After the weekend the students came back to school to learn about some exciting literacy changes! Since the beginning of the school year, students have been learning how to independently engage in Daily 5. So far Daily 5 has positively impacted our literacy block so that the students can work on five different literacy skills multiple times a week. To support the Daily 5 literacy framework, developed by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser, students engage in read to self, read to someone, listen to reading, work on words, and work on writing each day. This structure allows students to be challenged at their individual level and to learn responsibility by making choices. It also provides the opportunity for me to work with small groups of students who have similar reading needs and to work with students one on one. The students have embraced the Daily 5 and have done a nice job of completing their literacy activities. The Daily 5 include:
• Read to Self: The best way to become a better readers is to practice reading. When reading to self, your child will read books at their “just right” level. The students have been provided with their own individual book bag filled with “just right books” that I will continually refresh so the students will have plenty of new reading material. The "just right books" were chosen based on your child's independent reading level. Students also are given the opportunity to choose two additional books of their choice from our classroom library for each week.
• Read to Someone: Reading out loud to someone helps to improve reading fluency and comprehension. Students are also able to practice their ability to cooperate and work with a peer. Students practice this using EEKK (sitting elbow to elbow and knee to knee).
• Listen to Reading: Listening to reading also supports the development of fluency. In addition, it allows students to read books that are more difficult for them to read independently. After listening to reading, the students will work on one or several different comprehension skills utilizing a graphic organizer.
• Work on Words: Working with words helps students become better spellers, readers and writers. Students may play games with these words or write them in unique ways.
• Work on Writing: To become a better writer, students must practice writing. Students will work on different forms of writing: creative writing, personal narratives, informational writing, poetry, opinion writing, writing in a journal, letter writing, working on grammar skills, and so on. This is in addition to our Writer’s Workshop which occurs later in the day to work on specific types of writing.
• Meet with the Teacher: Students will work in a small group of students with a teacher who have similar reading needs. This is where each student engages in reading with a group or one on one to work in their CAFE reading goals. Students will have the opportunity to read with myself and all the teachers that come into our room to support students like Mrs. Goldstein, Mrs. Jacobs, and Ms. Tangman. Every child had at least one opportunity to read with a teacher this week. If your child met with a teacher other than me last week they are on the top of my list for next week so that I continuously meet with all of the students in the class.
From Shoot to Apple PDF
In math we continued working on 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.
Students were able to practice this skill with the Learning Carpet and by playing this Tic Tac Toe game on the hundreds chart: Tic Tac Toe Hundreds Chart Game PDF.
We also worked on number patterns by utilizing The Learning Carpet to master this standard.
Additionally, our class continued to identify the Standards of Mathematical Practice we were using as we worked on our daily Math Warm-Ups. First graders were also challenged to find connections between the Standards of Mathematical Practice and growth mindset after watching the following video:
1. What was the biggest challenge you faced today? (Ask your child, and then have them ask the question back!)
2. How can you and I think about these challenges in a new way?
3. What can we do differently tomorrow if we face similar challenges?
Our class really enjoys practicing their letter formation, word writing, and sentence writing with the program Handwriting Without Tears. We have been focusing on beginning all sentences with capital letters and ending all sentences with an end mark (period, question mark, or exclamation point). We are also practicing leaving a finger space between each word in a sentence.
During our Writer's Workshop time students learned how to "Plan with a Partner" this week. Partners can help you get going on your writing plan and add more details by asking questions. After planning with a partner, students went off to independently write their "small moment. Here is a poster that has been helping us during our partner time:
Additionally, several students are having a difficult time coming up with their own small moment stories. We keep "Tiny Topic Notebooks" at school to jot down stories we might like to write about later so we don't spend too much of our Writer's Workshop time thinking of stories to write about- instead we are able to write for the majority of the time. If you would like to print out a "Tiny Topics Notebook" so your child can have one at home too I have added the PDF below:
Tiny Topics Notebook PDF
Don't forget that students are looking for "small seed moments" (like the best dessert I ever ate) instead of "big watermelon ideas" (like I love to eat all things with sugar in them).
Students were able to learn about apples this week during science. We learned about the life cycle of an apple tree, two different ways to grow an apple tree, graphed apple colors, learned about Johnny Appleseed, and so on.
Mrs. Grost, our school librarian, set up an apple tasting in the library where we were able to taste a variety of apples such as Pink Lady, Rave, Golden Delicious, Jazz, and Sweetie. Students then took notes on their observations and chose a favorite type of apple to vote for in the end. We then collected our data, organized it and finally analyzed it to see which apple was the favorite type of apple for our class. This year the winner is: Pink Lady!
Additionally, our class was able to make a homemade chunky style applesauce at school. In a slow cooker, we added apples that were cut, cored, and peeled. After four hours the classroom smelled amazing! The students enjoyed tasting a small amount of warm applesauce at the end of the day. We remembered how scientists use their senses to make observations so, as a class, we wrote down some sensory words as we enjoyed our applesauce. We will be able to use this as a "shared experience" to write about during future Writer's Workshop lessons. Because the applesauce was such a hit, I have attached a copy of my recipe here: Apple Sauce Recipe PDF.
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