What a crazy weather week from snow to rain to seventies!!! Even with all the puddles, the kids loved running/walking laps on the track for Mileage Club. They felt like such big kids! 🙂
April 22 – Earth Day
April 22 – Art Show Reception @ 5:30-7:30
April 26 – Library Day
April 26 – Popcorn Day!!!
Our trip to the zoo is approaching (May 20) and I would love to have all first grade families fill out a quick survey about the trip to help me gather information about volunteers & sack lunches. Please click on the following link: Zoo Field Trip Survey
We began a new reading unit this week as we set off on an ADVENTURE with the characters in our fiction books. Our books can take us anywhere – the beach, the mountains, a treehouse, a tea party and so many more places. We want our first graders to be excited about reading because of all the adventures they can go on and places their reading can take them!!
So we “packed up our suitcases” with some reading strategies and took off on our adventure! As we were getting ready to go, we talked about one of our familiar strategies “take a sneak peek”. We can learn so much about our book by studying the front cover, reading any information on the back, and checking out the chapter titles before we read.
As we read more and more of our books, we noticed that our characters often move to different places and the time changes too!! We want to be aware of a change in setting, so we looked for clues in the pictures and words to help us stay right on track.
Finally, we worked on making predictions about what might happen next. We had fun guessing the next action in some new books with our favorite characters!
We are excited to go dig deeper into our adventures next week!
This week, we transitioned to solving comparison stories. Our first graders learned a new strategy called: COMPARISON BARS. Comparison bars are a visual tool for solving stories in which two amounts are compared and the difference (magic number) is either known or unknown. Check out the examples below:
Thank you (ahead of time) for helping your child on his or her homework pages this week. Be sure to check their work. This new strategy is tricky and sometimes our first graders are unsure about where the known information should go. (If the magic number or the difference is known, the information always goes inside the oval.) We will review more comparison stories next week and then we will wrap up Unit 6 with an assessment.
This week in writing, the first graders began writing Realistic Fiction stories. We started on Monday by making up a pretend character, thinking of a realistic first grade problem, and a solution to the character’s problem.
We want to make sure we are thinking of real problems like having a wiggly tooth, scrapping a knee on the playground, or getting a bee sting. Once we plan our story across our fingers, then we quickly sketch the story on our paper before we get to work writing the words.
We learned how to write a lead to our story by setting the scene, telling who, what, and where about our characters, and adding a detail to the first page. For example….
One sunny day, Gretchen was sitting in Math Switch. She heard Mrs. VanKoevering teaching about comparison bars.
We ended the week by learning about how we should end our stories. We need to make sure that we solve the problem in our story on the last page and to end our book with a lesson that was learned.
Gretchen felt safe. She learned to go inside whenever there was a thunderstorm.
What a great first week back, but can you believe the snow!?! We got outside as much as possible at the beginning of the week to enjoy the warm spring weather – hopefully it will be back again soon!
This week, we also started a new social studies unit: geography. The kids have loved studying maps and globes, reading about different places around the world, and practicing their home address, too. Make sure to check in with your child to see if he/she can recite their home address (including their zip code). I will check in with each child later this week to see if he/she can say all the parts to their home address.
April 19 – Library Day
We spent time this week learning about Geography.We talked about how when we look at things, we see them one way, but when we look at a map, it looks different. We’ve learned that maps are made from a “bird’s eye view” or “aerial view”.
We read a book called, “Me On the Map” and learned about maps and globes. We learned that there are symbols on maps and globes in the Key to help us understand. Where we see green or brown, that is land, and where we see blue, we know that is water.
We also talked about how each person has a special place on the Map. Our Special place is our address. We each practiced writing and saying our addresses at school. There are 3 lines that help make up our address:
First and Last Name
House Number and Street Name
City, State, and Zip Code
Please have your first grader practice saying his/her address at home. I will be checking in with each child during the month to see if they can remember all the parts of their home address (even the zip code).
We were excited to write some small moment stories about the fun we had over spring break this week. Our first grade writers did a great job remembering some of the techniques that we used when writing stories way back in the fall: add a who, what, and where, add dialogue, add details, and add a special ending.
Our small moment story writing was excellent practice for our next genre of writing: realistic fiction. The kids are so excited to begin thinking up their own characters, problems, and solutions for the new stories we will write.
At the end of the week, we spent time writing a realistic fiction story together. We brainstormed the characters, setting, problem, and solution and sketched out each part of our story. Then, we added the words and details.
The kids are so excited to try out their own realistic fiction story next week!
We began our Unit 6 in math this past week. Our first grade mathematicians are now sorting, organizing, and comparing data. What a blast!!
To start things off, we learned how to take random data and record it on a chart or graph. Crossing out each object as we add it to our graph helps us to be accurate in our representation.
After graphing the information, we were able to notice many things about the data we were studying. Which group had the most? Which group had the fewest? How many in all? And, we were also able to make comparisons – how many more or how many fewer. To compare our data, we drew matching pairs and then circled the magic number.
The magic number represents the difference between the two groups being compared. No matter if we are comparing how many more or how many fewer – the number is always the same (that’s why it’s magic!).
We can’t wait to learn more!
Our focus during Readers Workshop has been UNDERSTANDING what we read. This week, we learned about some “tools” that can help us if we become confused about what we are reading.
Our first “tool” to help us understand what we are reading is to check if we are “getting” what’s happening. If we read a page and something doesn’t make sense, we can ALWAYS go back and reread slowly and think about what is going on. We can even chat about what’s happening with our reading partners to make sure we’ve got it.
It is also important to make a movie in our minds as we read. Our movie can fill in the little parts that might be missing from the words and pictures in our story. It can also help us better understand what the characters are thinking about or feeling. We closed our eyes and turned on our movie cameras to help us imagine our Zelda and Ivy book as a movie with music, dialogue, and lots of emotion.
As our books get longer, they often include a lot of character dialogue. It’s important to stop and think about who is doing the talking. Sometimes the word “said” will help us figure out the character that is speaking, but other times we have to infer.