Last week of November

In Writers’ we continued writing our nonfiction chapter books. We were reminded of the craft moves, like pop-out words and speech bubbles, from Unit 1, that writers use to give more information or to make some information stand out. We revisited our work to see if we might use craft moves in our writing. We played an editing checklist game with a partner where we had to check off an item (e.g. vowels in every word) and make changes to our work as needed.

We decided what part of our book we would like to share with a partner and practiced reading using our best teaching voice.

Finally, we set up a museum exhibit to celebrate our writing! We thought about how writers’ topics could be grouped and created exhibit areas around the room. We have not only become nonfiction writers, we’ve all become teachers! We learned how to teach others with our writing; by writing a lot of interesting details, by making pictures into teach pictures and by putting information into chapters. We can all be very proud of ourselves!


In Readers’ we learned that when we are reading a book like an expert its helpful to bring the book to life, not just with our voice, but also with our body. We used drama to bring a topic to life. Enjoy the videos!

We also learned that it’s important to check in with your audience when reading to make sure they are with you and understand the information you are sharing. With a reading buddy, we always checked for understanding, pointing to pictures, asking questions or re-reading parts. We continued using post-it notes to remember where to stop and what to talk about.


In Maths we started investigating the size of our feet by covering an outline of our foot with cubes. The class created a representation of all the data and we discussed what we noticed.

We also covered our foot outline with smaller materials, such as pennies. We checked our abilities to count a set of 40-50 objects and discussed strategies for accurately counting larger amounts.

The class was introduced to counting strips where we had to count and write the sequence of numbers as high as we could. We discussed patterns in numbers, noticing the place where the numbers ‘change’ and strategies for writing numbers that are difficult.


We hope you enjoy our performances at the Christmas Concert on Friday December 1st!

Thanksgiving Thursday

On Thursday in Art we celebrated Thanksgiving. We discussed what we are thankful for and made our own thankfulness turkeys!

We learned about an artist called George Seurat who used a technique called pointillism in his artwork. We used q-tips to create pointillism on a tree outline using paint and autumn colors. It was tricky filling in the trunk, branches and leaves using ONLY small dots!


In Readers’ this week we talked about when we read a book like an expert it helps to think about and practice how to read each part, showing the feeling in each part. We practiced making our voice show the feeling behind the words, for example using a strong voice to convey suspense. We learned that it helps to study all parts that we may find interesting and important, thinking not just like a reader, but also like a writer. That way we may notice words that make a picture in our mind, or a part that makes us react in a big way or feel something. Everyone practiced reading parts of a text and noticing craft moves.

Another way to make a read-aloud sound like an expert is to point out keywords in books as we read, use them to talk about the topic and teach others what they mean and why they are important. We enjoyed talking and thinking about keywords with a partner.


In the Library this week we read ‘Diary of a Spider’ on Bookflix. It was fun!


In Writers’ this week the class started a new chapter book! We were reminded how to begin drafting a new chapter book referring to our ‘how to write a teaching book’ chart and our information writing checklist. We each planned our new table of contents and thought about the paper we want to use for the different kinds of chapters.

We learned that sometimes writers research and look for pictures that are connected to their topics so they can add more specific details. The class shared the photographs/pictures brought in and used them to help us add more information.

We learned that sometimes the best way to end writers workshop is to make a plan for the next day. We each wrote one thing down on a post-it that we want to be reminded to do the next day.

The class was reminded that nonfiction writers choose ending punctuation that reflects how they are trying to speak (use periods when telling facts, use question marks when asking questions and exclamation marks when telling something exciting and commas when making lists).  We thought about end punctuation while continuing to draft our chapter books.


In Maths Investigations the class continued working with addition and subtraction story problems. During Maths Workshop we each solved 8 problems this week. We revised standard notation for addition and subtraction.

The class was introduced to ‘Guess my Number’. At the start of every session the students were given a few clues (e.g. my number is >6 and <16) and had to ask questions to narrow down the set of possible numbers and figure out what the number is. We worked with numbers 9, 10, and 12 and used cubes to generate expressions that equal these numbers. We recorded down our combinations and shared our answers.

Happy faces in November

This week in Writers’ the class started off investigating ways that authors have started their books. Some begin with questions to pull readers in and get them to think, others give an overview giving readers the topic they will learn about right away. We talked about several ways to begin a chapter book and added questions on a revision strip for readers to guess and tell what our teaching book will be about.

We also looked at conclusions and thought of ways to leave the readers with a big thought or idea. The rest of the week we focused on editing our writing for readers: ‘How can I make my writing clear for my reader?’ We got ready to publish our work checking for any mistakes or confusing parts, revising adding punctuation and checking spelling referring to our ‘ways to spell words’ chart.

Next week we will all share our final chapter books with each other!


In Readers’ the class discussed as we are reading nonfiction we become expert on a topic and get to know keywords related to a topic. We were on the lookout for keywords and really ‘owned’ the new words by repeating them multiple times. As we were reading we noted down some keywords on a post-it. Some words we found are also important in other books.

