PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

What’s New in First Grade

Happy Valentine’s Day!! Here is an update on what is happening in our classrooms.

Social Studies

Our social studies unit is called Families, Now and Long Ago.  We started the unit by having students look at pictures from the past and noticing/wonder about what life was like and how things have changed. Students noticed that clothing was different, technology has changed and the way we communicate has also changed.  We will continue discussing families, how life has changed and how families pass down traditions and hold on to memories.  


In writing we are creating nonfiction chapter books!  Students are very excited for this new challenge. We began by picking a topic and planning what each chapter was going to be about.  Now we are busy writing our chapters and learning to include important details. We have learned to include size, shape and color words and to use comparisons to help explain our ideas.  Soon we will learn to include examples, and special chapters that teach people how to do something. Ask your child what topic he/she is writing about.


Our class started a new unit in math.  We are working on adding and subtracting numbers to twenty in many different contexts, with the goal being fluency with addition and subtraction problems within 10.  Students encounter new kinds of story problems and think a lot about the notation mathematicians use for addition and subtraction. Throughout this unit students will be working toward the following goals:


  • Fluency with addition and subtraction within 10.
  • Solving problems with one addend unknown.
  • Determine the missing number within an equation.



In reading we are continuing to read nonfiction books.  We are learning that good readers stop and think about what they are reading.  They stop and notice when they learn something new, when something makes them say “wow!” and when they have a question.  As we read our nonfiction books we still need to make sure we are reading the words correctly. Encourage your child to check that the word they are saying matches the letters on the page and that the word makes sense in the sentence.  Be sure to continue reading over the break!     

Don’t forgot the first grade parent meeting is on Tuesday, February 25th at 8:00am in the library. Hope to see you there!