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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, 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.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Conferences  – Many of the first graders were excited about sharing their learning yesterday. Thank you for taking the time to be here and see what your child has been doing in school. Recognizing our own progress (and areas for growth) is one of the first steps in taking responsibility for our learning and becoming self-directed learners. If you have specific questions or concerns about your child’s progress after seeing his/her report, please contact the teacher to schedule a time to meet.

No school Friday – Faculty professional development day

How the World Works – Materials – We hope you got a closer look at some of our experiments with materials at the student-led conferences. We will continue to explore solids, liquids and gases next week. We encourage any children who have been experimenting at home to share their work with the class. You are welcome to send videos, photos, or just urge your child to tell about something he/she tried at home. We are finding that the students are inspiring each other with their thinking.

Mystery Liquids – Thanks for helping your child fill the bottle with a mystery liquid to share this week. It has been a great way to talk about properties of liquids and we enjoyed guessing what our classmates brought.

Writing –  Our focus on nonfiction informational books continues in writing. Did your child share some of his/her nonfiction writing at the conference? The children are encouraged to write about something they know. As we are not researching our topics, you may find that their writing includes some “alternative facts”. Please do not be alarmed. Our goal in first grade is to get students familiar with informational book writing and what text features may be included. Reading, researching, and writing learned information in our own words is a much larger step that comes later in the process.

Math – Our work in place value continues. As students begin to understand tens and ones, (46 is 4 tens and 6 ones) they grow in confidence and begin adding a ten to any 2-digit number in their heads.

Home Connection: Use ten- and one-ruble coins. Ask your child to show any 2-digit number with the coins. Add a ten. How much is it now? Subtract a ten. How much is left? When your child is answering quickly and confidently, remove the coins and ask them to picture them and try some more problems. What if I take away 20? 30?

Important Dates:

Friday, March 31 – No School – staff Professional Development day

Wednesday, April 5 – Sign up begins for next after school activity session

April 10-14 – No school – Spring Break

Monday, April 24 – New activities begin

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

 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Spirit Day  – It was a colorful Friday! Thanks for sending them in their favorite colors today.

Reports issued today – Please take some time to read your child’s report that will be issued this afternoon. If you have questions or concerns about your child’s progress, please contact the teacher to make an appointment.

Conferences Wednesday – Your child is looking forward to your school visit on Wednesday. The students have selected a variety of ways to demonstrate their learning. They may be showing you how they solve a math problem or play a math game, looking at writing samples, checking out some of their experiments, sharing a favorite book, etc. As this is an occasion of some importance, students are asked to come in their formal uniforms. See you Wednesday!

No school Friday – Faculty professional development day

Mystery Liquids??? – No homework choice board next week as there are no classes on Wednesday and Friday. Instead, as part of our materials unit, your child is asked to bring in a mystery liquid from home. Your child brought home a bottle today with the instructions on it. Please help to put a liquid from home inside. He/she should be able to share some of the properties of the liquid (colored, transparent, bubbly, etc.) with the class and then we will make guesses about what is inside. Thanks for your help with this.

How the World Works – Materials – Can you break an egg in your hand? Put a straw through a potato? Pour air from one cup to another? This week we rotated through all of the classrooms to do matter experiments with each of the different first grade teachers. You probably saw the “oobleck” come home one day this week. It is a mixture of cornstarch and water that the students explored because it has properties of both a liquid and a solid. Ask your child about some of the experiments he/she tried.

Writing –   Non-fiction, informational books continue to be our focus in writing. These are sometimes called “All About . . .” books. It is a chance for students to choose topics that they find interesting. Some of their books are about trains, sea creatures, cats, volcanoes, etc. Ask your child about his/her informational book writing. Perhaps you can assist by finding one or two facts together that can be added to their book.

Math – Hey Moms and Dads, did you learn to add and subtract 37+45 =? with numbers stacked vertically? Ones plus ones, if it is more than 10 carry the ten to the tens column. Then add the tens plus tens. Many of us learned it this way. Often students learn this system without fully understanding what they are doing. In first grade we are helping kids break apart and put together numbers to find friendly numbers that are easier to work with. We begin with objects, counters or tens and ones blocks so that students see the numbers they are using. Having the blocks helps us manipulate the numbers with full understanding. When the students SEE the numbers they come up with their own strategies for putting them together.

Important Dates:

Wednesday, March 29 – Student led conferences – formal uniform

Friday, March 31 – No School – staff Professional Development day

April 10-14 – No school – Spring Break

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

Friday, March 17, 2017

Spirit Day Friday! – No uniforms on Friday as the student council invites us to “Wear your favorite color” day.

Conference Sign-up – Our student-led conferences are on Wednesday, March 29. Thanks to all of the families who have signed up for their time already. This is a great opportunity for students to share their learning with you. If you haven’t signed up for a time, please do so.

How the World Works – Materials – Don’t be surprised if your first grader asks to do some “kitchen” chemistry in the coming weeks. We are looking closely at the properties of materials and trying to manipulate them by mixing, heating, freezing, etc. We keep asking ourselves, “I wonder what will happen if . . . ?” Just exploring with materials as simple as mixing water with flour and putting our hands in, is a possibility. What happens if I add more flour? More water? What happens when I mix oil and water? How does it look? What happens when I shake it? Please encourage your child to share any experiments done at home by sending photos, videos or their experiments themselves. Thank you!

