Weeks of 9-18 and 9-25
Ants, math and reading, oh my!
-Morning Meeting: We’ve been practicing activities that students can do while waiting– hand clapping games and partner games can help transitions run smoothly, as those that finish early can occupy themselves with something engaging!
We have moved into our first “number strand” for math. We will do many activities with the number line and counting to cement a strong understanding of how numbers work. We’ve also begun playing partner math games! Math games are a triple challenge: You need to be able to
1) get right to the math
2) be a good sport
and 3) use our math skills—we’re focusing on “counting on”, “making numbers brain friendly” and using “snap facts”
Please encourage a lot of counting at home—car rides can be a great time for this! Give your child a start number and an end number (“start at 27 and end at 34!”). Once this is comfortable have them count backwards (“start at 23 and end at 5!”), or count by 2s, 5s and 10s.
-Writing: This class has taken to poetry like fish to water! We are continuing to write Nature Poems, where students chose a nature item and look at it with a poets’ eyes—poets wake up their senses and see the beauty in the everyday world around them. We do this drawing, painting or photographing our nature items. We then describe what we see using detailed language and creative imagery.
-Project Time: Our ant unit came to a resounding close with our Ant Day celebration! The entire classroom transformed into an ant colony, with nurse ants caring for the ant eggs, larvae and pupae, guard ants manning the doors, housekeeper ants fixing a collapsed chamber and scout ants searching the school for food to feed the colony.
-Reading: One of my favorite parts of classroom life, our reading program, is now up and running. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays we have reading groups, where small groups of students work with the different reading teachers (me, Cheaunue, Solveig, and Elyse) on reading skills appropriate to their reading level. For most groups, the books that they read in Reading Group go home with them at the end of the session to be read as homework. On Wednesdays, we read The Elf Series, written by Pamela Myers, my own First Grade teacher and 40 year veteran (now retired!) of the San Francisco School. The Elf Books bring a lot of magic to our lives. The students are quickly learning these new routines, and all of the reading teachers have been impressed by their hard work!
-Social/Emotional Learning: We’ve continued thinking about the “Zones of Regulation”, and checking in with our bodies after different activities to see how our engines are running.
-Buddy Time: Students are now partnered up with a 4th Grade buddy, who will stay with them for the year (although we will also switch up the partners frequently on a weekly basis to make sure everyone gets to know each other). We traced our buddy’s hand, and we will use these hand tracings to make a mosaic for our classroom.
-Blanket Read-in! We will celebrate our various successes this year with different activities, most of which center around reading or team building. Our “Blanket Read-in” promoted both!
-Math: We will continue working with addition games and story problems.
-Writing: More poetry!
-We are now exiting our “easing into school” schedule, and will be following the academic schedule you received at Back to School Night. The academic expectations will gradually increase over the coming weeks now that students are hitting their First Grade stride.
Posted October 02, 2017