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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Strategies for Solving Math Facts

We are learning various strategies for solving math facts. These strategies will help us have a deeper understanding of addition and subtraction. These strategies are really things we would not write down but are ways to think and create mental images as we solve problems in our head. The charts below show in writing some of the thinking that we are trying to do as we solve problems mentally.




Monday, January 30, 2017

Problem/Solution/Lesson

We have been using our study of books in the Henry and Mudge series to help us think more about the problems and solutions in stories as well as any lesson that the author may be trying to teach us in the story. It requires some deep thinking but we are all up to the challenge. Ask your child to tell you the problem/solution or lesson in the stories you read aloud together each night.

Important Dates
2/2 Chinese Folktale Play Performance with Ms. Chelsea at 3:30 pm
2/17 No school for students -  Professional Development Day
2/20 No school - President's Day
2/23 Winter Voyage for 1st grade - one day only, not an overnight trip, no day of rest needed
3/20 - 4/3 Spring Break 


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Chinese New Year Celebrations!

Happy Lunar New Year or as we in the United States say, Happy Chinese New Year! If you and your children were able to visit any of the celebrations or go to an Asian restaurant this weekend (or in the next 2 weeks during the celebration) please send me photos and I will add them to this blog post.


"Cody, River and their families had a great time at the Chinese New Year celebration! They had already learned so much about in school, it was fun for them to see in person!" -Kimberly, Cody's Mom

"The Jasmine flower dance academy and the Denver Shaolin Kung Fu academy put on a great Chinese New Year celebration at the Castle Rock outlets today! They performed a dragon dance, tai chi swords, kung fu, and many other traditional Chinese dances." -Kimberly














Lis and her brother attended some festivities, too.

Kalyn, Nikelle and Amelia also attended Chinese New Year festivities.







Saturday, January 28, 2017

Math Routines

To help get our minds ready to think about math problems each day we begin our math block with a math routine. I follow lots of fantastic math teachers on Twitter and gather up all of their great ideas and adapt them for our crew. Twitter is a great place for teachers to learn and share with each other. Here are the math routines that we do each day:

Make It Close Monday
Tantalizing Tuesday
Which One Wednesday
Thoughtful Thursday
Figure It Out Friday


On Make It Close Monday we look at a large collection of items and try to estimate how many items there are in the collection. Usually we use objects from around our classroom but sometimes we use the website, Estimation 180, and look at some of their photos of collections. We always ask what estimate would be too low for our collections and what estimate would be too high for our collections and then we give our estimates. Then we count the objects (by 1s, 2s, 5s, or 10s) and pause periodically to adjust our estimates as we see how the count is coming along.


On Tantalizing Tuesday we look at growth patterns and try to figure out what would come next in the pattern or series of drawings. Often we use our blocks to set this up but sometimes we use the website, Visual Patterns, and work on some of their patterns. Sometimes we use blocks to help us, sometimes we use drawings and sometimes we use words. 




On Which One Wednesday we look at a set of four related pictures and decide which one doesn't belong and why. We have figured out now that there is always more than one answer to these problems and we love to try and think of as many as we can. I gather many photos from the Which One Doesn't Belong website.




On Thoughtful Thursday we try and solve what might be called word problems. We have a wide variety of stories in these problems and find them interesting. We use counters, models, pictures and manipulatives to help us solve these problems. We begin by trying the problem on our own, then we work with our table group and finally we talk about the problem as a whole crew. We might also try a 3-Act Task on these days, too.



On Figure It Out Friday we do what we call a number talk or a number string. Number talks can include using dot images or tens frames to solve addition and subtraction problems. After we have all had some time to think about it, we share out what we have been thinking. We listen to how other students solve the problems and get ideas from each other. These problems are usually done mentally and without any counters, paper or manipulative other than the representation in the original problem. 






 
 

Friday, January 27, 2017

Great Books for Early Readers

How do I find good books for first graders? I follow lots of teachers, librarians and authors on Twitter and through their blogs. I am always searching for new books that our crew will love. I thought I would share a few links to some especially good posts about books for early readers so that you can find good books for your child, too. I love that these posts show the covers of the books that they are talking about. It helps give you a better idea of what the book might be like and most of the time they give a brief description of the books, too. So just click on the links below and scroll through the pictures of books. You will be inspired to head to the library!

Looking at Labels on the #road2reading 1.10.17 by Michelle Knott

#road2reading Challenge - Mock Geisel Update 1.17.17 by Michelle Knott

#Road2Reading Challenge - January 10, 2017  by Alyson Beecher

#Road2Reading Challenge - 1/17/17 by Alyson Beecher

Between Picture Books and Middle Grade Novels: Books for New Readers by Alyson Beecher

Between Picture Books and Middle Grade Novels: Early Readers and Leveled Books by Alyson Beecher

Between Picture Books and Middle Grade Novels: Beyond Levels Part 1

Scholastic Branches Collection of Book Series 

Here are a few screen shots to inspire you to check out the links:






Arts and PE Class
Our Arts and PE class next week is Performing Arts

Monday, January 23, 2017

Best Practices for Reading with Your Child

This week I will be sharing a video a day about various subjects. Most of them will be very short. If you get the post by email, you will need to click through to the blog to view the videos. You can also find most of the videos I will be sharing on the Parent Resources page of our crew blog.
   

Important Dates
2/2 Chinese Folktale Play Performance with Ms. Chelsea at 3:30 pm
2/17 No school for students -  Professional Development Day
2/20 No school - President's Day
2/23 Winter Voyage for 1st grade - one day only, not an overnight trip, no day of rest needed
3/20 - 4/3 Spring Break

Friday, January 20, 2017

Two-Digit Addition and Place Value

In math today, we introduced the concept of two-digit addition. We did this by using our base-10 blocks. We created silly stories about animals and how much they would weigh together. Then we represented the weight of each animal with base-10 blocks and added the blocks together. We did not focus on the regular math notation for this yet. We are working on building a deep understanding of place value and how addition works and will focus more on how to write it in symbols (25 + 36 = 61) at a later time. (I did write some problems using that notation so some children may begin using the symbols now. It just depends on how ready they are for that step.) Check out the pictures below for some examples.

Arts and PE Class
Our Arts and PE class next week is Art.




This is a way that you can draw the blocks to use this system at home.