December Update

First Grade

Reading Workshop

We continue to build our reading stamina! This month readers will focus on retelling. Students will be expected to retell a text sequentially, to name the main characters, and to notice the setting. We will fill out different kinds of story maps to respond to retelling. We will read a variety of holiday books that explore themes of kindness, including my favorite holiday book, Anteater's Mystery Christmas. This short book reveals a sweet story about giving and introduces students to the genre of mystery. We will also think about how to best recommend a book to a peer. Students will learn how to fill out a special chart where they can publicly recommend books and begin to learn about the kinds of books that their peers enjoy!


In math this month we will focus on adding and subtracting with numbers greater than ten. We will continue to review our basic math facts using both addition and subtraction. Each day students will solve story problems and complete mental math activities to reinforce these concepts. New games will include dreidel, a counting game in the Hanukkah tradition, and dot compare. In dot compare, students have to notice patterns visually as they compare sets. First graders will also enjoy completing "roll and records" using holiday colors. (Roll and record is a first grade favorite. Students roll two dice and graph the results in a pattern. They can play by adding or subtracting.) Later in the month, we will begin geometry and work with patterns. Reinforcing activities will include creating math quilts where students use two colors and have to follow a repeating pattern to complete a quilt. We have a lot to accomplish over these next three weeks!

Writing Workshop

This month, writers will be working on editing or "fixing and fancying" for their FIRST writer's celebration! Students will be learning how to reread and how to look for places in their writing where they may need to add punctuation and correct spelling. They will also notice places where they can implement different writing craft elements that were studied this fall. Elements we studied include adding captions, using talking marks, adding detail, thoughts, feelings, connecting words and endings. We are looking forward to sharing our stories with our peers and celebrating our hard work as writers!

Social Studies

In social studies this month we will begin studying the Hopi, the American Indians of the desert Southwest. In the weeks ahead, we will focus on the homes of the Hopi, the traditional clothing, and foods. With the holidays nearing, we will also take some time to learn about winter holiday traditions.