We spent time studying a new math concept: SUBTRACTION!!! When we solve stories that involve “taking something away” we use a minus sign (-) to represent what happened. For example, when given the story:
There were 5 cookies. I ate 3. How many are left?
Our first graders learned to represent this thinking with circle drawing, break-apart stick, and minus sign right through the circles that were taken away:
We also emphasized that a subtraction equation always begins with the total. Then we show the “minus” partner, which means that our answer is actually a missing partner (rather than a missing total like an addition equation). Our first graders “trained their brains” to count up the total and write that number first to accurately represent a subtraction story or circle drawing with an equation.
With our introduction to subtraction still very fresh and new, please support your child on their homework pages as they learn to understand the strategies involved with solving and representing subtraction stories!!!!
We continued to work on writing small moment stories during our writers workshop. This week, we learned that great writers include the 3 W‘s in their writing:
By including the 3 W’s on our first page, our writing is clear, detailed, and paints a picture for the reader. For example:
My family went for a bike ride around our neighborhood.
Our class ate two Oreos in the classroom.
We also focused on making our stories easier to read. We introduced the strategy of using a word wall to access frequently used words and spell them correctly in our stories.
This week, we added to our collection of strategies to use when we encounter a tricky word.
We focused on checking to see if our guess makes sense within the context of the page we are reading. Then, we double check to see if the guess matches the letters/sounds of the word on the page. When we are stretching out the sounds in a tricky word, we can try more than one vowel sound to figure out the new word. We spent a lot of time talking about vowels and some of the different sounds they make.
An idea we have been talking about in Mind Up is how attitude affects how well you can handle situations, especially solving problems. We introduced the words: optimistic thinker and pessimistic thinker. We talked about how optimistic thinkers think with happy thoughts and are more likely to solve problems successfully. Pessimistic thinkers are often defensive and react with anger when problems arise. The kids spent a good deal of time role playing different problems and sharing how an optimistic thinker would react as opposed to a pessimistic thinker.
For example: If someone takes the seat that we want at lunch
Pessimistic Thinking: “That person is so mean, it’s not fair, I was going to sit there.”
OPTIMISTIC THINKING: “I can find another friend to sit by, I can try to sit there tomorrow.”
We talked about how we can train our brain to get better at optimistic thinking by practicing. We agreed that we need to start practicing optimistic attitudes so that we can handle problems better on our own. We are going to practice taking a few deep breaths when a problem arises and thinking of the problem from a different point of view. When these situations arise at home, remind your first grader to use optimistic thinking…ask them, “how can we think about this situation optimistically?”
We are going to focus in on kindness to help train our brains to be optimistic thinkers. We read a book that talked about treating people kindly and how to fill someone’s bucket with happy feelings. We talked about how to be “Bucket Fillers” and not “Bucket Dippers”. We want to work hard to make sure everyone’s bucket is full and we can do that by saying or doing nice things to them. The good news is… when we fill someone else’s bucket, we fill ours, too!