Dear Families,

We hope this letter finds you all well.  Things have been very busy in First Grade!

We have just wrapped up our writing unit on persuasive writing and reviews.  The children have spent the last week revising, editing and fancying up their reviews to share with you all next week.  We are all looking forward to seeing many of you at our Publishing Party this coming Monday, March 12th at 8:30.  Our next writing unit will be Realistic Fiction.  The students will be creating characters and taking them on adventures in the stories that they will be writing.  They will be working towards creating their own series of books.  They will learn how writers create a series of books and develop their characters throughout the series.  This unit ties in nicely to our last unit of study in reading that focused on studying characters and learning about character traits.  The students will use some of this information to help them as they create the characters for their stories.  This is a very fun and exciting unit!

This month our reading unit is all about the reading process!  It’s about the level of processing that our kids are doing in their reading and their mind-set when reading can feel like really hard work.  The children will be learning to be the bosses of their own reading, balancing their energies between word solving and meaning making so that their experiences with texts are well rounded, thoughtful, efficient and meaningful.  Throughout this unit we will attempt to cultivate a real curiosity about words.  The children will feel empowered with a “bag” full of strategies to self monitor, making sure their reading looks right, sounds right and make sense. Reading partners will also be working together to support the development of meaning in their books by retelling, predicting, and asking questions about their texts.  We look forward to all of these exciting conversations about the books inside and outside the classroom!

The focus of our Math unit is on observing and describing defining attributes of 2-D and 3-D shapes.  This math unit also develops ideas about equal parts of a whole, focusing specifically on partitioning and describing halves, fourths and thirds of one whole.  Students will also be working to understand that the same equal parts of a whole can be different shapes.  For example, a square could be broken in fourths using 4 triangles or 4 smaller squares!  We will also continue to work on the fluency of our doubles facts within 20 & adding and subtracting within 20 with ease.

We will be beginning our study of Architecture this month.  We will begin by working with an educator from the Friends of the Upper Eastside Historic Districts. Students will be introduced to the idea that buildings can talk, telling us their use, material, age, and purpose. We will study historic neighborhood photographs and maps.  They will learn architectural vocabulary words, perform a block survey and play detective during a walking tour. The students will then act as architects as they design their own buildings, making creative decisions about the building’s use, material and architectural elements.

We are looking forward to seeing you all next week for Parent Teacher Conferences.  Just a reminder that Thursday, March 15th will be a half day of school, dismissal is at 11:25.  We also will be shopping the book fair next week as well.  Both classes will be shopping on Friday, March 16th.  As always, please feel free to reach out with any questions, comments, and/or delights.

All the best,

Sarah and Kristin