# Week 17!

What an amazing Holiday Program this past week!!!!  The kids sure did sparkle and shine up front.  A big thank you goes out to Mrs. Bretz and our first graders who practiced tirelessly to perform our wonderful songs!!!

# December 21 – Spelling Assessment

Covering all of our words this year: a, and, the, of, to, in, it, is, you, that, he, for, was, on, are

# December 21-22 – Holiday Fun Activities

We will enjoy crafts, games, snacks, and even a movie throughout the day on Thursday and Friday.  Shhhhh!!  These activities are a surprise – don’t tell your first grader!!!

No homework packet will be sent home this week.

# Math Update!

During our math time this week we continued to practice solving addition and subtraction equations and stories as a whole group warm-up each day.  In order, to incorporate some small group review into our math time we also worked in math groups.

Our math group time involved a partner game called: Who Has More?  This game is very similar to the card game War, but it uses math cards with five groups as a visual support and involves important “math talk” that the kids share as they play.  Our group time also incorporated an independent practice packet from our Unit 2.  The kids were extremely self directed during this time and worked as a team to solve problems.  You may have also noticed some fun holiday mazes in your child’s blue folder.  This was a bonus task during one of our rotations.

We will continue rotating through our math group time next week, and we will also continue to practice our strategies for solving equations and stories.

As we wrap up our unit focused on characters, we talked about how good readers are thinking while they read.  One of the ways that we think is by making connections to what is happening to our characters. As we read, we stopped to think, ‘Would I feel the same way, if that had happened to me?’ or ‘Do I know of any other characters, from different books, who have felt this way before?’ Connections help us to understand how characters feel and infer why they are acting the way they are acting in different parts of a story. Making these connections will help your child to have a deeper understanding of story events and prepares them to be able to talk about character traits.

Next week, we will focus our attention on fluency.  The kids will practice rereading over and over again.  We will encourage the kids to scoop their words into longer phrases, paying attention to punctuation, using a storyteller voice, and showing our feelings through our voice and facial expressions!

# Writing Update!

Now that we’ve learned all of the parts of a persuasive letter, we challenged our first graders to be more productive during our writing time.  Our goal is for every child  to write a whole persuasive letter, with all the important parts.

We will be assessing and celebrating everything we’ve learned about persuasive letters next week!  We will pick a final letter to edit (to be a 5 star sentence) and revise (to make sure it has all the parts of a persuasive letter). Then, we will celebrate the work that these kids have done in this unit and send off one final persuasive letter before break.

# Week 16!

What a snowy weekend!!  I hope your family had lots of fun playing, building, and sledding outside.  Thank you for sending in all your child’s winter gear this past week.  The kids were experts at putting on their snow clothes.  We’ve been trying our best to carefully put everything away in our lockers.  If a hat or gloves end up missing, please let me know, and we will make sure to check for them here at school.

# December 14 – Dress Rehearsal @ Fair Haven Church

We will ride over to Fair Haven Church on busses in the late morning to practice for our program with all the first graders and second graders that will be performing with our class.

# December 14 – Holiday Program @ 6:30

The first graders should arrive @ 6:15.  There will be signs showing you were to drop off your child.  Please see Mrs. Bretz’s post for more details!  Click here –> Holiday Program

# Math Update!

Our first graders worked hard this week to prepare for our Unit 3 assessment.  We spent our math time solving addition (missing total & missing partner) and subtraction stories using the great strategies that we’ve learned during this unit.

The kids were definitely ready for the assessment and performed very well.  Woohoo!!!  Still, they will be asked throughout the rest of this year to solve stories, and we don’t want your child to lose any of the great strategies that they’ve gained from our learning.

To support your child at home, please encourage him or her to always PROVE THEIR ANSWER when solving a story.  We have taught our first graders to listen to a story and make an EQUATION that matches the story.  Then we ask them to use a math mountain to solve the equation.  This is demonstrated below:

We appreciate all the time that you take to encourage your child on their math homework.  Practice makes permanent and we don’t want our first graders to lose any of these wonderful strategies!!!

# Writing Update!

We jumped back into our Persuasive Writing Unit. We reviewed how persuasive letters had to do with things that were important to us and that helped make our home, neighborhood, or school a better place.

Next, we learned that persuasive letters try to make someone agree with our opinion. We stated our opinions in our letter using the “I think….” sentence starter. When we state our opinion, it becomes clear what we want the other person to think as well.

We then realized that it is important to think about our audience for our letters. If there is something we want to change in our home, then the best audience for our letter is probably someone at home, not at school.

We also talked about giving good reasons in our letters. Just saying that we really want something is not good enough! We need to share with our audience why it is important to us. We also discussed mini-moment reasons. These are little stories where we share a time when we saw the problem in our own lives. After our mini-moments, we also discussed how we need to add a solution to our letter. This is how we are going to help fix the problem.

We will continue to send home letters throughout the next week or so, you might receive a letter from your first grader. I encourage you to write them back! If you do, send it along with your child’s letter back to school. We would love to share responses we get with the class!

I also ask that if you receive a letter, make sure they are working for what they ask for! Don’t just let a “please please please” letter convince you. Look for a letter that gives good reasons and ideas before agreeing to what they ask for and a solution of how they can help make this happen. Don’t worry – I also warned them that it is likely that you might not agree with their request!

These letters are so fun to read – first graders sure are creative! Thank you for your help in making this process so fun for these first graders!

This week, we continued to spend time thinking about our characters. We paid close attention to how our characters were acting, what they were doing, and what they were saying. We asked, ‘How does the character feel?’ and then we backed up our thoughts with proof from the text.

We noticed that we could tell a lot about how our characters were feeling just by listening to the words they said. We used clues from the pictures and the characters bodies to help us figure out their feelings.

# Week 15!

It looks like cold weather (and maybe snow) is coming!!!  Remember to send in your child’s boots, snow pants, gloves, hat, scarf, and coat labeled with their name. We can’t wait for some fun, snowy recesses!!!

# December 4-15 – Candy Cane Sale

The annual candy cane sale has returned. Our fifth-grade classes will sell candy canes to help raise money for their end of year activities. This year the sale runs from Monday, December 4 through Friday, December 15. The cost for each candy cane is \$1.00 and they will be delivered the same day they are ordered. Thank you for your support and happy holidays!

# December 4 – Penguin Patch Holiday Shoppe

We will head down to shop in the morning.  If your child is going shopping, please send your child’s money enclosed in the Holiday Gift Shop envelope.  Make sure to fill out the information about who your child will be shopping for and how much to spend on each person!  Thank you!

# December 8 – Popcorn Day

We will not have library this week due to the holiday gift shop.

Be sure to check out the class photo stream to see photos of our holiday reindeer!