To figure out a hard word in a book we learned that we must remember to always reread. Rereading is important not just to smooth out voices, but also to hear and show what, in books is important. We practiced reading and rereading parts of a book making words sound lively and interesting. We each shared an interesting sentence or page and read it out loud using our best reading voice.

The class also had a chance to ‘read aloud like an expert’. We took a book we already read and have enjoyed and marked parts to share with an audience.


In Maths the class continued solving story word problems and using standard notation for addition and discussed strategies to solve problems. The class completed an assessment activity, finding as many combinations of 11 as possible. We also played another variation of Dot Addition, this time finding two combinations for numbers that are equal to each other. Here are some examples:

The class was introduced to subtraction and recording subtraction equations with the minus sign. We shared different strategies for solving subtraction word problems like counting all, removing a group and counting what is left, or counting back or down or using a known number relationship. We all played ‘Roll and Record Subtraction’ and Five-in-a-Row’ on a subtraction game board. We used a number dice (7-12) to tell us how many cubes to start with and a dot dice (1-6) to tell us how many cubes to subtract.

1G working hard as always

The class started Show and Tell. This week’s topic was about our family. We enjoyed listening to each other and  asking questions at the end.

In Writers’ this week the class starting writing a teaching chapter book. We all chose a topic we know pretty well and first wrote a table of contents for that book including all the chapter titles.

We learned that when writing a teaching chapter book, we plan the same way as our teaching picture books – we say the chapter across our fingers, part my part. We all started writing our chapters.

We thought about some tips that we should be using to remind us later on of the goals for information writing, e.g. ‘introduce the topic’, ‘end with a thought or idea’, ‘include pictures with labels’, ‘use expert words’, etc. We learned that writers don’t just tell a fact/detail but they help readers to picture the fact/detail. One was to do this is by using a comparison, e.g. bike paths are like roads but smaller. We discussed pausing during our writing and asking ourselves the questions; ‘what kind of writing am I making’ (e.g. a “how to” chapter) and ‘what are the rules of that kind of writing?’


In Library Ms. Schumacher “read” two books with no words, one called OH and another called AH. We really enjoyed guessing what would be on the next page.


In Readers’ we learned a new strategy to read long words called ‘crashing’. We practiced crashing the parts of a word together in nonfiction books. We also learned that readers are on the lookout for tricky words to make sure that what they read is what is actually on the page. We learned to do a ‘slow check’ which is a great way to double-check something looks right but also making sure that something makes sense. Finally, we learned that when readers run into a new word, they say the word the best they can and think about what it means. We played a guessing game with our new vocabulary.


In Maths this week the class discussed strategies for finding a missing part, counting on and combining two numbers. We found all possible combinations of 10 and 8. We learned a new game called ‘Dot Addition’, where we use 4 rows of 5 cards and find different ways to make a number. We all recorded the combination of cards that makes one of the totals down.

We also played another variation of ‘Dot Addition’ – finding different combination of numbers that make the same total. Lastly, we played the games ‘Roll and Record’ and ‘Five-in-a-Row’, but this time using one dice with dots and the other with numbers. Every time we had to figure out how many are altogether

In Art the class explored the use of line and completed a crazy hair portrait using only line to create patterns.

Grade 1 completed our time capsule! (to be opened in 10 years!) Each of us placed our items into a HUGE jar.

We are SUPER excited about it!

Have a great weekend!


Halloween, Class Reward and Sports Day all in ONE week!



In Writers’ this week the class worked on becoming brave spellers and using precise ‘fancy’ words to teach others about a topic. We revised different spelling strategies and started to break down words syllable by syllable listening for sounds and then rereading to see if the word sounds right. We worked together in small groups as readers to help point out places in teaching books that don’t make sense or spotted places where writers can add more to make things clearer or take away things to keep pages from containing writing that doesn’t go.

We also split into topic-related groups and shared our writing and discussed ways our topics are similar and ways they are different.

The class chose a best book to evaluate: ‘what have I already learned to do as a writer of teaching books?’ and ‘ what do I still need to work on?’ We revised our teaching book and then self-assessed our work against the checklist.

Our best books have been added to our own nonfiction book basket in the classroom!



In Readers’ we learned that nonfiction readers make their voices smoother and livelier as they read. We paid attention to expression and aimed to sound like a teacher or reporter putting emphasis on some words to make the words seem really important. We worked with a partner and practiced our best reporter’s voices.

The class were reminded of the things they’ve learned about how to study books to get smarter. We all thought about and shared what we do every time, what we do sometimes and what we may forget.

In nonfiction books, there are often super hard words about a topic. We practiced figuring out tricky words that were covered in a book by thinking about what would make sense in context and then looking at all the parts of the words.


In Maths we completed our pre-assessment for Unit 3. We practiced counting forward and backwards from a range of numbers and played a new challenge of ‘how many of each?’ – we had to try to find as many combinations (9) of blocks or marbles as we could.

We learned to play a new game called ‘Counters in a Cup’, similar to ‘how many am I hiding?’, and played with a partner, taking turns hiding counters and figuring out how many are hidden under the cup.


On Wednesday the class celebrated their first class reward! It was so much fun!