Monthly Archives: January 2017

Week 21!

We had a lovely writing celebration on Friday.  Be sure to check our photo stream for picture updates!   This week we are wrapping up with assessments in math and writing… just in time for our winter break next weekend!

February 1 – Library Day

February 2 – Math Assessment: Unit 4

February 2 – Groundhogs Day

February 3 – Spelling Assessment

February 3 – Early Release Day

Students are dismissed from school at 12:15.  (Sack lunches can be ordered through Food Service and will be sent home with your child.  Please make sure your child knows if he or she needs to order a sack lunch.)

February 6 – NO SCHOOL

Writing Update!

This past week we wrapped up our unit on How To writing!

We picked our favorite How To teaching story to get ready to celebrate. We made sure our piece had all of the parts of a good how to story by checking our stories with partners. Then we made sure we had capital letters, finger spaces, neat handwriting, and punctuation to make our writing easy to read. Finally, we added color to our teaching pictures.

On Friday, we were ready to celebrate! We got into small groups to share our writing. Everyone got a chance to share, and we gave compliments to each reader. We all had fun celebrating our fantastic writing!

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 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:

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!

Math Update!

This week, ​we worked on comparing two digit numbers, solving stories, and counting groups of tens and ones. Our mathematicians worked hard to solve equations using ten sticks and ones to prove their answers.

We reviewed how to add two ones numbers together, two tens numbers together, and even a tens and ones number together​. ​This was a snap!!

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Then, we began adding a two-digit number (containing a tens number and a ones number) together with some additional ones. To complete this task, we utilized two strategies. First, our handy-dandy method of counting on:

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We had to be extra careful that we counted on accurately. We made sure that we did this by always going back to double check our work.​ Our second strategy helped us visualize how ones can be grouped together to make a new ten – even when we’re working with larger numbers. This method is an introduction to the regrouping strategies that your child will use in second grade and beyond.

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We will take our Unit 4 test next week.

Math Update!

Our first grade mathematicians studied some LARGE, TWO-DIGIT numbers this week — some of the biggest numbers that we’ve worked with so far this year!  We noticed that every 2-digit number has a place to show the tens hiding inside along with a place to show the extra ones.  We also represented these numbers using ten sticks and circles, and wrote an equation to match our work.

Since we were working with two digit numbers, we spent a lot of time counting tens and ones this week too.  We were able to do this practice using ten sticks and circles, the number path on our whiteboards, and boxes/jars of objects.  Our first graders learned to count the tens first and then “freeze” before counting up the extra ones.  Taking the time to “freeze” is an important strategy that helps our students recognize when it’s time to switch from counting by 10s to 1s.

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We can tell that our first graders are really beginning to understand the place value of these larger numbers!!!

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.


Have you ever had an Oreo? They are delicious! 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, we asked the kids to add their reaction to what they learned as they were reading their nonfiction books.  We talked about how when they learned something new, sometimes their first reaction was: that is so COOL!  But other times it could be something else…

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The kids worked on adding their reactions and it was so fun to see how their reactions brought out further understanding of their learning.

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Aren’t these first grade readers amazing?! Way to go guys!

Week 19!

What a crazy week of weather!!  It looks like we’re expecting another warm-up this week.  Our playground will likely be soggy – make sure to continue sending in those snow pants & boots.

January 16 – Marin Luther King Jr. Day

January 18 – Library Day

January 19 – Marco’s Pizza Night

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner!  If your child is eager to get to work on his/her valentines, I will be sending an e-mail later this week with our class list. 🙂

Writing Update!

This week, we worked on brainstorming a list of different things we can teach other people to do. To help the kids think of more ideas, we broke our ideas up into different categories: DO, MAKE, PLAY, or COOK.

Then, the kids got to try writing their own how-to teaching stories. We focused on sketching out a plan of the tools/materials that we need and then the steps of a beginning, middle, and end.