Week 24!

What a fun Valentine’s Day!!  The kids had a blast passing out their valentines and made some super cute crafts too.  I will update the photo stream tomorrow, so you can see some of the fun we had as we celebrated together.

February 21 – Spelling Assessment

February 22 – Library Day

February 25 – Father/Daughter Dance

Our Zoo Field Trip has been scheduled!  All the information can be found here –>  Zoo Field Trip.  if you are interested in chaperoning a group, please send me an e-mail I will add you to our list of volunteers.

Our Spring Parent Teacher Conferences have been scheduled for March 13, 14 & 15.  Check your e-mail for a message sent last week.  Please look over your scheduled time and send me an e-mail to confirm or reschedule.  Thank you!

Enjoy the sunshine!!  This weather is amazing!!

Reading Update!

This week we reviewed the different sounds a vowel can made (short, long, schwa).  We built a poster showing different sounds that vowels can make:

We will continue to practice these different vowel sounds throughout the next week as we focus in Flippy the Dolphin (one of our accuracy strategies) who reminds us that when we are stretching out a word, to try the short vowel sound first and if that doesn’t work, FLIP IT and try the long vowel sound, and then the schwa sound.

Math Update!

This week, we continued to work on addition and subtraction word problems. We mixed them together and challenged the kids to see if they could tell if the story was adding or taking away. They continue to be very successful when they stick to the following steps:

Writing Update!

In Writer’s Workshop, we worked on adding more details to our Small Moment stories. First, we talked about using our five senses to show not tell what we were feeling. Instead of saying “I was so happy”, we could say, “I was grinning from ear to ear”. Instead of “I was embarrassed”, we could write “My face turned red”. This gives the reader a much better picture in their mind as they read our stories.

We revisited what we learned about dialogue. Anything we heard or said can be added to our story to make it more detailed. We noticed that we used the word “said a lot – boring! There are many much more interesting words to use that just “said”! We created a list of words to use instead of said including…

 said

Week 23!

We fit a lot of fun into four days of school last week: two half birthdays, popcorn day, and we made our bags for Valentines Day, too!!  If you have not already, please send your child’s valentines to school tomorrow.  We will be passing them out on Tuesday along with some fun drawing, crafting, games, and snacks.  Be sure to check out our photo steam – just send me an e-mail if you need the link again!

February 13 – Valentine’s Due at school

February 14 – Valentine’s Day

February 15 – Library Day

February 16 – Marco’s Pizza Night

Also, look for an e-mail tomorrow with our spring conference schedule.  I can’t wait to share more about your child’s amazing progress in first grade!!  🙂

Math Update!

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 tool bags.  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.
Picture 2We also began solving mixed stories again.The first graders performed very successfully when they complete the appropriate steps in order. Check out this short video to see an example:

Writing Update!

In Writer’s Workshop we are back to Small Moment (Tiny Seed) stories! We reminded ourselves that Small Moment stories are zoomed in stories that are true about you! We also reviewed that they tell the who, what, and where on the first page.

During this unit, we will be using some authors we know (and meeting some new ones) as mentors. We talked as a class how a mentor is someone who teaches you something. The authors we are going to look at are great writers, so they can teach us how to write even better Small Moment stories!

Reading Update!

This week, we jumped back into focusing on figuring out tricky words as we read.  We reviewed all our decoding strategies. The kids have grown so much as readers since the fall when we originally taught these strategies. So, now that they are reading much trickier books, we want them to be vigilant about making sure they are reading accurately.

 We focused on how our first graders get stuck on stretching out the sounds in a word.  We talked about how if you stretch out the sounds of a tricky word and it doesn’t make sense, don’t keep stretching it out.  Find another strategy to try.  We practiced using Skippy the Frog and then Try’in Lion to use all the other words around the tricky word to help.  If the tricky word is long, Chunky Monkey is sure to help you figure out smaller parts of the big word.

If you notice your student is getting stuck with one strategy, encourage him/her to try a different strategy!

Writing Update!

This week, we worked on drafting CONSTRUCTED RESPONSEs to questions about a text. Our first graders have worked hard to listen to questions and figure out answers, but they need to fully respond to a question in a format that shows they understand the question (restate question), they can answer the question (answer – ALL parts), and they can use information from the text to back up the answer they chose (cite information from the text). That’s a lot of work for a first grader, but we are working on growing their independence in this area.  We will continue to work on this throughout the school year. 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, cite).