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Monday, September 28, 2015

Part/Whole Thinking

For this first half of our first grade year, our big idea is that thinking about the parts that make up a whole helps us see patterns in the way things work and how things fit together. The second half of the year we will focus on how all of these parts work together in systems. To get a better understanding of how this works in first grade, check out the pictures below. (Click on the pictures to see a larger, easier to read version.)

Our first Expedition is called, We Are Family. Our first case study is a study of our own families and how they are alike and different. We have been using our math skills to create graphs with information about our families as you can see in the picture below. So far we have graphed the number of siblings we have, where our families live and what our families' favorite dinners are. This week we will take a look at our grandparents lives and see how their childhood was similar to or different from ours. We are learning that we are part of a family and part of our family history.

We are part of a crew. Our crew self-portraits are hanging above the whiteboard as a reminder that we are all part of a crew.

In the hallway outside our door, hang our family pictures. They are there to remind us that we are part of a family.

Part/ Whole Thinking shows up in all content areas. The picture below shows how we think about parts and wholes in math. We know that numbers can be broken down into parts to make them easier to work with. For example, 10 can be broken into 5 and 5 or 6 and 4 or 7 and 3 and so on. Thinking of numbers in terms of parts and wholes make addition and subtraction easier.

On the right hand side of this picture, we can see how we use part/whole thinking in reading and writing. We know that letters are parts of words, words are parts of sentences and sentences are parts of stories. Using part whole thinking in reading and writing helps us decode words, spell words, write in sentences and create stories.

Also, in math we have been using tally charts to notice similarities and differences among the crew. We can see that we are part of the crew in many different ways.

Part/Whole thinking helps us notice patterns in our world and feel like we have a place in this world. The sentences in the center of the top picture above say it all:
We are part of a family.
We are part of a crew.
We are part of a school.
We are part of a community.
We are part of the world.

Read a good book or two.
Try some of the math practice pages that I emailed home earlier.

Important Dates
10/2 Boot Camp ~ All students will need a sack lunch. No school lunch provided on this day.
10/3-10/18 Fall Break
10/19 No School ~ Teacher Work Day

Boot Camp ~ Click here for more information about our Boot Camp fundraising drive and/or click here to make a donation.

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