# Important Notes: Week #6

Go Eagles!!!  We had a fun Friday showing off our school spirit and cheering with the super fans.  It sounds like the Homecoming Football game was a good one. :) :) Check our google photo stream to see more cute pictures!

# October 3 – Crazy Hair Day!!!

Wear a hat or style your hair in a crazy, colorful way!!

# October 5 – Walk-a-thon

We are pumped up and excited to walk in support of our school!!!  Plan to dress your first grader in 80’s gear and comfy shoes on Friday.  The first graders will be walking on the track from 9:45-10:30.  All parents are welcome to join us outside to walk on the track.  Donation envelopes can be sent in on or before Monday, October 8.

***Look for an e-mail later this week with details about how to help with our sight words at school.  I would love to have some parent/grandparent volunteers come to school to practice with our first graders each week.***

# Math:

This week we began our second math unit.  Unit 2 will cover addition and subtraction strategies and provides the foundation for all of the math learning that will take place for the rest of this year and beyond.

This week we learned how to draw pictures to solve story problems. This strategy worked well, except it took us a R-E-A-L-L-Y long time to draw pictures of some objects, such as castles, pencils, and rockets.

Later in the week, we tried a new strategy: circle drawings. We used a break apart stick and circles to show the partners in a story. Then we counted up the total in a snap!

We also learned about the math symbols, equal (=) and not equal (≠).  Numbers are equal (=) when they are exactly the same. This understanding of equality is an important math concept that students will apply when writing equations throughout this year.

This week, we continued to work on building good reading habits. We worked on rereading to build fluency. We focused on reading with a smooth voice and scooping up phrases as we read, instead of reading one word at a time. These strategies will support higher reading comprehension.

Then, we began a new bend in our first unit of reading and focused in on strategies for figuring out tricky words. We first talked about taking a sneak peek at the pictures to look for clues that might help us figure out some of the words on the page. We then labeled some bad habits that readers pick up and encouraged kids to try strategies from our good habit poster.

# Writing:

The kids have gotten the hang of planning their stories with a beginning, middle, and end, but they don’t always add more than just one detail on each page. So, this week, we focused on adding details to our stories that bring our stories to life. We especially worked to make our characters move and make our characters talk. It was so fun to see the different ways the first graders were adding these details to the words and in the pictures. We’ll keep adding new ways to bring our stories to life next week.

# Important Notes: Week #5

We have had lots of fun using technology in our classroom over the past two weeks.  We’ve been getting acquainted with the Doodle Buddy and Teach Me apps on our iPads.  We also logged onto our computers for the first time and used a barcode badge to find the Clever page. Look for more information about MobyMax & RazKids, which can be found on Clever, soon!  We are hoping to check out these amazing resources for learning at home and at school this week in our classroom.

# September 27 – Picture Day

If you are ordering pictures, please send in your child’s picture envelope on or before Thursday.

# September 28 – Eagle Spirit Day

Wear your Eagle gear or maize and blue colors.

# September 28 – Popcorn Day!!!

Save the date for our Halloween Party!!!  It will take place Wednesday, October 31 from 12:45-1:30.  More details about how to sign up to donate and volunteer will be emailed soon.

# PJ Day!!!

Room 106 has done it again!  We have been working hard to follow our First Grade Rules each day.  Whenever our class clip has landed on Ready to Learn or above (at the end of the day) we’ve earned a star (or stars) toward our goal.  Our goal this time around was to earn 10 stars and we have reached that goal!!

To celebrate, Friday, September 22, will be a P.J. Day in our classroom.  Your child may come to school wearing their favorite pajamas, slippers, and robe, but no stuffed animals please!

# Math:

During our math time this week we continued to break apart larger numbers into smaller partners. We used whiteboards and markers, counters, stair steppers, and activities from our math workbook to visualize the partners, switch partners, and doubles partners for the numbers 6, 7, and 8. Challenging your first grader to write and show each set of partners in a variety of ways has helped to increase number sense and flexibility with these numbers.

We also continued to use our knowledge of partners and patterns to practice addition (+0, +1, +2) and subtraction (-0, -1, -2) facts. This week in particular, we practiced adding and subtracting doubles partners (1+1, 2-12+2, 4-23+3, 6-3, etc.), and discovered that a number minus itself equals 0 (8-8 = 0).

# Writing:

We continued to work on writing small moment stories.

We talked about how important it is to plan out a story before we start writing. This ensures that we don’t put all the details on the first page and then run out of things to say AND to make sure that we know what we want to share on each page, in case we don’t finish the story in one day and have to come back to it another day.

Then, we worked on revising stories to make them better by ADDING more to our stories. The students looked for pages that had blank lines and then brainstormed more details to add by thinking about WHO? WHAT? WHERE? WHEN? & HOW?

We ended the week by focusing on writing all the sounds we hear in words. We noticed that some words we could write in a snap! Some words had chunks inside of them that we already knew how to write. And, with words that we didn’t know, we practiced counting the sounds we heard as we stretched it out and then we wrote down the letters that matched each of the sounds we counted.

We continued to work on building good habits for our reading workshop.

