Monthly Archives: May 2018

Important Notes: Week 37

THANK YOU so much to all the moms, dads, grandpas and grandmas that came with us to the zoo last Monday!!!  We had a great time touring the zoo, ate a delicious picnic lunch, and managed to avoid most of the heavy rain!!  The kids loved sharing about all the animals they saw and their favorite parts of the day. :)

Be sure to check our photo stream to see pictures from our Zoo Field Trip and Locker Decorating Day!!!

We will be enjoying some, fun themed days over the next two weeks.  All of these special days are a surprise that will be revealed to the kids the day before.  (Shhhhh – please help me keep all of the fun a secret!!!)  I will send an e-mail the day before if something special from home is needed at school.  Thank you for your help!

May 28 – Memorial DayNo School

May 29 – Last Homework Packet Sent Home

Thank you so much for helping your child complete their homework packets each week!!!  Look for an e-mail with some ideas for summer learning later this week.  I will also send home some books lists at your child’s just right level to help when you are looking for books to read over the summer.  If you are wondering about tutoring or additional resources, just send me an e-mail.

May 29 – No Shoes Day

Send your child to school in their shoes, but we will take them off and let our feet relax in the classroom.

May 30 – Hat/Crazy Hair Day

May 31 – Sports Day

June 1 – Toy Day

June 1 – Talent Show

The 3rd-5th graders are performing.  We get to watch the afternoon show!

Please make sure your child continues to come to school with their blue folder and backpack. A lot of materials, creations, and goodies will be coming home over the next two weeks.  It is hard to believe that our year is almost done – only 8.5 more days!

One last note, I have received some chalk and bubbles donations so far (Thank you, Thank you!!).  If you have not donated anything yet, please consider the larger bottles of bubbles!! Feel free to send in your goodies anytime before that day.  Thanks so much!

Happy Memorial Day!!!

Learning Update!!!

Reading:

This week our readers learned that when you love a book you recommend it to others!  In order to recommend a book, we should be able to introduce the characters, setting, and retell the story.  Sharing these details gets our friends excited about trying out the books we love to read.

For the remainder of the year, I will be recommending some of my favorite books to our class.  We will enjoy some new chapter books series and picture books that I love.  I want your child to be excited to continue reading through the summer!  Look for some books lists, with books at your child’s just right level, to come home next week.  To keep your child’s skills fresh, reading everyday over the summer will be essential!  Our school library will also be open on Tuesdays from 10-12 in June and July!

Writing:

This week during writing, first graders took their last writing assessment. Thank you for all your help with brainstorming a character, problem, and solution with your child this week. They have done amazing with making sure to write a realistic story with lots of details! We also took some time to pass back all of the writing assessments and celebrations from the beginning of the year and put them into a book. First graders had so much fun looking at their writing from the very first day of school. They have grown SO much this year as writers! Look for this special keepsake in the next couple of weeks! We will spend the last weeks of school reviewing and practicing all the different kinds of writing we have learned this year.

Math:

This week, we took our Unit 7 assessment – our first graders did great!!!

We started working on adding two 2-digit numbers together. We introduced a strategy called New Ten Above. ​

Our goal is to understand that sometimes when we add two-digit numbers – we make a new ten!!!

 

Learning Update!!!

Reading:

Our first grade readers continued to work on discovering the lessons that our characters can learn in some of our favorite picture books.

As we talked more and more about the “big ideas” from our stories, we noticed some similarities and differences between our books.  We tried to really dig deep and make connections between the same lesson and trouble.  Sometimes, our characters experienced the same trouble, but the lessons that they learned were different.

At the end of the week, we reorganized part of our classroom library and grouped many of our favorite books together by the lessons they teach: believe in yourself, speak up, be polite, stay with the group, etc.  Then, we were able to pick books to read from these piles already knowing the lessons the characters (and ourselves) were going to learn.  We can’t wait to read more books and learn more lessons from so many amazing characters!

Writing:

This was our final week of writing realistic fiction. We finished up any stories that were not done at the beginning of the week. Then we picked our very best piece that had everything from our checklist that we worked on last week. We spent some time rereading, editing, and looking at our punctuation to make sure we were ready to celebrate our stories. Finally, we each wrote an “About the Author” piece where first graders share important and interesting facts about themselves with their readers. Once we created a cover for our stories, we celebrated by inviting a kindergarten class to come listen to our stories! We have had a blast creating realistic fiction stories. First graders are so creative and the voice and personality they add to their stories makes it so much fun. Next week, we will be writing our final writing assessment for the year! You can help your first grader brainstorm a real problem and solution for their story this week!

