Wednesday, April 26, 2017

April Update

It's feeling more and more like spring each day and summer is just around the corner. The approaching end of the school year certainly does not mean that the learning slows down!

As a part of our social studies curriculum, 1st grade supported the “Birthday Wishes” service project in Lower School. In the classroom, we learned about birthday traditions from many cultures. First graders became more aware of their own family traditions and also broadened their perspectives about birthday celebrations and traditions of other families and cultures. We used our understanding to promote a diverse "birthday wishes collection" in lower school. On Monday, a group of student representatives and teachers brought the donations to the STEP Food Shelf in St. Louis Park and the result was... 345 POUNDS of donated birthday items! This will certainly make many birthday wishes come true!! Thanks for your support.

In Science, we are very excited about our study of dinosaurs! We even had the chance to get up-close with these amazing creatures at the Minnesota Science Museum. In addition to the regular dinosaur exhibits, we also participated in a special "dinosaur dentist" class led by museum staff. Stay tuned for a slide show of pictures from our day as paleontologists!

Tick-Tock goes the clock! Earlier in the month, first graders learned how to use analog and digital clocks for telling time. We mostly focused on hour and half hour times but we also learned other strategies like counting by fives to determine the minutes on the clock. If you're looking for a gift in the near future, you may want to consider getting your child a fun watch. Being able to tell time is kind of an exciting "right of passage" in first grade! Now, we are deepening our understanding of place value by expanding to numbers beyond 100! We are using tools like number line and 120-charts to understand the relationships between numbers and place values. Next, we will begin computation with multi-digit numbers.

Our authors are facing another big challenge in writing...FICTION! They have been eager to write fiction since the beginning of the school year and now the time has come. We are learning to write realistic-fiction and have been using the "Henry and Mudge" book series by Cynthia Rylant to build our knowledge of this genre. The first grade writers are creating their own characters and learning to write stories about their own made-up adventures! The children are excited about the idea of writing their own series!!

In our reading work, we'll continue to introduce strategies for engaging in deeper thinking while reading. We're practicing thinking and talking about books with our reading groups and in reading partnerships. We will also be focusing on "questioning" and "inferring." We are encouraging children to take time to ask questions and make inferences while reading. You can support this at home by engaging your child in asking questions and wondering about the book when you read together. Encourage that it's not so much about having answers, but more about the thinking and wondering process. If they think they have an answer, you can broaden their thinking by asking, "could there be another answer?" It's even fun to keep a list of the things you wonder about.

On a final note, spring is a BUSY time!! Be sure to take a loot at the calendar below and keep an eye out for announcements about important end of the year events.

Happy Spring,
Ms. Bennett and Ms. Madden

Upcoming Dates...

Friday, April 28-FUN RUN!! @ Minnehaha Falls Park (Optional participation)

Friday, May 6- Lower School Wacky Dress Day (Non-uniform)

Tuesday, May 9-All School Chapel/Staff Appreciation Day

Wednesday, May 17- Art Institute Trip (Uniforms, Teacher +Art Masterpiece parents chaperone)

Friday, May 19- Lower School Field Day (More info coming soon)

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