October First Grade Newsletter

Mrs. Muhlenbruch's Class

First Grade News

Happy October! We have all settled into the first grade routine and our learning is in full swing! We are excited to show you all that we have been doing this month. Please take note of a few important events that are coming up towards the end of this month and the beginning of November listed below.

Language Arts

This month in Language Arts we have enjoyed getting into our large group and small group routines. Students have been practicing many literacy strategies such as inferring and predicting both in stories that are read aloud as well as stories that they read independently. In large group phonics instruction we have been reviewing short vowel sounds. In our first unit we reviewed each of the short vowels and in our second unit we will revisit them within the context of words with blends and digraphs. These are so very helpful in both our reading and our writing so we want to make sure all of the first graders really understand these sounds and when/how to use them. We have also been meeting multiple times per week in small group working to review and learn new phonics skills. We learned the difference between words that are closed and open. Ask your first grader to explain how we know if a word is closed. We are excited to continue to learn and use our new literacy strategies in our reading and writing!

Math

In the 2nd topic of our math curriculum, we focused on strategies to help us remember our addition and subtraction facts. Though it is different than the way I was taught math, there is ample research to support the idea of teaching students math strategies (such as doubles, near doubles, addition to subtract) as opposed to teaching them the answers to a fact. This is a concept we will continue to build in the 3rd topic of our curriculum where we take these same strategies and use them with larger numbers. One way you can help at home is to stress the "how did you get there?" on their math homework as opposed to just "your answer is correct or incorrect". This reminds students that the focus of solving a math problem is really on the solving piece and not the right answer. This is a similar lens to how we look at reading and writing as well as other curricular areas.

Social Studies/Science

In social studies this month, we have been talking about how we are the same and different than our peers. We did an activity where we identified strengths as well as things we like to do. WE then compared those to the other kids in our class. What are some activities that we matched on? Where were there differences? We practiced speaking and listening to one another. We discovered it is much easier to listen if we are quiet so we decided that it is important to take turns in a conversation. We ended our second topic by practicing introducing ourselves to peers and adults.


In science, we are continuing learning about rocks. We studied different sized rocks and learned their names. We also looked at rocks that are so small we can't really even see them in the forms or clay and silt. We experimented with how water effects those two products. We also took a "fieldtrip" outside to see how rocks were used around our school learning new words like asphalt, concrete, and cinder block. We look forward to visiting the school garden in a few weeks to learn more about rocks in our world.

Conferences

Thursday, Nov. 10th, 1:45-8pm

1400 Grissell Place

Iowa City, IA

Fall Supper

Thursday, Nov. 10th, 5-8pm

1400 Grissell Place

Iowa City, IA

Please try to turn in your meal order before the event to help determine the amount of food needed. You are always welcome to come and pay the night of as well. We have a new caterer this year and everyone is very excited to try some new food!

Conferences

Wednesday, Nov. 16th, 8am-8pm

1400 Grissell Place

Iowa City, IA