Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Classroom Updates

We have been very busy in room 15!  You have probably noticed how much their reading, writing and math knowledge have grown.

Room 15 welcomes Lexi to our class.  The students have been very welcoming and helpful in getting Lexi used to our classroom routines.


  • Reviewed all the short vowels
  • Worked with blends
  • Worked with "H Brothers"....sh, th, ch & wh
  • Learned about slide chunks:  gentle sliders (ang, ing, ong & ung) and fast sliders (ank, ink, onk & unk)
  • Learned about "Party Letters".  "Jeff will pass buzz".  The letters f, l, s and z are doubled when following a short vowel sound
  • Learned about Long A.  We have learned about two rules that help make the long A sound:  "magic silent E" and "vowel teams" ai & ay
  • Continued learning "word wall words".  Refer to the tab at the top of the page to see which have been introduced and should be both read and spelled correctly
  • In writer's workshop we spent a great deal of time looking at writer's craft.  We examined different authors and noticed things they did in their writing; ellipses (...), bold words, action, sound words, talking, etc.  Then the children worked on trying some of these tools in their own writing
  • We began a new unit on informational writing.  The children are "teaching" about things they know well


We have been had at work in math!  Here are just some of the things we have been focusing on
  • Fact fluency
  • Applying efficient strategies to problem solving
  • Working with missing addends in different parts of a story problem
  • Collecting, representing and interpreting data
Let's Talk fluency!  It is the expectation that at the end of first grade they be fluent with addition and subtraction facts to 10.  We have been reviewing strategies to help with this process.  

The first group of strategies is + 0, +1, +2 and +3.  This encourages counting on and eventually leading a student to the known fact.  Touch points are a great strategy for many students!

Imagine solving the number equation 5 + 3 =      You can start with 5 and quickly touch your pencil on the touch points of the 3...."Start with 5...6, 7, 8)

We have also been working on "Fast 10's" (combinations of two numbers that equal 10).  When students know these facts fluently they lead to a world of possibilities in which students can use their knowledge of 10 to help solve unknown combinations.

We have recently begun "math centers".  This is a work in progress, but focuses on problem solving, paper and pencil tasks,  math technology and fact fluency.  It is very exciting and the children seem to love it.

How can you help?  Check with your child and see how they are doing with solving these types of facts.  Find the ones that are challenging and practice.  I have also started a tab at the top of the page that links you to some of the math games that we are using on the computer.  They have also been using a great app on the ipad called "Make 10 Plus"...and its free :)


  • We have been learning about solids.  We have been investigating the properties that make solids; solids.  So far we have learned about shape, color, roll/stack and sink/float.

Social Studies

  • Read books about Martin Luther King.  Learned about his impact on our country's history.  Talked about makes each one of us special and unique.  Focused on how he tried to solve his problem peacefully.