This week students were introduced to a new anchor text from our ReadyGen program. This text is a short chapter book called "King Kafu and the Moon". Our class was excited about engaging in a longer text and answer some close reading questions about some of the key details we read about.
Additionally, we have been talking a lot about fluency in first grade. We read a new poem this week called "100 Days in School!" and used this poem to improve our fluency. I mentioned in a past post that poetry is a great form of text to support fluency since it is short and can be reread which is one great way to reinforce fluency skills at home. This week we learned that speed alone will not improve fluency but as readers, the use of punctuation is also important. Experienced readers read a story and use the punctuation to make meaning of the text. For beginning readers, learning to read in phrases is important. The meaning of text is embedded in a chunk of words, not just in isolated words themselves. The order and the way words are put together in a text, creates the meaning. Our class has been encouraged to compare the reading of text to spoken language. When reading text aloud does it have the intonation and prosody we hear every day in our conversations with others? Here are some ways you can support this reading strategy at home:
- Read aloud a segment of text to your child. Model how you control your voice to go up and down. Highlight punctuation in the text and discuss what your voice did when you came to the punctuation. It may even help to read it once without intonation or attention to punctuation, see what differences your child is able to notice.
- Using a pencil, underline a phrase in a sentence and model how the words are said together without a pause. Have your child repeat this phrase for you a few different times until fluency is attained.
- Give your child a highlighter and ask him/her to highlight all punctuation in a portion of text. Then, go through the text with your child, talking about what their voice should do at each highlighted spot. Finish by having your child read the excerpt aloud one or two times.
This week students were reintroduced to Narrative Writing! We wrote some narratives in the fall and focused on other types of writing such as opinion and informational- how to... writing since that unit. Now we are coming back to another narrative unit to use already learned skills/strategies and add to that collection of skills/strategies. We launched this writing unit by reviewing what we already knew about narrative writing and what was necessary in a narrative piece such as characters, setting and events.
This week students continued their study in geometry and the focus on 2-D shapes but have now been introduced to 3-D shapes. Students learned that 2-D shapes are flat while 3-D shapes pop out and can be held. A common first grade mistake is when students call 3-D shapes by 2-D. This is a common error because children are generally taught the names of two-dimensional shapes early on in their preschool years. When looking at 3-D items, first graders are likely to talk about the faces of the objects, and will most likely refer to the sphere and cylinder as circles, the cube as a square, and so on. Help your child recognize the similarities and differences. For example, just as a square is a rectangle with equal side lengths, a cube is a rectangular prism with equal edge lengths. Learning the correct terms consistently both models the language of geometry accurately and avoids future misconceptions. You could also play "mind reader" and have your child guess the shape you are describing as you give clues (this is a game that we played this week to get better at learning our shapes and their attributes). Here is an example:
Thursday, February 28th: Six Flags reading logs due
Friday, March 1st: Early release, 1:00pm.
Monday, March 4th: No school