Monday, September 26, 2016

Parent/Teacher Conferences

Today in your child's folder you should find a notice about signing up for parent/teacher conferences.  Please be sure to fill it out and send it back in by this Friday, October 2!
I look forward to meeting with you all!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Writing Workshop week of Sept. 19

Writing Workshop is up and running!  And do we have a class of writers!!  We have jumped right into personal narrative writing, which we call "Small Moments" in first grade. Students were asked to do a lot of brainstorming around ideas for writing small moments.  The best part about small moments is that they can be about anything that has happened to you!  And it doesn't have to be anything big, like a fancy vacation or something.  It can be about what you had for breakfast that morning, or the cow you saw out the window on your bus ride to school, or the about the time our farmer friend, Miss Virginia, started tossing fruits and vegetables at us as we did a sorting activity!  Small moment stories are all around us, everyday!  
Early in the week students drew pictures of things that they could write about, and glued them onto their new writing folder covers. Later in the week students began writing some wonderful small moment stories.  They also learned what writers think about and do in order to get ready to write a story. 

Body In the Group

First graders continued learning about working as a group, compromising, using flexible thinking, and keeping yourself in the group working on the group plan.  ("We vs Me"). After reading a book about this idea, table area groups were given the challenge of making a poster.  The poster could be be either about the deep sea, or outer space - which was the first group decision, or group plan.  They they had to work as a group to plan and create their poster. The teamwork and collaboration were top notch!  What a wonderful and respectful group of students!!

Fundations / Word Study

This week first graders started doing Fundations, or Word Study.  This week we worked as a whole class and reviewed letter formation, letter sounds, vowels, and trick words (words that are high frequency and/or cannot be sounded out). They really enjoyed organizing the letters of the alphabet on their magnet boards, and spelling some trick words. Next week we will begin working in small groups during our word study time as I strive to meet their individual needs. 

Math - Week of Sept. 19

First graders played a few games during math this week: Plus 1/Minus 1 Bingo, Five in a Row, and Roll and Record.  Although they are playing games, they are still doing a lot of math thinking!  

Plus 1/ Minus 1 Bingo involved picking a number card, and figuring out whether to add or subtract a 1 from that number depending on what you need to cover on your bingo board.  

Five in a Row involved rolling two dice, finding the sum, and covering that number on a bingo board.  Players worked together to cover 5 in a row.  

Roll and Record involved rolling two dice, finding the sum while practicing using the strategy of counting on, and recording the answer on their recording sheet.  The big question was which number/answer would they get most often, and therefore reach the top of the recording sheet first?  We had a wonderful conversation about why the number 7 was the "winner" for so many partners, and made a great visual/chart to guide our understanding. 

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Book Shopping

On Friday, students were able to go book shopping in our classroom library for the first time!  They rotated through stations looking for books that they were interested in. The excitement filled the air as they filled their new personal book boxes.  Over the next few weeks students will be working hard to learn about picking "just right" books for themselves.  I can already tell that this is a class full of children who love books!!

We read this awesome book before we started "shopping".