First Grade News

Both First Grades

Reading Workshop

First Graders have settled into the routines of reading workshop! They are building their reading stamina and enjoying books. This month students will focus on developing their decoding skills, building their fluency and learning to read well with their reading buddies. They will learn strategies like using punctuation, reading through words, noticing when words don't sound right, and using the picture to help with the text. First Graders will also be learning to work productively with their reading buddies. This is hard work! With their buddies, they have choices to make about which books to read and about how to best read them.

To develop comprehension, students will practice "turn and talks." A turn and talk means that as I read the book, students stop at different points during the text, and share their responses with one buddy. This gives everyone a chance to talk. The expectation is that everyone will be thinking and making a contribution. In October, there are a many great books for turn and talks like; Mem Fox's, Tough Boris, and in time for Halloween, Chris Van Allsburg's, The Widow's Broom.

We also began reading Charlotte's Web. This is a wonderful first grade read aloud, rich with vocabulary and rich in its themes of friendship. Students always enjoy this age old book!

Writing Workshop

This month first graders will begin working on personal narrative writing or small moment writing. A small moment is a tiny moment in time. For young writers, it’s natural to want to write about EVERYTHING, but that can be too broad and confusing. Therefore, the way we explain it in first grade is comparing a BIG, HEAVY topic to a watermelon and the small seeds inside are the tiny topics, or small moments that relate to the big topic. We call focusing on these small moments, “zooming in." Later in the month, we will also focus on developing writing partnerships and unfreezing our characters in our writing by adding dialogue. We will be using mentor and familiar texts for inspiration. Finally, we always work on editing and revision by teaching appropriate use of capital letters and punctuation.


In math we will be continuing to compare and to count, to problem solve with number bonds, and to complete addition and subtraction number sentences. This month, first graders will be introduced to mathematical vocabulary like addend and sum. We will be solving daily story problems on the Smart Board. We begin each lesson with mental math or a math warm up that connects to our lesson. After working in our text books, solving our story problem, and completing an activity, we work in our workbooks. Students have an opportunity work in a whole group, partake in a small group activity and work independently.

Social Studies

In Social Studies, we have been learning about members of our school community. In the weeks ahead, we will embark upon our first Native American unit of the year, the Lenape. The Lenape are the indigenous Native Americans who lived in parts of Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey. We will be learning about their traditional homes, their traditional clothing and food. We will read their creation story, Rainbow Crow. We will also be going to the Churchville Nature Center where we will explore the village and be immersed in Lenape culture.
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