Sunday, April 22, 2018

Spring News



Time is flying in first grade!  We had so much fun exploring and learning at the Botanic Gardens last week.  Thank you to all our volunteers for helping make it such a great day!

We have been working hard on collaborating with peers for a variety of projects and learning opportunities.  I hope you have had a chance to see some of their collaboration projects , such as their Reader's Theater Plays and their American Heroes and Symbols Projects on SeeSaw.

I can't believe we are nearing the end of the school year!  It is amazing to see the students grow so much, both academically and emotionally.  They are becoming more independent every day!   It should be a busy, fun wrap up over the next five weeks!  Read on for important dates and a peek into what we are doing in the classroom, along with ways to support at home.  Thank you!!

Important Upcoming Dates

4/26:  Take Your Child to Work Day
 If your child is participating, please let me know ahead of time!

4/27:  Talent Show-- 6:30pm 

4/30: Book Orders Due Online by 3:00pm.
This will be our last order of the year, so consider stocking up for summer reading!  Remember, you are not limited to the items in the paper catalogs.  Look online for TONS of great reading options for all levels and interests.  Also, remember to use the FREE BOOK coupon in your homework folder!

5/7:  Due date for Insect Project Craft Supplies! 
Thank you for helping us collect toilet paper and paper towel rolls,  egg cartons, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, plastic bottles and caps, small paper cups, tissue paper, yarn, ribbon, poof balls, and other useable recycled materials for the students creative projects!  Look for the note in homework folders with more details.

Look for Field Day and Insectopia date coming soon!  

A Peek Into Our Classroom


Reader’s Workshop

We are focusing on….
* setting personal reading goals to improve our decoding and comprehension  
*thinking strategies: summarizing and synthesizing (learning how to summarize important information, read to get the big ideas, explore and investigate, and share our learning with others)
* embedding our Insect Content into our Readers workshop to put the summarizing and synthesizing skills to work!

You can support your child at home by….
*Asking: What are your reading goals?    
*Use the resources under the Reading Tab to guide you as you support your child with decoding and comprehension.  Make sure they read, read, read!
*Have your child summarize what they read.  Ask them what is most important and why.   
*Make sure your child is reading a mixture of fiction and non-fiction.

Writer’s Workshop

We are focusing on….
*Writing to persuade!  We are working on opinion writing, or reviews of a variety of topics from the best toy to the best restaurants. 
*express opinions and support our opinions with several detailed reasons
*add details, compare, and use sparkly words
*quote experts and give helpful tips
*Appropriate conventions (upper/lower case letters, ending punctuation, best spelling)

You can support your child at home by…
*Asking:  What opinion pieces are you working on?    
*Help your child generate more ideas for persuasive pieces.  What are their favorite restaurants? Parks?  Movies? 
*Point out the way commercials, videos, magazine ads, billboards and other advertisements work to persuade people to try their product or visit their business
*Hold students accountable for best spelling, printing and punctuation in their homework writing    
Math

We are focusing on….

*solidifying skip counting to 120
*understanding place value
*using place value to add and subtract larger quantities
*Solving problems with more than two numbers or with larger numbers
*Explaining our thinking and solving problems in different ways
*Solving problems with unknown quantities  

You can support your child at home by…

* Watch the Math Videos on the Math Tab of this blog!  New videos have just been added! 
*  Continue to practice counting by 1s (forwards and backwards), 5s, 10s, and 2s to 120 until these skills are mastered
*Work on addition and subtraction fact fluency within ten, especially doubles and ways to make ten (i.e. 1+9, 2+ 8, 3+ 7, etc.)
*Supporting your child with Sunshine math practice (really encouraging them to think critically and allowing for some productive struggle)
*Playing the math homework games together and encouraging your child to share their thinking by asking, “how do you know?” or “what strategy did you use to find that answer?”
Social Studies/Science

We are focusing on…

*Life Cycles of Insects and Plants
*Observing and Noticing Changes as our Meal Worms, Caterpillars and Plants grow!
*What living things need
*Identifying characteristics of insects and how each characteristic helps the insect    
*Synthesize 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! 


