Monthly Archives: April 2019

Important Dates: Week #33

Thank you so much for filling out our Zoo Field Trip Survey!!!  We have so many volunteers that are able to join us!!!  Woohoo!!!  More information about our trip and answers to some of your questions will be coming soon. If you have not filled out the survey yet, please fill it out by this Monday.  Thank you!   * FIELD TRIP SACK LUNCH SURVEY *

April 29 – Library Day

April 29 – Zoo Field Trip Survey Due

April 29 & 30 – Math Assessment

May 3 – Spelling Assessment

Be sure to practice our spelling words ALL our spelling word from the year at home. Check out the homework packet for a reminder of our 35 no excuse words.

A quick egg update:  Our eggs have been in the incubator for about 20 days now.  On Friday, removed the eggs from the egg turner and placed them on the bottom of the incubator, so they could prepare to hatch.  The eggs should hatch around day 21.  It should be a pretty exciting Monday/Tuesday at school!!!

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.

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, we practiced graphing and comparison bar stories all week! We will complete our assessment of Unit 6 early next week. From there, we move into telling time and some work with geometry.

Important Dates: Week #32

What a crazy weather week from snow to rain to seventies!!!  Even with all the puddles, the kids loved running/walking laps on the track for Mileage Club. They felt like such big kids! :)

April 22 – Earth Day

April 22 – Library Day

April 22 – Art Show Reception @ 5:30-7:30

April 26 – Popcorn Day!!!

The SSDA (Super Secret Detective Agency) must have heard that we’ve been going on reading adventures (and studying geography too).  We had a blast making and decorating airplanes on Friday.  We were hoping to fly them outside too, but the wind was pretty strong. Check out the photo stream for more pictures.

 

 

Learning Update!!!

Reading:

We began a new reading unit this week as we set off on an ADVENTURE with the characters in our fiction books.  Our books can take us anywhere – the beach, the mountains, a treehouse, a tea party and so many more places.  We want our first graders to be excited about reading because of all the adventures they can go on and places their reading can take them!!

So we “packed up our suitcases” with some reading strategies and took off on our adventure!  As we were getting ready to go, we talked about one of our familiar strategies “take a sneak peek”.  We can learn so much about our book by studying the front cover, reading any information on the back, and checking out the chapter titles before we read.

As we read more and more of our books, we noticed that our characters often move to different places and the time changes too!!  We want to be aware of a change in setting, so we looked for clues in the pictures and words to help us stay right on track.

Finally, we worked on making predictions about what might happen next.  We had fun guessing the next action in some new books with our favorite characters!

We are excited to go dig deeper into our adventures next week!

Writing:

This week in writing, the first graders began writing Realistic Fiction stories. We started on Monday by making up a pretend character, thinking of a realistic first grade problem, and a solution to the character’s problem.

We want to make sure we are thinking of real problems like having a wiggly tooth, scrapping a knee on the playground, or getting a bee sting. Once we plan our story across our fingers, then we quickly sketch the story on our paper before we get to work writing the words.

We learned how to write a lead to our story by setting the scene, telling who, what, and where about our characters, and adding a detail to the first page. For example….
One sunny day, Gretchen was sitting in Math Switch. She heard Mrs. VanKoevering teaching about comparison bars.
 
We ended the week by learning about how we should end our stories. We need to make sure that we solve the problem in our story on the last page and to end our book with a lesson that was learned.
       Gretchen felt safe. She learned to go inside whenever there was a thunderstorm.

 

Math:

This week, we transitioned to solving comparison stories. Our first graders learned a new strategy called: COMPARISON BARS. Comparison bars are a visual tool for solving stories in which two amounts are compared and the difference (magic number) is either known or unknown. Check out the examples below:Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 4.24.25 PM

Thank you (ahead of time) for helping your child on his or her homework pages this week. Be sure to check their work. This new strategy is tricky and sometimes our first graders are unsure about where the known information should go. (If the magic number or the difference is known, the information always goes inside the oval.) We will review more comparison stories next week and then we will wrap up Unit 6 with an assessment.

Important Dates: Week #31

What a great first week back, but can you believe the SNOW!!!  We got outside as much as possible at the beginning of the week to enjoy the warm spring weather – hopefully it will be back again soon!

This week, we also started a new social studies unit: geography. The kids have loved studying maps and globes, reading about different places around the world, and practicing their home address too.  Make sure to check in with your child to see if he/she can recite their home address (including their zip code).  I will check in with each child later this week to see if he/she can say all the parts to their home address.

April 15 – Library Day

April 16 – Happy Birthday Caleb!!!

Also, I’m not sure if you heard, but we are going to be hatching some chicken eggs in our classroom!!! :) :) :)  The kids were so excited about this announcement.  On Monday, we added the eggs to the incubator.  We have a three varieties of chicken eggs: Ameraucana, Red Cross and White Leghorn..  The eggs will take about 21 days to hatch – we have 15 more days to go!  In STEAM, the kids will begin studying animal adaptations and our “class pets” will complement their learning and prepare us for the zoo field trip in a few weeks.

Learning Update!!!

Reading:

Our focus during Readers Workshop has been UNDERSTANDING what we read. 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.

We were excited to write some small moment stories about the fun we had over spring break this week. Our first grade writers did a great job remembering some of the techniques that we used when writing stories way back in the fall: add a who, what, and where, add dialogue, add details, and add a special ending.

Writing:

Our small moment story writing was excellent practice for our next genre of writing: realistic fiction. The kids are so excited to begin thinking up their own characters, problems, and solutions for the new stories we will write.

At the end of the week, we spent time writing a realistic fiction story together.  We brainstormed the characters, setting, problem, and solution and sketched out each part of our story. Then, we added the words and details.

The kids are so excited to try out their own realistic fiction story next week!

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!

Social Studies:

We spent time this week learning about Geography.We talked about how when we look at things, we see them one way, but when we look at a map, it looks different. We’ve learned that maps are made from a “bird’s eye view” or “aerial view”.

We read a book called, “Me On the Map” and learned about maps and globes.  We learned that there are symbols on maps and globes in the Key to help us understand.  Where we see green or brown, that is land, and where we see blue, we know that is water.

We also talked about how each person has a special place on the Map. Our Special place is our address. We each practiced writing and saying our addresses at school. There are 3 lines that help make up our address:

First and Last Name

House Number and Street Name

City, State, and Zip Code

Please have your first grader practice saying his/her address at home.  I will be checking in with each child during the month to see if they can remember all the parts of their home address (even the zip code).

Important Dates: Week #30

Welcome back!!!  I hope that your family enjoyed a lovely break.  It’s hard to believe, but we only have 9 short weeks left in first grade.  There is a whole lot of learning and fun to squeeze into our remaining days together.  This week we will start up our social studies unit that focuses on geography, work on understanding what we read, and begin organizing and comparing data during math.

April 6 – Happy Birthday Crew!!!

April 8 – Library Day

April 12 – Jet’s Pizza Night

April 12 – 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.)

In the coming weeks, we will begin the important work of creating class lists for next year.  As a first grade team we will work very hard to ensure that your child will have a great year in second grade!  If you haven’t already, please consider filling out Mrs. Reagan’s parent survey: CLASS PLACEMENT PARENT SURVEY.