# Inside SFS

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The Past Two Weeks:

-Project Time “Who Are We?”: We are wrapping up our identity unit by using our the knowledge and ideas generated in our discussions to reexamine ourselves. Students completed an Inside/Outside brainstorm—things you can know about us from looking at our outsides, and things you would need to get to know us to learn—and then used those brainstorms to create “Written Self Portraits”. I love this project for the opportunity it creates for students to think and reflect about themselves. This whole unit will soon go on display, and you will get to see a snapshot of what your child currently feels is important about themselves. As you will discover, six and seven year-olds have a very different point-of-view than the adults around them, but what a great window into their mind and time-capsule of who they are at this moment.

-Math: Last week we began focusing on the most “brain-friendly” of all numbers—10! Ten is very easy for our brain to manipulate, and being very familiar and “fluent” with addition facts about ten helps build students’ speed and accuracy with addition and subtraction. Student who are in the process of memorizing these facts brought home kid-made flash cards. Help them practice! Games like “Tens Go Fish” and “Make Ten” are all great practice (your child knows how to play them—just remove the Jacks, Queens, and Kings from a deck of cards, and they’ll be good to go!).

Playing “Tens Go Fish”:

We have since entered into a unit on addition logic problems, working on story problems where answers need to meet a number of conditions. For example: “I have 7 crayons. Some are red and some are blue. I have more blue crayons. What combinations could I have?” These types of problems are quite challenging, and will push the First Grader’s mathematical thinking!

-Handwriting: We have finished with the lowercase alphabet! Encourage your child to check their handwriting for letters that are uppercase, reversed, or that don’t look right. We are now tackling number reversals.

-Social/Emotional: Many small but helpful lessons the past few weeks. Sabrina led the class in a self-advocacy activity. After reading A Weekend with Wendell by Kevin Henkes, Sabrina had students think of what they could say to Wendell (or anyone who is not treating them well). Here are some examples of their work:

Student Skills: We also did a lot of thinking the past few weeks about classroom behavior. January and February are often a time when we need to do some work revisiting classroom rules and expectations—some “tightening up” work. To help students take more responsibility for their morning jobs, we’ve created a morning checklist (backpack, homework folder, chair, check!), and a small consequence missing these important steps (staying in to do them at mini-recess). We’ve also removed the green “wave out” from our stoplight, as it didn’t seem to be helping students redirect their behavior. This means that after a reminder, students go directly to the yellow—their table spot, and from there to the red—a Front Desk Note that will come home to you. As we talk about with the students, a Front Desk Note is certainly not a mountain problem! But it is an important reminder that a behavior needs to change as it is getting in the way of your classmates’ or your own learning.

Liz’s Baby Shower: All of the Elementary students have worked on pages of a book for Liz Curley, one of our learning specialists. Liz will be going on maternity leave in a few weeks, and we are creating a book to surprise her with!

Next Week:

-Writing: We will finish our Written Self Portraits and begin writing How Tos

-Math: Continuing with crayon logic problems

Posted January 26, 2016