Tag Archives: text features

Learning Update


These past two weeks in reading, we have focused on nonfiction books.

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.

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The kids have learned so much from our nonfiction books already and they just LOVE sharing what they learned with the class.  We have been tracking our thinking and sharing throughout the week.

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This week, we asked the kids to add their reaction to what they learned into what they shared.  We talked about how when they learned something new, sometimes their first reaction was: that is so COOL!  But other times it could be something else…

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The kids worked on adding their reactions and it was so fun to see how their reactions brought out further understanding of their learning.


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 and there are a lot of parts in a How To. 

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We then practiced writing a How To  as a whole class. We each got an oreo and wrote How To Eat An Oreo. As a class we thought of 5 steps that we need to teach about eating an Oreo. Before we wrote our steps, we drew a teaching picture for each step and then wrote our steps out. After we went wrote our steps, we acted out our How To and ate our Oreos!

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!


This week, ​we finished Unit 4 on comparing two digit numbers, solving stories, and counting groups of tens and ones. Our mathematicians worked hard to solve equations using ten sticks and ones to prove their answers.

We reviewed how to add two ones numbers together, two tens numbers together, and even a tens and ones number together​. ​This was a snap!!

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Then, we began adding a two-digit number (containing a tens number and a ones number) together with some additional ones. To complete this task, we utilized two strategies. First, our handy-dandy method of counting on:

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We had to be extra careful that we counted on accurately. We made sure that we did this by always going back to double check our work.​ Some of us used a number grid to remember what number comes next. Our second strategy helped us visualize how ones can be grouped together to make a new ten – even when we’re working with larger numbers. This method is an introduction to the regrouping strategies that your child will use in second grade and beyond.

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We ended our week with the Unit 4 assessment and then we will ​start Unit 5 next week.​ It is amazing how much these first graders have grown in their math thinking this year!

Reading Update

This past week in reading, we focused on the importance of warming up to read our nonfiction books.

Warming up to a nonfiction book is very similar to warming up with a fiction story.  We start by reading the title and checking out the front and back covers for any clues that might give us information about the book.  Then, we take a picture walk through the book and think about what each page might be about.  We finish by thinking about what we might learn in this book.

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We spent time looking at different nonfiction books to see what features we found and how those features could help us to understand what we were reading.

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We ended the week by focusing on how once we have finished warming up to our nonfiction book, we are ready to read it.  But, we noticed that we read a nonfiction book a little differently than a fiction story.  We use our TEACHER voice. When we read to our partners, we got a chance to be the TEACHER and share all the things we learned from our nonfiction book.

To learn more about a teacher voice when reading nonfiction, we listened to a clip from Jeff Corwin: Unleashed.  He uses a bold and confident teacher voice to teach us about hog-nosed bats, but he also changes his voice and shows his excitement when he is teaching us about something important.

The kids have had a blast checking out all our nonfiction books in the classroom and share their learning with each other!  We are expecting a large delivery of new nonfiction books to add to our classroom libraries, thanks to all of you for donating to the Walk-A-Thon, earlier this year.  We are all antsy to dig into these new books when they get here!

Mrs. Stadt :)