February 14th - Valentine's Day Classroom Celebrations (Party in Bag information and a classlist for your Valentines will be coming home shortly)
February 16th - Half Day for Students (no lunches will be served)
February 20-24 - February Break
This week in Fundations we are beginning Unit 11, which teaches students the long vowel sounds. Students will learn that in the syllable pattern "vowel-consonant-e" (v-c-e), the e is silent and it makes the first vowel have a long sound. Or, as we say in first grade, “the bossy/silent e makes the vowel say it’s name!” First graders will be introduced to and work with all of the long vowel sounds (a, e, i, o and the two sounds that u makes). We will build words that have short vowels and practice adding the "bossy e" to the end to make the vowel say its name. Students will also practice how to mark up words that follow the vowel-consonant-e pattern. This will go along with our new reading strategy, "Flipping Flipper" or "Flippy the Dolphin," in which the students should try flipping the vowel to a long sound when decoding unknown words. We will continue to build, write, and practice our vowel-consonant-e pattern next week, working with each of the long vowel sounds.
First graders continue to learn about non-fiction during Reader’s Workshop. Students have been reviewing text features in nonfiction texts such as table of contents, glossary, bold print, headings, index, photographs and captions. We have also been focusing on main idea and key details. Students are working hard to identify the main idea which is what the passage/selection is mostly about. Key details are examples from the text that support the main idea. We have also been comparing/contrasting information in nonfiction texts. Ask your child to identify text features and share main ideas/key details when you read non-fiction books together at home!
Recently in Math Workshop, the first graders have been working with doubles facts. Students have been identifying doubles facts on dominoes, dot cards and dice. Students have been practicing writing the number sentences to match the doubles facts. We discussed the importance of knowing these doubles facts because it would support their solving of additional facts.
Then, we introduced a doubling strategy where knowing the doubles facts would make it easier to solve a new fact - doubles plus one facts. For example, for 6 + 7 students would think doubles plus one more or 6 + 6 + 1. Students practiced this doubling addition strategy for several days during Math Workshop with partner games and during teacher time small group sessions.
Next up, the students were introduced to another addition strategy - double plus two. Again, knowing the doubles fact makes it easier to add 7 + 9. Students would think 7 + 7 + 2.
Thank you for practicing these helpful addition strategies at home!
First grade just began a new unit in Math that has us working with two-digit and three-digit numbers numbers. We will be building two-digit and three-digit numbers with place value blocks, comparing two and three-digit numbers and using the 120 chart to sequence the numbers.
Recently in Writers' Workshop, we have been reviewing expectations and routines that help us have a successful Writers' Workshop each day. We reviewed what to do when you finish a story, what to do when you need to spell a word, and other resources that writers have in the classroom to support their independent writing work. Students enjoyed having some time to get back into older books they had written and to begin new ones with ideas they've thought of. Students have been practicing what complete sentences need and how to add details to their sentences to make them more interesting and complete. Soon, writers will be learning how to write their own Nonfiction texts!
First graders continue to learn about living things. Through read-alouds, enrichment programs and online videos and media, students are learning about animals, plants, and the ways they adapt and change to survive. Students are learning what plants and animals need to survive and comparing the ways in which animals and plants get what they need from their habitats. Recently we enjoyed a presentation about living things by parent volunteer Mrs. Sharma - thank you for sharing your experise with us, Mrs. Sharma! Students will also get to do some engineering later this week when the Museum of Science visits us with the Bridges program. Thank you, PTG, for supporting us with wonderful enrichment opportunities!