Dear First Grade Families,
What a GREAT WEEK BACK from April Break! I enjoyed the buzz around our classroom Monday morning as each of the students shared their exciting moments, as well as stories from their vacations and family events! We started our week out reviewing our “Classroom Promise” we created our first week together as first graders. Each of the students took a moment to reflect on something they have been great at doing as a first grader, as well as a promise they want to work more on. This week students have been working hard at their promises!
During our classroom instruction time, students have been thinking deeper within their stories. Yesterday, students completed the second bend of their reading unit about how readers have big jobs to do: Fluency, Phonics, and Comprehension. The second bend focused on fluency and phonics, and each student has been working on decoding tricky words and using their reading tools to do this. Today students were fully engaged in their newest reading bend. Our lesson, focused on how they will use their reading tools to help them to UNDERSTAND their books. They will be learning a lot about how to comprehend all that they are reading in their stories, by actively engaging with their partners through talking, as well as asking and answering questions.
The outcomes of this lesson and student learning are how readers will be adding more tools to understand their books. The focus on the teaching shifts back to meaning (where as in bend two was decoding and solving harder words using more of our strategies: complex spelling patterns, multisyllabic words). First grade readers will be able to understand that all the work they have been doing to become a stronger reader at solving words serves a bigger purpose-to help them better understand their books! The primary goal in this bend is for the students to monitor for meaning and deeper understanding. Today and the upcoming week, students will not only be figuring out the words, one of their jobs as a reader. BUT how readers actually have a way bigger and more important job to do. Readers must always- every time they read- work hard to understand their books! Next week they will practice this strategy at home with you in their nightly reading! And by the end of this next bend, students will be able to understand their books, by monitoring for understanding, or rereading to figure out how everything fits together!
What a SUPER EXCITING WEEK! We have been working on our Change the World poems and excited about making a class book, as well as submitting them to the ASAP writing celebration! We also celebrated our LEXIA PIZZA PARTY today! We could not wait to sit back and enjoy our tasty slices! After we finished we danced around the room and got all of are wiggles out! Coming soon… is a video of our celebration!!!
On Wednesday, March 22nd Marked World Water Day! The first grade class has been learning and doing so much around this special day! On World Water Day, people everywhere show that they care and that they have the power to make a difference! And these first graders- CARE! They were inspired by information from a local author Christine Ieronimo and her story, A Thirst for Home, and real-life experiences! They remembered her visit to our school last year, but now as first graders we reread her story and had an open-ended discussion about the small village of Ethiopia, as well as ways we can conserve water daily.
We then read another book from another local author, Mark Kimball Moulton. His book Change the World Before Bedtime- really fueled our creative writing process! The students learned about compassion and ways they can change the world in small steps. They wrote their poems using imagery, and their senses, in order to get their messages across about how they can make a change just doing small everyday things!
HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!!! Wow what a week! Despite the snow days first graders have been working up a storm reading more and more books by being a boss of their reading! As you also heard, the first graders won Round 2 of Lexia Learning 2017 Winter Usage Contest! They were number 1 for #SHAREYOURSTORY! Out of 4200+ classes that competed in the national Lexia Learning usage contest, only 25 classes won…including OURS!!! Our team, Gleason's 1st grade rocks, won the Share your Story in the East region by earning 234 points during the second round of the contest. That’s fantastic. Our students show what is possible when Lexia is used as prescribed and I am so excited to celebrate their success. Thank you for showing all your support at home and encouraging them to try their best getting their usage minutes in! Our prize is a Lexia-sponsored pizza party in the form of a $100 gift card! The class picked Friday, March 31st as the BIG DAY TO CELEBRATE!!!
Today also was an exciting day at Goshen Center School! We hosted Warren and Morris here for an Irish heritage and culture day! We were excited to host the event and had a wonderful fun-filled day of learning. The first graders took part in a whole-school assembly watching, as well as participating in Irish cultural dancing. We learned different steps and the history behind the traditions. After our assembly, we broke into smaller groups with students from Warren and Morris. In these groups we learned more about Irish traditions. In our groups we made a rainbow with clouds, funny leprechaun drawings, and even some rainbow wish chains! We ended our fun morning with our new friends by saying our good-byes! Later back in our classroom, we took part in a fun and rigorous activity! A SHAMROCK CHALLENGE! Using pipe-cleaners and our imaginations we crafted up our very own shamrocks and made some wishes! Many of us wished for SPRING TO COME!!!
Last night I received the results from Round 2 of Lexia Learning 2017 Winter Usage Contest! I have some great news to share with the class, but I want to wait until Monday to share the results. Like I mentioned last week, the first graders have been so determined to meet and exceed their prescribed usage. Even this week with the contest being over, everyone was able to continue to login on their own and meet their usage! I am so proud of everyone’s perseverance and true ownership of their learning process! I can’t wait to share the news with them on Monday!
This week students have been building on the notion that first graders collect stuff in their new opinion writing unit! They have been learning how to review their collection lists and make choices about which item in that collection is the best. They have been exploring how to defend their judgments, as well. All this writing they have started to produce, will become their introduction to writing reviews, which will occur in the second bend of this writing unit. They will start to grow with their opinions and insights about all that matters most to them! This week they had fun being a judge when looking at a collection of dogs “At a Dog Show!” We discussed as a class all the ways a judge at a dog show, or even horse show, one must collect information when they inspect what is on display. A judge may watch how the dog can walk, or run. They also look at the dog's eyes, fur, and even paws. Not only is a winner chosen, but a judge is able to state his or her reasons why. The students have enjoyed rating their collections and comparing the objects. Many of their starting pieces have been about their ninja turtles, cars, Star Wars characters, and so much more!
As you may already know, Spring conferences are in a few weeks. I would like to offer you and your child the choice of having the beginning part of our conference to be Student-Led Conferences. These conferences will provide an opportunity for your child to reflect upon their successes, and to provide you with examples of what they have learned. I view this as a positive opportunity for our students to emphasize their strengths, acknowledge areas they would like to work on, as well as, share their personal learning with you! Please refer to the page sent out to sign up for a time using our new online scheduler Pick-A-Time!
What we're learning in first grade. Students are also making comments in class! At home add to the posts, too.