Math:

We continued to study shapes during our math time this week.  We started the week combining triangles, rectangles and squares to form new shapes.  We learned about: rhombuses, trapezoids, parallelograms, and hexagons.  We also found that we could combine and transpose our shapes to create patterns.

Later in the week we began exploring with 3-dimensional shapes! We touched on the following shapes…

We learned about the attributes of each of these shapes.  We also briefly discussed how these 3-D shapes compare to the 2-D shapes. For example: the 3-D sphere is just like a 2-D circle and the 3-D rectangular prism is just like a 2-D rectangle.  We combined different shapes together to create new shapes and also tried to break large shapes apart into smaller ones.

Then, we moved into measurement. We discussed how in the old days before rulers were invented, people used to use their body parts to measure objects.  This kids couldn’t believe this was true and brought up a very big problem… our feet and fingers are different sizes!  We realized that when we use a common unit – like a paperclip – we all get the same results.  To test this theory, we used paperclips to measure various things in our math book and around the room.

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We also introduced the word “length” and talked about how to line up measurement tools properly to get the most accurate measurement.  We compared lengths of objects from shortest to longest and longest to shortest (1, 2, 3).

Important Notes: Week 36

We had so much fun celebrating our realistic fiction writing this past week!  Miss Hutchinson’s class came to visit.  We loved showing off our writing and reading skills with a kindergarten buddy!  Be sure to check out the photo stream for some cute pictures!

Thank you so much for reading our Friday Letters each week and writing letters back to your child.  We enjoyed looking back through all the letters in our books on Friday.  What a great artifact to hold on to from our year!  We hope you enjoy them too! :)

May 21 – Zoo Field Trip

We will leave school around 9:40 and meet our chaperones at the zoo @ 10:00ish.  Remember to dress your child for the outdoors, apply sunscreen, and send your child’s sack lunch to school (use a paper bag labeled with his/her name, if possible).  We will tour the zoo, eat our lunch, play on the playground, and head back to school around 1:15ish.  We can’t wait!!!

May 22-25 – Realistic Fiction Writing Post Assessment

Our class will be writing our last realistic fiction book this week.  I will use this piece of writing to assess each child’s understanding of writing narrative books.  If you are able, before school on Tuesday, brainstorm with your child about a character, setting, and trouble they would like to imagine for their story and check in with your child about how their writing is going throughout the week.  I can’t wait to read these amazing books!!!

 May 22 – Locker Decorating Day

We’ve earned another classroom prize!!! The kids have voted to decorate the inside of their lockers for the last few weeks of school.  If there are any special art supplies your child would like to bring in to use, feel free to send them into school today.

May 22 – LAST LIBRARY DAY!!!

Please send your child’s book back to school.  We will head down to the library to turn our books in and listen to one more story from Mrs. Vandenberg.

May 23 – Spelling Assessment

We will take one last spelling assessment over our 35 “no excuse” spelling words.

May 23 – Math Assessment

May 25 – Red, White, & Blue Day!!!

Wear your USA colors to school.

May 28 – No School: Memorial Day

We will be wrapping up with a lot of assessments this week and next week, it’s hard to pinpoint the date for each, but when I can I will add it to our schedule.  Make sure your child gets a good nights sleep, eats a yummy breakfast, and has two healthy snack to eat during our school day.

Important Notes: Week 35

 

HAPPY MOTHER‘S DAY!!!

I hope you had time to relax and enjoy those you love!!!  I also wanted to share how thankful that I am for all that you do each day to support your child as he/she grows in kindness, wisdom, and character.  We could not do what we do at school each day without your support, encouragement, and care!!  THANK YOU MOMS!!!

May 13 – Happy Birthday Lyla F!!!

May 15 – Library Day

May 17 – PTC Meeting @ 6:30

We said goodbye to our chicks on Friday.  It was such a cool experience to watch them progress through their life cycle.  On Friday, we noticed their combs growing in and SO MANY feathers.  We have some farmers coming to pick them up this week.  We will miss you chickens!!!

