First Grade News!!
Week of May 6
In Math, we have been focusing on subtraction strategies. We learned the subtraction strategies below to help us subtract fluently. We will continue to focus on differentiating between addition and subtraction word problems by visualizing the problem in our mind and then deciding whether the parts are being put together or taken away.
Counting Back: Start with the minuend (the largest number) and count back to figure out the difference. For example: in the equation 13-2, a student would think, “13...12,11” to get an answer of 11.
Counting Up: start with the subtrahend and count up to the minuend. For example, in the equation 10-7, a student would think, “7…..8, 9, 10” to get a difference of 3. A student may use a number line and see there are 3 hops taken to get to the minuend.
Week of April 29
Wow! We are just so proud of our First Grader’s performance at last Friday’s play- “A Pond for All Seasons.” Our play really showcased the hard work our student’s put into their lines, singing, and movements. Thank you for all your support at home! Your involvement helped make our play a HUGE success.
Last Thursday, our tadpoles arrived! Each classroom received 12 tiny tadpoles. We are eager to watch them grow and then record our observations in our “Frog and Toad Journals.” Ask your child about what they have been observing and learning about tadpoles, frogs, toads, and pond life.
Week of April 22
Happy Earth Day! We will be gardening at Harrison School later in the week to celebrate our planet! We will also be learning about the pond as we prepare for the arrival of our tadpoles on Thursday. How can you help the environment? Check out some ideas below!
- Pay close attention to your water usage at home while you are brushing your teeth.
- Use reusable water bottles instead of plastic ones.
- Ride your bike or walk to school instead of driving a car.
- Turn off lights when you are not in a room.
Week of April 8
In Word Study, we have been focusing on consonant blends. A consonant blend is a group of 2 or 3 consonants that “blend” together to make a distinct consonant sound. Some examples are st, sp, sk, sm, sc, sw, pl, sl, bl, dr, tr. Learning consonant blends helps us word solve in our reading and spell when we are writing. When we learn new poems, we love to search through to find words that begin with consonant blends.
Week of April 1
In Writing, we have been focusing on Persuasive Writing. We thought about our favorite foods and tried to convince each other why it is the BEST food. We learned that persuasive writing can include book reviews, movie reviews, and toy reviews. We talked about the importance of using persuasive language and giving supporting reasons in order to convince others.
Week of March 25
In Social Studies, we have been learning about maps! We have discussed why we use maps and where we might use one! We looked at globes and found the United States of America. We will continue to learn about important features of maps including legends, symbols, a compass rose, and scales. Next time you visit a special place such as an amusement park or a museum take a look at the map and see how many map features you can find!
Week of March 18
We are delving right into a “Fiction” unit this month in Reading. We will be thinking deeply about story elements (setting, problem, solution, and author’s message). We will also be studying main characters and supporting characters by focusing on character traits, character feelings, and character motives. We will read folktales, fables, and realistic fiction!
Week of March 11
In Math, we have been learning about place value. We learned that numbers are made up of digits. We have been working with base ten blocks and place value mats to represent different numbers. First we count up the tens rods and then the ones units. We know that when we add or take away a rod (ten), the number in the tens place changes. When we take away a unit (one) the number in the ones place changes. We have looked at big numbers too by using flats to represent groups of 100. So much number fun!!
Week of March 4
Last Friday, we celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday and “Read Across America” by spending time with the fourth graders at Harrison School. We each paired up with a fourth grader to show off our decorated hats and share our favorite books with each other. As we continue our first grade journey we will continue to remind ourselves…
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go!--Dr. Seuss
Week of February 25
In Word Study, we have been working on digraphs. Digraphs are TWO letters that pair together to make ONE sound. Learning about digraphs helps us with our reading and our writing. The digraphs we have been working on are sh, th, ch, and wh. Digraphs can be found at the beginning or end of a word. Next time you are reading see how many digraphs you can find in your book! Take a challenge and see how many words you can think of that begin with each digraph. Then, write them down!
Week of February 18
In Writing, we have been focusing on informational writing. We discussed the differences between writing personal narratives and writing about nonfiction topics. Our writing has been inspired by what we have been learning about in science… winter animals! We love to write true facts to teach others!
Week of February 11
We are very much looking forward to this week in First Grade. In addition to Valentine’s Day, we will also be celebrating the 100th day! We can’t believe we are more than halfway through the year! We love watching our first graders grow every day. We will spend a lot of time talking about the number 100. We will be counting, estimating, adding, and subtracting. We will continue to use the hundreds chart to add and subtract multiples of ten!
Week of February 4
In Reading, we have been listening to nonfiction texts and discussing the important text features. Authors of nonfiction books incorporate text features to organize their writing and help the reader learn more. We have spotted the table of contents, headings, captions, glossary, index, and bold words. Visit your local library to search for nonfiction books that interest you. Then, go on a scavenger hunt to identify nonfiction text features. Happy Reading!
Week of January 28
In Science, we have been learning about how animals behave in the winter. We have focused on three important vocabulary words: hibernation, migration, adaptation. We have been reading books and articles to learn as much information as possible about animals in winter. Have a conversation tonight about how animals behave in winter. Curious about a particular animal? Do some research and let us know what you learn! Below are some animals that fall into each category.
