Greetings from Tr. Richelle!
This winter in Reading, we will be continuing our virtual journey around the world, looking up places on the maps that we discover through our reading. This is a fantastic way to integrate language arts, social studies (geography and culture), and math (calculating the distance between two places).
The children are excited to continue our Jan Brett read-aloud author study. Jan Brett’s books are set all over the world and often have winter themes, so she is the perfect author to study this time of year. These books are also a great bridge between learning about how different cultures use light as part of their winter celebrations in our Light & Celebration unit and our beloved International Week (celebrated April 24-27 this year). We will also participate in Read Across America Day, which is a nationwide reading celebration that takes place annually on March 2nd, Dr. Seuss's birthday. The children love when our classroom library is transformed into a Seuss-tacular library for that week!
We will use both read-alouds and independent or partner reading of passages to practice comprehension skills and strategies, including drawing conclusions, understanding vocabulary in context, predicting, and tracing a pronoun to the source noun to which it refers. We will also continue to compare and contrast fiction and non-fiction texts. In Guided Reading, we will be focusing on prosody (reading with fluency and expression) as well as additional spelling patterns and trick words that we encounter during our small group and one-on-one reading.
In Fundations Unit 8, we will be learning about consonant blends and R-controlled sounds and will practice blending and reading words with up to 4 sounds and a plural suffix. In Unit 9, we will be learning about the differences between closed and open syllables and be introduced to those tricky vowel team sounds (ai, ay, e, es, ey, oi, oy). We’ll learn more vowel team sounds (oa, oe, ow, ou, oo, ue, ew, au, aw) in Unit 10, and will also learn to segment, blend, and add the suffix –s to words with up to 5 sounds. Two new suffixes (-ed and –ing) will be added to our repertoire, and by the end of this unit, we will have learned 66 trick words!
Writing Workshop is in full swing. The children love managing their writing process, from choosing their writing spaces to flipping their table tents from I am working to I need help or I am finished.
I confer with each writer to help guide him or her in implementing the skills or strategies from our workshop mini-lessons. The upcoming mini-lessons will be focused on revising and editing our small moments stories (personal narratives) and then we will move into the highly anticipated unit on writing How-To books. The children have just published their first writing from the workshop, proudly displaying a chosen piece in the hallway or in the First Grade Museum of Great Work. They are looking forward to presenting their writing in the Author’s Chair.
Language Arts instruction isn’t limited to scheduled instructional blocks, either! The children enjoy working together to read the Morning Riddle and then independently submitting their solution on index cards.
Just in time for the 100th day of school, we will be comparing and ordering numbers to 120 and adding with 10s and 1s in Math. Fourth Graders will be leading us in stations for our 100th Day celebration.
Estimation skills will be used to estimate how many links we have in long counting chains, and we’ll see how close we can estimate to 100 for the 100th day of school. To deepen our understanding of number relationships, we will be meeting “The Family Named Fact” and creating fact family houses.
The children are really enjoying the peer-to-peer learning opportunities provided by the vertical grouping of 1st and 2nd grade for Science and Social Studies.
In Science, we’ll continue our exploration of weather and then move into our unit on water. Hopefully, we’ll have some snow for hands-on learning about the different states of matter! The solar system will be the next unit of study, and is a favorite of the children. We will continue to learn about Americans who have made a difference for Social Studies, including notable Presidents and African Americans. We’ll extend our study of maps to learning basic map skills.
We have been using our iPad Minis from last year’s generous Movers and Quakers giving for language arts and will be adding math apps to the math center rotation schedule. For language arts, children can read books or follow along with books read to them and play games like Sight Word Bingo to help build their reading vocabulary. For math, they can play games that help them practice math facts, test their memory, and build a deeper understanding of number relationships.
February Dates to Remember:
February 6th Community Cares Morning of Service
February 8th Lower School Visiting Day
February 10th All School Valentine’s Dance Party 5-7pm
February 14th Valentine’s Party with 2nd Grade
February 14th Lower School Enrollment Agreements Due
February 15th Kids Care After-School Service Club
February 16th 100th Day of School! (barring any snow days)
February 17th-20th Presidents’ Weekend – NO SCHOOL!
March Dates to Remember:
March 8th All School Gathering
March 13th Community Cares Morning of Service
March 15th Kids Care After-School Service Club
March 16th Parent Conferences
March 17th Parent Conferences – NO SCHOOL!
March 20th –24th Spring Break – NO SCHOOL!