Students have continued to work on writing instructional pieces called "How To" books. They are ranging from writing about cooking and baking to building with legos to how to do things like pulling teeth! This week we took a look at some craft and cooking books and realized that most directions in these types of books have some sort of introductions. Students tried their hand at writing introductions to their How To pieces of writing.
To continue our learning about changing states of matter we turned heavy cream into butter by shaking it like CRAZY in little jars! The kids had so much fun doing this (even with some of the jars dripping a little)! They were quite shocked by the results!
This week the students have been taking their understanding of silent e and utilizing it to make words based off of words they know and can read. Using letter tiles the students created words with silent e. An example would be being able to make the word "take" and then changing out the first sound to spell other words like "snake, lake, flake, shake". If you have scrabble or bananagrams at home this is an excellent activity for them to do to make connections between words.
They also read through their just right books and found words with the silent e. They then recorded the word in their book and generated other words they could spell using that initial word from their just right book.
We have had so much fun this week conducting experiments that have caused states of matter to change! Each kid was given a bag of ice and had to figure out a way to make it change from a solid to a liquid. Students ran them under hot water, wrapped them in their coats and rubbed it back and forth on the table. They quickly figured out that by adding heat a solid changes into a liquid. We also went through the process of making Jell-O and took a look at the gas (water vapor from boiling water), liquid mixture and sold (froze the cups in the freezer). We then let the Jell-O thaw to see if it would change back into a liquid (which it did a little bit). We also blew up a balloon with the gas formed by mixing vinegar and baking soda. Last we made raisins float and sink by using carbon dioxide in clear soda.
This week we have been discovering how to compare numbers using the greater than >, less than < and equal to = signs. Playing with a partner each student grabbed a handful of small objects, counted them using their knowledge of tens and ones, compared them, wrote out the numbers with the symbol and then added the two numbers together. They are really good and comparing the numbers, but are still working on using the correct symbol. When adding the numbers together most students at this stage will recount all the objects by tens and ones which is acceptable. I am encouraging them to see if they can make a new group of ten by using some of the ones from each partner and then counting their new groups of tens and new ones.
We continue to work on how words sometimes have a silent e at the end of a word and how that e makes the previous vowel say its long name (or letter name). We have been working on lots of activities that have them practicing reading a word without the silent e (vowel says short sound) and then adding the silent e and reading the word again (vowel now says long sound).
When reading with your child or writing with you child have them point out to you a silent e or point them out to them so the beginning to build more awareness and are exposed to more examples!
Over the last few days we have tackled some difficult story problems involving layers of information the kids needed in order to be able to solve the problem. We read through each problem several times, physically acted them out, highlighted the important information and then used materials, drawings or number sentences to solve them. Afterwards we came back together as a class to share our different ways of solving the problems and to compare answers.
When solving these types of problems at home it might be helpful for you to read aloud the problem while your child acts out or draws a picture of what is occurring in the problem. By being able to feel or see the problem it helps them be able to understand what is happening and what their next steps are in solving the problem.
Studies have shown that a student's volume of reading has a direct impact on their success in developing reading skills. Here's a great picture depicting the importance of a child reading outside of the school day.
We had an amazing time this week Feeding Our Minds While Feeding Others! Thank you for your support in this with sending in the reading slips, dressing your kids for various themes and sending in food donations! We closed this week with an all school assembly watching irish dancers (in the blue is Kevin's sister performing) and learning the winners for the contests. Congrats to Leah for her second place in total number of minutes read in first grade and Justin on his first place win for total number of minutes read in first grade.