Welcome to First Grade 2015-16
Hello First Grade Families,
The first graders have been exploring the
neighborhood. Last week we walked to the
train station. Before embarking on our
adventure we looked at a map of our walking route on the smartboard and noticed
where the train tracks crossed over Madison Street. This sparked a lively discussion about
whether the tracks would be at street level (with a railroad crossing gate to
stop traffic) or whether the tracks would be elevated on a bridge. On the walk the children saw that it was a
bridge and there was an actual train crossing when we got to the bridge! We also noticed places in the neighborhood
that have food like El Sabor Salvadoreno
and Memo’s bakery. This week we will walk to the local
supermarket. We will take trip sheets
with us so we can write down the names of different kinds of fruit we see. Back in the classroom we’ll ask the children
to hypothesize about how fruit gets to the supermarket. Our trip on Friday to Norton Brothers Fruit
Farm will help answer the question of how some of our food gets to us.
We have been reading stories related to social
justice and empathy. Recently one of our
very own students (a boy) got some flack from some of the other boys about
choosing to read a story about princesses. We talked about being more accepting and
tolerant of things you’re not accustomed to seeing (like a boy choosing to read
about princesses!) with the help of a book by Charlotte Zolotow called William’s Doll, about a boy who is
teased for wanting a doll. He gets the
doll in the end!
In math the children are practicing counting accurately
up to 30 and developing strategies for keeping track. In a game called Five-In-A-Row the kids add with dot dice and cover the total on a
game board with a bingo chip. One of the
goals is to master “counting on” from the bigger number, rather than count all
the dots i.e. if you roll a 5 and a 4 you count from 5 saying: “5…6,,7,8,9.” Playing math games repeatedly helps kids
memorize number combinations, in other words, know automatically that 5 and 4
equals 9. Also, in math we introduced
the “greater than, less than” symbols.
The trick for knowing which way the symbol faces is to think of it as
the open mouth of a crocodile. The
crocodile always chomps on the bigger number.
this if your child needs more sight words:
We are sending home directions for a few simple
games to play that will help your child learn sight words. You might think of sight words as being like
the “on switch” for reading. You have to
have a good amount of sight words in order to use reading strategies
effectively. When you only know a few
sight words, the switch stays off and the strategies won’t go. So help your child with a few sight words a
day to get it going!
If you play any of the attached games you may need
to make extra copies of the game board.
Choose 5 to 10 sight words for your child to work on at a time.
Of course another way to practice the words is to
make flash cards. Again choose 5 to 10
at a time –not too many at once because that can get overwhelming.