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.
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!!!
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).