You can support your child at home by…

*Ask students to tell you about their mealworms, caterpillars and plants. Ask:  What stage are they in?  What is their life cycle like? What characteristics help them the most?
*Help them read more about insects that interest them (PebbleGo or Britannica online are great resources for this). NOTE:  Please avoid reading more about mealworms just yet!  Trying to keep the suspense of what they might turn into when they come out of their pupa stage!
*Bring in supplies for our upcoming insect projects! 

4 Cs:  
We are focusing on...
*Critical Thinking:  We can learn from others, try new strategies, disagree respectfully and justify our thinking with reasons!
*Creativity:  We can use our own ideas to create a product that shows our learning.  We can explain what we did and why! 




Monday, February 5, 2018

February News



Time is really flying here in first grade!  The kids are taking off with their reading, writing, and math skills and it is so fun to watch them grow!  February is a very busy month!  See below for important upcoming dates and a peek into what we have been learning. 

Important Upcoming Dates:  

2/6:  Our 100th Day of School!  We will be doing special projects to celebrate throughout the day.
2/14:  Valentine's Day!  Please send Valentines and boxes in the morning so students have time to pass out their cards. Our class party will be from 2:40-3:25.  
2/15:  Window Opens to Schedule Spring Conferences Online (conference dates are in March)
2/16: No school for students.  Teacher professional development day.
2/19:  No School.  President's Day.
2/27:  Our Earth Matters Music Program.  Our class performs from 6:15pm-7:00pm.  
A Peek Into Our Classroom    


Reader’s Workshop

We are focusing on….

* setting personal reading goals to improve our decoding and comprehension  
*thinking strategies to help us understand and interact with texts (determining importance, paraphrasing, keeping track of our thinking and learning as we read)
* noticing and learning from all the non-fiction text features that authors use

You can support your child at home by….

*Asking: What are your reading goals?    
*Use the resources under the Reading Tab to guide you as you support your child with decoding and comprehension.  Make sure they read, read, read!
*Have your child stop and paraphrase what they read.  Ask them what is most important and why.   
*Make sure your child is reading a mixture of fiction and non-fiction.

Writer’s Workshop

We are focusing on….

*Writing informational books to teach others about a topic.
*Breaking down and organizing a topic into important parts (chapters)
*Using words and pictures to teach important information.
*Including non-fiction text features such as table of contents, headings, labels, captions, close-ups, and bold words.

You can support your child at home by…

*Asking:  What teaching books are you working on?   
*Help your child generate more ideas for teaching book topics.  What do they know a lot about?  What can they teach to others?
*Point out text features and interesting ways that authors teach in the non-fiction books you read together. 


Math

We are focusing on….

*counting and sorting larger numbers (up to 120) in a variety of ways
* finding many ways to represent a given number
*solidifying skip counting to 120
*Solving problems with more than two numbers or with larger numbers
*Explaining our thinking and solving problems in different ways
*We will soon be introducing: telling time to the hour, measurement, and fractions

You can support your child at home by…

*Use the Pearson Math Words and Ideas Page for great practice options and to gain a better understanding of how different concepts are taught
*Continue to practice counting by 1s (forwards and backwards), 5s, 10s, and 2s to 120 until these skills are mastered
*Work on addition and subtraction fact fluencyespecially doubles and ways to make ten (i.e. 1+9, 2+ 8, 3+ 7, etc.) 
*Supporting your child with Sunshine math practice (really encouraging them to think critically and allowing for some productive struggle)
*Playing the math homework games together and encouraging your child to share their thinking by asking, “how do you know?” or “what strategy did you use to find that answer?”
Social Studies/Science

We are focusing on…

*Exploring American Figures and Symbols
*Choosing a figure or symbol to research
*Determining Importance and Paraphrasing Important Learning
*Collaborating with others to create a project
*Kindness!  We will be decorating our classroom door and talking about the importance of choosing kindness everyday

You can support your child at home by…

*Ask students what people and symbols they have learned about and why they are important
*Help them read more about the ones that interest them most (PebbleGo or Britannica online are great resources for this)