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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Contractions

This week in our Word Study Workshop, we are taking a closer look at contractions. Contractions are words like I'm, I'll, can't don't, etc. These words can be tricky at first for first graders. But once they are exposed to them, they enjoy finding them in their books and other reading. Don't be surprised when your child begins to point them out to you, too.



Home Learning ~ Read a good book or two or try an online book. Check out a Bedtime Math story, play a math game or visit the Resources for Students page of our crew blog for online books and math games.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Other Kinds of Nonfiction Books

To wrap up our study of nonfiction texts, we are taking a look a other types of nonfiction that we might not normally read. It is good to broaden our exposure to all kinds of books and reading. You never know what might inspire us to continue reading and writing.

Home Learning ~ Read a good book or two or try an online book. Check out a Bedtime Math story, play a math game or visit the Resources for Students page of our crew blog for online books and math games.




A gift for the crew from Creighton.

Gifts for the crew from my sister-in-law.








Monday, January 29, 2018

Books by Josh Funk

For this week's book recommendation post, I am recommending books by Josh Funk. His books are clever and very funny. He has three new books that will be published soon. We will be having a Skype session with him on Thursday afternoon for World Read Aloud Day. We have invited Mr. G's crew and the 2nd and 3rd graders to join us in the library for this session. He will be reading one of his upcoming books to us.

Below are some of Josh Funk's books that we have been reading and looking at in order to get ready to visit with him on Thursday.



Important Dates

2/16 No School - Professional Development Day for Teachers

2/19 No School - President's Day

2/22 First Grade Winter Voyage (Day trip - no day of rest)

3/6 Life is Art Fundraiser - Get your tickets here.

3/19 - 4/2 Spring Break

Home Learning ~ Read a good book or two or try an online book. Check out a Bedtime Math story, play a math game or visit the Resources for Students page of our crew blog for online books and math games.

Library - Check out time tomorrow if needed.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Math Balances and Cuisenaire Rods

Photo post today. Photos of us working on our number sense and addition using our math balances and Cuisenaire rods.

Your children brought home lots of good books to enjoy this weekend! Happy Reading!














Thursday, January 25, 2018

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.


The long blocks represent a ten and the little cubes represent a one.
When you don't have base 10 blocks, you can draw the blocks like this to help you solve a problem. The sticks represent a ten and the dots are ones.






Home Learning ~ Read a good book or two or try an online book. Check out a Bedtime Math story, play a math game or visit the Resources for Students page of our crew blog for online books and math games.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The Beat

The Beat is a gathering of our whole school every other Wednesday morning. It is morning meeting for the whole school. It gives us a chance to learn new things (vocabulary, character traits, school-wide dance) as a whole school. This gives us a common language and a common experience across grade levels. Students take turns facilitating or running the meeting. You are always invited to attend, too.


Home Learning ~ Read a good book or two or try an online book. Check out a Bedtime Math story, play a math game or visit the Resources for Students page of our crew blog for online books and math games.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Independence - Revisited

I posted this earlier in the school year but it is always a good reminder to think of those things that your child can now do on their own. This list changes so quickly as they grow.


One of the things that will help your child most at school is a growing sense of independence. Being able to do things on their own gives children confidence to try other new things and to take risks. This is a good thing in many areas. If a child will take a risk, they will be more willing to try to figure out an unknown word or to try solve a more complicated math problem. They become what we call self-extenders which means that they begin to learn on their own and this makes them feel great. You can help your child with this by asking them to do things that they are capable of doing on their own. I know that it can take way more time and patience on your part (believe me, I know) but it really does pay off in the long run.  So ask your child to do those little things that they are capable of doing on their own.

Some suggestions might be:
  • learn to write their full name - first, middle and last names
  • learn their address
  • learn a parent's phone number
  • tie their own shoes
  • zip their coat
  • turn their coat right-side out
  • put on their own band-aids
  • make their own sandwich or bowl of cereal
  • sort laundry
  • load the dishwasher

These little things will help them become more independent and feel more confident and this will carry over to their academic growth as well.



At school, Ms. Wendy and I try very hard not to do anything for a child that he or she can do on their own. We also ask them to find a friend who can help them because seeing another child do a task independently inspires the child to try it for themselves.

Examples of this at school include:
  • classroom jobs
  • asking students who ask us to tie their shoes to find a friend who can do it for them
  • having them clean out their desks once a week
  • teaching them how to fill water bottles (yes, there are specific steps to teach to make them successful with this)
  • allowing them to have say in how things are organized in our room
  • giving them choices
  • asking them to work out problems with their friends while we are nearby but not interfering
  • asking them to write us a note to remind us of something
  • asking them to try something on their own first before asking for help (spelling a word, reading a word, solving a math problem)  
One big exception to this rule is that you should continue to read aloud to your child for as long as you can - even after they are reading on their own.
Home Learning ~ Read a good book or two or try an online book. Check out a Bedtime Math story, play a math game or visit the Resources for Students page of our crew blog for online books and math games.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Ordinary People Can Change the World

One of my favorite series (I know, I say that about a lot of series and books. It is true, though.) is the Ordinary People Can Change the World Series by Brad Meltzer.


Each book in this series tells the life story of a famous person. The thing that I like best about this series is that it tells a little bit about the childhood of each person. This draws kids right into the story because they can relate to the young child that they are reading about. These books make great read alouds because they will generate great discussions. It is hard for me to choose my favorite books in this series because they are all great! Below is a one and a half minute video of Brad Meltzer talking about this series.



 You might want to check these books out on your next trip to the library or bookstore. You can also order them through our Scholastic book order that will be sent in on Thursday night.

Ordinary People Change the World website
Brad Meltzer's Author Page with more on this series


You will also enjoy this blog post with a list of 4 newly published early readers. It includes the books that we just added to our crew library by Jan Thomas.

#Road2Reading Challenge: January Early Reader New Releases



Home Learning ~ Read a good book or two or try an online book. Check out a Bedtime Math story, play a math game or visit the Resources for Students page of our crew blog for online books and math games.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Photos From Our Week

This is what happens when you tell one student that they can go clean the mud off of their shoes.



The newest Jan Thomas books that were published this week have been added to our classroom library. You will probably see them coming home in your child's book bag soon as we take turns borrowing them.


We  have been researching the animals we have selected to write a book about this week. Earlier in the week we began our research in books. Yesterday and today we used the Epic app on our ipads and several online encyclopedias on our Chromebooks. We are learning so many cool facts.





























Class in the cafeteria this morning while they were working on our heat. They will be back again this afternoon.







Home Learning ~ Read a good book or two or try an online book. Check out a Bedtime Math story or play a math game.