First Grade February Update

Kirsten's Class


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Students picking their topic for Genius Hour!

Every Tuesday we take an hour to work on our Genius Hour project. We will keep you updated throughout the process. Students have picked their topic and decorated their "Genius Hour" journals. They will start planning and researching this month!

Reading Workshop

We continue to grow in our decoding skills, build our fluency and develop our thinking as readers! This month we will continue with make predictions while reading and listening to books. Sheila Rae, The Brave and Lily's Purple Plastic Purse are two Kevin Henkes books that we have used to make predictions as well as Big Al, by Andrew Clements. We will also start making connections and notice the kinds of connections that we can make as readers. When we make connections to the characters or to the story at hand, it helps us to best understand the book at hand and to build our reading comprehension. Not only will we be making connections to the text, but we will be making comparisons between texts. Students will be completing Venn diagrams and comparing characters. In conjunction with our Native American social studies unit, we will be reading folktales and noticing qualities of folktales and retelling them. Out folktale project is on the horizon. It is a wonderful project that will connect both reading and social studies. Stay tuned for more details...

Writing Workshop

First grade has started writing their non-fiction All- About books. We are taking it step by step each day, integrating different papers and structures, ways to create a labeled diagram, adding a how-to page, and how to create the different chapters that will make up the table of contents. From there, we are starting with the first chapter or section and researching what facts will make up that chapter. We are using books from our library, the school library, our own knowledge and the internet! It has been a very exciting writer's workshop the past 1 1/2 weeks, and we still have a few more weeks to go! Some of the next mini-lessons that we will be engaging in will be Making Texts that Teach- guiding the students to write their All-About book in a way that will teach other people about the topic, Revising by learning from each other's writing, and editing by becoming resourceful word solvers- trying to figure out a word by looking within a word or using the resources you know to write and fix your words.

After we complete our All-About books, we will have a writer's celebration where we read our books to each other and to the second grade classes! We are very excited about this! Personally, I LOVE teaching this unit!!

Reading about dolphins!

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We are almost completed with our first workbook, 1A, and will be starting 1B next week. What an accomplishment! This month we will begin by comparing numbers. We will be graphing. We will be working with numbers greater than forty and looking for the most efficient ways to group numbers when we add, subtract and compare them. This month we will also celebrate 100 days of school. Students will be asked to bring in a 100's collection for a fun filled day of counting! Details to follow as the date gets closer

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Social Studies

We are knee deep in our study of the Southwest Pueblo Indians! Specifically we continue to focus on the Hopi. (They are considered one of the tribes of the Pueblo Indians.) We began making the homes for our Hopi Village mural. Next week we will talk about traditional foods, clothing and gender roles, and hopefully have our Southwest mural hanging in time for parent conferences. We will also be reading and acting out a Pueblo Indian tale, Arrow to the Sun. Later in the month, we will be learning about the significance of Kachinas and dream catchers to the Southwest tribes.