Language Arts & Social Studies

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November 19&20
Reading: We will spend the next two days reviewing text to text, text to self, and creating mental images. We will also review elements of fiction. Students listen to a read a loud. After that we will identify the title, author, and illustrator of the book. Next we will describe the setting, identify the main character(s), the problem, solution, and conclusion. We will then retell the story in the correct sequence, beginning, middle, and end.

                                        Social Studies
Thanksgiving!
First grade classes will conclude our unit on Thanksgiving with a variety of fun lessons, videos, and websites.  Students will reflect on what they've learned in their learning logs.


November 12-16
Reading: During guided reading students will decode words according to their spelling list by chunking sounds. Our spelling generalizations should go hand in hand with decoding while reading.  If a child has silent "e" they need to put word families together and decode beginning sounds. If "ak(e)" makes the a say its name; then cake, quake, fake, rake, and shake belong in the same word family. Students should be chunking sounds by now and not reading by decoding individual letter sounds. 
      The students will participate in guided reading groups each week. During that time teachers work on decoding, syllabication, comprehension strategies, picking just right books, author purpose, and responding to what they read. At this point in time we hope students can chose just right books. If a student can pick a book that is just right, that is the book they will read during independent reading.
   We will continue to read nonfiction while learning about the features.
Writing: There are no changes in writing this week. Students will continue to try and write complete sentences: who, did what, when, where, why? These questions can help you help your child when writing at home.  Students will continue to work on writing sentences about one topic.
                                       Social Studies
Thanksgiving!
In order to help the students gather enough information for their Thanksgiving projects we will read and record facts about the origin of Thanksgiving in our learning logs. We will use internet resources, books, and videos. Students will learn about past and present. They will also look at timelines in order to try and understand how long ago the first Thanksgiving was and why people couldn't go to the grocery store for food. We will read about two young children and how they lived. We will compare their life to ours.


November 5-9
Reading: This week we will look at nonfiction features and how the features organize the material to help the reader learn. We will also record facts on a class chart from nonfiction Thanksgiving books. The children will work on a strategy called,"Determining Importance."  We will continue to work in guided reading groups so that each child works on strategies at their level. 

Writing: In handwriting the students will now be held accountable for the correct use of upper and lower case letters on the spelling test. We will take 1 point off for each mistake. We will continue to write on one topic. Most students are able to write in detail about a topic (more than 6 sentences in 30 minutes). Some students are really struggling with writing, maybe getting 1 or 2 sentences down in 30 minutes. If you would like to help your child write sentences you could have them write 4 or more sentences using spelling words. You could start your own "Family Journal," where you and your child could co-write sentences about things you've enjoyed doing together. 

Spelling: Please remember the kids are learning to decode (read) the words on their spelling list as well as spelling them correctly. One of the activities in the classroom on Monday is for the children to sort then read their words before they write them. The kids must practice reading the words by chunking sounds. Please remember the students must sound out the words and read them to you before you sort the words.

Social Studies
Thanksgiving!
In order to help the students gather enough information for their Thanksgiving projects we will read and record facts about the origin of Thanksgiving in our learning logs. We will use internet resources, books, and videos. Students will learn about past and present. They will also look at timelines in order to try and understand how long ago the first Thanksgiving was and why people couldn't go to the grocery store for food. We will read about two young children and how they lived. We will compare their life to ours.
October 29- November 2
Language Arts
We will continue to work on creating mental images with the use of poetry. Students will read poems then draw pictures of the images the poetry created in their minds. We will also work more on story elements. The students will work on identifying main characters, settings, problems, and solutions. They will explain what happened in the beginning, middle and end of a story. 
In writing we will work on topic or paragraph writing. The students will write a topic sentence, detail sentences, and an ending sentence. Students will identify the difference between statements and questions. 

Social Studies
We will read about the U.S. holiday, Halloween. We will discuss why it is considered an American holiday. Students will be given the opportunity to talk about how their family celebrates this holiday. Students who do not celebrate Halloween, will be given a choice of holidays that occur in October to talk about or things their family does in the fall. Students will then write about an October activity their family participates in.
Next we will begin our introduction to Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a very important American holiday. We will spend a few weeks learning about the beginning of our country and why Thanksgiving is important to us as American citizens. We will then talk about our November traditions. Students will create two projects in November.


October 15-19
Language Arts


This week our comprehension strategy is called, "Creating Mental Images." When students listen to a read a loud, or read books without pictures, their minds create the pictures. These pictures in their minds help them understand setting, characters, descriptive writing and much more. When we teach the students this strategy we have them write the words first, then draw the picture to go with the words they heard.  
                                                              
    The students are doing a great job in spelling. It was a hard start, but remember how much they had to learn! First they had to learn to number a page. Then they had to learn to listen to a word, sound it out, as they tried to remember how to make the letters of the sounds they heard. Finally they had to write the word before the teacher moved on to the next word. (Wow)
   Most students now know what consonants and vowels are. The students have learned that there are patterns that tell them whether or not the vowel makes a long sound or a short sound. They have discovered how to sound out blends and digraphs. They can sort words according to patterns and create a new pattern to sort by. Most importantly  the kids are learning to spell words according to patterns rather than learning the words for a test on Friday, but never being able to spell the words again. We are very proud of how far the kids have come! 

Our students continue to work in guided reading groups according to their reading levels. During guided reading students work on specific skills that help increase both their decoding and comprehension. The books the students are bringing home for home readers should be "just right books." That means the kids should be easily able to read the book without stumbling over words or understanding.

In writing we are now moving on to topic writing that will be revised and edited. Students are using their jot list to write about a topic they knew a lot about. After they write they read what they wrote to a friend or teacher. After that we revise by looking for better word choice, inserting missing words, and correcting sentence fragments. Finally we edit correcting spelling and punctuation. This is a long process for first graders so we do the writing process in steps. 

October 15- 19
Social Studies
In October so far  we have worked on map reading skills. The students used the parts of a map to make a classroom map. They made a compass rose, learned the cardinal directions, and answered questions about maps. We read and wrote about Christopher Columbus.
This week we are moving on to landforms. The students will read books, watch videos, visit websites, and use Ipad apps to learn about the different landforms on earth. The students will demonstrate what they learned by making a flipbook about landforms.



September 24 - 28
Language Arts:

The students started out being assessed in reading. After everyone was assessed they were put into guided reading groups. The guided reading groups meet with the teacher to learn new skills that help children master the skill of reading. Our spelling program is a very important part of learning to decode.

First grade works on decoding as well as comprehension skills. We read for meaning, so the kids not only need to be able to decode a word, they also need to be able to explain what they read. Some of the comprehension strategies we are working on include, using prior knowledge, text to self, and text to text. While the student reads they practice making connections that help them understand the story. 

In writing we are working on complete sentences. The students are learning that a sentence includes; who, did what, when, and where. We are just starting grammar. Nouns are the part of speech we are working on this week. Later in the year when we talk about complete sentences we will talk about subject and verb. Students have learned how to make a jot list of things they know about. Now their job is going to be to learn to write a paragraph about a topic.

All classes now have handwriting books and will practice daily. Students will be held accountable for writing legibly and using upper and lower case letters correctly.

Social Studies:

We have started our unit on geography. We will begin with learning about maps. The students will learn the cardinal directions, parts of a map, and using a map to locate places. We will sing songs, watch videos, view Brainpop jr. and read. We will assess the kids by having them use the parts of a map to answer questions.


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