# Snow Day Activities!!!

We have another SNOW DAY today.  Please encourage your child to do at least 30 minutes of learning (see below).  Thanks to our AMAZING PTC (made possible by your WALK•A•THON Donations), \$10 Barnes and Noble Gift Card (one per grade) will be given to randomly drawn students.

AND EXTRA special INCENTIVE:

Mrs. Reagan will throw a pizza party for the classroom that has the MOST PARTICIPANTS in SNOW DAY LEARNING.  She will look at who has participated over all the snow days (last Friday, today …. and maybe other days this week) and the class with the most students who participate will get a PRINCIPAL PIZZA PARTY!

Options for learning:

1. Read a book or two or three.  ONLINE Learning record for reading minutes.
2. Learning on MOBYMAX or RAZ-KIDS through Clever.com:
• Type in district username followed by @hpsstudents.net
• Select Elementary Apps
• Find MOBYMAX OR RAZ KIDS….get started!

# Writing:

We also focused on writing twin sentences to focus in on key words that will help teach our readers more about our topic. Here are a few good examples of twin sentences from our students’ writing:

Great Wolf Lodge is a hotel. A hotel is a place where people can spend the night.

Dogs need exercise. Some kinds of exercise are walking and playing fetch.

Dinosaurs are predators. Predators eat other animals.

This week in reading, we continued our focus on habits of a good reader to become SUPER SMART about NONFICTION topics.  We worked hard to think about the facts that we had learned while we were reading and spent time sharing them with our classmates. To make sure that we were sharing facts in a way that would be interesting to our friends, we practiced reading them smoothly, trying our best to sound like a teacher or a news reporter.

We also began to review different ways to figure out tricky words in our nonfiction books.

Math:

After reviewing the MAKE A TEN STRATEGY, we took a math quiz, which the students all did very well on. Then, we moved on to studying our doubles facts. Many of our first graders know the first 5 doubles in a snap. The final 5 doubles were a little tougher.

We talked about how we can use what we know about doubles to help us solve other equations. We noticed that there is often a set of doubles that can be found hiding inside an equation. If we can find the hidden double, all we need to do is add one or subtract one to solve the equation.  For example:

We will continue to work on our doubles facts, so our first graders can more easily use the Doubles +1 and Doubles -1 strategy. It would be wonderful if your child could practice their doubles facts at home too!! Practice makes permanent!!

We also studied some LARGE, TWO-DIGIT numbers this week — some of the biggest numbers that we’ve worked with so far this year!  We noticed that every 2-digit number has a place to show the tens hiding inside along with a place to show the extra ones.  We also represented these numbers using ten sticks and circles, and wrote an equation to match our work.

Since we were working with two digit numbers, we spent a lot of time counting tens and ones this week too.  Our first graders learned to count the tens first and then “freeze” before counting up the extra ones.  Taking the time to “freeze” is an important strategy that helps our students recognize when it’s time to switch from counting by 10s to 1s.

We can tell that our first graders are really beginning to understand the place value of these larger numbers!!!

# Important Notes: Week #21

It looks like a very snowy week of weather ahead with some FREEZING cold temps!  We are planning on a full week, but we’ll see if the the wintery weather gets in the way. Remember to send your child to school with all their winter weather gear and maybe a sweatshirt in case they get cold in the classroom.

TWIN DAY will take place sometime this week, but NOT MONDAY!!  Originally, we were hoping to dress up with a group of friends on Monday, but we were unable to plan our outfits on Friday due to the Snow Day.  Twin Day will happen after we have a day to plan at school – I will keep you posted on the exact date.  Look for a page to come home in your child’s folder to see what outfit and accessories they have planned to wear.

We have been obsessed with reading nonfiction books and writing nonfiction stories over the last few weeks. These first graders are experts about so many things!!  Be sure to check the photo stream to see pictures from our imaginary “tea party” where we shared about some of the coolest facts from our nonfiction books. Send me an e-mail if you need the link. :)

# January 31 – JET’S PIZZA PARTY for LUNCH

Our class won a Jet’s Pizza Party for having the most participation at the last Jet’s Pizza Night.  On Thursday, we will enjoy a pizza lunch together in our classroom.  Your child will be able to have two slices.  I will also supply a juice box, grapes, and Oreos.  If your child doesn’t like pizza and would rather bring in a lunch from home or order a lunch from school that is no problem.  We can’t wait!!!  Thank you first grade families for supporting our school.

# February 1 – 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 e-mail me to let me know.)

# February 4 & 5 – NO SCHOOL: Mid-Winter Break

Have fun working on your valentines!!!  Winter Break is the perfect time to get this job done! :)  When you finish, please send your child’s valentines into school in a bag labeled with your child’s name.  I can store them here so they are ready for Valentine’s Day.

Also, look for an e-mail later this week about our Zoo Field Trip in May. We were able to secure a date in the spring: Monday, May 20.  We would love to have you join us!!!

