Math Update!

We moved into measurement, this week. 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).

Writing Update!

This week during writing, the first graders took their last writing assessment. They have done amazing with making sure to write a realistic story with lots of details!

We also took some time to pass back all of the writing assessments and celebrations from the beginning of the year and put them into a book. The first graders had so much fun looking at their writing from the very first day of school. They have grown SO much this year as writers! Look for this special keepsake in the next couple of weeks! We will spend the last weeks of school reviewing and practicing all the different kinds of writing we have learned this year.

Reading Update!

For the reminder of the year, I will be recommending some of my favorite books to our class.  We will enjoy some new chapter books series and picture books that I love.  I want your child to be excited to continue reading throughout the summer!  Look for some books lists, with books at your child’s just right level, to come home next week.  To keep your child’s skills fresh, reading everyday over the summer will be essential!

This week, we had fun reading from the following book series:

Week 36!

I can’t believe we are just 3 weeks away from the end of the school year!!!  Every year, we look forward to celebrating the end of the year together outside with bubblessidewalk chalkpopsicles, and fun!  We are all stocked up on FUN, but…we would LOVE if you would add bubblesLARGE bubble wands (Dollar Tree), or popsicles to one of your shopping lists in the next few weeks.  We will hold our celebration on Wednesday, June 5th, so if you are willing to help supply us, you can feel free to send in your goodies anytime before that day.

May 20 – Zoo Field Trip

We will leave school around 9:30 and meet our chaperones at the zoo @ 9:50ish.  Remember to dress your child for the outdoors, apply sunscreen, and send your child’s sack lunch to school (use the 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 school around 1:20ish.  We can’t wait!!!

May 21-24 – 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 24 – 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 24 – Red, White, & Blue Day!!!

Wear your USA colors to school.

May 27 – 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.

Writing Update!

This week, we took time to revise our collection of realistic fiction stories. We checked that the stories had all the key features that we had focused on in writing workshop. Then, we checked to see that our stories were easy for other people to read. We checked for finger spaces between words, capital letters in all the correct places (and not in the incorrect places), punctuation at the end of our sentences, correct spelling, and neat handwriting.

After that, we had the opportunity to add a cover to our series books and add an All About the Author page at the end of their collection. We studied some of our favorite authors to see what they shared about themselves in their All About the Author blurbs and then we wrote our own. If the stories don’t entertain you, the About the Author pages will!  It was such a fun celebration of all we’ve learned!!!

Reading Update!

We have had so much fun practicing with some of our higher level comprehension books that force the kids to figure out tricky vocabulary words and really infer beyond the text to understand the story.

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We read the book The Stranger (Chris Van Allsburg).  This story really puts the kids to the test to see if they can be careful to pay attention to all the small details that are on each page and put them all together to figure out who the stranger is.  We stopped on each page to check for understanding about the WHO? and WHAT? and by the end, the kids were so proud of all the thinking they were doing to figure out who this stranger really was.

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We spent time reading the book The Sweetest Fig, by Chris VanAllsburg.  The kids shared so many questions and connections, it was easy to see the thinking they were doing in order to figure out what was happening in this story.  We had lots of vocabulary questions to figure out in this book, because it takes place in France.

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.

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.

Bubble, Chalk, & Popsicle Fun!

Every year, we look forward to celebrating the end of the year together outside with bubblessidewalk chalkpopsicles, and fun!  We are all stocked up on FUN, but…we would LOVE if you would add bubblesLARGE bubble wands (Dollar Tree), or popsicles to one of your shopping lists in the next few weeks.  We will hold our celebration on Wednesday, June 5th, so if you are willing to help supply us, you can feel free to send in your goodies anytime before that day.

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 17 – Library Day

***To the excitement of our first graders, we have finished with our homework packets for the school year. Your child will no longer have a homework packet to work through and turn in each week. I have also collected all take home books. (If you still have one at home – send it into school anytime during the next few weeks.) A few kids have asked if they could continue taking home books. That is no problem at all! 🙂 If you would like your child continue to bring home a book, too – just let me know. ***

Don’t forget… our Zoo Field Trip is happening next Monday, May 20.  Look for an e-mail later in the week for reminders about how to prepare for the day.