Our current writing unit, Fairy Tales and Realistic Fiction, has been so much fun for our first graders! During this unit, students have drafted, revised and edited, and published their very own fairy tales! We learned that all fairy tales share common elements: good and evil characters, a setting, a problem and solution, and sometimes magic. First grade writers incorporated these elements into their stories, and also added dialogue, vivid verbs, and lots of adjectives. Students engaged in peer conferences and shared compliments and suggestions to help their writing partner craft an even stronger story. I was able to catch a few conferences on video. See their sweet conversations below. We can't wait to share these stories with you at the Fairy Tale Ball!
Currently, we are working on writing realistic fiction stories. We learned that this genre includes stories that haven't actually happened, but they could. Therefore, students created characters who are realistic - no more flying dogs or talking robots as the "good guy!" We have also focused on writing a detailed description of the setting. We've realized that adding lots of details helps our reader visualize where and when the story takes place. To finish this writing unit, we will write realistic endings to our stories. I'm so impressed with our writers!
Our current unit is Subtraction to 20. So far, students have explored a variety of strategies to help them solve subtraction problems such as drawing a picture and crossing out items, using objects to manipulate, and our favorite math tools like the number line, number chart, and ten frames. Also, students solved subtraction story problems and even wrote their own stories about taking things away. Our mathematicians know to "pull out the numbers" in a story and look for key words to know which operation to use. Phrases such as "how many are left" and "how many less" tell us to subtract. Students have also practiced counting back to solve subtraction number models. For example, when they see 14 - 9, they will draw 9 circles. Then, they say "14" out loud, and touch the circles to count back to 5. As we continue through this unit, students will use a variety of tools to solve subtraction problems, decompose numbers to subtract, use unknown addends to subtract, and explore the relationship between addition and subtraction with fact families. Our mathematicians are really soaring!
Integrated Unit: Conservation
This unit is all about keeping our environment safe and clean! The kids enjoyed watching Dr. Seuss’ original cartoon, “The Lorax” to make connections to saving trees and keeping the environment clean and protected. We even got to make a connection to our first grade BIG IDEA of patterns and cycles when we created our own “cycles” depicting the recycling process of glass! The kids also got to participate in a great hands-on-learning activity when we got to make our own recycled paper! Can your child give the steps and teach YOU "How To Make Paper?" Another great visual for the students was the Incredible Edible Landfill. Each type of food represented a unique category of trash. They were amazed to see how quickly our landfills can fill up! See our landfills below. Now, students are more aware of REDUCING, REUSING, and RECYCLING!