April Update

Esther's Class

Reading Workshop

Happy April everyone! Right now we are focusing on noticing the character traits of our main characters as we read fiction. Next week we will be comparing characters and we will be filling out "character maps." Later in the month, we will be moving into a short nonfiction unit. 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? By the end of April, we will begin 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.

Writing Workshop

This month, we continue our work on peruasive writing. Over the past few weeks, students have been judging their collections and writing reviews about them. In the weeks ahead, they will work to explain their judgements in convincing ways, write creative leads, and bolster their arguments. They will also be writing about their reading and and working to make comparisons in their writing.

Later in April, in honor of National Poetry Month, we will begin 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!


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/bison 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.