I sure am glad we postponed our field trip! With rain and low temperatures forecasted we thought it best to push the field trip to a later and warmer date. We’ll let chaperones know of the date change as soon as we know, and if you can no longer make we’ll refund your money. Thanks for understanding!
On the up side of canceling our trip, we were able to have one more art class with Gina. The kids had a great time exploring visual texture. The project will be hanging in “the dip” for the month of December, so be sure to take e a stroll down the hall.
Our main selection in literacy is a nonfiction piece called Life in the Forest. We read about how different animals find food in the forest. Finding facts in the text and writing about them helps us to be more mindful readers. We also continue our long vowel/silent e study. We are getting better at recognizing the pattern and remembering to flip the vowel sound!
Finally, our Authors Party was Wednesday afternoon. It was great to see some of you there! The kids were excited to share their stories with each other and with you. They have been working hard to retell an event over several pages. Bravo!
Next Tuesday, Nov. 24 is our field trip to Tryon Creek State Park. I still have room for two chaperones if you are interested! This is a fabulous adventure for the kids. We will be hosted by trained Nature Guides who will talk with us about healthy forests and their denizen. We will then be taken on a guided nature hike. We will be eating lunch at the park, as well. Please plan to help dress your child appropriately for the weather. More specific information will be coming home later this week.
In the classroom, our main story selection this week is titled The Big Circle by Eric Kimmel. This story follows a T. Rex on the hunt. Luckily, the triceratops herd it comes across outwits him by working together. We are practicing retelling the story using story words such a First, Next, Then, Last. Our silent E spelling pattern continues with the long O, and we will be looking at some contractions that use the n’t and ‘ll pattern.
On Tuesday we had our second art class with artist Ms. Gina. The kids are working on a piece that uses line, pattern, and symmetry. I can’t wait to see the final product! Be on the look out as it will be hanging up soon!
Fall is finally in the air, the clocks have been turned back, and we are on the 43rd day of school! We have a few regular volunteers coming in on Tuesdays (Thank you!), and a Word Ring helper on Wednesday mornings, but we sure could use a few more helpers in the classroom. If you have a few extra minutes after morning drop-off – giving word ring quizzes is an easy quick way to pitch in, a few minutes in the middle of the day can be spent reading with a child, or come in at the end of the day and play some math games with us! Let me know if you are interested or sign up on the calendar outside the classroom door.
For language arts this week we are learning about the silent e pattern (practicing with the long a sound first), and the comprehension skill of cause and effect. We are also practicing the letter t in handwriting, as well as finding rhyming words in our poem. We are also starting work on our first personal narratives.
In math, we are working with odd and even number pieces to help build a visual sense of numbers and how they fit together in arrays. We continue to work on writing our numbers without reversals, practicing our addition and subtraction facts, as well as learning more about shapes on our calendar.
Finally, we have been working on a Fall themed art project. Look for it in the hallway soon!
The NWCT play last week was fabulous. The kids really enjoyed seeing the live performance. It was fun for them to see the characters we had read about on stage. We even recognized some of the stories from the Elephant and Piggie books we have in the classroom!
Thank you all so much for making it to parent-teacher conferences. Please feel free to contact me anytime with questions, concerns, and/or to to set up an informal meeting. It is always great to get parent input and help with first graders!
This week in literacy we are focusing on naming the problem and solution and practicing making inferences in our reading. These can be tricky for first graders, but worthwhile skills to work on regularly. Please have your kiddo practice these skills at home with you. We are also learning about the digraph sounds of /sh/ and /th/. We are finding them at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of words.
In math we have been working hard on our addition and subtraction skills. We are also noticing the number facts we call Doubles and Neighbors. We use these to help us learn our math facts to 20. Next up is the fabulous counting patterns of 5’s and 10’s.
First off, tomorrow is Run for the Arts! We will be running on the playground from 11:00-11:30. Please send your kiddo to school in comfortable shoes, and with a water bottle if possible! Families are welcome to come and cheer on the runners. Hope to see you there!
