We have officially finished the first quarter! Monday, we will have been in school for 52 days! Students did an amazing job completing the end of the quarter assessments and have remained focused during our lessons. In these last three months, I am amazed at how the students have grown in their decoding abilities (sounding out words), counting and fluency, but most importantly I've seen them grow in their relationships with other, empathy that they have for one another, and their ability to problem solve when misunderstanding occurs. I am blessed to be apart of this class and I'm excited to see all the ways they continue to grow!
Here's all that has been going on in our class:
We are working through our phonics (decoding, segmenting words, consonant blends, short vowels and more) and reading/comprehension skills (sequencing stories, identifying author's craft, themes, character's emotions and problem and solution). The current unit we are on is all about Friendship. Our focus question is "What does it mean to be a good friend?" Students have shared their own experiences and as we read stories that center around friendship we are finding out more and more how to be a good friend. In writing, we will soon be finishing up our narrative writing unit. Students are taking "Small Moments" and turning them into books. This past week, we have looked at author's craft (what makes an author's writing special or stand out) and tried it out in our own writing.
Here are some ways you can encourage/help your child in what we're learning about in class:
- Help them to decode words (don't tell them the word, encourage them to sound out letter by letter). Make sure the text they are reading is "good fit." We identify "good fit" books based on how many words students struggle to read (if it is 3-5 words on the first page it's too challenging).
- Ask them questions about what they are reading. What happened in the beginning?; Why did that character do that? Was was your favorite part of the story, why? Did the author do anything special in his/her writing to make it unique?
- Read to your child - While I want them to read as well, they need to see us reading to have an example and to be encouraged to read. This will also make wonderful memories for them! And don't be afraid to stumble over words (accidentally or on purpose), this will help them to know that we are all still learning and they can even "help" you read the word!
- Write a story with them about a small moment that you share with them. This small moment can be a trip to the grocery story, a drive in the car, a trip to the bank, making food, etc. Small moments are grand events; it can be BUT we zone in to one specific detail in the grand event; for example going to the fair is a grand event but narrowing it down to just one ride OR what you ate OR the game you played (not all of these) is a small moment.
In math we have been working mainly on relating addition to subtraction. Students have been working on subtraction word problems recently. We have intentionally worked with also identifying the addition sentence that relates to the subtraction so that students can see there is more than one way to solve a problem AND how addition and subtraction are related.
Here is an example of one of those subtraction word problems: Dominic had 8 superhero toys. He gave some to his friend. Now he has 5 superhero toys. How many superhero toys did he give to his friend? When solving these word problems, students have to provide a number sentence, number bond, and statement.
For example: 8-3=5 or 5+3=8 8 3 superheros
You can help your child out specifically by helping them read their math homework (math homework is to assess their math skills not reading) and create word problems with them (we have only been working on word problems through the number 10). Students especially enjoy when I read the problem for them, give them time to solve and then pretend to be a kindergartner that they have to teach; I call them Mr./Mrs. and they have to walk me through each step of the process.
I've enjoyed the challenge and rewards of teaching first grade this year. I GREATLY appreciate all that you do with your child(ren). Thank you!
Please let me know if you have any questions, comments or concerns! Below is also an update that was sent out this past week about some exciting news from my husband and me (in case you missed it in the email).
Good evening parents and guardians,
I have some exciting news to share with you! My husband, Kevin and I are excited to announce that we will be adding to our family come April 2019!
I want you to know that while I am so excited about this new adventure as a family of four, I am also sad that I won't be finishing the school year with your child. I have truly been blessed with a WONDERFUL class this year. Please know that I plan to work as long as possible (my tentative due date is April 23). A long term sub will be hired to take over the class (all long term subs have to be certified teachers).
I have not told any of the students yet. I plan to tell them the week of Thanksgiving (November 19-20) when we will be talking about things we are thankful for. If you would like to tell your child sooner please feel free to do so!
Thank you so much for your support! Please feel free to email me if you have any questions, comments or concerns.