Monthly Archives: January 2016

Week 20!

February 2 & 3 – Jet’s Pizza Night

February 3 – Library Day

February 5 – Popcorn Day

February 8 & 9 – Winter Break (no school)

Thank you so much for your donations for our Valentine’s Party!!!  (I just love the Hug & Kiss jars that that we will make – they turn out so cute!!!)  We are still in need of plastic deli containers, Hershey’s Hugs & Kisses, Teddy Grahams, a small prize for the game!!  Click on the link below if you are interested in donating:

If you are ready to start working on valentines, just have your child fill out their own name in the from section of the Valentine card, not who it is for. That way when they hand them out at school, it will be easier for them. We have 22 kids in our class. Please send your child’s valentines in a bag labeled with their NAME as soon as they are completed.  I can store them here at school until the big day!  Thanks!!!

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Math Update!

During our math time this week, we continued to solve missing partner and missing total stories. We also stretched our thinking by using the Make a Ten strategy to solve equations and math stories with three addends or partners. After we looked for two partners that could make a ten, we found that adding the third partner to ten was a snap!


We are starting to work on counting and writing numbers up to 120. To help your first grader practice this skill, have him/her start at any 2 digit number and then count out loud to 120. This could be a great activity to do together in the car. As an extra challenge, you can even have your child write the numerals up to 120!

Writing Update!

This week in writing we continued working on our How To’s! We worked on adding text features to our How To’s. This included using pictures that teach and labels to each of our pictures so that it was clear to the reader. Once we added our labels, we focused on adding a materials page. We used a sentence started “You will need…” to help us list everything that you would need for your How To.

We also worked on adding an introduction and conclusion to our How To. We used sentence starters for both of these areas to make our How To’s exciting to read. Check out our introduction, materials, and conclusion that we wrote as a class.

How to Eat an Oreo.


Do you like to eat oreos? I sure do! I will teach you how to eat an Oreo.


You will need a box of Oreos, small glass, milk, and a hungry tummy.


Now you know how to eat an oreo. I hope you liked your Oreo as much as I do!

First graders are coming up with really cool and detailed How To’s. Next week we will work on fixing up our How To’s and celebrating them!!

Reading Update!

This week in reading workshop, we introduced reading book clubs.  We separated the kids into groups and each book club group member had a book dealing with the same topic as the other members of their group.  We had book clubs studying People, Animals, Economics, Sports, Firefighters, Presidents, & Dental Hygiene.

Each day, we spent a segment of our reading workshop time with our groups in order to learn as much as we could from our nonfiction topics that week.  Each day, the book club members had a new goal or two and had to work together to complete their tasks.  They spent time warming up together, coaching each other through tricky words, sharing interesting facts from their texts, and comparing and contrasting what they had learned from their topic and the other topics in our room.

Here’s a peek at some of their thoughts from this past week:

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Week 19!

The first graders in Room 104 have worked so hard and have almost reached their next 25 star goals. The goal they decided on was Read Aloud Day, what a great idea! Hopefully we’ll meet that goal this week and find a day to get some extra read aloud time in while snuggling in our pajamas.

January 27 – Library Day

Make sure to check out the volunteer website about VALENTINE’S DAY PARTY!

Also, save the date for our Winter Break — there will be no school on Monday & Tuesday, February 8 and 9.

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.  Our mathematicians had to listen carefully to each story, determine what was missing (either a partner or the total), and write an addition equation, subtraction equation, and math mountain to go with.  Below is an example of a missing partner story:

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Make sure your child is showing their thinking (using one of the methods above) on their homework pages before you send them back to school.  Thank you!

Writing Update!

This week during Writer’s Workshop, we worked on our How To’s. We began the week with creating a list of everything we know how to do such as: Make a PB&J Sandwich, Brushing your Teeth, Making your Bed, etc…

We learned about how we first need to sketch out our pictures that teach the reader exactly what to do. We can make our sketches into teaching pictures by adding labels and signs. After we have sketched out our pictures, then we need to write clear steps with precise words that teach the reader what to do. For example: Take out two pieces of bread and and scoop a big spoonful of peanut butter out of the jar. Spread the peanut butter on one piece of bread.

We wrapped up the week by choosing a How To to read to our Writing Partner. Our writing partner had to act out our steps to make sure they were clear! This was so much fun! First graders are doing a great job working on their How To’s  and teaching their partners what to do.

Next week we will work on adding introductions and conclusions to our letters.

Reading Update!

We started off the past week of nonfiction reading by focusing on how we are learning so much from our nonfiction books.  And when we learn something new, sometimes it opens up a new question for us.  We gave the example of when we shared about storms on Jupiter being worse than storms on earth, it made us wonder, “What do those storms look like?”  We were able to grab a book and show a picture of the hurricane on Jupiter that makes the red spot on the planet.  And, when we shared about how sharks take a test bite before they eat their food, it made us wonder, “Does the test bite kill the animal, or will it survive?”  There were lots of kids who were throwing out their thoughts to try and answer our questions, but we decided we would have to do some more reading to find out what really happens.  We’ll keep working on adding these questions in while we track our thinking.

We also talked about how when we are reading nonfiction books, we come across tricky words.  Sometimes the words themselves are tricky to decode and sometimes the words can be decoded, but it is a new vocabulary word that we don’t know.  If we have a tricky word to decode, we reviewed all our animal friend decoding strategies:

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But, we also talked about how nonfiction books are a little different from fiction books when it comes to decoding.  To help with tricky words, it is important to focus on what that section is trying to teach and then reread the section, look at the picture, and even check the glossary for clues!


Week 18!

I hope you are enjoying your weekend! It will be a cold week at school, please make sure that your first grader comes prepared with all their outdoor gear and a sweatshirt for the classroom (Maybe choose pants and long sleeves, NOT shorts this week…I’m looking at you, Henry :)).

January 18 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day

January 20 – Library Day

January 20 – Marco’s Pizza Night

CLICK HERE to volunteer for our Valentine’s Day party coming up on February 11th. 

Also, save the date for our Winter Break — there will be no school on Monday & Tuesday, February 8 and 9.