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Welcome 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 20, 2016

Spirit Day – Thanks for sending them all inside-out and backwards today! It was an inside-out and backwards day in many respects!

Sharing the Planet  – People can make choices to help support the earth’s resources – Students are beginning to see the connections between waste and our natural resources. The next step for many is to think about what we can do to reduce, reuse, and recycle to produce less waste and conserve earth’s resources. We look forward to some creative solutions.

Reading – Many are enjoying reading non-fiction books and are focusing in on the text features they see and want to include in their own writing. Ask your child what topic he/she has chosen for an informational book. Perhaps you can help them research by finding a kid friendly site that you can read together that may give them some facts to add to their own book.

Writing – Most of the students have made a great start on their first informational books. After getting our ideas, we begin with a plan that might become our chapter headings or table of contents. We are reading about and sharing facts with our classmates as we begin to write what we know.

Math – We have been working on identifying the properties of 2D and 3D shapes. Thanks to all who helped your child wrap shapes for the homework assignment and our identification and guessing game. In this unit we are also looking at fractions (one-half, one-fourth or one-quarter) as we divide shapes. We are also beginning to see the relationship of these fractions with the clock face as we talk about time on the hour and half-hour.

Home connection: Help your child develop a concept of time. “We will read for 10 more minutes and then it is bedtime.” Talk about what time you go to bed, get up, have dinner etc. Also help them get a feel for elapsed time. About how long is a minute? What can I do in a minute? An hour? How long is my favorite video? What takes about the same amount of time as the video? Eating dinner? Playing a game?                          

Important Dates:

Thursday, June 2 – Last day of after school activities

Thursday, June 9 – All first grade field trip to the Apiary

Friday, June 10 – Summer Field Day

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Friday, May 13, 2016

Friday is a Spirit Day – It’s inside-out day! No uniform, instead wear your clothes inside-out! This should be easy for first graders as this is how many of us come back from the swimming pool!

Sharing the Planet  – People can make choices to help support the earth’s resources – This week we began an investigation into natural resources – What are they? Thanks to families who helped their children develop a list of natural resources in their homework books. One of the next steps for some of the classes will be to investigate the relationship between our natural resources and waste.

Reading – Many students are enjoying independent reading time and that’s great. We hope you continue to find the time to read with and to your child as well. As we tackle more difficult books, an adult reading partner is invaluable to assist us with difficult vocabulary and help us to maintain our understanding.

Writing – After an investigation into text features, many of the classes will begin writing informational or “All About” books. You can help your child by talking about things they know a lot about or are interested in. They will be developing lists of possible writing ideas and trying some of them as our unit progresses.

Math – We spend a great deal of our math time reading and solving problems. After initial understanding of the problem, your child many know several ways to solve it. He/she may draw the objects, make a tape diagram, use number bonds, draw quick tens and ones, etc.

Home connection: Ask your child to solve this problem using some of the strategies mentioned above. Can he/she show and explain 2 or 3 different strategies? 22 kids were on the playground. Some of them were on the swings. Fifteen were not swinging. How many were swinging?                           

Important Dates:

Friday, May 20 – Spirit Day – Inside-out day. No uniform – Wear your clothes inside-out

Thursday, June 2 – Last day of after school activities

Thursday, June 9 – All first grade field trip to the Apiary

Friday, June 10 – Summer Field Day

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

Thursday May 5, 2016

Enjoy the long weekend! See you Tuesday.

Sharing the Planet  – People can make choices to help support the earth’s resources – As we begin our look at resources we are concentrating on waste. Many of the classes took a tour of school looking for evidence of waste. Next we are attempting to determine what is the difference between use of a material and wasting it. Thanks to families who helped your children do an investigation of waste at home. Next we will look at our own classrooms. What do we throw away? How much waste do we create in a day? A week?

Reading – We are beginning to focus on informational books in our reading. This will serve as an introduction to our next writing unit. As we read and share nonfiction books we will begin to notice the text features that we might be including in our own writing.

Writing – First grade classes are beginning to look more closely at nonfiction informational books to identify text features that may be different from fiction. Students will mark and share things they notice. Each class will compile a list of text features such as “table of contents, headings, bold type, etc” and begin to include some in their own informational writing.

Math – One of the most difficult things in math – is reading, What???!! It’s true! Being able to read a math problem with understanding so that you can draw or represent the story with numbers is often challenging. Many of our math lessons include a math story that your child must read, understand, and determine how to solve. Often practice making up our own math stories, enable us to better understand others.

