6 Days!

6_daysWOW!  Shockingly, we only have 6 school days until Winter Break!  Where did the time go during the first semester?!?  Wherever it went . . . it seems to have FLOWN by quickly.  As you know, we have worked HARD this quarter and enjoyed spending time together as well.  That’s not to say things have always been a bed of roses.  We have worked through many challenges within our classroom community by utilizing and developing problem solving skills.  I look forward to spending time with each of the incredible children in our class second semester and to see how our classroom community continues to grow.  But . . . until we get to second semester, please read below to see what we have been doing in first grade this week.

  • Conversation Starters
  • Writing Goals
  • Our Visiting Author
  • Making Story Maps
  • Subtracting
  • A Smile for You

Conversation Starters:

  • You finished another chapter book, Junie B., First Grader: Turkeys We Have Loved and Eaten (and Other Thankful Stuff), this week.  Whose class won the Thankful Contest the school was having?  What did the class win as a prize?
  • You have a lot of Unthinkables on the wall in your classroom.  Which Unthinkable gets into your brain the most and how do you defeat that Unthinkable?
  • At the end of the day, your class sometimes shares Classroom Appreciations.  What are Classroom Appreciations and what have you shared?

Writing Goals: While we continue to work on nonfiction teaching books, each first grader in our room decided on a writing goal for his or her writing.  They are focusing on many skills as they write, but especially focusing on their individual goal.  The goals came out of things I had noticed as learning opportunities in our writing, as well as the learning expectations for first grade writers.  Look below at what we are working on.

Check out the Writing Goals that we are currently working on.
Check out the Writing Goals that we are currently working on.

imagesOur Visiting Author: On Tuesday of this week, we had a very special treat!  Mrs. Meihaus invited the ENTIRE first grade to listen to a local author read a story he had written.  The author’s name is Tom Johnston and the children really enjoyed his book.  As you will see below, it was really fun seeing almost 100 first graders packed into the library to hear a story.  It was such cute story to hear.  We hope (as we always do with visiting authors) that the visit prompted continued excitement and motivation as authors to continue writing and pursue writing their own books at school and home.  Needless to say, it was a great event and was enjoyed by first grade.

We were fortunate enough to have a local author visit us on Tuesday.
We were fortunate enough to have a local author visit us on Tuesday.

Making Story Maps: One of the first grade expectations is for children to be able to identify various elements in fiction text.  While it is extremely important to decode words when reading, it is equally important to comprehend (understand) what is being read.  (Another critical element to reading is fluency.)  One way that we work on comprehension is by making a story map.  To learn more about what a story map is and the importance of using them to aid in comprehension, click here.  Look below for the descriptor used on the report card that includes comprehension skills, such as story maps.  You will also see photos of the story maps we created to become better readers.

This is the descriptor from the second quarter report card that includes analytical skills such as story maps.
This is the descriptor from the second quarter report card that addresses analytical skills such as story maps.
We started by reading a familiar book together and I made a story map for the children to observe and learn the process.
Our first attempt at story maps began by reading a familiar book together.  Next, I made a story map for the children to observe and learn the process.
Next, we read another familiar story and made a story map TOGETHER.
Next, we read another familiar story and made a story map TOGETHER.

Subtracting: During our math, we have been working subtraction.  The children have been getting the hang of subtraction and are working diligently to consistently communicate their mathematical thinking (in addition to their answer to a problem.)  For example, if a problem was 18 – 5, it is important to know that the difference is 13.  However, it is equally important – if not MORE – for students to show their thinking.  As you look below, you will see what we look for regarding mathematical thinking, as well as some strategies children are using to show their thinking as mathematicians.  Finally, you will see a subtraction game that children were playing this week as they worked on their subtraction skills.

This is the rubric descriptor we are using for subtraction during second quarter.
This is the rubric descriptor we are using for subtraction during second quarter.
This is the rubric descriptor we use on to encourage students to communicate their thinking.
This is the rubric descriptor we use when students communicate their math thinking.
The children came up with three different strategies to solve subtraction problems.
The children came up with three different strategies to solve subtraction problems.  Each is an example of how students can SHOW their thinking.

A Smile for You: This week I chose a photo that I took a few weeks.  This photo continues to make me smile.  These adorable first graders happened to all wear orange shirts one day, so we thought it was picture-worthy.   Hope you enjoy the photo as much as I do.  Have a wonderful weekend!  As always, thank you for reading this week’s post.

One day, all three of these children happened to wear orange shirts.  We thought it was cute so I took a picture of them!. SMILE!
One day, all three of these children happened to wear orange shirts. We thought it was cute so I took a picture of them!. SMILE!

 

 

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