Writing –   Our work continues on non-fiction information books. The kids are beginning to develop book sections with headings. Many are thinking about adding a table of contents, diagrams and pictures. Ask your child what non-fiction book he/she is currently working on in writing.

Math – It’s all about place value in math as we talk about and show two-digit numbers as tens and ones (or units). When students see numbers as tens and ones they can then begin adding and subtracting. More hands-on experience making these numbers, means fewer reversals and much greater understanding.

Home connection: Make some tens and ones to practice showing double-digit numbers at home. Put legos in stacks of ten with nine single ones to create numbers. (Show 35 – (three 10-stacks and 5 loose legos) Hook paper clips in rows of ten. Count beads by putting them in groups of ten. How many do you have? If your child can do this with ease, begin giving them basic addition and subtraction stories. “I used 46 legos to build a house, but I need 12 more to build the roof. How many legos will I use in all?” Show it with the tens and ones you have made.

Important Dates:

Friday, March 24 –  Spirit Day – Favorite Color Day – Student reports issued

Wednesday, March 29 – Student led conferences – formal uniform

Friday, March 31 – No School – staff Professional Development day

April 10-14 – No school – Spring Break

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

Friday, March 10, 2017

How the World Works – Materials – We began our materials unit this week with a provocation using ice. The goal was to get students wondering about materials and how they can be manipulated. They made observations about changes in the ice as they applied, salt, food coloring, and water at various temperatures. Our next step will be to take a closer look at states of matter and their properties. Ask your child about the ice balls and what he/she tried.

Reading – How is your child’s daily reading? Are the books appropriate? Too hard? Too easy? Can your child make predictions about the story before you begin and as he/she is reading? Is there some variety in the text choices? Is it an enjoyable experience?

Writing –   We continue to read  non-fiction books and take notice of the text features that may be different from other types of writing. As we begin to see how writers do it, we are ready to try it out for ourselves. Help your child get ready to begin, by suggesting some topics he/she may know well and be able to write a non-fiction book about. (i.e. my family, spiders, dinosaurs, first grade, trees, space, winter, my home country, etc.)

Math – As we work on tens and ones in our place value study, we also continue to be problem solvers. Reading and making sense of problems is the first step in successful problem solving and development of self confidence in math. As we make sense of a problem, often by retelling, drawing, or using manipulatives, we begin to develop a variety of strategies to solve it.

Home connection: Ask your child to create and solve his/her own math problems – as is often one of the homework choices. Use toys to give the story meaning.  “Use these toy cars and tell a story with the number 8.” “ Make a subtraction problem with your stuffed animals with 6 as the answer.” “Make up a problem where the first number is not known.”  Making up our own problems, helps us to understand how math stories work.

Important Dates:

Friday, March 24 –  Spirit Day – Favorite Color Day – Student reports issued

Wednesday, March 29 – Student led conferences – formal uniform

Friday, March 31 – No School – staff Professional Development day

April 10-14 – No school – Spring Break

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

Friday, March 3, 2017

Spirit Day! – Thanks for sending all of those sleepy heads in their pymamas today!

Happy Women’s Day! No school on Wednesday March 8. Thank you to all of our Moms and the women of our community for all they do for us.

Book Swap – Thursday students will be going to the used book sale. Books can be purchased for 100 rubles each or with PTO swap coupons.

Where We Are in Place and TimeJourneys –  We wrapped up our investigation into journeys this week. We enjoyed several journeys during our study and took a look at our life journeys through our timelines. We also discussed some of our learning journeys. What was it like for you learning how to ride a bike or to swim? Many students saw evidence of their writing journeys as they took a look at their writing at the beginning of first grade compared to what they are writing now. Wow! we’ve really grown on our writing journey!

How the World Works – Materials – Next week we are excited to begin our materials unit which has more of a hands-on science focus. We will begin by investigating the properties of materials. We can’t wait to roll up our sleeves and dig in!

Writing –   We are beginning to look at non-fiction books and take notice of the text features that we might include in our own writing. Talk with your child about something he/she knows about that could be material for a non-fiction book. (i.e. my family, spiders, dinosaurs, first grade, trees, dogs, winter, etc.)

Math – We began working on place value this week in math. One of the most important concepts we work on is that 35 really means 3 tens and 5 ones (or units). We will spend time showing and adding two-digit numbers with tens and ones blocks, coins, and drawings.

Home connection: Ask your child if he/she can show a 2-digit number several different ways. (24, 2 tens and 4 ones, drawing of tens and ones, using ten-ruble and one-ruble coins, etc.) If this is 24, then what does 42 look like? How are they different?

Important Dates:

Wednesday, March 8 – No school – Women’s Day

Thursday, March 9 – Book swap, bring coupons or 100 rubles/book

Friday, March 24 – Student reports issued

Wednesday, March 29 – Student led conferences – formal uniform

Friday, March 31 – No school – staff professional development day

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