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Learning at AASWelcome to the Anglo-American School of Moscow’s Grade 1 Team Blog. Here you will find what’s happening in Grade 1 classrooms, student work and much more. Please check back often and feel free to leave us a message with your ideas, links and good thoughts.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Spirit Day – Thanks for sending them in their matching clothes for Twin Day!

How We Express Ourselves – Creative thinking – The students are creating with enthusiasm. Many are getting inspired by classmates and changing their thinking and designs while creating. This is an important part of the design process. When we can see shortfalls in our construction, our peers can provide valuable assistance and advice as we rework our plan. Often perseverance and the courage to make changes after initial failures, are the keys to success in inventing. Do you have a favorite invention/inventor? Tell your child about an invention you would find very hard to live without. As our creative work continues, please keep collecting and sending in your recyclables. – egg boxes, plastic bottles, cardboard boxes, fabric, ribbon, wood, etc)

Writing – As we are wrapping up our opinion writing, we are beginning to look ahead to our next writing unit – poetry. Parents, did you ever have to memorize a poem as a student? Do you have a favorite poet/poem? Do you know any funny or silly poems you heard as a child? Even though the poems you remember may be difficult for your child to understand, share a poem or some ideas about why a certain poem interested you. What is special about poetry?

Math – As we finish our shapes and fraction unit, we will move back into more problem solving work. One of the important concepts we will review is the meaning of the equal sign. Are these statements true?  6+3=3+6, 7=3+4, 10+10+6=20+6, 7+7=14+3 (Many will believe this is true, because seven and seven make fourteen, and then they continue with the next operation.)

Home Connection: Do some backward problem-solving. If you see this equation 8+6=14, can you make up a story that fits the problem? What if the problem has a missing addend?  (7+?=16) Can you tell a story that matches the equation and find the solution? (There were 7 kids on the playground. Some more came out to play. Then there were 16 on the playground. How many more kids came out to play?)

Next week is the last week of after school activities

Important Dates:

Thursday, June 1 – Last day of after school activities

Saturday, June 3 – International Fair 11:30-15:00

Thursday, June 15 – All day field trip to Kuzminiki Park to the Bee Apiary

Monday, June 19 – Field trip to Experimentarium

Wednesday, June 21 – Last Day – NOT late start, closing ceremony, dismissal at 12:00

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Friday, May 19, 2017

Spirit Day on Friday! – It is Twin Day on Friday, May 26. Dress like a friend.

How We Express Ourselves – Creative thinking – The first graders have been creating with purpose. They have been using the recyclables to plan, design and build a number of projects. Some have created toys, others have made devices to help cross a busy street. They are stretching their thinking, by trying to see ordinary objects in new ways. Please continue to collect and send in your recyclables. – egg boxes, plastic bottles, cardboard boxes, fabric, ribbon, wood, etc)

Writing – First graders are full of opinions. They can tell you their favorite color, season, pet, etc and tell you why they like it. Ask your child about some of the opinion pieces he/she has been working on. Have a family brainstorm about opinions and help your child develop some other ideas for opinion writing.

Math – This week there’s been a lot of talk about a ‘fair share’ in math. We are looking at beginning fractions and the importance of dividing shapes or groups equally. We are concentrating on halves and fourths, but many students are ready to explore other fractions as well.  

Home Connection: Show some fair sharing by dividing things into equal parts at home. Can your child cut and share a slice of bread for 2 people, 4 people? Share a banana. Make a playdoh cake or pizza. How would you share it? Use animal crackers or breakfast cereal. If I have 12 pieces can I share it equally for 2, 3, 4, 6 people? How would I do it?

Important Dates:

Friday, May 26 – Twin day! Dress like a friend.

Thursday, June 1 – Last day of after school activities

Saturday, June 3 – International Fair 11:30-15:00

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Friday, May 12, 2017

How We Express Ourselves – Creative thinking – Part of our unit focus is on perspective. Seeing something from a new vantage point often opens up our thinking. Many of the first graders made changes in their egg drop projects after taking a gallery walk and seeing what others had done. It is not always easy to take on another’s idea and incorporate it to make your design better. We will practice changing our perspective and using our imaginations as we look at ordinary objects with a new view. “This is a spoon, but it could also be a guitar for a mouse.” “This is an ice cream stick, but it could also be . . .” We will also be inventing, designing and creating objects, so please send in your recyclables. Please continue to collect and send in your recyclables. – egg boxes, plastic bottles, cardboard boxes, fabric, ribbon, wood, etc)

Writing – So what’s your opinion about that? Do you have a favorite you can tell about? The students are beginning to write about things they feel strongly about. Here are some of their titles, “Winter is the Best!” “Waking Up is the Worst” “The Perfect Pet!” This week we began writing our opinions. What do you feel strongly about? Share your opinion and some reasons for it with your child and ask him/her to do the same.

