Week 16!

What a snowy weekend!!  I hope your family had lots of fun playing, building, and sledding outside.  Thank you for 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 11 – 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!!!

Math Update!

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:

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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!!!

Writing Update!

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!

Reading Update!

This week, we continued to spend time thinking about our characters. We paid close attention to how our characters were acting, what they were doing, and what they were saying. We asked, ‘How does the character feel?’ and then we backed up our thoughts with proof from the text.

We noticed that we could tell a lot about how our characters were feeling just by listening to the words they said. We used clues from the pictures and the characters bodies to help us figure out their feelings.

Week 15!

It looks like cold weather (and maybe snow) is coming!!!  Remember to send in your child’s boots, snow pants, gloves, hat, scarf, and coat labeled with their name. We can’t wait for some fun, snowy recesses!!!

December 4-15 – Candy Cane Sale

The annual candy cane sale has returned. Our fifth-grade classes will sell candy canes to help raise money for their end of year activities. This year the sale runs from Monday, December 4 through Friday, December 15. The cost for each candy cane is $1.00 and they will be delivered the same day they are ordered. Thank you for your support and happy holidays!

December 4 – Penguin Patch Holiday Shoppe

We will head down to shop in the morning.  If your child is going shopping, please send your child’s money enclosed in the Holiday Gift Shop envelope.  Make sure to fill out the information about who your child will be shopping for and how much to spend on each person!  Thank you!

December 7 – Jet’s Pizza Night

December 8 – Math Assessment

 December 8 – Popcorn Day

We will not have library this week due to the holiday gift shop.

Be sure to check out the class photo stream to see photos of our holiday reindeer!

Math Update!

This week, we continued to work on missing partner and missing total equations and stories. We started each day off with a review of equations and the kids have grown in their ability to recognize addition or subtraction and then label the equation with the matching secret code (P + P = T or T – P = P). If you notice your child knowing the answer right off the bat, encourage them to write the answer in right away, BUT then they need to go back and check that their answer is correct by labeling the secret code, drawing the math mountain, and placing their TOTAL at the top. This will help to reinforce how important it is to check their answer and make sure it makes sense (and help eliminate silly mistakes).

We spend the rest of our time mixing up subtraction and addition stories to see how independent the kids are becoming at following these rules to solve their math stories.

  1. Circling the numbers in the story
  2. Listening to see if the story is subtraction or addition
  3. Writing the secret code that matches the story (T-P=P or P+P=T)
  4. Adding the numbers to the equation
  5. Drawing the math mountain
  6. Putting the total at the top
  7. Clapping and counting ON or UP to solve for the missing number

Next week, we will review some more and end the week by taking the Unit 3 math assessment.

Writing Update!

We spent time immersing the students with books that model persuasive letter writing. We read some books featuring unhappy crayons who tried to persuade their owner to change how he used them. We also read some books about a little boy who is trying to persuade his parents to get him a pet iguana, a new bedroom, and to come home from vacation so he can leave his grandparents’ house. All these books are written with such humor, that they kept us laughing all week. We used these books as a reference as we moved into our persuasive letter writing unit.

The kids noticed that the letters in the books had some things in common:

1. They started with Dear {Greeting} & a name {Audience}

2. They asked for something {Opinion – “I think…”}

3. They ended {Closing – Sincerely/Love/From} & signed their name {Signature}

One thing we noticed about persuasive letters was that the best letters had to do with things that were important to us and that helped make our home, neighborhood, or school a better place. We brainstormed some ways we could help make our school a better place to learn. We will keep adding to this list each day.

Reading Update!

This past week in reading, we spent time focusing on the characters from our books. The kids did a great job noticing who their characters were and even finding who the main character was in their story.

We pulled out some of our favorite characters, Pete & David, and study them as characters.  The kids had plenty of schema about both characters from other books, so they knew some of things the characters might do.  As we read the stories, we noticed that there were patterns to what happened in each story.  Sometimes the patterns were in the words and sometimes the patters were with how the character acted. Patterns help teach us about characters and can even help us predict what might happen in a story.  We noticed that Pete stays calm and upbeat throughout his stories and we noticed that David has a hard time making good choices, but then always seems to turn it around in the end.

The kids did a great job of being on the lookout for patterns in their character books!

Week 14!

I hope that your Thanksgiving weekend was filled with family, fun, food, and a little relaxation too.  I had so much fun with my kiddos and caught up on a bunch of household chores, but I am missing my first graders!!!  Get ready – these next four weeks will be jam-packed with holiday fun!!!

November 27 – Library Day

December 1 – 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.)