This week first grade celebrated our time together. We brainstormed a very long list of highlights of the year. The children included many academic activities, encore performances, field trips, and just plain fun times that we have had together. Each child wrote and shared about some of their favorites. This serves not only as a celebration, but also as closure to a fantastic year in first grade! The teachers wish you all a happy, healthy, and safe summer.
First graders are ending the year celebrating their reading skills. They have been working in small groups on Readers’ Theater. Each group reads to help each other perfect their story telling voices. This involves rereading and paying close attention to both the feelings of the characters and the punctuation in the text. It’s a challenge to pull together all the skills they have practiced all year. It is wonderful to watch their focus and see both their reading and teamwork skills come together!
The children were so proud to share their realistic fiction pieces with their families. Everyone was impressed with the quality of writing seen now, compared with their very best efforts shared at our first writing celebration in October! The characters were well fleshed out and experienced many exciting adventures! You may want to have your child add to their boxed set of stories over the summer months, or create a whole new character and adventures.To complete an already wonderful morning, the pizza and ice cream truck were wonderful additions!
The first grade classes have all been enjoying the timeless book, Charlotte’s Web. It has been a favorite of many people throughout the years and this year the students are enthralled hearing about all of the animals living on Zuckerman’s Farm. After reading each chapter, the children discuss the main events from the text with a focus on friendship. Charlotte, the spider, is a true friend to Wilbur. The students of MKA agree that she is an amazing friend who is kind and caring. In the picture, you see first graders making a friendship web. They passed the yarn around the circle as they gave a compliments to one another.
First graders spent time this week preparing for next week's realistic fiction writing celebration. For the last few months, they called on their imaginations and pretending skills to invent a character and take that character on small moment adventures. The expectation was to stick with that character for more than one story, resulting in a series of three or more books. Throughout this process, children learned how to bring a story to life by giving the character movement, a voice, feelings, and a problem to solve. Perhaps the most challenging task for some of our writers was developing fictional stories that demonstrate realistic qualities. Recalling personal experiences helped with this part of the process. In preparation for next week's culminating celebration with parents, each child chose a favorite book from their series to "fancy up." This editing process includes checking for punctuation, reviewing word wall word spellings, and rereading to find spots where more detail would improve the story. Each child was encouraged to bring in a cereal box to decorate that holds their very first book series. The celebration is on Friday, May 18th beginning in the classrooms at 11:30, followed by a pizza lunch on the back field. Parents are invited to bring a blanket, beverages, and a lunch for themselves. Our afternoon will wrap up at 1:00. Fingers crossed for great weather!
This morning 1P put on the final class play of the first grades.They were happy to have the other first grades serve as their first audience on Thursday at their dress rehearsal. The story was based on the book, The Scallywags. Half the class were scalawags and half were animals. The energy level was high. The comedy was wonderful, and the message was important. The story reminds us that it is fine to have fun, but one must have fun at the right time in the right way! The cast would like to thank those who made a cameo appearance in the show, Mr. Pyke, Mrs. Vespucci and of course, Mrs. Kriegel!
This week the children have begun to use fact triangles to help them further understand fact families. They have played games to strengthen their fact power. Using the triangles, the children played in partnerships. Each child took turns covering on number on a fact , while their partner used the other two numbers to determine the covered number. The children also played Brains versus the Calculators. This game demonstrated that having fact power is vastly superior to relying on a calculators. Calculators have their place, when working with difficult numbers. But brains are really the best tool available!
This week the first grade children gathered together for a lesson revolving around Anti-bullying standard #3 which involves inclusion. All the students listened to the read-aloud Chester's Way by Kevin Henkes. A list was generated that categorized how the characters in the story were helpful to one of the friends in the book. A conversation followed that challenged children to think about times when someone might feel excluded at school and what someone could do to help everyone feel welcome. Children were encouraged to write in their personal journal about a way to be inclusive to someone at school.
Kathy Sasena 1S
Meg Arcadia 1A
Pat Parke 1P
Today 1A performed their class play based on the book, The Big Orange Splot by Daniel Pinkwater. This is a book about a group of neighbors who were inspired to paint their houses to represent all of their dreams. The students sang three songs, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” “This Is Me,” and “My Way.” They also performed a dance to “Whistle While You Work” by Louis Armstrong. A big congratulations goes out to all of the amazing performers in 1A. Great job! Way to go!
In math the children are learning an important strategy. Use what you know, to help figure out what you do not know. At this time, the doubles addition facts are almost automatic for most children. They can use these facts to solve more difficult addition problems. For example, if you know that 5+5=10, then 5+6 must be one more than 10. In a similar vein, if you know that 5+5=10, then 5+3 must be two less than ten. The children have looked at base ten frames and the arrangement of dots on a die to practice this skill. They are also practicing explaining this strategy in words, using a the phrases, “ If I know ______, then I also know_______.” Playing games with this concept as you drive with your child, will be helpful additional practice!