Monthly Archives: November 2015

Week 13!

I hope that your holiday weekend was filled with family, fun, food, and a little relaxation too!!!   These next three weeks will be jam-packed with holiday fun!!! 🙂

November 30 – December 11 – Candy Cane Sale

December 1 – Dress Rehearsal @ Fair Haven Church

We will ride over 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 1 – Holiday Program @ 6:30

Please see Mrs. Reagan’s post for more details!  Click here: Holiday Program

December 2 – Library Day

December 4 – Popcorn Day

Look for an e-mail with all of the details about our classroom holiday party in your inbox tomorrow.  We will be celebrating on Thursday, December 17 from 12:30 to 1:15ish.

Week 12!

What a chilly weekend!!  We will definitely be bundling up for recess this week.  Don’t forget to label your child’s winter gear in case it goes missing (as hats and gloves frequently do), and practice zipping up those winter coats at home!!!

November 23 – Science Fun

We will spend time studying the different properties of matter and sort objects based on these properties.

November 24 – Unit 3: Math Assessment

November 25-27 – Thanksgiving Break: No School

November 26 – Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Even though we only have two days of school, we will stay very busy this week!!!  We will also spend time discussing wants, needs, scarcity, and trade as a part of our social studies curriculum.  During writing workshop we will begin our persuasive writing unit!!!

Math Update!

Our first graders worked hard this week to prepare for our Unit 3 assessment. We spent our math switch time solving missing total, missing partner and subtraction stories using the great strategies that we’ve learned during this unit.

We also practiced with our red, yellow and orange quilt cards to prepare our brains to solve all different types of equations. We ended the week with a Quilt Card Challenge!!!  Our first graders practiced counting-on to find the total on our red addition cards, counting-up to find the missing partner on our yellow addition cards, and counting-up to find the the missing partner on our orange subtraction cards. The Quilt Card Challenge really got tricky when we asked to kids to mix up all the cards and alternate between all three. The “challenge” in this task was making sure to stop and think, “Am I looking for the total or the partner?”, and then choosing the appropriate method to find the correct answer. If we are looking for a partner, we encourage our first graders to count-up (like above). If we are looking for the total, we encourage our first graders to count-on. Many of our first graders were not tricked by the challenge – even when the cards were all mixed up!! What amazing fact fluency!!

To support your child at home, please encourage him/her to always PROVE THE ANSWER when solving a story. Also, If you notice a mistake, please ask your child to go back and correct it. Practice makes permanent and we don’t want our first graders to lose any of these wonderful strategies!!!

Reading Update!

We spent time, this week, studying the characters in our books even closer.  We had noticed before that our friend DAVID was a character that has a pattern to his behavior in his stories, he is always acting naughty.  And our friend PETE has a pattern to his behavior too, he is always calm and cool.  But, this week, we paid close attention to how our characters were acting and what they did and we noticed that some of our characters change how they act throughout the books.  We noticed that we had characters who were calm and happy at one point in a book and then they might get angry later in the book.  Our friend the PIGEON is a good example of this, same with ELEPHANT GERALD and PIGGIE.  These characters show a range of emotions throughout their stories and it was easy for our kids to notice the difference between these dynamic characters and ones that follow a pattern.

 We started by paying attention to the words that our characters were saying out loud.  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.

Writing Update!

We spent this week revising and editing our small moment stories in Writer’s Workshop this week. Each student had the chance to choose a favorite piece they had been working on, and then they met with their writing partner to make it even better.

On our revising day, partners looked to add…

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 8.12.09 AM

On our editing day, partners checked for…

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 8.12.38 AM

After revising and editing with partners, we added color to our pictures and a cover page with a title and author. Finally, at the end of the week, we got to celebrate our stories! We got to share a favorite page with the class, and then we went back to our seats to make a cover page for our story.. After reading and coloring, we shared speeches about what we’ve learned as writers and had our Hawaiian Punch toast! We had a great time wrapping up our second unit of writing.

Candy Cane Sale!

The annual
5th grade Candy Cane Sale
is officially here!
Inline image 2
The annual candy cane sale has returned. Our 5th grade classes will sell candy canes to help raise money for their end of year activities.
This year the sale runs from Monday, November 30 through Friday, December 11.    
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!

Week 11!

November 9-20 – P.E. C.A.R.E.S.

Thanks you so much for all of the donations!!  Our class has brought in so much!!!  Donations will be accepted through the end of the week!

November 18 – Marco’s Pizza Night

November 18 – Library Day

November 18 – Spelling Assessment

Our “no excuse” words on the assessment will be: and, the, of, a, to, in, is, you, that, it

November 20 – Writing Celebration

We are excited to celebrate our “easy-to-read” stories!!!

Thank you for sending in your flashlights.  Mrs. Bretz would love for the kids to be able to get in some good practice with these props before the Holiday Program.  Please make sure to send in your child’s flashlight, labeled with his/her name, by Wednesday!!!

Also, our classroom Holiday Party has been scheduled.  We will be celebrating here at school on Thursday, December 17 from 12:30 until 1:15ish.  I will e-mail and post the Volunteer Spot sign-ups after Thanksgiving Break.  If you would like to come to our party, please plan to sign-up to assist/lead with the game (Holiday Scavenger Hunt), craft (Sock Snowman), or snack!!

Math Update!

We continued to practice our subtraction strategies during our math switch time this week.  Our first graders are becoming experts at proving their work with math mountains andsubtraction equations.  We are beginning to rely less and less on circle drawings… although we do encourage the use of this strategy for proving our answers and solving equations if we are stuck.

We also learned how to use our orange quilt cards to practice solving subtraction equations using the “counting up” strategy.  Since we aren’t able to write on our quilt cards, “counting up” took the place of using a circle drawing.  Check out the explanation below:

Picture 10

Writing Update!

This week we focused on zooming in to the most important part of our small moment story. When we are writing our stories, it is easy to list off a bunch of things we did. We might end up with stories that sound like this….

“This weekend I went to the mall with my mom. We got some clothes. Then we went to Subway and got a sandwich. Next we went home and watched a movie. I hope we can do that again!”

We have been calling this a watermelon story. A watermelon story is a big story (many moments). In Writer’s Workshop, we want to write tiny seed stories. These stories are small, zoomed in stories. Like seeds in a watermelon, there are small stories inside of big stories.

Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 8.41.59 PM

Looking at the example story, we could write a seed story of going to the mall. We could also write a story about getting our sandwich from Subway or watching a movie at home. We want to focus on one moment in time, and write lots of details about that one time.

We also talked about making sure to add details to that seed story. We can do this by adding dialogue, writing details that use our five senses, and adding actions of what our hands, feet, and face are doing.