First Graders visited Abma's Farm on Thursday! In school, we are learning about harvesting, farms, and food in social studies. Our visit began with a hayride through the farm fields. We saw pumpkins, peppers, and kale growing. Each first grader got to pick a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch to bring home. After the hayride and pumpkin picking, they enjoyed apple juice and donuts before going into the petting zoo! In the petting zoo, there were pigs, alpacas, cows, goats, and bunnies. The trip was a great opportunity to see what tools are used on a farm, what harvesting can look like, who works on a farm, and to see all the animals, vegetables, and fruit that may be growing!
First grade writers have been working hard to plan out their personal narrative stories. They have been tapping into all they know about spelling and phonics, adding sight words, and illustrations. The current shift in the Small Moments unit is giving our wirtiers a higher goal, specifically, to bring their stories to life. They have been learning how to elaborate with details, unfreeze characters with actions and voices, and including thoughts, or feelings. Eventually, each child will choose one of their stories to edit and "fancy up" for the December writing celebration.
First graders have been busy this week learning combinations of numbers that add to ten. They have played games involving missing counters, red and yellow apple activity, and using quick looks at dot patterns to discover as many ways as they can to make 10. When you are in the car, you can play a game where you call out a number and your child must tell you how many more to make ten. For example, if you say 7, your child should call out 3! A helpful manipulative for your child can be your child’s fingers. If 6 fingers are up, 4 will be down! That’s a tool that your child carries everywhere!
Since the beginning of the new school year, the first graders have used names as a focus for learning about words and spelling patterns. The focus has been on short vowel sounds, blends, and diagraphs. Next, instead of studying names to recall letters and sounds, the students will be applying the skills practiced so far in studying high-frequency words, or snap words. The lessons will review snap words from last year, and will remind children of the principles they know about how words work. The classroom Word Walls now display the snap words learned in Kindergarten. This new unit will begin to support the children in learning additional high-frequency words. Throughout the year, the children will be working on automaticity for reading and writing more words. The best way to help your child at home with learning these words is to read to them, with them, and hunt for high-frequency words in books together.