Students learned a new reading strategy to add to our Cafe board this week. We were excited to place "Use prior knowledge (schema) to make connections" under the "C" for comprehension. Making connections with text is an important reading strategy that good readers do in order to better understand what they are reading. If students are able to connect on a personal level with a character or the storyline they can better understand what they are reading and it helps them to remember what they read. Appropriately utilizing this strategy can be challenging for first graders because they have a difficult time distinguishing between "fun facts"/coincidences versus connections that help the reader better understand the story. When your child is reading to you at home try modeling how you activate prior knowledge before you begin reading. You child will be able to learn how to practice this reading strategy by observing how you do it. You can use some of the following sentence starters we use at school when teaching this to help you model:
- I can connect to... (identify part in the story you are connecting to).
- It reminds me of... (describe book, experience, etc. to show connection).
- It helps me understand the story better... (I understand how the character must have felt, etc.)
We have a room full of authors this year! The first graders have really enjoyed our current "small moment" personal narrative unit. Many students went from writing just one sentence to writing entire stories that have a beginning, middle and end. Since students have really understood the structure of a personal narrative they have been learning how to really "bring their stories to life" by adding different kinds of details. Here are some of the things your first grader is working on adding:
This week we continued our computation unit by focusing on the common core standard 1.OA.A.1 by focusing on addition strategies. Students were able to work in small groups based on mathematic needs to practice addition strategies at their instructional level. Here are some of the strategies that we have learned that help student improve fact fluency:
Counting On: Students start at the larger number and count on what is being added. We focused on “counting on” when adding two numbers together while playing Number Compare Addition Top-It. This was a different version of the domino game that the students learned last week. Students learned how to identify the strategy that they used to solve the problem, wrote their equation and their partners equation down, and finally used the greater than, less than, or equal to signs to show which sum was the largest.
Doubles: Some small math groups worked on learning how to add doubles. We learned that doubles are memorable and easy to memorize to help us add with automaticity. Students were able to play a domino game where they had to find a matching domino and then say the double they added together to become more automatic when they see doubles in addition.
Near Doubles: Once students are confident in their doubles I have been introducing students to the strategy of "near doubles". The near doubles build on student proficiency with the doubles facts, along with an understanding of near numbers (+1 facts). When faced with a fact like 6 + 7, students can think double 6, plus one more.
You child can practice adding doubles with this video:
Tuesday, October 24th: Picture Day
Tuesday, October 31st: Halloween- The all school parade will be at 1:50pm.
Costume information: Students’ costumes should be safely designed and age appropriate to allow for adequate vision, mobility and warmth. Masks cannot be worn. NO TOY WEAPONS of any type will be allowed at school.