This week the first-grade students celebrated the completion of their final phonics unit, beginning with a review of the vowel teams studied during the last month. The next part of the celebration was to create a map of a Vowel Town. Work for this culminating project began with a brainstorm of things and places that might be found in a town. The tricky part was to think of things that included a vowel team, such as ee, au, ea, ai, ue, oo, ay, ew, igh, etc.. After a list was created together, each child was given a large piece of paper to begin the planning of their own community. A blueprint was drawn by each child that included roads, highways, and train tracks. Next, the students added places of business, houses, and community structures to their town collages. Some of the most popular places and things added were schools, playgrounds, houses, restaurants, subway, traffic lights, and food stores. Each item in a town was given a label, giving students an opportunity to reinforce their learning by reading and writing words with a specific focus.
The first grade students had the opportunity to visit the art show together. Each class spent time with Ms. Fine who encouraged the children to find their own art, and also to take a close look at other pieces in the show. First graders were all very excited to find their pottery fairy/gnome house, as well as their two pieces of 2-dimensional art. The students are looking forward to bringing home all their masterpieces from Ms. Fine's class at the close of the year.
The first graders have been busy getting ready to share their realistic fiction series with their families next Wednesday at 11:30. In this writing unit, the children created a fictional character and two or more books with the same character. Each book gave the character a new adventure and a problem to solve. They used editing checklists to make certain that their work is truly their best. The authors have transformed the cereal boxes you supplied into decorated boxes to display their series books. We know you will be delighted to hear their work! It is amazing to see the progress they have made since September.
Parents attending should bring a picnic blanket and a lunch and drink. Pizza and ice cream are provided for all first graders!
First graders started diving into fraction concepts through explorations of equal shares. They started by splitting shapes up into equal parts. They asked themselves questions like: can a square be divided equally into two shares? How about a circle? The focus of first grade is exploring and naming halves and fourths. Each child completed a challenge problem, wondering who might get a bigger share of a square if four people shared, or if two people shared. The goal of this type of exploration is to expose students to the idea that more shares means smaller shares; the more times a shape (or share) is divided, the smaller it gets.
Tuesday first graders enjoyed a field trip to Fosterfields, a farm located in Morristown. The day inspired students to learn about history and about farms. They learned Fosterfields sits on over 200 acres of land! Wow! Children were busy exploring all day- they got to see pigs, geese, and cows; they pet horses, and fed chickens. A guide took them around the farm, completing various chores that farmers used to do each day, long ago. They learned how to turn milk into butter, and how farmers used machines to grind corn to feed the chickens. The Foster family has owned this land for over 100 years. First graders even got to step inside the house that Caroline Foster built by herself 100 years ago. The mansion that sits on the property was built by Paul Revere’s grandson. This field trip was enjoyed by all!
Monday first grade will see the play Charlotte's Web at May Theatre!