Bubbles and Chalk Day!!

Every year, we look forward to celebrating the end of the year together outside with bubblessidewalk chalkpopsicles, and fun!  We are all stocked up on FUN, but…we would LOVE if you would add bubbles, LARGE bubble wands (Dollar Tree), or popsicles to one of your shopping lists in the next few weeks.  We hold our celebration on the Wednesday, June 6th, so if you are willing to help supply us, you can feel free to send in your goodies anytime before that day.

Looking Ahead…

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!!

I hope you had time to relax and enjoy those you love!!!  I also wanted to share how thankful that I am for all that you do each day to support your child as he/she grows in kindness, wisdom, and character.  We could not do what we do at school each day without your support, encouragement, and care!!  THANK YOU MOMS!!!

May 17 – PTC Meeting @ 6:30

May 18 – Library Day

*** Zoo field trip chaperones – check your e-mail for more information about the field trip tomorrow!! ***

Learning Update!

Writing:

This week in writing, we wrote a shared writing piece. We focused on all the things a good realistic fiction story should have and wrote a class story together. 
After we spent a couple days working on our shared writing, we challenged the first graders to write their own story and to make sure the story had all the right details. They had two days to write their stories and I collected them to read on Friday. I was so impressed with how hard they worked and how creative they have been with their stories. This coming week we will wrap up our writing unit and celebrate our stories by the end of the week!

Math:

During our math time this week we studied some familiar shapes: rectangles, squares, triangles and circles.  We learned that every shape has special attributes that are always true!!
Screen Shot 2014-04-26 at 11.09.54 PMWe also learned that shapes can be divided into equal parts.  When a shape is broken into two equal parts we call these halves.  When a shape is broken into four equal parts we call these fourths.  It’s important to understand halves and fourths especially when we are trying to share something (like a pizza, cookie, or granola bar) equally.

Reading:

This week our readers worked on changing their voice to match their characters’ feelings.  We noticed a lot of little clues in the text that help us know when and how to change our voice like: ellipses, bold printitalics, CAPITAL LETTERS, quotation marks, and more.  The kids had so much fun looking for these clues in their own books!
We also learned to hold on to the lessons in our stories.  In our fiction books, our characters are always facing some sort of trouble and have to figure out ways to solve these big and small problems.  We can learn from our characters, and can even act the same way they do, when the same kind of trouble happens to us!

Looking Ahead…

May 10 – Jet’s Pizza Night

May 11 – Library Day

May 11 – Take Home Books Due

Please return all take home books to school by May 11.  We will no longer be sending books home each night.  Thank you so much for your support with this nightly practice!!!  Our first graders have made AMAZING progress as readers this year.

May 11 – 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.

** This week we are switching our specials time with the 4th graders on TuesdayWednesday, and Thursday.  They will be taking the M-STEP test during the morning on these days.**

Learning Update!

Math:

This week, our mathematicians reviewed the two different kinds of clocks that we use in everyday life that are called an “analog” clock or a “digital” clock. We discussed that the shorter hand always points to the hours and the longer hand always points the minutes.

We spent lots of time reviewing and practicing drawing the time on an analog clock and on a digital clock!  The hardest part for the kids is to remember that when it is a half hour, the hour hand is half way past that hour (they often read it as the next hour ahead instead of the hour it is half past).

Writing:

In writing this week, we spent the whole week learning different ways to add details in our writing. We learned that good writers add movement and dialogue to their to stories so that the stories come to life. Another way we can add details is to make sure we tell the small steps. This helps our reader visualize exactly what is going on in our stories.

Finally, we focused on adding feelings in our writing. We can do this by telling how our character is feeling but it makes it even more real when we show how our character is feeling by using a Show, Not Tell. Instead of saying “She was so happy”, we could say, “She was grinning from ear to ear”. Instead of “He was embarrassed”, we could write “His face turned red”. This gives the reader a much better picture in their mind as they read our stories.

Reading:

This week our readers really got to know one of our favorite characters: Mr. Putter.

We learned that as we read fiction books we need to study the main character.  When we do, we can figure out what he likes, dislikes and how he acts.  In our book, Mr. Putter Drops the Ball, we learned that Mr. Putter really likes to nap and he’s worried he might be too old to play baseball!

We should pay attention to all the other characters too!  Each character is so different.  Understanding all the characters helps us to make better predictions about the story.  In our book, we also met Mrs. Teaberry, who is brave and confident.  She is sure that Mr. Putter is not too old to play ball.

Later in the week, we remembered how important it is to go back and reread.  When we reread, we usually notice something new about our characters that we may have missed during our first read.

Finally, we talked about noticing our characters feelings and when those feelings change.  If our character’s feelings change, we can “take action” and change the sound of our voice.  Our first graders are becoming such expressive readers!!!

Looking Ahead….

We have been enjoying the warmer weather and have been taking lots of breaks outside – we even spent time outside this past week studying the natural and man-made parts of our world as a part of our social studies curriculum!  It looks like next week’s weather will not disappoint. We are hoping the nice weather stays around for our zoo field trip too!

In preparation for our trip, I would love to have you fill out this short survey about sack lunches.  Each student will need a sack lunch on the day of our trip, Monday, May 21.  You can choose to pack your child’s lunch or you can purchase a sack lunch from school.  Please fill out the survey by this Friday.  Thank you!   FIELD TRIP SACK LUNCH SURVEY *

May 1 – Spelling Assessment

Be sure to practice our spelling words at home: but, all, what, were, when

May 4 – Popcorn Day

May 4 – Zoo Field Trip Survey Due

May 4 – Library Day

Learning Update!

