April Showers!

April was a great month for First Grade! The highlight of the month was when our school got our indoor bee hive! It's been all the buzzzz!  First Graders enjoyed learning new information about the bees and how the hive works. The month was packed with laughs, learning, friendship, and fun! 

Here are some areas in which our First Graders have been hard at work learning and growing:

Teamwork and Personal Responsibility- First Graders used teamwork to finish their SECOND 1,000 piece puzzle this month!! (Holy smokes!) First Graders consistently show compassion for others. They take responsibility for their actions and own their mistakes. The class knows that mistakes are how they grow, and they work to learn from their mistakes. Students continue to work as a team to earn "Safari Adventure Points" to earn parties and special things for their class. First Graders show independence and responsibility. Students consistently follow classroom rules and demonstrate strong leadership skills. 

Reading- First Graders enjoy reading for enjoyment and to learn new information about the world around them. They now read with expression and fluency! Students continue to use the Open Court reading program to extend phonics skills and further develop comprehension strategies while reading. Literature from the Open Court reading program, as well as other books used in small-group reading, exposed students to a variety of fiction and non-fiction.They are reading various genres of literature, such as: fiction, non-fiction, fairy tales, and folktales. Students are now able to read with proper volume and expression. Students continue to have time set aside daily to read independently, in their own special places, with books that are just right for them. During this time, known as Daily 5, some students are independently reading, while others are either listening to books on audio or doing small-group reading with the teacher. First Graders finished reading stories about perseverance, using our Open Court reading program! Students are asked questions throughout the text to strengthen their comprehension skills. In addition, students use decoding strategies while reading, identify elements of the text, and read with fluency and expression to demonstrate signs of a “good reader”. First Graders LOVED listening to the multiple chapter books read during read alouds this month, such as the Magic Tree House series book, Afternoon on the Amazon, by Mary Pope Osborne. 

Spelling- Students are continuing to build their spelling skills through weekly games, activities, and spelling tests. Their favorite spelling game continues to be "Sparkle"! Students enjoy the challenging Second Grade spelling curriculum, and now complete their Spelling Connections pages independently. Thus far, students have learned about: short vowel sounds, consonant clusters, words that end in -nk and -ng, short vowel sounds represented by more than one letter, vowel/consonant patterns, vowel-consonant-e patterns, long a,e, and i words using tricky spelling patterns, long o patterns, the /k/ sound, spelled with c, k, and ck, consonant clusters, number words, the /oy/ sound spelled oy and oi, plural: -s, -es words, words ending with -ed and -ing, long and short oo, words writers frequently use, vowel diagraphs with ew and ow, as well as contractions. Most recently, students learned about r-controlled a: ar words, ch/wh words, r-controlled o:or, ore words, as well as sh and th words. Students are becoming strong readers and writers with the aide of our challenging spelling curriculum. 

Writing-  First Graders are "juicy details" writers! They independently use writing mechanics such as: finger spacing, proper letter formation, using complete sentences and proper punctuation. Students are continuing to develop their writing skills through many outlets and genres. First Graders are increasing their ability to use previously taught phonics patterns to spell words accurately. During the month of April, students worked diligently on writing paragraphs with the proper components, ensuring that they started their sentences with different words to make their writing interesting. Students continue to earn our school mascot, Archie, to take home on the weekends. The student chosen documents his/her weekend with Archie in our "Adventures with Archie" notebook, and then presents their writing to the class on Mondays. A name, date, title and "juicy words" must be used.

Math- First Graders continue to enjoy using hands-on manipulatives that accompany our Singapore Math curriculum! During the month of April, students actively explored weight. Students compared the weight of two things, more than two things, discovered how to use a balance to find the weight of things using non-standard units, and then learned to measure weights in units. They enjoyed making predictions on the weight of various objects, and then using a scale to see the actual weight of objects. Students also learned about picture graphs and bar graphs. In this chapter, students learned to collect data and show it on a picture graph, understand the data shown in a picture graph, and how to create their own picture graphs during an in-class activity. Students then learned to use tally charts and bar graphs to collect and organize data. Lastly, students completed a chapter on calendar and time. During this chapter, students used a calendar extensively. They learned to tell time to the hour and half hour, using both digital and analog clocks. In order to strengthen mental math skills, students continue to figure out how many "Safari Points" they need during the week, in order to earn various intangible rewards on Fridays. 

Social Studies- In April, students continued to use their Block Buddy Atlas' to learn more about the world around them. First Graders made a ground-view of both the Rohan Woods School playground AND the front of Rohan Woods School. Students are continuing to actively learn about the seven continents and fifty states through our Postcard Exchange project, "It's a Small World After All". First graders are continuing to use the postcards to discover new information about cities, countries, continents, landmarks, oceans, and the world around them. Please consider sending First Grade a postcard during personal or work travels! We are learning about the world around us through song and literature.

April was a month packed with learning and adventure! First Graders developed many skills needed to prepare them for Second Grade! Stay tuned for May's eventful update! 

Ms. Coleman

First Grade Teacher

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