Important Notes: Week #31

What a great first week back, but can you believe the SNOW!!!  We got outside as much as possible at the beginning of the week to enjoy the warm spring weather – hopefully it will be back again soon!

This week, we also started a new social studies unit: geography. The kids have loved studying maps and globes, reading about different places around the world, and practicing their home address too.  I have been checking in with your child to see if they can say the parts of their address. Look for strips of paper coming home with highlighted areas that your child needs to work on memorizing still.

April 16 – Library Day

Learning Update!

Reading:

Our focus during Readers Workshop has been UNDERSTANDING what we read. This week, we learned about some “tools” that can help us if we become confused about what we are reading.

Our first “tool” to help us understand what we are reading is to check if we are “getting” what’s happening.  If we read a page and something doesn’t make sense, we can ALWAYS go back and reread slowly and think about what is going on.  We can even chat about what’s happening with our reading partners to make sure we’ve got it.

It is also important to make a movie in our minds as we read.  Our movie can fill in the little parts that might be missing from the words and pictures in our story.  It can also help us better understand what the characters are thinking about or feeling.  We closed our eyes and turned on our movie cameras to help us imagine our Zelda and Ivy book as a movie with music, dialogue, and lots of emotion.

As our books get longer, they often include a lot of character dialogue.  It’s important to stop and think about who is doing the talking.  Sometimes the word “said” will help us figure out the character that is speaking, but other times we have to infer.

We were excited to write some small moment stories about the fun we had over spring break this week. Our first grade writers did a great job remembering some of the techniques that we used when writing stories way back in the fall: add a who, what, and where, add dialogue, add details, and add a special ending.

Writing:

Our small moment story writing was excellent practice for our next genre of writing: realistic fiction. The kids are so excited to begin thinking up their own characters, problems, and solutions for the new stories we will write.

At the end of the week, we spent time writing a realistic fiction story together.  We brainstormed the characters, setting, problem, and solution and sketched out each part of our story. Then, we added the words and details.

The kids are so excited to try out their own realistic fiction story next week!

Math:

We began our Unit 6 in math this past week.  Our first grade mathematicians are now sorting, organizing, and comparing data.  What a blast!!

To start things off, we learned how to take random data and record it on a chart or graph.  Crossing out each object as we add it to our graph helps us to be accurate in our representation.

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After graphing the information, we were able to notice many things about the data we were studying.  Which group had the most?  Which group had the fewest?  How many in all?  And, we were also able to make comparisons – how many more or how many fewer.  To compare our data, we drew matching pairs and then circled the magic number.

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The magic number represents the difference between the two groups being compared.  No matter if we are comparing how many more or how many fewer – the number is always the same (that’s why it’s magic!).

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We can’t wait to learn more!

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 social studies unit that focuses on geography, work on understanding what we read, and begin organizing and comparing data during math. Please start practicing your address if you haven’t already!

April 9 – Library Day

 April 12 – Jet’s Pizza Night

April 12 – 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 send me an e-mail to let me know if a sack lunch is needed.)

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.

Important Notes: Week 29

March 25 – Spelling Assessment

March 25 – On Demand Opinion Writing Assessment

Our class will be writing our last persuasive review this week.  I will use this piece of writing to assess each child’s understanding of opinion writing.  If you are able, before school on Monday, brainstorm with your child about a toy, restaurant, place, food, etc. that they love. I can’t wait to read these amazing pieces!!!

March 25 – Library Day

March 28 – Math Assessment

March 28 – Body Safety Presentation @ 10:30

(Presented by the Children’s Advocacy Center)

March 29 – April  6 – Spring Break: No School

If you plan to leave before the end of the week, please let me know ASAP so I have a chance to get your child’s assessments completed and say goodbye! Have a wonderful spring break!!!  Enjoy lots of rest, relaxation, and hopefully sunshine and warm weather too!  I wish you safe travels if your family is vacationing somewhere outside of West Michigan. See you soon!

Learning Update!

Reading:

Our first grade readers added more “tools” for solving tricky words to their reading strategy tool box this week!  One of our new tools is to read our words part by part.  If we slowly say each part, a really long word with lots of syllables isn’t as tricky anymore.  (j – ump – ing = jumping)

We also practiced using words we know to help us figure out new words.  If we already know a word like will, we can use part of the word will to help us read a new word: thrilling.

We found that to figure out some words in our books, we need to try many different vowel and consonant sounds until the word makes sense, looks right, and sounds right!  Sometimes there are so many sounds to try, but we won’t give up!

Finally, we realized that there many words in our books that we know in a snap from practicing all our sight words this year.  We practiced reading familiar words quickly, instead of saying each sound, because we know them so well.

Our first graders have been loving the Zelda and Ivy: The Runaways book that we’ve been using to practice with all of our new reading tools.  If you are looking for a new series to read, definitely check these books out!

Writing:

This week, we spent time elaborating on details that we can add to our reviews that would be the most convincing. We strayed away from details like, it’s cool, fun, awesome…and worked on adding comparisons where the students told us why their idea was better than another.

Red Robin is better than McDonald’s because you get endless supplies of french friends.

We then challenged the kids to add all the key features of a convincing review to their own writing. We spent the week fixing up our reviews and adding more to them.

On Friday, we celebrated the work that we have done in this unit by building a book of reviews and sharing them with our classmates. Look for this book to come home and enjoy reading them!

