Jumping into Third Quarter

943We jumped into THIRD quarter this week by launching both a new reading and writing unit, doing some HARD math work, and solving some problems in our classroom.  We have also read oodles and oodles of books this week – which we all LOVE!  Thanks for visiting our blog this week.  Read on to learn and SEE more of what we’ve been up to lately.

Table of Contents

  • Conversation Starters
  • Math – Counting Books
  • Writing about Collections
  • Handwriting
  • A Smile for You!

Conversation Starters:

  • unknownYour class read another book that was illustrated by the author/illustrator coming to Robinson at the end of January named Don Tate.  Tell me what you learned about the inventor Lonnie Johnson while your class read, Whoosh.  What did you learn from this book about having grit and never giving up?  How did it make you feel and why?
  • You began using a new app this week called Seesaw.  Tell me how you can show your learning on Seesaw, what your favorite things has been to post and what you like about the app.

Math – Counting Books:  Outside of our classroom, we have a bulletin board.  Our bulletin board is BUSY.  Our bulletin board has a photo of every book we have read this year!  Yep . . . every single book.  We are making sure that we read AT LEAST one book each day (it usually ends up being two to three) in order to become more proficient readers and writers.  As we read, we document our books outside our room.  It has also been VERY useful to refer to the bulletin board in order to refer to books for various reasons.  This week, we had a conversation about our bulletin board and wondered how many books we have read this year.  So . . . we started discussing strategies we could use in order to count them.  And we began counting.  And counting and counting and counting.  As you look below, you will see some very HARD working mathematicians from our investigation.  I also have to let you know that we have not come up with a total number of books yet as we have had many different numbers arise as our total.  As mathematicians, we knew that this couldn’t be possible so we are in the progress of figuring out a new strategy to use – possibly as a class – to figure out how many books we have read so far.  Hopefully, I’ll have an update next week on the total number of books we have read!  Until then, check out our strategies below.

This is the rubric descriptor that helped guide our work to count our books.
This is the rubric descriptor that helped guide our work to count our books.
This is our bulletin board that has every book we have read this year! We checked it out to see if we could figure out how many books we have read so far.
This is our bulletin board that has every book we have read this year! We checked it out to see if we could figure out how many books we have read so far.
Autymn, Myles and Dai'jon worked to figure out how many books we have read this year by looking at a picture of the bulletin board and deciding which strategy to use.
Autymn, Myles and Dai’jon worked to figure out how many books we have read this year by looking at a picture of the bulletin board and deciding which strategy to use.
These mathematicians use a strategy to figure out how many books we have read so far this year.
These mathematicians use a strategy to figure out how many books we have read so far this year.
Julia and Edie worked to decide how many books are on our bulletin board.
Julia and Edie worked to decide how many books are on our bulletin board.
Cal and Charlie worked on a strategy to figure out how many books we have read this year.
Cal and Charlie worked on a strategy to figure out how many books we have read this year.
Abby and Duncan worked to figure out how many books we have read this year.
Abby and Duncan worked to figure out how many books we have read this year.

Writing about Collections: We began a new writing unit late this week in order to embark upon persuasive writing.  To expose ourselves to some persuasive writing, we read Red is Best and I Wanna Iguana and talked about what the character was doing in order to convince others of their beliefs.  We agreed that they provided many reasons to support their thinking.  Next, we used our own collection (either from home or from our classroom) and began figuring out how to judge our collection so we could write about it and persuade others to believe similarly.  We will continue to write our persuasive pieces over the next couple of weeks.

This is the rubric descriptor guiding our writing as we are begin a unit on persuasive writing.
This is the rubric descriptor guiding our writing as we are begin a unit on persuasive writing.
After writing about her collection, this author took a picture of her writing, read it and uploaded it to her Seesaw journal.
After writing about her collection, this author took a picture of her writing, read it and uploaded it to her Seesaw journal.
After writing about her collection, this author took a picture of her writing, read it and uploaded it to her Seesaw journal.
After writing about her collection, this author took a picture of her writing, read it and uploaded it to her Seesaw journal.

Handwriting:  We began noticing a problem in our classroom during the weeks before break and shortly thereafter.  We were having a bumpy (difficult) time reading the writing of others, as well as having a tough time reading our own writing!  We had a class meeting and discussed some possible solutions to the problem.  (Let me tell you – these first graders are GREAT at problem solving!)  As you will see in our easel photo below, we decided to give two of our possible solutions a try – they are circled.  One solution was to have handwriting teachers and the other was to use a handwriting app.  I’m still in the process of finding out more about the handwriting app, but we gave it a try for the first time to have handwriting teachers and students.  Ask your first grader about his or her experience this week and who his or her teacher/student is for handwriting.

We had a class meeting this week to discuss our handwriting and brainstormed some possible solutions.
We had a class meeting this week to discuss our handwriting and brainstormed some possible solutions.
Each first grader did their best handwriting in order for our class to decide who were our writing teachers and students.
Each first grader did their best handwriting in order for our class to decide who were our writing teachers and students.
Look at how hard these kiddos were working on their handwriting.
Look at how hard these kiddos were working on their handwriting.
Check out these first graders working on their handwriting with a chalkboard.
Check out these first graders working on their handwriting with a chalkboard.
These kiddos were so proud of their handwriting work they wanted to show it off to others!
These kiddos were so proud of their handwriting work they wanted to show it off to others!

A Smile for You!  Thanks for reading our blog post this week.  Below is a photo of a new addition to our classroom – a Lego Wall!  The popularity of our wall hasn’t quite taken off (yet?) like I had expected but we are having fun with it so far.  Check out one of our happy first graders with our Lego Wall in the photo below.  Have a great weekend.  Enjoy your time with your first grader!

Check out a smile with our new Lego Wall!
Check out a smile with our new Lego Wall!
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