Category Archives: News from Mrs. Stadt

Important Notes: Week 20

Boy, did I miss my first graders this week!!!  With curriculum meetings and sick kids at home, we had a lot of substitute teachers.  Room 106 did a fantastic job of helping, listening, and celebrating while I was away.  I am excited to be back at school this week!!!  We will be starting some new routines and switching our math time to the morning and our reading time to the afternoon.  This will allow for a longer Readers’ Workshop for our growing readers!!!  I will post our updated daily schedule to the blog later this week.  Be sure to check it out!

I hope your family had a chance to get out and enjoy the warmer temperatures this weekend!!! This January thaw has felt amazing, but our playground will likely be soggy, especially tomorrow.  Make sure to continue sending in those snow pants & boots.

January 23 – Library Day

January 25 – PTC Meeting @ 6:30

January 25 – Happy Birthday Olivia!!!

January 26 – Vision/Hearing Re-screen

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!!!

Reading:

We spent time looking at different nonfiction books to see how nonfiction books work differently than fiction stories.  We noticed features that could help us to understand what we were reading better.

The kids have learned so much from our nonfiction books already and they just LOVE sharing what they learned with the class.

Writing:

We are just getting started with a new writing unit: How To! We noticed this week that How To writing teaches us how to do something

We then practiced writing a How To  as a whole class. We wrote How To wash your hands. As a class we thought of all the materials you would need and the steps in order. Before we wrote our steps, we drew a teaching picture for each step and then wrote our steps out.

We want to make sure that what we are writing about is something we know how to do before we start.  We need your help! This weekend, please brainstorm with your First Grader about some topics that they know how to do. Some ideas included might include…

-How to build a snowman

-How to jump rope

-How to play with your dog

-How to take care of your pet

-How to play tic, tac, toe

-How to brush your teeth

We will create a class list of ideas on Monday! I can’t wait to hear all the good ideas!

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.

Wacky Day!!!

Room 106 has done it again!!! :)  We’ve reached another 25-star goal and this time around the kids have chosen a WACKY Day as their prize.

Wacky day will take place: Friday, January 19.

Your child can dress in a wacky/mismatching outfit, wear a wacky hairstyle or hat, and our day at school will be a little wacky and backwards too! :) :) :)

Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions!

Mrs. Stadt :)

Important Notes: Week 19

We had a great 4.5 days back at school last week despite the slushy and then cold weather outside!!!  I was so impressed with the way that everyone in our class was helping each other, sharing with each other, and making mindful choices!!!  Here’s to another great week!!!

January 15 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day

January 16 – Library Day

January 19 – Popcorn Day

We are only 7 stars away from our next class prize!!  A wacky day may be in order later this week or early next week!  Stay tuned for more details.  The kids are excited!!

Also, congratulations to two great role models in our classroom who earned Room 106 outstanding awards, Lyla & Macy!!!  Way to go, girls!!!

Learning Update!!!

Reading:

We spent some time this week reviewing our read to self routines. 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.  They have found books about animals, planets, weather, people, vehicles, and much more.

We talked about how important it is to warm up to their book before trying to read. Nonfiction books are filled with new vocabulary words and if we take the time to look through the pictures, we often have a general idea of what is going on and can make better guesses as we tackle new words.  Encourage your first grader to warm up to new books before they read the words!

Writing:

This week, we transitioned back into writers’ workshop starting by diving into some nonfiction ALL ABOUT books. We studied books that were written to teach us new facts about one topic and then the kids tried writing one all on their own. We will continue to work on writing that teaches next week, as we move into our unit on HOW TO writing.

This week, we also introduced the first graders to a new kind of writing called CONSTRUCTED RESPONSE. Good readers are able to respond to their reading by answering questions about what they’ve read. A CONSTRUCTED RESPONSE is a way of fully answering a question (RACE) and this is something they are expected to be able to do independently by third grade. We will start practicing these types of writing exercises each week.

Our first graders started this practice by playing a game called WOULD YOU RATHER? The kids listened to questions and figured out their answer, and then practiced fully responding to the question in a format that shows they understand the question (restate question – I would rather…), then, answer the question (answer – ALL parts), and give a reason for their choice (because…). We will continue to work on this throughout the school year and we will grow in our expectations of what they are adding to their CONSTRUCTED RESPONSE. If you see any constructed response papers come home, have your child read through their response with you and point out those three parts (restate, answer).

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 partner reading spots, and start our math switch groups!!!  Bring on the learning!!! :) :) :)

January 8 – Welcome Back!!!

January 9 – Library Day

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

A few reminders:

Library: Our check out day is on Tuesday. 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 or the nonfiction section of our library. 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 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: I have your child’s take-home book here at school!!!  I kept them over break, so you wouldn’t have to worry about reading them.  I placed your child’s bag back in his or her mailbox to take home on Monday.  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.

Thank you!

Rachel :)

Important Notes: Week 17

What an amazing Holiday Program this past week!!!!  The kids sure did sparkle and shine up front.  A big thank you goes out to Mrs. Bretz and our first graders who practiced tirelessly to perform our wonderful songs!!!

December 19 – Library Day

December 20 – Writing Assessment (Persuasive Letters)

December 21 – Spelling Assessment

Covering all of our words this year: a, and, the, of, to, in, it, is, you, that, he, for, was, on, are

December 21 – Writing Celebration!!!

December 21-22 – Holiday Fun Activities

We will enjoy crafts, games, snacks, and even a movie throughout the day on Thursday and Friday.  Shhhhh!!  These activities are a surprise – don’t tell your first grader!!!

