Week 36!

We had so much fun celebrating our realistic fiction writing this past week!

Thank you so much for reading our Friday Letters each week and writing letters back to your child.  We enjoyed looking back through all the letters in our books on Friday.  What a great artifact to hold on to from our year!  We hope you enjoy them too! 🙂

May 21 – Zoo Field Trip

We will leave school around 9:40 and meet our chaperones at the zoo @ 10:00ish.  Remember to dress your child for the outdoors, apply sunscreen, and send your child’s sack lunch to school (use a paper bag labeled with his/her name, if possible).  We will tour the zoo, eat our lunch, play on the playground, and head back to around 1:15ish.  We can’t wait!!!

May 21 – LAST LIBRARY DAY!!!

Please send your child’s book back to school.  We will head down to the library to turn our books in and listen to one more story from Mrs. Vandenberg.

May 22-25 – Realistic Fiction Writing Post Assessment

Our class will be writing our last realistic fiction book this week.  I will use this piece of writing to assess each child’s understanding of writing narrative books.  If you are able, before school on Tuesday, brainstorm with your child about a character, setting, and trouble they would like to imagine for their story and check in with your child about how their writing is going throughout the week.  I can’t wait to read these amazing books!!!

May 23 – Spelling Assessment

We will take one last spelling assessment over our 35 “no excuse” spelling words.

May 23 – Math Assessment

May 25 – Red, White, & Blue Day!!!

Wear your USA colors to school.

May 28 – No School: Memorial Day

We will be wrapping up with a lot of assessments this week and next week, it’s hard to pinpoint the date for each, but when I can I will add it to our schedule.  Make sure your child gets a good nights sleep, eats a yummy breakfast, and has two healthy snack to eat during our school day.

Reading Update!

Our first grade readers continued to work on discovering the lessons that our characters can learn in some of our favorite picture books.

As we talked more and more about the “big ideas” from our stories, we noticed some similarities and differences between our books.  We tried to really dig deep and make connections between the same lesson and trouble.  Sometimes, our characters experienced the same trouble, but the lessons that they learned were different.

At the end of the week, we reorganized part of our classroom library and grouped many of our favorite books together by the lessons they teach: believe in yourself, speak up, be polite, stay with the group, etc.  Then, we were able to pick books to read from these piles already knowing the lessons the characters (and ourselves) were going to learn.  We can’t wait to read more books and learn more lessons from so many amazing characters!

Math Update!

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.

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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).

Week 35!

HAPPY MOTHER‘S DAY!!!

I hope you had time to relax and enjoy those you love!!!  I also wanted to share how thankful that I am for all that you do each day to support your child as he/she grows in kindness, wisdom, and character.  We could not do what we do at school each day without your support, encouragement, and care!!  THANK YOU MOMS!!!

May 14 – Library Day

May 17 – PTC Meeting @ 6:30

*** Zoo field trip chaperones – check your e-mail for more information about the field trip tomorrow!! ***

Reading Update!

This week our readers worked on changing their voice to match their characters’ feelings.  We noticed a lot of little clues in the text that help us know when and how to change our voice like: ellipses, bold printitalics, CAPITAL LETTERS, quotation marks, and more.  The kids had so much fun looking for these clues in their own books!
We also learned to hold on to the lessons in our stories.  In our fiction books, our characters are always facing some sort of trouble and have to figure out ways to solve these big and small problems.  We can learn from our characters, and can even act the same way they do, when the same kind of trouble happens to us!

Writing Update!

This week in writing, we wrote a shared writing piece. We focused on all the things a good realistic fiction story should have and wrote a class story together. 
After that,  we spent a couple days working on our shared writing, we challenged the first graders to write their own story and to make sure the story had all the right details. They had two days to write their stories and I collected them to read on Friday. I was so impressed with how hard they worked and how creative they have been with their stories. This coming week we will wrap up our writing unit and celebrate our stories by the end of the week!

Math Update!

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!!
Screen Shot 2014-04-26 at 11.09.54 PMWe 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.

Week 34!

I had a great first week back in Room 104! We had lots of fun adventures and I tried to remember to take pictures along the way. Don’t forget to check out the photo stream to catch a glimpse of the fun throughout the rest of the school year!!!!

May 7 – Library Day

May 10 – Jet’s Pizza Night

May 11 – Take Home Books Due

Please return all take home books to school by May 11.  We will no longer be sending books home each night.  Thank you so much for your support with this nightly practice!!!  Our first graders have made AMAZING progress as readers this year.

May 11 – 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 send me an e-mail to let me know if a sack lunch is needed.

** This week we are switching our specials time with the 4th graders on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  They will be taking the M-STEP test during the morning on these days.**

Reading Update!

This week our readers really got to know one of our favorite characters: Mr. Putter.

We learned that as we read fiction books we need to study the main character.  When we do, we can figure out what he likes, dislikes and how he acts.  In our book, Mr. Putter Drops the Ball,we learned that Mr. Putter really likes to nap and he’s worried he might be too old to play baseball!

We should pay attention to all the other characters too!  Each character is so different.  Understanding all the characters helps us to make better predictions about the story.  In our book, we also met Mrs. Teaberry, who is brave and confident.  She is sure that Mr. Putter is not too old to play ball.

Later in the week, we remembered how important it is to go back and reread.  When we reread, we usually notice something new about our characters that we may have missed during our first read.

Finally, we talked about noticing our character’s feelings and when those feelings change.  If our character’s feelings change, we can “take action” and change the sound of our voice.  Our first graders are becoming such expressive readers!!!