We have been just like buzzing bees working on our informational writing the past few weeks!!
We focused on revising them with some new techniques to make them even better. We learned how to add precise words to make our writing more exact. We used exclamations and wondered to make our books more interesting. We even made comparisons to show how our topics are like or unlike something else.
Precise Words: All whale have blowholes to help them breathe. Several whales have teeth.
Exclaim & Wonder: Blue whales use baleen to help them eat. Did you know that?
Comparisons: Whales can be very large. Some whales are bigger than a bus!
This past week, we began getting ready for our next writing celebration. We chose our best informational book to keep at school and worked to be sure that our book made sense. Then, we focused on making our books easy-to-read. We edited our books by adding punctuation and capital letters. We also went back to spell our words correctly.
Next week we will fancy up the illustrations in our books, add a table of contents, cover, and celebrate!!!
In Reader’s Workshop this past week we focused on characters in the books we are reading. We focused on how our characters were acting and tried to find descriptive words for these character traits (bossy, confident, brave, anxious, selfish, demanding, mean, shy, sneaky, etc.).
We practiced with some of our favorite Kevin Henkes books. We will continue working on characters next week!
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.
Then, we moved into 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.
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)
What a fantastic week with some beautiful weather!!! We loved running/walking laps on the track for Mileage Club and getting to play on the 2nd/3rd grade playground. It was good practice for next year!! 🙂 I can’t believe these sweet first graders are going to be big second graders in only seven more weeks!!!
April 25 – PE Apparel Order Forms Due
April 26 – Library Day
During our science study last week, we discussed severe weather in Michigan and talked about how to stay safe during a storm. Also, I’m not sure if you heard, but we are going to be hatching some chickens in 1st grade. The kids were so excited about this announcement. The eggs started in their incubator last weekend and have been in the incubator for 1 week now – only 2 more weeks until hatching time!!!
During our writing time this week, we reviewed all the parts of a great Non-Fiction book and took on the challenge of writing a whole book in two days using one of our expert topics from reading workshop. The books were incredible and our first graders sure did work hard!!!
We also spent time this week talking about facts and opinions. If we are writing a teaching page about the lunchroom, we want to include facts like:
“The lunchroom has a place to get drinks.”
“There are tables for every class to sit at in the lunchroom.”
“Mrs. Reagan will come and visit in the lunchroom.”
We are trying to be careful not to add opinions that tell how we feel because someone else might not feel the same way:
“I love to sit by my friends.”
“My favorite lunch is chicken nuggets.”
Next week, we will try adding comparisons and exclamations to our books!!!
This past week in reader’s workshop, we looked at words that were important to our topic. We practiced with a non-fiction book about the Sun & Plants. We found the words solar panels, chlorophyll, and photosynthesis to be important words. These words helped us learn and teach others about what we read about. We shared our topic’s important words with the class too!
We remembered how important it is to understand what we are reading and with some of these new topics and tricky vocabulary words, we needed to use some of the tools that nonfiction books provide for us to figure out what the new words mean. We checked out the glossary for definitions, but also looked at the pictures, checked to see if there were any captions on the page, and reread the words in that section to look for clues.
During our math time this week we studied some familiar shapes: rectangles, squares, triangles and circles. We learned that every shape has special attributes that are always true!!
We also 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.
What a great first week back!!! The weather was beautiful, almost everyday, and we took advantage of it by heading out for a little extra recess time. We also loved studying science! We observed what it would be like if the Earth didn’t have the sun and brainstormed what might happen to a plant without heat or light. Next week, we will discuss and explore weather!!!
April 16 – Happy Easter!!!
April 19 – Library Day
April 19 – Art Show Reception @ 5:30
April 20 – Marco’s Pizza Night
April 21 – Popcorn Day
Please make sure to fill out this survey about sack lunches for our field to the zoo. It was sent via e-mail over the weekend. Here is link: Zoo Field Trip – Sack Lunches
We jumped back into reading workshop this week by helping ourselves get ready to read new books by first asking what we already knew about our topic before reading. When we pulled out a new book, we asked ourselves, “What do I already know?” This helps get our mind ready to make connections to new ideas. We spent time comparing the books in our ‘topic bags’ and really thinking about the facts we were learning. They were able to find examples in multiple books that taught the same information, so they knew that fact must be true. We were able to share with our partners about things we had learned.