Math – Our shape study continues in math. Students are beginning to share the properties and vocabulary associated with 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional shapes – vertices, edges, faces, etc. We are also learning some of the names of shapes –  sphere, cube, cylinder, etc.

Home Connection: Seek out shapes at home. How many flat faces or surfaces does it have? Are all of the faces the same shape? Can it roll? How many edges does it have? Vertices?

Important Dates:

Thursday, June 1 – Last day of after school activities

Saturday, June 3 – International Fair 11:30-15:00

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Friday, May 5, 2017

Enjoy the long weekend! Safe journeys to all who are traveling!

How We Express Ourselves – Creative thinking – Our PYP coordinator, Josey Watts, provided the provocation for our unit when she dropped her eggs on the floor. After seeing the mess, she challenged the first graders to create a container that would keep an egg from breaking if it were dropped. The first graders got right to work and created their “safe-egg” carriers.We enjoyed dropping them from the playground equipment and a great many of the eggs survived the experience – although some didn’t make the journey from the classroom to the playground and back. Hmmm . . . wonder what problem we will be thinking and designing solutions for next week? Families can help us by continuing to collect and send in your recyclables. – egg boxes, plastic bottles, cardboard boxes, fabric, ribbon, wood, etc)

Writing – This week we started taking a closer look at opinion writing. We began by reading books with opinions and persuasive writing, many of which are attempts to talk parents into getting a pet, or a toy. Share with your child, times when you look for the opinions of others. Do you check out reviews of books, hotels, restaurants, apps, etc.?

Math – Thanks to all of the families who sent in wrapped shapes. They provided a great way for us to begin using the vocabulary of shapes – sides/faces, edges, vertices/corners as well as the shape names –  sphere, cone, cube, rectangular prism, pyramid, cylinder, ect.

Home Connection: As you are out and about this weekend, ask your child about the shapes he/she sees. Take time to build and play with shapes.

PE – As the weather warms up, we may be heading outside to use the field in PE. Please help your child be prepared by sending a water bottle, hat, and applying sunscreen on PE days.  Also, please check that your child has indoor and outdoor shoes at school that are appropriate for PE.

Important Dates:

Monday, Tuesday, May 8-9 – No School – Victory Day

Saturday, June 3 – International Fair 11:30-15:00

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Friday, April 28, 2017

How the World Works – Materials – It appears that the interest in materials and explorations will continue long after our unit finishes. The students have enjoyed predicting, manipulating, and observing reactions. Some of the classes will do a bit more exploring next week as we get ready for our final unit, How We Express Ourselves. Again we ask for your help for this unit as we will be doing a lot of construction work with recyclables. Please send in your recyclables – egg boxes, plastic bottles, cardboard boxes, fabric, ribbon, wood, etc)

Writing – We celebrated our informational writing by getting all of the classes together and sharing our “All About” books today. You may see some of your child’s informational writing coming home, but many students have chosen their best work to be part of their portfolios.

Math – We began our geometry and time unit with an exploration. The students moved through each of the first grade classrooms to build and manipulate 3D shapes and pattern blocks. They created new shapes from other shapes, divided shapes, and they also investigated time with stopwatch and timer play. Next week we will begin a more focused look at the properties of 2D and 3D shapes.

Home Connection: One of our homework choices next week will include wrapping a 3D shape at home and bringing it into school. (Use whatever you like – foil, newspaper, scrap paper, wrapping paper, etc.) Your child will lead the discussion of the shape’s name and properties. Then we will make a guess what the shape is and unwrap it to find out. Encourage your child to share a wrapped shape with the class.

Important Dates:

Monday, Tuesday, May 8-9 – No School – Victory Day

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Friday, April 21, 2017

Earth Day – Thanks for sending them in their blue/green earth colors. Special thank you to all of the parent volunteers who contributed to the success of the Eco Green Fair today.

