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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, February 5, 2016

Field Day Friday! – We are excited about our winter field day activities on Friday. Students should have appropriate clothes for an extended time outside in the morning. You may want to send in an extra pair of socks so your child has a dry pair to wear in the classroom after our outdoor activities. We are hoping for some fresh snow to play in!

Where We Are in Place and Time – Our central idea: Journeys provide experiences that expand our knowledge and understanding of the world – Thank you parents for sharing your learning journeys with your child. It is eye-opening to learn that our parents were not always good at what they do and that successes took effort. For many of the children it has been a great way to begin to think about their own learning journeys. Thank you! Thanks also to all who helped their child research, draw, or collect photos of favorite sites in Moscow. We have lots of new ideas about good places to visit in the city.

Homework: Bring Friendship Cards on February 12 – We are asking all the first grade students to create cards for each of their classmates – similar to Valentine’s Day cards. These might be a brief greeting message inside a decorated card. The guidelines and class list came home with your child today.

Writing – We are finding that the first graders are full of opinions. They know what they like and do not like. Many are now working on developing their reasons for their opinions. Those that have a handle on that, are moving on to adding an interesting lead and ending to their opinion writing.

Math – We are breaking apart and putting together numbers to become more efficient at computations. How would your child attack this problem? Fifteen kids were on the playground. Some of them were sliding on the hills. Eight were not sliding. How many were sliding? Students may first determine a number sentence that will help solve this problem. (There are several possibilities: 15 – ? = 8, 15 – 8 = ?, ? + 8 = 15, 8 + ? = 15) Now children make a decision about how they will solve – counting up, making or taking from 10, etc. Ask your child to explain his/her thinking.

Skating – Our ice rink has fallen victim to the higher temperatures this week. Although it appears that the ice may not be ready next week, decisions will not be made about skating until just before our scheduled time. Please continue to send skates on your scheduled day. If skating is cancelled, we will have a regular PE session in the gym.

Important Dates:

Friday, February 5 – After school activity sign up continues. Go online to choose activities that will begin after the break.

Friday, February 12 – Winter Field day! Bring and share your friendship cards with classmates!

February 15 – 19 – No school – Winter Break!

Monday, February 22 – School resumes – New activities begin

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

Friday, January 29, 2016

Spirit Day! – Thanks for sending all of those look-alikes for Twin day today!

Where We Are in Place and Time – Our central idea: Journeys provide experiences that expand our knowledge and understanding of the world – Our timelines have been a great way to talk about different kinds of journeys. Our lives are made up of many physical journeys as well as learning journeys. Parents, Thank you so much for your help in creating our timelines. They look great!

Homework: This week we are beginning to share our experiences of Moscow. Students were asked to share a drawing or photograph of a favorite place they can tell us about. Where does your family like to go in the Moscow? Next week we hope all of the kids will share a  favorite Moscow sight if they have not done so already.

Reading – New words! So many new words! Good readers often come across words that they can sound out, but may not understand. First and probably most efficiently, the reader may make a guess about meaning, based on the context of the sentence and read on. Asking someone close by is another good way to get the meaning quickly and continue reading. If the meaning of the passage is not lost, it may be good to read on after marking the word with a sticky note to ask about later. If there are too many new words, the text becomes incomprehensible and should be set aside to read with a partner or adult.

Writing – We took a close look at opinion writing in books this week and many classes have begun writing opinion pieces. This has sparked several opinion polls in first grade classrooms. After stating how we feel about something the next step is to tell why we feel that way. “Why do you think winter is the best season?” Ask your child about his/her opinion on a variety of topics and encourage him/her to explain choices.

Math – We continue to work developing strategies for adding and subtracting numbers within twenty with emphasis on numbers in the teens. Students are encouraged to break apart numbers and visualize 5-groups and tens to help them solve problems without the need to simply memorize answers.

Home connection: Ask your child to show or tell you how he would solve this problem: Alex had 15 cars. He gave 9 to his little brother. How many cars does Alex have now?  If a strategy comes quickly, can he/she tell you a second or third way to solve it? Need a challenge? Start with the unknown: Alex had some cars, He gave 9 to his little brother. Now he has 6. How many cars did Alex have first? Having students develop their own problems is a great way for them to build understanding of problems like this.

Planning Ahead?  – Friendship Cards on February 12 – In case you wanted to get started –  we are asking all first grade students to create cards for each of their classmates – similar to Valentine’s Day cards.Tthis will be the homework for the week of Feb 8-12. These might be a brief greeting message inside a decorated card. We will be sending home some guidelines as well as a class list next week.

