It looks like a very snowy week of weather ahead with some FREEZING cold temps! Remember to send your child to school with all their winter weather gear and maybe a sweatshirt in case they get cold in the classroom.
February 1 – Library Day
February 1 – 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. Feel free to e-mail me to let me know.)
February 2 – Groundhogs Day
February 4 & 5 – NO SCHOOL: Mid-Winter Break
Have fun working on your valentines!!! Winter Break is the perfect time to get this job done! 🙂 When you finish, please send your child’s valentines into school in a bag labeled with your child’s name. I can store them here so they are ready for Valentine’s Day.
Also, look for an e-mail later this week about our Zoo Field Trip in May. We were able to secure a date in the spring: Monday, May 20. We would love to have you join us!!
This week in writing, we asked ourselves “How Can I Teach My Reader?” We need to think about who our reader might be and think about the questions they might have about our topic. For example, if we were writing “All About Dogs,” chances are that we would be writing to someone who doesn’t know much about dogs. If one of my facts is Dogs chew bones. My reader might want to know “Why do they eat bone?” or “What kind of bones.” Its our job as the authors of our books to think about the questions readers might have before we write and answer those questions before our reader has to ask those question.
We also focused on writing twin sentences to focus in on key words that will help teach our readers more about our topic. Here are a few good examples of twin sentences from our students’ writing:
Great Wolf Lodge is a hotel. A hotel is a place where people can spend the night.
Dogs need exercise. Some kinds of exercise are walking and playing fetch.
Dinosaurs are predators. Predators eat other animals.
This week in reading, we continued our focus on habits of a good reader to become SUPER SMART about NONFICTION topics. We worked hard to think about the facts that we had learned while we were reading and spent time sharing them with our classmates. To make sure that we were sharing facts in a way that would be interesting to our friends, we practiced reading them smoothly, trying our best to sound like a teacher or a news reporter.
We also began to review different ways to figure out tricky words in our nonfiction books.
After reviewing the MAKE A TEN STRATEGY, we took a math quiz, which the students all did very well on. Then, we moved on to studying our doubles facts. Many of our first graders know the first 5 doubles in a snap. The final 5 doubles were a little tougher.
We talked about how we can use what we know about doubles to help us solve other equations. We noticed that there is often a set of doubles that can be found hiding inside an equation. If we can find the hidden double, all we need to do is add one or subtract one to solve the equation. For example:
We will continue to work on our doubles facts, so our first graders can more easily use the Doubles +1 and Doubles -1 strategy. It would be wonderful if your child could practice their doubles facts at home too!! Practice makes permanent!!
We also 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. 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.
We can tell that our first graders are really beginning to understand the place value of these larger numbers!!!
It’s going to be a cold one tomorrow! Don’t forget to send in your child’s labeled winter gear to school and remind them to put on the snow pants for recess. Winter is back!!!
January 21 – MLK Jr. Day
January 25 – Library Day
January 25 – Popcorn Day
This week in Writers Workshop, we started a new unit about Nonfiction Writing. We are just at the beginning of the unit but we have already learned so much! First graders are so excited to be teaching about topics that they know a lot about! We began the week by talking about when you write a Nonfiction book, you need to pick a topic that you are an expert about. The way that we do this is first to think of a topic that you know a lot about. Then you plan your pages across your fingers. We want to make sure that we know around 5 facts about our topic so that we can write those facts across our pages in our books.
After you plan your topic across your fingers, good teachers and writers quickly sketch their plan across the pages in their books so that they don’t forget what they want to write on that page! Once you have sketched you plan then it is time to write the words!
This week, we introduced our first graders to a new addition strategy called “Make a 10″. For the equation, 9 + 4 = ___, we can “count on” to find the total of 13. Since the total, 13, is a teen number (which has a 10 hiding inside) we helped our students notice that 9 + 4 = 10 + 3. Both of these equations produce the total 13, but solving 10 + 3 is quicker and more accurate.
We will spend much of our math time next week working with this new strategy, as it is still very new and fragile.
This week in reading, we focused in on habits of a good reader to become SUPER SMART about NONFICTION topics. We worked at finding nonfiction books that are at a level we can read most of the words and then practiced taking a sneak peek to see what we could learn about the topic, before we even read the words.
We worked hard to s-l-o-w down our reading and really pay close attention to each page and the words and pictures that help teach us. We used what we learned from one page to help us predict what else we might learn in the book. And, we spent a lot of time sharing what we had learned (in our own words).
We had a great 4.5 days back at school and have loved the lack of snow on the playground – we can get outside so quickly!!! Here’s to another great week!!!
January 17 – PTC Meeting @ 6:30
January 18 – Library Day