Happy New Year!! I hope that everyone enjoyed the holiday break and having extra time with their family. I sure did! The end of the 2nd quarter was on January 15th (Snow Day) and report cards will be sent home on Friday, January 22nd. I will also send home their FAST Winter testing results, as well as some of the end of the quarter assessments we took. FAST testing took place on Tuesday, the 12th. I am so proud of the progress each of them made. We will now work hard to reach the spring goals. I had the kids decorate some recycled file folders to put all these documents in, so watch for it to come home on the 22nd. You keep everything inside, no need to return. We began 2021 by reviewing the rules and expectations and I will continue to encourage the kids to always use their best work habits, and I will need your help as well, to reinforce this at home when looking at papers. Being neat, taking their time, and following all directions are very important.
Reading: Our reading goals the past two weeks were to read and spell words with the long i sound using silent e, as well as the long o sound. Our comprehension skills have been compare and contrast, as well as identifying the main idea and important details in stories we read. Our grammar skills have been to use the following verbs correctly: is, are, was, and were. We have also worked on using the question mark correctly. One of our main stories was a nonfiction selection about "Animal Groups" so we practiced comparing and contrasting the different animal groups using a venn diagram. We continue to learn new words daily and use the chunks we've learned to help us decode unknown words. The stories we are reading are getting longer, which means we are becoming better readers. Thanks for taking the time to listen to your child read the books that are sent home. I have been pleased with the progress everyone has made and for their enthusiasm for reading. At home, please remind your child to read with expression and to pause when they come to punctuation. I have reminded them that "speed reading" is not "good reading". During the 3rd quarter, I will start having the kids read directions with me, so that when they are working independently during seat work, they can go back and reread them if they forget what they need to do. When correcting papers, I will also start marking answers wrong if the spelling is incorrect if the word is displayed correctly on the paper. This will hopefully make them responsible and accountable for taking their time and working carefully.
Math: We are working in Module 6 which is titled "Understanding Put Together and Take Apart Problems" These lessons will focus on and provide lots of practice for understanding put together and take apart problems. We will also be using a number of addition and subtraction strategies to solve these problems. The lessons will also focus on using the "Math Vocabulary" of equation and addends. Problem Solving is always tricky for first graders and we are working hard to read the problem at least twice and to listen to what it is asking us to do. Solving Word Problems is on the first grade report card. Since we have done all of the lessons together with lots of guidance, all students received a "D" for developing for the 2nd quarter. During the 3rd quarter, we will start doing independent problem solving once or twice a week to check for understanding. All students also received a "D" for developing for equality. Like problem solving, practice has been done together and we will also add independent work once a week to check for understanding during the 3rd quarter.
Writing: We have completed our lessons on "Opinion Writing" and will now move on to "Informative Writing" during the 3rd quarter. We have started some informative practice by writing "how-to" pieces in our journals. Most recently, they wrote about "How to Clean my Room" and "How to make Hot Chocolate" using the sequence words of first, next, then, and last. Our first informational writing activity will be to write about a favorite toy. On Friday, January 22nd your child may bring a favorite toy to share and write about. It would also be helpful to write down where they got the toy, and from whom. I really enjoy reading their journals and observing the growth they have made as writers.
Star Student: Carson and Ethan were most recently featured. Carson likes to eat pizza and drink pop. He wants to learn more about "tigers" and likes to wear his jersey. When Carson grows up, he wants to be a basketball player. Ethan likes to drink chocolate milk and eat at McDonald's. He likes to wear his cowboy boots and collects farm toys. When Ethan grows up, he wants to be a construction worker like his Dad.
The following high-frequency words have been added to our classroom word wall (check to see if your child can read them): bird, fly, those, around, bring, both, long, walk, show, because, eyes, or carry, think, before, and light. Our reading skills this week will be to read and spell words with the long e sound (ea, ee, and e_e), our comprehension skill will be to compare and contrast, and our grammar skill will be compound sentences. I was planning to send new spelling words on Friday with no school on Monday due to Teacher Work day. Here are the new words: me, be, read, feet, tree, keep, eat, mean, sea, and these.