Sunday, March 24, 2019

Math - Adding Two Digit Numbers

Adding Two Digit Numbers

In math we are beginning to learn to add two digit numbers by combining tens and ones.  This is a strategy based on place value that many people use to mentally add numbers.  In order to accomplish this skill, it is important that students have a solid understanding of place value and a level of automaticity with their basic addition facts.  If your child is struggling to automatic recall of basic facts (up to a sum of 20), please help him/her practice at home.

We will not be using the standard method of adding multiple digits YET.  We will also be focusing on equations that do not require regrouping (aka carrying).  Below is an example of how solving an equation might occur.  As a first step, we will be using base ten rods to build and combine numbers.  We will then move to using expanded notation.  Finally, we will end up at the traditional method of adding 2 digit numbers.

23 + 56 
step 1.  expand the numbers:  20 + 3           50 + 6
step 2.  add the ones, add the tens:  6 + 3 = 9;    20 + 50 = 70
step 3.  combine the tens and ones:  70 + 9

This learning and practice will help to prepare students for the more traditional paper and pencil method of addition in the future.  However, it is crucial that they develop a solid understanding of the concept prior to memorizing the procedure.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Leprechauns on the Loose

Leprechauns have come and gone from the first grade classroom.  There was a lot of excitement around the building of the traps on Friday and finding the room a bit "disturbed" this morning.  It is wonderful to watch the students engage in planning, designing and building their creations.  They certainly enjoyed the antics of the trouble making leprechaun who visited our room.

Parent Conferences

Our Spring Parent Conferences are coming right up!  On Friday, April 5th there will be no school for the students and parent conferences will be held.  As a staff, we’re excited that our spring conferences are STUDENT LED CONFERENCES.  We want to put our EMES students in the driver’s seat and have them be in charge of presenting their progress and goals for the future.

Student led conferences have become very commonplace in education and we feel it’s time for EMES students to regularly have this opportunity.  During the next couple of weeks students will work on reflecting, gathering evidence, setting future goals and practicing presentations for families.  These conferences will be a chance for them to demonstrate a large number of the skills that we have been working on.

I will be present at conferences, and there will also be a chance for you to talk to me if you need to but my goal is that the students are able to lead the conference with a minimal amount of support from me. There may be multiple families scheduled at one time, please know that our room is large enough for your child to present privately.

A sign up schedule will be sent home with students on Tuesday. I will confirm your time prior to the conference. Please remember your child will need to be present at the conference and that the night before conferences is Celebration of Learning.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Weekly Wrap-up, March 8, 2019


We have learned to recognize the value of digits in 2 digit numbers.  We have also learned that 2 digit numbers can be broken apart into tens and ones in various combinations.  These understandings are an important foundation for students as they learn to add and subtract with regrouping.  We are beginning to use this understanding to help us add two 2 digit numbers. 

Next week we will begin to work on comparing 2 digit numbers using the < and  > symbols.  There will be a focus on terms such as more, fewer, greater, less than and the word compare.  When comparing numbers, we will focus first on the tens and then the ones.  This is because the tens have a greater value than the ones.  The language of comparison is typically not difficult to acquire, however the symbols used to note the comparison can be challenging.  I encourage students to remember that the side with the greatest space between it goes towards the larger number.

In math we have also begun to use a format known as Math Menu for our independent work time.  During Math Menu, students are given a "menu" of options to complete during the week.  Some of the options are must dos, others are choices.  This structure builds in choice and allows the students to select activities that they feel they need to do to become better math students.  Currently our must do activities include:  fact practice, math handwriting, and counting practice.  Our choice activities include problem solving and games.  While the students are engaged in menu time, I will be working with small groups of students.  Typically, our menu time will last about 15-20 minutes and will occur 3-4 days a week. 


We have been wrapping up our units on non-fiction reading and writing.  The class has written some wonderful teaching books and are becoming experts in many topics.  Some of their favorite topics include animals and space.  We are now working on being the "Boss of Your Reading".  This means being in control of your reading and noticing when things are not correct.  We talk about triple checking to make sure everything looks right, sounds right and makes sense.  


Now that Winter Wellness has wrapped up, we will be returning to having our ECO sessions.  We currently have ECO scheduled for 2 sessions this month:  Thursday, March 14th and Thursday, March 28th.  Our sessions are from 9:00-11:30 in the morning and we welcome parents to join us.  

Friday, February 15, 2019

Spirit Week - February 18th-22nd

February 18-22, 2019
Show your school, spirit by participating in these special days! REMEMBER all clothing choices, hairdos, hats, etc. must be examples of safe, respectful and responsible behavior!
“When in doubt don’t wear it out!”(Or to school!)

Monday : School Colors Day!  Wear maroon and/or white today!  

Tuesday : Crazy Hat and Hair Day! Choose a safe, responsible, respectful way to show your spirit with a crazy hat or  crazy hair! (This is also a Winter Wellness day!)

Wednesday : Book Character Day!
Dress as a favorite character from a favorite book today!

Thursday : Career Day!  What are your hopes and dreams for your future?  What do you want to be when you grow up? Dress like that job!

Friday : Jersey Day/Favorite Tee Shirt Day! Support your favorite team by “sporting” a jersey that represents them, OR wear your favorite tee shirt!  

Friday, February 1, 2019

Report Cards

Report Cards were sent out in the mail today.  As you are reviewing your child's report card, please note that there are some standards that we have not yet addressed in first grade.  Also know that the transferable skill scores are a cumulation of scores from many teachers.  Overall, I am pleased with the progress of the class.  They are growing as individuals and as a community.  If you have any questions or concerns about the report card, please do not hesitate to contact me.  I am more than willing to schedule a meeting or to chat on the phone. 

Weekly Wrap-up, February 1, 2019

100s Day

On February 11th we will be celebrating our 100th day of school.  We will be completing all sorts of fun activities related to the number 100 on that day!  Please help your child create a collection with 100 items. Examples of items could be 100 paper clips, 100 stickers, 100 pennies, 100 puzzle pieces, 100 pompoms, etc.  As long as the 100 items fit in a bag (think gallon size plastic bag), the possibilities are endless.

We will also be creating a 100 day snack mix.  If you are able to donate to the snack mix, please send in one box or bag of small “snack” ingredients.  Students will be selecting from the items to create their own unique recipe of 100 items. Some ideas for ingredients include:  raisins, pretzel sticks, chocolate chips, cheerios, animal crackers, mini marshmallows, dried fruit, etc.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me.  Thanks!

Valentine's Day

On Thursday, February 14th, we will be celebrating friendship with a card exchange and a special snack. It is not required that students exchange cards, however, if you child chooses to participate, he/she must have cards for everyone. If you are interested in contributing to the special snack, please let me know.

A list of classmate names was sent home in folders today.

Shoe Tying

Many students are still struggling with tying their shoes. If you child wears tie shoes to school, please help him/her practice tying the shoes. I can help when children are stuck but tying shoes for everyone, takes a lot of time away from teaching.

School Concert

The concert that was rescheduled due to the snow day will be held on Thursday, February 7th. If your child will be picked up by someone attending the concert, please let me know, especially if it is not a person that typical picks them up. There is additional information about the concert in folders. Thank you for being flexible about the scheduling. I know Mrs. Mishkin and the class has been hard at work to prepare for the concert.