October Post, 1st Grade Hamsterdam

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Hey all!

I think I need to make these less involved so I don’t feel overwhelmed by doing them. I am so sorry I got behind. Here is the post about what we did in October, and November is coming soon. Let me just say that I adore these Exploring Hamsters, and this year has been one filled with so much learning, teamwork, fun and laughter! I cannot wait for what 2018 will bring for this exceptional group of kiddos!

First Grade had an amazing! Both months seemed to fly by with the holidays, but we had a lot of fun, digging deeper into our curriculum areas.

In October, First Graders got their first Monthly Home Project, which was an investigation into each child’s family. They researched how their families came to the U.S., how many members are in their family, some favorite traditions and customs of their families, interviewed a family member, etc. We will be having a Family Festival in January, due to postponement because of illness in November.

In Math, we began exploring subtraction and number pairs that add to 10. We worked on more strategies for solving number stories, and created our own number stories. We connected with our Social Studies Family Unit by making a “Family Counts” bar graph, and also learned about comparing numbers with greater/less than/equals, as well as using ten frames. Also, we introduced subtraction as a “missing addend” concept- two sides of the same coin, really! Back to Back was one of their favorite games we learned, introducing addition and subtraction algebraically. We also learned a crucial addition strategy, called the “turn-around rule,” i.e. the commutative property of addition. Lastly, we continued our Morning Meeting calendar and pattern math, weather data, skip counting games and songs, and explored engineering and geometry with hands-on manipulatives and challenges at centers and during exploration time.

In Reading, we began our “book clubs,” or guided reading groups, during ELA center rotations. We read some amazing stories, like “Inspector Hopper,” “If you give a Pig a Pancake,” “The Happy Day, and “Molly and Polly.” In each of these groups, we work on oral reading skills a lot, such as enunciation, pacing, pausing, and projection, as well as continuing to tap and sound out words and recognize the high-frequency words more and more. We continued to review our basic consonant and vowel sounds, and moved into Unit 3, studying digraphs. We also continued to review our trick and high-frequency words. In writing, we really worked on how to form letters correctly, using our phonetic spelling, and practicing spelling and phonics of our CVC words during journaling and writing centers.

In Science, we learned about the states of matter, doing several experiments during our Science Day at the end of the month. We also began learning about properties of matter, and this is a domain we will expand on more and more throughout the year, to eventually include properties such as magnetism and buoyancy. We also just began to study the parts and life cycle of a plant, via planting our own garden.

In Social Studies, we learned about our families and asked “What makes a family?” as our essential question. The accompanying questions included 1) “What is a home?” 2) What are my own and my family’s needs and wants? 3) What is my family’s and my own timeline and history?

October included our Science Day, our Dot Project culmination, and so much more! Below are some pictures of our Vermacomposting Lesson with Middle Schoolers, some math games and explorations, including the very popular “roll and graph” activity, and weeding our garden with their 4th grade buddies. Enjoy!