Monthly Archives: April 2016

Writing Update!

We have been working hard during writing the past couple weeks. First graders have been working on their teaching pages we looked at other nonfiction booked and noticed the different text features that authors often include in their nonfiction books. We are trying to use some of those features when we are writing our own books. Some of those features include: facts, labels, bolded words, How To’s, comparisons, diagrams, captions, text boxes, and fun facts.

Nonfiction books frequently have a conclusion at the end to summarize the big ideas.  We learned how to add a conclusion that shared how our topic is important/interesting and encouraged our reader to care about our topics the way we love our topics.

“One favorite winter drink after playing in the snow is hot chocolate with marshmallows. Now you know all about winter.”

In first grade, you get to play on the playground in the Ga-ga Ball Pit. I hope
 you get to play Ga-ga ball someday!”

We have been working on going back and checking all of our older All About books and making sure that each book has all of the features from our Anchor Chart.

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First graders have been working hard and have been enjoying writing these nonfiction books!

Math Update!

We have been working on adding two 2-digit numbers together and solving it by drawing ten sticks and circles. We checked to see if we had enough circles left over to make a new ten.  If we did, we circled them into a group of ten.  Then we counted all our ten sticks and then our leftover ones to find the answer. In order to be accurate, we know that our tens and circles have to match our numbers and they must be lined up neatly, with five groups clearly showing, so it’s easy for us to ring a 10.

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We have also tried the ten above strategy:​

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​Your first grader ​can use the strategy that he/she ​ feels the most comfortable​ with. Our goal is to be accurate and to understand that sometimes when we add two-digit numbers – we make a new ten!!!

Reading Update!

In Reader’s Workshop this past week we focused on becoming the character in the books we are reading. We found that we can use our voice, face, and body to help us act like the characters.

We practiced with some of our favorite books like Elephant and Piggie, Pigeon, and Arthur and DW. We will continue working on characters with some reader’s theater next week!

Week 31!

Looks like a beautiful week ahead and perfect weather for Mileage Club!

April 27 – Library Day

We are anticipating the arrival of some new classmates (caterpillars!) to go along with our science unit on life cycles and baby/adult attributes.

We spent a lot of time last week focused on Earth Day and reducing, reusing, and recycling. One of our discussions caused the kids to say, “SAVE THE FISH!” Let me explain…we talked about conserving electricity.  I drew a diagram for the kids to see how some energy plants are built on bodies of water.  We talked about how these plants use the cold water from the lakes to cool down their machinery and then dump the hot water back into the lake.  I explained how the hot water wasn’t good for the fishies and sometimes it killed them.   So, we figured that, if we use less electricity and remember to shut off lights when we leave a room, the power plants won’t have to make as much electricity and we can save some fish!  (It is easier for kids to worry about killing fish than about wasting electricity)

So, our first graders are now saying, “Save the fish!” every time they turn off the lights…come on, are you smiling yet?  :)

Math Update!

This past week our mathematicians studied measurement.  We discussed how in the old days before rulers were invented, people used to use their body parts to measure objects.  This kids couldn’t believe this was true and brought up a very big problem… our feet and fingers are different sizes!  We realized that when we use a common unit – like a paperclip – we all get the same results.  To test this theory, we used paperclips to measure various things in our math book and around the room.

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We also introduced the word “length” and talked about how to line up measurement tools properly to get the most accurate measurement.  We compared lengths of objects from shortest to longest and longest to shortest (1, 2, 3)

At the end of the week we took our Unit 7 assessment – our first graders did great!!!  Next week, we will start our last math unit on 2-digit addition!!

Reading Update!

We wrapped up our unit on learning from fiction and nonfiction books, this week.

We spent a few last days with our topic baggies working on fluency. We had each partner pick one book from their topic and practice reading with a storytelling voice (fiction) or a teacher voice (nonfiction). To do this, they first practice reading their section once to figure out the tricky words. Then, they went back to read carefully, paying close attention to punctuation and what is happening in the story. We got to read our section to our partners and show off our fluency skills.

The kids have loved working with their partners for the past month and learning about new topics every week.

Week 30!

April 20 – Marco’s Pizza Night

April 20 – Library Day

April 20 – Georgetown Artist Reception Night

(Hudsonville City Hall @ 5:30)

Be sure to check out the AMAZING student artwork at the HPS Art Show.  The artwork is being showcased at the Hudsonville City Hall. The Georgetown artist reception is on April 20 from 5:30-7:30 pm.

April 22 – Earth Day!

April 22 – Body Safety Presentation

(Presented by the Children’s Advocacy Center)

Math Update!

We learned that shapes can be divided into equal parts.  When a shape is broken into two equal parts we call these halves.  When a shape is broken into four equal parts we call these fourths.  It’s important to understand halves and fourths especially when we are trying to share something (like a pizza, cookie or granola bar) equally.

We continued to study shapes during our math time this week.  We started the week combining triangles, rectangles and squares to form new shapes.  We learned about: rhombuses, trapezoids, parallelograms, and hexagons.  We also found that we could combine and transpose our shapes to create patterns.

Later in the week we began exploring with 3-dimensional shapes! We touched on the following shapes…

We learned about the attributes of each of these shapes.  We also briefly discussed how these 3-D shapes compare to the 2-D shapes. For example: the 3-D sphere is just like a 2-D circle and the 3-D rectangular prism is just like a 2-D rectangle.  We combined different shapes together to create new shapes and also tried to break large shapes apart into smaller ones.

Writing Update!

This week during Writer’s Workshop we jumped right back into our nonfiction books. We began the week reviewing all that we’ve learned!  First we pick a topic that we are an expert in.  Then, we brainstorm five facts that we know about that topic.  We use teaching pictures (labels, captions, zoomed in details, and direction arrows) and add our fact and an extra detail on each page of our book.

This week we also discussed the importance of using headings on each page of our writing. A heading gives our audience an idea of what they are going to learn about on that page.

To end the week, we learned that we need an introduction to hook our readers into reading our books. We began our introduction with a question or an interesting fact, so our audience will want to keep on reading!

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Our first graders have loved using all of the facts they’ve learned about their fascinating topic during Reader’s Workshop to help them write new “All About” books during our writing time.  We can’t wait to explore more nonfiction text features next week!