This week students were introduced to our new anchor text called "Far From Home". Students have already been comparing and contrasting to the other texts from this unit ("A Fine, Fine School" and "The Recess Queen") and were excited when they noticed that the setting is in school in each text! Students engaged in some "close reading" comprehension questions using this text and are becoming great detectives when showing their text evidence! Please continue to reinforce this skill at home by having your child show their text or illustration "clues" for how they knew the answer to the question. In our class, students earn stickers if they are able to provide their answer and text evidence with their reading partner. You can motivate your child at home to do this by giving them stickers at home when they are able to answer a question and show their text evidence. Here is a copy of our close reading sheet: Close Reading Sticker Sheet PDF. Additionally, we were introduced and practiced using and sketching pictures of some new vocabulary words: Far From Home Vocabulary PDF. Students also continued to practiced their story element comprehension skills by organizing the events from the story with the following graphic organizer:
This week first graders enjoyed learning how to write informational pieces from our new reading/writing program we are using developed by Pearson- ReadyGen. Writing is taught by using a Writer's Workshop approach where students have a 10-15 minute mini lesson and are then sent off to try their new writing strategies. While students are independently writing, I am able to meet one-on-one or in small groups of students to see how it is going, to provide strategies, teach lessons based on individual needs, and to develop goals for students. This week I was able to start meeting with students, reading their writing and have helped students develop some individual goals to help improve their writing.
This week, students continued to focus on related facts which helps first graders develop a deeper understanding of addition and subtraction. Students continued to learn this using the "flap cards" but used pictures and numbers instead of dots this week. Students added to this skill by also writing story problems to go with the dot cards. By the end of the week we were able to combine all of the skills/strategies they have been learning. Students were able to create their own picture flap cards using illustrations, write the fact family to match their flap card and finally wrote a story problem to go with it. The process of having students write word problems helps them to identify the structures of word problems so when they go to solve them they can identify what they need to do to solve (ex: add, subtract, etc.). Word problems are also a good way of teaching math because they provide a visual and real life connections to show the difference between addition and subtraction problems.
Additionally, we continued to focus on the Standards of Mathematical practice this week. A growth mindset is extremely helpful when approaching the Standards of Mathematical Practice as students are learning new math strategies. We watched the following Growth Mindset Video called, "The Incredible Power of Yet". To help reinforce these skills try asking these questions at home with your child:
1. Name a time you were afraid to ask for help. Why were you afraid? (Both parent and student should pick a moment to share)
2. How can you improve the phrase "I can't do this?”
3. Think of a time where you just didn't get “it.” What could you do in that situation?
This week we started our new science unit by learning about: Air! Students used hands on materials to explore our focus question: What can air do? Each student was given a bag filled with a cotton ball, straw, feather, balloon, foam ball and a piece of paper to explore this question. Students practiced dropping an object in the air, blowing through or into an object, using a straw to trap air into something and so on. Students learned that even though it is invisible, air takes up space and can even "get in the way". Later in the week, each table of students was also provided a handheld air pump to use with their objects and explore the concept further.
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.