# Important Notes: Week #20

It’s going to be a cold one tomorrow! Don’t forget to send in your child’s labeled winter gear to school and remind them to put on the snow pants for recess.  Also, wash those hands!!!  We’ve had some yucky viruses spreading around school.  Winter is back!!!

# January 25 – Popcorn Day

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner!  If your child is eager to get to work on his/her valentines, I will be sending an e-mail later this week with our class list. :)

# Learning Update!!!

This week in reading, we focused in on habits of a good reader to become SUPER SMART about NONFICTION topics.  We worked at finding nonfiction books that are at a level we can read most of the words and then practiced taking a sneak peek to see what we could learn about the topic, before we even read the words.

We worked hard to s-l-o-w down our reading and really pay close attention to each page and the words and pictures that help teach us. We used what we learned from one page to help us predict what else we might learn in the book. And, we spent a lot of time sharing what we had learned (in our own words).

# Writing:

After you plan your topic across your fingers, good teachers and writers quickly sketch their plan across the pages in their books so that they don’t forget what they want to write on that page! Once you have sketched you plan then it is time to write the words!

# Math:

This week, we introduced our first graders to a new addition strategy called “Make a 10″.  For the equation, 9 + 4 = ___, we can “count on” to find the total of 13.  Since the total, 13, is a teen number (which has a 10 hiding inside) we helped our students notice that 9 + 4 = 10 + 3.  Both of these equations produce the total 13, but solving 10 + 3 is quicker and more accurate.

We will spend much of our math time next week working with this new strategy, as it is still very new and fragile.

# Important Notes: Week #19

We had a great 4.5 days back at school and have loved the lack of snow on the playground – we can get outside so quickly!!!  We also really enjoyed starting up our tub time this week – ask your first grader about it and be sure to check out the photo stream for some pictures!!!  Here’s to another great week!!!

# Learning Update!!!

We spent some time this week reviewing our read to self routines in our new reading spots. The kids fell right back into the swing of our workshop.

We began a new unit of study focused on nonfiction books. The kids are so excited to dig into this section of our classroom library. This past week, we read a nonfiction book all about owls.  We practiced taking a sneak peek, figuring out tricky words, learning the meaning of new words, and noticing details in the pictures. It has been fun to see the kids getting excited to share their learning with the class.

# Math:

As a first grade staff, we are always striving to meet the needs of each and every student.  In order to do this, we studied the data from our students’ math performance so far this year, and used this information to group together students with similar areas of expertise and areas of need. For this unit, many of our students will be taking part in a “math switch” in which they may be traveling to a different classroom, so that they are able to work in the group and with the teacher that will help them reach their full potential as a math learner.  Each group of math learners will be working on the same math concepts each day, but the pace and practice may look a little different.

We began new math learning this past week!!  Our Unit 4 in math will focus on tens and teen numbers, place value to 100, and strategies for adding larger numbers.  So far, we’ve practiced counting groups of tens.

We studied the teen numbers (11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19) and noticed that every teen number has a 10 hiding inside along with some extra ones.  We also represented teen numbers using a ten stick and circles, and wrote an equation to match our work.

# Important Notes: Week #18

Welcome back, first grade families!!  I hope that everyone had a wonderful break!!  I am looking forward to seeing your first grader’s smiling face tomorrow.  :) :) :)   I also can’t wait to hear about your favorite adventures over break and share some of the fun that our family had too.  We will be reviewing a lot of routines tomorrow, begin studying nonfiction books, get new reading spots and desk seats, and start morning tubs too!!!  Bring on the learning!!!

# January 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 so I know to order a lunch for your child.

A few reminders:

Library: Our check out day is on Monday. Please help your first grader find his/her library book and make sure that it is returned to school. Right now, our class can check out any books from the picture book section, nonfiction section, and chapter books now too. These books are just for fun and can be read with your child.

Snacks: We eat snacks twice a day – one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Please send in two healthy snacks so that your child stays fueled for learning.  Don’t forget a water bottle too!

Recess: We go outside for a lunchtime and end of the day recess every day unless it is raining or the “feels like” temperature is below zero degrees. Please send your child to school with boots, hats, gloves, snow pants, and coats every day. Even if there isn’t snow on the ground, spending 30 minutes outside can get really chilly.

Sweatshirts: Our classroom can be on the chilly side so if your child would like to bring a sweatshirt to keep in their locker or on the back of their chair, that would be no problem!

Transportation Changes: If your child will be leaving school a different way than normal or if your child will be leaving early for an appointment, be sure to send a note in his or her blue folder or call the office to let us know of the changes before 3:00 pm.

Take Home Books:  Remember to return your child’s take home book back to school each day so he or she can choose a new one to bring home.  The kids take care of this job each morning.  If you notice that your child isn’t bringing a new book home, send me an e-mail and I can send home a new bag.