First Grade with Jennifer and Matt

Week of October 10 – 13

on October 14, 2017

Hello again parents of 1JM!

We hope everyone had a relaxing three day weekend and an even better four day week! This week flew by in 1JM and we have so much to share with you.

We began our “Literacy Block” work this week with our learning specialist Salvi Muzio leading our very first session. During Literacy Block, the children work that  connects reading and writing strategies and handwriting. Each lesson we introduce a new set of letters. First we pronounce each letter and it’s sound, and then practice writing it on a magnetic writing strip.  Then we put the letters together to make cvc (consonant-vowel-consonant) words before moving on to our handwriting books, where we practice each letter. Finally, the children take dictation from their teachers, working on properly writing down these cvc words. First, they listen to the word; next, they repeat the word; then, they write the word.We look over these dictation sheets with Salvi to monitor our students’ progress after each lesson.

Salvi’s first lesson was focused on short “a,” and the letters “c, d, g.” Talk to your children about the “Magic C” when writing these letters. These letters are all built around writing the letter “c” when being written in lower case.

Salvi leads 1JM in Literacy Block. The kids are tracing the letter “c” in the air.

Jennifer goes over the letters “o,r,n,m” during Literacy Block.

Kelly, as you may know, has been reading to our class every day. She’s halfway though My Father’s Dragon, and she’s using the map in the back of the book to help our students visualize where in the adventure our protagonist is. My Father’s Dragon is a favorite book of Kelly’s since childhood and will continue to read books that she loves to the students of Room 20.  It also just happened to be a childhood favorite of Matt’s, as well, and the book that got him excited about maps – a passion he’ll be bringing to the classroom soon! (Stay tuned.)

Cooper Browning, our Metacognitive Reading Consultant, worked with our half groups this Friday and gave a lesson on Just Right Reading, reinforced what Salvi had taught about finding for ourselves books that are “just right” for us to read during quiet book times.  The children looked through books and made their selections using the strategies Cooper and Salvi had taught them. Salvi gave the class a set of new books and helped us set up a classroom library of “just right books.”  Once the children found their books, they used their “Good Readers” bookmarks to save their page.  

This week, Cooper introduced the concept of reading roles to our young readers. The first role they are learning is the illustrator role where the children use their imaginations to illustrate the story. Cooper read them Me, Frida, a heavily descriptive book about our Artist of the Month, Frida Kahlo, without showing them the pictures. After each page, Cooper asked the students to share what they were able to illustrate in their minds, and then they went off on their own to illustrate a specific page from the book.

Cooper reads Me, Frida to 1JM. Jana explains the illustration she created in her mind.

Finally, the whole class shared their illustrations while we re-read the book, and the group compared 1JM’s illustrations with those in the book.

In math, we continue to work in geometry and with shapes.  We read When a Line Becomes a Shape, by Rhonda Gowler Greene, and used wiki-sticks to make our favorite shapes. Next, we found six different shapes in Room 20.  On Thursday, we read Shapes That Roll and went to Stuyvesant park to find shapes that live in our backyard.  Teddy said: “The world is made of shapes!” and Thompson added:  “We live in a shape!”

1JM finds shapes in the park

As mentioned, we continue to study the life and work of our Artist of the Month, Frida Kahlo.  We reviewed what we know about Frida Kahlo.  The children generated their own questions about the artist.   Queries included: “What inspired her to be an artist?”  and “Why does she paint herself sad?”  In search for answers, the children took picture walks through several books about Kahlo’s life and art.   Next, we read Frida Kahlo, by Isabel Sanchez Vegara, which tells the story of Kahlo’s experiences in life and art, and we found a number of answers to the children questions.

1JM had a very productive week, and as a reward, Matt joined them as a student in PE on Thursday! Jennifer and Matt were impressed with what strong athletes we have – Matt thought he’d dominate dodgeball, but spent most of the class getting hit. He was a big target! Jennifer picked up the class and was amazed by Esme’s beautiful evasive spin moves, and Thomas’ smart strategy of holding on to two balls at once. Matt will definitely be going to PE again this year!

Judith Seidel will be in Room 20 every cycle day 8.  The children will learn early coding and programming with bee-bots (robots) this year.  In her first lesson, Judith shared images of different types of robots that serve a variety of purposes.  For instance, some robots bring us information, like the Mars rover; others do the work we can’t do.  She also explained that robots are smart, but that it’s people who make robots smart.  In pairs, the children took turns programming and operating the Bee-Bots.  Zoe was able to make her Bee-Bot go almost five feet and land directly where she wanted it!

Chloe and Teddy program their Bee-Bot

During choice time, our young entrepreneurs are creating a mock McDonald’s franchise, our young artists are creating beautiful pieces in the art studio, and our young architects are putting together yet another mega-building in the block area!

Young Manager Millie!

Future City Planners

Next week, 1JM will be joining the Friends community in an effort to provide much-needed supplies for hurricane relief efforts. This is a good chance for our kids to learn about giving and charity. We will be collecting donations in Room 20, which will then be delivered to the Puerto Rican Family Institute located at 145 West 15th Street.  The PRFI has been working to organize donation drives, raise funds, recruit volunteers, and deliver donations to Puerto Rico.  The PRFI is accepting:

Personal hygiene products

Mosquito repellent

First aid supplies

Canned and dried food

Diapers for infants and toddlers

Baby food and liquid baby formula

Baby bottles

Batteries and solar chargers

Any donations are greatly appreciated.

Lastly, Jennifer and Matt wanted to thank you for offering to chaperone our field trip to Tenafly on Wednesday, October 18th.  The Tenafly field trip is an all day out door affair, so please be sure that your child wears closed-toed shoes, pants, and long-sleeved shirts with short-sleeved shirts underneath, in case it gets warm.



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