Friday, June 8, 2018

Week of 6/4 - 6/8

Writing
Students worked on a Father's Day project in writing this week. They spent lots of time writing and creating something special for all of their fathers. These will be sent home next week. I know you will enjoy them! We also began to write and illustrate a Summer Goals flip book. Students wrote about what they hope to read, eat and play over their summer break!


Math
We continued to work with 3D shapes in math. We reviewed the shape names (cylinder, sphere, cube, square prism, rectangular prism, triangular prism cone, pyramid) and looked for real world examples. We spent time examining the "faces" (flat sides) of our 3D shapes by playing an I Spy game. For example,  "I spy a 3D shape that has one circular face (cone). I spy a 3D shape that has 6 square faces (cube)."

Science
We are beginning to wrap up our science unit on Living and Non-Living Things. Students chose a "mystery animal" to classify as either a mammal, reptile, bird or fish. They had to provide evidence to prove their classifications. We also observed our grass biomes for the second time. They noticed lots of new growth in their biomes since our last observation. They recorded what they noticed in their science journals.

Other Activities
  • Mrs. Holt visited our class on Monday afternoon with a No-Go-Tell lesson on personal safety.
  • We enjoyed a marimba concert on Thursday.
  • We practiced a lockdown and fire drill this week.
Upcoming Dates
  • Field day is on Friday, June 15th - please make sure your child comes dressed for fun outdoor games! They should be prepared with sunscreen and a water bottle, too.
  • Our last day of school is on Wednesday, June 20th. It is an early release so children will be dismissed at 12:35pm. Please let me know if your child will have different dismissal arrangements on this day.
Sincerely,
Mrs. Bradstreet

Friday, June 1, 2018

Week of 5/29 - 6/1

Reading
We began a new chapter book this week - Clementine by Sara Pennypacker. This is the second Clementine chapter book our class has read. The students are enjoying hearing about the funny antics of this third grader. We will use the story to practice important comprehension skills such as making predictions, identifying main character, sequencing story events and identifying a central message.

Science
Students reviewed four major animal classifications (mammals, fish, birds, reptiles) and sorted a set of animal pictures. They described the unique characteristics for each classification. For example, birds have beaks, feathers and wings, and most can fly. They also expanded their thinking to brainstorm reasons animals have adapted to live in their particular biome. We thought about what makes frogs suitable to live near ponds. Students came up with great ideas such as they have long legs to leap across lily pads and long tongues used for catching insects..

Math
We began our final math unit this week. Students will end the year learning about three dimensional shapes. Students were introduced to a set of 3D shapes. They looked carefully at the shapes to describe them. They noticed the "faces" on each block. For example, a cube was made up of 6 square faces. We also looked for examples of these shapes in the real world. They were able to recognize cones as parking cones and ice cream cones and spheres as a tennis ball and a planet!


Upcoming Dates
  • Field day is scheduled for Friday, June 15th.
  • The last day of school for students is Wednesday, June 20th. It will be an early release day. More information will come soon!

Sincerely,
Mrs. Bradstreet

Friday, May 25, 2018

Week of 5/21 - 5/25

Ecology/Stewardship Day
On Tuesday, first grade students were environmental stewards by helping to clean out our Bird & Butterfly garden. Groups of students had different jobs ranging from picking up litter to raking dead leaves, spreading wood chips and cleaning out debris. They were given the proper tools such as gloves, rakes, wheelbarrows and buckets to help them complete their special jobs. Everyone pitched in to get the garden all cleaned up! I would encourage you to stop by the garden and ask your child what he or she did to help clean it up. We are so lucky to have such beautiful gardens at our school and we want everyone enjoying them. We also enjoyed a popsicle and a reflection activity afterwards. They really enjoyed spending some productive time outdoors.

Pineland Farms
On Wednesday, all four first grade classes enjoyed a field trip to Pineland Farms. We received a guided tour of the Family Farmyard and learned about the many jobs that their farm animals have, including making milk and eggs, providing hair/fur, herding other animals and so much more. We topped it off with a picnic lunch before returning to Skillin.

Math
We finished up with Unit 7 this week. Students practiced adding double digit numbers by combining the tens and ones. They also practiced comparing two-digit numbers using greater than, less than and equal symbols. Next week, we will begin Unit 8 (our final math unit). Students will work with 2D and 3D shapes on geometry concepts including describing attributes of shapes and comparing/contrasting among and between 2D and 3D shapes.

