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.
On Thursday, we released our butterflies. Some of our little friends were hesitant, but they all eventually found their way into the sun. As each one left, our class waved and called out, “Goodbye, goodbye!” It was the sweetest.
As you can see from this picture, these caterpillars are growing like crazy! We have learned that the black pieces left in the cup are the caterpillars’ exoskeletons, which they will shed 4-5 times before they are ready to pupate. The other brown balls are frass, otherwise known as caterpillar poop! You can imagine how the first graders reacted to that new learning. 🙂
Math: We have learned two different strategies to add two 2-digit numbers. First, we solved our equations by drawing ten sticks and circles. We checked to see if we had enough circles left over to make a new ten. If we did, we circled them and made a new group of ten. We counted all of the ten sticks and the leftover ones to find the answer. In order to be accurate, we know that the tens and circles must be lined up neatly with five groups clearly showing.
We have also tried the Ten Above strategy:
Your first grader can use either of these strategies to solve 2-digit equations. Our goal is to be accurate and to understand how to make a new ten.
Writing: We have been working on the teaching pages in our All About Books. We are using text features that real authors use in their nonfiction books. Some of these features include facts, labels, bold words, comparisons, diagrams, captions, text boxes, and precise words. We’ve also learned how to add conclusions to our books which explained the importance of our topics. To make our books even better, our partners helped us revise and add more details to our writing.
Reading: In Reader’s Workshop, we focused on using our imaginations to transform into our characters when we read. We found that we can use our voice, face and body to help us act like our characters. We practiced with some of our favorite books like Elephant and Piggie and Knufflebunny. We will continue working on analyzing characters next week.
It was a very exciting morning in Room 113. Five painted lady caterpillars arrived! They came in their own special container, complete with food. We will watch as these caterpillars grow, shed their exoskeletons five times, weave sticky webs, turn into chrysalides, and then … transform into painted lady butterflies! Our class named these special new friends Crawly, Bob, Cally, Squishy, and Mr. Tickles. Follow this link to learn more about painted lady butterflies.