This week in writing, we asked ourselves “How Can I Teach My Reader?” We need to think about who our reader might be and think about the questions they might have about our topic. For example, if we were writing “All About Dogs,” chances are that we would be writing to someone who doesn’t know much about dogs. If one of my facts is Dogs chew bones. My reader might want to know “Why do they eat bone?” or “What kind of bones.” It’s our job as the authors of our books to think about the questions readers might have before we write and answer those questions before our reader has to ask those question.
We also focused on writing twin sentences to focus in on key words that will help teach our readers more about our topic. Here are a few good examples of twin sentences from our students’ writing:
Great Wolf Lodge is a hotel. A hotel is a place where people can spend the night.
Dogs need exercise. Some kinds of exercise are walking and playing fetch.
Dinosaurs are predators. Predators eat other animals.
This week in reading, we continued our focus on habits of a good reader to become SUPER SMART about NONFICTION topics. We worked hard to think about the facts that we had learned while we were reading and spent time sharing them with our classmates. To make sure that we were sharing facts in a way that would be interesting to our friends, we practiced reading them smoothly, trying our best to sound like a teacher or a news reporter.
We also began to review different ways to figure out tricky words in our nonfiction books.
After reviewing the MAKE A TEN STRATEGY, we took a math quiz, which the students all did very well on. Then, we moved on to studying our doubles facts. Many of our first graders know the first 5 doubles in a snap. The final 5 doubles were a little tougher.
We talked about how we can use what we know about doubles to help us solve other equations. We noticed that there is often a set of doubles that can be found hiding inside an equation. If we can find the hidden double, all we need to do is add one or subtract one to solve the equation. For example:
We will continue to work on our doubles facts, so our first graders can more easily use the Doubles +1 and Doubles -1 strategy. It would be wonderful if your child could practice their doubles facts at home too!! Practice makes permanent!!
We also studied some LARGE, TWO-DIGIT numbers this week — some of the biggest numbers that we’ve worked with so far this year! We noticed that every 2-digit number has a place to show the tens hiding inside along with a place to show the extra ones. We also represented these numbers using ten sticks and circles, and wrote an equation to match our work.
Since we were working with two digit numbers, we spent a lot of time counting tens and ones this week too. Our first graders learned to count the tens first and then “freeze” before counting up the extra ones. Taking the time to “freeze” is an important strategy that helps our students recognize when it’s time to switch from counting by 10s to 1s.
We can tell that our first graders are really beginning to understand the place value of these larger numbers!!!