Home connection: Trade stories with your child. Each of you make up a math story and see if the other can solve it. Initially, many children will put numbers in the thousands when making up a problem for their parents. Tell them they must be able to solve the problem, show how they will do it, and tell the answer before testing you. “How many altogether” are usually the easiest to solve. “Some more came or left” are more difficult. (He had 15 pencils. He lost some. Now he has 9. How many did he lose?) Can your child give a number sentence? (15 – ? = 9) Can he/she tell how he would solve it? Do I add or subtract? Writing our own problems gives us a better understanding of math stories and greater confidence in solving them.                          

Important Dates:

Friday, May 6 – No School – Faculty professional development day

Monday, May 9 – No School – Victory Day

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

Friday, April 29, 2016

Short weeks – No school next Friday, May 6 – Staff Professional Development Day

No School Monday, May 9 – Victory Day

Sharing the Planet  – People can make choices to help support the earth’s resources – Most of the classes began our unit this week with a focus on waste. What is waste? What are some examples of waste we see at home, school or in our community?

Reading – We are beginning to focus on informational books in our reading. This will serve as an introduction to our next writing unit. As we read and share nonfiction books we will begin to notice the text features that we might be including in our own writing.

Writing – We celebrated the culmination of our poetry unit with a mass poetry reading this week. The students enjoyed getting together with students from other classes to share their favorite poems. We hope you can find some time at home for a poetry reading (perhaps each family member could read a favorite poem) as the students are proud of what they produced and would enjoy sharing their writing with their families. Most of the first graders brought their poetry books home this week.

Math – Students continue to develop a deep number sense as they break-apart and put together numbers to complete addition and subtraction problems. Many students are developing a number of strategies for solving problems and are able to explain their thinking. Of course the goal is to manipulate numbers with greater confidence and efficiency.

Home connection:  How would your child tackle a problem like this: 17 + 8 = ?  Here are just a few of the possibilities:  Draw individual shapes for each number and count them, draw tens and ones and count them, think of 17 and count on 8 with fingers, or . . .

Add ones, add tens           Break apart 8 to make a 10            Break 7 to make 10

17 + 8                                17 + 8                                               17 + 8

7 + 8 = 15                          10 + 7 + 3 + 5                                  10 + 5 + 2 + 8

15 + 10 = 25                      10 +10 + 5 = 25                               10 + 5 + 10 = 25

Although some of these strategies may at first seem rather cumbersome, it is often how many of us think of the numbers and what we would do in our heads. What happens in your head when you put together 17 and 8?

Homework – As the next two weeks are 4 day weeks, we will get a new homework choice board on Monday that we will use for the two-week period May 2-13.                     

Important Dates:

Friday, May 6 – No School – Faculty professional development day

Monday, May 9 – No School – Victory Day

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

Friday, April 22, 2016

Earth Day – Spirit Day – Thanks for sending them in their earthtones today in honor of International Earth Day

How We Express Ourselves – Thinking about things in many ways extends our ability to create, solve problems and express ideas.  This week we wrapped up our creativity and thinking unit with a gallery walk to view all of the many creations we produced in first grade. Many were inspired for future projects and explained how seeing what others’ have done changed their thinking. The possibilities seem endless. All of our work with the recyclables will segue very nicely into our next unit –Sharing the Planet which has a focus on waste and how we can Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

Writing – Many of the classes have worked on word choice in their poetry writing this week. We thought about our five senses and how we can incorporate what we see, hear, smell, feel and taste as we attempt to paint a picture with our words. As many families were traveling over the holiday, some new experiences were fresh in our minds for poetic inspiration. The first graders will celebrate their poetry writing next week with a mass poetry reading. All of the classes will get together and share some of their favorite poems with partners and friends from different classes.

Math – Reading and understanding math stories is a vital part of our problem-solving work. Being able to manipulate the numbers is great, but we must also be able to comprehend the stories so that we can determine how we will go about solving problems. Students must recognize the given information, determine what is missing and what operation will help them to solve it. Sometimes the best way to understand problems is by creating your own.

Home connection:  Often our homework choice boards include an option to write our own math stories. Creating our own math stories is a great way to build understanding for solving them. Ask your child to create a math story and then show you how he/she would solve it. Encourage him\her to share an original problem with the class.

Activities – New activities begin next week. Please make sure that your child, Nanny, driver, and bus company are aware of schedule changes.

Important Dates:

Monday, April 25 – New after school activities begin.

Friday, May 6 – No School – Faculty professional development day

Monday, May 9 – No School – Victory Day

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

Friday, April 8, 2016

Enjoy the week! No School April 11-15. Safe journeys to all who are traveling!

Conferences – It was great to see families at our student-led conferences on Thursday. Thank you for taking the time to be here and share your child’s learning.

Note: If you would like an opportunity to discuss your child’s progress individually, please contact the teacher to schedule an additional time to meet.