Skating – We are expecting some above freezing temperatures next week, but decisions will not be made about skating until just before our scheduled time. So first graders should have their skating things here on their assigned day. If skating is cancelled, we will have a regular PE session in the gym.

Important Dates:

Monday, February 8 – New after school activity sign-up begins

Friday, February 12 – Winter Field day! Bring and share your friendship cards with classmates!

February 15 – 19 – No school – Winter Break!

Monday, February 22 – School resumes – New activities begin

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

Friday, January 22, 2016

Spirit Day Friday! – Friday, January 29 is Twin Day in the elementary school. No uniforms on Friday, instead students team up with a classmate or school friend and come to school dressed alike.

Where We Are in Place and Time – Our central idea: Journeys provide experiences that expand our knowledge and understanding of the world – We began our investigation into journeys with many of the classes looking at maps and students sharing some of their trip experiences. Thank you to all who have begun helping their child complete his/her homework timeline to share next week.

Homework: Life is a Journey! As described on our homework page this week, families are asked to help children develop a timeline of their lives. Please include any events that are significant to your child. “Losing a first tooth, learning to swim, moving to a new place . . .”  Although we have sent home an A3 size paper – any format can be used for this. Perhaps you could discuss/list significant events, provide photos or encourage drawings for some of these events, and let your child decide how to put the information together for sharing with the class. Thanks to all our families for your help with this!

Reading – “That reminds me of . . .”  Good readers make connections with the text. Often what is read makes us think of something that has happened in our lives. Students who make connections are reminded of events they have experienced and are actively reading and thinking about the text. Encourage your child to share what he/she is thinking while reading –  making such connections insures greater reading comprehension..

Writing – Next week, many of the classes will begin an investigation into opinion writing. We will be reading and sharing stories with opinions. As we talk about some of our favorite things, we quickly learn that we all have opinions. When we begin our writing, we will be asking ourselves, “Why do I think that way?”

Math – We continue to work on visualizing 5 groups and tens to help us subtract 9 from numbers in the teens. After working with drawings and manipulatives, students begin to “see” the 10 in their heads and are better able to subtract 9.

Home connection: Ask your child to use a 5-group drawing or ten frame to show how he/she could use it to take away 9. If he/she is comfortable with this, try some problems orally (17 – 9 = ?, 14 – 9 = ?, . . .). Then move on to subtracting 8s or 7s.

Important Dates:

Tuesday, January 26 –  New students and students who were away for the first photo session have photos taken (formal uniform)

Friday, January 29 – Spirit Day! No uniforms! Dress like a friend.

Friday, February 12 – Winter Field day!

February 15 – 19 – No school – Winter Break

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

Friday, January 15, 2016

Welcome back and Happy New Year to all of our First Grade Families!

Where We Are in Place and Time – Our central idea: Journeys provide experiences that expand our knowledge and understanding of the world – We have enjoyed retelling our holiday events and many have had an opportunity to share an artifact from their time away. Some students created holiday journals and have also been sharing them this week. We are collecting a variety of maps for our journey study. If you come across city maps, amusement park maps, or have maps at home that you no longer use, please send them into school with your child. At home, use a tablet to play with Google Earth with your child to help build an understanding of journeys they have made. Although many first graders are familiar with place names, it is often difficult for them to understand the differences between cities, countries and continents. You can use the app to zoom in as you talk about continents, and then familiar countries and cities.

Homework: Life is a Journey! On our homework page next week, families are asked to help children develop a timeline of their lives. Please include any events that are significant to your child. “Losing a first tooth, learning to swim, moving to a new place . . .”  Although we will send home an A3 size paper – any format can be used for this. You can include photos, writing, drawing, etc.

We are Skating! – Here is a reminder of the first grade skating days.

Mondays – 1DC

Tuesdays – 1AO

Wednesdays – 1WL and 1MA

Thursdays – 1HM

Reminder: Our regular swim days will continue as usual.

Reading – When reading at home with your child, encourage him/her to make predictions about the text. “What do you think will happen next?” Predictions don’t have to be correct of course, but can show if children are making inferences and understanding clues from the text.

Writing – Most of us are choosing to write personal narratives as we have many events to share from our holidays. We are reviewing the punctuation we studied before the break and are working on stretching our story ideas with details and emotion.

Math – We are working on using our knowledge of 10s to add and subtract 9 and 8. Using 5 groups  (8 = ooooo   ooo, 12 = ooooo  ooooo  oo) or ten frames students begin to visualize numbers and may use this to help them become more efficient with computations. “I can use 17 – 10 = 7 to help me do 17 – 9 = ?”

