Room Eighteen News

Upcoming Dates

19 January- No School Martin Luther King Day
21 January- 100th Day of First Grade (!!)
2 February Kindergarten Registration begins
28 February PTO Chili Supper Fund Raiser 5:30-8

Our Week

Another great week in first grade! We will be celebrating the 100th day of first grade on January 21st. Coming home tonight in your child’s binder is their 100s day homework.

Despite the lack of it on the ground, we’ve continued our snow themed workjobs. Students worked with the book One Cold Snowy Morning. This book gave us lots of practice finding naming words, action words and describing words. Students read the book and then highlighted each class of words in a different color. Many of us found this to be a tricky activity. Students did a nice job helping each other by asking the questions: What is the THING on this page? What is the thing DOING? And what KIND of thing is it? We worked with a poem from our binder, Mice, to find all of the naming words, action words and describing words.

In Reading, we are working with the comprehension strategy of summarizing the text and finding the main idea. Summarizing is taking sections of text and pulling out the most important parts of what was read. It is deciding what is worth remembering in a selection and capturing it in your own words. As readers it is important to summarize what we read so we can remember, organize and understand the importance of a selection. Summarizing can be challenging for many readers. This is because they try to retell the whole story with great detail. They struggle with finding the most critical elements of the story. Here are some ways you can help your child with this strategy at home.

1. When reading with your child, model how to summarize. After finishing a few pagers or a chapter, stop and summarize what has happened. State the main idea and organize the events of the story.

2. After reading a story, have your child draw a picture of the most important information from the story. This will help your child to focus on what the main idea of the story was by deciding what parts of the story need to be included in the picture.

3. Read a portion of a chapter or picture book and question your child what was read. Question to ask your child after reading include:

o What is this selection about?

o What is the big idea? What is your evidence?

o What is not important to remember in this selection? Why?

We have been learning about the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. while practicing our summarizing skills. We introduced the non-fiction genre of a biography or life writing. We made and read a book about Martin Luther King. We worked with the book to summarize the main idea on each page and write a sentence in our own words to create a fact ladder about the book. Students made and read a book about the life of Martin Luther King. They worked with buddies reading biographies of MLK.

We continue our author study of Jan Brett. We used a Venn diagram to compare and contract her stories. We’ve used props to practice retelling a story. We’ve practiced summarizing her stories and more! We enjoy the patterns, the parallel stories in the words and pictures and her detailed illustrations.

We have begun studying the long vowels sounds. We are looking for patterns such as CVCV (consonant, vowel, consonant, vowel); and CVVC or what we sometimes call a walking vowel — when two vowels go a walkin’ the first one does the talking’ and says its name. We will be practicing these patterned spelling on our spelling test.

In Writers’ Workshop, we’ve been learning about how authors use words to ‘show’ rather than ‘tell’ what is going on in a story. Our job as an author is to paint pictures with words. We’ve worked together to group edit a student’s story to make it more exciting. We discovered that verbs such as got and were don’t really create pictures in a reader’s head. By using powerful words we create vivid images for our readers.

We continue to work on expanding our number sense and ability to work with base ten numbers. We used animal cards that had the animal weight listed on the card. We used base ten blocks to represent the weight. So, an animal that weighted 23 pounds was two tens (or longs) and three ones (or cubes). We took turns telling different number stories to find the combined weight. For example, the raccoon weighs 23 pound and the fox weighs 12 pounds how much do they weigh together? Using the manipulatives to represent the numbers it became quite easy to see—Oh, three tens and seven ones makes 37! The blocks also neatly illustrate what to do when one has to regroup, or carry, in order to solve an addition problem. We continue to work on hearing the word clues that will tell us whether we need to add or subtract. We continue our work with counting mixed coins, making change and finding differences.

The PTO Chili Supper fund raiser is coming up. Our class theme for our basket is “Movie Night” Parents can donate movie-type snacks, AMC gift cards, or even dvds to go with our theme. If you would like to participate, please contact our room parent Milet Hall at Thanks for all you do for our school!

Enjoy the long weekend!

Laura B.