Learning Update!

Math:

During our math time this week we continued to break apart larger numbers into smaller partners. We used whiteboards and markers, counters, stair steppers, and activities from our math workbook to visualize the partners, switch partners, and doubles partners for the numbers 6, 7, and 8. Challenging your first grader to write and show each set of partners in a variety of ways has helped to increase number sense and flexibility with these numbers.

We also continued to use our knowledge of partners and patterns to practice addition (+0, +1, +2) and subtraction (-0, -1, -2) facts. This week in particular, we practiced adding and subtracting doubles partners (1+1, 2-12+2, 4-23+3, 6-3, etc.), and discovered that a number minus itself equals 0 (8-8 = 0).

Writing:

We continued to work on writing small moment stories.

We talked about how important it is to plan out a story before we start writing. This ensures that we don’t put all the details on the first page and then run out of things to say AND to make sure that we know what we want to share on each page, in case we don’t finish the story in one day and have to come back to it another day.

Then, we worked on revising stories to make them better by ADDING more to our stories. The students looked for pages that had blank lines and then brainstormed more details to add by thinking about WHO? WHAT? WHERE? WHEN? & HOW?

We ended the week by focusing on writing all the sounds we hear in words. We noticed that some words we could write in a snap! Some words had chunks inside of them that we already knew how to write. And, with words that we didn’t know, we practiced counting the sounds we heard as we stretched it out and then we wrote down the letters that matched each of the sounds we counted.

Reading:

We continued to work on building good habits for our reading workshop.

We talked about how important it is to TAKE A SNEAK PEEK before we read. We know to look at the pictures and think about what might happen in the story, but we also focused on thinking about what words would go along with the pictures that we saw in the book. The kids were able to predict words they thought they might see in the book.  Then, when they went to read the story, they were able to read words that may have been tricky, but because they had predicted those words might be in the story, their brains were ready to read them.

Good readers take a sneak peek before they read, but they also DO SOMETHING after finishing. Readers can choose to reread a book, think of their favorite part of the story, or retell what happened in the book.

We also started directing our students toward books that might be closer to their just right level. We will have a chance to read with and assess each student’s reading level in the near future, but for now, we are using information that we have from the end of Kindergarten. We added a sticker to their book box that reminds them which books would be the best for them to read.

Stuffed Animal Day!!

stuffed-teddy-bear-transparentThe first graders in Room 102 have been working very hard to be “ready to learn” by practicing our First Grade Rules every day: follow directions quickly, raise your hand to speak, make smart choices, and be kind.  Each day that our class clip has ended on “Ready to Learn” or above on our class Rainbow Chart we’ve earned one star (or more!) towards a classroom prize.  We voted to have a stuffed animal day as our first prize and have reached our ten star goal, so… tomorrow Friday, September 14, will be Stuffed Animal Day in Room 102!

On FRIDAY, Your child may bring in a cuddly animal (that can fit in their backpack) to snuggle with and read to throughout the day!  Thank you and way to go Room 102!!!

Important Notes: Week 3

The cool temperatures this weekend definitely made it fell like fall. It was a nice break from the hot, hot weather we’ve been having. We were able to enjoy some fun outdoor fall activities – I hope your family did too!!

September 11 – Library Day

We were able to get our first books from the library on Tuesday last week!  Please send your child’s book back to school on Tuesday so he/she can pick out a new one. If you forget, no problem! 🙂 You can always send it back the following week. If your child forgets and really wants to get a new one, just send me an e-mail and Mrs. Vandenberg (our librarian) and I will coordinate a time when your child can go down.

**The book that your child chooses from the library is a “just for fun” book.  Right now, the kids may choose any picture book they would like.  (Later in the year, they will be able to choose from nonfiction and chapter books too.)  Library books are perfect for you to read aloud to your child as a part of your nightly reading routine.  In a couple weeks, your child will begin bringing home a “take home book” at their “just right” reading level.  These books will be excellent practice for your child to read aloud to you at home.  Please feel free to send your child’s library book back to school as soon as you are finished reading it.  We have a bin to collect them in, and I will make sure your child’s book makes it back to the library.**

 

September 13 – Jet’s Pizza Night

September 15 – Stuffed Animal Day

We have been working very hard to follow our first grade rules and reached out first class goal.  On Wednesday, your child may bring a stuffed animal to school. I will text a reminder and share more details on the blog later this week!

September 15 – 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.

Learning Update!

Math:

We are off to a great start with our wonderful math program.  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, and 5. (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).

Writing:

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

We started by building a poster: How to Write a Story

We practiced thinking of an idea. We then planned it out by sketching a beginning, middle, and end. And then, we began writing the words to match out story. We wrote a few stories together first and then, last week, the kids got to try writing on their own. They have done such a great job of showing us what they know and it will be so fun to watch them grow as writers this year.

