Friday, October 13, 2017

Our Lives Are Full of Stories!

Our first graders have published their first books!  We have been writing "small moment" stories - true stories about something that happened to us.  We have practiced how to plan for writing, elaborate with pictures or words, and add life to our characters by describing or showing how people are feeling or thinking.  We have also learned ways to spell words: say it slowly and write the sounds you hear, use sight words from the word wall, and use words you know (ex. art to spell smart).  We will publish one more set of small moment books.  Our next lessons focus on using mentor text to learn how authors use craft moves (ellipses, exact actions, pop out words,) to add detail to stories, and more tips for revising and editing.  Ask your child to tell you more about their recently published book!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Reading Workshop

First Graders have been learning how to build reading stamina this year. We have worked up to 20 minutes of silent, independent reading! After the children read independently, they spend time reading with a partner. During these times, they are encouraged to try the skill or strategy I have introduced during my mini lesson. This past week, we have practiced what to do when you come to a tricky word. They have learned sounding a word only works some of the time, and that there are other things you should try. So far I have introduced looking at the picture, looking for parts of the word that you know, and backing up and re-reading to get a running start. These strategies work for all students at all reading levels.

While the children participate in reading to self or someone, I bring small groups of students together for a guided reading lesson to target specific reading fluency and comprehension skills using leveled texts.

We will continue learning more strategies for solving tricky words in the coming weeks!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Busy Days

With ECO and Open House on Thursday, and Friday's Birthday Breakfast, it was a busy week! Our ECO lesson focused again on insects. We also enjoyed a great hike through the forest and spent time finding and building a "sit spot". A place to create, observe, and reflect in nature. Check out the pictures of each child in his or her sit spot!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Decomposing Numbers

First graders have been busy reviewing and practicing many math skills these early days of the school year.  We are working on building fluency with counting, number formation, and decomposing numbers to ten from a whole into two parts. Some children are building their understanding by finding and recording one or two combinations, while others are challenged to find all of the combinations. At Open House, we will share our math journals, so that you can see more. Recently, we added an example of decomposing to Seesaw. Be sure to sign up to get email notifications from Seesaw if you haven't already!

Thursday, September 14, 2017


Today was our first official ECO (Educating Children Outdoors) day! With a focus on insects, the kids participated in an insect relay, observed live insects, and built insect models using items found in nature. I've also included some pictures from our visit to Harrison Field last Tuesday. Notice how we are sharing the space with a construction crew! We end each lesson by sharing one thing we are thankful for from our ECO day. Ask your child to tell you what they were thankful for!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Super Student!

First graders are building community in our classroom by taking turns as the "Super Student" for the day.  We look closely at the Super Student's name and share what we notice, then we learn some facts about the child. Finally, each classmate uses pictures and words to share what they know about the Super Student, and I compile the pages into a book. Ask your child to tell you more!