Learning Update

Reading: This week we continued to work on studying characters. We paid close attention to how our characters were acting, what they were doing, and what they were saying. We asked “How does the character feel?” and then we backed up our thoughts with proof from the text. We noticed that we could tell a lot about how our characters were feeling just by listening to the words they said or by studying their body language. 

Writing: We have been working hard on our Persuasive Writing Unit. We’ve learned that the best persuasive letters focused on important issues and helped make our home, neighborhood, or school a better place.

We always begin our letter with our opinion. We stated our opinions in our letter using the “I think….” sentence starter. When we state our opinion, it becomes clear what we want the other person to think as well. We’ve learned that it is important to think about our audience for our letters. If there is something we want to change in our home, then the best audience for our letter is someone at home not at school.

We’ve discussed how to give good reasons in our letters. Just saying that we really want something is not good enough! We need to share with our audience why it is important to us. We also discussed mini-moment reasons. These are little stories where we share a time when we saw the problem in our own lives. After our mini-moments, we also discussed how we need to add a solution to our letter. This is how we are going to help fix the problem.

Math: We continued to work on subtraction and learned the strategy of labeling our equations TOTAL – PARTNER = PARTNER, drawing the math mountain to go with the equation. We check to see if our answer makes sense in the math mountain (the largest number always has to go at the top). If we make a mistake, the math mountain helps us to fix it.

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Candy Cane Sale

The Fifth Grade Candy Cane Sale is officially here!
This special annual candy cane sale has returned. The 5th grade classes will sell candy canes to raise money for their end of the year activities. The sale runs from Monday, December 5 through Friday, December 16The cost for each candy cane is $1.00 and they will be delivered to the classrooms on the same day that they are ordered. 
Thank you for your support and Happy Holidays!
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Happy Thanksgiving!

I am so very thankful for this wonderful group of first graders! They make me smile every day with their kindness, their funny jokes, and their enthusiasm for learning. I hope that you have a relaxing holiday weekend. Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours!

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Science Update

On Monday, we had a fun day of science experiments and hit up some of our science concepts in full force. We learned that objects can be sorted into different groups based on their properties or attributes. An attribute could be size, shape, color, texture or thickness of an object. Some objects share the same attributes and others are very different.

After learning that all things can be sorted based on their attributes, we continued to study three additional scientific properties: states of matter, magnetic/non-magnetic, and sink/float.

We learned that the different states of matter (solid, liquid, and gas) have different attributes. We changed matter from one state to another (solid ice cube to water and water to the gas water vapor). We also studied how objects sink or float, making predictions and testing our thinking with experiments.

In our study of magnets, we learned that objects made of certain metal (iron, steel, nickel or cobalt) are magnetic. We investigated different items in the classroom for magnetic properties and learned that magnets have two poles which can attract or repel.

It was an exciting day!