Writing:

This week was exciting in Writer’s Workshop. We ended our first bend about realistic fiction with remembering to use sparkling words in our stories. We talked about how a sparkling word might not be easy to spell but it is precise and the best word to use in our story. A sparkling word makes our stories more exciting. For example, we might choose to write…

Gretchen hid behind the tree.
-however we can use a sparkling word instead-
Gretchen crouched behind the tree.
The word hid is easy to spell but when we stop and s-t-r-e-t-c-h out and count the sounds in the word crouched, its really not that hard to write!
We also ended the bend by setting a goal for our writing in the next couple weeks. Some kids thought they could be much better at adding details and dialoguewhile other kids thought they would work on the organization of their stories by making sure they have leads, endings, one small moment, and transition words. I was impressed by how first graders were able to decide what they need more practice on in their writing.
We ended the week by focusing on adding dialogue to our stories. We know that our characters in our books have realistic problems and when they have a problems, chances are they are going to be talking to other characters in their books. We need to make sure we add that dialogue into our stories to make it more exciting. Some ways we can add dialogue is through speech bubbles, in our words, and writing our characters having a conversation. We are having so much fun making up pretend characters with real life first grade problems!

Reading:

This week, we continued on our “reading adventure” and packed our suitcases full of strategies to help us understand our reading.

Earlier in the week, we remembered to retell the important parts of our stories.  We used sticky notes to mark the pages with the most important events and retold each part to our reading partner.

We also reviewed how important it is to reread our stories.  When we reread, we notice things in the pictures and words that we might have missed during our first read.  The more times we reread our books, the better we understand our stories.

Finally, we chatted about connections.  We learned about text-to-text connections and text-to-self connections earlier in the year, but this time around we noticed connections between different parts in the story.  The events on one page may show the trouble and another page shows the solution or one page might be the cause and another page shows the effect. We had fun discovering and sharing about the parts of our stories that go together… like a puzzle.

Next week, our first grade readers will be studying on of our favorite characters: Mr. Putter!!!

Math:

This week our mathematicians reviewed for and took our Unit 6 test.  This is one of our most challenging units of the year and our first graders performed very well.  Look for your child’s math test to come home next week!

On Friday, we begin studying clocks.  Our first graders learned that the two different kinds of clocks that we use in everyday life are called an “analog” clock or a “digital” clock. We discussed that the shorter hand always points to the hours and the longer hand always points the minutes.  We can’t wait to learn more about telling time next week!

Looking Ahead…

What a crazy weather week!!!  Even with the cold and snow, the kids loved running/walking laps on the track for Mileage Club and playing on the 2nd/3rd grade playground.  It was good practice for next year!!  🙂  I can’t believe these sweet first graders are going to be big second graders in only seven more weeks!!!

April 22 – Earth Day

April 24 – Art Show Reception @ 5:30-7:30

April 24 – Culver’s Night @ 5-8

Come have a yummy dinner or dessert and support our school!  Many of the Georgetown teachers and staff will be there to deliver the food to your table or car.

April 27 – Math Assessment

April 27 – Body Safety Presentation

(Presented by the Children’s Advocacy Center)

April 27 – Library Day

April 27 – Spelling Sentence Dictation

Be sure to practice our spelling words at home: what, were, when, all, but

Learning Update!

Writing:

This week in writing, we began Realistic Fiction. We started on Monday by making up a pretend character, thinking of a realistic first grade problem, and a solution to the character’s problem.

We want to make sure we are thinking of real problems like having a wiggly tooth, scrapping a knee on the playground, or getting a bee sting. Once we plan our story across our fingers, then we quickly sketch the story on our paper before we get to work writing the words.

We learned how to write a lead to our story by setting the scenetelling who, what, and where about our characters, and adding a detail to the first page. For example….
One sunny dayGretchen was sitting in Math SwitchShe heard Mrs. VanKoevering teaching about comparison bars.
 
We ended the week by learning about how we should end our stories. We need to make sure that we solve the problem in our story on the last page and to end our book with a lesson that was learned.
       Gretchen felt safe. She learned to go inside whenever there was a thunderstorm.

Reading:

We began a new reading unit this week as we set off on an ADVENTURE with the characters in our fiction books.  Our books can take us anywhere – the beach, the mountains, a treehouse, a tea party and so many more places.  We want our first graders to be excited about reading because of all the adventures they can go on and places their reading can take them!!

So we “packed up our suitcases” with some reading strategies and took off on our adventure!  As we were getting ready to go, we talked about one of our familiar strategies “take a sneak peek”.  We can learn so much about our book by studying the front cover, reading any information on the back, and checking out the chapter titles before we read.

As we read more and more of our books, we noticed that our characters often move to different places and the time changes too!!  We want to be aware of a change in setting, so we looked for clues in the pictures and words to help us stay right on track.

 

Finally, we worked on making predictions about what might happen next.  We had fun guessing the next action in some new books with our favorite characters!

We are excited to go dig deeper into our adventures next week!

Math:

This week, we transitioned to solving comparison stories. Our first graders learned a new strategy called: COMPARISON BARS. Comparison bars are a visual tool for solving stories in which two amounts are compared and the difference (magic number) is either known or unknown. Check out the examples below:Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 4.24.25 PM

Thank you (ahead of time) for helping your child on his or her homework pages this week. Be sure to check their work. This new strategy is tricky and sometimes our first graders are unsure about where the known information should go. (If the magic number or the difference is known, the information always goes inside the oval.) We will review more comparison stories next week and then we will wrap up Unit 6 with an assessment.

Looking Ahead…

What a great first week back!!!  Even though the weather wasn’t the best, we tried to get outside for many of our breaks.  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.  Make sure to check in with your child to see if he/she can recite their home address (including their zip code).

April 20 – Library Day

 

April 20 – Popcorn Day