PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

Grade 1, Class 101, Week of 12/5

Word Sorts are starting in 101!

Here are the goals for the first ‘sort sets’ that your child will be working on over the next several weeks. It is important to keep in mind that each child moves at his/her own pace.

What can be done at home to help with this work?

Below, I’ve listed examples of the “kinds” of words that you can look over with your child in his/her writing. Your child can also search for these kinds of words in his/her book baggie, and he/she will hopefully be able to read these kinds of words more fluently after working with them in class. It will be interesting to see how your child is retaining the word work that we are doing in class!

Please note, that the word work notebooks will come periodically so that you can see exactly which sort/vowel/spelling pattern they are working on.

Red –  


  1. Influenced vowel patterns (ar air vs. are… part, fair, pare)
  2. Diphthongs and other ambiguous vowel sounds (oi, oy, ou, ow… point, boy, could, sow)
  • Lauren, Mackenzie, Amber, Matthew, Andrew, Darius


Orange –


  1. Sorts contrasting short and long vowel sounds/patterns (rash space vs. main)
  2. Influenced vowel patterns (ar air vs. are… part, fair, pare)
  • Michelle, Michael, Ava, Ryan, Lucia, Kylie, Chelsea


Yellow –


  1. Digraphs and blends (sh, ch, th, wh)
  2. Sorts contrasting short and long vowel sounds (black vs. mane)
  • Philip, Lucy, Tristan, Brianna, Jake, Sam, Maya


Green –


  1. Mixed family word families (-ot, -at, -it, -ag, -eg, -ig, etc.)
  2. CVC pattern words (consonant, vowel, consonant)     Ex: fox, jam, big, etc.
  • Maram, Alex, Dmitry, Ulyana, Mariel, Ariana, Sophia, Elizabeth, Daniel, Eli, Galen



How does talk deepen our understanding of how books work?

(Partner Reading!)

During this unit, students are starting to read with a partner using the books from their just right book baggies. They are problem solving words together, and more importantly, talking about their books in order to deepen their understanding and comprehension.

Students will be asking, “What is the book doing while I’m reading?” (structure, illustrations, authors message, character change, patterns, etc.). Students will also be asking, “What am I doing while I’m reading?” (thinking about the story, asking questions, noticing change/patterns, problem solving tricky words, using my finger to track, etc.).



Opinion Writing

Some of the unit content goals are to address…

  • Ideas/words matter and they need to be supported with the author’s thinking/beliefs
  • The difference between fact and opinion
  • Components/ characteristics of opinion writing
  • Different forms of opinion writing: movie, restaurant or book reviews and letters to persuade


Questions that students will explore include…

  • How do writers use words to make the world a better place?
  • What does it mean to persuade someone?
  • How can I support my opinion?
  • When we care about something, how can we use writing to share and support these opinions?
  • What does a writer do to express ideas & opinions?



Attribute Classification

Problem Solving Routines

Next up: Double Decker Bus Investigation!

As the attribute classification unit ends, here were the two main mathematical goals. Ask your child about the games they played, and the activities that developed and deepened their understanding of shapes and attributes. The unit was very successful, and 101 had a lot of fun!


Mathematical Content Standards: Evidence of Student Learning:

Geometry 1.G. Reason with shapes and their attributes

  1. Distinguish between defining attributes (e.g. triangles are closed and three-sided) versus non-defining attributes (e.g., color, orientation, overall size); build and draw shapes to possess defining attributes.

Geometry 3.G. Reason with shapes and their attributes

  1. Understand that shapes in different categories (e.g., rhombuses, rectangles, and others) may share attributes (e.g., having four sides), and that the shared attributes can define a larger category (e.g., quadrilaterals). Recognize rhombuses, rectangles, and squares as examples of quadrilaterals, and draw examples of quadrilaterals that do not belong to any of these subcategories.