January Update!


Happy New Year from my family to yours! I hope you all had a fantastic holiday!!

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Love this...Friendship!

Reading Workshop

Happy New Year everyone! We are back from the holidays refreshed and ready to learn and grow! As readers this month, we will focus on developing our thinking skills. We will continue to work on last month's work of story mapping and making sure that we can retell the important events from our books. We will also learn how to envision and to make predictions. When readers envision, they create a movie in their minds that tells what is happening in story. They use their five sense to think about the setting, the events and the characters. Before the month is over, we will also focus on predicting. When readers make predictions, as you probably know, they will think about what they know about a character at hand and what might happen next. Not only is it fun to make predictions, but students are encouraged to draw from their background knowledge and to think more deeply about the characters that they are reading about. We will be using many amazing books to help with envisioning and making predictions including Do like Kyla by Angela Johnson and Night in the Country by Cynthia Rylant. These books have rich print and illustrations that can make a child's imagination soar!

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Writing Workshop

Do you know how to ride a horse? How about how to wash your dog or how to be a good friend? These are just a few topics that first graders have come up with during the introduction to "How-to" unit. During this unit, students will be able to show how much they know from their world. The "How-to" unit will frame students as "experts", helping them to teach their area of expertise through writing! Writing a how-to books is procedural writing and is important because it helps students to navigate through informational texts that they may read such as: directions to a game, recipes, a guide on putting a toy together to name a few. Science texts are also filled with instructions and directions for experiments. First graders may not be doing complex experiments right now, but each year instructions will pop up in various subjects and texts. Knowing how to use them effectively will be extremely helpful with reports and other procedural writing.

For now, students are having so much fun thinking about what they are really good at, and how they will use their best detailed writing to explain "how-to". Once they have written their "how-to", they will have the opportunity to try it out on another student to see if their instructions are complete and easy to follow.

We will continue to write using capitals and punctuation, clear precise letter formation, use of the word wall, and incorporating details.

First grade will also be starting All About Books. All About Books are exactly what they sound like! They are books that are all about something. All about Ladybugs, All about Soccer, and All about India are just a few of the All About Books that first graders from the past wrote. During this unit, students will learn how to use a table of contents to show students that writers divide topics into subtopics and then write about each one separately. This is a great organizational skill for students to learn. Students will also be doing some research by reading books about a topic that they want to write "All About". The combination of using books to learn about the topic as well using their own schema produces wonderful All About Books!!


This month in math, we will focus on geometry, measurement and weight. In geometry, we will sort shapes by attribute, recognize the names of shapes and create quilt squares. Making quilt squares is always a first grade favorite! Students will also pick a shape and create a picture out of that shape. For example: If I were to pick a circle, I could create a face, or a sun or a snow globe! The students will have lots of fun with this activity while using their imagination. With measurement, students will be introduced to non-standard units of measurement and with weight, they will make comparisons and use vocabulary like heavier and heaviest. We will also continue to complete review pages in the workbook that revisit addition and subtraction. We will be finished with this workbook by the end of January and ready for our next textbook and workbook. What an accomplishment!

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Social Studies

In the month ahead, first graders will begin learning about the Native Americans of the Desert Southwest. We will study the Hopi, who live in Arizona. As in our study of the Lenape, we will learn about the traditional Hopi homes, the climate and land, the animals, and the traditional foods that were eaten by this tribe. We will create a Hopi Village mural to reflect our learning.

Martin Luther King Day is January 20th! We will be reading books and discussing how important MLK continues to be an inspiration to us all.

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