This week was the last official Reader's Workshop for first graders. All their hard work as readers was celebrated by working in groups and performing a Readers' Theater script of a classic fairytale. These group projects are a powerful way to help children work on fluency, pacing, phrasing, and expression. The focus of this activity is to read aloud expressively rather than thinking about acting. Each student was a given his or her own script book and the group decided which of the four reading parts each child will read. During the practicing, members of the group were encouraged to listen to one another and offer positive and constructive feedback. Each group practiced and then read for their class. This was definitely a favorite activity of the year!
This week the first grade students reminisced about all of the writing genres they learned about this year. Beginning with September and going through May, a list was created that included each unit of study for first grade. The children had fun remembering the work they did for each genre, including Small Moments (personal narrative), How-To (teaching via consecutive steps), Poetry (rhyming and non-rhyming), Opinion (reviews), Non-fiction (facts vs. opinion), and Realistic Fiction (could really happen to you). Once the list was compiled, the students were given a choice of which genre to focus on for the next few weeks. There was a very exciting buzz of authors, illustrators, and researchers at work in each classroom!
This week the first grade students polished up one realistic fiction story from their collection to share with parents. The preparations included editing for punctuation, word wall word spellings, and spacing. Finally, children shared their books with one another to practice reading it aloud. The stories shared at the celebration were one in a series each child created, each book giving the same character a new adventure. Each child read their story aloud to their own parents, and then shared with other parents in attendance. Book reviews were written on sticky notes and left for each child! The celebration of a year of hard work was followed by a pizza party on the back field and a visit from the ice cream truck!
This week the first grade class had a wonderful theater experience at Mayo Theater in Morristown, NJ. They enjoyed a performance of Seussical the Musical presented by Theater Works. The play was a combination of three Dr. Seuss stories told through music, dialogue, and dance. Our children were very excited to be sitting in the first few rows from the stage! Thanks to all parents who chaperoned and helped to make this trip a success!
REMINDER- First Grade Writing Celebration on Friday, May 18, will begin promptly at 10:30 in your child's classroom, followed by a picnic on the backfield. Teachers will be ordering pizza for all children. If you opt for your child not to have pizza, please bring a lunch that day. Parents are to bring their own lunch and a blanket. This is a dress down day!
This week the children in first grade practiced solving number stories that involved addition with money. A school store mini-poster provided the children with objects to purchase and the cost of each. Each child chose two or three objects from the poster and then used whatever means they could to total up the cost of the items, recording the answer with money notation. Different methods of solving the number stories included counting on fingers, counting on a number line or number grid, making tallies, drawing representations for coins, or computing in their heads. Volunteers shared their stories and modeled the method used to figure out the answer.
MONDAY FIELD TRIP - Attire for the trip to Mayo Theater on Monday is white MKA shirt and khaki skirt or pants.