Monthly Archives: September 2017

Reading Update!

This week, we introduced reading partnerships.  So far, the kids have two segments of read to self time each day.  This week, we added time for our students to meet with another kid in class and share some of their thinking from their read to self time.

We then introduced Read to Someone!!  We talked about why we practice reading to others: to practice reading fluency, practice using our decoding strategies when we or our friend gets stuck on a tricky word, and to have FUN.

We also talked about what our  jobs will be during this time:  sit elbow-to-elbow and knee-to-knee with your partner (EEKK), use a quiet reading voice, have all your just right books and reading tools out and ready to go, etc. There are many ways to partner read, but for now our students are each taking turns reading a just right book to their partners

We focused on how sometimes while we are reading, we come to a tricky word.  We talked about how our partners are great resources to help us figure out those tricky words, while we are reading together.  Here are the steps we follow:

We will continue to practice reading with partners this week and building our read to someone reading stamina.  The kids LOVE this time of our workshop and are excited to share with their friends!

Writing Update!

We are continuing to work on Small Moment stories during Writer’s Workshop. This week we focused on using details in our writing to fill up all the lines  (No Mr. Blank Lines!). Good writers add details to their stories. Some details that we can add are…

 Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 7.40.42 PM

We also focused on making sure to s-t-r-e-t-c-h out each word in our story so that we can write down each sound that we hear. When writers write a word, we stretch it out slowly like a rubber band. We write down the first, middle, and last sounds that we hear in that word. First Graders are working very hard on writing their small moment stories! Way to go!!

Mind Up Update!

We introduced using mindful seeing.  When we are mindful with our seeing, we are taking in all the details around us.  We talked about how it is important to be mindful of what expressions you see on people’s faces.

We talked a lot about what facial expressions show which feelings.  And then we talked about how we can be mindful see-ers and if we see someone who has an expression on their face that shows they are not feeling happy or good, then we can check in with them and see if there is anything we can do to help their feelings improve.

We, also, discussed mindful movement.  We started by finding our pulse and talking about being aware of the rate that our heart is beating.  After doing jumping jacks for 30 seconds, we noticed that our heart rate was much faster than when we were resting on the floor.  We talked about how our heart pumps faster when we are exercising to get more oxygen to our body so that we have energy to keep going.  But, our heart rate speeds up when we are nervous, excited, or scared as well.  We talked about being aware of how quickly our heart is beating and learned a way to calm ourselves down if we notice our hearts beating faster than they need to.  We talked about sitting up straight to allow for easier blood flow throughout our bodies and taking deep breaths (or yawning) to slow your heart rate and help calm ourselves.

We also talked about our body movement and how we need to be mindful of how we are moving.  Often, first graders are on the move and bump in to people or furniture around them without realizing it.  To practice being mindful of our surroundings, we each put a book on our head and walked around our room trying to keep it balanced on top.  The kids were very aware of where the furniture was, where their friends were, and what speed they were moving so that their book wouldn’t slip off.  Since having this discussion, we have talked about being mindful of our surroundings while we are moving around the room, especially around our mailboxes or iPad cart where space is limited (no pushing/shoving).

Math Update!

This week we began our second math unit.  Unit 2 will cover addition and subtraction strategies and provides the foundation for all of the math learning that will take place for the rest of this year and beyond.

This week we learned how to draw pictures to solve story problems. This strategy worked well, except it took us a R-E-A-L-L-Y long time to draw pictures of some objects, such as castles, pencils, and rockets.

Later in the week, we tried a new strategy: circle drawings. We used a break apart stick and circles to show the partners in a story. Then we counted up the total in a snap!

We also learned about the math symbols, equal (=) and not equal (≠).  Numbers are equal (=) when they are exactly the same. This understanding of equality is an important math concept that students will apply when writing equations throughout this year.

Week 5!

It was a hot, sweaty day for the Walk-a-thon this past Friday, but we stayed hydrated and enjoyed some yummy popsicles too!!  We had a blast walking, playing, and showing off our talents with some superhero events.  Thank you so much for sending in your donations in support of our school and joining us to walk with your children.  Prize winners will be announced later this week once all of the donations have been counted.  Pictures from the Walk-a-thon have been posted to our “Room 104 – Photo Stream” – just send me an e-mail if you would like me to re-share the link.

September 25 – Walk-a-thon Money Due

September 25 – PJ Day

September 25 – Library Day

Please help your child send his/her book back to school.

September 29 – Eagle Spirit Day

September 29 – Super Fans – Pep Rally

September 29 – Scholastic Book Orders Due

Visit the scholastic website and place your order online.  Our classroom code is: H9GTW.  Flyers will be sent home in your child’s blue folder on Monday.

Save the date for our Halloween Party!!!  It will take place Friday, October 27 from 12:45-1:30.  More details about how to sign up to donate and volunteer will be emailed soon.

Thank you so much for sending your child’s Friday Letter back to school this past week!!  We were not able to squeeze one into our busy schedule on Friday, but look for one in your child’s blue folder at the end of this week.  For the first few weeks, we will write the letters together, but later in the year they will be crafted by your child independently.

Our Take Home Reading homework will begin on Monday.  Look for a book baggie in your child’s blue folder.  More details and all the directions about this important reading opportunity will be sent to your e-mail tomorrow.

Math Update!

During our math time this week we reviewed breaking apart larger numbers into smaller partners.  We also focused on using our knowledge of partners and patterns to practice addition (+0, +1, +2) and subtraction (-0, -1, -2) facts. This week in particular, we practiced adding and subtracting doubles partners (1+1, 2-1, 2+2, 4-2, 3+3, 6-3, etc.), and discovered that a number minus itself equals 0 (8-8 = 0). After reviewing these concepts, we took our Unit 1 math assessment. The kids performed very well.

After taking math assessments (quizzes or tests), your child will receive their assessment with a summary of the skills assessed and their score out of the total points available for each skill. Anyone that is not consistently showing mastery of a skill area, will get some form of intervention at school to strengthen that area. If you have any questions about any of the assessments that come home, please let me know.

Writing Update!

We continued to work on writing small moment stories during our writers workshop.  This week, we learned that great writers include the 3 W‘s in their writing:

By including the 3 W’s on our first page, our writing is clear, detailed, and paints a picture for the reader.  For example:

My family went for a bike ride around our neighborhood.

Our class ate two Oreos in the classroom.

Reading Update!

During readers workshop, we continued to discuss how important it is to warm up as we read. We know to look at the pictures and think about what might happen in the story, but this week we focused on making a movie in our heads of the story and then checking that movie as we read to see if the story was matching our movie.  Sometimes the story matched our mental movie and sometimes our movie needed to change a little to match the words that we had read.  Good readers make a movie in their head as we warm up and then change their movie to match the story as they read the words.


P.J. Day!

Room 104 has done it again!  We have been working hard to follow our First Grade Rules eachday.  Whenever our class clip has landed on Ready to Learn or above (at the end of the day) we’ve earned a star (or stars) toward our goal.  Our goal this time around was to earn 10 stars and we have reached that goal!!


To celebrate, Monday, September 25, will be a P.J. Day in our classroom.  Your child may come to school wearing their favorite pajamas and slippers, but no stuffed animals please!