First Grade January Update 2016

Esther's Class

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Reading Workshop

Happy New Year everyone! We are back from the holidays refreshed and ready to learn and grow! As readers this month, we will focus on developing our thinking skills. We will continue to work on last month's work of story mapping and making sure that we can retell the important events from our books. We will also learn how to envision and to make predictions. When readers envision, they create a movie in their minds that shows what is happening in story. They use their five senses to think about the setting, the events and the characters. Before the month is over, we will also focus on predicting. When readers make predictions, they are encouraged to draw from their background knowledge and to think more deeply about the characters that they are reading about.

Writing Workshop

We will be embarking upon our non-fiction procedural writing unit this month! Do you know how to climb a tree? How about... how to build a snowman or how to be a good friend? These are just a few topics that first graders might come up with when we start our "How To" unit. During this unit, students will be able to show how much they know from their world. Writing how-to books is important because it prepares students for informational texts that they may encounter such as: directions to a game, recipes, or a guide to putting a toy together. For now, students will have fun thinking about what they are really good at, and how they can use their detailed writing to explain it.


This month in math, we will focus on geometry, measurement and weight. In geometry, we will sort shapes by attribute, recognize the names of shapes and create quilt squares. Making quilt squares is always a first grade favorite! With measurement, students will be introduced to non-standard units of measurement, and with weight they will make comparisons and use vocabulary like heavier and heaviest. We will also continue to complete review pages in the workbook that revisit addition and subtraction. We will be finished with this workbook by the end of January and ready for our next textbook and workbook. What an accomplishment!

Social Studies

We will begin our study of the Hopi, who live in Southwest region of the United States. As in our study of the Lenape, we will learn about the traditional Hopi homes, the climate and land, the animals, and the traditional foods that were eaten by this tribe. We will create a Hopi Village mural to reflect our learning. Also, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr's birthday, we will spend time this month learning about his life and his work.