Learning Update

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.

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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. 

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Blanket Day!

On Friday, our class reached its first star goal for making great behavior choices. These students have worked hard as a team on listening and learning for the past two weeks. As a result, they earned 10 class stars and voted to have Blanket Day for their reward.
On Monday, your child may bring a blanket to school in a bag or backpack. We will have a fun day learning and snuggling with our blankets!
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Learning Update

Math Update: We are off to a great start with our wonderful math program. During the first two weeks of school, we’ve been visualizing, representing, and breaking apart numbers using a variety of math tools: counters, stair steppers, and number cards. When we break apart a number, we take a larger number and split it into two smaller numbers. We call the two smaller numbers partners because when we add them together they equal the larger number. So far we’ve discovered the partners for 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. Thank you for helping your child complete the math homework. This important practice reinforces what is taught in the classroom each day.

Reading Update: This week, we began readers’ workshop. We have enjoyed reading some great stories together and have started building the foundation of our independent reading time. Readers get better by reading just right books, so we’ve focused this week on choosing books that we can read and that we enjoy.

Writing Update: During Writer’s Workshop, our class has been writing small moment stories. A small moment story is a true story from our own experiences. We learned how writers plan their stories by thinking of an idea, sketching a quick picture for the beginning, middle, and end, and then writing the words. We also learned that good writers always keep working. We use the phrase “When you’re done – you’ve just begun!” because good writers go back to add details to their pictures and words or they start a new story.




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