April Update

Esther's Class

Reading Workshop

Happy April everyone! In reading workshop this month, we will be moving into a short nonfiction unit and later in the month we will be starting our friendship themed book clubs. Many first graders have been reading nonfiction throughout the year and have enjoyed this genre. As we study nonfiction, we will think about the following questions: What are the characteristics of nonfiction books? What kinds of things do we notice and wonder as we read or listen to nonfiction books? What kinds of WOW facts do we notice as we read or listen to nonfiction? Later in April we will embark upon our friendship themed book clubs, which will involve reading friendship themed books with our book buddies. Students will need to collaborate with the same text, notice character traits and compare characters. FIrst graders enjoy book club work and the collaboration that is involved.


In math we just began our unit on multiplication. We will be working with numbers that total less than forty and students will be taught to notice the patterns between multiplication and addition. From there we will focus on division, and notice the patterns between multiplication and division. After that, we will embark upon fractions and finish the month with an introduction to telling time to the hour and half hour. Please note that we do not expect students to memorize their multiplication or division facts, rather we are introducing students to these general math concepts.

Social Studies

As we travel throughout the United States in our study of Native Americans, we have completed our visit with the Hopi of the Southwest and we are headed to the Plains. For the next month to six weeks, we will learn about the tribes of the Great Plains, which will include the Sioux, the Cheyenne as well as a few other tribes. As you probably know, the Plains Indians lived in tepees and depended on buffalo for their survival. As in our study of the Hopi and the Lenape, we will focus on homes, transportation, food and crafts. Students will learn about the importance of the buffalo and they will hear folktales such as Spotted Eagle and Black Crow and The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush. We will create a mural so that students can draw parallels between the Plains Indians, the Woodland Indians and the Pueblo Indians.

Writing Workshop

This month, we continue to work on our Realistic Fiction. We have been sourcing some of Cynthia Rylants' books like Henry and Mudge, Mr. Putter and Tabby and Poppleton to think more about what realistic fiction means. (These books are great examples of realistic fiction.) We continue to work on creating characters, finding settings, and writing the problem or the trouble that the character is facing. Some of the mini-lessons that we will still be touching upon include: how to start with an interesting beginning, how to end the story with a BANG, adding dialogue, action and feelings, and getting serious about spelling.

Later in April, in honor of National Poetry Month, we will embark upon our poetry unit. We will learn to see with our poets' eyes and use our five senses to create poetry. Some of the different kinds of poetry we will write include: shape poems, poems about animals, acrostic poems, simile poems and music poems. Writing poetry is a lot of fun and offers students a chance to be creative and imaginative. Students often love this special writing unit!