Week 19!

What a crazy week of weather!!  It looks like we’re expecting another warm-up this week.  Our playground will likely be soggy – make sure to continue sending in those snow pants & boots.

January 16 – Marin Luther King Jr. Day

January 18 – Library Day

January 19 – Marco’s Pizza Night

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner!  If your child is eager to get to work on his/her valentines, I will be sending an e-mail later this week with our class list. 🙂

Writing Update!

This week, we worked on brainstorming a list of different things we can teach other people to do. To help the kids think of more ideas, we broke our ideas up into different categories: DO, MAKE, PLAY, or COOK.

Then, the kids got to try writing their own how-to teaching stories. We focused on sketching out a plan of the tools/materials that we need and then the steps of a beginning, middle, and end.

Math Update!

This week, we practiced our “Make a 10″ strategy using new green quilt cards. The cards are explained below:

The front side of our green cards shows an equation and the back side shows the answer along with the “Make a 10″ strategy. We wanted our first graders to try to “Make a 10″ before checking on the back side, so we taught them how to practice solving these equations using their fingers to represent the smaller partner. After borrowing from our fingers to make a ten, it was easy to find the teen total.

We ended the week studying our doubles facts. Many of our first graders know the first 5 doubles in a snap. The final 5 doubles were a little tougher.

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We will talk about how we can use what we know about doubles to help us solve other equations. We noticed that here is often a set of doubles that can be found hiding inside an equation. If we can find the hidden double, all we need to do is add one or subtract one to solve the equation.  For example:
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We will continue to work on our doubles facts, so our first graders can more easily use the Doubles +1 and Doubles -1 strategy. It would be wonderful if your child could practice their doubles facts at home too!! Practice makes permanent!!

Reading Update!

We spent time looking at different nonfiction books to see how nonfiction books work differently than fiction stories.  We noticed features that could help us to understand what we were reading better.

The kids have learned so much from our nonfiction books already and they just LOVE sharing what they learned with the class.

Week 18!

We had a great four days back at school last week despite the cold weather outside!!!  Here’s to another great week!!!

January 11 – Library Day

January 12 – PTC Meeting @ 6:30

January 13 – Spelling Assessment

January 13 – 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.)

Math Update!

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.

Finally, we introduced our first graders to a new addition strategy called “Make a 10″.  For the equation, 9 + 4 = ___, we can “count on” to find the total of 13.  Since the total, 13, is a teen number (which has a 10 hiding inside) we helped our students notice that 9 + 4 = 10 + 3.  Both of these equations produce the total 13, but solving 10 + 3 is quicker and more accurate.

We will spend much of our math time next week working with this new strategy as it is still very new and fragile.

Reading Update!

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. Nonficition 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 Update!

We are just getting started with a new writing unit: How To! We noticed this week that How To writing teaches us how to do something

 We then practiced writing a How To  as a whole class. We wrote How To wash your hands. As a class we thought of all the materials you would need and the steps in order. Before we wrote our steps, we drew a teaching picture for each step and then wrote our steps out.

We want to make sure that what we are writing about is something we know how to do before we start.  We need your help! This weekend, please brainstorm with your First Grader about some topics that they know how to do. Some ideas included might include…

-How to build a snowman

-How to jump rope

-How to play with your dog

-How to take care of your pet

-How to play tic, tac, toe

-How to brush your teeth

We will create a class list of ideas on Monday! I can’t wait to hear all the good ideas!

Week 17!

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, writing small moment stories about our break, and switching our desk seats!  Bring on the learning!!! 🙂

January 1 – Happy New Year!!!

January 2 – NO SCHOOL

January 3 – Welcome Back!!!

January 3 & 4 – Jet’s Pizza Nights

January 4 – Library Day

January 6 – Popcorn Day

A few reminders:

Library: Our check out day is on Wednesdays. 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 throughout day. 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 lunchtime 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.

Thank you!