First grade word detectives have been studying words with CVCe patterns for the last few weeks. Using “just right” books as a resource, children have collected words that prove the theory that a silent “e” at the end of a word can make the vowel say its name. During the investigation, many children wondered, “What happens if the vowel being manipulated by a silent “e” is, itself, an “e”? Teachers rallied their first grade detectives to try and figure out how these words are spelled, if not with a silent “e.” We introduced the concept of vowel teams ee and ea and a whole new investigation was underway!
As a part of the second social studies unit about the MKA community, first graders practiced their mapping skills by working together to create a map of the whole Primary School! They began the mapping process by asking: why is it important to know about the physical space of a community? They came up with ideas such as, “make sure everyone has space they need to learn” and “make sure that there are rules for the space to keep everyone safe.” Each class was in charge of mapping a floor of the school. They used iPads to take pictures of the school, drew sketches, and took notes on the classrooms, hallways, closets, and office spaces. Each class is turning their notes into one large map of the floor. All classes will combine their maps to create a map of the whole primary school! We will be circling back to the idea of what different communities need as we study the Middle School and Upper School campuses, along with the Montclair town.
In math this week, first graders created drawings to solve math problems.They learned that the first step in problem-solving is to identify what one knows and what one needs to find out. They learned that math drawings are different than art drawings. In art, observation and attention to detail are critical skills. When working on math drawings, detail is not of utmost importance. Rather, an accurate representation of the numbers involved is paramount. First graders then independently created drawings and a number model to solve an open-ended problem. Students then critiqued sample solutions to the problem. These samples emphasized the idea that the drawings must be accurate representations of the numbers in the problems.
First graders have been fancying up one of their small moment stories by editing and revising. They began by learning how to use the tools around them like the word wall, alphabet chart, and blends chart. They also learned how to use a checklist to check for things like spaces between their words, periods at the end of a sentence, and capital letters to begin a new sentence. First graders looked in their stories to make sure they completed each item on the checklist. They also added details to their illustrations and, finally, made a cover page! They studied the cover pages of other beloved authors like Peter Reynolds, Leo Lionni, and Mac Barnett to see what makes a cover page “good.” They learned that it should grab attention and also give the reader a sneak peak about the book. We cannot wait for you to see the published products soon!