Now that we have finished the unit on U.S. Symbols, it is time to begin a quick unit on matter. In this unit, we are focusing on science standard 1.3, which reads, "The student will investigate and understand how common materials interact with water. Key concepts include
a) some liquids will separate when mixed with water, but others will not;
b) some solids will dissolve in water, but others will not; and
c) some substances will dissolve more readily in hot water than in cold water." We will be squeezing in several experiments as well as building our nonfiction reading skills as we dive into our science textbook. You are welcome to reinforce your child's learning at home by conducting simple experiments to see how various materials such as vinegar, milk, baking soda, powdered drink mix, sugar, salt, sand, oil, soil, and rocks act when mixed with water. Making cookies for the sake of science? Definitely. It's a beautiful thing.
In math, we have begun our study of fractions. In first grade, we focus on halves, thirds, and fourths. It is important that the children understand that a fraction represents a part of a whole, that fractions require the whole to be divided into equal parts, and that the fraction name tells the number of equal parts in the whole. We will also learn how fractions can describe part of a set. If I have three apples, two green and one red, I can say that 1/3 of the apples are red. Studying fractions at home can be very fun at snack-time. Pizzas can be divided into fractions, fractions of the pizza could have different toppings, and apples can be sliced into fractions as well. Enjoy!
If you have the chance to visit Mill Run, please visit the bulletin board across from the cafeteria leading onto the kindergarten/first grade hallway. Our class was responsible for decorating the bulletin board for the month of March. We decided to link to Dr. Seuss' birthday and focus on reading. Each student interviewed his/her reading buddy, comparing their buddy's answers to the children's own responses. We asked:
- Where do you like to read?
- What do you do to become a better reader?
- What is your favorite book?
Then, the children turned the interview responses into books. A brief self-reflection like this can be a very powerful tool to increase one's own confidence in reading. I encourage you to discuss the same questions at home as a family.
As part of the Youth Art Month festivities, Mr. Browning is organizing a contest for three "color days" The first color day will be Wednesday, March 6, and the color is blue. Please help your child to pick out an all-blue outfit on Wednesday. Thanks for your help!
Finally, many thanks go to AV's mom for sparking interest in the PTO BoxTop collection. If we all work together to check our pantries, tissue boxes, and ziploc bag boxes, we might collect enough to place in the March contest. Quite a few boxtops came in yesterday. The students will count them on Monday, and we'll keep you posted with how many we have. Thank you for your help!