Hibernate: snakes, groundhogs, skunks, bats, snails
Migrate: birds, butterflies, whales
Adapt: squirrels, mice, beaver, deer, rabbit
Week of January 21
In Math, we have been working on addition strategies to strengthen our fact fluency! Below are the addition strategies that we focus on in First Grade.
Counting On: If one of the addends is 1, 2, or 3 then you can put the big number in your brain and count up.
Sums of 10: Knowing the sums of 10 quickly can help with other addition facts.
Make 10: This is an important strategy because it is easy to add a number to 10 (or to a multiple of 10). For 6 + 9, think 5 + 10 → split the 6 to make the problem 5 + 1 + 9
Doubles: Doubles facts are easy to learn and can help with other addition facts. Notice the pattern of counting up by 2. Doubles fact totals always equal an even number.
Doubles +1 and Doubles +2: Double the smaller addend and add one or two more. If you know 6 + 6 is 12 → then 6 + 7 is just 6 + 6 + 1 = 13. If you know 5 + 5 is 10 → then 5 + 7 is just 5 + 5 + 2 = 12.
Week of January 14
In Reading, we have been enjoying listening to Jan Brett’s, The Mitten. With our recent cold winter weather, it was nice to read about how the characters all snuggled close in the mitten to stay warm. This popular book has sparked conversation about tricky vocabulary words, character feelings, and the setting. We made puppets to work on sequencing and retelling. We will be comparing and contrasting this version of The Mitten to other versions by different authors. Check out the library for The Mitten so you can enjoy it at home!
Week of January 7
Happy New Year! 2019 is going to be amazing! We are back to school in full swing with our Field Trip to the Essex County Environmental Center and then a visit from the the Environmental Center to learn about recycling. So much learning and fun to look forward to this year! We discussed school resolutions at school. Remember to discuss home resolutions with your children! It is always motivating to set new goals!
Week of December 17
“Run, run, as fast as you can! You can’t catch me! I’m the gingerbread man!”
In Reading, the first graders have been reading many versions of the well known book, “The Gingerbread Man.” We love comparing the characters, settings, and especially the ending. Will the gingerbread man be eaten or not? Check out the library to find more Gingerbread Man books to enjoy over the holiday break! See you in 2019!
Week of December 10
In Social Studies, we have been enjoying listening to the first graders present their “Holiday Traditions Suitcases.” We have been listening to a couple students per day and will continue presentations until the Holiday Break. During this special time, students have been strengthening their speaking and listening skills. We talked about important vocabulary including… tradition, holiday, and generation. We have been comparing and contrasting different winter holiday traditions. We hope this project helped your family be mindful of your special traditions! Thank you for your support and participation!
Week of November 26
In Reading, we have been working with the classic book, The Little Red Hen. We read several different versions to compare and contrast similarities and differences. We practiced our retelling skills and identified the story elements: characters, setting, problem, and solution. We discussed whether we agreed or disagreed with the Little Red Hen’s decision to share bread at the end of the story. Next time you are at the library, check out The Little Red Hen and read/discuss it with your family!
Week of October 29
In First Grade, we LOVE reading poetry! Every week, we learn at least one new poem and we practice reading it several times throughout the week. When we learn a new poem, we visualize what is happening, look for sight words, identify rhyming words, and discuss new vocabulary. We also illustrate the poem in our Poetry Book. Sometimes we even add movements and act it out!
Week of October 22
In Reading, we have been reading “The Turnip” and other similar versions of this favorite folktale. We have been practicing our retelling skills by identifying the characters, setting, problem, and solution. We have compared and contrasted different versions and have also discussed the author’s message. The author taught us to work together and not give up!
Week of October 15
In Math, we have been thinking about numbers and developing our number sense. We have been writing numerals, skip counting by 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s, comparing numbers, and renaming numbers. When we rename numbers we take a numeral and show it as a picture, number word, and number sentence. We can also show a number with money or tally marks. Numbers are all around us!
Week of October 8
In Writing, we have been enjoying writing personal narratives in our Headline News Journals. We have discussed choosing one small moment- “one place, one time” from the weekend and have been working on using appropriate spacing, punctuation, and capitalization. Remember to review and chat about your weekend events at the dinner table every Sunday night to help your child with ideas!
Week of October 1
In Science, we have been discussing the important job of a scientist. We read books about how scientists observe, explore, record, measure, and compare. We also learned about the tools a scientist uses such as magnifying glasses, binoculars, magnets, tweezers, safety goggles, rulers, and of course a pencil and paper. We will soon become scientists in the classroom as we explore and observe pumpkins and apples.
Interested in scientists? Check out this book next time you’re at the library- Ada Twist , Scientist by Andrea Beaty.
Week of September 24
In Math,we have been reviewing Calendar Math concepts such as the days of the week and the months of the year. We sequenced the months of the year and talked about the months that belong to each season. We looked at the birthdays in the class and made a bar graph to compare how many birthdays in each month. We used vocabulary such as most, least, greatest, and equal.
Week of September 17th
Welcome to First Grade! We have had a great start to the school year! The students have been learning school rules and routines and have been getting to know their classmates. We read the book “Who Took the Cookies from the Cookie Jar?” and then played a name game to learn each other’s names!