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). We will be incorporating this final choice for Daily 5 next week.
• 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 and may use a graphic organizer to support this.
• 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. Students work with both the high-frequency word wall words and vocabulary words during work on words.
• 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 are in our room to support students like Mrs. Goldstein. Every child had at least one opportunity to read with me this week.
This week students were introduced to our new computation math unit! It was introduced through a game called Domino Top Draw where students used a set of dominos to practice counting on to add two numbers together. After students had the exposure of the game to activate transferable skills and to clear up confusion students took a pre-test to show their computation strengths and needs. This will allow for students to be flexibly grouped to ensure they are learning at their individual instructional level during small group lesson time.
Our class really enjoys practicing their letter formation, word writing, and sentence writing with the program Handwriting Without Tears. We have been focusing on capital letter formation, 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 use at least two facts to support their opinion about a character in a story beginning with an opening and including a closing at the end. For example:
Jean in "The Recess Queen" is mean. One reason is because she pushes kids. Another reason is because she doesn't allow other kids to play with the equipment until she plays first. I bet you agree with me now that Jean is a mean character!
This is challenging first first graders. One way to reinforce this skill is to allow your child to try stating two facts about their opinions at home orally. Practicing this skill orally will help with the transition of putting their thoughts onto paper.
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, 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 River Belle, Swiss Gourmet, Zestar, Monroe, and Connell Sour. 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: River Belle!
Tuesday, October 23rd: Picture Day
Wednesday, October 31st: Halloween Parade is at 1:50 PM. Please send your child to school with his/her Halloween costume in a bag that day, so we can change in the afternoon. Your child will need to be able to assemble their costume in the classroom in about 5-8 minutes. To help your child do this please dress them in clothes they can easily wear their costume over. (Our classroom bathroom is only one stall so there is not enough time to have 23 students completely change their clothes.) 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.