# Learning Update

This week, we began readers’ workshop.  This is such a wonderful time in our classroom.  We have enjoyed reading some great stories together and we have started building the foundation of our independent reading time.  Readers get better at reading by practicing, so we focused this week on building their independence for reading by themselves (read to self time).  We are working together to figure out the best routines that will help us be successful during this time.  So far we have the following:

# Writing

During Writer’s Workshop, we have been writing small moment stories. A small moment story is a true story about you!

To write a small moment story we follow three steps:

We also learned that good writers always keep working! We used the phrase “When you’re done – you’ve only just begun!”.  Good writers add details to their pictures and words, or they can start a new story.

Remind your child that anything they do (soccer practice, reading a book together, play a game, visiting grandma and grandpa) can become a small moment story!!!

# Math

During the first two weeks of school, we’ve been visualizing, representing, and breaking apart numbers using a variety of math tools: counters, stair steppers, and number cards.  When we break apart a number, we take a larger number and split it into two smaller numbers.  We call the two smaller numbers partners because when we add them together they equal the larger number.  So far, we’ve discovered the partners (and switch partners) for 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. (Check out the chart below!)  We have also used our knowledge about partners and patterns to solve addition (+0, +1, +2) and subtraction problems (-0, -1, -2).

During our math routine, we have been hard at work practicing with our 120 number grid, money flip chart, number path, and secret code cards.  This routine involves a series of math activities that we will continue building on each day for the rest of the year to strengthen our students’ flexible with numbers.

Finally, thank you for helping your child complete the math homework that has come home almost every night.  This important practice helps to reinforce what is taught in the classroom each day!

# My Daily Summer Journal

Yesterday we turned our AMAZING reading journals into DAILY summer journals.

We talked about how important it will be for us to continue reading and writing during the summer and discussed how our summer journal could help us do just that.

Included in the journal is your child’s RAZ-KIDS log-in.  This website will be available for the entire summer!!!  Encourage your child to sign in and use it. I even promised to send stars to those kiddos I see listening to books, reading books, and taking quizzes.

Also included in the journal on the back cover is a list of places for your child to read a book this summer.  Just check off each location once your child has completed it.

Finally, I tucked a packet of writing prompts in your child’s journal to encourage him or her to not only read everyday, but write too!!!

Next fall, at the open house or during the first week of school, send your child back with their journal to bring down and share with me.  I promised to have a special prize for those kids who bring back their journal filled with writing for me to see!!!

Have fun!!

# How to Annoy Your Mom

by Lincoln Troyer

1. First, wait for your mom to be on the phone.

2. Then keep saying “Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom!!”

3. Next, after your mom is on the computer, make funny noises with your mouth.

5. Then repeat the steps the next day.

Are you rolling on the floor laughing!?!?! :) :) :)

What an EXCELLENT how-to story!!!  Lincoln, you are hilarious!!!

# Writing Update

We had so much fun in writing this week checking out some of our favorite authors.  We focused on how there are so many authors that have great ideas like Angela Johnson and we can use their books to learn from too.  After digging through piles and piles of books in our classroom, the students found books that used speech bubbles, bold letters, words in all capitals, sound words, flaps, and more.  They were so enthusiastic about trying new techniques that some of our favorite authors use.  It is exciting to see first graders studying other authors and stepping out of their comfort zone to try something new!

# Small Seeds Notebooks

You might have noticed something new in your child’s blue folder tonight…

We kicked off our new unit of writing with a brand new writing tool – a Tiny Topics or Small Seeds notebook.  This notebook is a place for your child to write down ideas for small moment stories.  At school, we’ve been discussing how almost everything can be a story!  If your child comes up with an idea at home, help them write a little note in their notebook.  Remind your child to bring their notebook back to school each day and in no time that tiny topic will become a spectacular story!

Thank you for your help at home!

# Writing Update

This week, we focused on what we know that good writers do.  We listed all the things that they have learned about good writers so far this year:

• THINK, SKETCH, WRITE, DRAW
• add details to the words and pictures
• stretch out words
• make your letters fit the lines
• capitalize the word I
• add the WHO, WHAT, & WHERE to the first page

We then had the students write a story that we could share with you at conferences.  The students had to do all the work without my help to show me what they can do on their own.  They worked hard to stretch a story out on three pages and then they practiced going back to fix and fancy their stories up before we share them with you.  I was very impressed with our writers, you will enjoy these stories!!

# Tiny Topics Notebooks

You might have noticed something new in your child’s blue folder tonight…

We kicked off our new unit of writing with a brand new writing tool – a Tiny Topics or Tiny Seeds notebook.  This notebook is a place for your child to write down ideas for small moment stories.  At school, we’ve been discussing how almost everything can be a story!  If your child comes up with an idea at home, help them write a little note in their notebook.  Remind your child to bring their notebook back to school and in no time that tiny topic will become a spectacular story!

Thank you for your help at home!