Writing Update!

We had a busy week in Writer’s Workshop. We began the week by learning about how good nonfiction writers make sure to add pictures that teach into their books. We focused on making sure to add details to our pictures. We took a look at how other authors had used text features in their nonfiction books to help use the pictures to teach their readers. Some ways that we can add details to our pictures are through labels, captions, zooming into details on our pictures, and by using shapes, color, and size words.
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We learned this week that Nonfiction authors have to spell tough words! We decided we weren’t going to be afraid of trying those precise, vocabulary words. We are going to be brave spellers! We know that in order to spell precise words, we have to listen to each sound that a word makes while we slowly say it across our fingers. Once we slowly say the word and count the sounds, then we write each sound that we hear. We also know not to forget those vowels!
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We ended the week by sharing our writing with readers in our room. They helped us add more facts that they wanted to know or subtract facts if our writing was a little too confusing! Then we set goals for ourselves. First Grade writers really thought hard about what they are doing well and what they need to work on next week. We took a peek at the First Grade Checklist for Nonfiction Writing and learned we already know how to do a lot of things really well. However, there are still things we can work on! Everyone chose one thing they wanted to work on for next week. Some kids might have chosen to add more to their pictures while others chose to really focus on punctuation. First Graders are loving writing Nonfiction Books!

Week 24!

What a fun Valentine’s Day!!!  The kids had a blast passing out their valentines and made some super cute crafts too.

February 19 – Library Day

February 21 – RW BOND & Son Family Butcher Day

They are donating a percentage of their sales to Georgetown today.  Stop by to purchase your meats.  Thank you for supporting our school.

February 23 – Unit 4 – Math Assessment

We are looking forward to the warmer temperatures this week, however the playground will definitely be soggy!!!  Come prepared for recess with snowpants, boots and some extra pants in case your child gets a little wet.

Math Update!

This week, we reviewed how to add two ones numbers together, two tens numbers together, and even a tens and ones number together​. ​This was a snap!!

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Then, we began adding a two-digit number (containing a tens number and a ones number) together with some additional ones. To complete this task, we utilized two strategies. First, our handy-dandy method of counting on:

We had to be extra careful that we counted on accurately.  We made sure that we did this by always going back to double check our work and using our number grids to help us count through the decade numbers. Our second strategy helped us visualize how ones can be grouped together to “make a new ten” – even when we’re working with larger numbers. This method is an introduction to the regrouping strategies that your child will use in second grade and beyond.

Reading Update!

This week in reading, we continued to work on figuring out the tricky words that “stop us in our tracks” as we read our nonfiction books.  We learned to crash the parts of a word together when we encounter a tricky word.  For example, we say can say each part: ex – er – cise and then crash the parts together: exercise.  Another strategy we learned is to do a S-L-O-W check, by running our finger slowly under the word, to make sure it looks right and sounds right. 

We also started thinking about the meaning of the words in our books.  When we are reading our nonfiction books we are learning new words about our topics.  When we get to one of these new words we can try the word the best we can and then describe what it might mean.  We had lots of fun telling about some of our new words and having our classmates guess what the word might be.

We added to our How to get SUPER SMART about NONFICTION topics chart this week too.  We learned that keywords are words that are used over and over to teach about our topic.  We worked on finding keywords in our books and sharing everything that we know about these words. 

Our first graders are becoming experts on so many topics!!!

Writing Update!

This week in Writers Workshop, we started a new unit about Nonfiction Writing. We are just at the beginning of the unit but we have already learned so much! First graders are so excited to be teaching about topics that they know a lot about! We began the week by talking about when you write a Nonfiction book, you need to pick a topic that you are an expert about. The way that we do this is first to think of a topic that you know a lot about. Then you plan your pages across your fingers. We want to make sure that we know at least 4 facts about our topic so that we can write those facts across our pages in our books.

After you plan your topic across your fingers, good teachers and writers quickly sketch their plan across the pages in their books so that they don’t forget what they want to write on that page! Once you have sketched you plan then it is time to write the words! 

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We wrapped up writing this week by asking ourselves “How Can I Teach My Reader?” We need to think about who our reader might be and think about the questions they might have about our topic. For example, if we were writing “All About Dogs,” chances are that we would be writing to someone who doesn’t know much about dogs. If one of my facts is Dogs chew bones. My reader might want to know “Why do they eat bone?” or “What kind of bones.” Its our job as the Authors of our books to think about the questions readers might have before we write and answer those questions before our reader has to ask those question.

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Week 23!

Wow – our surprise snow day made for a very short week!!! I hope your snow day was a fun one, and, boy, is there a lot of snow to play in tomorrow at recess!!!

Just a friendly reminder, if you have not already, please send your child’s valentines to school tomorrow. We will be passing them out on Wednesday along with some fun drawing, crafting, games, and snacks.

February 12 – Library Day & Valentines Due

February 14 – Valentine’s Day Fun!!!

Thank you so much to all the moms and dads that have volunteered so far for our Zoo Field Trip on Monday, May 21. I would love to have as many chaperones as we can get. It is always a very fun day!!! Just send me an e-mail if you would like to attend. No rush – if you aren’t sure of your schedule right now, I can keep adding volunteers to our list until the end of April. 🙂

Week 22!

We had a lovely writing celebration on Thursday!!!  Be sure to check our photo stream for picture updates.  The kids had a blast acting out each other’s how-to directions.  So cute!!

We are looking forward to a fast week!!!  Enjoy the snow and the Superbowl!!!

February 5-6 – Winter Break: NO SCHOOL

February 8 – Jet’s Pizza Night

February 9 – Popcorn Day

No homework this week or library time due to our winter break.

Have fun working on valentines!!! We have 23 students in our class.  Remember to leave the “to” line blank.  Just have your child sign his or her name on the “from” line.  Feel free to send your child’s finished valentine’s into school when you are done – I can hold on to them here until Valentine’s Day!  Thank you!!!

Reading Update!

This week in reading, we continued our focus on habits of a good reader to become SUPER SMART about NONFICTION topics.  We worked hard to think about the facts that we had learned while we were reading and spent time sharing them with our classmates. To make sure that we were sharing facts in a way that would be interesting to our friends, we practiced reading them smoothly, trying our best to sound like a teacher or a news reporter.

We also began to review different ways to figure out tricky words in our nonfiction books. Our new poster has a lot of strategies that reminded us of our animal friend decoding strategies we used for our fiction books.


Math Update!

During our math time this week we continued to study LARGE, TWO-DIGIT numbers.  In particular, we used the greater than, less than, and equal to symbols ( >, <, = ) to compare these numbers.  When we compare numbers, we stressed the importance of building each number with ten sticks and ones to easily identify which number has more tens.  If both numbers have the same amount of tens, then we can compare the ones to find the greater number.  Our first graders quickly noticed that the greater than and less than signs look like a “hungry mouth” ready to gobble up which ever number is greatest.

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Just be careful… don’t let number like: 29 & 92 or 45 & 54 or 78 & 87 – trick you!!!  Build those numbers and pay attention to the tens!!!  Please review this concept with your first grader, if you notice him or her getting a little confused on the homework.

This week we also practiced adding ones numbers (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) together, and tens numbers (10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90) together.  Our first graders worked hard to notice which numbers they were working with so they could accurately represent each equation.  In order to prove our work, we used ten sticks and circles to help us find the missing total.

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