# Local News Update

## What's Up in the Classroom?

Math - Our big focus this week was on making tens. For example, if the problem is 8 + 8, students used a ten frame to fill in 8 boxes with red counters and then the other 2 with yellow counters. They then continued onto another ten frame and added 6 more yellow counters. This helped them see that 8 + 8 could be 10 + 6. It's simply one method to use when adding numbers in the teens. Studies show that students who have a strong foundation in 10's and 5's have an easier time with higher level math concepts.

Writing - We started our non fiction unit of writing this week. Students learned that writers get ready to write by teaching about a topic. They also learned that they have many areas of expertise that they can write about and using their fingers to figure this out will help them. For example, if they think they know a lot about dirt bikes, they can tell their information across their fingers to see if they have enough to make a little book. Five facts is the minimum that they should know when deciding on a topic. Students also learned that they could write about things they know how to do. For example, one boy wrote about how to get dressed!!

Social Studies - We are done with our studies of the map. Students learned about the world around them and where they fit in. We started with the whole world, narrowed it down to our continent, our country, our state, our city and finally our home.

Reading - We have been working on many different strategies this week in reading. The main ones were using details to help understand text, finding the beginning, middle and end of a story, learning some robust vocabulary words and finally a review of retelling a story using picture clues. We continue to do our reading centers where students do individual activities and then rotate to a new activity. I love these centers because I get to meet with all of the students and instruct them at their individual levels of reading. It's a nice way to differentiate instruction for all the students.

Coding - We did a really cool activity on Monday. Mrs. Staple (our librarian) came in and lead a lesson on coding. Coding is normally used when writing computer programs. Since this is only the 1st grade, we coded a bit differently. Students learned basic programing codes for up, down, right, left and turn. Then they had their "robot" partner follow their program to move cups into a certain formation. It was really fun and a very useful skill in this day and age. I am going to continue it in math when we get back from winter break.

## Pajamas and a Movie Day!!

Our PBIS (Positive Behavior and Intervention Supports) event for December is pajamas and a movie. Students needed 30 tokens to participate and they all earned them. So, on Tuesday, December 22 students are allowed to wear their pajamas to school if they choose. We will be watching Santa Paws!! We will also have the Bay Port Carolers singing to us that day. I'm sure it will be a nice, calm day at school!! :)

## Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family!! I hope you enjoy your break and have time to relax, sleep in and have fun with your children!