Happy February!

heartpic-64We have made it through another week in first grade and have begun to fall into a nice routine with our community of learners.  We help one another learn, support one another when we are sad or scared, sometimes get mad at one another . . . and then make-up, cheer for one another when we are happy, and simply try our best to love one another well.  It’s hard work though – I promise you that.  However, we continue to enjoy our days as a learning family – even if I am oftentimes thoroughly exhausted at the end of the day.  We hope you enjoy learning what we have been up to this past week in first grade.  So . . . read ahead and learn with us! 🙂

  • Conversation Starters
  • Learning Buddies
  • Opinion Writing
  • Addition Strategies
  • Please Send Valentine’s Boxes!
  • A Smile for You

Conversation Starters:

  • Students in your class brought in collections for writing this week.  Why did you need to bring in a collection?  What are you writing about?
  • You read a lot of Pigeon books this week.  (Click here to see what we are talking about.)  Why did you read these books?  As a writer, what did you learn from Pigeon?
  • During your Reading Workshop, you use RAZ Kids to read to self.  Would you like to begin doing RAZ Kids at home with the login information we got earlier this week?  Why or why not?

Learning Buddies: A few weeks ago, we met with our fourth grade Learning Buddies for the first time.  Boy – were we excited!  It was so much fun to go into a REAL fourth grade classroom and see what it is like in there. The purpose of Learning Buddies is simply to have another friend at Robinson – and to learn from one another, of course.  Simple, right?  For our first meeting, each buddy partnership (a first and fourth grader)  interviewed one another by asking a lot of questions.  Last week, we met with our buddies again and did a craft that prompted the buddies to discuss the Robinson Road Rules.  We had another great time!  Since it has been so much fun meeting, we have decided to get together with our buddies about every two weeks so we can continue learning together – and have some fun. 🙂  Check out some of the photos from when we have met with our buddies.

Look at all of these Learning Buddies working together!
Look at all of the first and fourth grade Learning Buddies working together.
Fourth graders helped the first graders a lot on our craft.
Fourth graders helped the first graders a lot on our craft.
Here are some more buddies enjoying time together.
Here are some more buddies enjoying time together.
Look at what they made together!  Cute, huh?
Look at what they made together! Cute, huh?

Opinion Writing: This week, we began doing opinion writing in our classroom.  We have started off by having each child bring in a collection of 3 to 5 items so they could CONVINCE us, in writing, which was the best.  This is really hard work as a first grader!  For my collection, I brought in a variety of notecards and we used these as an example as we learned things to say in order to convince others of our beliefs.  Then, each first grader moved into writing about why he or she believed one of their items was best.  We will continue this writing next week.  In the meantime, check out our photos from our Writing Workshop below.

After talking about having opinions about things, we talked about ways to judge our collections in fair ways.  This chart is what we used as a resource to guide our writing.
After talking about having opinions about things, we talked about ways to judge our collections in fair ways. This chart is what we used as a resource to guide our writing.
This author is working hard by looking at her collection of stuffed animals and deciding how to convince us which stuffed animal is the BEST.
This author is working hard by looking at her collection of stuffed animals and deciding how to convince us which stuffed animal is the BEST.
This author is trying to decide which train is the best and how to convince us to agree with him.
This author is trying to decide which train is the best and how to convince us to agree with him.
This author was working hard on reading his piece and using an Opinion Writing Checklist.
This author was working hard on reading his piece and using an Opinion Writing Checklist.
This is what Writing looks like in our classroom . . . makes my heart happy.
This is what Writing looks like in our classroom . . . makes my heart happy.

Addition Strategies: During our Math Workshop, we continue to work on adding numbers within 100 by using CLEAR strategies to communicate math thinking.  (Check out the rubric descriptor below.)  Each day,  Mrs. Bell (Robinson’s Math Interventionist) and I work with groups of 4-5 to support individualized math learning with addition.  As we work, we continue to push each mathematician’s thinking toward higher level work.  We will continue working on addition strategies next week, while moving into subtraction in the near future.  We LOVE math in first grade. 🙂

This is the rubric descriptor for addition this quarter.
This is the rubric descriptor for addition this quarter.
These are the strategies and tools many of our mathematicians use in order to solve addition problems.
These are the strategies and tools many of our mathematicians use in order to solve addition problems.

Please Send Valentine’s Boxes! With Valentine’s Day being next week, we are in GREAT need of many shoeboxes.  A letter went home in Monday, so please remember to send your child with a shoebox if you have not already.  Also, we hope to see you at our Valentine’s Party on Thursday at 2:30pm.  Happy EARLY Valentine’s Day!

Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 10.43.05 PM

A Smile for You: We try to go outside for a morning recess as often as possible.  This week, we went out on a snowy morning and had SO MUCH fun!  I was so happy to see the children running and playing with the snow.  I think we were the first ones to get out there on the playground after the snowfall, so that made it extra special!  Anyway . . . check out this incredibly happy photo below, which should make you smile too. 🙂  As always, thanks for reading our classroom blog this week.  Have a wonderful weekend with your first grader.

Can first graders look any happier than this?!?
Can first graders look any happier than this?!?
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