Thursday, January 19, 2017


We have been working on writing opinions in our classroom.  Yesterday, we did a practice "on-demand" writing prompt.  The prompt was, "A _________ is the best animal."

Check out the first grader's writing, and the comments from their classmates!  We'd love it if you commented about our writing, too!

By Ava:

My cat is the best animal because 1. She's fluffy. 2. She does tricks. 3. She licks me. 4. She makes me laugh very, very, hard. That's why I think my cat is the best.  I love her!

"I like her punctuation." -Emily
"I like that she has numbers for all of her reasons of her cat." -Campbell
"I like her writing because it has capital letters and lowercase letters." -Destiny

By Hanna:

Rabbits is the best animal because they are so cute.  And so funny! And I love the way they smile.  Do you like rabbits?

"I like that she has a question at the end."  -Campbell
"I like rabbits too." -Xavier
"I like all of her punctuation."  Autumn
"I like how she said, 'Do you like rabbits'". -Ava

By Nick:
I like penguins because they swim.  And they eat fish. I like penguins.

"I like how he put some of the things he liked about them into facts." -Emily
"I like penguins too." Lucy
"I like how he writes." Noah

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Anxiously Awaiting...

Friday!  Our WOW word this week is anxious and almost all of our sentences have been about being anxious for Friday because the first graders won't be at school! They are really looking forward to staying in their pajamas later than usual.

In math we have been focusing on addition and subtraction number models.  One way of doing this is the Change-to-More and Change-to-Less model.  Ask your first grader to show you how they work!

We are working to re-tell the story in literacy.  When you read with your first grader at home, ask them to retell the story (or any event!) using only the MOST important parts. We have been discussing what happened in the beginning, the middle and the end.  We have also been summarizing the story in one sentence. 

In Social Studies we have been learning about our community.  We learned that an important part of being a member of a community is being informed and active. To practice these important skills we researched two presidential candidates and compared them across three (first grade appropriate) platforms- healthcare, education, and the environment.  We learned what the candidates believe and how they think they can lead our country successfully.  We made a campaign poster for the candidate we agreed with the most and wrote why we would vote for them. The first graders did a fabulous job with this activity- you can see them in the hallway outside of our classroom!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Counting On

Today we learned a new math game called High Roller.  High Roller helps us practice counting on from the higher number.  Starting with the higher/larger number is important because it speeds up our thinking time!  Also, when you count less numbers, you're less likely to make a mistake!

We are learning all about characters, setting, problem, and solution in literacy.  We've read two funny books this week- Stop Snoring! and My Messy Room.  We filled out graphic organizers to help us track the four parts of the story.  We've also been noticing punctuation marks and using them in our own writing!  The first graders have an impressive knowledge of punctuation marks and wanted to learn about commas and apostrophes this week in addition to periods, question marks and exclamation points- they are so impressive! 

We are focusing on the vowel "u" this week and are practicing reading it, writing it, and using it all the time.  "U" can be short, long and, when combined with other vowels, make TOTALLY different sounds!  We are learning that letters can make many sounds.  Our WOW word this week is evacuate.  Many of us had family members that had to evacuate from Hurricane Matthew.  We have all practiced evacuating a building during a fire drill.

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The first graders love to write and have enjoyed reading their writing like authors to writing partners this week. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Short "O" and Math Strategies

Our focus in word work this week is short "o" and how it comes together with other sounds to make words. We read a silly poem about hogs and dogs and a serious poem about Christopher Columbus that you'll see in your child's folder today.  We read two poems each day in Morning Meeting.  One is to practice the reading strategies we've been working on and the other is to practice learning and understanding more from a challenging text that we will have a harder time reading.  The first graders do a SUPER job each week with these poems.

Our WOW word this week is somber.  Somber means sad or serious.  It was easy to think of sentences for somber with the rainy weather this morning.

We are discussing strategies for addition and subtraction in math.  Today, we talked about using our fingers and counting on.  We realized counting on works best when you start with the larger (higher) number.  We have some impressive mathematicians in our classroom.

In writing we practiced not getting caught up in tricky words- we do our best and we just keep writing! Sharing our writing is one of our very favorite parts of the day. 

We are continuing to learn about important members of our community.  Today, we learned about dentists and how they help our community.

You will see 4 pages of math homework in you child's folder tonight.  Please do 1 page each night (or whenever is convenient for you) and have them all done by Friday!  

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Re-Reading to Make Voices Smoother

Today we practiced another great habit of first grade readers: re-reading to make our voices smoother. We looked a text we had never read before and we tried to figure it out.  The first few times we had to read slowly and use many strategies to figure out the words- we skipped words, we got our mouths ready, we made our best guesses, and eventually we figured it out!  By the time we got to the end, we had almost forgotten what we were reading about, so... we re-read to make our voices smoother and it was SO much more fun!  Ask your first grader what we read to practice that today.  The best part was, I saw many first graders using that strategy in their own books during reader's workshop!  Trying new things is such an important thing to do while we're learning.

We learned "Roll for 50" in math today.  This game helps us use the number grid to count up and back and it's a little tricky because different numbers meant different things. For example, if we rolled a 6 you got to move "up 10".  If you rolled a 4 you had to move "back 6".  The first graders were VERY excited that they beat me as a class.  I have not won ONE math game this year and they know it is driving me CRAZY! 

In writing we tackled tricky drawings and words by not giving up, going slowly, and doing our best to sound each part out!  

The first graders worked so hard today to be safe, respectful and ready to learn.  We had many behavior and mind-set celebrations!  

We are reviewing the vowel "i" this week and have been on the lookout for words that have short (and long!) "i" in it.  One first grader noticed today, "Hey! Mrs. Hershman!  It's almost like you put all of our word list words in our Spelling City list this week!"  It IS almost like that... :)  Our WOW word this week is "glisten".  Many of us have seen lights glistening at night or off of the lake.

You will see two math homework sheets in your child's folder.  Please complete them at your earliest convenience and send them back.  If they could all be back by Friday, that would be great!