Monday, April 25, 2016

4/25/16 1st Grade News & Earth Day

Link for 1st Grade News

Enrichment Spelling List for /au, aw/  vowel diphthongs:

We had a wonderful Earth Week learning about ways to care for and protect Planet Earth!

"The Earth is marvelous." ...

Exploring in our outdoor learning lab that we call Highland Island:

All grades have a garden space.

Exploring together in search of animal eggs.

Searching for little critters...

Time to reflect and journal...

Have a great week!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

1st Grade News - 4/18/16, Poetry & Planting

Link for 1st Grade News
Spelling Enrichment Words for This Week:

Our incredibly generous PSO provided Euro Gardens for all first grade classrooms so we're growing an herb garden. As soon as the kids arrive in the classroom each morning, they dash over to the classroom sink area to check on the plants! 

Last week we dissected seeds before planting pea and bean seeds. We're integrating the planting project with math and measuring and tracking plant growth.

Partners spent time reading through a Scholastic News magazine about strawberry plants.


This class LOVES poetry!  During self-selected reading, the poetry shelf gets a lot of visitors.  Jack Prelutsky is a huge hit - especially Zoo Doings
During the past two weeks, we made time for acrostic and cinquain poetry.  Although we used a planning sheet from another source this year, Read, Write, Think has wonderful examples of cinquain poetry, as well as a planning sheet and page for reflection. 
Our acrostic poetry had a spring theme and created a beautiful hallway display.  The inspiration for this poetry craft was Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert. Students used the colors of the rainbow to create their garden (page topper). 
Link for Acrostic Document

I chose animals for the subject of our cinquain poetry project to tie into our study of animal adaptations and habitats.
Students created animals from paper scraps before planning their poems.  A few consulted books in our classroom library during the planning process. 

So proud of their awesome work!
And now, we're looking forward to Earth Day and Earth Week celebrations!
Happy Learning!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

1st Grade News - 4/11/16

Newsletter Link

Enrichment Spelling Words:

Our comprehension focus this week is informational text.  Students will have a lot of books to choose from for self-selected reading during daily centers. 

Leveled readers for reading groups:

Last week, we worked on creating  mental "movies" and story boards to improve understanding of fictional text. 

A few kiddos shared their story boards from the story, "Now, What's That Sound?"

Writing in First Grade:

During daily writing practice, these awesome, little first grade friends are learning that writing is a long process that involves many steps.  Most often children don't complete a piece of writing in a single setting, but instead work through the process for several days.  So these kiddos are learning a little about patience and perseverance as well.

 The first step - prewriting, usually begins with discussions with friends or some alone time to think about the writing.  The kids sit in the large-group instruction area on the carpet for discussions or move to the classroom library for this step in the process. 

Sometimes the next step (draft) includes an organizer (see below) to facilitate processing ideas and information.  During this part of the writing process, partners listen and read with one another to provide suggestions and feedback.  When the draft is complete, students work on revisions.  This includes adding detail and interesting words, or deleting words, and checking for an introduction sentence and conclusion. 

Editing often involves a checklist for spelling, punctuation and grammatically correct sentences.

Narrative Writings:



If we are sharing writings for a bulletin board or publishing for a class book, students create a final copy of their work.

Opinion Writings & a Pre-Writing Organizer


I love to have students reread their journals from the beginning of the school year so they can reflect on their progress and see how their writing has transformed.  :)

Writing Papers - This is a six-page document I used for several writing pieces in March.

Have a wonderful week!