Carter's Classroom Corner

Connecting classroom and home

January 30, 2016

He giveth snow like wool: he scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes. --Psalm 147:16

Fun With Snow and Penguins

January has been challenging in many ways, thanks to all that beautiful snow! With delayed openings and closures, we have somehow manged to learn what we needed to! Our reading and writing have had a winter theme, and we have learned about winter weather, how people and animals survive winter, and learned some great stuff about penguins. It was nice to have such beautiful snow to help with our unit, too!

Writers' Workshop

We have been working on writing, and part of writing is learning to 'write for a reader.' The students have an opportunity to share their writing with an audience, and they have fun with our 'microphone.'

This past week we explored the way stories and books are written with a beginning, a middle and an end. Using our Tacky the Penguin books, we examined this more closely as we made our Tacky booklets. We also learned about characters and settings in books. These concepts will help us now that we are starting to work on Personal Narrative Writing.

Writing is a great way to reinforce the skills we are learning in spelling, phonics, language and reading!
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Classroom Needs

Indoor recess is so much better than going outside! *said no teacher ever*

First graders need to go out and blow off steam, but with winter weather comes a lot of time indoors. I have managed to gather a few items for indoor play, but we are in need of additional items. If you are cleaning out your closets, or headed to Wal-Mart, please keep us in mind! We could really use:

  • A large tub of Legos
  • Bristle Blocks
  • Tinker Toys
  • Lincoln Logs
  • Anything else appropriate and easy to implement in a classroom full of energetic children!

Thanks for thinking of us when you are cleaning out or shopping this winter!

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Adding, Subtracting, Measuring, Counting and Telling Time

We are working on a variety of skills in Math, and the students are loving it! This week we have concentrated on adding sums to 7, and coming up we'll be doing practice with sums to 8 and 9. The game Trey and Mercy are playing in the picture above is Bears in a Cave. They are practicing 'partners of 7' to help give the math facts for 7 permanence in their minds!

We have mastered time to the hour, and are working on time to the half hour in the next couple of weeks. Our goal is telling time to five minute intervals by the end of the year. We are also going to be measuring in inches and centimeters in coming weeks, and adding combinations of pennies, nickels and dimes. We will be exploring thermometers and adding to our recently acquired knowledge that water freezes at 32 degrees!

Another goal for this quarter is an understanding of place value (ones, tens and hundreds). We are using the hundreds chart and games, and will soon be using more representational means with base-10 blocks. Counting money is a part of this also. We touch on all these things every single day in calendar time, and several students are already grasping place value quite well!

A new learning activity has been added to our daily math routine. It is called scrolling and allows each child to write numbers as high as they can, using methods that make sense to them. Some children simply write the numbers consecutively, while others enjoy finding and using patterns to write them. It is great practice for adding tens and adding hundreds, and I love it because it meets each child on the appropriate individual level of understanding. In just three days of scrolling, some students have already started sheets in the 400s. At the end of the year, we will tape all the sheets together and wrap them around a paper towel tube for each child to take home. (Save your paper towel tube instead of throwing it away!). This activity is very helpful in helping students grasp the concept of place value with mastery. See a sample picture below.

In order to help with these learning goals, each child needs to bring in a sealed envelope or plastic bag containing the following coins: 4 quarters, 10 dimes, 10 nickels and 20 pennies. These will be your student's own set of practice coins, and will be returned to you at the end of the semester. I find that working individually with actual coins is very helpful for first graders who are learning to count combinations of coins. Please provide these for your child by Wednesday of this week. Label it with your child's name. Thanks for your help!
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February Reading Logs

Friday the students brought home the February reading log. Please be sure to have your child read 10 books, record the titles, and color a heart at the top of the page when each book is completed. They are due back the last school day of February (Mon. 2/29).

Coming Up...

  • School is closed on Presidents' Day (Monday, 2/15)
  • The 100th Day of school will be in February. 1st and 2nd grades are having a 100th Day Rodeo to celebrate! Everyone will wear cowboy or cowgirl western wear (including bandanas and hats if you have them!) and we will be celebrating the number 100 in math and language arts all day. Be on the lookout for how you may help!
  • This month in Bible we are continuing our study of the boyhood and early days of ministry of Jesus. Please pray for us as we learn about our Savior, that we would come to a very true realization of God's plan to give us the wonderful gift of salvation!