Latest Event Updates
We are learning so much in Room 3. Things are humming along and kids are working very hard. You may have had a chance to meet my new assistant Q. She is in the room part of the day to support all the students. It has been such a help to have another set of hands in the room.
In Writer’s Workshop the students have been working on a persuasive piece of writing. They are writing a piece that will become a television commercial selling something. They have learned to use strong voice and tactics to persuade. It has been a lot of fun. In Writer’s workshop we are now official reading detectives. Students now have what it takes to solve tricky words. We are continuing to learn lots of strategies to help ourselves when things get tough when we are reading. We have also been learning how to identify different genres. We are beginning to learn the difference between realistic fiction, and fantasy as well has fairy tale and folk tale. In nonfiction text, we will learn about informational books, biographies and autobiographies. Also we will be reading nonfiction articles.
In math, we are continuing to learn to tell time on an analog clock. We are also really working hard on place value. This is helping us learn to add larger quantities.
Our new gym teacher Mr. Williams started last week. If you see him in the hall, give him a warm welcome. He has been great with the kids and we are very excited to have him.
Thank you all so much for such great parent teacher turn out! 100%. I so enjoyed getting a chance to share the amazing growth your kids are making.
This week we will be taking about gratitude and what that means. We will be creating a gratitude tree in our classroom acknowledge all we are grateful for as we enter the holiday season.
We have lots of new beginnings this week. We are beginning new units in Math, Reading and Writing. Our reading unit is called Reading Detectives. We got a letter from The Super Secret Detective Agency asking us to join the reading detective team. The class agreed we are up to the task. We know its going to be a lot of hard reading work, but we are here to help and solve tricky reading problems. We got our first mission assignment. It it so STOP when we come to a hard word and solve it! In Writer’s Workshop, we started our Opinion Writing Unit. First we debated which makes a better pet, cats or dogs. It was a lively discussion that ended in writing an opinion piece to go with it.
This week we will begin our unit about the properties of light and sound. In our first lesson, your child will learn that not only are the characters in an animated movie created by artists, but so are all the sounds! There’s such a thing as “sound effect artists.” These artists make use of many different objects in order to make sounds such as rain, wind, thunder, robot voices, and more. Often they do this by creating vibrations, a back-and-forth movement. (There’s a scientific idea we’re laying the groundwork for: that vibrations and sounds are fundamentally connected.)
You can continue to foster your child’s curiosity by sitting down together and watching this short video about some of the famous sound effects artists: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSf8Er2gV_Q
Last week we finished our unit about the sun, moon, and stars. In our first few lessons we learned about the sun, in particular how its place changes in the sky throughout the day. In our first lesson, your child observed the surprising fact that the shadow of a stationary object moves, even though the object itself is not moving! This is because of how the sun’s place is changing in the sky.
We learned about the sun’s path, including learning about east and west (the direction of sunrise and sunset!).
You can encourage your child’s curiosity about the sun by going for a late afternoon walk around your neighborhood, and inviting them to notice where the shadows are. You can bring up interesting questions to ponder, such as: Which direction are the shadows pointing? How can you use a shadow’s direction to know where the sun is (since it’s not safe to look directly at the sun)? How might these shadows be different in the morning? In the photos you can see that we were creating the big dipper using flashlights. It was super fun!
The systems and routines in Room 3 are humming. Kids are becoming so independent and confident in their learning. It is such a joy to see a group of such enthusiastic learners. In math, we having been focusing on groups of 10’s and more. Essentially learning about place value. We are grouping numbers by 5’s and 10’s for quick computation. We are going to begin learning about the analog clock and the art of telling time. Hopefully you all have at least 1 clock in your home that you can practice telling time with. We will start with the skill of counting by 5’s and learn the purposes of the hour hand and the minute hand.
Writer’s workshop is a favorite time of day for students. They are all really into creating and sharing their stories and sometimes boo when I say its time to clean up for recess. We have begun the process of editing our work using an editing checklist. We’ve been learning about how to bring our stories to life by making characters talk and move, buy bringing characters feelings out, and by adding lots of detail.
In Readers Workshop, we’ve been working on dropping bad habits and picking up good habits. I am seeing so much growth in the past few weeks. It’s so exciting.
In science we are continuing our unit on the sun, moon and stars. We will be doing a fun science project on Thursday making stars. In this Mystery, students use a model to investigate why the stars are visible at night but disappear when the sun comes out during the day. We are also continuing to have our weekly gardening class with Ms. Kathleen. Kids are noting the changes in the garden as the seasons change.
Speaking of independence. 1st grade is a time for students to gain confidence and to feel empowered as learners. As a part of that, at this time of year I ask parents to say goodbyes to kids at the classroom door to allow them the opportunity to begin their day independently. Of course if you want to talk to me come on in, but as a general rule, please see if you can allow them to come in and begin their day on their own.
Please be sure your child brings their folder and backpack to school every day. Also, don’t forget library is Wednesday, and Gym is Monday and Thursday.
Room 3 has been bustling with excitement around Writer’s Workshop. We have been learning “craft moves” from published authors such as bring characters to life by making them move and talk, and also by telling our stories in itty bitty steps to make them full of detail. I’ve been amazed at the growth in the kid’s writing over the past month. Its so fun to watch. Last week we got to meet our Reading Buddy Class. Most of the kids got to meet their new buddy and get to know them a little. Reading buddy are always a very fun part of 1st grade. It creates such a wonderful opportunity to get to know kids in the upper grade levels and to do activities together.
Unfortunately I missed Run for the Arts, but according to Ms. Patricia the kids had a blast and did an outstanding job running their little hearts out.
In science we have been doing a unit about light and shadows. This unit helps students develop the idea that the sun, moon, and stars change position in the sky in ways that are fun to watch and predict. The kids cheer when they see science on the schedule. I love it!
I’ve had a few questions regarding birthday celebrations at school. We do not do any food treats on birthdays at school. A favorite way to celebrate your child is to have them bring a favorite book for me to read aloud to the class. And… of course we sing the birthday song as well.
A few reminders. Please remind your child to return their library book on or before Wednesday every week. Also, please be sure the take home folder is checked each night and returned to school each day. Its very important to establish the routine even if there isn’t any communication in the folder.