Ms. Kramer's 1st Grade News
Keep up-to-date on our rockstar first graders!
We have had a lot of different things going on in our classroom since the last weekly news update.
We have completed the 100th day of school, had our Valentine's Day party, and finished our spring conferences. For our Valentine's Day party we decided to do whole group activities instead of small group stations. This worked out very well, and the activity with marshmallows and toothpicks was a big hit. I asked the students to create something that could hold the weight of a piece of paper. Almost everyone was able to do that, and some were able to create something to hold the weight of much more than a piece of paper. This is something that we will definitely do again, and see what we can come up with!
In math we have been working on measuring length and weight. When we were practicing measuring length we used non-standard measurements. We measured in things such as paper clips, books, erasers, etc. For weight we have been comparing the weights of different things, as well as using bucket balances to help determine if something is lighter or heavier than another thing.
We have also been using code.org much more in our classroom. Computer science is something that is not taught enough in schools, and we are trying to change that in Litchfield. As these students grow up there are going to be many jobs in computer science, and not enough people to fill those jobs. Obviously not every student is going to want to go into computer science as he/she gets older, but having some experience with computer science will benefit them greatly as our world of technology continues to grow. We have been doing some activities with the iPads with coding, and also a couple of activities without the iPads. These are called "unplugged" activities. These activities push the students to use creative thinking and problem solving skills.
In reading we have been working on descriptive words. We are using color, size, shape, smell, taste, touch, sound, etc. to describe different objects and places. We have also switched up our reading groups based upon reading levels. I am very proud of how well the students are progressing in reading. I have been able to see a lot of creativity come through in the students' writing as well. We have not been working on our question of the day journals as much, but rather writing our own stories. Recently I let the children start using a "story starter" to give them a character, plot, and setting. From there they can develop their own story and give it their own ideas. It has been a lot of fun to read what they come up with! Please continue to read at home. Like anything else, reading takes practice. In order for your daughter/son to get better at reading she/he needs to keep practicing. We read often in school, but reading at home is also going to benefit your child greatly.
Last week we had three engineers from 3M come into the first grade classrooms. They talked to the students about engineering, and also had a discussion about space. The engineers had a video of astronauts using different toys in space. The students were able to play with those toys, and then make a prediction about what would happen when the astronauts used the toys in space. We were able to watch what happened, and talk about why the toys did different things on earth than in space. It was a great discussion, and the students were very engaged.
We also participated in Global School Play Day. This was a great day in our classroom. The children did a fantastic job of inviting others to play, sharing, working together, problem solving, etc. I did not have any students who were left by themselves or didn't have anyone to play with. I also did not have any students come up to me with any issues about a game or with another student. I was very proud that they used their problem solving skills to take care of any issues that came up. I am hoping to have another play day in March. I will let you know when we will do this play day. It is so important that students learn social skills along with academic skills in school. I would like to continue to foster the development of those social skills by allowing the students to play with one another more often.
Reading: Lesson 21 "Flake, The Missing Hamster"
Spelling: long a, silent e
Math: Ch. 11
Please continue to read with your child for 20 minutes each night.
Day 1: Gym & Art
Day 2: Media & Gym
Day 3: Library & Music
March 8: Read Across America Event
March 21-25: Spring Break-NO SCHOOL
As always, if you have any questions please feel free to contact me.