Somehow, short weeks are always the most chaotic. There is so much to do! The week FLEW by, but we were still able to stuff in LOTS of learning.
This week, the firsties learned how to read to someone in our reader’s workshop. They are still building reading stamina, and today they read for 27 uninterrupted minutes with a friend! That is pretty amazing for the second week of school! They practiced three different ways to read to their partner. The first, we call “Check for Understanding.” That means two partners share one book, one partner reading while the other checks for comprehension. They hold a little check mark (everyone gets their own!) that has comprehension prompts on it. For example, they might say, “I heard you read . . .” and fill in with a question word (who, what, when, where, why, how). The reading partner would answer their question. They also might “I Read, You Read.” In this scenario, the partners share one book and take turns reading. Finally, they may choose to read two different books and check for understanding together.
The first graders also learned a lot about writing this week. They collected information about the tools writers use, for example, whether it’s better to write with a crayon, pencil, marker, or colored pencil. After a few attempts, the children came to the conclusion that for writing words, a pencil is better. It is easy to see and fit little letters within little lines. They realized they could write more if they used the right tool, and make their illustrations better as well. They also realized that more colorful illustrations are more beautiful illustrations, and that they should use the other tools of writing (colored pencils, crayons) for that purpose. As a result, the firsties are writing some really great stories in their writer’s notebooks (still a favorite time of day) and making very nice, relevant illustrations to go with them!
(Milo and Otis: Once upon a time there was a cat and she lived in a farm and she was about to have kittens) This student wrote four more pages to this story, and has already decided it will be the first story she will publish. 🙂
In Bible this week we reviewed Creation and learned about Adam & Eve. The children drew amazing pictures depicting what they imagined the Garden of Eden looked like both before and after the Fall. We also learned a lot about names, and that Adam was tasked by God to name all the animals He had created. The students learned the meanings of their own names and created beautiful artwork to show their names and their meanings.
In Social Studies we are still focusing on citizenship. We read many books to help us learn how to behave both at school and at home, including My Mouth is a Volcano, Lucy Walker Nonstop Talker, and The Way I Act. Now, all I have to do is say, “volcano!” and watch each student “bite their words” and breathe them through their nose. Ask your child to tell (and show!) you the four first grade rules! It was also the first official week of classroom jobs. We’re still training, but they were SO excited to get busy working!
In art, we learned about primary colors and how they mix to form the secondary colors. We started on a project that we will finish next week. 🙂
Overall, it has been a fun and successful week. These littles are LEARNING! They tell me all the time, “Mrs. Rhodes, I worked hard on building my stamina today!” or “Please can I write in my writer’s notebook, Mrs. Rhodes?” or “That is not peacemaking behavior. We can fix it though.” LOVE.LOVE.LOVE.
Lastly, don’t forget to SELL SELL SELL those yummy peanutty goodnesses! VA Diner is a major fundraiser for us, and every little bit helps! Family, friends, neighbors; everyone wants to support your precious child and their school! 🙂
Also, we have brand new, beautiful car magnets! They’re only $1. I’ve already snatched up four. Get ’em while they’re hot off the presses!