Mrs. Van Koevering's Class

Dress like a PE Teacher Day! :)

Tomorrow, Friday the 28th, is DRESS LIKE A PE TEACHER DAY.  We are doing this to celebrate our PE teachers (Mrs. Nienhuis and Mrs. VanKoevering) and all the GEORGETOWN RUNNERS (Hudsonville Running Club and Girls on the Run) for their daily/weekly training for the upcoming races.

Remember to DRESS LIKE A PE TEACHER TOMORROW! :)

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Weekly Update

Here’s a look at what we were up to this past week!

Reading: 

This past week in reading, we talked about a few more strategies to use with tricky words.  We talked about how important it is for readers to check the endings of our tricky words to make sure they look right, sound right, and make sense.  When we tried all our strategies and still can’t find a good guess for a tricky word, then good readers mark those pages with a sticky note so that they can get some coaching on that word.  We worked together as a class this week to coach lots of readers with their tricky words.

Later in the week, we talked about how important it is to stop at confusing parts when they read.  So many time our readers are reading so fluently and they make small errors on words without noticing.  And then get further along on the page before they notice that something isn’t making sense.  When this happens, it is so important for our readers to stop and fix up the confusing part.  One of the ways to ensure that they are checking to make sure they understand all that is happening in their books is to use their CHECK FOR UNDERSTANDING CHECKMARK!  We practiced using our checkmarks after each page or two in our books to make sure that we aren’t confused about any parts.  If we were confused, we practiced going back and rereading to make sure that we are reading the words accurately.

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Math: 

We began our Unit 6 in math this past week.  Our first grade mathematicians our now sorting, organizing, and comparing data.  

To start things off, we learned how to take random data and record it on a chart or graph.  Crossing out each object as we add it to our graph helps us to be accurate in our representation.

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After graphing the information, we were able to notice many things about the data we were studying.  Which group had the most?  Which group had the fewest?  How many in all?  And, we were also able to make comparisons - how many more or how many fewer.  To compare our data, we drew matching pairs and then circled the magic number.

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The magic number represents the difference between the two groups being compared.  No matter if we are comparing how many more or how many fewer – the number is always the same (that’s why it’s magic!).

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When you are looking over your first grader’s homework be sure to check if he or she is circling the word that correctly matches the data.  Understanding when to circle more or fewer can be a little tricky especially if your first grader is reading the homework page on their own.  We always underline the group that is listed first, so we know which part of our graph to go back and study.

We can’t wait to learn more!

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Weekly Update

Here’s a look at what we were up to this past week!

Reading: 

This week, we jumped back into focusing on figuring out tricky words as we read.  We reviewed all our decoding strategies and then we talked about the importance of really checking our accuracy as we read.  I talked with many of you at conferences about the importance of making sure that when our first graders read, they are checking to make sure that their good guesses MAKE SENSE and also MATCH the letters and sounds in the word.  We worked on that as a class this week.

We also introduced two new ways to help get our brains ready to be the most accurate readers we can.  One of those ways was using each page of the book to warm us up for what words might come on the next page.  When we read a page, we would turn to the next page of the book and really look at the pictures and think about what we had already read in the book previously and then try to predict what the next page might be about.  That helped our brains get ready for some of the new words that were on each page.  The other strategy that we used was paying attention to the feeling we had when something we read wasn’t right.  The students practiced by listening to me read and noticing when something didn’t make sense and made them have that “huh?” reaction.  When we notice ourselves having that same feeling while we are reading, it is important for us to STOP, go back, and fix up the part that didn’t make sense.

We also focused on learning some new vowel chunks to help us with tricky words. We learned the different sounds the letter W can make when it works with vowels.

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Writing: 

In Writer’s Workshop this week we got to celebrate some amazing Small Moment stories! 
First we picked our favorite story we had written so far. Then we made sure our stories had everything we learned from our mentor authors. We checked for leads, show not tell, other words other than “said”, ellipses, sound effects and an ending.

 
After we knew our stories had all of those great details, we double checked for finger spaces, neat handwriting, capital letters and punctuation.
 
We then made a title for our stories and created a cover. We also wrote a dedication page and an about the author page. 
 
After putting all of our pages together, we left our stories on our desks and each got 3 sticky labels. We went around and read each other’s stories and left a book review on the back of the story to share what great things they had in their stories.

Math: 

We solved many equations with two-digit numbers this past week!  Our go-to strategy was using ten sticks and circles (if needed) to represent each number and then counting them up.
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We learned how to use the partners of 100 to solve equations that totaled 100.  The partners of 100 are very similar to the partners of 10; however, we are working with tens instead of ones.  This strategy came in handy for solving some of our two-digit equations as well.

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We also used our understanding of the relationship between addition and subtraction to solve equations.  This strategy helped us to quickly find the missing partner in an addition equation once we solved the subtraction equation.

