First Grade News!

How We Express Ourselves

How We Express Ourselves-Launching UOI #3

Welcome back! We are so excited to have launched our THIRD Unit of Inquiry under the IB transdisciplinary theme of "How We Express Ourselves!" Check out what we have in store for the next few weeks!

Transdisciplinary Theme: How We Express Ourselves

Central idea: Human Values are Communicated Through Sound, Symbols, and Spaces

Key concepts: Form, Function, Perspective

Lines of inquiry

  • Human characteristics of an environment
  • How holidays and symbols can represent our values
  • How sounds convey meaning and communicate messages

Some UOI Vocabulary: compare, pluck, property, sound receiver, sound source, vibrate, vibration, communicate, direction, gentle, high/medium/low pitched, message, travel, volume

What we'll be working on in the next few weeks, in sha Allah...

Students will be exploring sound! We will investigate the following:

  • vibration and how vibrating objects make sound
  • pitch and how it can be high or low
  • volume and how it can be loud or soft
  • how sound sources can be natural or human-made
  • how sounds can convey information
  • how ears are one kind of sound receiver
  • how engineers design communication devices

More About What Are We Learning in this UOI


Here are the concepts we'll be working on in Math!

  • subtraction and solving for the unknown in a subtraction equation
  • using a number line to solve for the unknown in a subtraction equation (solving either for the result or the addend)
  • counting on or counting back to solve for the unknown in a subtraction equation
  • determining the best strategy for solving various types of problems
  • using drawings and math stories to represent equations
  • determining and showing one less than a given (2-digit) number
  • subtraction of fives and doubles

Daily 5-English Language Arts

We continue to use the Daily 5 model to guide our Reading/Language Arts instruction. During Daily 5, students receive a burst of whole group instruction followed by working independently on a meaningful task while I conference with individual students and small groups. During this time, students are working on reading fluency, reading comprehension, reading skills and strategies, vocabulary, sight words, writing, and spelling.

Vocabulary Words

temperature, fierce, freezing, slide, protect, huddle, hatch, hunt, howl, cozy

Sight Words

Updated individual sight word lists have been taped into the blue folders. These lists will be updated every 1-2 weeks, or as students master the words. Please practice these words from time to time with your child, in order to help him/her build fluency while reading. These words often do not follow common Spelling conventions, so it is important students learn to recognize them in print, by their Form.


We are working on stretching words in order to hear each sound in the word. We are focusing on the conventions of long vowel sounds, especially ones that follow the long vowel-silent e pattern. Here are some spelling words we're working on:

bake, lake, page, cage, late, rake, wake, made, came, gate, flake, bone, robe, alone, cone, rose, vote, hole, note, woke, home, fire, pile, wise, five, pine, tile, hide, lime, time, tire


Students continue to work on their writing through the writing process. All students have written 2 narrative pieces using the writing process. They are working on their 3rd narrative piece-this time a true story about themselves which will include feelings and thoughts, time-order words, and a closing sentence. They will also continue to work on sentence structure and writing mechanics.


We are working on applying the following strategies while reading:

  • determining and distinguishing between the main idea and details of a text
  • summarizing a text
  • using prior knowledge to connect with a text
  • making and adjusting predictions before, during, and after reading
  • reading words with inflectional endings

Arabic, Quran, Islamic Studies with Ms. Sanchez


Students will learn the names of important places around us such as hospitals, airports, libraries in Arabic. They will also learn the names of the people that occupy these places. Students will also learn how to describe themselves to each other. Students will also learn how to incorporate polite phrases during conversation. Students will continue to enrich practice their handwriting and reading skills.

Presentational Speaking

I can present information about myself and others using words and phrases.

I can say what I look like.

I can say what I am like.

Interpretive Listening

I can understand greetings.

I can understand when people introduce themselves.


Students will memorize Surah Layl with proper Tajweed and pronunciation.

Students will learn the meaning and purpose of Surah Layl.

Practice reading from the Qaidah Nooraniyah.

Islamic Studies

Students will learn the Six Articles of Faith in detail and their importance to us as Muslims.


Allah is not a creature, spirit, or a thing we can see, but His knowledge is everywhere all at the same time. When we believe in Allah, we have "Iman" or belief.

The angels are not male or female. They can move super fast and do whatever Allah tells them. They are made out of light. Allah does not need them but they need Allah.


Allah is good and He loves goodness from people. Allah hates it when people do bad if they did not repent.


Students will identify and apply their prior artistic knowledge and newly introduced elements of Art like the element of Form.

They will create artworks that use color, line, shape, texture, space and form to express personal ideas and feelings. They will be introduced to three -dimensional geometric structure and radial symmetry (Circle/Square).

Creative Expression and Production:

Students will demonstrate the ability to organize knowledge and ideas for expression in the production of art.

Create images and form from observation, memory, imagination, and feelings

Experiment with art media, processes, and techniques and describe ways they can be used to express thoughts and feelings

Some Reminders...

  • Homework for first grade is to work on the monthly reading logs, work on Learner Profile passports, and to practice math concepts on Zearn. Students should be completing about 10 minutes of homework each night.
  • Students will continue to receive Pizza Hut coupons for any reading logs that have been worked on and submitted to me at the end of the month.
  • Continue to log any minutes of reading completed on the Six Flags Reading logs and submit as soon as 6 hours of reading has been completed. I will continue to collect these logs throughout the Winter and the Six Flags tickets will be issued, in sha Allah, in late Spring.
  • Please continue to collect Box Tops which are found on the packaging of several products that most families regularly purchase. Our goal as a school is to raise $500 worth of box tops, in sha Allah.

Learner Profile Attribute of the Month-Open Minded!

Please assist your child in recognizing ways he/she is Open-Minded and record them in the Open-Minded passport. Unforunately, we have had low class participation with the passports, and I'm hoping to turn this around and have 100% participation, in sha Allah! Passports are due by the end of each month.

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