Reading:

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 reading, 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:

Important Notes: Week 2

What an AWESOME first week of school!!!  The weather was a little STORMY, but we still packed in a lot of FUN in our classroom and outside.  We are beginning to learn our routines for reading, writing, and math and procedures for moving around our classroom and using supplies.  I have enjoyed getting to know your sweet children better and am very excited for a GREAT year!!!

September 3 – Labor Day: No School

September 4 – First Library Day

Our class will head to the library each week on Tuesday afternoons. Our first Library is tomorrow!

September 8 – Happy Birthday Finn!!

As we gear up to start celebrating birthdays, please check your emails during your child’s birthday month. I will send you an email about when we will be celebrating them and some ideas of birthday treats to bring into class if that is something you choose to do.

Looking forward to another great week!!

 

 

 

First Grade Information!

Now that our first three days of school are complete, you may have some questions about our classroom procedures.  I have attached a First Grade Brochure with information to answer common questions that parents have at the beginning of the school year.  Please take time to read it over, and also check out all of the links under our FIRST GRADE INFO page at the top of our blog.  These two resources will be a helpful place to find answers about first grade throughout year!

Highlighting Behavior

We love to incorporate a sense of teamwork into our first grade classrooms and we do that with behavior. This year, will keep track of our class behavior throughout the day on a rainbow chart.  When we notice that the class as a whole is being great listeners, making great choices, etc., we will move the clip up.  For poor choices, we will move the clip down.  If the class clip ends on green (Ready to Learn), the class earns a point/star toward a class reward.  If they move beyond green (blue, purple, pink), they will earn bonus points/stars.  If they end below green (yellow, orange, red), they will lose stars toward their class goal.  As a class, we will vote on a prize to set as our reward when we have reached the goal point/star level.

Individually, we will work hard on life skills this year through our mind up curriculum, character traits lessons, and citizenship unit.  As we build on these skills throughout the day, we will give reminders if a student needs to practice one rule or another. If your child needs one of these reminders, they will come home with a small sheet that lists the rule they needed to practice at school. This small note is just a heads up for you to notice and no action is needed. We will do this on the positive end of behavior, as well.

If your child needed more behavior intervention than just a few reminders in a day, we will send a note home that gives you some insight into which rule he or she is struggling with. We ask that you have a discussion with your child about their behavior, then sign and return the note to school.

If your child is doing well in a certain life skill area, we want you to celebrate his or her success and will send home a note to alert you!

Important Notes: Week #1

It’s our first week of school!!!  Check out the important dates below:

August 28 – First Day of School

August 28 – Happy Birthday Mrs. Kuiper!!!

August 31 – September 3 – Labor Day Break: No School

Every Sunday, I will post the important events, assessments, birthdays, and more that are coming up later in the week.  Plan to check back here for a quick glance at our plans.  I will also post curriculum updates weekly, so you can stay in the loop on our learning.

I am so excited for our first day on Tuesday.  I’ve been busy getting ready for some fun activities to start our day!!!  Don’t forget to send your child to school with his/her blue folder, two snacks, water bottle, lunch (or lunch choice) and gym shoes (if you did not bring them to the open house).  We have MUSIC as our special the first day of school.

Look for an e-mail today with even more details about out first day.

Mrs. Smith

Open House!

First Grade Families,

Wow!  The first day of school is sure sneaking up quick.  I can hardly believe summer is coming to a close.  To ease the transition into the new school year, be sure to attend our Georgetown School Open House.  The event will take place Wednesday, August 22 from 6:30-7:30.

openhs2At the Open House, each child will have a chance to meet me, explore our classroom, drop of classroom supplies, find his/her locker, and even pick out a seat for the first day of school.  It will be a great way to kick off the start of a new school year!!!  I can’t wait!!!  Until then, keep exploring the blog to learn more important information about first grade.  Be sure to check out the links across the top of our home page! See you soon!

First Grade Survey

First Grade Families,

Happy almost August!  I am so, incredibly EXCITED to learn more about my new first graders!!!  I’ve spent many summer evenings getting the classroom organized and ready for our new school year to begin.

I would love your help to get ready for this upcoming year too!  Below I’ve included a link to a parent survey for you to fill out:

All About Your First Grader – Parent Survey

All responses will be kept confidential and will help to prepare myself and our classroom for the first day of school.

Thanks so much & see you soon!

Supply List

I am so excited to be your child’s teacher next year!  I know that back to school sales will be coming soon and if you are as eager as I am to catch all the good deals, check out the list below to see what your first grader will need for this coming year.  I will provide most of the essentials, but we need some help!