Saturday, January 13, 2018

Lots of writing and math



Important Dates
:
January 15 - No School
January 17 library (On Wednesday because of no school on Monday)


Literacy
:
Our read aloud focus and nonfiction writing has been on Martin Luther King, Jr and Ruby Bridges. Biographies and autobiographies about these two people who helped change the world have led to wonderful, thoughtful, compassionate discussions. Some of the books we have read so far:

Martin's Big Words, by Doreen Rappaport
Happy Birthday Martin Luther King, by Jean Marzollo
Ruby Bridges Goes to School: My True Story by Ruby Bridges

After reading from one of the above books, writers worked on their own books to teach others about Martin Luther King. We made sure to make time each day for the writers to read what they wrote.

Math:
Wow! The discovery and discussion about measurement is amazing! The mathematicians are making connections and generalizing measurement concepts while working with a partner to measure objects and now pictures of fish. The partner work allows for more discussion so students can formulate their thinking, share and compare ideas, and build generalizations.


Saturday, January 6, 2018

Happy New Year!


Important Dates
:
January 8 - Library
January 10: Early Release
January 15 - No School

It was so good to see all the students back after vacation. I know it was a short week, starting on Wednesday and then a snow day on Friday, but we got a ton of work done in those two days! This class works hard and loves new learning!

Also, we now are able to go to library every Monday. Hooray! Mr. Gile reads us great stories (and he also has the best read aloud voice!). Look for library books coming home each week. Make sure to send the books back each week so your child can take more books out. 

Literacy:
We started learning how to read and write nonfiction. To kick off our unit, we compared fiction and nonfiction and then sorted the books in our bags. The students added lots of nonfiction books to their reading bags so we could use them as we develop new reading habits. 

Math:

We also started a new math unit: measurement. Throughout the unit, students will be using nonstandard units of measure to compare lengths of various objects. As mathematicians, we analyzed pictures of students using measurement tools (clocks, scales, rulers, etc.) and shared our thinking about how and what they were measuring. 

I can't wait for next week when we continue learning about nonfiction and measurement!

Friday, December 15, 2017

December 15, 2017

Important Dates:
December 25-January 2: No School
January 10: Early Release





Hour of Code:
Last week, every classroom in JFK celebrated Hour of Code. During this time, students had the opportunity to work on introduction to coding concepts. They loved it and everyone did a great job! We used an app from Kodable for our Hour of Code. This is a free app you can download to an iPad.



Winter Performance:
Thanks to everyone who was able to come to the winter performance! The students sounded great! They worked really hard on the songs in music class and it showed in their performance. The students' mandalas were hanging in the hallway. The students made these in art class. 

Literacy:
We are finishing up our literacy units next week. Our unit during reader's workshop has been learning all the good habits that readers use when starting a book, working with a partner, and solving hard words.

In writing, we have been working on our small moments, writing about a small event that happened to us. In our writing, we have learned to use dialogue, movement, and feeling words. I am so impressed with what the writers have done!

Math:
We are also coming to the close of our second math unit. This unit has built on all the concepts of our first unit. The mathematicians are becoming more flexible with numbers and how to break them apart and put them back together. They are also becoming more flexible in their thinking.

We also celebrated our time with the St. Mike's buddies. These college students came in every Friday during math to work with the students. We had a pizza party and enjoyed time together.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Where did November go?!

Important dates:
December 4: library
December 13: early release
December 14: Winter performance


Only a few days left in November! I can't believe it! It was so great to chat with everyone during parent/teacher conferences. Every child works so hard during the day! I loved sharing their work with you and celebrating each child's growth.



Literacy
:
We continue to develop good reading habits. Students are learning to ask themselves questions as they read and ask questions to their reading partners.

I am so impressed with the students' writing! They love writing time and hate for it to end! We continue to develop our writing of small moments, I shared many of the students' writing during our conferences. The writers need to think of an idea, plan it, sketch it, write it, and then revise it. Revision has always been a tough part for first graders, but this group takes it so seriously! Students work together to ask questions of each others' writing. This prompts the writers to add more. They are using editing marks to add in words and phrases, plus they are using revision strips to add even more.


Math:
Before vacation we took our first unit test in math. Our new unit builds on the concept we learned in unit 1. The mathematicians discovered that there is a pattern that can be used when finding combinations of a number: 1 +9 = 10, 2 + 8 = 10, 3 + 7 = 10, etc.




Sunday, November 5, 2017

The start of a new month

Important Dates:
November 8 - early dismissal (12:15)
November 20 - no school parent/teacher conferences
November 20-24 - no school


This past week was a quick one: no school on October 30 due to the storm, Halloween on Tuesday, and lots of fun work in reading, writing, and math!

