Now that the kids have some solid reading time each workshop, we began introducing our accuracy strategies. These strategies help our students decode tricky words while they are reading. The first strategy that we talked about was Lips the Fish. Get your lips ready and say the first few sounds of the word out loud. The next strategy is Eagle Eye. Now that you have gotten your lips ready for the first sound, look at the pictures for something that starts with that sound.
Then, Chunky Monkey. If the picture didn’t help you, look for a chunk of the word that you know (ing, at, it, sh, ch, and). And then, Stretchy the Snake. Zoom in on the tricky word, s-t-r-e-t-c-h out the sounds in the words slowly. Then, crash the sounds together to figure out the word.
We introduced the kids to the idea that vowels generally make three sounds (short, long, & schwa). We made a chart about what these sounds are and practiced making each sound. Flippy the Dolphin reminds us that when we are stretching out a word, to try the short vowel sound first and if that doesn’t work, FLIP IT and try the long vowel sound, and then the schwa sound.
You may have noticed that your first grader’s blue folder was bursting with small moment stories. We have finished our first unit in writing and we spent the week celebrating our writing. Part of the celebration is bringing home all of their stories so they can share them with you! They have worked so hard on these stories! Ask your first grader to share these stories with you! I hope you enjoy them!
This past week we spent most of our writing time preparing a special story to share at our writing celebration! First, we picked out two stories that we are very proud of to revise on our own. Next, we revised our stories together to check for all the parts of a good small moment story.
Then, we edited our stories by making sure they were easy to read. After that, we got a chance to use colored pencils to add some color to our stories. Finally, on Friday, we celebrated!
During our celebration time, we had a chance to share a favorite part of our story with the whole class. Next, we read our entire story to a partner. Once we were finished sharing, we came back together and had juice for our juice toast. I am so proud of how far these first graders have come as writers since the beginning of the year.
We spent time studying a new math concept: SUBTRACTION!!! When we solve stories that involve “taking something away” we use a minus sign (-) to represent what happened. For example, when given the story:
There were 5 cookies. I ate 3. How many are left?
Our first graders learned to represent this thinking with circle drawing, break-apart stick, and minus sign right through the circles that were taken away:
We also emphasized that a subtraction equation always begins with the total. Then we show the “minus” partner, which means that our answer is actually a missing partner (rather than a missing total like an addition equation). Our first graders “trained their brains” to count up the total and write that number first to accurately represent a subtraction story or circle drawing with an equation.
With our introduction to subtraction still very fresh and new, please support your child on their homework pages as they learn to understand the strategies involved with solving and representing subtraction stories!!!!