Spring News!

Time is moving way too fast in 1st grade! We had a wonderful time exploring and learning at the Botanic Gardens last week. Thank you to all my chaperones for helping and making it such a great experience for the kiddos.

I can’t believe in just 5 short weeks our wonderful First Graders will be Second Graders! It will be here before we know it! It has been amazing to see all the growth your kiddos have made, both academically and emotionally. It should be very busy and fun 5 weeks as we wrap up the school year. Read below for important dates and see what we are doing in the classroom and ways to support your kiddo at home!

Important Upcoming Dates:

No School – April 26th

Talent Show
April 27th @ 6:30pm

Insect Project Craft Supplies Due Date
Thank you for helping us collect various materials for our kiddos creative projects!

Field Day & Insectopia
Dates coming soon!

We've have focused on a variety of comprehension strategies such as, making connections, asking questions, and making predictions. Before Spring Break we focused on making inferences and visualizing. When the kiddos make an inference they are using what they know (their background knowledge) and clues in the text to figure out what they author is trying to say and create a meaning that is not stated explicitly in the text.

We are also working on the comprehension strategies of learning how to summarize important information, reading to get the big ideas, and sharing our learning with others. We are using our insect content in our reader’s workshop to use or summarizing and synthesizing skills.   

What can you do to help your child?
·      Making sure your kiddos read, read, read!
·      Have them summarize what they read and asking them what is most important and why. You can model this for them and they will get better at this skill with lots of practice and repetition.
·      Make sure your child is reading a mixture of fiction and non-fiction.

We have finished our unit of information writing/teaching books. I really enjoyed seeing all of the growth the kiddos made during this unit and how excited they got when they were writing chapter books! We are now focusing on opinion writing and writing to persuade. During this unit we are expressing opinions and supporting our opinions with detailed reasons. Focusing on proper letters (uppercase/lowercase), ending punctuation, and our best spelling!

What can you do to help your child?
·      Talking about commercials, videos, magazine ads, and other advertisements work to persuade people to try their product or visit their business
·      Hold your child accountable for best spelling, handwriting, and punctuation in their homework.
·      Help your child generate more ideas for persuasive pieces. What are their favorite restaurants? Parks? Movies?
·      Asking about what writing pieces they are working on in class.

 We are finishing up another math unit this week that has focused on addition and subtraction, combinations of 10 and how they can help us solve problems efficiently. Students have also explored other learning strategies to solve addition and subtraction problems from their peers and being critical thinkers! Next, we will begin our last addition and subtraction unit. This focuses on numbers, understanding place value, using place value to add and subtract larger quantities, problems with more than 2 numbers or larger numbers and solving problems with unknown quantities.

What can you do to help your child?
·      Play the math games sent home with your child often, especially the games that help with math facts that equal 10.
·      Asking your child to explain how they got their answer. When you can explain your answer you understand it at a deeper level.
·      Practicing skip counting by 5’s and 2’s to 120
·      Watch the math videos on the Math Tab of this blog!
·      Supporting your child with Sunshine math practice (really encouraging them to think critically and allowing for some productive struggle)

We’ve been working on a unit on life cycles, observing the life cycle of plants and insects. We have added some new class pets like mealworms and caterpillars! The kiddos love our new class pets and been observing them and recording their observations in our field notebooks. We also planted seeds and have watched and observed our plants begin to sprout. We have been focusing on what living things need, identifying characteristics of insects and how each characteristic helps the insect. We will be synthesizing our learning by becoming entomologists who discover a new kind of insect. Students will be building a brochure that describes their insect and how it can survive in the wild. We will plan an “Insectopia” event to share these projects with you!

What can you do to help your child?
·      Ask your child about their mealworms, caterpillars and plants and what they’ve noticed about how they are changing.
·      Asking, “what makes an insect and insect?” or “what are the parts of a plant? What does each part do?”
·      Bring in supplies for our upcoming insect projects!

January News!

Important Dates:
January 12th & 15th: NO SCHOOL
February 2nd: School Sock Hop
February 14th: Valentine’s Day Party ~ Time TBD

We have been working all year on building our stamina during reader’s workshop and finding books that are just right for us. Reading is thinking and we have been using our thinking for new learning, connections, and questions that we have during our reading. We have moved onto a new strategy, determining importance. We are monitoring our comprehension by identifying the most important part of our stories. The details helps the reader to deepen their understanding of the text.

The kiddos have published their narrative writing books and have become real authors! They are so excited and have worked so hard during their small moment writing unit. We have moved to our informational writing and have begun “teaching books”, where the students have become experts on a topic and will teach their readers about their topic. They have been flying through books and have really fostered a love for writing. This unit goes perfectly with our determining importance strategy in reading and our social studies unit with american heroes and symbols.

We have been working on our unit 3 and focusing on addition and subtraction.  We will be working on developing strategies for adding and subtracting numbers by counting on or back, solving problems that involve adding more than two numbers, and finding many different combinations for the same number.  We will also begin to work with place value as we represent the teen numbers as a group of ten plus a group of ones.

Social Studies
We have begun our unit on American Heroes and Symbols with a discussion about Martin Luther King Jr., as well as Rosa Parks and Ruby Bridges. In February we will learn about George Washington and Abraham Lincoln for President's Day.

We have ended our Pebbles, Sand, and Silt unit. The kids really loved working with the rocks and felt like real Geologists!