It's been a BUSY month in FIRST GRADE! After a delayed start (thanks to some very fun SNOW!!), we hit the ground running and have accomplished a lot in the past couple of weeks! We are zooming through our solar system while studying everything we see, writing amazing opinion pieces about our favorite places and, up next, our favorite planets, learning how to balance addition equations when there are missing addends, and - possibly our favorite - studying the beloved author Mo Willems. Phew! Read below for some more details on all of our amazing adventures!
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!
We have really been using our problem solving strategies throughout our Addition Unit! Since we have been working hard on adding "addends" together to find the answer, or "sum", we thought we'd make it a little more complicated and make one of those addends disappear! What do we do if an equation looks like this: 4+_=6? We used manipulatives to make the sum first. We laid out 6 blocks and then separated away the KNOWN addend (4). How many blocks were left? TWO! The missing addend is two! We also used our counting on strategy by putting 4 in our brains and counting on until we got to 6! What strategy does your child like the best?
We took this difficult concept a step further when we tried balancing addition equations. 4+1=2+_? We brought out an actual scale and talked about what it meant to be "balanced". Once we concluded that balanced meant the same on each side, we were able to begin making the two sides of the equation equal. We always have to start with what we know. We know that the left side of the equation has both addends so we have to start there. Since we know that 4+1=5, we know that the left side of the equation equals 5. Now we have to make the right side equals 5! We already have 2 as an addend so we used our knowledge of missing addends to find what we must add to 2 to make 5. THREE! Our equations are balanced because 4+1=5 and 2+3=5 too!
In the coming days and weeks, we will wrap up our addition unit by solving words problems! We use part-part-whole boxes as our math tool to solve these addition stories. So where do we start? We have to identify WHAT WE KNOW and WHAT WE NEED TO FIND OUT. We will practice underlining the "facts" and circling the question so we make sure that we know what our mission is in solving these problems. For example: If Arianna has 4 kittens and Addisyn brings 2 kittens over to play, how many kittens are there all together? We start by underlining "Arianna has 4 kittens and Addisyn brings 2 kittens over to play" and circling "how many kittens are there all together?" We then enter the information into our part-part-whole boxes to find the sum!