Reading: This week, we focused on using what we know about word families to help us figure out new, tricky words. The kids noticed word family words that they knew in a snap. We then used that same word ending to help us figure out other words with the same ending.
We also talked about how good readers stop and check when their reading doesn’t look right, sound right, or make sense. This awareness is crucial for beginning readers who sometimes make the mistake of skipping or changing words. If your child does make a mistake, encourage him/her to fix it, by saying, “Something didn’t sound right (or look right) in the sentence/on that page. Can you find it?” After fixing the mistake, make sure your first grader rereads the corrected sentence to ensure comprehension.
Writing: We started a new unit this week by focusing on making our stories easy for other people to read. We spent time focusing on neat handwriting, finger spaces, capital letters, and end punctuation. We are seeing some huge growth in handwriting and finger spaces. Adding capital letters and punctuation in the right places is a bit trickier and we’ll keep working on this all year. Thank you for sending in the Small Moment Idea List! This has been a huge help in keeping these writers writing.
Math: We are studying subtraction, a new math concept this year. We learned that when we solve stories that “take something away” we use a minus sign (-) to represent what happened.
There were 5 cookies. I ate 3. How many are left?
Our first graders learned to represent this thinking with a circle drawing, break-apart stick, and minus sign right through the circles that were taken away.
We also emphasized that a subtraction equation is always a total “minus” a partner, which means that our answer is actually a missing partner (rather than a missing total like an addition equation). Our first graders practiced writing equations with the total first to represent subtraction stories or circle drawings.
Social Studies Update: The past few weeks we’ve learned what it means to be a good citizen. We are working hard to be good citizens in the classroom, in the lunchroom, on the playground, and in the hallway.
A Good Citizen…
1. FOLLOWS RULES. We discussed reasons that we have rules such as rules help us learn, rules keep us safe, rules help make things fair, etc.
2. RESPECTS AUTHORITY. We brainstormed a list of people who have power with authority (principal, teachers, bus drivers, moms, dads, etc.) and how they enforce rules. When we listen and respond to those in authority we are being respectful.
3. IS FAIR. We discussed what fairness looks like at school, and learned that fair isn’t always equal – it’s getting what you need in order to be successful.
4. IS RESPONSIBLE. We learned about ways we can be responsible at school such as making sure that you have all of your materials ready and making sure you don’t lose your coat at recess.
5. HONORS THE USA. One way we can do this is to respect and remember symbols of the United States that represent our freedom such as the American Flag, White House, Liberty Bell, Statue of Liberty, and Bald Eagle. We practice this every day as we recite the Pledge of Allegiance together.