December 22 – Happy Birthday Ollie!!!

No homework packet will be sent home this week, but look for an optional Holiday Break Challenge that will come home on Friday.

Check the photo stream for picture updates this week!!!

Learning Update!!!

Reading:

As we wrap up our unit focused on characters, we talked about how good readers are thinking while they read.  One of the ways that we think is by making connections to what is happening to our characters. As we read, we stopped to think, ‘Would I feel the same way, if that had happened to me?’ or ‘Do I know of any other characters, from different books, who have felt this way before?’ Connections help us to understand how characters feel and infer why they are acting the way they are acting in different parts of a story. Making these connections will help your child to have a deeper understanding of story events and prepares them to be able to talk about character traits.

Next week, we will focus our attention on fluency.  The kids will practice rereading over and over again.  We will encourage the kids to scoop their words into longer phrases, paying attention to punctuation, using a storyteller voice, and showing our feelings through our voice and facial expressions!

Writing:

 Now that we’ve learned all of the parts of a persuasive letter, we challenged our first graders to be more productive during our writing time.  Our goal is for every child  to write a whole persuasive letter, with all the important parts.

We will be assessing and celebrating everything we’ve learned about persuasive letters next week!  We will pick a final letter to edit (to be a 5 star sentence) and revise (to make sure it has all the parts of a persuasive letter). Then, we will celebrate the work that these kids have done in this unit and send off one final persuasive letter before break.

Math:

During our math time this week we continued to practice solving addition and subtraction equations and stories as a whole group warm-up each day.  In order, to incorporate some small group review into our math time we also worked in math groups.

Our math group time involved a partner game called: Who Has More?  This game is very similar to the card game War, but it uses math cards with five groups as a visual support and involves important “math talk” that the kids share as they play.  Our group time also incorporated an independent practice packet from our Unit 2.  The kids were extremely self directed during this time and worked as a team to solve problems.  You may have also noticed some fun holiday mazes in your child’s blue folder.  This was a bonus task during one of our rotations.

We will continue rotating through our math group time next week, and we will also continue to practice our strategies for solving equations and stories.

Important Notes: Week 16

What a snowy weekend!!  I hope your family had lots of fun playing, building, and sledding outside.  Thank you sending in all your child’s winter gear this past week.  The kids were experts at putting on their snow clothes.  We’ve been trying our best to carefully put everything away in our lockers.  If a hat or gloves end up missing, please let me know, and we will make sure to check for them here at school.

December 4-15 – Candy Cane Sale

December 12 – Library Day

December 14 – Dress Rehearsal @ Fair Haven Church

We will ride over to Fair Haven Church on busses in the late morning to practice for our program with all the first graders and second graders that will be performing with our class.

December 14 – Holiday Program @ 6:30

The first graders should arrive @ 6:15.  There will be signs showing you were to drop off your child.  Please see Mrs. Bretz’s post for more details!  Click here –> Holiday Program

December 15 – All School PJ Day!!!

Learning Update!!!

Reading:

This week, we continued to spend time thinking about our characters. We paid close attention to how our characters were acting, what they were doing, and what they were saying. We asked, ‘How does the character feel?’ and then we backed up our thoughts with proof from the text.

We noticed that we could tell a lot about how our characters were feeling just by listening to the words they said. We used clues from the pictures and the characters bodies to help us figure out their feelings.

Writing:

This week, we reviewed how persuasive letters had to do with things that were important to us and that helped make our home, neighborhood, or school a better place.  We brainstormed a bunch of great ideas to write our letters about.

Next, we learned that persuasive letters try to make someone agree with our opinion. We stated our opinions in our letter using the “I think….” sentence starter. When we state our opinion, it becomes clear what we want the other person to think as well.

We then realized that it is important to think about our audience for our letters. If there is something we want to change in our home, then the best audience for our letter is probably someone at home, not at school.

We also talked about giving good reasons in our letters. Just saying that we really want something is not good enough! We need to share with our audience why it is important to us. We also discussed mini-moment reasons. These are little stories where we share a time when we saw the problem in our own lives. After our mini-moments, we also discussed how we need to add a solution to our letter. This is how we are going to help fix the problem.

We will continue to send home letters throughout the next week or so, you might receive a letter from your first grader. I encourage you to write them back! If you do, send it along with your child’s letter back to school. We would love to share responses we get with the class!

I also ask that if you receive a letter, make sure they are working for what they ask for! Don’t just let a “please please please” letter convince you. Look for a letter that gives good reasons and ideas before agreeing to what they ask for and a solution of how they can help make this happen. Don’t worry – I also warned them that it is likely that you might not agree with their request!

These letters are so fun to read – first graders sure are creative! Thank you for your help in making this process so fun for these first graders!

Math:

Our first graders worked hard this week to prepare for our Unit 3 assessment.  We spent our math time solving addition (missing total & missing partner) and subtraction stories using the great strategies that we’ve learned during this unit.

The kids were definitely ready for the assessment and performed very well.  Woohoo!!!  Still, they will be asked throughout the rest of this year to solve stories, and we don’t want your child to lose any of the great strategies that they’ve gained from our learning.

To support your child at home, please encourage him or her to always PROVE THEIR ANSWER when solving a story.  We have taught our first graders to listen to a story and make an EQUATION that matches the story.  Then we ask them to use a math mountain to solve the equation.  This is demonstrated below:screen-shot-2016-12-11-at-3-04-43-pm

We appreciate all the time that you take to encourage your child on their math homework.  Practice makes permanent and we don’t want our first graders to lose any of these wonderful strategies!!!