Friday, February 16, 2018

Week of 2/12 - 2/16

There was lots to be celebrated this week! On Wednesday, we had our Valentine's Day card exchange. The children enjoyed both giving and receiving Valentines. They created special Valentine bags to hold all of their cards as well. We also celebrated the 100th day of school on Wednesday. We read books about the number 100 (Disaster on the 100th Day and One Hundred Hungry Ants), designed a movement break with ten sets of ten different exercises and made a special crown. Individual photos of your children wearing their "100" crowns were uploaded to Seesaw - please take a look! They also designed their own name puzzles on a blank 100 grid by writing one letter on each square and coloring in the boxes with the first letter. Then, they looked for patterns that their names made.

In math, we revisited some familiar math games to practice addition and subtraction. The rules of the games were slightly adjusted to make it more challenging for this point in the year. Students played Five in a Row and Dot Addition to practice adding. The target strategy was to count on beginning with the bigger number. To practice subtraction, they spent time playing Five in a Row Subtraction using a numbered die (7-12) and a dotted die (1-6). The target subtraction strategy was to count back, beginning with the larger number.

Book Bags
Your children are bringing home their classroom book bags to keep. These are full of leveled texts that your children have worked on during the first half of the school year. My hope is that
you will encourage your children to read these familiar books to you over and over again. Reading familiar books helps young readers build confidence, fluency and is a necessary part of reading development. We have new book bins that we will use to replace these bags in the classroom. 

  • There is no school next week.
  • All first graders had vision and hearing screenings recently. You will receive a letter from Nurse Katie if there is a concern for your child.
Thank you,
Mrs. Bradstreet

Friday, February 9, 2018

Week of 2/5 - 2/9

Our word building activities this week focused on r-blends such as tr, fr, gr and br. Students listened for these consonant blends at the beginning of words and matched letter tiles to the sounds they heard. We also worked on syllable segmenting and blending. Students used their arms to tap syllables in words. Ask your child to show you. We practiced listening to the individual syllables of a word and putting them together to say the whole word (cat - er - pill- ar).
Reading groups worked on identifying the major events that occurred in the beginning, middle and end of their leveled stories. After reading the book two times, they created their own mini-books to retell the important events. These are being recorded today onto Seesaw for your enjoyment.

Our handwriting practice included revisiting number writing rhymes and practicing punctuation such as question marks and exclamation marks. Students practiced writing punctuation in context (at the ends of sentences).

Students continued to work on combinations of 10 by playing math games they learned last week. We also completed "Crayon Puzzles." These are story problems where the sum and one addend are known, and the students have to figure out the missing addend. For example: 2 + ___ = 10
Samples of your children's work were uploaded to Seesaw for you to see.

We also learned a new game called "Ten Plus." This was a more rigorous addition game in which students had to add two number cards and then find its equivalent as "10 plus another number." For example, if they added 8+5, its equivalent would be 10+3.

Vision & Hearing Screenings
Nurse Katie is conducting vision and hearing screenings for all first graders this week and next week. You will be notified if there are any concerns for your child.

We connected our narrative writing learning target with technology this week. Students used the Scratch, Jr. app to code a story with a beginning, middle and end. They had to select a character, three different scenes and then code actions to tell their story across those three scenes.

Upcoming Dates
  • We will celebrate Valentine's Day with a card exchange on Wednesday, February 14th. If your child brings in a set of cards, please be sure there is one for each student. We have 15 students in class.
  • February vacation is Monday, February 19th - Friday, February 23rd.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Week of 1/29 - 2/2

Students worked on making and reading words beginning with S-blends. A consonant blend is a group of two or three consonants that make their own distinct sound. We looked at sp, st and sc this week (example words include spot, step and scan). When reading words with consonant blends, it is important to keep the sounds together and not separate them. We also read new books this week and practiced telling the important events that happened in the beginning, middle and end of our stories. Students recorded themselves retelling the major events of their stories in order on Seesaw. Please have a listen if you haven't already!

Groundhog Day
We celebrated this fun holiday by reading some fiction and nonfiction groundhog stories, creating a class graph about our predictions, learning a song and creating a puppet to go with the song. We also enjoyed watching the live video of Punxsutawney Phil coming out of his burrow. Ask your child if he saw his shadow or not!

We continued to work in our handwriting books a couple of times this week. Handwriting is an important life skill that students must work on so their writing is clear and easy to read. Students worked on proper formation of the letter Tt in isolation and within words and sentences. They paid special attention to properly sizing and spacing their letters, too.

We began unit 5 this week. The focus of this unit is on adding and subtracting within 20. We began with learning about the combinations of 10. Knowing these addition facts by heart will help students as they solve more complex math problems. I would encourage you to make flashcards with your children at home to practice. Students played several games to practice their combinations of 10 including Make 10, Counters in a Cup, How Many Am I Hiding? and Tens Go Fish. You can find out more about this important math unit by reading the Investigations family letter in your child's red tote.

Upcoming Dates & Reminders
  • There is an early release scheduled for Wednesday, February 7th. Students will be dismissed at 12:35pm. Please let me know if your child will have a different dismissal plan for that day.
  • We will celebrate Valentine's Day on Wednesday, February 14th with a card swap. A class list was sent home in red totes this week. 
  • There is no school Monday, February 19th - Friday, February 23rd.
  • Important reminders:
    • Wear sneakers on Mondays for gym
    • Return your library books on Wednesdays

Thank you,
Mrs. Bradstreet

Friday, January 26, 2018

Week of 1/22 - 1/26

Winter Carnival and Closing Ceremonies
There was lots of excitement in the air with our final week of Winter Kids Winter Games! On Thursday, we had Winter Carnival and got to participate in a wide variety of indoor and outdoor activities including boot camp, snowshoeing, skiing, hockey, scooter races and more. Each child received their very own Skillin t-shirt to keep, thanks to the generosity of our PTA and sponsors!

