Looking Ahead…

What a fun Valentine’s Day!!!  The kids had a blast passing out their valentines and made some super cute crafts too.

February 21 – RW BOND & Son Family Butcher Day

They are donating a percentage of their sales to Georgetown today.  Stop by to purchase your meats.  Thank you for supporting our school.

February 23 – Library Day

February 23 – Unit 4 – Math Assessment

We are looking forward to the warmer temperatures this week, however the playground will definitely be soggy!!!  Come prepared for recess with snowpants, boots and some extra pants in case your child gets a little wet.

Learning Update

Reading:

his week in reading, we continued to work on figuring out the tricky words that “stop us in our tracks” as we read our nonfiction books.  We learned to crash the parts of a word together when we encounter a tricky word.  For example, we say can say each part: ex – er – cise and then crash the parts together: exercise.  Another strategy we learned is to do a S-L-O-W check, by running our finger slowly under the word, to make sure it looks right and sounds right. 

We also started thinking about the meaning of the words in our books.  When we are reading our nonfiction books we are learning new words about our topics.  When we get to one of these new words we can try the word the best we can and then describe what it might mean.  We had lots of fun telling about some of our new words and having our classmates guess what the word might be.

We added to our How to get SUPER SMART about NONFICTION topics chart this week too.  We learned that keywords are words that are used over and over to teach about our topic.  We worked on finding keywords in our books and sharing everything that we know about these words. 

Our first graders are becoming experts on so many topics!!!

Writing:

This week in Writers Workshop, we started a new unit about Nonfiction Writing. We are just at the beginning of the unit but we have already learned so much! First graders are so excited to be teaching about topics that they know a lot about! We began the week by talking about when you write a Nonfiction book, you need to pick a topic that you are an expert about. The way that we do this is first to think of a topic that you know a lot about. Then you plan your pages across your fingers. We want to make sure that we know at least 4 facts about our topic so that we can write those facts across our pages in our books.

After you plan your topic across your fingers, good teachers and writers quickly sketch their plan across the pages in their books so that they don’t forget what they want to write on that page! Once you have sketched you plan then it is time to write the words! 

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We wrapped up writing this week by asking 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.” Its 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.

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Math:

This week, 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:

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 and using our number grids to help us count through the decade numbers. 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.

Looking Ahead…

Wow – our surprise snow day made for a very short week!!!  I hope your snow day was a fun one, and, boy, is there a lot of snow to play in tomorrow at recess!!!

Just a friendly reminder, if you have not already, please send your child’s valentines to school tomorrow.  We will be passing them out on Wednesday along with some fun drawing, crafting, games, and snacks.

February 12 – Valentines Due

February 14 – Valentine’s Day Fun!!!

February 16 – Library Day

Thank you so much to all the moms and dads that have volunteered so far for our Zoo Field Trip on Monday, May 21.  I would love to have as many chaperones as we can get.  It is always a very fun day!!!  Just send me an e-mail if you would like to attend.  No rush – if you aren’t sure of your schedule right now, I can keep adding volunteers to our list until the end of April. 🙂

Looking Ahead…

We had a lovely writing celebration on Thursday!!!  The kids had a blast acting out each other’s how-to directions.  So cute!!

We are looking forward to a fast week!!!  Hope you enjoyed the snow and the Superbowl!!!

February 5-6 – Winter Break: NO SCHOOL

February 8 – Jet’s Pizza Night

February 9 – Library Day

February 9 – Popcorn Day

No homework this week due to our winter break.

In the next couple of weeks, I will be sending out a progress report to let you know how your child is doing here at school. This will give you an update before I send out report cards and meet with you for conferences in March. Look for those coming soon!

Have fun working on valentines!!! We have 18 students in our class.  Remember to leave the “to” line blank.  Just have your child sign his or her name on the “from” line.  Feel free to send your child’s finished valentine’s into school when you are done – I can’t hold on to them here until Valentine’s Day!  Thank you!!!

Learning Update!

