What a week!

Despite this week being wet wet wet…the class enjoyed their recess inside!

 

In Writers’ this week the class continued working on writing nonfiction books. We started the week off by focusing on ‘How to write a teaching book’  (1. Think of a topic; 2. Plan (say it on your fingers and sketch across pages) and 3. Write). We tried to use our best teaching voice when planning step by step and tried imagining the questions readers might have. We practiced rereading to add information and thought carefully about where information should go. We investigated pictures in a nonfiction book and talked about what the author did and why she did it that way. Finally, we wrote, on a post-it, a goal for us to work on to improve our writing next semester. Here we are sharing our goals with the class:

 

In the Library the class read The Tooth Witch. Our next Library lesson will be on Halloween!

 

The class finished Unit 2 in Maths Investigations! Well-done! We all completed two assessment tasks; one of which we had to record pattern blocks. Most of us recorded down 19 or 15 blocks for showing as many blocks as we can and 6 blocks for showing as few blocks as we can)

The other task we had to sort a set of shapes into groups according to their attributes, glue them down and label the group.

We also completed the post-assessment for Unit 2.

 

On Thursday 19th October the class celebrated International Day! Look at our wonderful outfits!

We had a delicious potluck! Thank you SO MUCH to all parents for contributing and helping! The nori was definitely a highlight!

We enjoyed presentations and games about/from Pakistan, France and Spain. Thank you to our parents for sharing! We had a lot of fun.

In the afternoon Ms. Sallie and Ms. Mimi gave a very special presentation for Montessori – Grade 2 about Saint Maur, celebrating 145 years! We learned a lot!

On Friday Fun day we all wore blue!

It was a day filled with FUN Art activities. The class focused on lines, patterns and colors (warm/cool).

We all colored in popsicle sticks which will be put together to create a collaborative piece of artwork!

 

1G also had their first field-trip to the fire station! When we arrived, the chief fire man gave an explanation about security and showed us what it is like to be a fire man (office, bed, training room, kitchen, shower). We all got to sit in a fire vehicle, an ambulance and even try on a uniform (including Miss Gerken!) Lastly, we had an explanation about the fire extinguisher.

What a fantastic last week of school we have all had! I hope you all enjoy the October break!

 

Always Learning

In Writers’ this week the class started a new unit about nonfiction writing. During this unit, every student will write lots of information books about lots of different topics and will re-visit their writing to self-assess and revise. We started the week off with a pre- on demand performance assessment in which the students chose a topic of their choice (a ‘how to…’ or ‘all about…’ book) they are already familiar with and tried to teach someone about it including lots of detail. We then looked at the differences between a storybook and an information book and noted that writers of information books use a teaching voice, not a storyteller voice. Everyone thought of a topic they could teach others and tried hard to write something interesting on every page.

1G shared their small moment books from last unit with 1P! Mrs. Kitani was very impressed!

On Thursday both classes read their books to Montessori. It was fun showing off our awesome published books to our old teachers!

In Maths we played ‘Guess my rule’ again and noticed we are now experts at describing different shapes and their properties. Well-done! The class completed an assessment called ‘What is a Triangle’. The last section of our unit in Maths is about looking at shapes and patterns in quilts. The class designed six different quilt squares using two different colors.

Then we chose our favorite quilt pattern design to copy out onto a larger quilt, nine times.

 

In Readers’ this week we distinguished fiction books from nonfiction books.

We started with taking a sneak peek in our mentor text Hang on Monkeys! We learned that readers who want to get smart about a topic don’t just let the pages fly by, they read each page closely.

Finally, we learned that to get really smart about a topic, you don’t just read a book, you also have little chats about that book. We practiced using our own words and own ideas to talk about a book or a page. We also remembered all those good habits of what reading partners do when they work together.

 

The class got to go to the temporary gym twice this week! Our first impression was that it is SOOOOOOOOOO BIG! We love it!

 

1G showed off what they have learned so far in Music!

Happy October!

In Writers’ this week the class has chosen a story they would like to fix up and make extra special to publish and share. We reviewed what we learned in the unit (how to write a story, ways to bring stories to life, writing in itsy-bitsy steps, unfreezing people, including exact actions, pop out words, etc.). We shared our stories with a partner, showing them where we have revised our writing to make it even better and always asked ourselves ‘what can be fixed up?’. We also used the narrative writing checklist to check and look for any other places to revise and edit our work. Finally, the class discussed the finishing touches regarding finalizing our book and started making a title page. At home the class will re-write/copy out their stories onto nice paper, also paying attention to using neat handwriting and including detail in pictures. I look forward to seeing the finished books next week!

In Readers’ we considered a personal next step and recorded our goal on a post-it. The class was introduced to a program called Seesaw and we started having a go at recording our reading aloud. It was funny hearing our own voice in the recording!

In Maths the class continued working with shapes. We completed an activity called ‘Filling with More and Fewer’ where we used pattern blocks to fill two outlines in different ways. One outline we tried using very few blocks and in the other outline more/many blocks.

We started exploring geoboards and making shapes and designs using rubber bands.

We played a game called ‘Guess my Rule’. We had to try and put as many shapes as we could inside the circle before guessing what the rule was. After a discussion the rule was shared. For example ‘shapes that have only straight sides’.

We completed a group poster sorting shape cards into groups, gluing them down in their categories and writing the name of each category. Here we are presenting them in front of the class.

Finally, we used dot paper to draw triangles of different sizes – first by circling 3 dots and then connecting the dots with three lines. We did the same activity for drawing different quadrilaterals. We learned that a quadrilateral is a shape with four straight, connected sides.


In Art we reviewed what we learned about primary and secondary colors and discussed what warm and cool colors are. We completed a warm and cool color tree picture!

Publishing our first book!

Dear parents,

This is a blog post to show you some of the resources we use at school to help us with our writing process.

On Friday this week the class will be taking home their first rough copy of their books and they will get a chance to “publish” it at home! The class all had a chance to self-assess their work against the narrative writing criteria. I also have gone through and graded their rough copy using the narrative writing checklist. Please return the rough copy together with the teacher and student rubrics on Tuesday 10th October.

The students have the weekend and Monday to copy their story down onto the new paper while also getting to work on their best handwriting. Our rough copies can be messy because we have added a lot of information. Re-writing will give them a chance to make sure everything is in the right place. We also want to give them enough time to work on their pictures to make sure they are the best they can be! They may also finish their title page and even add a short blurb on the back of their books! Please also practice reading the story aloud as we will be sharing them with Montessori next week Thursday!

This is a great opportunity for you to sit with your child and ask them questions about the writing process and see how they collect their ideas and put it on to paper.

We kindly ask that you not do the following (below) and recommend ways to help them instead. This is their first published piece in first grade and there will be mistakes in their writing. We are not expecting perfectly spelled books or complete sentences.

-Don’t tell them how to spell every word correctly…
…. If a word is not spelled correctly, help them sound out parts that may be missing/different and ask which letters they could use to make that sound.

-Don’t tell them what to write…
… Ask them “who, what, when, where, why, how” questions to help clarify their ideas.

How to write a story

Ways to bring stories to life