FullSizeRender (10)Language Arts 

I hope everyone had a great holiday and enjoyable first week back at school. Though it was a short week we still covered plenty of things! We introduced the high frequency word algunos/some to our word wall. The kiddos worked really hard to write solid sentences that demonstrated their understanding of the word. We also read a comprehension story called El tutú de Tati. The story introduced words like teatro/ theater and tela/fabric. It was fun acting out the meanings of these words, almost as if we were playing a game of charades! Since the story also emphasized the letter “t” we sat in the shape of a “t” during calendar time.



This week we discussed number patterns. The students had to figure out the missing number in a sequence, for example: 6,_,12,15,_, in this case they worked out that 3 was added to each number or they could simply count by threes. In other cases the pattern wasn’t as straight forward,  for example: 4,5,7,_,14, here the kiddos had to figure out that a 1 was added to the first number, a 2 was added to the second number and a 3 to the fourth number etc. This was a challenging concept but the kids took it in stride and didn’t give up! I sent home a short math packet as reinforcement on number patterns that the children can bring back to class on Monday.

We also spent time on some pretty tough word problems that not only had to be written out in number sentences but also had to be represented pictorially which is an important aid that we will be exploring more and more to help the kids work through word problems.

Social Studies & Science

This week we began our Early American Civilization unit.  We read about the prehistoric nomads crossing the land bridge from Asia to North America.  The class identified the two continents on a map and discussed where the land bridge might have been and what happened to it.  We had fun doing a dramatization of our read a loud, pretending to be nomad hunters tracking woolly mammoths across the two continents.  We also did an interactive illustration, where the students paired up and took turns being writers and illustrators. One person would write  a sentence about what we have learned and then the other would draw a picture to go along with it, then they would switch.  In this way partners  had the opportunity to have discussions and ask questions to make sure the illustrator was representing what the writer had in mind.
20160108_145608In science we continued to learn about the states of matter.  We learned a Rap song that helped us remember the properties of solids, gas, and liquid.  We did several investigations with liquid and recorded our observations.  We tried pouring water into different shaped containers to see how it forms to whatever shape it is in.  We added pennies to a full bowl of water to find if we could go above the brim without spilling over (surface tension), and we poured water on to a slanted surface at different points to observe rate and direction it moves.  This week we also began reading  an A to Z book on matter.  Everyone took turns reading sections out loud while the rest of the class followed along in their own book.  As we move through this book we will be working on summarizing and identifying key terms such as properties, substances, form, etc.

English Spelling, Grammar, and Writing20160108_145352

This week everyone got their new sorts (a copy to keep at school, and one for home)  We cut and sorted them in class and not much more.  We will work more on this list next week.  For grammar, we continued to review adjectives.  We read  several fun books about adjectives and did some adjective seat work.  I am asking everyone to try and add more descriptive words to their journal writing.  It would be great for all of our kiddos to try and recognize these kind of words in their daily reading and conversations at home too.

One of our journal entries this week was where we would want to live if we were a nomad and why.  I wasn’t suprised to read that most of the class wanted to live somewhere warm, possibly tropical, and where hunting would be easy.  We also wrote about what we did over the winter break.



The first graders started a winter birch tree project this week. They learned how to use cardboard scraps dipped in tempera paint to create the texture of a birch tree. Then they learned how to use tissue paper to create colors and textures on another paper. Next week we’ll use these textured papers to cut out tree trunks and branches, and then add some colorful birds. The students did a great job, and we really enjoyed having Marisol’s mom and little sister as our very helpful assistants!