Coming up This Week!

We had a great 4.5 days back at school last week despite the slushy and then cold weather outside!!!  I was so impressed with the way that everyone in our class was helping each other, sharing with each other, and making mindful choices!!!  Here’s to another great week!!!

January 15 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day

January 19 – Library Day

January 19 – Popcorn Day

Learning Update!

We had a great first week back. One of the highlights of the week was creating a special book with Mrs. Reagan for the School Board. She shared our book with them at their meeting this past week! We spent one day creating the pictures and then another day recording ourselves reading the book. Check out the link to School Board School Board!

Reading:

We spent some time this week reviewing our read to self routines. The kids fell right back into the swing of our workshop.  We began a new unit of study focused on nonfiction books. The kids are so excited to dig into this section of our classroom library.  They have found books about animals, planets, weather, people, vehicles, and much more.

We talked about how important it is to warm up to their book before trying to read. Nonfiction books are filled with new vocabulary words and if we take the time to look through the pictures, we often have a general idea of what is going on and can make better guesses as we tackle new words.  Encourage your first grader to warm up to new books before they read the words!

Writing:

This week, we transitioned back into writers’ workshop starting by diving into some nonfiction ALL ABOUT books. We studied books that were written to teach us new facts about one topic and then the kids tried writing one all on their own. We will continue to work on writing that teaches next week, as we move into our unit on HOW TO writing.

This week, we also introduced the first graders to a new kind of writing called CONSTRUCTED RESPONSE. Good readers are able to respond to their reading by answering questions about what they’ve read. A CONSTRUCTED RESPONSE is a way of fully answering a question (RACE) and this is something they are expected to be able to do independently by third grade. We will start practicing these types of writing exercises each week.

Our first graders started this practice by playing a game called WOULD YOU RATHER? The kids listened to questions and figured out their answer, and then practiced fully responding to the question in a format that shows they understand the question (restate question – I would rather…), then, answer the question (answer – ALL parts), and give a reason for their choice (because…). We will continue to work on this throughout the school year and we will grow in our expectations of what they are adding to their CONSTRUCTED RESPONSE. If you see any constructed response papers come home, have your child read through their response with you and point out those three parts (restate, answer).

Math:

As a first grade staff, we are always striving to meet the needs of each and every student.  In order to do this, we studied the data from our students’ math performance so far this year, and used this information to group together students with similar areas of expertise and areas of need. For this unit, many of our students will be taking part in a “math switch” in which they may be traveling to a different classroom, so that they are able to work in the group and with the teacher that will help them reach their full potential as a math learner.  Each group of math learners will be working on the same math concepts each day, but the pace and practice may look a little different.

We began new math learning this past week!!  Our Unit 4 in math will focus on tens and teen numbers, place value to 100, and strategies for adding larger numbers.  So far, we’ve practiced counting groups of tens.

We studied the teen numbers (11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19) and noticed that every teen number has a 10 hiding inside along with some extra ones.  We also represented teen numbers using a ten stick and circles, and wrote an equation to match our work.

 

Coming up this Week!

Welcome back, first grade families!!  I hope that everyone had a wonderful break!!  I am looking forward to seeing your first grader’s smiling face tomorrow.  🙂 🙂 🙂   I also can’t wait to hear about your favorite adventures over break and share some of the fun that our family had too.  We will be reviewing a lot of routines tomorrow, begin studying nonfiction book, get new partner reading spots, and start our math switch groups!!!  Bring on the learning!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

January 8 – Welcome Back!!!

January 12 – Early Release Day & Library

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 so I know to order a lunch for your child.

A few reminders:

Library: Our check out day is on Friday. Please help your first grader find his/her library book and make sure that it is returned to school. Right now, our class can check out any books from the picture book section or the nonfiction section of our library. These books are just for fun and can be read with your child.

Snacks: We eat snacks twice a day – one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Please send in two healthy snacks so that your child stays fueled for learning.  Don’t forget a water bottle too!

Recess: We go outside for a lunch time recess every day unless it is raining or the “feels like” temperature is below zero degrees. Please send your child to school with boots, hats, gloves, snow pants, and coats every day. Even if there isn’t snow on the ground, spending 30 minutes outside can get really chilly.

Sweatshirts: Our classroom can be on the chilly side so if your child would like to bring a sweatshirt to keep in their locker or on the back of their chair, that would be no problem!

Transportation Changes: If your child will be leaving school a different way than normal or if your child will be leaving early for an appointment, be sure to send a note in his or her blue folder or call the office to let us know of the changes before 3:00 pm.

Take Home Books: I had a chance to read with almost everyone before break. What awesome readers they are!! Remember to return your child’s take home book back to school each day so he or she can choose a new one to bring home.

Thank you!

Looking Ahead

What an amazing Holiday Program this past week!!!!  The kids sure did sparkle and shine up front.  A big thank you goes out to Mrs. Bretz and our first graders who practiced tirelessly to perform our wonderful songs!!!

I am so excited to be back at school and getting to know your First Graders! We had a great time on Friday and I am looking forward to spending this fun week with them!

December 20 – Writing Assessment (Persuasive Letters)

December 21 – Spelling Assessment

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

December 21 – Writing Celebration!!!

December 21-22 – Holiday Fun Activities

We will enjoy crafts, games, snacks, and even a movie throughout the day on Thursday and Friday.  Shhhhh!!  These activities are a surprise – don’t tell your first grader!!!

