Elm Class Update

New York News Compass

More Work with Clay

We continued to work with clay this week. Students used slip to connect pieces of clay together.

We let the sculptures dry after our lesson with Sara. We have noticed that the clay has changed now that we let it dry for a few days. Soon we will paint the sculptures as well.

Exploring our Community and Communities

First grade continued our study of community in Project time this week. We shared the communities that we are a part of and noticed commonalities. As a class we discussed nested communities, or how some communities fit inside others. Students shared that the Compass Community fits inside the Fort Greene Community.

We then made observations of the community around us in Fort Greene. We are looking forward to more observational walks in the coming weeks.

Still Thinking about Living Systems

We are still monitoring living systems. Students got to check in on and feed our worms. Others shared their outreach projects with the larger community. Ollie shared a worm bin with the Maple Class.

You can check out the worm bin and the terrarium now living in the community room.


This week we continued to work on using word solving strategies. We discussed using context clues to determine the meaning of unknown words.

Next week we will start a new unit focused on reading about a topic across genres. We will learn more about a topic we are interested in by reading fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and songs all on the same topic. You can start to preview this unit with your child by discussing topics of interest with them. We will use their ideas to create baggies of books for reading in the coming weeks.

Book Baggie Reminder

Please remember to read for at least 20 minutes each night!

Your child can read on their own and with an adult.

First graders need to bring their book baggies to school each day for our independent reading time.

Patterns in Grandma's Necklaces

According to the read aloud, Grandma's necklace, there are special numbers that can always be used to create certain necklace patterns. Elm Class was very curious what these numbers were. We launched a week long exploration, searching for the special numbers and what made these numbers special. We discussed why even numbers worked for necklace pattern one but only multiples of 10 worked for necklace pattern two. Necklace pattern 3 was very tricky! We're still wondering about what numbers make this pattern work.

Through our investigation, we applied our knowledge of doubles and near doubles. We also worked hard on the standard for math practice of generalization. Go Elms!
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Things to Try at Home

Play the Shoe Game! Elm students love this game as it is fun and supports fluency with addition doubles.

Students doubled the number they roll on the dice and move that many shoes.

You can play at home as well, all you need is the game board.

Please contact Shawn if you want a hard copy sent home with your child.

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In writing we are working on making our stories clear to the reader by including applying certain language conventions. For example, we are editing and revising our writing to make sure that we have capital letters only at the beginning of a word or for a name. We're working on remembering to add periods and spaces in between our words. We're also using the word wall to help us spell sight words correctly.
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Things to Try at Home

Help your child notice how the authors of their books use language conventions to make their writing clearer. Students may notice that authors sometimes choose to not follow a convention. For example, when they use all capital letters usually when they want to express a strong emotion and not all over the text.

Encourage your child to put spaces between words, use mostly lower case letters, and to include punctuation marks in the notes that they may be writing around the house.

Warm Weather means more time outside!

The spring sunshine is bringing us joy! We had writing lessons outside and recess without any jackets!
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Practicing Teamwork in Exploration

This week Anabell and Shawn saw the need to practice using teamwork during exploration in class. We met with small groups to plan and create work together. The block group was so proud when they stepped back to see their structure! One student even stated, "This is better than regular exploration".