We talked about how important it is to TAKE A SNEAK PEEK before we read. We know to look at the pictures and think about what might happen in the story, but we also focused on thinking about what words would go along with the pictures that we saw in the book. The kids were able to predict words they thought they might see in the book.  Then, when they went to read the story, they were able to read words that may have been tricky, but because they had predicted those words might be in the story, their brains were ready to read them.

Good readers take a sneak peek before they read, but they also DO SOMETHING after finishing. Readers can choose to reread a book, think of their favorite part of the story, or retell what happened in the book.

We also started directing our students toward books that might be closer to their just right level. We will have a chance to read with and assess each student’s reading level in the near future, but for now, we are using information that we have from the end of Kindergarten. We added a sticker to their book box that reminds them which books would be the best for them to read.

# Important Notes: Week #4

We had a blast getting to use our iPads for the first time in first grade and in our STEAM special we also got to practice logging into our computers. These first graders are excited to use technology. Make sure to check our class photo stream to see pictures from all of our fun last week and coming up this week too.

# September 17 – Library Day

Don’t forget to send your child’s library book back to school today.

# September 20 – PTC Meeting @ 6:30

This week I will be meeting with your child to assess his/her reading level and gather information about reading readiness skills. I am excited to get to work on helping your grow in their love for reading, writing, and math this year!!!

Upcoming Important Dates:

# Stuffed Animal Day!!!

The first graders in Room 106 have been working very hard to be “ready to learn” by practicing our First Grade Rules every day: follow directions quickly, raise your hand to speak, make smart choices, and be kind.  Each day that our class clip has ended on “Ready to Learn” or above on our class Rainbow Chart we’ve earned one star (or more!) towards a classroom prize.  We voted to have a stuffed animal day as our first prize and have reached our ten star goal, so… tomorrow Wednesday, September 12, will be Stuffed Animal Day in Room 106!

On Tuesday, Your child may bring in a cuddly animal (that can fit in their backpack) to snuggle with and read to throughout the day!  Thank you and way to go Room 106!!!

# Math:

We are off to a great start with our wonderful math program.  During the first two weeks of school, we’ve been visualizing, representing, and breaking apart numbers using a variety of math tools: counters, stair steppers, and number cards.  When we break apart a number, we take a larger number and split it into two smaller numbers.  We call the two smaller numbers partners because when we add them together they equal the larger number.  So far, we’ve discovered the partners (and switch partners) for 2, 3, 4, and 5. (Check out the chart below!)  We have also used our knowledge about partners and patterns to solve addition (+0, +1, +2) and subtraction problems (-0, -1, -2).

# Writing:

During Writer’s Workshop, we have been writing small moment stories. A small moment story is personal narrative (a true story about you)!

We started by building a poster: How to Write a Story

We practiced thinking of an idea. We then planned it out by sketching a beginning, middle, and end. And then, we began writing the words to match out story. We wrote a few stories together first and then, last week, the kids got to try writing on their own. They have done such a great job of showing us what they know and it will be so fun to watch them grow as writers this year.

This week, we began readers’ workshop.  This is such a wonderful time in our classroom.  We have enjoyed reading some great stories together and we have started building the foundation of our independent reading time.  Readers get better at reading by practicing reading, so we focused this week on building their independence for reading by themselves (read to self time).  We are working together to figure out the best routines that will help us be successful during this time. So far we have the following:

# Important Notes: Week #3

The cool temperatures this weekend definitely made it fell like fall. It was a nice break from the hot, hot weather we’ve been having. We were able to enjoy some fun outdoor fall activities – I hope your family did too!! Be sure to check out our class photo stream to see a glimpse of readers workshop time and some of the other fun activities/lessons/breaks we’ve enjoyed this week.  Just send me an e-mail if you would like me to share the link with your family again. :)

# September 10 – Library Day

We were able to get our first books from the library on Friday!  Our regular library day is on Mondays (we had to reschedule last week due to Labor Day). Send your child’s book back to school tomorrow so he/she can pick out a new one. If you forgot, no problem! :) You can always send it back the following week. If your child forgets and really wants to get a new one, just send me an e-mail and Mrs. Vandenberg (our librarian) and I will coordinate a time when your child can go down.

# September 12 – Stuffed Animal Day

We have been working very hard to follow our first grade rules and reached out first class goal.  On Wednesday, your child may bring a stuffed animal to school. I will text a reminder Tuesday night and share more details on the blog later this week!

# September 14 – 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. :)

# Important Notes: Week #2

What an AWESOME first week of school!!!  The weather was a little STORMY, but we still packed in a lot of FUN in our classroom and outside.  We are beginning to learn our routines for reading, writing, and math and procedures for moving around our classroom and using supplies.  I have enjoyed getting to know your sweet children better and am very excited for a GREAT year!!!

# September 8 – Happy Birthday Jace & Ian!!!

By the end of this week, we will have celebrated 5 birthdays in our classroom! To learn more about the ways that your child will be honored this year, check out our celebrations noteRemember:  If your child would like to share a birthday treat with our class (12 boys, 10 girls), please send in a nonfood item. Here is a link to our birthday celebration policy.

Our class will head to the library each week on Monday afternoons. Due to the holiday today, we will reschedule our library time for later this week. Look for a book to come home soon!

If you have not checked out our google photo stream, please do! I have some very cute pictures from the first week of school that are already posted.  Look for an e-mail later today with a link to easily access all the photos.