PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

New Updates!

Reader’s Workshop:  Informational Text

This week we launched our new reading unit.  In this unit students will be exploring informational texts and how they work.  They will learn reading strategies to help them navigate informational texts.

We started the unit by having students explore a variety of informational text and notice how they differ from fictional text. Students will be coming home with at least 4 non-fiction books.  When reading with your child you can ask: What informational text features do you notice?  How do they help you as a reader? What do informational readers do?  

Bullying Prevention

As part of Respect for All Week we began the first in a series of four lessons aimed at preventing bullying.  This first lesson was focused on recognizing bullying. Being able to recognize bullying is the first step in getting it to stop.  Bullying is mean or hurtful behavior that keeps happening, and the person it’s happening to hasn’t been able to stop it.

Read the following scenarios with your child.  Help your child decide if what is happening is bullying or not.  (The scenarios that are not bullying are still problems that need to be dealt with but are not considered bullying.)

  1. Someone teases you about what you are wearing everyday and he won’t stop when you ask him to. (Bullying)
  2. Someone grabs the toy you are playing with. (Not bullying)
  3. Someone keeps telling you everyday that the she is going to hit you if you don’t do what she says. (Bullying)
  4. Someone cuts in front of you in line. (Not bullying)
  5. Someone says your snack looks yucky. (Not bullying)
  6. Someone pinches you on the bus everyday for a whole week. (Bullying)

Social Studies

In social studies we are continuing our study of families.  We learned that all families have rules that help keep us safe, healthy and happy.  We also learned that families take care of each other by providing things we need (food, shelter, clothing) and want (toys, electronics, desserts).  Here is a link to a great article about how to talk to your child about needs and wants. It suggests creating a simple pie chart to show your child how much of the family money goes to different needs and wants.  Understanding that a family has a finite about of money and where that money goes is an important first lesson in financial literacy for our first graders.


We have been exploring the questions: “Will everyone have a partner?” for different amounts of kids.  Most students drew a picture to solve this problem. Some students were generalizing ideas that could be applied to any number.  For example, one student said “I know that with 10 kids everyone can have a partner because 5+5 is 10. So I think that any counting by 10 number (10, 20, 30, 40, 50) will also work because it is just more groups of 10.”  

Below is a problem for your child to do at home that is very similar to what we did in class.

If there are 31 kids in a class, will everyone have a partner?