Mrs. Balsewicz’s 1st Grade November
Math: We are currently finishing up on using base ten blocks to find ones,
tens and hundreds within a number. That’s where the students take a number
(97) and know that in order to make that number it needs to have 9 tens, (9
groups of ten ones (popsicle sticks) and 7 ones (individual popsicle sticks). This
work is to allow the children to have a better understanding of what makes up a
number. Not only do they need to make the number using base ten blocks, they
also need to be able to write the number 97 when seeing base ten blocks as well
as writing the expanded form equation 90 + 7 = 97. The students also worked on
vocabulary words such as, greater than, less than and equal. Using these
vocabulary words, the students needed to indicate if a number sentence was true
or false and provide an explanation to their thinking either by drawing and/or
writing in their Math Journals. For example, 55 > 81, False because 55 has only
5 tens and 81 has 8 tens. 11 = 9 + 2 True because 9+1 would be ten and 1 more
would be 11. The children have also been exposed to equations as hard as the
following 16+4=10+____ to show understanding of what equal really means (each
side of the equations need to balance).
Please let me know if you have questions.
In Unit 3 the students will be working on using strategies such as counting all,
counting on, using doubles, and bridging to 10 to answer algebraic equations. We
will also continue to work on writing, identifying and counting numbers to 120
along with problem solving (Fred had 4 apples and he picked 7 more, how many
does he have now?) For homework, give your child some math story problems
that they can figure out that have to do with their life which creates more
meaning for them. For example, we have six people eating, we have______
number of ___________, how many will each person get?
In Writer’s Workshop, the children are working on adding Bold Beginnings (who,
when and where) Mighty Middles (what, how and why) and Extraordinary Endings
(adding an ending that is close to the story. For example, instead of saying, the
end or we went home, they could say, It was the best day ever or I can’t wait to
go again, etc. The children are doing a great job of adding punctuation to the end
of their sentences, putting spacing between their words and capitalizing the
letter I when they are talking about themselves (who is the most important
person in the story). The children will continue to add details to their mighty
middles. This is where the children will work on showing the story rather than
just telling the details. The listeners need to be able to visualize what is
happening in the story. For example, writing, I saw a bird , that is an example of
telling the story whereas, I looked out the window and saw a red bird flying in
front of the window. It came so close that I jumped back because I thought it
was going to hit the window showing the listener.
Snack Reminders and Cautions: First grade has snacks every day at approximately 1:50. It’s amazing how hungry
the children are for snacks. It must be all that brain power being used! . If you
want them to have a snack in the afternoon, please plan on sending one with them.
(Great teaching opportunity in independence, have your child pick out their snack
and put it in their backpack before they go to bed)
Please continue to send back library books to school when your child is
done reading them so they can be quarantined . Tuesdays is our library day.
1st Grade Positive Happenings In 1st grade I believe, “We are all good”, it’s the choices we make,
that are good or bad! I see discipline not as a punishment but rather
an opportunity for learning! Positive reinforcement is used in the
classroom, such as positive comments, high fives, stickers, a pat on
the back, etc. As a class, the children can earn pom-poms for good
choices that are made during class. When the jar is full, the
children will decide and vote as a group as to what they would like to
do for a party (voting and group decision making is a standard in
Social Studies). Watch for emails regarding the earned parties. In
addition to class rewards, the children can also earn individual tickets
for good choices. Once they have earned 10, they may turn them in
for a prize of their choosing from the prize box.
However, at times their needs to be consequences for our actions,
just like in the “real world”. Holding students accountable for their
actions is not a punishment but rather an opportunity to make the
students responsible. Both empathy and consequences drive the
teaching, to help students to grow and be responsible individuals.
The students are very excited to be celebrating their 1st Reward
Party. The students have collected enough pom-poms to fill up a jar
with all their good choices they have been making. Yesterday, we
brainstormed some ideas for parties and after voting, Candy Party
(Kid Choice) had the most votes. I promise to keep it to a small
amount. We are going to also play candyland (if I can find a few more
Please let me know if you have any questions.
1st Grade and Meadowbrook
Happenings November 12th--Candy Party
November 25nd-29th Happy Thanksgiving (No School)
We are starting a new unit for social
studies, Economics. The children will be
learning about wants and needs and
community workers, services and goods.
Learning is Fun!