Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Tonight is Social Studies Weekly night. There is not a reading book because we are reading Social Studies Weekly and completing the activities on the back instead of reading and reading journals.
It is Readers Theatre week again and we are working on Old Mother Hubbard’s Hungry Family.
We are exploring folktales, myths, and legends from other cultures in our Social Studies Block. Apparently, a rumor is buzzing around upper grades (who recently studied the Holocaust) that first grade is reading about Nazi spiders. I thought I should clarify that we are reading Ashanti tales about Anansi the Spider. Perhaps a combination of missing front teeth, southern accents, and speed talking have aided the confusion. I do not teach the Holocaust or WW2 in first grade.
Monday, August 11, 2014
First Grade Announcements
- Math: We are working on representing numbers with spatial patterns . Later this week we will begin Topic 2: Comparing and Ordering Numbers.
- Social Studies: We finished up our Science unit on Living Things and their Needs. Now we are venturing into Social Studies with our first topic, Culture. We are learning that people from all cultures need food, clean water, and shelter. Today we brainstormed how our families get clean water for drinking, cooking, and bathing. We all have relatively easy access to the water we need. But, in some places, water is a precious luxury and people must collect it and carry it to their homes. We read A Cool Drink of Water from National Geographic and the first graders had a chance to see how this basic human need is met in different communities across the globe. As we continue, we will learn about dance, art, and stories from cultures around the world. Culture is not a topic we ever really leave. We will move our instructional focus to other topics, but throughout the year and across the subjects, we will be honoring and celebrating world culture. We welcome family input anytime you would like to share customs, traditions, artifacts, or stories from your family’s cultural heritage.
- Social Studies Weekly: Beginning tomorrow, your child will bring home a Social Studies Weekly newspaper once per week. The information and activities they contain are correlated with the new TN Social Studies curriculum and will help us update our existing programs until new materials are published and available. They are sequenced for a traditional school calendar, so they will always be a little “off” from what we are covering in class but they will always serve as an important review or preview of our classwork.
- We are reading and studying The Three Billy Goats Gruff this week. We will be story mapping, reflecting on our favorite parts, and composing a written character analysis of the troll. If you have a chance to peek on our reading board at the back of the room, we created posters of the characters and they are excellent collaborative works of art.
- We work on sight words in a variety of ways throughout the year. Sight word recognition is a cornerstone of reading fluency and practicing them at home or in the car is a great way to help your blossoming reader at home. For this purpose, I am sending home a master list of sight words we will work on throughout the year. It is yours to use however you wish, but some ideas that have helped first graders in the past are: index card matching games, post it notes with sight words around the house, magnetic letters on the fridge, and stringing letter beads on string. It is also helpful to review the sight word books that come home in the folder at home each night. You might be surprised at how often it happens that a new reader comes across the very word we practiced over and over and does not recognize it in the context of a story. Repeated exposure and practice leads to automatic recognition and that is our ultimate goal.
Our week is off to a great start! I will see you tomorrow!
Instructor, First Grade
ETSU University School
Johnson City, TN 37614