The Week Ahead
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1-B

Kelsey Grich

Emily Reagan

May 1, 2017

Before spring break, the children enjoyed sharing all of their learning with you at our “Tour of the State's” presentation. Thank you to all of our families who came out to support our first graders. It was such a wonderful way to celebrate all of their learning! We also enjoyed flying our kites with our third grade buddies and continuing to explore shapes during geometry. The children also enjoyed learning more about various animals and their classification in science. Please read on for more details about last week and what to expect for the week ahead.

The next round of current events has begun for our class and will run for the next several weeks. Please see the announcements below to see when your child will be presenting. Thank you in advance for being a part of their research and preparation.

During Friday community meetings we have been discussing The AVS Pledge and constructing our Toolbox - filling it with tools for self-regulation and relationship building. We would like each student in bring in a small object (max. 1 inch diameter or length) to be glued to our collective Toolbox so everyone is represented. Please have your child choose a special object (i.e. a sequin, small sticker, stick, button, stone, safety pin etc.) and bring it into class. We will have a collection jar in our classroom. Thank you!

Math
The week before spring, students continued studying shapes and their attributes. We read A Cloak for the Dreamer by Aileen Freedman. In this book, a tailor receives an order from the Archduke for three cloaks to keep out the wind and the rain. He asks each of his sons to make one of the cloaks. The oldest son uses rectangles, the middle son makes one cloak with squares and the other with triangles, and the youngest son uses circles. The story is resolved when the father and two older sons fix the youngest son’s cloak by taking it apart, cutting each circle into a hexagon, and sewing it back together. Students will brainstorm why the third son’s cloak did not work and designed their own cloak with a partner. They chose a shape and cut four to eight of this shape on two pieces of construction paper. They had to arrange the shapes on the paper so that there was as little space between the shapes as possible. The first graders then shared their designs with the class and discussed what went well and what was challenging about the project.

Before the break, in small groups, our mathematicians created triangles on a geoboard and built as many possible triangles using rubber bands. Prior to this activity, we had built a definition of congruence as a class, recognizing that shapes can be oriented differently but still be the same shape, and congruence means that the shapes are the same size and the same shape.

This week, students will re-visit these triangles. As a group, they will have to identify which triangles are congruent and which triangles are different. Each group will share with the class, and we will count the total number of different triangles we created as a class. Next, we will discuss different ways to sort these triangles.

This week, students will work together to both estimate and count the number of beans brought in for homework. Our first graders will make their first estimate after looking at the number of beans as a whole. Next, they will separate the beans into four groups for the tables to sort. The students will then make a second estimate. The children will count ten of the different beans, arrange them in a straight line, and make a third estimate based upon the length of ten beans. After these estimations, students will work together to count the beans. They will record the number on a whiteboard, and then the class will add the four numbers. As we add, we will record the tens, hundreds, and thousands with base ten blocks to provide another visual for the students.

This week, we will read Eight Hands Round: A Patchwork Alphabet. Students will learn more about how colonial people lives and about the detailed quilt patterns they shared. They will then work in groups to follow several of these quilt patterns and create nine of these patterns. With three inch squares, the students will have to assess how to create these different patterns. If they see a triangle or a pentagon, how can they create this shape using the squares they have? They will then decide how to arrange these quilts.

Literacy
Across our learning day, we are and will continue to stress the importance of developing good writing habits and letter/number formation. We practice our best handwriting every time we have the opportunity to write. Thank you for encouraging your child to do the same at home with homework. We appreciate the time you take to make sure your child’s handwriting is to the best of their ability when they complete their homework.

Before break, first graders organized all of their materials and presented on their states at our “Tour of the States” expo. The children were so excited to showcase all of their learning through their research books, landforms, various maps, suitcases based on weather patterns and climate, and food. After spending weeks researching and writing informational books, the children were able to confidently share their learning process and all they had explored. They also enjoyed sharing the song, “Fifty Nifty,” at the end of the expo. Thank you, again, to all of our families for not only coming out to the expo, but for supporting our community day in and day out. At the end of the week, we took a mini field trip to the library to return the library books we have been researching from, finding closure at the end of this exploration. The children also had time to reflect through group conversation and writing.

Next week we will begin a new unit on poetry. We will begin by exploring what it means to see things with poets’ eyes. We will practice seeing everyday objects in a fresh new way and making careful observations using sensory details. The children will listen to various poems by poets and authors such as Shel Silverstein, A.A. Milne and Dr. Seuss and discuss what they notice about the different poems. We will also begin exploring poetry through writing our own.

Before spring break we continued with Word Work as a literacy component. The children practiced vowel patterns as well as various long and short vowels. Word Work is a time, amongst many others, where we target each child’s individual needs. Next week we will introduce new sight words and continue on with word work. We will spiral grammar review, focusing on parts of speech and punctuation.

