Monthly Archives: February 2016

Week 24!

It’s just about March!!!  Only 5 more weeks until spring break!!!  Woohoo!!!  Bring on the warmer weather!!!

February 29 – Happy Leap Day!

March 1 & 2 – Jet’s Pizza Nights

March 2 – Library Day

March 4 – Popcorn Day

We are so close to reaching our next 25 star prize (Fort Day)! Hopefully one day this week we’ll get to build some fun forts to read in!

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Writing Update!

In Writer’s Workshop, we worked on adding more details to our Small Moment stories. First, we talked about using our five senses to show not tell what we were feeling. Instead of saying “I was so happy”, we could say, “I was grinning from ear to ear”. Instead of “I was embarrassed”, we could write “My face turned red”. This gives the reader a much better picture in their mind as they read our stories.

We revisited what we learned about dialogue. Anything we heard or said can be added to our story to make it more detailed. We noticed that we used the word “said a lot – boring! There are many much more interesting words to use that just “said”! We created a list of words to use instead of said including…


Math Update!

For the last few weeks, we have created graphs and made comparisons during our math switch time.  As our expertise grew, so did our graphs! Instead of comparing just two groups of objects, most of our graphs now compare three categories of data, like the graph below:

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We are always trying to make comparisons between the data in each category (group) by finding the MAGIC NUMBER. With three groups it’s a little harder to find the difference especially when comparing the top category of data with the bottom category of data. If we use a pencil to cover up the extra information, finding the MAGIC NUMBER is a breeze.

A Visit with Westwood!

We got a chance to meet up with our friends from Westwood with Iford Primary School today. We were excited to see the whole school today, all grades. Mrs. Reagan came down and introduced herself to Mr. Rockey and the kids. They were able to ask us some questions and we were able to hear a little about their school, before they had to head home. The kids always love these meetings and we’re always learning new things from our friends from England.

Reading Update!

One of the ways to ensure that we are checking to make sure we understand all that is happening in our books is to use our CHECK FOR UNDERSTANDING CHECKMARK!  We practiced using our checkmarks after each page or two in our books to make sure that we aren’t confused about any parts.  If we were confused, we practiced going back and rereading to make sure that we are reading the words accurately.

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We had so much fun practicing with some of our higher level comprehension books that force the kids to figure out tricky vocabulary words and really infer beyond the text to understand the story.


We first read the book The Stranger (Chris Van Allsburg).  This story really puts the kids to the test to see if they can be careful to pay attention to all the small details that are on each page and put them all together to figure out who the stranger is.  We stopped on each page to check for understanding  about the WHO? and WHAT? and by the end, the kids were so proud of all the thinking they were doing to figure out who this stranger really was.


Then, we spent time reading the book The Sweetest Fig, by Chris VanAllsburg.  The kids shared so many questions and connections, it was easy to see the thinking they were doing in order to figure out what was happening in this story.  We had lots of vocabulary questions to figure out in this book.  One of the questions was, ‘What is a fig?‘  I made a stop by the grocery store and found some in the dried fruit section.  I brought in some dried figs and the kids were enthralled with them.  We had many adventurous first graders who were willing to try one and most of the kids loved them.  I am pretty sure they taste like raisins, that’s what they looked like at least.  I didn’t try one (not quite as adventurous as they are).  In the story, when the characters ate the sweet figs, their dreams came true. So, if your child was adventurous and tried a fig on Friday, don’t forget to…

Ask your first grader if their dreams came true!!!

 The kids had such a blast with these books.  You should check some out at home!!

Math Update!

We began our Unit 6 in math this past week.  Our first grade mathematicians are now sorting, organizing, and comparing data.  What a blast!!

To start things off, we learned how to take random data and record it on a chart or graph.  Crossing out each object as we add it to our graph helps us to be accurate in our representation.

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After graphing the information, we were able to notice many things about the data we were studying.  Which group had the most?  Which group had the fewest?  How many in all?  And, we were also able to make comparisons – how many more or how many fewer.  To compare our data, we drew matching pairs and then circled the magic number.

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The magic number represents the difference between the two groups being compared.  No matter if we are comparing how many more or how many fewer – the number is always the same (that’s why it’s magic!).

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We can’t wait to learn more!

Reading Update!

We continued to work on being accurate readers this week. One of the strategies that we focused on was paying attention to the feeling we had when something we read wasn’t right.  The students practiced by listening to me read and noticing when something didn’t make sense and made them have that “huh?” reaction.  When we notice ourselves having that same feeling while we are reading, it is important for us to STOP, go back, and fix up the part that didn’t make sense.

We, also, talked about a few more strategies to use with tricky words.  We talked about how important it is for readers to check the endings of our tricky words to make sure they look right, sound right, and make sense.  When we tried all our strategies and still can’t find a good guess for a tricky word, then good readers mark those pages with a sticky note so that they can get some coaching on that word.  We worked together as a class this week to coach lots of readers with their tricky words.

I could tell the kids were working hard on their accuracy this week, because we had a lot more kids submit ‘tricky words‘ when they were tracking their thinking.  Way to go first graders!!

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Week 22!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!  What a wonderful Valentine’s Party!!!  Thank you so much to all the parents who donated supplies and goodies!!!  Thank you also to all the parents who attended our party, helped the kids make their cute Hug & Kiss Jars, helped supervise and lead the Cupid’s Arrow Game, and passed out our snacks!!  It was so much fun!!!

February 15 – President’s Day

February 15 – Box Tops due

February 18 – Marco’s Pizza Night

February 19 – Library Day (normally on Wednesday)

One more note: our Spring Conference Schedule is posted, please confirm your time!!!