Monthly Archives: January 2012

Social Studies Update!

We continued our talk about how to adapt to different situations.  We discussed the birds and squirrels living in the trees in our backyards.  Then the students were told that those trees were being cut down!  We talked about what would happen to the birds and the squirrels that lived there.  The students came up with the ideas that they would have to move- and they couldn’t stay in that yard anymore.  We call that “adapting” or changing.

We talked about how we have four different seasons and we do different things to adapt during each of them.

Winter:  Wear a winter coat, Shovel the sidewalk, Turn up the heat, Wear hats and gloves

Summer:  Swim, eat popsicles, Use fans and air conditioning, Wear sunscreen

Spring:  Open windows, Plant flowers, Use umbrellas

Fall:  Wear sweaters, Rake the leaves, Go apple picking, Drink cider

At the end of the week we took an assessment to review all of the different things we learned about maps, addresses, and how to adapt.  Continue working on your home address with your student!

Math Update!

We began new math learning in new math switch groups this 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.  Please encourage your child to think about the “ten” hiding inside teen numbers when they solve equations on their homework.

Field Trip

In Room 104 we are getting super excited for our upcoming class trip to Family Fare.  The big day is Wednesday, February 1st.  We will be gone for a portion of the morning, from about 9:15 until 10:30ish, but will be back in plenty of time for lunch.

For more information, please read our Field Trip Note.

*If you are looking for more ways to volunteer in our classroom, check out our Parent Volunteers Note.

**If you are interested in joining us for our next field trip…mark May 9th on your schedule for a trip to the zoo!

Valentine’s Party

Our Valentine’s Party will take place Tuesday, February 14, from 2:45-3:25ish.

All parents are invited to join us for the party! 

I will be sending out an e-mail to those parents who signed up to help at the party (way back in August).  This time around the first grade teachers came up with a craft and game idea.  We would love your help to gather donations, run each station and plan/prepare the snack.  Please send me an e-mail if you would like to be added to this list of volunteers!

We will also have a classroom valentine exchange before the Valentine’s Party.  Below, I’ve included our Class List for your reference as your child has fun creating, writing, and/or filling-out their valentines.  Plan to send your child’s valentines into school in a bag labeled with his or her name as soon as they are ready.  Please send in enough valentines for everyone in our class – 28 students.

I would love to have all the valentines to school by Monday, February 13.  Our valentine exchange will take place before our party, so please don’t wait until the party to bring them in.

Reading Update!

This past week, we introduced a self checklist for the kids to work with during reading workshop time.  We introduced this to help the kids keep track of the choices they are making each day.  The kids were given a certain number of choices for each of our reading activities and they needed to check them off each time they made a choice to make sure that they weren’t monopolizing any of our reading tools.  They did a great job of keeping track of their choices: read to self, listen to reading, word work, and reading group.  Each day they have at least one read to self time and one reading group time each day and then they could make a choice for their extra times.

We also continued to work on making text to self connections. We focused on how the best connections remind us of something that has happened to us, include a feeling and are connected to the heart of the story.  We talked about how we make lots of little connections as we are reading, but the connections that help us understand a book even better are often connections that are connected to the main idea of the story of the lesson a story is trying to teach you. This week, we talked to the kids about how they often make connections to books that I read aloud to them, but they also make connections to the books that they read on their own.  We had time each day for the kids to read on their own and mark pages in their books that they had connections to while they were reading.  It was easy to see all the thinking that was going on in the room when you took a look at all the post it notes that were hanging out of books!  We then had time for the kids to share their connections to the class.  There was not enough time for us all to share our connections and in order for us not to forget or lose those important connections, we taught the kids about how readers often write their connections down to keep track of their thinking.  The kids tried writing down their own connections on Friday using the following template to guide them:

Title reminds me of ______________. I felt _________.

Writing Update!

Again this week, we started the week by allowing the class to start brand new stories, but gave them the goal of revising as they wrote by adding some of the techniques that they have learned in our revision unit to make their stories better. Good writers: reread their stories, play the movie in their heads, add details to the words, add details to the pictures, add dialogue, take away details that don’t make your story better, make your lead sentence exciting, and put the heart of their story at the end of their story.  This sounds like a lot, but you would be amazed at the writing that they are doing…these stories will knock your socks off!!  We can’t wait to celebrate next week!

Toward the end of the week, we talked about how sometimes writers choose to revise their story ideas by changing the shape of their story.  Instead of writing in the shape of a story, writers can take their ideas and change them into letters, postcards, emails, list, how-to directions, songs, poems, and even newspaper articles.  The kids worked hard to look at their stories and take the same idea that they wrote about in their story and change the shape into a new genre of writing.  They had so much fun experimenting and created some great pieces of work!

PORT: A Service Project

Lily Wressell, a fourth grader in Mrs. Huizenga’s class, is asking her fellow Georgetown students and families to join her in supporting the Pediatric Oncology Resource Team, P.O.R.T., that operates with Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. 

P.O.R.T. provides much needed resources and hands-on support for families with a child diagnosed with cancer or life-threatening blood disorders. 

Lily will be collecting items to put into theme baskets for the P.O.R.T. Winter Night Out fundraiser in February. 

In particular she is requesting items related to kids arts and crafts such as; paints, crayons, paper, stencils, stickers, etc. 

She is also looking for gift wrap items; paper, bags, bows, ribbon, cards, etc. 

If you are interested in donating items there will be a box located in the lobby until Monday, Feb 6 that you may put them in. 

Thank you for helping Lily reach her goal of providing two baskets to help P.O.R.T.

Twin Day

Super cute kids 🙂