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Donations

Parents,

Room 301 is in need of a few items. We need fat dry erase markers, honey graham crackers, pink eraserssmall sticky notes and disinfecting wipes! We started off the year with our cupboards overflowing with donations  (thank you so much!!), but our supply has slowly dwindled as these items have been used throughout the year.  If you are willing, we would appreciate any and all donations of the items listed below. Thank you so much for considering donating to our class.

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Quick Update

A quick update for this week about math :) And don’t forget to wear some comfy clothes for the All School PJ Day on Monday!!

As a first grade team, we wanted to provide you with a resource to work on math fact fluency with your first grader.

There are lots of good apps out there for this, and our favorite is Math Up.  The kids get a chance to practice their addition and subtraction strategies and work on becoming more fluent as they work through the levels of this app.  The kids get to pick if they will practice addition, subtraction, or a combination of both.  Then the app starts them at the most basic level of practice and they progress their way to more complex levels of difficulty.

They had a blast playing it in the room for math workshop and see it as more of a game than fluency practice.

Another easy way for you to practice math fluency at home is with the rainbow cards that are in the math journals that we sent home a few weeks back.  You can also print them here: REDORANGEYELLOWGREENBLUEPURPLE.

You can play these cards one set at a time, or, for a challenge, you can mix them together to see how easily your child is able to figure out if they should count on or count up (depending on if they are solving for a missing partner or a missing total).

Any way you choose, please make sure that you are helping your child practice their math fluency at home!

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Sport Day!

We have earned another 20 star goal for great behavior! We will be having Sport Day on Friday! Come dressed in your favorite sports uniform or colors of your favorite sport team! If you don’t have a favorite one – Eagle’s Colors are always a good idea :)

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Weekly Update!

Here’s a look at what we were up to this past week!

Reading: 

We started off the past week of nonfiction reading by focusing on making pictures in our minds.  We are learning so many new things from our nonfiction texts and part of that comes from slowing down after each new section of reading and really picturing in our minds what the book was describing.

We also talked about how when we are reading nonfiction books, we come across tricky words.  Sometimes the words themselves are tricky to decode and sometimes the words can be decoded, but it is a new vocabulary word that we don’t know.  If we have a tricky word to decode, we reviewed all our animal friend decoding strategies:

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But, we also talked about how nonfiction books are a little different from fiction books when it comes to decoding.  To help with tricky words, it is important to focus on what that section is trying to teach and then reread the section, look at the picture, and even check the glossary for clues!

As always, sometimes when we try all the decoding strategies, there are still going to be words that we can’t figure out without help.  So, we added a new section to our tracking app and the kids now have the option to record the sentence that has their tricky word in it.  Then, when we come together as a class, we can all coach the  student through the word or see if we have any schema that might help explain their tricky vocabulary word.

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Writing: 

In Writer’s Workshop, we worked on adding more details to our Small Moment stories. First, we talked about using our five senses to show not tell what we were feeling. Instead of saying “I was so happy”, we could say, “I was grinning from ear to ear”. Instead of “I was embarrassed”, we could write “My face turned red”. This gives the reader a much better picture in their mind as they read our stories.

 
We revisited what we learned about dialogue. Anything we heard or said can be added to our story to make it more detailed. We noticed that we used the word “said a lot – boring! There are many much more interesting words to use that just “said”! We created a list of words to use instead of said including…
 said
 
These kinds of words will make our dialogue much more exciting to read!

Math: 

We are back to our normal math routine after a long week of assessments!

This week our math switch groups reviewed how solve missing partner addition and subtraction equations.  To support our math learning we added new purple and blue quilt cards to our math tool bags.  Our purple and blue cards are very similar to our previous yellow and orange cards, except this time we are encouraging our mathematicians to count-on or “make a ten” as they solve equations with teen totals.
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We also began solving mixed stories again.  Our mathematicians had to listen carefully to each story, determine what was missing (either a partner or the total), and write an addition equation, subtraction equation, and math mountain to go with.  Below is an example of a missing partner story:

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Make sure your child is showing their thinking (using one of the methods above) on their homework pages before you send them back to school.  Thank you!

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Zoo Field Trip Reminder

Just a reminder:

I will need your $1 for our Zoo Field Trip by the end of next week. If you haven’t sent it in already, please do so by Friday, February 28th.

If you have any questions, please let me know!

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Weekly Update!

Here’s a look at what we were up to this past week!

Reading: 

We continued our study of nonfiction books this past week.  We started the week by checking to see if we are understanding what we read.

In a fiction book, we practiced using our CHECK FOR UNDERSTANDING checkmark to stop every few pages and see if we could remember WHO we had just read about and WHAT had just happened.  In our nonfiction books, we realized that we needed to stop after every section to check to see if we understood the big idea of what that section was teaching.  We worked on summarizing the section by just answering the WHAT question from our checkmark.  If we could answer it, then we kept going.  If we couldn’t quite figure out the big idea from that section, then we went back to reread.  We also talked about how the pictures could help them understand the big idea.

The kids have learned so much from our nonfiction books already and they just LOVE sharing what they learned with the class.  We have been tracking our thinking and sharing throughout the week.

