Dear First Grade Families,

We are all having a great time in First Grade!  We wanted to update you on some of the exciting things that we are learning in First Grade.

In reading, we have been doing the exciting work of becoming “Word Detectives.” This unit is all about supporting your children’s word solving skills in a way that feels joyful and fun.  Children are being asked to be on the alert for difficult words, using what they know to solve those words, and checking their attempts to make sure their reading “makes sense.”  Some strategies you may overhear your children discussing: looking slowly and closely, studying words from the beginning all the way to the end, searching for snap words and scooping up words to make reading sound smoother, among many others.  In addition, children are working to be supportive and collaborative peers as reading buddies.  This unit strengthens their partnerships, asking them to monitor each other and encourage one another to solve tricky words, using the strategies we are currently teaching.

In Writer’s Workshop we have been studying Expository Writing.  The children have begun to write many “Expert Books”.  We have learned that we are all experts and we can write well about these topics to teach others. We are all teachers!  Each of the children are choosing topics that they know a great deal about and breaking their topics down into at least 5 important sections.  They will begin to include headings, introductions and conclusions.  In this unit, students will learn about elements used in writing a non-fiction text such as, a table of contents, chapters, bold words, diagrams with labels, headings & subheadings, etc… Students will be experimenting with various forms of paper used when writing non-fiction-all about books.

In Math, we have begun our doubling/pairing unit.  The final activity in this unit involves the necklace investigation.  This investigation explores the concepts of unitizing, early algebraic thinking, and multiplication.  The children will work to develop mathematical conjectures and theories.  Students are focusing on carefully representing their work and providing evidence for their theories and conjectures. Within the unit the children will learn the importance of gaining information from what “works” as well as “what doesn’t work” when solving problems and working towards conjectures.  The classroom is full of such rich mathematical conversations.

We are all really enjoying our Mystery Readers.  The children continue to discuss all of the books read to us long after the reader has left.  Please try to keep it a surprise, it really adds to the excitement if the children don’t know who is coming!  Please let us know if you still need to sign up for a Mystery Reader date.

We are really looking forward to seeing everyone at parent teacher conferences.  If you are in Ms. Sarah’s class, be on the look out for the conference schedule that is out this week.  If you are in Ms. Kristin’s class, please be sure to sign up online.  The information regarding signing up online was sent home last Friday, October 27th.

As always thank you so much for all of your support!  Please feel free to reach out with any questions, comments, and our delights.

All the best,

Kristin and Sarah