# Elm Class Update

## Discovering Compost

This week we began exploring and investigating compost by visiting the Carlton Community Garden.

We asked first graders to think about what they see and what they think is happening in the compost bin.

Back at school, we gathered questions that will guide our study in the coming weeks.

You can support this study at home by discussing examples of compost around you.

In reading, we are continuing to learn about the world through non-fiction texts. This week first graders practiced reading "like an expert" when sharing a non-fiction text.

You can also show careful listening and ask questions about the topic.

## New Word Study Groups

First Grade started new word study groups this week. Each student is working on specific skills to support their understanding of letters and letter sounds.

Look in your child's folder for recent word work and ask them to talk about the skills they practiced when completing their sort.

## Counting to Higher Numbers!

In math this week, Elm students were challenged to extend the counting sequence using counting strips. Some students started counting from one and then worked their way up. Other students who felt comfortable counting from 1-100, began their counting strips at 101 so that they could explore what happens after 100.

A big idea behind this work is to notice patterns in our base ten number system. Here are some suggestions to support this big idea at home.

Create counting strips at home.
You can use receipt tape, or to practice scissor skills, you can cut strips of paper and tape them together.

-What patterns do you see?
-What happens after 9 in the counting sequence?

Create your own counting strip that has some errors for your child to fix. For example, you can repeat a number or make a reversal (21 instead of 12). Discuss why the reversal would no longer fit the pattern in the sequence (i.e. help your child notice that in the sequence: 10, 11, 21, 13, 14, the number 21 doesn't follow the 1 in front (tens place) and 1, 2, 3, 4 pattern in the back (ones place) ).

Practice counting from different places other than one. Start at 33 and count up until 57. Or if your child is ready for a real challenge, start at 189 and count up until 220!

## Learning from Mentor Texts

Elm students have created numerous How-To books! This week they looked at mentor texts to learn ways to make their writing stronger. We noticed that some authors used bolded words to make important information stand out. Other authors used clear pictures to show a tricky step. We also discussed how using the words "you" and "your" could enhance our connection to the reader.

Your child can practice writing How-To's at home that have bolded words, clear pictures, or other ways to connect with their readers.

## Water Bottles

We enjoy drinking out of our water bottles each day.

Please help us keep them clean by giving them a quick cleaning if you have some time to come in before school or after school!

## Cleaning Crew

We would love to have some help keeping the shelves and surface areas clean. If you have some time, please help wipe down some of these parts in the classroom.

## Exploration Projects

Are you inspired by the ideas we explore in class? Want to help Graham sew a stuffed animal or work with Michael to build a puppet theater? Please let us know and we can schedule a time for extra projects.

## Laundry Run

We would love to wash up our blanket, pillows, and scarves. Can you do some laundry for the Elm Class? Please let us know and we can gather up a bag for a wash and dry.