The first graders published nonfiction books this week. Working with a partner or small group, the children completed their first formal research project. Using an app, PebbleGO, as well as books from the library, the children researched animals of their choosing. They gathered information and recorded it using graphic organizers. Finally, they took the graphic organizers and created chapters for their nonfiction texts. These published books contained a table of contents, glossary and at least one diagram. Each author used a different color marker, so that his or her contribution was evident. The children proudly shared their pieces with their classmates on Friday. All were justifiably proud!
This week the children have been playing games to strengthen fact power and to use that fact power to solve more difficult problems. The children learned the card game, “Fishing for Ten” to practice their facts that have a sum of 10. This game is very similar to “Go Fish”. If you have a regular deck of cards, use the aces as ones, take away the face cards and you are good to go. Challenge your child to a game! The young mathematicians have also learned to use what they know to solve more difficult problems For example, if I know that 2+3=5, then I also know that 20+30=50, and 200+300=500. Using what you know to solve what you don’t know is a strategy useful in so many ways. The children are also beginning to find sums with three addends! Your children continue to grow as they play games and use words to explain their thought processes! Bravo, first graders!
As part of the current social studies unit on bread, this week the first-grade classes visited The Montclair Bakery. The children were given a behind the scenes look at how bread is made and prepared for sale to customers. The ingredients for different types of bread were discussed and compared. The scale of the bakery tools compared with what is in a home kitchen was of interest. The children were excited to learn how the bakers prepare the donuts. Each child was given two donuts to decorate with icing and two toppings which was the highlight of the trip!
New Year, New Genre
January marks new beginnings, and the first graders are embracing a new genre, nonfiction. The children are now reading and writing nonfiction. In reading workshop, they are learning to stay with a page and get all the information they can from it. The young readers are learning to study the illustrations, read the captions and think about what they have read. They are learning the features of nonfiction books,such as the table of contents and the index. They are also working on making predictions as to what information may follow on the next page. In writing workshop, the young authors are then putting their knowledge of the genre to use as they begin to research an animal and create a nonfiction book working with a small group or a partner. The children will be working in the classroom and in the library as the first grade teachers partner with the librarians in this project. Ask your child about his or her animal and what they have learned! It is an exciting time.