First Grade March 2019 Update

Dear Families,

We hope this letter finds you all well.  Things have been very busy in First Grade!

We have just wrapped up our writing unit on persuasive writing and reviews.  The children have spent the last week revising, editing and fancying up their reviews to share with you all next week.  We are all looking forward to seeing many of you at our Publishing Party this coming Monday, March 11th at 8:30.  Our next writing unit will be Realistic Fiction.  The students will be creating characters and taking them on adventures in the stories that they will be writing.  They will be working towards creating their own series of books.  They will learn how writers create a series of books and develop their characters throughout the series.  This unit ties in nicely to our last unit of study in reading that focused on studying characters and learning about character traits.  The students will use some of this information to help them as they create the characters for their stories.  This is a very fun and exciting unit!

Our math unit this month focuses on the place value of 3 digit numbers and operating on numbers within 100.  In place value we will be pushing the children to identify the value that each number, in a three-digit number, represents.  The children will be representing numbers in expanded form (ex: 300 + 50 +6=356) and other notations to demonstrate their knowledge of place value.  The children are also beginning to see 100 as ten 10’s and multiples of 100 being made up of some number of hundreds.  Fluency within addition of 100 is a benchmark in this unit.  In addition, children will also be working to identify, read and write numbers to 1,000.  Throughout this unit we will continue to focus on critical thinking skills in Math and solving problems with efficiency.

In reading, we continue our study of character.  We have been focusing on learning about our characters; their likes, dislikes, personality, relationships and/or changes.  We are studying the scenes of our books more closely, rereading to gather information about characters, where and when the story is taking place, tracking the problem and looking for solutions/resolution.   We are setting ourselves up for success in some of our chapter books by doing a great deal of work before we begin reading.  For example, by doing a more sophisticated sneak peek.  This includes studying the blurb on the back of our books to find out who are the important characters, the problem that they might encounter and possible predictions for what might happen as the story unfolds.  Finally, we are giving ourselves a “reason” to read, saying “I’m reading this book to find out…”  Our rooms are abuzz with interesting literary conversations.

We will be beginning our study of Architecture this month.  We will be working with an educator from the Friends of the Upper Eastside Historic Districts. Students will be introduced to the idea that buildings can talk, telling us their use, material, age, and purpose. We will study historic neighborhood photographs and maps.  They will learn architectural vocabulary words, perform a block survey and play detective during a walking tour. The students will then act as architects as they design their own buildings, making creative decisions about the building’s use, material and architectural elements.

We are looking forward to seeing you all next week for Parent Teacher Conferences.  Just a reminder that Thursday, March 14th will be a half day of school, dismissal is at 11:25am.

Finally, the children have been loving the new dance program with Mr. Sean.  Last week they were full of excitement after their first day of Irish dance.  They loved learning about the history of the dance and seeing Sean model some Irish steps.  The class really got every child moving and trying something new!

As always, please feel free to reach out with any questions, comments, and/or delights.

All the best,

Kristin & Sarah