Spring break is over, flowers are in full bloom, birds are singing (sounds like a Disney film, no?) and that means we’re in the final stretch of the school year! And in the 1st Grade we look at the last 6 weeks as being super important. It’s where we celebrate all the great things we’ve learned this past year and where we start to get our students ready to be 2nd graders!
Our students have come such a long way as readers. Many of them have gone from reading simple stories to reading early chapter books in the span of 9 months! We’ve learned different strategies to become better readers, from how to choose the right books for ourselves to decoding unfamiliar words in context of the words around them, to how to best discuss a book with a friend. Please continue to read daily with your child (and to your child!). An early reminder: students can drop a level in their reading ability over the summer, so make sure they continue reading lots of books when school ends.
Quick! How many inches in a yard? (answer: 36) In math we’ve learned measurement, both length and weight. We’ve used scales to compare different objects’ weights as well as learned non-standard units of length (using Unifix cubes or paper clips) and standard units (inches, centimeters and feet). We’ve also begun learning about geometry. We’ve studied flat plane shapes (squares, circles, rectangles, etc.) as well as 3 dimensional shapes (cylinders, cubes, rectangular prisms, etc.). Try and find 3-dimensional objects in your home and as you drive around your neighborhoods with your child.
The beautiful change in the weather has added even more beauty to our writing! We’ve done several spring writing projects which you will see at Open House. April was National Poetry Month and in class and with the librarian, Mrs. Lloyd, we read tons of poems, and even wrote a few ourselves! Our personal poetry binders are bursting at the seams! We’ve also continued adding entries to our writing journals. We’ve worked very hard this year at learning proper sentence structure and punctuation and we think it’s paid off. Learning proper writing mechanics in 1st grade is so important because they are the foundations on which one’s education in writing is built.
Our ongoing study of the 5 areas of the community (the residential, recreational, commercial, industrial and agricultural) is going really well. Our students have learned about the city around them in a variety of ways—from books, videos, personal experience—and are able to discuss and write what they know about them. Thanks to Ms. Hoffman, our technology teacher, they’ve also done a fantastic job of taking that knowledge and producing informational documents about each community area.
For spelling we’ve been practicing long vowel words. Each vowel has a variety of ways to spell the long sound it makes and it can be tricky to know when to use what combination of letters (for example “oa” like in “boat” versus “o_e” like in “wrote”). Therefore it’s very important to continue to study these words with your child—even after we’ve moved on to a new list of words.
Spring is such a wonderfully busy time in our Hebrew/Judaica studies, full of holidays and song and prayer. Though it’s a month removed, we hope you had wonderful spring break and that your children were able to demonstrate their knowledge during your Passover seders. We also had an amazing time with our next holiday—Yom Ha-atzmaut—Israeli Independence Day. The children were very excited to research facts about Israel and share them with their classmates. Gathering together as a school and community to celebrate Israel’s Independence was so powerful and fulfilling.
We’re looking forward to making the final month and a half of school as packed with learning, sharing, growing and fun as the first 8 months have been!
The First Grade Team