December 22 – Library Day

No homework packet will be sent home this week.

Learning Update

Writing

Now that we’ve learned all of the parts of a persuasive letter, we challenged our first graders to be more productive during our writing time.  Our goal is for every child  to write a whole persuasive letter, with all the important parts.

We will be assessing and celebrating everything we’ve learned about persuasive letters next week!  We will pick a final letter to edit (to be a 5 star sentence) and revise (to make sure it has all the parts of a persuasive letter). Then, we will celebrate the work that these kids have done in this unit and send off one final persuasive letter before break.

Reading:

As we wrap up our unit focused on characters, we talked about how good readers are thinking while they read.  One of the ways that we think is by making connections to what is happening to our characters. As we read, we stopped to think, ‘Would I feel the same way, if that had happened to me?’ or ‘Do I know of any other characters, from different books, who have felt this way before?’ Connections help us to understand how characters feel and infer why they are acting the way they are acting in different parts of a story. Making these connections will help your child to have a deeper understanding of story events and prepares them to be able to talk about character traits.

Next week, we will focus our attention on fluency.  The kids will practice rereading over and over again.  We will encourage the kids to scoop their words into longer phrases, paying attention to punctuation, using a storyteller voice, and showing our feelings through our voice and facial expressions!

Holiday Program

Tonight is our Holiday Program at 6:30 at Fair Haven Church!!!

The doors will be open at 5:30.  The first graders should arrive to our meeting room in room 100 at 6:15. Please keep your child’s coat with you and have them take a bathroom break before they come into the room. There will be signs showing you were to drop off your child.  Click here for more details. –> Holiday Program
When you are finding your seats, our class will be front & center!
See you tonight

Fort Day

Your children are the best students ever!  We have had so much fun together!  You will be happy to know that they reached 13 stars today!  They have earned (with good behavior) Fort Day!

So, they can bring in one blanket or sheet to help make a fort on Wednesday.  It is the perfect day for it since there will be no Super Switch tomorrow.  Sorry for the late notice but I realized too late that I will be gone by Friday.  oops!

Thanks for all you have done to help me out these few months.  Be sure to say hi/bye at the Christmas program.  See you all then.  Mrs. Foy

 

Coming Up This Week

What a snowy weekend!!  I hope your family had lots of fun playing, building, and sledding outside.  Thank you sending in all your child’s winter gear this past week.  The kids were experts at putting on their snow clothes.  We’ve been trying our best to carefully put everything away in our lockers.  If a hat or gloves end up missing, please let me know, and we will make sure to check for them here at school.

December 4-15 – Candy Cane Sale

December 12 – Library Day

December 14 – Dress Rehearsal @ Fair Haven Church

We will ride over to Fair Haven Church on busses in the late morning to practice for our program with all the first graders and second graders that will be performing with our class.

December 14 – Holiday Program @ 6:30

The first graders should arrive @ 6:15.  There will be signs showing you were to drop off your child.  Please see Mrs. Bretz’s post for more details!  Click here –> Holiday Program

December 15 – All School PJ Day!!!

Last Week

Writing:

We jumped back into our Persuasive Writing Unit. We reviewed how persuasive letters had to do with things that were important to us and that helped make our home, neighborhood, or school a better place.

Next, we learned that persuasive letters try to make someone agree with our opinion. We stated our opinions in our letter using the “I think….” sentence starter. When we state our opinion, it becomes clear what we want the other person to think as well.

We then realized that it is important to think about our audience for our letters. If there is something we want to change in our home, then the best audience for our letter is probably someone at home, not at school.

We also talked about giving good reasons in our letters. Just saying that we really want something is not good enough! We need to share with our audience why it is important to us. We also discussed mini-moment reasons. These are little stories where we share a time when we saw the problem in our own lives. After our mini-moments, we also discussed how we need to add a solution to our letter. This is how we are going to help fix the problem.

We will continue to send home letters throughout the next week or so, you might receive a letter from your first grader. I encourage you to write them back! If you do, send it along with your child’s letter back to school. We would love to share responses we get with the class!

I also ask that if you receive a letter, make sure they are working for what they ask for! Don’t just let a “please please please” letter convince you. Look for a letter that gives good reasons and ideas before agreeing to what they ask for and a solution of how they can help make this happen. Don’t worry – I also warned them that it is likely that you might not agree with their request! :)

These letters are so fun to read – first graders sure are creative! Thank you for your help in making this process so fun for these first graders!

Math:

 

Our first graders worked hard this week to prepare for our Unit 3 assessment.  We spent our math time solving addition (missing total & missing partner) and subtraction stories using the great strategies that we’ve learned during this unit.

The kids were definitely ready for the assessment and performed very well.  Woohoo!!!  Still, they will be asked throughout the rest of this year to solve stories, and we don’t want your child to lose any of the great strategies that they’ve gained from our learning.

To support your child at home, please encourage him or her to always PROVE THEIR ANSWER when solving a story.  We have taught our first graders to listen to a story and make an EQUATION that matches the story.  Then we ask them to use a math mountain to solve the equation.  This is demonstrated below:

screen-shot-2016-12-11-at-3-04-43-pm

We appreciate all the time that you take to encourage your child on their math homework.  Practice makes permanent and we don’t want our first graders to lose any of these wonderful strategies!!!