This week students were introduced to the Words Their Way program. Words Their Way is phonics, spelling, and vocabulary instruction through daily word study. This program encourages instruction that supports students to learn spelling patterns and focus on exploring, examining and manipulating words, not memorizing them. The goal is to have students thinking more critically about words and work on transferring their skills to reading and writing. Additionally, the Words Their Way program allows me to ensure that each student has a list of words that is at their individual instructional level. Because first graders are still learning how to independently complete the different types of sorts, our whole class worked with the same /cvc/ (consonant, vowel, consonant) words this week. We practiced the following sorts:
Closed Sort: On Monday I introduced the words and the patterns we would be working with this week. I modeled how to start sorting the words before allowing the students to try it independently.
Blind Sort: Students worked with a partner to sort their words. One student read the word without showing it their partner. The partner had to decide without seeing the word at all which pattern it belonged in. Once they chose the correct pattern, the student reading the word gave the word to their partner to put in the correct spot.
Blind Writing Sort: This is similar to the blind sort. One student reads the word without showing it to their partner. Their partner then needs to determine which pattern it belongs in and then correctly spell the word under the correct pattern.
Speed Sort: Students work to sort their words as quickly as they can and then try to beat their time the next day.
The class enjoyed trying out these different types of sorts! They will be receiving their instructional level spelling sorts next week along with a letter with more information about the program, sorts, and tests.
We were also able to learn a new Daily 5. This week we continued to practice “Read to Self” and we began working on “Read to Someone”. We learned that when we “Read to Someone” we sit EEKK (elbow to elbow, knee to knee). The following poem helps us remember how to “Read to Someone”:
We have continued to work on our personal narrative unit and focusing on a small and meaningful moment that we can stretch out over pages. This week students learned that writers revise their work. Once they think they have finished a piece they go back and think, "Did I add enough details?" They learned to see if they answered questions like: Who? What? Where? When? and How? If they didn't students learned that that is a good way to add more details to their writing. We created an anchor chart to hang on the wall so that students can reference it during their Writer's Workshop time. Here are the key points on our anchor chart:
Additionally, we worked on number patterns by utilizing The Learning Carpet to master the following Common Core State Standard:
1.NBT.A.1 Count to 120, starting at any number less than 120. In this range, read and write numerals and represent a number of objects with a written numeral.
Student Friendly Objective: I can count up to 120 starting at any number. I can also write any number up to 120.
The Learning Carpet is a permanently gridded, 100 square floor mat (6 feet square and bound on all sides), on which children are able to develop their understanding of mathematics through kinesthetic learning.
Students were introduced to Second Step which is a program that teaches Social-Emotional Learning. When students are better equipped to manage their own emotions and build positive relationships, they're better equipped to learn. Our first lesson focused on listening skills so that we can learn. Here were the 4 things we practiced with some hand/body movements to help us remember them:
1. Eyes Watching
2. Ears Listening
3. Voice Quiet
4. Body Still
Several lessons come with homework pages. I plan on sending them home for communication to you so that you are familiar with the language we are using at school. The homework page DOES NOT need to be returned to school since the purpose I am sending it home for is to communicate the language to you. You can choose to have your child complete the page to reinforce these skills at home if you would like.
Tuesday, September 19th - Scholastic Book Order Due, follow this link to find out how to place your order: http://mrsdecristofaro.weebly.com/scholastic-book-club.html
Thursday, September 21st - No school, Rosh Hashanah
Friday, September 22nd - Library books due
Friday, October 6th - Early release, students dismissed at 1:00pm.
Monday, October 9th - No school, Fall Break
Tuesday, October 10th - No school, teacher institute day