How We Express Ourselves – Thinking about things in many ways extends our ability to create, solve problems and express ideas.  We are thinking about our thinking in first grade. With the help of De Bono’s thinking hats, we can see an ordinary object from new perspectives. Let’s look at an apple. We can do some “white hat” thinking when we just tell the facts about the apple – It is red. It grows on a tree. It has a skin. We engage in “yellow hat” thinking when we tell the positive aspects of an apple – It is good for you. It is delicious. We’ve done lots of “green hat” thinking (change, adapt, make something new) as we design and create with our recyclables. Please keep sending your recyclables as we continue to use them in our constructions and they will become part of our Sharing the Planet unit that is next –  (larger boxes like shoe boxes are particularly popular – egg boxes, cereal boxes, containers, milk and juice cartons, plastic bottles, empty paper rolls, etc) along with bits of ribbon, fabric, buttons, or beads, broken toys, missing-piece puzzles, game parts, . . .

Writing – Poem writing continues. We encourage the first graders to write a poem about events, places, or experiences from their week away from school. We are learning that one small moment of time can be transformed into a poem when we think about our five senses and describe feelings. Although we will be wrapping up our poetry writing in the week after the break, we encourage students to bring in a photo from their trip that may inspire their poetry writing. They are always welcome to share favorite poems with the class at any time.

Math – Add  or subtract 10 to any 2-digit number. At first this is difficult to do mentally. We are showing this with coins, tens and ones blocks, and drawings. After some practice students are ready to visualize the numbers as tens and ones and then mentally take-away or add a ten – then 20, 30, etc. Then we are ready to use what we know about adding and subtracting 10, to add or subtract 9.

Home connection: If you are traveling, use the local currency and play with tens and ones coins. “Sell” items to your child. “Your juice box is 37 cents, rubles, dinars, or pence. Show me 37 with these coins.”

Activities – No activities our first week after the break (April 18-22). Please make sure that your child, Nanny, driver, and bus company are aware of schedule changes for that week and the following week (April 25-29) when activities begin again.

Important Dates:

April 11-15 – No school – Spring break!

Monday, April 18 School resumes – NO ACTIVITIES THIS WEEK

Friday, April 22 – Spirit Day – dress in Earth Colors for international Earth Day

Monday, April 25 – New after school activities begin.

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

Friday, April 1, 2016

Career Spirit Day – Thanks for helping your child dress for their future possibilities!

Wed April 6 – Student-led conferences – Here is what to expect:

  • No school that day. Your child comes with you at your assigned time in formal uniform
  • 3-5 families will be in the room at the same time for about a 40-minute session
  • Your child will lead the conference as he shares some of his learning through portfolios, projects, math games, etc. Please feel free to use your native language.
  • Families then have time to visit specialist teachers

See you on April 6!

Note: If you would like an opportunity to discuss your child’s progress individually, please contact the teacher to schedule an additional time to meet.

How We Express Ourselves – Thinking about things in many ways extends our ability to create, solve problems and express ideas.  It has been an amazing transition as the shape and make-up of our recyclables inspires us to create vehicles, creatures, buildings, etc. As we have been enjoying the freedom to create, we also continue to discuss different ways of thinking about and seeing ordinary objects. Please keep sending your recyclables as we continue to use them in our constructions. (larger boxes like shoe boxes are particularly popular – egg boxes, cereal boxes, containers, milk and juice cartons, plastic bottles, empty paper rolls, etc) along with bits of ribbon, fabric, buttons, or beads, broken toys, missing-piece puzzles, game parts, . . .

Writing – Poem writing continues as the students try out writing forms they see in the poetry we read. Many are thinking about their word choice as we try to use our senses to make our descriptions more vivid. Some students brought in photos or objects from home (as suggested in the homework) to help inspire them to write. Students are welcome to share any poems they have read and enjoyed (found in books, online, etc.)  with the class. Perhaps your child could share a poem in his/her home language and tell the class briefly what it is about.

Math – Drawing tens and ones blocks or coins is a good way for students to picture double-digit addition problems. A problem that can seem challenging at first, becomes clear when students can use coins to show it.

Home connection: Ask your child to try this problem using ten-ruble and one-ruble coins. “You have 46 rubles. You find 21 more rubles in the couch. How much do you have now?”  For greater challenge try this one: “You have some money. Your Dad gives you 15 more rubles. Now you have 37 rubles. How much did you have at the start?”

Important Dates:

Wednesday, April 6 – No school – student-led conferences – formal uniform

Thursday, April 7  – Director’s Spirit Day – Wear blue and green in honor of our earth and our Eco-Green Fair.   Last day of this after school activity session.

April 11-15 – No school – Spring break!

Monday, April 25 – New after school activities begin.

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