Second, next Monday, Oct. 19 is our field trip to see the play Elephant and Piggie at the Northwest Children’s Theater. We will be eating lunch in the classroom at 10:15 and loading the bus just before 11:00 a.m. We will be returning to school around 2:00 p.m. We will have snack upon our return – so please send something for your child if you are able.
Parent-Teacher conference reminders came home on Tuesday. If you need to reschedule for any reason, please call the office and Tracy can help you out. I look forward to sitting down with families, sharing student learning goals, and learning more about your children.
The classroom has been busy and the kids are (mostly) settling into classroom routines. We have begun our independent literacy rotations and book clubs. This is a time when students are working independently, or with a partner, on spelling, sight words, and reading skills. Each student is also working in a small group reading books at their appropriate level. This is where we get to share our thinking as it relates to things we read, practice reading skills and strategies, and share our interests and books with others. There are always kinks to work out, and students to refocus, but overall I think we are up and running.
Finally, our Balls and Ramps unit has us experimenting with bounciness. Last week after deciding how to test bounciness, we determined which balls in our collection were the bounciest. This week we tested their bounciness by conducting an experiment several times and collecting data. We found after tallying and graphing the number of bounces each of the balls averaged, we had a clear winner – the Sparkly Super Ball!
The class is doing a great job completing homework and reading logs! We are about to venture in to the land of silent e – a new spelling pattern for most. Keep up the great work!
We hit the ground running this week with a science experiment Monday morning. We explored how much breath force it takes to get a ball to move across a table. After building rails on the tables from blocks and tubs the kids raced their balls across the table using only a straw and their breath to propel the ball. We noticed that there were several variables to consider when it came to figuring out which were the best rollers – size, weight, and what the ball was made from. The best roller was a small wooden ball, and the trickiest to get going was a wiffle ball!
We are working on demonstrating independence and responsibility within the classroom. We will be breaking up into small Book Clubs soon and all students need to be able to rotate through independent Centers without much teacher assistance. This means following directions the first time, being persistent, and knowing how to solve problems if they occur. We are learning the routines and practicing this week so we will (hopefully!) be ready next week.
In math, we have finished up our first unit on patterns, sorting, and graphing. Our next unit dives deeper into Addition and Subtraction – especially with 5’s and 10’s. The kids are working on several spin and graph assignments, practicing their number writing, and learning some new addition games using our buttons and bugs as manipulatives. I also introduced an iPad game Math Bingo to support addition and subtraction fact fluency. As you probably know, there are lots of free math games that can be played on tablets and a little bit of consistent practice time on these can help build First grader math fact fluency and understanding of the tricky concepts of coin values and time.
Finally, thank you for being so prompt with the field trip permission slips. I have three interested chaperones and room for one more. Let me know if you are interested! The Northwest Children’s Theater always hosts an entertaining production so you are sure to enjoy!
Last week we started our first science unit on Balls and Ramps. We started with comparing a variety of balls. We noticed many things like size, feel, weight, temperature, and the many different kinds of materials a ball can be made from. Today we entered “our laboratory” to experiment with the balls. We gathered data on size and comparative weight, and worked with the balls to determine which ones were the best rollers and bouncers. Check with your first grader and see if they can recall what the class discovered.
In math we are wrapping up our first unit on Sorting, Counting, and Graphing. This week we will be putting these skills to the test, so to speak. The kids will be working with a variety of materials trying to figure out as many ways as they can to sort the objects. Then they will count, compare, and finally represent their sorts on a graph.
In language arts we are working on our short vowel sounds for reading and writing, as well as beginning to focus on beginning blends. These blended sounds can be tricky to hear and pick apart. We often see the confusion in first grade writing – ex: gres for dress. Calling attention to blends whenever you can will help them to hear these sounds more clearly.
Finally, a permission slip for our first field trip came home today. Please let me know if you are interested in chaperoning. Reminder: All chaperones must be cleared through the office.