Science
We reviewed our animal classifications (mammals, birds, fish, reptiles) and sorted animal picture cards based on what they knew about each animal. They had to provide evidence to "prove" their classifications.

Upcoming Dates
  • There is no school on Monday due to Memorial Day.
  • Field Day is on Friday, June 15th. More info to come!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Week of 5/14 - 5/18

Reading
Reading groups worked on a variety of word work and comprehension skills to go along with their books. Some groups worked on making words with blends, digraphs and short vowel sounds (such as trash) while other groups built compound words (such as somewhere). In addition, groups worked on retelling the major story events in order and identifying the main idea and supporting details of their stories.

Writing
We revisited our narrative writing learning target this week. After reading and discussing the beginning, middle and ending of Blueberries for Sal, students thought of their own personal story to write about. They first planned their story by illustrating the major events in order, then they added sentences to match their illustrations. They were careful to write in complete sentences with appropriate punctuation.

Math

We continued to look at patterns in two-digit numbers when we add or take away groups of ten. Students explored double digit addition by playing a new game called Adding within 100. In this game, students turned over two number cards and built each number with base ten blocks. They added the numbers together by grouping and counting the combined tens and ones and recorded the equations. We also spent time reviewing telling time to the half hour.

Science
Our young scientists observed their "Biomes in a Baggie" at the beginning of the week. Many students noticed lots of growth in their biomes. We discussed how living things need water, food and air to survive. They recognized how their biomes received all of these necessities over the past week. At the end of the week, we read nonfiction books to learn about the characteristics of mammals, birds and fish. Students helped me record the unique features of these animal types. They also worked with Mrs. Hartley to create Pic Collages on the iPads to show their understanding of living and non-living things. Please take a look at your child's Seesaw portfolio to see and hear about it!

Upcoming Dates:
  • Ecology Day is Tuesday, May 22nd. Please help your child dress appropriately for outdoor gardening activities on this day. Sunscreen and bug spray is recommended.
  • Our field trip to Pineland Farms is Wednesday, May 23. We will leave Skillin at 9:15am and return by 1:00. 
  • There is no school Monday, May 28th as we observe Memorial Day.
Thank you,
Mrs. Bradstreet

Friday, May 11, 2018

Week of 5/7 - 5/11

Mother's Day
Students were hard at work this week creating special projects for their mothers. They spent time painting, creating, designing and writing a couple of special items for you all. I know they are excited to give them to you. Happy Mother's Day!

Reading
Reading groups continued to read nonfiction books at their own levels this week. We practiced using text features such as table of contents, index and diagrams to get information. Students read and recorded new and interesting facts they learned. They also had a chance to partner read another nonfiction book to go along with our science unit. Students read and discussed why living things need water, air and food. Please make sure to have them read their books to you this weekend! Ask them to tell you something new they learned from their book.

Teacher Appreciation Week
I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you for all of the wonderful surprises during Teacher Appreciation Week. Each day brought new treats, thoughtful notes, flowers and so much more. It was such a nice way to start each day! Thank you so much.

Math
We continued to play games about tens and ones to further develop our place value understanding. Students practiced counting forward and backward by tens, beginning at different numbers such as 2 (2, 12, 22, 32, 42, 52...) and 4 (4, 14, 24, 34, 44, 54...). They are beginning to see how only the tens digit changes when you add or subtract a ten.


Science
Students had a wonderful time creating their own "biomes in a baggie." A biome is a community of living things in an area, such as a lake, desert or forest. To help them learn about what plants need to survive (water, air, soil, sunlight), they created a biome using grass seeds. We put them by the window and will give them time to grow before we make scientific observations next week.

Upcoming dates

  • Ecology Day is on Tuesday, May 22. An information sheet was sent home in red totes this week.
  • Our field trip to Pineland Farms is on Wednesday, May 23.
  • There is no school on Monday, May 28 due to Memorial Day. 

