What a fun Valentine’s Day celebration!! The kids had a blast passing out their valentines and loved decorating their bags, too. If you haven’t checked out our photo stream, please do.
February 21 – Jet’s Pizza Night
February 22 – Spelling Assessment
We will assess our most recent words: be, this, from, I, have, or, by, one, had, not
February 22 – Popcorn Day
February 22 – Library Day
We continued to work on writing nonfiction teaching books. This week, we worked on organizing our books with a table of contents and we expanded our books to include four different chapters. As the kids start a new book, they first pick a topic and write down four different chapters that they will teach about for their topic. We worked on using these chapter titles to organize our ideas in our table of contents.
This week in reading, we continued to work on figuring out the tricky words that “stop us in our tracks” as we read our nonfiction books. We learned to crash the parts of a word together when we encounter a tricky word. For example, we say can say each part: ex – er – cise and then crash the parts together: exercise. Another strategy we learned is to do a S-L-O-W check, by running our finger slowly under the word, to make sure it looks right and sounds right.
We also started thinking about the meaning of the words in our books. When we are reading our nonfiction books we are learning new words about our topics. When we get to one of these new words we can try the word the best we can and then describe what it might mean. We had lots of fun telling about some of our new words and having our classmates guess what the word might be.
We added to our How to get SUPER SMART about NONFICTION topics chart this week too. We learned that keywords are words that are used over and over to teach about our topic. We worked on finding keywords in our books and sharing everything that we know about these words.
Our first graders are becoming experts on so many topics!!!
In math, we continued to study LARGE, TWO-DIGIT numbers. In particular, we used the greater than, less than, and equal to symbols ( >, <, = ) to compare these numbers. When we compare numbers, we stressed the importance of building each number with ten sticks and ones to easily identify which number has more tens. If both numbers have the same amount of tens, then we can compare the ones to find the greater number. Our first graders quickly noticed that the greater than and less than signs look like a “hungry mouth” ready to gobble up which ever number is greatest.
Just be careful… don’t let number like: 29 & 92 or 45 & 54 or 78 & 87 – trick you!!! Build those numbers and pay attention to the tens!!! Please review this concept with your first grader, if you notice him or her getting a little confused on the homework.
This week we also practiced adding ones numbers (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) together, and tens numbers (10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90) together. Our first graders worked hard to notice which numbers they were working with so they could accurately represent each equation. In order to prove our work, we used ten sticks and circles to help us find the missing total.
Just a friendly reminder, if you have not already, please send your child’s valentines to school soon. We will be passing them out on Friday along with some fun drawing, crafting, games, and snacks. Be sure to check out our photo steam to see all the fun – just send me an e-mail if you need the link again!
February 12 – Valentines Due
February 15 – Library Day
February 15 – Valentine’s Day Fun!!!
*** Our homework packet for the week has the wrong dates listed. (This is the packet that was originally going home the week of all the SNOW DAYS.) Plan to send the completed packet back to school on February 18. ***
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!!!