Students began to write their own narratives. First, they listened to examples of narrative stories. Then, they brainstormed and illustrated their own ideas with a beginning, middle and end using a narrative planner. Students took turns "talking through" their stories in front of the class. All of this pre-writing work was designed to make the actual writing easier. We will continue to work on these stories next week.

We also reviewed nouns as people, places or things. Students brainstormed their own examples of nouns to fit these three categories. They also finished sentences by writing in the missing nouns.

We wrapped up our unit on measurement this week. Our focus learning targets were telling time to the hour and half hour and measuring the length of objects in both inches and centimeters. Students were also introduced to halves and fourths with the understanding that a fraction is an equal part of a whole. This understanding is an essential foundation for further work on fractions in the higher grades.

Mrs. Bradstreet

Friday, January 19, 2018

Week of 1/16 - 1/19

We explored the bossy E pattern in words. Students learned that if you add an "e" to CVC words (such as cap or pin), it changes the word and makes the vowel say its name (cape, pine). You can also refer to this as a "magic e" or "silent e" pattern. Readers noticed these patterns in their own leveled books.

Social Studies
We read a couple of nonfiction books about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. so students could understand more about why we had Monday off. We learned about his important work around peace. Students made their own peace books by illustrating a dream they had about our world. Ideas included "Every child gets to go to school" to "Let's plant trees to make the world more beautiful." These booklets are hung in the hallway for all to see.

We further explored the concept of "half" this week. Students designed "half and half rugs" using squares and rectangles as base shapes. They worked hard to draw lines directly through the center of each shape to make halves that were exactly the same size. We continued to practice telling time to the half hour as well.

Winter Games
Thank you for sending in your photos and activity logs for points this week! Every bit helps. We are looking forward to the Winter Carnival next week. It is scheduled for Tuesday, with a rain date of Thursday. Please be aware that our specials schedule will be affected to accommodate this special event. We will be in touch next week with the final plans for the carnival and what you can do to help prepare your child for it!

Winter Clothing Reminder
I recommend sending in a spare set of clothing for your child. I can store a labeled bag of clothing here so your child can change if they get soaked at recess.

Mrs. Bradstreet

Friday, January 12, 2018

1/8 - 1/12

Happy New Year First Grade Families!
We are welcoming 2018 with some Winter Games excitement and we are diving into some new learning targets in all of our content areas. It is an exciting time to be a first grader!

We reviewed digraphs these past two weeks. Digraphs are special sounds that are created by two letters such as th, sh, ch and wh. Students identified words with beginning digraph sounds and went for a digraph hunt in their leveled books. The goal is for students to read words with these sounds fluently. Reading groups continued to identify the central message of their stories as well.

We wrapped our up unit on measurement. Students had lots of opportunities to estimate the length of various classroom objects and then measure in both inches and centimeters. We also began to learn about halves, which included designing half and half pizzas and telling time to the half hour. We will explore these concepts further next week.

We had a blast with Mrs. Hartley this week. She brought a Code & Go Robot Mouse to our classroom. The students worked together to code the mouse to follow a maze of healthy foods from each of the major food groups. The students had to think about what direction the mouse needed to move and how many steps to move. There was some trial and error, lots of encouragement and teamwork!

Winter Games Fun
We are having a blast competing in the Winter Games! Students ate through the rainbow this week, listened to many stories about healthy eating and taste tested lots of colorful fruits and veggies at lunch. We went out for some snowshoeing and began designing a cardboard sled for the Winter Carnival. Next week is all about Family Engagement. We will need your help! A log was sent home in red totes this week. We need all families to complete an hour of physical activity each day, fill in the log and return it school. These will be transferred into points for the Winter Games!

Please remember there is no school on Monday as we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. day.

Mrs. Bradstreet

Friday, December 22, 2017

Week of 12/18 - 12/22

Students engaged in lots of fun, creative projects this week. We spent a few days working on special family gifts. They are very excited to give them to you!

We decorated our classroom door to show some spirit for the Winter Games. We read Snowmen at Night and then students created their own snowmen engaging in a fun winter activity such as sledding or throwing snowballs. Please remember that we kick off the Winter Games the day we return from vacation (Tuesday, January 2nd.) Everyone received a schedule of events in red totes this week. We are very excited for this special opportunity!

On Friday, students rotated through all four first grade classrooms to participate in reindeer-themed activities including a subtraction game and make-your-own reindeer snack.

We were able to connect literature and math concepts this week. While I read The Grouchy Ladybug, students manipulated their own clocks to show the times mentioned in the story. We repeated this activity for Nine O'Clock Lullaby and Monster Math: School Time. They also learned a trick for telling the hour hand and minute hand apart - hour is the shorter word and shorter hand, minute is the longer word and longer hand.

Mrs. Hartley gave the class a beginner lesson on coding. Using the Scratch Jr. app, students learned how to choose and resize a character and make the character do an action. This is a free iPad app that we encourage you to use at home with your children!

Next week there is no school. We will see you on Tuesday, January 2nd!

Mrs. Bradstreet