*** Zoo field trip chaperones – check your e-mail for more information about the field trip tomorrow!! ***

Also, check our photo stream to see the colorful and shape-filled flower garden we created on our Fast Friday.  E-mail me if you need the link!!!

Learning Update!!!

Reading:

This week our readers worked on changing their voice to match their characters’ feelings.  We noticed a lot of little clues in the text that help us know when and how to change our voice like: ellipses, bold print, italics, CAPITAL LETTERS, quotation marks, and more.  The kids had so much fun looking for these clues in their own books!
We also learned to hold on to the lessons in our stories.  In our fiction books, our characters are always facing some sort of trouble and have to figure out ways to solve these big and small problems.  We can learn from our characters, and can even act the same way they do, when the same kind of trouble happens to us!

Writing:

This week in writing, we wrote a shared writing piece. We focused on all the things a good realistic fiction story should have and wrote a class story together.
After we spent a couple days working on our shared writing, we challenged the first graders to write their own story and to make sure the story had all the right details. They had two days to write their stories and I collected them to read on Friday. I was so impressed with how hard they worked and how creative they have been with their stories. This coming week we will wrap up our writing unit and celebrate our stories by the end of the week!

Math:

During our math time this week we studied some familiar shapes: rectangles, squares, triangles and circles.  We learned that every shape has special attributes that are always true!!
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We also learned that shapes can be divided into equal parts.  When a shape is broken into two equal parts we call these halves.  When a shape is broken into four equal parts we call these fourths.  It’s important to understand halves and fourths especially when we are trying to share something (like a pizza, cookie, or granola bar) equally.

Important Notes: Week 34

We had quite an animal-filled week!!!  Our chicks hatched!!!  The kids have loved watching them, holding them, and learning more about them.  Mrs. VanKoevering’s class hatched butterflies in her classroom.  We were able to have the butterflies come to our room for a short visit on Friday before they set them free. In STEAM, the kids have been studying animal adaptations and environments where animals live.  We are going to have so much fun seeing so many of the animals they’ve been learning about at the zoo!

We’ve also been studying economics during our social studies time.  This week we discussed wants, needs, producers, and consumers.  We even turned our classroom into a factory and made products out of paper to share with our class.  Be sure to check out our photo stream for pictures of all the fun!!!

May 8 – Library Day

May 10 – Jet’s Pizza Night

May 11 – Take Home Books Due

Please return all take home books to school by May 11.  We will no longer be sending books home each night.  Thank you so much for your support with this nightly practice!!!  Our first graders have made AMAZING progress as readers this year.

May 11 – 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.  Please make sure your child knows if he or she needs to order a sack lunch.  Feel free to send me an e-mail to let me know if a sack lunch is needed.

** This week we are switching our specials time with the 4th graders on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  They will be taking the M-STEP test during the morning on these days.**

Learning Update!!!

Reading:

This week our readers really got to know one of our favorite characters: Mr. Putter.

We learned that as we read fiction books we need to study the main character.  When we do, we can figure out what he likes, dislikes and how he acts.  In our book, Mr. Putter Drops the Ball, we learned that Mr. Putter really likes to nap and he’s worried he might be too old to play baseball!

We should pay attention to all the other characters too!  Each character is so different.  Understanding all the characters helps us to make better predictions about the story.  In our book, we also met Mrs. Teaberry, who is brave and confident.  She is sure that Mr. Putter is not too old to play ball.

Later in the week, we remembered how important it is to go back and reread.  When we reread, we usually notice something new about our characters that we may have missed during our first read.

Finally, we talked about noticing our character’s feelings and when those feelings change.  If our character’s feelings change, we can “take action” and change the sound of our voice.  Our first graders are becoming such expressive readers!!!

Writing:

In writing this week, we spent the whole week learning different ways to add details in our writing. We learned that good writers add movement and dialogue to their to stories so that the stories come to life. Another way we can add details is to make sure we tell the small steps. This helps our reader visualize exactly what is going on in our stories.

Finally, we focused on adding feelings in our writing. We can do this by telling how our character is feeling but it makes it even more real when we show how our character is feeling by using a Show, Not Tell. Instead of saying “She was so happy”, we could say, “She was grinning from ear to ear”. Instead of “He was embarrassed”, we could write “His face turned red”. This gives the reader a much better picture in their mind as they read our stories.

Math:

This week, our mathematicians reviewed the two different kinds of clocks that we use in everyday life that 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).