First Grade is Fabulous!

January 2016, Room 109

Fundations and Grammar

We explored synonyms; words that have the same meaning, but are completely different words. An example would be the words: small and little. The children really understood this concept by the end of January and enjoyed a variety of activities to strengthen this skill.

We also began our DGP routine. DGP stands for "Daily Grammar Practice." You may have seen some of this sheets come home on Fridays. Each day we do a quick exercise with the same sentence. Each week the routine is the same, but with a different sentence:

Monday: Edit the sentence

Tuesday: Circle the nouns

Wednesday: Underline the adjectives

Thursday: Draw a box around the verb

Friday: Identify the sentence type (exclamatory, declarative, or interrogative)

In Fundations, we spelled words with the suffix "s." We identified plural and singular nouns. We learned how to mark the base word and circle the suffix. We also practiced tricky words like: who, what, where, and there. We also explore the "ing" word ending and the "King of Ing!"

Check out the videos below!

The Electric Company - Hubley - My darling, it was ing
Synonym Symphony A Song That Teaches Synonyms by Melissa


This month we studied the composition techniques of the author/illustrator Kevin Henkes! We read a mentor text, and then talked about what Kevin Henkes did in each story; many stories had a lot in common!

Here are some of things we found out:

1. He repeats phrases.

2. He has a problem and a solution

3. He uses mice A LOT as characters

4. He uses feelings and emotions

After studying each text, we wrote in response to the story and made personal connections.

These are the books we read:

1. A Good Day

2. Chrysanthemum

3. Owen

4. Lily's Purple Plastic Purse

5. Kitten's First Full Moon

6. Sheila Rae the Brave

7. Wemberly Worried

We really enjoyed the Kevin Henkes books! The next time you are at the library, these books would be a great choice for your child!

Meet Kevin Henkes
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Reader's Workshop

We continued meeting with our reading groups this month and worked on our Reader's Workshop centers. We adjusted our reading groups at the beginning of January, so your child may say that they are a different Spongebob character in Reading. That's fine! Our groups are organic and always changing/growing, just like your children.

Here are some of the centers we completed this month!

  • Synonym Roll Match: We matched cinnamon roll cards with matching synonyms
  • Penguin Punctuation: We added ending punctuation to sentences around the room.
  • "Ing" Swat: We made new words with an "ing" flyswatter!
  • Jessica, Kevin Henkes story: Listen and respond

*Watch the story of Jessica below!

Jessica - By Kevin Henkes

Social Studies

We really focused on The Civil Rights Movement this month and the amazing contributions Martin Luther King, Jr. made to our world. We read stories about Ruby Bridges, Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King, Jr. We also read a story about a man who escaped slavery called, Henry's Freedom Box. We wrote about our dreams for the world, our families, and ourselves. You have very altruistic children! We also read a mini-book about MLK, jr. and practiced our research skills by highlighting the important facts we found!

To end our unit on Martin Luther King, Jr., we celebrated peacemakers from all around the world and from various times in history! Your child picked their favorite peacemaker, wrote about the person and why he/she liked them! We then took these writings and made them into a class book.

You can click and watch the presentation I made on the PREZI program below!


We began our Changes unit by talking about matter and the four states of matter: solid, liquid, gas, and plasma. We watched some Brainpop videos about matter and played an interactive game on the class whiteboard where we sorted objects by their state of matter. We will continue this unit through February. We will be participating in some exciting experiments in this unit; it is one of my favorites units to teach!
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Everyday Math

Monthly Skills:

  • Number stories
  • Comparing the weight and length of animals
  • Comparing numbers with <, >, =, symbols
  • Measurement with cubes
  • Measurement with paper clips
  • Measuring crooked lines and adding the sections
  • Addition with three addends
  • Writing number models

Some of Our Math Centers :

  • Robot True or False Number Sentences
  • Cutting out and putting together a 100 chart
  • Measuring perimeter with Smarties candies
  • Marshmallow line measurement

Mrs. Menchu - First Grade Teacher

EVERYTHING IS AWESOME IN FIRST GRADE! I have taught Transitional Primary, second grade, third grade, fourth grade and preschool and have loved every level. I look forward to having a fantastic year with you and your child! Please reach out to me and do not hesitate to ask questions.
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