First grade reading is really “taking off!”. Over the last few months, the students have learned how to separate short and long vowel sounds, how to blend two letters together to make one new sound, and how to listen for beginning, medial and ending sounds. They continue to apply these strategies and are flying through their reading levels! The children have also mastered out their Place Value unit to begin learning Addition Strategies. We have also wrapped our How-To Writing Unit to begin Opinion Writing! We wrapped up this week by studying Dr. Martin Luther King and the students composed writing pieces about their own BIG DREAMS! Unit of Study: Nature's Patterns
5,4,3,2,1…..…..BLAST OFF! This unit is all about exploring our universe while discovering all of the patterns and cycles within it. So far, we have located patterns in the day and night sky, learned about the Earth’s rotation and how that affects day and night and have even made our own constellations! We learned about stars and that stars can be different colors based on how hot they are. Blue stars at the hottest while red stars are cooler (but still very hot!). This week, we began our journey through the solar system when we began studying the Sun. We asked an essential question, "What would life be like without the Sun?". The kiddos brainstormed what would happen if our Sun mysteriously disappeared! They decided it would be dark, cold and that we would have no food, water or electricity. Our buddy Emmett took it a step further and wondered if the planets would all float away without the strong pull from the Sun's gravity! We also began our study of the planets with Mercury and Venus. The students are creating their own Space Books with facts about each planet in our Solar System. As we progress through the unit, the students will add pages to their books to represent the other planets, along with some important features such as the Moon, the Asteroid Belt and our old friend, the dwarf planet, PLUTO. We will also switch gears from seeing Space through a non-fiction lens and turn our focus to our opinions about space. This will fit in beautifully with what the children have already (and will continue to learn) about the features of opinion writing.
The Person? Place? Thing? Animal? Yes! Over the last few weeks, we have learned all about nouns! Our students have been familiar with these words all year in their reading and writing, but it was fun to put a name to this part of speech. We started off the week introducing these words in simple sentences that they read and write each day. We also made flip books with illustrations and enjoyed an activity with silly sentences! We took these same learning engagements and applied them to PROPER nouns too! The children definitely had to use their thinking caps to come up with "proper" things! We brainstormed the titles of movies, books, the names of candy and even soda too! We are also working to apply this skill into our writing by ensuring that we capitalize proper nouns in our writing.
Math: Addition Unit
We have launched into our AdditionUnit by making numbers. I am sure you heard about all the “shake, shake, splitting” that has been going on! We learned how to make numbers 1-10 using a pair of pennies. For example, if we wanted to find all 7 ways to make the number 6, we would hold 6 pennies in our hands and chant, “shake, shake, split.” We would then open our hands to see where the pennies fell…4 in one hand 2 in the other. We also learned about opposite facts or making a “turn around fact!”. If 4 and 2 can make 6, then the opposite, 2 and 4 can make 6! We also learned how to use pictures and manipulatives to add. In addition to making numbers, we have started to add some addition strategies to our mathematician tool belts! The students can now use a number line AND a hundred's chart to solve addition sentences. They are also becoming professionals at identifying the parts of those addition sentences. Ask your child where the addends are! what about the sum?! Writing: Opinion Writing
After we finished up our celebration of learning with our own "How To" Books, we were very excited to start our brand new writing unit...Opinion Writing! During this unit, students will independently plan and write a paragraph to share and explain an opinion, include an introduction and a conclusion that shows an awareness of audience, use multiple details to elaborate on and support an opinion, use several transition words, use a rubric to revisit, revise, and edit writing, and correctly use spelling, punctuation, spaces, and capitalization. The students are currently using information from a self-created web and transferring their ideas into paragraph form. They are expressing their opinions by using a strong hook (or introduction), listing out all of their convincing reasons in sentence form, using transition words to jump from idea to idea and ending with a strong conclusion that re-states their opinion and gives their readers a call to action! I can't wait to see how their writing skills grow throughout this process!