Math:

During our math time this week, we spent time studying our 120 number grid.  We noticed patterns in the ones place and tens place going across the grid and down the grid.  We also used our number grid to find 10 more and 10 less than a number.

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While our number grid can be very helpful, it’s not our only tool for adding ten more and ten less.  We can also use our ten sticks find the answer when adding and subtracting tens or adding and subtracting just the tens place or ones place.

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We will continue using our strategies next week to add and subtract two digit numbers!

We learned how to use the partners of 100 to solve equations that totaled 100. The partners of 100 are very similar to the partners of 10; however, we are working with tens instead of ones. This strategy came in handy for solving some of our two-digit equations as well.

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We also used our understanding of the relationship between addition and subtraction to solve equations. This strategy helped us to quickly find the missing partner in an addition equation once we solved the subtraction equation.

Important Notes: Week 28

Thank you so much for a wonderful week of parent-teacher conferences!  I am so proud of each and every first grader!

The rest of our year is going to fly by at lightning speed.  We will be covering a lot of fun social studies curriculum topics after spring break and getting ready for our field trip to the zoo.  We can’t wait!

March 19 – Library Day

March 21 – PTC Meeting @ 6:30

March 22 – Popcorn Day!!

March 25 – Last Day for Sight Word Parent Volunteers

Learning Update!

Writing:

This week, we worked hard to build our REVIEWS with all the important and most convincing parts. We started with a catchy introduction, by asking a question. After stating our opinion and listing CONVINCING reasons, we worked on adding details to our reasons. We ended our reviews by restating our opinion and then telling our readers to do something. We’ve been working hard to produce more and more each day to add to our collection of completed reviews in our writing folders. Ask your first grader how many reviews they’ve completed so far!

Reading:

This week our readers practiced some new strategies to help “triple check” that our words are correct.

We learned that readers are always thinking about the story.  Sometimes when we are stuck on a tricky word, thinking about what’s happening in the story will help us figure out a word makes sense, looks right, and sounds right.

We also learned that the words in our book should fit together like a puzzle and should “sound right” when we read them.  As we were solving tricky words together, we often asked, “What word fits in this sentence?”

Partner time is our favorite part of readers workshop!!!  We LOVE coaching our reading partners and figuring tricky words together each day.  Way to go, first graders!!!  Keep being the BOSS of your reading!!!

Math:

During our math time this week, we continued to solve missing partner and missing total stories. We also stretched our thinking by using the Make a Ten strategy to solve equations and math stories with three addends or partners. After we looked for two partners that could make a ten, we found that adding the third partner to ten was a snap!

We are starting to work on counting and writing numbers up to 120. To help your first grader practice this skill, have him/her start at any 2 digit number and then count out loud to 120. This could be a great activity to do together in the car. As an extra challenge, you can even have your child write the numerals up to 120!

Important Notes: Week 27

Parent/Teacher conferences will take place this week Monday and Wednesday.  I am excited to meet with all of you to share some of the AMAZING growth your child has made since this fall.  I am so proud of these first graders!!!

We have a lot of wonderful things to talk about in just 15 minutes.  Please remember to be prompt and I will do my best to stay right on schedule too!

Also…as the snow finally begins to melt, pack some extra clothes in your child’s backpack.  We try to wear our boots and avoid the mud and puddles, but sometimes our clothes/socks/shoes end up soggy.

March 11 & 13 – Parent/Teacher Conferences

March 12 – Book Fair Preview

We will head down to the book fair so your child can make a wish list of the books he or she would like to get.  You do not have to purchase these books.  This experience gets the kids excited about new books to read and possibly buy!!

March 14 – Book Fair Buy Day

Today our class has the opportunity to visit the book fair to purchase books.  If your child would like to buy a book, please send his/her money to school on Wednesday in an envelope labeled with your child’s name and the phrase “Book Fair Money”.  Remind your child to hand me the envelope when they get to school.

**No library this week due to the book fair.**

Learning Update!

Writing:

This week, we transitioned back into opinion writing. The first graders used their collections, brought from home, to be a judge and choose their best object. We then wrote a review of the object they chose. As they were writing their review, we started to see features of their writing that reminded us of our persuasive letters that we wrote back in December.

As we worked on a shared review together, we took note of key features that we’ll see in our own Reviews. We’ll build on these few features to build more persuasive reviews throughout this unit.

 

Math:

This week our math switch groups reviewed how solve missing partner addition and subtraction equations.  To support our math learning we added new purple and blue quilt cards to our math toolkits.  Our purple and blue cards are very similar to our previous yellow and orange cards, except this time we are encouraging our mathematicians to count-on or “make a ten” as they solve equations with teen totals.
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We also began solving mixed stories again.The first graders performed very successfully when they complete the appropriate steps in order.

Reading:

During our reading time this week, we worked on being the BOSS of our reading!  If we’re being the boss of our books, when we get to a tricky word we know we have to STOP and try something to fix it. If that doesn’t work we can try another strategy!

Finally, when we think we figured out the word, we do a triple check to make sure the word: makes sensesounds right, and looks right!

 

Kids Heart Challenge

Dear Parents,
We are SO CLOSE to meeting our needed sign up to get $500 worth of PE EQUIPMENT!
We just need 26 more kids…that is one student per class.
This does not involve money — it simply involves registering and committing to taking care of your heart through exercise and diet.
Here is a link to the BLOG POST about the challenge.
Our School Page for registration can be found here.
WE CAN DO IT!  Just 26 more kids and we have $500 worth of new PE equipment for everyone to use!