First Grade February 2019 Update

Dear First Grade Families,

We have been very busy in First Grade!  We wanted to update you on some of the exciting things that we have been learning.

In Reading Workshop, we have begun focusing on how readers take adventures as they read.  We have been looking closely at where and when the story takes place, as well as strengthening our retelling skills.  The next bend of our unit will focus on the characters in the books that we read.  The children will be taking time to “stop and jot” as they read to identify the character’s feelings and traits.  They will be starting to think about what type of person the character is and what evidence they find in the text to support their ideas.  The children will be working on rereading to look even more closely at the text, not only noticing what characters do, but how they feel and the lessons that they may be learning.  The students will learn to organize their thoughts on post its, character maps, and Venn Diagrams to further their understanding of these characters.  We will pay particular attention to the internal and external characteristics these characters have.  In the coming weeks, you may want to ask your child to describe the characters in their books.  They should be able to tell you the inner and outer traits, as well as provide the proof from the text.  The practice of providing text evidence to support their thinking will improve their comprehension by leaps and bounds.

In our upcoming Math unit, we will focus on sorting and classifying categorical data.  For example, students might create bar graphs or line plots to track the number of teeth lost in class.  In addition, students will be attempting to push themselves to think, what does the data tell me about the surveyed population?  We hope the children will become well versed in representing data in various formats such as a picture graph and Venn diagrams as well.   Later in the unit, our first graders will have the chance to conduct some data collection and representation on the upper grade students.

In writing, students continue to work on their opinion pieces.  They are writing powerful, convincing reviews on books, restaurants, their favorite birthday party locations and much, much more!  These writing pieces are filled with lots of reasons, examples and comparisons to help support their opinion.  We are very excited to share these pieces at our next publishing party, scheduled for Monday, March 4th.  Please come to the classroom at 8:30am to enjoy a healthy dose of opinion writing from our first grader writing stars.

Our school trip will be taking place on Tuesday, February 26th.  We are very excited to be taking the kids to see The Paper Bag Players.  Please get your permission slips back as quickly as possible & don’t forget to indicate if you would like to volunteer.  We can only take 6 volunteers per class, but don’t worry we have many fun trips planned for the Spring.

We are excited to be celebrating both the 100th day of school and Valentine’s Day this Thursday!  We look forward to seeing all of the amazing shirts and hats the children have designed at home in preparation for this special day!

As always, please feel free to reach out with any questions, concerns, and or delights!

All the best,

Kristin and Sarah