PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

Grade 1, Class 101: Week of 6/5

Reading, Book Clubs:


I wanted to share with you the list of rules/agreements that YOUR children came up with for their book clubs. It made me particularly proud to see how many of our own classroom rules and norms that they have truly internalized. It’s clear they have recognized the value of these rules, and that they feel strongly enough about these few simple agreements, that they wanted to add them to their conversations/groups!

I feel confident that my first graders are now, independently, making “2nd grade” decisions!!! <cheer>

  • Be Mindful of Our Group Members
    • Take turns speaking
    • Everyone gets to speak at least once before someone shares again
    • One voice at a time
  • Share (if someone forgets or is unprepared)
  • Be respectful of materials
  • Stay with the group
  • Stay on task
    • Give classmates reminders…
      • I notice… that you haven’t spoken. Would you like to add something?
      • I need… you to stay focused on our conversation.
  • Signals for taking turns
    • Hands in the middle
    • Quiet Thumbs


Writing, Mentor Author Study:

All students have made a final choice about which author he/she is choosing as his/her mentor author. Today, and tomorrow, students carefully take notes on some of their mentor authors “crafts” (patterns, characters, character changes, setting, setting changes, problem/solution).

By Wednesday, students will be writing a book in a similar style. For example:

  • Eric Carle often writes about animals (caterpillars, bears, hermit crabs, cats), so these students are choosing an animal as their main character.
  • Biscuit (the popular character created by Alyssa Satin Capucilli) often gets into trouble, so these students are deciding what trouble the puppy in their story will deal with. This group also noticed the use of onomatopoeia: woof, woof!
  • Kevin Henkes uses key ideas/phrases that repeat.
    • “Wow,” said ____. That was just about all (s)he could say. “Wow.”
    • “_______,” said the mother. “_______,” said the father.


Kevin Henkes was my mentor author!



Math, Postering in Partnerships:

Part two of our investigation into David’s Doughnuts involved partnerships and the postering of strategies. Students were partnered according to similar strategies/ways of showing their thinking.

Ask your child who his/her partner is and (tomorrow!) you can ask them what they had in common (strategy, model) with their partner! Also, you can ask them about our class expectations for what goes on a poster. (Hint: names, date, title, problem, strategy… Posters should be neat and clear!)

*Pictures of posters COMING SOON!!*