PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

Grade 1 Week of Oct 11

Dear First Grade Families,

Happy fall! We look forward to seeing you all on Family Friday on October 25th. There will first be a BSI PTO Meeting at 8:00 am followed by Family Friday at 9:20 am in our classrooms. Hope to see you all there!

Here is a look at what we’ve been working on in First Grade…scroll down for pictures! We also started our residency with Brooklyn Conservatory of Music (BCM) this week!

Math Workshop

In Math Workshop we are currently working on learning different math routines and games such as Double Compare and Five in a Row. Students are also learning how to use and take care of math tools/materials. By doing so, students learn how to collaborate, work together and solve problems as a group. Recently, we have learned how to play Double Compare, it is a game used with a deck of cards. Students each take turns to take out 2 cards, compare who has the the larger sum, quantity, more or less. Students have also learned the game Five in a row, where they roll a pair of dice, add the number amounts and make a mark on their board to fill five in a row. These games support the development of number sense, quantifying amounts and addition. This week we have also been thinking about the number 10 in a context (within a story) and how we can figure out the different ways (or all the ways) to make ten. The context was: there are red and blue balloons at a party and we want to put 10 balloons on each table. What are the different ways we can make ten red and blue balloons?


Reading Workshop

In Reader’s workshop we have been introducing students to new books!  Feel free to ask them about their favorite read aloud and why they enjoyed them. We have also started to launch Readers’ Workshop.  Students have been reading familiar books from kindergarten, which they LOVE. We will begin working on developing good habits as a reader.  Our goal is to help students read “long and strong!” Students are also learning how to use and navigate the library to choose books that are “just right”

You can support your young reader at home by:

  • Having him/her read aloud to you
  • Reading side by side and taking turns with your child
  • Acting out stories and changing voices to sound like the character
  • Creating a cozy reading space and providing a daily reading routine to read for 15 minutes each night
  • Talking about books, visiting local book stores/libraries
  • Asking your child these reading prompts:
  1. What do you notice? What does that make you think?
  2. Why do you think that?
  3. What patterns are you noticing in this book?
  4. Tell me about the characters…what are they like?
  5. Talk to me about what happens in this book in the order of which the events occur.


Writing Workshop  

This week we are beginning to write personal narratives.  These are little 3-5 page stories students write about themselves.  Each page has two sentences (or more) and a picture. A big goal of this unit is writing with a focus.  Instead of writing about everything that happened during a day, we want students to focus their writing on one or two important events and then elaborate these events by including details (zooming in on a small moment)   Throughout the next few weeks students will also learn to plan their writing before they start, to tell a story in sequence, to include feelings and dialogue and to work with a partner to make their writing more readable to others.  

You can support your young writer at home by:

  • Orally telling stories together or to each other using transition words with specific details about your event/story (First, next, later, last summer)
  • Free writing (just write!)
  • Making books together, creating cards, shopping lists, poems,  etc.

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All the best,

First Grade Team 

Ms. Lena 1-101 (covering for Ms. Luka) & Ms. Abbas 1-102 (covering for Ms. Rachel)