Sunday, April 16, 2017
First graders have begun a new writing unit and it's all about sharing their opinions on something, writing a review of it, and trying to convince others to try it (or not!). We began our unit by focusing on some popular board games and card games. Students chose a game that they really like to try out this kind of writing. They made a plan before starting their piece to help them think through the reasons they had to support their opinion (aiming for at least three reasons). We are in the early stages but already some strong opinions and supporting reasons are shining through!
During Reading Workshop first graders have been learning about, and finding, the most important parts of the stories they are reading. Students are marking these parts with sticky notes, which helps them to remember those parts when they are talking about the book with someone else. We have done this as a whole class, discussing together what the big events and most important parts are of a story that we have read together. Students are also doing this important work in small reading groups, as well as in their independent reading books. During partner reading, students have been telling each other about the important parts in their books before reading them together. There have been a lot of wonderful conversations going on about our books and the most important parts in them! It has also helped students to slow down and do some deeper thinking about the stories they are reading.
Thursday, April 6, 2017
Sunday, March 26, 2017
We have been enjoying many Dr. Seuss books lately in our class. After reading them, we have pushed ourselves to do some deep thinking about what the theme, message, or lesson might be in the story. This class has really surprised me with their insightful thoughts and ideas!
First graders have been investigating many things around the topic of force and motion. They have conducted experiments to find answers to various questions such as: How does a ball's size affect how it rolls down a ramp? How does a ball's bounciness affect its motion down a ramp? How does a ball's weight affect its motion down the ramp? How does the incline of the ramp affect how a ball rolls down it? How does the texture of the ramp affect how a ball rolls down it? Many of our experiments get at the concepts of gravity, friction and momentum. Students made very thoughtful predictions, carried out their experiments, and then recorded and wrote about their observations and conclusions.
This past week we started a new math unit which began with learning the partners that make ten. Students made a "Tens Rainbow" and flash cards to practice their facts, as well as played "Tens Go Fish". Our goal is to memoize these facts so that we don't need to stop and figure them out.