Mrs. Van Koevering's Class

Zoo Field Trip Survey

Our zoo field trip is taking place on Thursday, May 22. Please fill out the Zoo Field Trip Survey by Monday the 28th. It will be a great help to me in planning for our trip!

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Stuffed Animal Day!

Reminder – we earned stuffed animal day on Monday! Don’t forget to bring along your favorite fuzzy friend :)

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Weekly Update

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

Reading: 

We had an exciting week in Reader’s Workshop this week! First, we reorganized our classroom library. That was a BIG job, but the kids were such wonderful helpers! We sorted all of our books by topics. Some of these topics included “Cats”, “Dogs”, “Nature”, “Weather”, “Famous People”, “Jobs” and “Holidays”. 

After we sorted our books, each student decided to become an expert on one topic. They chose their topic and only chose books from that basket.
 
As we read our books, we noticed that not only can we learn information from non-fiction books, we can learn from fiction books as well. When we were reading the fiction book “Big Bug Dug”, we learned that bugs can go underground.
 
We do need to be careful when we are reading, though. Not everything that we read in books is true. In the book “Big Bug Dug”, we saw that the bug used a shovel to dig. Even though it was in a book, we knew it wasn’t true because we had never seen a bug with a shovel before and we hadn’t read about it anywhere else.
 
Next week we will be choosing new topics to become experts about! I can’t wait to hear about the new things they will learn!

Writing: 

This week during Writer’s Workshop we jumped right back into out “All About” books. We began the week reviewing that we needed to know at least 5 facts in order to write an “All About” book, how to use each kind of paper choice, and brainstorming idea of what to write about.
 
We also discussed that since these books are teaching our readers about a topic, that our picture need to be teaching pictures. This means that week needed to go back to our books and make sure our pictures are teaching our readers. We can do this by adding labels to our picture, zoom into the pictures, add direction arrows, and add captions.Inline image 1
We also wrapped up the week by talking about the importance of using headings on each page of our writing. A heading gives our readers an idea of what they are going to learn about on that page. This will also help us in planning how our books are organized. First graders went back to stories that they had already written and added headings to their stories. 
 
First graders were very excited that they were becoming experts on a topic in Reading and therefore they can use their topics from Reading to write new “All About” books. I am excited to see what they come up with!

Math: 

This week, our mathematicians learned how to tell time to the hour and half hour! They learned that the two different kinds of clocks that we use in everyday life are called an “analog” clock or a “digital” clock. We discussed that the shorter hand always points to the hours and the longer hand always points the minutes.

We spent lots of time reviewing and practicing drawing the time on an analog clock and on a digital clock!  The hardest part for the kids is to remember that when it is a half hour, the hour hand is half way past that hour (they often read it as the next hour ahead instead of the hour it is half past).

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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.

kroger-graham-crackers-honey-1665Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 2.38.20 PMScreen Shot 2014-02-18 at 2.38.48 PMScreen Shot 2014-02-18 at 2.41.12 PMUnknown

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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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