It has been a goofy few weeks with the snow days last weekend the impending snow for this week. I am hoping that we will be here all week but just in case we said goodbye to Erminia who is moving to Forest Grove over Winter break. We will miss her so much!
We’ve been working on some art projects lately. The kids have really enjoyed being creative. They did a fantastic job with their observational drawings. Everyone really took the time to draw what they were seeing. Look for those in the hallway soon!
We’ve also been working on deepening our understanding of place value in math. We did an activity today where the kids had to roll, make, and expand a two-digit number. They did an incredible job. We also had a little fun with a “mystery picture” that involved solving place value problems, as well.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Winter break and I look forward to seeing everyone back here in January!
This week we began exploring the writing genre of “How To” books. We talked about how one must be a sort of expert to explain How to do something well. We have a lot of amazing experts in the classroom including a snowman builder, lego builder, an artist that draw fairies, and another that does stick figures, and chefs that can cook pancakes and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. We shared our first tries at the genre and realized that we may need to slow down and think carefully about each step and which words we use. It was a lot of fun to write in a new genre.
In reading we are revisiting how to pick a Just Right book. As beginning readers we want to make sure that the books we choose are not too easy or too hard. We use the 5 Finger Rule to check to see how a book fits. Ask you kiddo to tell you about it! Its important because readers make the most progress when they partake in lots of reading at just the right level.
I hope everyone had a restful break. It sounded like kids had a lot of fun visiting with family and friends, traveling, and eating great feasts.
The year seems to be flying by! We have just three short weeks until Winter break. In those weeks we will be starting a new writing unit on How to Books, and finishing up our math unit on Understanding Addition & Subtraction. Our current focus is counting by 5’s and 10’s. We just finished making our crab chart to help us with counting by 10’s!
To help with our new writing unit you can talk with your kiddo about things that they know how to do that they could write a book about – like tying their shoes; making a sandwich; playing on a slide; making a soccer goal; making an ice cream sundae; raking the lawn; setting the table, etc.… The goal is for them to write many of these mini-books over the next few weeks so many topics will be helpful!
Thank you to everyone who made it to our Fall conferences. It was great to sit down and have a conversation with everyone. It is powerful for teachers to sit with families and look at their strengths, struggles, and progress. They are a sweet bunch of kiddos and I feel lucky to be working with each of them.
This week we have broken up into our Word Work groups. We will be learning three new routines over the next 5 days to do with our word sorts. We will be sorting our words with a partner in a “blind sort”, looking for our word patterns in books, and writing sentences with our words.
In math we have been working on using the number line to help us solve addition and subtraction problems. We will be focusing on counting by 5’s with the help of crabs over the next week, as well as talking about the shapes we see on our November calendar.
This week we are learning about pumpkins. We knew quite a bit already, but still have some questions such as, why do they have lines on them? How much can they weigh? How many seeds do they have inside? We started out by reading some fun stories including Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White, and then read a nonfiction book called From Seed to Pumpkin by Wendy Pfeffer to learn a little more about how they grow. Still to come is measuring pumpkins, pumpkin poems, and writing facts about pumpkins. In math we are really practicing our number writing and basic addition. We will be looking at and extending patterns later in the week. Many children are asking for homework – we talked about playing games, lots of reading, and writing stories at home are all great ways to get home practice.
We had a fun time at the Northwest Children’s Theater on Tuesday. It was a fantastic production of The Cat in the Hat. The kids really enjoyed it. They loved hearing about behind the scenes things such as how the set, props, and costumes work.
On Monday, I introduced the digraph sounds of /sh/ and /ch/. We are doing sound sorts and playing Word Detective – looking for these sounds/spelling in our reading. In math, we are learning some new games this week that will help to build our fact fluency. A Home Connection math game come home on Tuesday. This game can be played at home to practice the coin names and values, as well as using a coordinate grid.
We had a lot of fun sorting buttons on Monday afternoon in math. We are practicing sorting and naming categories this month. We are also turning our sorts into graphs. We discovered a lot of ways to sort buttons- by size, color, shape, material, and other details such as shiny or not, smooth or bumpy, 2 holes or 4. Along with our math skills, we are working on how to work with a partner or small group. It’s important to remember to Get along, Respect others, stay On task, Use quiet voices, Participate, and Stay in your group (GROUPS).
Next Tuesday we will be going to the Northwest Children’s Theater to see a play production of The Cat in the Hat. It should be a lot of fun! Please return permission slips as soon as possible. We can take four chaperones. You must have an up-to-date background check cleared through the office to chaperone. I will honor requests on a “first come, first serve” basis this time around, and then will do my best to accommodate others on future field trips.
The kids and I talked about homework the other day. First graders are Readers and I feel the best homework for First graders is to read and talk about books daily. This can include being read to, but please be sure to have your child read to you as well, for at least 10 minutes. Other “homework ideas” include card games, board games, and drawing and writing. Please let me know if you would like a home writing journal.
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