May/June Update!

First grade- Kirsten's Class

Earth day hug!!

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COMING SOON! First Grade presents...Big Turtle: A Native American Story

Tuesday, June 7th, 9am

Newtown Friends School

The play will be held in the auditorium.

RSVPs are enabled for this event.


Reading Workshop

June is approaching fast, and it's so amazing to have seen such growth in the first graders, especially as readers. They are developing in their fluency and thinking skills as readers. I am so proud of each and every one of them and their ability to think deeply. They are almost ready for second grade!

Last month, the students had such a great time with Reader's Theater. They were creative, enthusiastic and eager to work on memorizing their scripts and work on their blocking . They opened up, and some surprised themselves with how confident and expressive they were. Such great, little actors and actresses! This month, we have started a non-fiction unit. We are learning the difference between fiction and non-fiction by looking at the different characteristics that the books possess. We are reading books about cheetahs, snakes, lizards, the human body, ladybugs, caterpillars, dogs and much more. We are completing graphic organizers with facts about the books we read, and we are going to be quizzing our classmates by asking our own questions from the non-fictions books we have read.

This month, we will also embark upon book clubs! Students will begin friendship themed book clubs and we will finish the year with mystery book clubs. During book clubs, the kids read buddy books and have a chance to talk and think more about these books with their buddies. It is a great way to finish reading workshop for the year! Later in May, we also will focus on questioning and notice the difference between a thin and a thick question. We will finish the year with our "Super Reader" project to celebrate our reading. As you may already know, Super Readers are readers who read to small groups and later to the whole class. In June we will concentrate on making summer reading plans and reading lists.

We have been having a great time listening to the popular read aloud, Socks by Beverly Cleary, and we will be starting the classic, Sarah Plain and Tall shortly!

Writing Workshop

Last month, we had an amazing month of writing poetry in the first grade. We started off talking about what we think poetry is, the different examples of poetry, and what we can write about. We made a list of describing words to help us write interesting, creative poems. We wrote poetry using our 5 senses, color poems, shape poems, acrostic poems and poetry with rhythm. We have almost perfected line breaks, and our cinquain poem was a hit. We have written beautiful poetry together and separately, poetry that shows our emotions and our heart, and poetry where we SHOW, not tell. We have written poetry about family, friends, animals, our likes and dislikes, and my favorite, music poems. The students have once again shown such an enthusiastic love for this unit where their hearts, kindness and love are apparent in each poem they have written. This is why this unit is my all time favorite to teach.

This month, We are continuing to expand and delve in to the new Teacher's College writing curriculum books by Lucy Caulkins. We will begin Persuasive Writing, specifically opinion writing. Everyone has an opinion, especially young children! They are very adamant about stating what they believe and why a person, place or favorite thing is the VERY BEST! This unit is really a perfect unit for the first graders right now. They have learned so many different reading and writing strategies to create a story of their own, now is the time to create a writing piece where they will convince readers of why their opinion on a certain topic is the very BEST! They will learn how to state their opinion starting with a great, captivating, "I want to read your writing" introduction, learn how to state the reasons for this opinion and give details to back it up. Convincing their reader is their objective, and I know they will do a great job! One amazing aspect of this unit is that they will use checklists (or a list of goals) that are benchmarks for this unit in the first grade. During their writing, they can refer to these checklists to reflect and note their progress and what they need to continue working on. I am hoping they will be very engaged in this kind of writing, and their convincing arguments will be very impressive.



The next month and a half in math, we will be hitting on many important concepts: division, halves and quarters, time, money and one hundred. Next week we begin working division and halves, quarters and thirds. We will then study how to tell time. We will use the Judy clocks, and practice making time to the hour and to the half hour. We also have creative, fun, and challenging centers coming up! Later in the month, we will focus on the 100's chart. We will notice relationships on the one hundreds chart and review tens and ones. Finally, we will finish the month by working with money. We will create a school store using our classroom money, and we will pretend to be shoppers and cashiers!

Social Studies

This month we will be completing our study of the Plains Indians and then moving on to our final region, the Pacific Northwest. We just started working on our play, "Big Turtle: A Native American Story", a legend from the Northeast Indian tribes. In addition to our play rehearsals, we will learn about the land, the climate, the foods and some of the traditions of the native peoples of the Pacific Northwest. We hope you can check out our play, which we will perform on June 7th, at 9am in the auditorium. Afterwards, there will be a writer's publishing celebration in Esther and Kirsten's classroom. All parents are invited!