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, 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. We can't wait to share these 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!
Unit of Study:
We have been working hard on our Conservation Unit! We kicked off our unit with a trip to the Maritime Center. Here, we learned about recycling and how important conservation is to protecting our local waterways. The students learned that a glass bottle can take over 1 million years to break down! This type of litter can stay in the water forever. We stretched out understandings when we attended Hunting Island to practice our own stewardship skills by participating in a beach clean up! This week, we learned all about recycling as we studied how both glass and paper are recycled. The kids had a blast making their own recycled paper! Next week, we will wrap up this unit by learning about ways to re-use items instead of throwing them away. We will end the week with a socratic seminar where we will discuss types of pollution and their effects on our environment.