Sunday, October 2, 2011

Happy October!

Wow! That first month of school FLEW by and it's already October! We are just about fully into the routines of first grade. Students will be learning the last component of our Reading Workshop this week, which is Literacy Station Choice (which I have been calling "Daily 5" time). I will write more about this when I have photos to post of children engaged in their choices. This will complete our daily routine. The big news about this last part of our daily routine--the reading loft will open! I will post pictures of that too. :-)

Here are a few snippets from our very busy week...

Writing Workshop: Students have done a super job of increasing their writing stamina. This week, students learned about stretching and writing words the best they can, breaking words into chunks (a strategy we call "Chunky Monkey" and use in reading too!)  to make them easier to spell, using the date stamp/stapler, and what to do when you're done in Writing Workshop. Students learned the phrase, "When you THINK you're done, you've only just begun!" We keep writing until the Writing Workshop is over, so students can 1. Add to the pictures, 2. Add to the words, or 3. Start a new piece of writing. No more calling out, "I'm done!" :-)

Proud Writers!

Theme-All About Me: We finished our self portraits, and I hope you've already watched the slide show of each child holding his/her portrait. You can see them in person at Open House THIS Thursday, October 6th from 6:30-7:30 p.m. We are now working on an "All About Me" lap book which you will see at Open House. Here's how the self portraits look hanging in the room...

Math: You should have received your child's Unit 1 math assessment in the green folder on Tuesday. Please take some time to look at this with your child. I always tell students that these assessments are a way for me to see what they already know and what I need to teach more. This information also helps me see who needs  more practice with skills and who's ready for some challenge work. Please note only the skills in Part A (the top portion) of the math assessment are expected to be mastered at this time.

We are well into Unit 2 of our math program. This week's lessons included telling time to the hour, complements of 10 (addition facts that add to 10...6+4, 5+5, etc.), telling and solving number stories, and learning about a new type of page in our math journals called Math Boxes. We also did some new explorations, which allows students to explore math materials before we use them for their "math purpose." This week students explored dominoes and rulers. We've been working hard on skip counting by 2s and 5s, as that was hard for many children on the last math assessment. It's been fun to sing along with skip counting song videos using our interactive whiteboard! Video to come...

Domino exploration
There is usually some sort of building/puzzle station open during Math Station time. Foam blocks were a choice on Friday.
We have three student computers in the classroom, but now that we have a mobile computer lab with laptops, we can bring in laptops so everyone has their own computer for the math station. These students are playing games from our Everyday Math program.

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