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This week, we asked the kids to add their reaction to what they learned into what they shared.  We talked about how when they learned something new, sometimes their first reaction was: that is so COOL!  But other times it could be something else…

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The kids worked on adding their reactions and it was so fun to see how their reactions brought out further understanding of their learning.

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And we didn’t stop there, we talked about how when we learn something new, sometimes it opens up a new question for us.  We gave the example of when we shared Jordan’s learning about storms on Jupiter being worse than storms on earth, it made us wonder, “What do those storms look like?”  Jordan was able to grab her book and show us a picture of their hurricane on Jupiter that makes the red spot on the planet.  And, when we shared Andersen’s learning about how sharks take a test bite before they eat their food, it made us wonder, “Does the test bite kill the animal, or will it survive?”  There were lots of kids who were throwing out their thoughts to try and answer our question, but we decided we would have to do some more reading to find out what really happens.  We’ll keep working on adding these questions in while we track our thinking.

Aren’t these first grade readers amazing! Way to go guys!

Writing: 

In Writer’s Workshop we are back to Small Moment stories! We reminded ourselves that Small Moment stories are zoomed in stories that are true about you! We also reviewed that they tell the who, what and where on the first page.

 
During this unit, we will be using some authors we know (and meeting some new ones) as mentors. We talked as a class how a mentor is someone who teaches you something. The authors we are going to look at are great writers, so they can teach us how to write even better Small Moment stories!
 
The first author we are looking at is Angela Johnson. In her book Joshua’s Night Whispers, she zooms into a small moment of her son Joshua snuggling with his dad and listening to night sounds before bed. We talked about how Joshua probably felt warm, safe and snuggly, and then we took out out our brainstorming page and wrote down an idea of a time when we felt that way too! We can write stories that are important to us, and a lot of times those important stories are related to a feeling.
 
 
We will continue to look at other books by Angela Johnson and a few other authors to help us write even better stories!

Math: 

Tests, tests, and more tests! You might have heard about a lot of math tests from your first grader – they weren’t kidding! We took a math test, pre-test, benchmark assessment, and a fraction assessment this week! Yikes! But, these first graders did AMAZING! I was so proud to see how they could show what they know on all of our tests! Way to go!

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Weekly Update

Here’s a look at what we were up to this past week!

Reading: 

This past week in reading, we focused on the importance of warming up to read our nonfiction books.

Warming up to a nonfiction book is very similar to warming up with a fiction story.  We start by reading the title and checking out the front and back covers for any clues that might give us information about the book.  Then, we take a picture walk through the book and think about what each page might be about.  We finish by thinking about what we might learn in this book.

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We spent time looking at different nonfiction books to see what features we found and how those features could help us to understand what we were reading.

We ended the week by focusing on how once we have finished warming up to our nonfiction book, we are ready to read it.  But, we noticed that we read a nonfiction book a little differently than a fiction story.  We use our teacher voice. When we read to our partners, we got a chance to be the teacher and share all the things we learned from our nonfiction book.

The kids have had a blast checking out all our nonfiction books in the classroom and share their learning with each other!  We are expecting a large delivery of new nonfiction books to add to our classroom libraries, thanks to all of you for donating to the Walk-A-Thon earlier this year.  We are all antsy to dig into these new books when they get here!

Writing: 

This week we wrapped up our unit on How To writing!First, we made sure our writing had an introduction to tell the reader what they were going to learn how to do. Next, we added a conclusion at the end to wrap up our instructions.

Once we knew all of the steps for writing a how to story, we picked our favorite one to get ready to celebrate. We made sure our piece had all of the parts good how to writing has by checking our stories with partners. Then we made sure we had capital letters, finger spaces, neat handwriting, and punctuation to make our writing easy to read. Finally, we added color to our teaching pictures.
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On Friday, we were ready to celebrate! We got into small groups to share our writing. Everyone got a chance to share, and we gave compliments to each reader. We finished our celebration with a final how to… how to make hot chocolate! :) We all had fun celebrating our fantastic writing!

Math: 

We wrapped up our Unit 4 in math this past week!

Our mathematicians worked hard to solve equations using ten sticks and ones to prove their answers.  We reviewed how to add two ones numbers together, two tens numbers together, and even a tens and ones number together.  This was a snap!

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Then, we began adding a two-digit number (containing a tens number and a ones number) together with some additional ones.  To complete this task, we utilized two strategies.  First, our handy-dandy method of counting on:

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We had to be extra careful that we counted-on accurately.  We made sure that we did this by always going back to double check our work!  Some of us even used a number grid to remember what number comes next.

Our second strategy helped us visualize how ones can be grouped together to make a new ten – even when we’re working with larger numbers.  This method is an introduction to the regrouping strategies that your child will use in second grade and beyond.

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We ended the week with our assessment.  Our first graders did an amazing job comparing two-digit numbers, solving stories, and counting groups of tens and ones.  Way to go!

Next week, we will pre-assess for our Unit 5, and complete a pretty big benchmark assessment reviewing of the skill and strategies that we’ve learned in Units 2, 3 & 4.

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