# Learning Update!!!

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!!

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 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!!!

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).

# Scholastic Book Order!!!

One-Time Class Activation Code: HGKWW

The end of the year is quickly approaching!!!  Having lots of new and interesting books is a great way to encourage your first grader to continue reading through June, July and August!

If you are interested in ordering any books from our April/May book orders, please submit your order online or send in your order form and payment to school by Friday, May 4.

We are loving Freddie Fernortner, Mr. Putter & Tabby, Poppleton, and Henry & Mudge at school right now.

Happy shopping,

Ordering online is fast and easy:

•  ENTER the Class Activation Code at the top of this post
•  CHOOSE from thousands of print titles, value packs, and Storia eBooks
•  SUBMIT the order to me by the due date
•  EARN FREE Books for our classroom too!

# Important Notes: Week 33

We have been enjoying the warmer weather and have been taking lots of breaks outside – we even spent time outside this past week studying the natural and man-made parts of our world as a part of our social studies curriculum!  It looks like next week’s weather will not disappoint. We are hoping the nice weather stays around for our zoo field trip too!

In preparation for our trip, I would love to have you fill out this short survey about sack lunches.  Each student will need a sack lunch on the day of our trip, Monday, May 21.  You can choose to pack your child’s lunch or you can purchase a sack lunch from school.  Please fill out the survey by this Friday.  Thank you!   * FIELD TRIP SACK LUNCH SURVEY *

# May 3 – Spelling Assessment

Be sure to practice our spelling words at home: but, all, what, were, when

# May 4 – Scholastic Book Order Due

A quick egg update:  Our eggs have been in the incubator for 18 days now.  Today, I will removed the eggs from the egg turner and placed them on the bottom of the incubator, so they can prepare to hatch.  The eggs should hatch around day 21.  It will be a pretty exciting Monday/Tuesday at school!!!  Here’s a picture of the eggs staying nice and cozy.

# Learning Update!!!

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.

Next week, our first grade readers will be studying one of our favorite characters: Mr. Putter!!!

# Writing:

This week was exciting in Writer’s Workshop. We ended our first bend about realistic fiction with remembering to use sparkling words in our stories. We talked about how a sparkling word might not be easy to spell but it is precise and the best word to use in our story. A sparkling word makes our stories more exciting. For example, we might choose to write…

Gretchen hid behind the tree.

-however we can use a sparkling word instead-

Gretchen crouched behind the tree.

The word hid is easy to spell but when we stop and s-t-r-e-t-c-h out and count the sounds in the word crouched, its really not that hard to write!
We also ended the bend by setting a goal for our writing in the next couple weeks. Some kids thought they could be much better at adding details and dialogue while other kids thought they would work on the organization of their stories by making sure they have leads, endings, one small moment, and transition words. I was impressed by how first graders were able to decide what they need more practice on in their writing.
We ended the week by focusing on adding dialogue to our stories. We know that our characters in our books have realistic problems and when they have a problems, chances are they are going to be talking to other characters in their books. We need to make sure we add that dialogue into our stories to make it more exciting. Some ways we can add dialogue is through speech bubbles, in our words, and writing our characters having a conversation. We are having so much fun making up pretend characters with real life first grade problems!

# Math:

This week our mathematicians reviewed for and took our Unit 6 test.  This is one of our most challenging units of the year and our first graders performed very well.  Look for your child’s math test to come home next week!

On Friday, we begin studying clocks.  Our first graders learned that the two different kinds of clocks that we use in everyday life 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 can’t wait to learn more about telling time next week!

# Rest Day!!!

Wednesday, April 25, will be a pillow and blanket day in Room 106!  Your child may bring a cuddly blanket, comfy pillow, and stuffed animal to snuggle with throughout the day!  If possible, please encourage your child to bring a smaller pillow – pillow pets are very welcome!

Thanks!

# Important Notes: Week 32

What a crazy weather week!!!  Even with the cold and snow, the kids loved running/walking laps on the track for Mileage Club and playing on the 2nd/3rd grade playground.  It was good practice for next year!!  :)  I can’t believe these sweet first graders are going to be big second graders in only seven more weeks!!!

# April 24 – Culver’s Night @ 5-8

Come have a yummy dinner or dessert and support our school!  Many of the Georgetown teachers and staff will be there to deliver the food to your table or car.

# April 27 – Spelling Sentence Dictation

Be sure to practice our spelling words at home: what, were, when, all, but

# Learning Update!!!

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 dig deeper into our adventures next week!

# Writing:

This week in writing, we began Realistic Fiction. 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 scenetelling 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.

# 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:

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 Notes: Week 31

What a great first week back!!!  Even though the weather wasn’t the best, we tried to get outside for many of our breaks.  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 20 – Body Safety Presentation @ 10:30

(Presented by the Children’s Adovcacy Center)

# April 20 – Popcorn Day

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 Tuesday, we added the eggs to the incubator.  We have a two varieties of chicken eggs: Ameraucana and Isa Browns.  The eggs will take about 21 days to hatch – we have 16 more days to go!  In STEAM, the kids have been studying animal adaptation and our “class pets” will complement their learning and prepare us for the zoo field trip in a few weeks.