Friday, March 16, 2018

Week of 3/12 - 3/16

Students continued to make thoughtful predictions about a book before reading by carefully examining the title, front cover and illustrations inside the book. They were asked to make three predictions about the story's events, then keep track of whether their predictions came true or not. This is an important reading skill that you can try right at home with any new book!

St. Patrick's Day Fun
We read a few St. Patrick's themed stories and completed some fun St. Patrick's Day activities. First, students brainstormed what they would do if they found a pot of gold. They planned out what they would buy, wear and where they would live. Then, they wrote their own creative stories using these planning pages. They also created their own "pot of gold" math story problems. You can see these when you visit during conferences!

We finished up with Unit 5, which was all about number games and story problems. In this unit, students learned about the combinations of 10 (1+9, 2+8, 3+7, etc.). They practiced solving addition and subtraction story problems using various strategies (number lines, drawing pictures, counting up or back) and spent time solving story problems in which they knew one part and the total and had to solve for the missing part (2 +  ?  = 8). We even got to tell our own story problems as you can see in this picture. Students were able to create a context to match a given equation.

Next week, we will begin unit 6. The goals of this unit include collecting, representing and comparing data. We will also continue to work on telling time, addition and subtraction as well. I will send home the family letter next week in red totes so you can read more about it.

Parent-Teacher Conferences
This week's conferences were rescheduled for next Wednesday or Thursday. If you still need to reschedule yours, please contact me so I can tell you which time slots are still open.

Thank you,
Mrs. Bradstreet

Friday, March 9, 2018

Week of 3/5 - 3/9

As we finished up our second trimester of the school year, many learning targets were summatively assessed. This means that student learning was put into context and assessed independently - without teacher help or prompting. These scores will be a part of your child's progress report and will be sent home next week. Students were assessed in the following reading learning targets:
  • Understands the relationship between pictures and text 
    • Can your child preview a new book by closely examining the title, front cover and pictures and make reasonable predictions about the story?
  • Uses what is known to figure out unknown words
    • Which reading strategies does your child use independently?
  • Decodes words with digraphs and blends
    • Can your child read words with th, sh, ch, wh, br, tr, etc.? 
  • Understands the central message of a story
    • Can your child tell what the author is trying to teach us and show evidence from the story to support the lesson?
  • Manipulates phonemes in single syllable words 
    • Can your child can add, delete or change sounds within words?

March Lions & Lambs
Students created their March lambs this week, using many of the same materials as last week. Here is a photo for your enjoyment:

We continued to work on story problems with unknown change. Here is an example:
Kim had 5 stickers. Sam gave her some more stickers. 
Then, Kim had 9 stickers. How many stickers did Sam give her?

As you can see, this story problem is different because we are given one addend (5) and the final total (9) and have to solve for the mystery addend. The beginning equation would look like:
5 + ____ = 9
Students practiced both addition and subtraction versions of these problems. Strategies for solving them included using a number line (how many "hops" to go from one number to the other?) and drawing pictures. At the end of the week, students were given an unknown change equation (5 + ___ = 11) and were challenged to tell their own story that matched the equation before solving it. This was great practice in helping students to use and understand mathematical language related to addition and subtraction.

Upcoming Dates
  • Parent-teacher conferences begin next Wednesday. I look forward to meeting with you all!
  • Wednesday, March 28th is an early release. Students will be dismissed at 12:35pm.
Thank you,
Mrs. Bradstreet

Friday, March 2, 2018

Week of 2/26 - 3/2

Read Across America
Dr. Seuss' birthday is today - March 2nd. In anticipation of this special day, our class read several Dr. Seuss books all week including Oh, The Places You'll Go, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish and Wacky Wednesday. Students created Cat in the Hat puppets and magnets, and explored his Seussville website. They made their own "hats" to identify the story elements of The Cat in the Hat (characters, setting, beginning, middle, ending).

March Lions and Lambs
As we welcomed the month of March, we explored the saying "March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb." We read In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb and compared March weather to these two very different animals. Students described "lion" weather as stormy, snowy, rainy and windy. They describe "lamb" weather as warm and breezy with flowers budding and green grass growing. They created adorable lions of their own using paper plates, paint, Cheerios, pom poms and other crafty materials. Next week, they will create the lambs. These are displayed in the hallway for everyone's enjoyment. I'll send a photo out next week once our lambs are hung up.

Students worked on addition and subtraction story problems. It was important for students to listen carefully to the story, determine whether they needed to add or take away and decide which strategy to use to find the solution. Strategies included counting up or back on a number line or in their heads, drawing pictures and using connecting cubes.
We practiced fluency with 10 this week with a Today's Number activity. Ten is an extremely important number to be fluent and flexible with. In this chart, students showed that they can make ten using many different addition and subtraction combinations.

Upcoming Dates
  • Parent teacher conferences are currently being scheduled for either 3/14 or 3/22. You will receive a confirmation note next Wednesday. If you have not sent your form in, please do so on Monday so you can be scheduled.
  • There is an early release on March 28. Students will be dismissed at 12:35pm.
Thank you!
Mrs. Bradstreet

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