February is here!

Whew! Time flies when you're having fun! First Graders at Rohan Woods had a busy January! The highlight of the month for First Grade was the Dragon Parade that they put on for the whole school! During art class, students learned about the Chinese New Year. They found that many of them were born during the Year of the Tiger! Students created dragons and paraded around the Great Hall, while Chinese music was playing. It was an enjoyable event for all. 

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

Teamwork and Personal Responsibility- Students continue to work as a team to earn "Safari Adventure Points" to earn parties and special things for their class. Students earned snowball fights, puppet parties, extra recess, project time, among other activities. They are continuing to develop strong social problem-solving skills and making responsible choices, even in difficult times. Students generated a list to remind the class of ways they can be responsible. First Graders are showing that they are able to think about the feelings of their classmates, and consider the feelings of others. In addition, students are continuing to do a great job caring for their classroom pet (Liz Camo Safari- the gecko) and plants. 

Reading- First Graders are now reading to learn, rather than learning to read. They are reading various genres of literature, both fiction and non-fiction, in order to deepen their comprehension of texts. Students are continuing to develop expression, comprehension, and stamina while reading. One way students are doing this is through Puppet Parties! The class earned their first Puppet Party this month. They use written plays to put on a show for their classmates. This strengthens the fluency and expression while reading for our students. Students continue to increase their vocabulary while reading. Stories and reading passages continue to be used in small groups, so that students are challenged at different levels. Students have time set aside daily to read independently in their own special places, with books that are "just right" for them! Students listen to audio books to increase auditory comprehension. In addition, students have used fun phonics games such as: Build-A-Sentence stamps, Learning to Sequence, magnetic letters, Phonics Stackers, and flash cards to actively learn new reading skills and increase their comprehension of various types of texts. 

Spelling- Students are continuing to build their spelling skills through weekly games, activities, and spelling tests. Their favorite spelling game is "Sparkle"! They also enjoy using letter stamps, magnets and cookie pans, as well as other centers to hone in on spelling skills. 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, as well as plural: -s, -es words. Students of all abilities enjoy being challenged by a Second Grade curriculum. Through the extensive practice with spelling, students have become both better readers and writers. 

Writing-  First Graders are becoming stronger writers every day! They have worked hard to develop writing mechanics such as: correct letter and numeral formations, starting at the pink line in journals, starting every sentence with a capital letter and ending with proper punctuation. Students are continuing to practice their writing through many different outlets. This month, students started to write PARAGRAPHS, using proper writing mechanics. Students are continuing to work on writing that requires a topic sentence, three sequencing sentences, as well as a conclusion sentence. During the month of January, students wrote paragraphs about How to Build a Snowman. The paragraphs were accompanied by teacher-directed drawings of snowman using watercolor. 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 love using our hands-on Singapore Math curriculum! During the month of January, students actively explored shapes and patterns. Students learned about plane and solid shapes, made pictures and models with shapes, and explored shapes around them by going on a scavenger hunt around the school! Students also made patterns with both plane shapes and solid shapes. Our First Graders also learned about ordinal numbers and position words. During the last part of January, students explored place value, comparing numbers, and making numbers using real-world items. Students demonstrate their mental math strategies to solve how many more Safari Adventure points we need to earn various rewards each week. 

Social Studies- In January, students learned that different maps can show different views, such as: a view from the ground and a bird's eye view. 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. We are using cardinal directions to locate the different areas on our maps. In addition to our Postcard Exchange project, we are learning about the world around us through song and literature. First Graders are also learning about the community and seasons through daily discussions, calendar time, and literature. Lastly, students are using their Block Buddy atlas to learn how to identify things like: coastlines, rivers, lakes, mountains, capitals, and boundaries on a map. 

January was filled with excitement for First Grade! Stay tuned for the exciting things we accomplish in February! 

Ms. Coleman

First Grade Teacher

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