Math

During our math time this week we continued to study LARGE, TWO-DIGIT numbers.  In particular, we used the greater than, less than, and equal to symbols ( >, <, = ) to compare these numbers.  When we compare numbers, we stressed the importance of building each number with ten sticks and ones to easily identify which number has more tens.  If both numbers have the same amount of tens, then we can compare the ones to find the greater number.  Our first graders quickly noticed that the greater than and less than signs look like a “hungry mouth” ready to gobble up which ever number is greatest.

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Just be careful… don’t let number like: 29 & 92 or 45 & 54 or 78 & 87 – trick you!!!  Build those numbers and pay attention to the tens!!!  Please review this concept with your first grader, if you notice him or her getting a little confused on the homework.

This week we also practiced adding ones numbers (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) together, and tens numbers (10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90) together.  Our first graders worked hard to notice which numbers they were working with so they could accurately represent each equation.  In order to prove our work, we used ten sticks and circles to help us find the missing total.

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Reading

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. Our new poster has a lot of strategies that reminded us of our animal friend decoding strategies we used for our fiction books.

Writing

This past week we wrapped up our unit on How To writing!

We picked our favorite How To teaching story to get ready to celebrate. We made sure our piece had all of the parts of a good how to story by checking our stories with partners. Then we made sure we had capital letters, finger spaces, neat handwriting, and punctuation to make our writing easy to read. Finally, we added color to our teaching pictures.

On Friday, we were ready to celebrate! We partnered up to share our writing and act out each step. We all had fun celebrating our fantastic writing!

Looking Ahead…

We had a great week of learning and are really enjoying our Readers’ Workshop in the afternoon!!  Moving our reading time to the afternoon has allowed us to read for longer and meet with reading partners everyday.  Check out our new daily schedule to see how our day has changed.  Click here –> DAILY SCHEDULE.

I will begin reassessing each first graders’ reading level soon to gather data for our March report cards and conferences.  Keep up the great work practicing sight words, spelling words, and reading our take home books at home.  Your practice at home helps to build your first graders confidence and strategies when they are reading at school.  THANK YOU!!!

January 29 – Book Order Due

January 30 – PE Apparel Forms Due

January 31 – Spelling Assessment

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

February 1 – How-To Writing Celebration

We will fancy up our writing and act our How-To directions with some of our buddies.

February 2 – Library Day

February 2 – Groundhogs Day

February 2 – 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 e-mail me to let me know.)

February 5 & 6 – NO SCHOOL: Mid-Winter Break

Have fun working on your valentines!!!  When you finish, please send your child’s valentines into school in a bag labeled with your child’s name.  I can store them here so they are ready for Valentine’s Day.

Learning Update!!

Reading:

This week in reading, we focused in on habits of a good reader to become SUPER SMART about NONFICTION topics.  We worked at finding nonfiction books that are at a level we can read mostof the words and then practiced taking a sneak peek to see what we could learn about the topic, before we even read the words.

We worked hard to s-l-o-w down our reading and really pay close attention to each page and the words and pictures that help teach us. We used what we learned from one page to help us predict what else we might learn in the book. And, we spent a lot of time working with our partners and sharing what we had learned (in our own words).

Writing:

This week in writing we continued working on our How To’s! We worked on picking out a strong topic that we know a lot about and then planning out our How To by sketching out the steps. Then, we focused on the attributes of a good introduction and conclusion.

 

The first graders are coming up with really cool and detailed How To’s. Next week we will work on fixing up our How To’s and celebrating them!!

Math:

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.

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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:
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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.  We were able to do this practice using ten sticks and circles, the number path on our whiteboards, and boxes/jars of objects.  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.

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We can tell that our first graders are really beginning to understand the place value of these larger numbers!!!

Team Day Tomorrow!

We set our class goal this time for 20 stars in order to earn Team Day!  Well, we have earned it!  Yay!!  Tomorrow, we will be having Team Day!  Your child can wear their favorite team colors or a favorite sports outfit!  Please keep the extra equipment such as helmets, basketballs, and pompoms at home.  We are so excited to show off our favorite sports!  Way to go First Graders!

Looking Ahead!

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.

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!!!

January 25 – PTC Meeting @ 6:30

January 25 – Library Day

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, please have him/her just sign their name to their valentines. This will make it much easier to pass out if they just have who it is from and not a specific person it is to.

Learning Update!

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.

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!