This year, we will gradually introduce our students to many different chunks that they can use when decoding a word (vowel teams, r-controlled vowels, etc.). This week, we focused on H BROTHERS (th, sh, ch, & wh) & R SISTERS (ar, er, ir, ur, & or).
This week we focused on zooming in to the most important part of our small moment story. When we are writing our stories, it is easy to list off a bunch of things we did. We might end up with stories that sound like this….
“This weekend I went to the mall with my mom. We got some clothes. Then we went to Subway and got a sandwich. Next we went home and watched a movie. I hope we can do that again!”
We have been calling this a watermelon story. A watermelon story is a big story (many moments). In Writer’s Workshop, we want to write tiny seed stories. These stories are small, zoomed in stories. Like seeds in a watermelon, there are small stories inside of big stories.
Looking at the example story, we could write a seed story of going to the mall. We could also write a story about getting our sandwich from Subway or watching a movie at home. We want to focus on one moment in time, and write lots of details about that one time.
We also talked about making sure to add details to that seed story. We can do this by adding dialogue, writing details that use our five senses, and adding actions of what our hands, feet, and face are doing.
We continued to study and solve stories with missing partners this week during our math switch. We also introduced our yellow quilt cards which have trained the kids to find a missing partner by clapping and counting UP with their fingers until they get to the total.
We ended the week by circling back to subtraction and began using our counting up strategy to quickly solve these equations. The kids are very excited to begin subtraction on MobyMax!!!
While solving stories, our first graders performed very well with the strategy of writing the SECRET CODE (T – P = P), adding the equations on top, and drawing the math mountain to go with the equation. We are in the habit of checking to see if the number we solved for makes sense in the math mountain (the largest number always has to go at the top). If they make a mistake, the math mountain helps them to realize this.