For our Halloween celebration we made healthy spider treats. The PTO also provided popcorn. Yum!

I had the honor this weekend of presenting with 3 of our ELL teachers at the Northern New England Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages conference on Saturday. We had  a big turn out for our presentation. We ran out of chairs, had people standing and sitting on the floor, and then more people came! We finally had to turn some people away because there just wasn't any more room. I am so lucky to be able to co-teach math with Sarah Forbes. Thanks for all you do Sarah!

Literacy:

We have started to learn how to read with a partner. Partner reading is an important part of our literacy time. Partner work on asking each other questions about the books and help each other to use learned strategies when they are stuck on a word. The students are doing a great job transitioning from our whole group mini-lesson to independent reading to partner reading.


During read aloud, I am reading books that focus on a small moment. This will help the students as they write about their own small moments. One book we used this week was Roller Coaster by Marla Frazee. It's a book I've just discovered and it's fantastic to teach about small moments.

Mrs. Lapointe came in at writing time and helped us revise our writing. The writers are doing a great job of going back, rereading their work, and adding more to help it make sense.


Math:
Our fact power is growing! The mathematicians love developing their math fact fluency during fact power time. Students are working through their levels and applying this new learning throughout math time!

We continue to work on combination problems. During our work, the students have discover the "turn around fact" rule. This rule means that 1 + 3 = 4 is the same as 3 + 1 = 4. Here is a video of a student explaining the discovery.


Sunday, October 29, 2017

Bones and Big Pumpkin



Important Dates
:
November 8 - early dismissal (12:15)
November 20 - no school parent/teacher conferences
November 20-24 - no school

We had our first whole school celebration last week! Each grade represented one of the HEART expectations. Then we had a whole school parade which ended in the cafeteria where we got to see a science and magic show!

And... we filled out jar again! I can't believe how many hearts this class earns! More info about our celebration next week.


We examined bones this week! I had sheep bones that the students got to examine. Then, we talked about our own bones. The students drew and labeled skeletons. Then they created skeletons out of Q-tips!







Literacy:
We are having fun with Halloween books. One of my favorite books is Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman. The class was able to connect the bigger theme of teamwork in this book to the book Swimmy by Leo Lionni.



We have such a class of writers! Our unit we are working on is writing about small moments. The writers think about a small moments (such as me dropping a basket of markers) and then stretch it out to write a whole book about it. We have such daring writers! They get right to work and they don't want to stop!

Math:


We have learned a new type of math story problem. These are called combination problems. In these problems, we are given the whole (the total) and need to figure out the parts (addends). An example is:
I had 9 things on my plate. Some are peas. Some are carrots. How many of each could I have? How many peas? How many carrots?

In these problems we find many equations that equal the sum. This picture shows one student's work.






Sunday, October 15, 2017

Getting rid of the germs!


Important Dates:

Monday, October 16 - library
Wednesday, October 18 - Early Release
Wednesday, October 18 5:30 PTO meeting
Thursday and Friday October 19. 20 - No School
Monday, October 23 - Morning Meeting

Last week we sent home invitations to come to our morning meeting on October 23. We do morning meeting from 8:20-8:50. Hope to see you there!

We earned another class celebration this week! I can't believe how many hearts this class earns each day! They are rock stars with our heart expectations: Honest, Engaged, Appropriate, Responsible, and Timely. It was almost a tie when we voted on our celebration: Wild Kratts or extra indoor recess. Since the class has been working so hard and the vote was so close, we did both!

We had Nurse Liz come and talk to us all about germs and how to keep ourselves healthy. Liz taught us how to wash our hands correctly. Then, she put special "germs" on our hands. The students looked at their hands under a black light. then everyone had to wash their hands and recheck. We all did great using the hand washing technique that Liz showed us. Bye-bye germs. We don't want you here!

Literacy:
We read three great books this week:
The Recess Queen, by Alexis O'Neil
Alphabet Adventure, by Audrey Wood and Bruce Wood
Alphabet Mystery, by Audrey Wood and Bruce Wood

As readers, we are looking for how a character changes in the story. The students did a great job noticing how Jean, the Recess Queen, changed from the beginning to the end. Now, we are even looking for these changes in characters in our own independent reading.


Math:
The class is a doing a great job on using the number line to show addition and subtraction. To reinforce this concept, we played a Froggy on the Number Line Game that Miss Sarah created. We have worked hard on:

1) Understanding that numbers get bigger on the number when you add and you are going forward. Numbers get smaller on the number line when you subtract and you are going backwards.

2) Addition is part + part = whole
     Subtraction is whole - part = part