moment story is a true story about you!  So far, we’ve learned that good small moment stories have a beginning, middle, and end. So, we’ve been writing across three page booklets and the kids have been doing a great job of stretching out their stories.

We also learned that good writers always keep working! We used the phrase “When you’re done – you’ve only just begun!”.  Good writers add details to their pictures and words, or they can start a new story.

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Remind your child that anything they do (soccer practice, reading a book together, play a game, visiting grandma and grandpa) can become a small moment story!!!

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A Bug & A Wish

First Grade Families,

During our Morning Meeting today, we learned to stand up for ourselves when someone is being mean.  Often there are times when a friend (or sibling!) does something that bothers us and this is a great way to practice using our kind words and being polite.  First we tell them: “Stop” or “I don’t like that.”  Then, we give them, “A Bug and a Wish”.  For example,  “STOP!!” “It bugs me when you hog the football around and I wish you would please share with me.”  This allows the kids to communicate with each other and work on their problem solving skills.

Screen Shot 2014-09-10 at 2.32.22 PMIn your child’s blue folder tonight, you will find “A Bug & A Wish” wand that you can make at home together.  Simply cut it out, and glue the pieces together back-to-back (or glue each piece to a popsicle stick.)  Your child may keep this wand at home to practice using this strategy with their brothers, sisters, and friends!

Mrs. Stadt :)

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Important Notes: Week 2

What a HOT and HUMID first week of school!!!  Here’s to a cool and sunny week two…

September 14  – Library Day

 September 15 – PTC Meeting @ 6:30

September 16 – 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.)

This week our first homework packet will be sent home.  Please look for this in your child’s blue folder on Monday.  Directions are included right on the page.  For more information about homework in first grade please check out this link –> HOMEWORK.

Look for an e-mail later today with information about our classroom photo stream.  I have some very cute pictures from the first week of school that I can’t wait to share!

One more quick note, I realized, this past week, that I switched the order of two days on our specials schedule – art & music.  Whoops!!!  I have corrected the calendar and posted a new one on our monthly calendar page.  All of our STEAM & PE days will stay the same.

Mrs. Stadt :)

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First Grade Brochure

First Grade Families,

Now that our first three days of school are complete, you may have some questions about our classroom procedures.  I have attached a FIRST GRADE brochure with information to answer common questions that parents have at the beginning of the year.  Please take the time to read it over, and also check out all of the links under our FIRST GRADE INFO page at the top of our blog.  These two resources will be a helpful place to find answers about first grade throughout year!

FIRST GRADE BROCHURE

Thank you!
Rachel :)

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Our Rainbow Chart

First Grade Families,

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 8.24.05 PMIn Room 106, we are using a Rainbow Chart to monitor our class and individual behavior throughout the day. Each child now has their own mini Rainbow Chart to track his/her behavior choices. We also have a class chart which we will use to track our whole class behavior choices. Each child will color in the part of the chart where he/she ended the day to let you know how the day went. Green is Ready To Learn and your child will start on this section every day. He/she will clip up or down depending on the choices made throughout the day.  After you check your child’s blue folder, please be sure to sign the Parent Signature box on his/her Daily News.

To learn more about our positive behavior plan for this year, read this link posted on our First Grade Information Page: Behavior in First Grade.

Thanks so much!!!

Mrs. Stadt :)

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Important Notes: Week 1

It’s our first week of school!!!  Check out the important dates below:

September 2 – Happy Birthday Isaac!!!

September 5  – Labor Day: No School

September 6 – First Day of School

Every Sunday, I will post the important events, assessments, birthdays, and more that are coming up later in the week.  Plan to check back here for a quick glance at our plans.  I will also post curriculum updates weekly, so you can stay in the loop on our learning.

I am so excited for our first day tomorrow.  I’ve been busy getting ready for some fun activities to start our day with!!!  Don’t forget to send your child to school with his/her blue folder, two snacks, water bottle, lunch (or lunch choice) and gym shoes (if you did not bring them to the open house).  We have PE as our special the first day of school.

Mrs. Stadt :)

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