Week 23 First Grade
My Wonderful Aunt Story Two (Fiction, Level J) by Margaret Mahy
Boring Old Bed (Fiction, Level J, Stage 2) by Joy Cowley
Give It a Guess! (Non-fiction, Level J, Stage 2) by J.E. Osborne
Prairie Dogs (Non-fiction, Level J, Stage 2) by Bobbi A. Chukran
That wonderful aunt is back again! We absolutely love books that build from week to week, and that is exactly what My Wonderful Aunt Story Two gave us. Add to that the sleeping shenanigans in Boring Old Bed, some exciting estimation in Give It a Guess!, and a few precious prairie dogs, and you have one fun week of learning! Our favorite book this week was Prairie Dogs, which, as it turns out, aren’t even dogs at all; they’re actually squirrels! Quite entertaining to my first grader.
The activities I want to highlight this week are the mathematics activities that accompany the lesson plan for Give It a Guess! and Step 5 in the Read with Sarah model: Silent Reading. We loved the pictures in Give It a Guess!: colorful butterflies, various animals, kids snowskiing, bridges, candy apples, a fair, a baseball stadium, and a starry night sky. So it wasn’t difficult at all for my first grader to fall in love with estimation, which as you know, is a fancy word for guessing. Two mathematics activities are provided with this book: one to do before reading the book and another one to do afterwards. Before reading the book we guessed how many blocks it would take to measure the distance between my pencil and the book, and we talked about non-standard units of measurement, which Malachi thought was so funny since we’ve been measuring things with a ruler for a while. After reading the book we created a word web with the word estimate where Malachi was encouraged to write about all the instances and situations that require guessing. He was so proud of his word web that we hung it on the fridge, and he smiled every time he saw it on display.
The other highlighted activity for this week is one that is a part of the Read with Sarah model for nearly every book in the AlphaSkills kits: Step 5 Silent Reading. Honestly, this step is one I considered skipping when we started Alphaskills this year because it seemed extra, but after using it consistently for the past 23 weeks I can say that I see why the folks at AlphaSkills consider this step so important. Silent reading is where I can see what trips up my little reader, and it’s also where I can truly test his comprehension. Also, my first grader absolutely loves reading the story before anyone else gets a chance because it makes him the expert for at least a few minutes! What a way to build confidence and independence!
It makes this Mama’s heart glad to see my little one falling in love with reading, and I think the fun books that are provided in the AlphaSkills kits are a huge part of that. For more information about the AlphaSkills Read with Sarah curriculum and our family, see the AlphaSkills Blog Introduction.