Science
Before spring break, students brainstormed ways that they can help the environment. They shared ideas such as lowering your carbon emissions, eating organic food, and not littering. They then selected one of these ideas, drew a picture of it, and wrote a sentence about how they wanted to help their communities.

Before spring break, students continued learning about mammals as part of our Animals Classification unit. They searched for a bookmark around the classroom. They then read the bookmark independently, turned the bookmark over, and wrote what they had learned about in their animal books. Students are practicing paraphrasing and recall as well as learning fun facts about different animals.

Before the break, students created a planting box out of a two-liter bottle. They cut the tops off and threaded a piece of cloth through a hole in the lid. We poured water in the bottle of the bottle, inverted the smaller half of the bottle into the larger part, secured it, and then placed soil and seeds in the inverted part. Students then had to make a prediction of what will happen to their plants over their break and explain their thinking. They drew a picture of their creation and also had to write instructions for what they had just done.

This week, students will continue learning about different mammals. We will observe the change in our plant boxes that occurred over the break, if any. In addition, we will begin learning more about the different types of homes that animals can have, both in location and in materials.

Humanities
Last week we continued our mindfulness practice by focusing our listening on just one sound and practicing deep belly breathing to relax our minds and bodies. We continued to activate our brains during mindfulness by using essential oils. The children regularly come to mindfulness with mindful bodies and are working on being present the entire time. The children now lead our mindfulness practice, settling the class using the Tibetian singing bowl and leading the class through deep breathing with essential oils of their choice. We open up discussion about what the scents remind us of as our sense of smell is strongly connected to our memories. We have had many children bring in singing bowls and essential oils of their own to share with our community. They have done a wonderful job taking on this leadership role, and we look forward to continuing this practice.

Before break, first graders organized all of their materials and presented on their states at our “Tour of the States” expo. The children were so excited to showcase all of their learning through their research books, landforms, various maps, suitcases based on weather patterns and climate, and food. After spending weeks researching and writing informational books, the children were able to confidently share their learning process and all they had explored. They also enjoyed sharing the song, “Fifty Nifty,” at the end of the expo. Thank you, again, to all of our families for not only coming out to the expo, but for supporting our community day in and day out. At the end of the week, we took a mini field trip to the library to return the library books we have been researching from, finding closure at the end of this exploration. The children also had time to reflect through group conversation and writing.

Next week, and in the coming weeks, we look forward to focusing conversation around choosing optimism. Optimism is a way of seeing life hopefully and having an expectation of success and well-being. It correlates strongly with good health and effective coping strategies. Optimism is a learned trait and if practiced, can become a way of thinking. Choosing to view life optimistically can increase our brain capacity; it relaxes our amygdala, created chemical balance in our brains, and allows our prefrontal cortex to take charge. In this frame of mind, children can learn that they can make much better choices than if they take a negative or pessimistic approach, which effectively shuts down their higher level thinking. Practicing optimism also makes it easier to learn -- optimistic thinkers prime their brains to be ready to focus and make more room for new information to be absorbed and new ideas to stretch their wings. Socially, practicing optimism allows children to strengthen their perspective taking skills and accept viewpoints different from their own, as well as connect with other people. [MindUp] We look forward to exploring the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset, with optimism in mind, and practicing having a growth mindset. This is a great conversation to continue at home with your children!

Before spring break we met with our third grade buddies again wrapped up our first kite exploration, driven by student interest. Over several sessions, the children decorated and constructed kites. We used the Trépaner Trapezoid Kite as our first project and will followed these directions. On Friday before we left for spring break, the children, joined by their third grade buddies, took a field trip to the park to fly their kites. While some were successful, and others not, it was a learning experience for all of the children. As always, the children enjoyed spending time with their third grade buddies and getting to know one another.

Homework


Monday: Math- Look for as many rectangles that aren’t squares in your home. Write the names of the objects and/or draw a picture of the objects on the sheet provided.

Tuesday:
Humanities- Spend some time reflecting on your spring break. Choose one experience to write about and draw a picture.

Wednesday:
Science- Read the new magazine that you have chosen in your homework folder. Draw a picture of the animal or animals described in the magazine. Write about something you learned in the magazine on the lines provided in your own words, and on the back page please write the page or pages where you found this information.

Thursday: Literacy- Sight word practice sheet.

*Please continue to read for at least fifteen minutes every night with your child.

Announcements

Current Event Schedule and Dates: Please see email outlining current event expectations and guidelines. Here is the schedule for 1B’s first round:

5/9 Avery
5/10 Daniela
5/11 Eilis
5/16 Beckett
5/17 Owen
5/18 Kai
5/23 Mina
5/24 Lucy
5/25 Jacques


a progressive learning environment
an emphasis on science, math and technology

Alta Vista School  |  info@altavistaschoolsf.org   |   Telephone: 415 / 467.3700