Reading: The kids have gotten quite good at finding “just right” books to keep in their book boxes. This week, we introduced a bookmark that they used to keep track of how many books they read each day during workshop. We also kept track of our reading stamina as a class. Each day we were able to read a little longer without getting tired or giving up. I am proud of these first graders!
Writing: In our Small Moment stories this week, we worked on sketching a quick plan of the beginning, middle, and end before even writing the words. These sketches help us to capture our story ideas, making the writing easier. We learned that good writers also include the 3 W‘s on the first page of their writing; the Who you were with, the What you were doing, and the Where you were. By including this important information on our first page, it helps the reader understand our story.
Math: During math time this week we continued to break apart larger numbers into smaller partners. We used whiteboards and markers, counters, stair steppers, and activities from our math workbook to visualize the partners and the switcheroos for the numbers 8, 9, and 10. Challenging your first grader to write and show each set of partners in a variety of ways has helped to increase number sense and flexibility with these numbers.
We also continued to use our knowledge of partners and patterns to practice addition (+0, +1, +2) and subtraction (-0, -1, -2) facts. This week in particular, we practiced adding and subtracting doubles partners (1+1, 2-1, 2+2, 4-2, 3+3, 6-3, etc.), and discovered that a number minus itself equals 0 (8-8 = 0).
Mind Up: You might hear your first grader talking about our MIND UP time. Mind Up is a curriculum that teaches students about their brains and how their brains work. This knowledge helps kids with learning and with social interactions. So far, we have learned some key areas of the brain. The prefrontal cortex, or WISE LEADER, is where our smart thinking happens (math, reading, etc.). Our hippocampus, the MEMORY SAVER, is where memories are stored. And the amygdala, our SECURITY GUARD, is the part of our brain that helps us stay safe when we are in danger. We have also learned how to calm down when we are upset or mad by using a calming cool-down, taking some quiet time by ourselves, or by taking deep breaths.