Learning Update!!!

In Reader’s Workshop this past week we focused on characters in the books we are reading. We focused on how our characters were acting and tried to find descriptive words for these character traits (bossy, confident, brave, anxious, selfish, demanding, mean, shy, sneaky, etc.).

We practiced with some of our favorite Kevin Henkes books. We will continue working on characters next week!

Writing:

This week, we used exclamations and wondered to make our nonfiction books more interesting.  We even made comparisons to show how our topics are like or unlike something else.

Exclaim & Wonder:  Blue whales use baleen to help them eat.  Did you know that?

Comparisons:  Whales can be very large.  Some whales are bigger than a bus!

We began getting ready for our next writing celebration.  We chose our best informational book to keep at school and worked with our writing partner to be sure that our book made sense.  Then, we focused on making our books easy-to-read.  We edited our books by adding punctuation and capital letters.  We also went back to spell our word wall words correctly.

Math:

We continued to study shapes during our math time this week.  We started the week combining triangles, rectangles and squares to form new shapes.  We learned about: rhombuses, trapezoids, parallelograms, and hexagons.  We also found that we could combine and transpose our shapes to create patterns.

Later in the week we began exploring with 3-dimensional shapes! We touched on the following shapes…

We learned about the attributes of each of these shapes.  We also briefly discussed how these 3-D shapes compare to the 2-D shapes. For example: the 3-D sphere is just like a 2-D circle and the 3-D rectangular prism is just like a 2-D rectangle.  We combined different shapes together to create new shapes and also tried to break large shapes apart into smaller ones.

Then, we moved into measurement. We discussed how in the old days before rulers were invented, people used to use their body parts to measure objects.  This kids couldn’t believe this was true and brought up a very big problem… our feet and fingers are different sizes!  We realized that when we use a common unit – like a paperclip – we all get the same results.  To test this theory, we used paperclips to measure various things in our math book and around the room.

We also introduced the word “length” and talked about how to line up measurement tools properly to get the most accurate measurement.  We compared lengths of objects from shortest to longest and longest to shortest (1, 2, 3)

Important Notes: Week 32

What a fantastic week with some beautiful weather!!!  We loved running/walking laps on the track for Mileage Club and getting to play 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 26 – Library Day

During our science study next week, we will discuss severe weather in Michigan and talk about how to stay safe during a storm.  We’ll also keep checking in on our chicks.  The eggs have been in the incubator for 1 week now – only 2 more weeks until hatching time!!!

Learning Update!!!

This past week in reader’s workshop, we looked at words that were important to our topic. We practiced with a non-fiction book about the Sun & Plants. We found the words solar panels, chlorophyll, and photosynthesis to be important words. These words helped us learn and teach others about what we read about. We shared our topic’s important words with the class too!

We remembered how important it is to understand what we are reading and with some of these new topics and tricky vocabulary words, we needed to use some of the tools that nonfiction books provide for us to figure out what the new words mean.  We checked out the glossary for definitions, but also looked at the pictures, checked to see if there were any captions on the page, and reread the words in that section to look for clues.

Writing:

During our writing time this week, we reviewed all the parts of a great Non-Fiction book and took on the challenge of writing a whole book in two days using one of our expert topics from reading workshop.  The books were incredible and our first graders sure did work hard!!!

We also spent time this week talking about facts and opinions.  If we are writing a teaching page about the lunchroom in we want to include facts like:

“Sometimes, Mrs. Reagan will come and visit in the lunchroom.”

We are trying to be careful not to add opinions that tell how we feel because someone else might not feel the same way:

“My favorite lunch is chicken nuggets.”

Next week, we will try adding comparisons and exclamations to our books!!!

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 31

What a great first week back!!!  The weather was beautiful, almost everyday, and we took advantage of it by heading out for a little extra recess time.  We also loved studying science!  We observed what it would be like if the Earth didn’t have the sun and brainstormed what might happen to a plant without heat or light.  Next week, we will discuss and explore weather!!!

April 17 – Princess & Superhero Day

Your child may come to school dressed as a princess or superhero.  The kids and I brainstormed about some creative ideas in case you don’t have costumes at home. (Blankets for capes and fancy dresses for princesses.  Or, using parts of other costumes, maybe from Halloween.) Please don’t go out an buy anything new!

April 21 – Popcorn Day

Also, I’m not sure if you heard, but we are going to be hatching some chickens in our classroom!!! :) :) :)  The kids were so excited about this announcement and will go bonkers when they see everything set up on Monday.  The eggs started in their incubator this weekend.

Please make sure to fill out this survey about sack lunches for our field to the zoo.  It was sent via e-mail over the weekend.  Here is link:  Zoo Field Trip – Sack Lunches

Princess & Superhero Day!!!

Room 106 has done it again!!  We have earned another classroom prize and this time around the kids have creatively chosen:

Princess & Superhero Day

To celebrate your child may come to school dressed as a princess or superhero on Monday, April 17.  So much fun!!!  The kids and I brainstormed about some creative ideas in case you don’t have costumes at home. (Blankets for capes and fancy dresses or tutus for princesses.  Please feel free to use parts of other costumes too, maybe from Halloween or the dress up bin.)  Most importantly, please don’t go out an buy anything new!

We will spend a little time making some paper crowns and masks at school on Monday too!  Please leave any weapon type accessories and home.  Send me an e-mail if you have any questions. :) :)  I’ll be sure to take lots of cute photos!!!

Writing:

Our first grade writers jumped right back into their nonfiction books after spring break.  This week, we talked about adding a topic sentence to our teaching pages.  To write a topic sentence, we take our heading and restate it with a little extra detail.  For example, if our heading is The Georgetown Library our topic sentence might say:

“The Georgetown library has many books.”

Then, we encouraged our first graders to add more true details to the rest of the page.  We are trying to add facts, not opinions to our books!  Here are some examples:

“There are nonfiction books, fiction books, and chapter books too.  First graders can choose one book to bring home.  You must remember to bring your book back every Wednesday to get a new one from the library. ”

Nonfiction books frequently have a conclusion at the end to summarize the big ideas.  Later in the week, we learned how to add a conclusion that restated our topic and encouraged our reader to care about our topics the way we love our topics.

“Now you know all about libraries.  I hope that you go to visit a library and find some great books to read!”

Finally, we learned how to make our pictures teach using labels, diagrams, directions arrows, captions, charts, maps, and even zooming into the most important part of our drawings.  Our books are looking great!!!

Math:

This week, our mathematicians learned how to tell time to the hour and half hour!! They 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 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).

Important Notes: Week 30

Welcome back!!!  I hope that your family enjoyed a lovely break.  It’s hard to believe, but we only have 9 short weeks left in first grade.  There is a whole lot of learning and fun to squeeze into our remaining days together.  This week we will start up our science unit that focuses on the sun and weather, add teaching pictures and conclusions to our nonfiction books, and begin telling time to the hour and half hour during math!!

April 14 – 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.)

In the coming weeks, we will begin the important work of creating class lists for next year.  As a first grade team we will work very hard to ensure that your child will have a great year in second grade!  If you haven’t already, please consider filling out Mrs. Reagan’s parent survey: CLASS PLACEMENT PARENT SURVEY

Enjoy the beautiful weather today!!!