Learning Update!!!

Reading:

Our focus during Readers Workshop the week before spring break was UNDERSTANDING what we read.  For the past few weeks, we have been working on using all kinds of “tools” when we are stuck on tricky words.  This week we learned about some “tools” that can help us if we become confused about what we are reading.

Our first “tool” to help us understand what we are reading is to check if we are “getting” what’s happening.  If we read a page and something doesn’t make sense, we can ALWAYS go back and reread slowly and think about what is going on.  We can even chat about what’s happening with our reading partners to make sure we’ve got it.

It is also important to make a movie in our minds as we read.  Our movie can fill in the little parts that might be missing from the words and pictures in our story.  It can also help us better understand what the characters are thinking about or feeling.  We closed our eyes and turned on our movie cameras to help us imagine our Zelda and Ivy book as a movie with music, dialogue, and lots of emotion.

As our books get longer, they often include a lot of character dialogue.  It’s important to stop and think about who is doing the talking.  Sometimes the word “said” will help us figure out the character that is speaking, but other times we have to infer.

Our character books will sometimes have new words, just like the nonfiction books we’ve been reading.  When we get to a new word we can say the word the best we can and think about what it might mean by describing it in many ways.

These first grader sure know how to be the boss of their reading and have learned many strategies to help them solve tricky words and fix up their understanding.  Way to go, first graders!!!

Writing:

Our first grader writers wrote one last nonfiction piece before spring break.  They had three days to go through our entire writing process of planning, drafting, revising, and editing on their own.  Each child picked a topic, organized their headings and got right to work.  Their writing and teaching pictures were AMAZING!!!  I can not believe how much these first graders have grown as writers this year!!!

On the Thursday before break, your child brought home a copy of the writing they completed.  I stapled a grading page to the top.  Let me know if you have any questions about how your child performed.

Our next unit of writing will focus on stories.  We will continue to work on the mechanics of our writing, using the correct sounds as we spell, and we’ll learn some new techniques to use as we write narratives.

Math:

We began our Unit 6 in math this past week.  Our first grade mathematicians are now sorting, organizing, and comparing data.  What a blast!!

To start things off, we learned how to take random data and record it on a chart or graph.  Crossing out each object as we add it to our graph helps us to be accurate in our representation.Screen Shot 2014-03-23 at 10.29.37 PM

After graphing the information, we were able to notice many things about the data we were studying.  Which group had the most?  Which group had the fewest?  How many in all?  And, we were also able to make comparisons – how many more or how many fewer.  To compare our data, we drew matching pairs and then circled the magic number.Screen Shot 2014-03-23 at 10.29.50 PM

The magic number represents the difference between the two groups being compared.  No matter if we are comparing how many more or how many fewer – the number is always the same (that’s why it’s magic!).Screen Shot 2014-03-23 at 10.29.59 PM

We can’t wait to learn more!

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