Friday, May 4, 2018

Week of 4/30 - 5/4

Reading
Students were introduced to two nonfiction texts this week. While doing a picture walk and preview, they noticed many nonfiction text features that they had not seen in previous books such as photographs and labels, index, headings and table of contents. We spent time reading, discussing the new information we learned, recording facts and sharing our learning with one another. They are bringing home one of the titles today. Please encourage your child to read this book to you and other family members several times. As they read, encourage them to use the nonfiction text features in their books such as reading the captions and looking up definitions in the glossary.

Writing
Students engaged in their own nonfiction writing this week. After listening to a biography about a real dentist, we listed facts about the dentist. Then, they wrote facts about themselves. They also listened to a story about fire trucks and then selected their own object write facts about.


Math
Students built upon their knowledge of place value by playing new games about tens and ones. These games required students to build two digit numbers using base ten blocks or tens frames and count the total number of blocks. Students had to be flexible with their counting and count by tens and ones (for example: 10, 20, 30, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44). In one of the games, students had to use their knowledge of "greater than" and "less than" to compare two digit numbers.
We also revisited telling time to the half hour. Students practiced reading and recording the times shown on an analog clock.

Science
We continued to learn about Living and Non-Living things. First, we went on a scavenger hunt outside. We walked through the nature trail, bird and butterfly garden and various green spaces around the school to look for examples of living and non-living things. Students found squirrels, worms, flowers, grass, trees and bees for living things. They found water, clouds, dirt, litter and benches for non-living things. More importantly, they were able to explain why something was alive or not. They recorded their findings in their science journals.

Upcoming Dates
  • There is an early release on Wednesday, May 9th. Students will be dismissed at 12:35 pm.
  • Ecology Day is scheduled for Tuesday, May 22nd. More information will come soon!
  • First graders are taking a field trip to Pineland Farms on Wednesday, May 23rd. I have one opening for a chaperone. If you would like to join us, please email me.
Thank you,
Mrs. Bradstreet


Friday, April 27, 2018

Week of 4/23 - 4/27

Reading
We began the week by revisiting blends and digraphs with various word building activities. Students showed me they can be flexible with words by changing beginning, middle and ending sounds that included both digraphs (ch, th, sh) and blends (sp, tr, fr, sl, st, dr).
Reading groups spent lots of time reading their new books to work on their fluency and identified story elements such as character, problem and solution. Next week, students will read nonfiction. They will explore text features such as diagrams, photographs and labels and read to learn new information. It will be very exciting!

Grammar

We started a new learning target in writing: I can use uppercase letters for the days of the week, months and names of people in my writing. We explored the calendar, paying special attention to how all of the days and months begin with uppercase letters. Students practiced writing these proper nouns with an uppercase letter at the beginning of each word.

Math

We really dug into our place value unit this week by playing games about tens. Students learned how to play a couple of new games. In Build It - How Many Tens? partners took turns turning over a tens card (i.e. 10, 20, 30, 40, 50...) and had to build that number using ten frames. Then, they had to identify the number of tens in that number and write an equation to go with it. In How Many Now? students turned over two tens cards, determined the larger number and built that number with either ten frames or towers of ten cubes. They then subtracted the smaller number from the larger number (using their knowledge of counting back by tens) to find the difference. This was recorded as a subtraction equation on a recording sheet.

Science
We began a science unit on Living and Non-Living Things. This exciting unit will help students understand the basic characteristics and needs of living and non-living things. Students will keep a science journal, read nonfiction books, learn songs and poems and so much more.
We are keeping a classroom "KLEWS"board - this is where we are keeping track of the information we already Know, what we have Learned, Evidence of our new learning, things we still Wonder about and Science words that help us understand.

So far, students have learned about the common characteristics of living things:
  • They eat and drink.
  • They turn food into energy, and use this energy to move.
  • They breathe.
  • They reproduce, or make more of themselves.
  • They react to the environment.
Challenge your child to take a walk with you outside and go on a "hunt" for living and non-living things. Make sure they tell you how they know if something is alive or not!

Upcoming Dates
  • Thursday, May 3rd is Math & Literacy Night at Skillin. Please stop by the first grade classrooms between 5:00-6:00pm. Your family will get a chance to play a variety of math and literacy games and activities. We promise it will be FUN! All families will get to bring home a goody bag, too!
  • Wednesday, May 9th is an early release. Students will be dismissed at 12:35 pm. Please let me know if your child will have a different dismissal plan for that day.
Sincerely,
Mrs. Bradstreet