Reading : Along with the new year, comes a shift in the reading focus in 1-Bu. The main focus for all of the reading units from here on out will be on comprehension. Of course, we won't leave decoding and fluency in the dust, but now we're going to be looking very closely at many different kinds of texts and working on extracting meaning from those texts.
Our current reading unit is focusing on schema and using our schema to better understand the text. One's schema is information that he/she knows about a topic. (I'll get much more into it as we go through our unit.) To kick off the unit, we'll be talking about 'real reading' and 'fake reading' next week. The goal is for all of the students to be doing 'real reading,' which is reading the words AND thinking about and understanding what the words and story mean. 'Fake reading' is just reading the words, but not thinking about the text.
Author Study : Last week we started reading books by Ezra Jack Keats. The students are enjoying his books. We spent some time discussing Ezra Jack Keats' illustrations, as he tends to use collages in many of his books. As your child to explain what a collage is.
Writing : We finally wrapped up our Small Moments writing unit last week, and we will be moving on to a 'How To' unit this week. Ask you child what a 'how to' book is. The students know that 'how to' texts are everywhere, from recipes, to game directions, to a book that teaches you how to draw. I have told the students that if they have examples of 'how to' writing at home, to please bring them in. These could be directions for how to put together a lego set, how to make macaroni and cheese, or even how to play a board game. It's always great for the students to see many examples of what 'how to' writing looks like in the real world.
Math : We've been doing a great job with our measuring unit. Before break, the students learned the importance of using standard units of measure. We've learned about measuring temperature in degrees Fahrenheit and length in feet and inches. The students loved using tape measures to measure various body parts last week. (See pictures of that below.)
Phonics : Now that we have learned about all of the consonants and short vowels, we're taking it to the next step. Recently, we have been focusing on blends. Blends are when two consonants blend their sounds together. Last week we focused on s blends (i.e. sc, sn, sw) and l blends (i.e. pl, sl, bl, fl).
Here are some pictures of us in the classroom last week :