Home connection: Make a stack of 10 legos. Use the ten and some loose legos to show numbers in the teens – 18, 15, 12. Practice taking away the ten each time until your child begins to do this in his head. Now how would you take away nine from this number? Guide children to take away the 10, but break off one and leave it. Practice until he can do it in his head. Then try it with subtracting 8 or 7.

Important Dates:

Tuesday, January 26 –  New students and students who were away for the first photo session have photos taken (formal uniform)

Friday, February 12 – Winter Field day!

February 15 – 19 – No school – Winter Break

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

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Holiday Party – Thursday at 2:30 – Thank you to all of the parents who donated time, decorations, and goodies for our student-planned holiday party. Planning it was a hands-on way to learn about cooperation and organizations. Thank you all for your part in putting it together. See you tomorrow!

Where We Are in Place and Time – Our central idea: Journeys provide experiences that expand our knowledge and understanding of the world – We are looking ahead to our new unit that will begin in January. As many of us our embarking on a journey over the holidays we are encouraging students to keep a holiday journal of drawings, stories, poems, ticket stubs, souvenirs, etc. (Optional of course!) We are also asking that each first grader bring an artifact from his/her journey (souvenir, map, photo, etc.) to share with the class when school resumes. We are collecting a variety of maps for our journey study. If you come across city maps, amusement park maps, or have maps at home that you no longer use, please send them into school with your child in the new year.

Skating in January! – Here are the first grade skating days.

Mondays – 1DC (Be ready our first day back at school!)

Tuesdays – 1AO

Wednesdays – 1WL and 1MA

Thursdays – 1HM

Reminder: Our regular swim days will continue in the new year.

Writing – As we will have many moments to share when we return from our holiday, we will be writing personal narratives in January. The next three weeks should provide many experiences that we can write about. (A fast downhill ride on sled or skis, playing in the snow, building a sand castle, a long plane journey . . . )

Math – We are problem-solving. Reading and making sense of the problem is our first step. “What information do I know? What part of the problem is unknown? Are there more? Is this a take-away? Will my answer be more or less?” Visualizing and drawing pictures helps to make the problem clear.

Home connection: Over the holidays play games, play games, play games! Dice, dominoes, playing cards, coins are all great ways for kids to develop their number sense and not feel like they are “doing math”.

Happy Holidays to all of our First Grade Families! Safe journeys to all who are travelling!!

Important Dates:

Thursday, December 17 – Grade one party begins at 2:30

Friday, December 18 – No School – Holiday Begins

Monday, January 11 – School resumes

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

Friday, December 11, 2015

Holiday Concert – Happy that many of you could join us for our holiday concert today! The kids looked great in their formal uniforms. Hope their performance helped you get into a festive mood!

Leaving Early? Returning Late? If your child will not be in school through Thursday, next week, please let the classroom teacher know. This may make a difference in the holiday party planning that students are doing. Also if you know your family will not be back in school when we resume on Monday, January 11, please let your child’s teacher know.

Spirit Day Thursday! – No uniforms on Thursday. Dress in holiday colors for our class party.

How We Organize Ourselves – Organization – The students will meet with their party planning committees one more time to help set up for the class party – Thursday at 2:30.  We continue to make connections to roles, responsibilities and goals of school and home. Thank you to all parents who discussed their company organization information with their child. Many students shared what they learned about Mum and Dad’s jobs with their class.

Where We Are in Place and Time – Journeys– We are looking ahead to our new unit that will begin in January. As many of us our embarking on a journey over the holidays we are encouraging students to keep a holiday journal of drawings, stories, poems, ticket stubs, souvenirs, meaningful postcards or photos. You might also include checklists of things you plan to see (and them check them off).  This journal is optional of course! We are also asking that each first grader bring an artifact from his/her journey (souvenir, map, photo, etc.) to share with the class when school resumes.

Hour of Code – Many of the first graders enjoyed participating in the “Hour of Code” this week. Use this link to learn about what they did or give your child an opportunity to show what he/she learned about coding:  AAS IT Blog

Bring Ice Skates! – Everyone is bringing skates and hats to school next week so that we can practice putting on skates and get fitted for helmets.

Skate Check Dates:

Monday, December 14 – 1DC brings skates and hats

Tuesday, December 15 – 1AO and 1MA bring skates and hats

Wednesday, December 16 – 1HM and 1WL bring skates and hats

Activities finished – We completed this session of activities.. No activities next week. Please make sure that students, drivers, bus monitors, and nannies are aware of the change in schedule

Math – This week students continued to focus on making tens when adding 9 and 8 to single-digit numbers. (9 + 5 = 10 + 4 = 14, 5 + 8 = 10 + 3 = 13). We are using ten-frames and 5 groupings to help us visualize numbers. As we develop a variety of computation strategies, it becomes important to slow down, look closely at problems, and then find an efficient way to solve them. How would your child attack this problem?  5+7+4+5+4+3= ? What looks daunting at first glance, becomes much easier after a closer look for number pairs that make 10 or doubles.