Thursday is Market Day – As a culmination of their economics unit, the third grade classes have invited us to participate in their Market Day. They will have lots of food items, sweet treats, and products for us to buy with prices from 10 rubles to 200 rubles. We recommend that students bring a purse or bag with coins so that they can practice counting out their money for their purchases. First graders should bring some change on Thursday!

How the World Works – Materials – We are wrapping up our materials unit next week. This is one of our units where many of the first graders took action and choose to try experiments with their families at home. Thank you to all who encouraged this by opening up your kitchen cupboards and overlooking the mess. If your child has tried an experiment at home, please encourage him/her to share it with the class.

Reading – Good readers make connections. Often students make connections as they read or listen to stories and each connection reinforces their understanding of the story. Here are a few questions you can ask to encourage your child to make connections with text. Have you ever felt the way the character is feeling? Do you remember doing something like that? Does this story remind you of something?  As you read together, make your own connections with the text. “That reminds me of when we went to the beach. Remember how hot is was?”

Math – Although we will come back to our study of place value and continue to work on addition and subtraction, next week we will shift our math focus with a look at shapes and parts of shapes. We will investigate 2D and 3D shapes and their properties and be introduced to basic fractions.

Home Connection: Go on a shape hunt around your house. Look for 2D and 3D shapes. “Can you find a shape with 4 sides? Five? Six?  Can you find a shape that rolls?”  More challenge: “Can you find a 3D shape with a square face/side? Rectangle?

New Activities Begin –  The new Penguin Clubs begin next week. Please make sure that students, drivers, nannies, bus monitors, and bus companies are aware of changes to your child’s schedule.

Important Dates:

Monday, April 24 – New activities begin

Thursday, April 27 – Bring some money for 3rd Grade Market Day

Monday, Tuesday, May 8-9 – No School – Victory Day

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Friday, April 7, 2017

Enjoy Spring Break! Safe journeys to all who are traveling! School resumes on Monday, April 17

Happy Easter to all who are celebrating!

How the World Works – Materials – Our investigation into matter continues. The students are enjoying a closer look at solids and liquids and are learning about the properties of each. We will continue to predict, mix, and change materials and learn how they react. Again, if your child has tried an experiment at home, please encourage him/her to share it with the class. Some of the experiments shared from home have inspired other students to try it out for themselves.

In the Woods! – Dress for an extended time in the woods on Wednesday, April 19. We’ll be heading into the nearby woodland with the visiting Outdoor Learning Consultants. The consultants are coming to expand our understanding of learning in the outdoors. We expect to be getting ‘up close’ to nature, therefore we request that everyone be dressed for the weather and prepared to get muddy. Rubber boots or shoes and clothes that can get muddy are essential.

Spirit Day – Friday, April 21 student council invites us to wear blue and green as we celebrate the earth with our Eco-Green Fair.

Writing –   Ask your child about one of his/her informational or “All About” books. What did he/she write about? Does it include some of these text features: table of contents, headings, bold type, fun facts, labeled drawings, diagrams (like life cycles), glossary, index etc . . . ? Although we will continue with our informational writing when we return, the students will be welcome to share their holiday adventures with some narrative writing as well. Also, if your child keeps a holiday journal, please encourage him/her to share it with the class when school resumes.

Math – The teachers have been working on creating rich problems for students in our inservice work this week. A rich problem often has many solutions and requires students to think about the process they are using rather than recall facts. It usually requires students to draw or use manipulatives to illustrate their thinking.

Home Connection: Here is a rich problem to try with your child: Max’s family had 2 boxes of ten markers each and 3 extra markers to share. If Max takes more markers than his sister how many could each of them have? If your child is quick to give one response, ask if there are other ways to do it and how to show his/her thinking.

No Activities our first week after the break – Please make sure students, drivers, nannies, bus monitors and bus companies are aware of the change in schedules for the week of April 17 as well as the possible changes the following week when new activities begin.

Important Dates:

Wednesday, April 5 – Sign up began for next after school activity session (No activities the first week after the break.)

Thursday, April 6 – this session of after school activities finished

April 10-14 – No school – Spring Break

Monday, April 17 – School resumes – no activities this week

Wednesday, April 19 – Dress for the woods with our outdoor consultant

Friday, April 21 – Spirit Day! Dress in blue and green

Monday, April 24 – New activities begin

The blog will be updated each Friday. Please subscribe to get weekly updates automatically.