Learning Update!!!

Reading:

This week, we continued on our “reading adventure” and packed our suitcases full of strategies to help us understand our reading.

Earlier in the week, we remembered to retell the important parts of our stories.  We used sticky notes to mark the pages with the most important events and retold each part to our reading partner.

We also reviewed how important it is to reread our stories.  When we reread, we notice things in the pictures and words that we might have missed during our first read.  The more times we reread our books, the better we understand our stories.

Finally, we chatted about connections.  We learned about text-to-text connections and text-to-self connections earlier in the year, but this time around we noticed connections between different parts in the story.  The events on one page may show the trouble and another page shows the solution or one page might be the cause and another page shows the effect. We had fun discovering and sharing about the parts of our stories that go together… like a puzzle.

Next week, our first grade readers will be studying one of our favorite characters: Mr. Putter!!!

Writing:

This week was exciting in Writer’s Workshop. We ended our first bend about realistic fiction with remembering to use sparkling words in our stories. We talked about how a sparkling word might not be easy to spell but it is precise and the best word to use in our story. A sparkling word makes our stories more exciting. For example, we might choose to write…

Gretchen hid behind the tree.

-however we can use a sparkling word instead-

Gretchen crouched behind the tree.

The word hid is easy to spell but when we stop and s-t-r-e-t-c-h out and count the sounds in the word crouched, its really not that hard to write!

We also ended the bend by setting a goal for our writing in the next couple weeks. Some kids thought they could be much better at adding details and dialogue while other kids thought they would work on the organization of their stories by making sure they have leads, endings, one small moment, and transition words. I was impressed by how first graders were able to decide what they need more practice on in their writing.

We ended the week by focusing on adding dialogue to our stories. We know that our characters in our books have realistic problems and when they have a problems, chances are they are going to be talking to other characters in their books. We need to make sure we add that dialogue into our stories to make it more exciting. Some ways we can add dialogue is through speech bubbles, in our words, and writing our characters having a conversation. We are having so much fun making up pretend characters with real life first grade problems!

Math:

This week our mathematicians reviewed for and took our Unit 6 test.  This is one of our most challenging units of the year and our first graders performed very well.  Look for your child’s math test to come home next week!

On Friday, we begin studying clocks.  Our first graders 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 can’t wait to learn more about telling time next week!

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