First Grade 2011


Looking for the vowel in a tricky word…

The past few weeks, we have been focusing in on how to read a tricky word.  We are locating the vowel and reading the letters in front of the vowel.  For example, the word straw can be taken apart into two chunks  /str/ and /aw/.    The next step we focused on was chopping off the suffix of a word before attacking an unknown word.  For example, the word jumping can be taken apart into two chunks /jump/ and /ing/.

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Reading Bags…

Each night your child will bring home a reading bag containing two books.  It is very helpful to establish a routine for reading each night.  It teaches responsibility as well in the care of our books.  Your child should be able to read the books independently using problem solving strategies.  However, at this age your child may want to make up a word or skip the tricky word.  It is best to sit next to your child in order to hold them accountable for using their problem solving strategies.  Please see the post on this page for the “Tricky Word” strategies.

Please don’t forget to sign the reading log inside the bag!


Story Elements…

First graders are learning to identify the story elements of fiction text they have read.  Knowing the story elements helps when asked to retell.  The story elements include:  characters, setting, problem or goal, events, solution or outcome and theme.  When identifying the theme, we have been relating it to our life skills such as: responsibility, friendship, family, citizenship, etc.   When listening to your child read, ask him or her to retell the story.  If he or she forgets any of the story elements, let him or her know!  This is a very important first grade skill.


Tricky Word Chart…

This is the Tricky Word chart we are using in our classroom.  Please print a copy to use with your student if you need one.  I have provided each student with a copy in their reading bags too!


Thinking about the story…

In First Grade, we are learning about what good readers do when they come to a tricky word.  Most of my students know to sound the word out which I prompt with “get your mouth ready and slide through the word“.  However, once they try to sound out the word a couple of times, and it just doesn’t make sense then what do we do?  My first graders are learning to think about the story.  What are we reading about?  What is happening?  What word would make sense in the sentence to keep the story going?  This type of thinking allows us to become active readers rather than being passive readers.  Encourage your child to think about the story as they are reading.  At the end of a few pages, stop reading and ask “What are you thinking?”.