Happy January! First graders rang in the new year with lots of enthusiasm as they explored the concept of air and air resistance in science. What better way to test air resistance than to drop your own parachute made from an everyday napkin. Students were later challenged to think like engineers while designing and testing a parachute that would deliver “food” in a “basket” to hungry villagers below. Students were able to identify the problem, potential design problems, draw a design, build their parachute and test! Oh what fun they had!!! We have lots of future engineers and villagers with full bellies!
In math, first graders have tackled the difficult concept of place value. First, students worked with base ten blocks to build one and two digit numbers, learning how to regroup a set of 10 cubes for one “long.” We were then able to take this concrete experience and attach it to numbers. For example, 4 longs and two cubes is the same as 42 or 40+2. Lastly, students learned the abstract concept that the “place” a number holds determines its value. The 4 in 42 has a value of 40. We are now moving onto greater than and less than comparisons using alligators. Well, wouldn’t you?
In writing we began a new “Writing Reviews” unit. Students were taught to write their opinions using strong leads that state their opinion clearly, reasons that support their opinion with detail, and strong endings that restate their opinion. Ask your child what their favorite part of their day was. They should be able to provide a great review!
In reading we started a unit on Nonfiction. Students have learned that nonfiction is reading that teaches or informs us, that it is full of facts that we can learn from. Students identified nonfiction literature that is all around us such as menus, posters, cookbooks, road signs, newspapers, magazines, and books. Through hands on exploration and reading, students are now able to identify the features of nonfiction books, such as headings, bold print, glossary, index, table of contents, diagrams, real photographs, labels, and charts. In Fundations, students continue to build on their vocabulary while they are learning about the suffix s.
It’s a busy and exciting time in the life of a first grader at Hilltop School.