Home connection: Play games, play games, play games! Dice, dominoes, playing cards, coins are all great ways for kids to develop their number sense and not feel like they are “doing math”.

Taganka Bags – Thank you for all of the generous donations. Bags will be accepted on Monday as well.

Important Dates:

Week of December 14 – Bring ice skates and hats to school

Thursday, December 17 at 2:30 – Grade one holiday party – Parents Welcome!

Friday, December 18 – No School – Holiday Begins

Monday, January 11 – School resumes

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

Friday, December 4, 2015

Pyjama’s today! Thanks for sending them in their sleeping gear today. Hmmm . . . for some reason it did not make them sleepy.

Holiday Concert Friday! – Grades 1-5 will be performing in our holiday concert at 10:00 on Friday (Dec 11). We hope you can be there to enjoy the show! Formal uniforms – FRIDAY IS TIE-DAY!

How We Organize Ourselves – Organization – The children have been meeting with their party planning committees to organize our first grade holiday party for Thursday, December 17. We hope to make connections between our party planning organization and AAS as an organization. We will begin to investigate the roles and responsibilities of a variety of people here at school. What is our school goal? What are the responsibilities of individuals and departments in our school? What is my role at school? What happens when someone does not fulfill his/her role? Perhaps you could talk about your company’s mission or goal with your child.

Writing – “What are we doing in writing?” you ask. AHhhhh . . . our punctuation focus continues! Woohoo!!!

Reading – ‘Just right’ take-home book a little too difficult? Take turns reading, tell the story using the pictures, read a few passages, sound them out then reread for fluency. Look for long a or long i words and practice reading those. No need to struggle through a book. Reading should be an enjoyable experience!

Hour of Code – Give your first grader an opportunity to begin basic computer coding. Learn about next week’s Hour of Code activities for all ages from the  AAS IT Blog

Get Ready for Skating! – First graders will be bringing their skates to school for a try-on and check the week of December 14 (we will not be on the ice). Students should also bring their flat (no added pompons) hats so they can be fitted for skating helmets. Skating begins in January! Check out next week’s blog for your child’s skating day.

Skate Check Dates:

Monday, December 14 – 1DC brings skates and hats

Tuesday, December 15 – 1AO and 1MA bring skates and hats

Wednesday, December 16 – 1HM and 1WL bring skates and hats

Math – In math we are breaking down numbers and using our knowledge of pairs that make ten to make addition beyond ten easier. First we think about adding 10 to a single-digit number (10 + 8 = 18). Then we apply that to adding 9 to a single-digit number (9 and 8 is the same as 10 and 7). Next we will try it when we add 8 and then 7 to single-digit numbers. Each time making a ten for easier adding (8 + 5 = 8 + 2 + 3 = 10 + 3 = 13 and 7 + 4 = 7 + 3 + 1 = 10 + 1 = 11).  This appears to be a lot of steps, but is often what students who are comfortable with numbers will do in their heads. The goal is that students understand a variety of strategies and are able to choose what is most efficient for them. Often the favored strategy will change as we become more comfortable with new methods. Many will continue to put the big number in their head and count on (8 + 6 say 8  and count on 6 fingers saying 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14) until a more efficient strategy becomes familiar.

Home connection:  Keep practicing pairs that make 10 by playing Tens Go Fish with playing cards. If your child is not comfortable with all of the number pairs that make 10, begin by laying out playing cards and matching up pairs for ten. Does he/she see any patterns (10 + 0, 9 + 1, 8 + 2, etc.) Play Add Nine, roll a die and add the roll to nine, trying not to count on. (Keeping in mind that 9 and 5 is the same as 10 and 4) Player with the highest total gets a point. First player to 9 wins. Greater challenge: Play Add Eight or Add Seven. Children make tens to solve (8 + 6 = 8 + 2 + 4 = 10 + 4 = 14).

Taganka Bags – Thanks to all who have returned gift bags for the Taganka orphanage. Please send your donations in by Friday, December 11.

Important Dates:

Friday, December 11 – Grade 1-5 Holiday Concert 10:00 am  

Week of December 14 – Bring ice skates and hats to school

Thursday, December 17 – Class holiday parties

Friday, December 18 – No School – Holiday Begins

Monday, January 11 – School resumes

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