In Writing Workshop students have been working on their nonfiction books. They are experts on so many topics and are really enjoying writing these teaching books. Students have learned to keep readers in mind while writing and to use pictures, as well as words, to share their knowledge. They have also learned about writing twin sentences, using detail words to describe all they know, labeling their illustrations, and creating a Table of Contents. In several weeks students will be publishing their stories and sharing them with other 1st grade friends. Students have also been busy working on many word sorts. Their sorts are individualized so each student’s sort is at his/her developmental spelling level. The completed word sort packets will continue to come home at the end of each week. We have also spent time during the last few weeks learning about common and proper nouns, “magic e” and the h brothers (sh, ch, wh, th).
In math students have been working on a variety of math skills and strategies. They have learned how to accurately use the number line to help them add, subtract and reason about numbers and are practicing using standard notation ( <, >, +, -, =) to record expressions and compare quantities. We have also spent time writing numbers from 1 to 120 and working with the 120 chart to help solve larger number problems. Students have been working at many workplace stations where they are practicing adding 2, 3 or 4 addends and on discussing the math strategies they are using. Over the next few weeks we will continue working on these skills and we will also be spending time on addition and subtraction problems with larger numbers and on developing fluency with doubles combinations.
We’ve also started our first science unit–Animals: Structure and Function. This unit focuses on how animals use their body parts in different ways to see, hear, protect themselves, move from place to place and find and take in food, air, and water. Students have created skin covering bar graphs, used Venn diagrams to compare and contrast the features and characteristics of two animals, and are reading non-fiction animal texts in guided reading groups. Everyone is looking forward to our visit from The Flying Fox on December 6th!