This week we did our own fruit drying experiment. They were responsible for keeping track of their data, weighing their fruit with cubes and recording information. There was a lot of practice on how to work as a team, taking turns as well as safety procedures (the fruit is just...plain...gross!). They eventually got it down and were pros at conducting the experiment. Next week we will talk about seasonal changes and do some opinion writing (new first grade common core standard) about what our favorite season is. Maybe during this 3 day weekend you can take a walk and talk about what seasonal changes you see in the plants, animals, temperature, weather etc. !!
Reflection is so important in the world of education. Soooo, I spent the other night looking at some our writing and took some time to think about what they have produced, what I see during writer's workshop and where we need to go next. After my reflecting and realizing we weren't quite ready to move into the direction I thought. It's important that writer's workshop is centered around the students and their thinking and what they need to become better writer's. We are going to "pause" (I like that better than saying going back) and talk about what tools we need to be good writer's (pencils, paper, crayons, colored pencils). We are also going to talk about how we love drawings and to draw but when we write stories for readers, we need to include words to help describe our pictures and help to tell what's happening. We have spent a lot of time on "small moments"/"personal narratives" and are going to continue that focus but with some great mini lessons that review what our jobs is as authors. They are going to work on practicing snap words (those high frequency words we just gotta know!) and start out with like, the, said as our snap words to practice. All these mini lessons and work during writer's workshop will help us to become the authors I know we can be!
In math we are talking about adding doubles and near doubles. We are working our facts and fact families. We made up a song to help us remember our doubles to the tune of Justin Bieber's song "Baby". We've been practicing all week so don't be surprised if you hear some humming of math to the tune of Justin Bieber :) (I'll apologize now ha ha). I will send you a video of that today! It's great! Any extra practice with facts (doubles, near doubles or just basic facts) would be great help! A fun game we are going to learn to play is playing "war" (what we used to call it as kids) and we will call "Top It". Students will each draw a card and the first person to add the numbers together gets both cards! Story problems are becoming more prevalent. Being able to apply our facts and strategies to these story problems show understanding.
Early readers sometimes get overwhelmed by all the "unknowns". They struggle with the reading the words (accuracy), they read slowly (fluency) and by the time they get to the end, after all that effort they forget what they read (comprehension). We are focusing on our strategies that will help us to become more accurate readers. We have four strategies that we have been working and this week we are going to add:
Skip, Read On, Go back and Fix (Re-read to help us self-correct).
Many times we read and make a mistake and don't go back to reread and fix it. Or to reread and try again. Our brains will help us recognize when something we've read doesn't make sense, or look right and then we have to go back and reread to fix it. I read fast and sometimes during read aloud I make a mistake so I try to use some of those teachable moments to tell the kids, look, I read to fast, my brain says, go back and reread. This is an important strategy to have in our reading toolbox! Hap
To continue our work as scientist we are working on an "Apple Drying" experiment. We have three apples: whole (with skin), whole (without skin), Chopped (part skin/part not). We made predictions (which we talked about is similar to the word hypothesis that we learned last week). Each day we have been weighing the apples to see how much moisture they have lost. We are taking notes and using tools and our observation skills that are important of both scientist, historians and many others (teachers too!)! We talked a lot about how we are comparing the apple to itself and use math to help us determine which apple lost the most!
Next week each table will conduct this experiment on their own based on the fruit they picked! Here's what we have:
This week we are continuing to read great personal narrative type books and talking about what kind of conventions help our narratives! We started with the letter "C" (we'll spell CUPS at the end of the study of conventions). We talked about when and why do we use capital letters. They brainstormed many reasons why and I wrote them on chart paper! It now hangs on the wall as a reminder to use capitals appropriately. We will revisit this throughout the year. We had some fun with proper nouns! That's a hard one to understand so we played a game. They stood if what I said needed capitals (i.e. Pizza Hut, Starbucks, Scottish Corners) and sat if it did not (i.e pizza, coffee, school). Next week verbs and adjectives!
We have added another reading strategy:
1. Look at the pictures (Readers use the pictures to determine if what they read makes sense).
2. Check to see if it makes sense. (Readers use the pictures to determine if what they read makes sense).
3. Get your mouth ready (Picture cues alone will not help us-readers initially concentrate on beginning letters of unknown words).
4. Does it Look Right (By looking through the word from left to right, readers check their predictions about the word. They say yes or no based on the letter-sounds they see).
Reading the Fly Guy books and some other grade level appropriate books, we learned how to look at the picture but then check back to make sure that what we said made sense and matched what we are supposed to read! For example their was a picture of a jar but we said bottle. We went back to the word and checked-b and j don't make the same sound. So we tried again and got jar. We will continue to build on our strategies for the next few weeks (sometimes combining more than one).
We briefly got started on this topic this week. This is a long one and any extra practice at home would be great! In math, we continue to talk about parts and wholes.
Part +Part= Whole
This will be very important because we will be working on adding and then using that whole to subtract those parts.
Games to play at home (if you want extra practice):
Cover and Hide: (have 10, 11 or 12 things, we use cubes) and have one person close their eyes. Take some away and cover with a cup/bowl. The person opens their eyes and has to figure out what is under the cup. To extend this activity you could have them write the subtraction sentence.
Memory with your own cards/deck of cards: They turn over two cards and add them together. To extend this you could have them write down the addition sentence.
If you look on the weebly links area () you'll find links to math games that your children can play too!