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We are starting a new unit and the focus is reading books by Kevin Henkes.

 Students will learn that authors have a personal writing style and through this they make connections to their readers. Through close reading of shared texts from Kevin Henkes, students will learn about story elements, the connection between text and illustrations and how an author’s personal writing style can enhance a text.  A particular focus will be on the understanding and use of a wide range of academic vocabulary to enable students to speak and write about the topic. In the course of this unit, students will develop skills in identifying the similarities and differences in the body of an author’s work. They will note such features as theme, characters, illustrations, problems and solutions. They will use this knowledge to identify how the author connects with a reader, and especially, with themselves. They will further develop their writing skills of introducing a personal opinion and supporting this with relevant examples and details. They will demonstrate their learning by composing an opinion piece which will entice others to read this author’s work or particular book.

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 Unit 3 opens by extending students’ Kindergarten experiences with direct length comparison to the new learning of indirect comparison whereby the length of one object is used to compare the lengths of two other objects (1.MD.1).  “My rope is longer than your book. Your book is longer than my pencil. That means my rope is longer than my pencil!”

The second topic takes longer than and shorter than to a new level of precision by introducing the idea of a length unit. Centimeter cubes are laid alongside the length of an object as students learn that the total number of cubes laid end to end with no gaps or overlaps represents the length of that object (1.MD.2).  The Geometric Measurement Progressions Document expresses the research indicating the importance of teaching standard before exploring non-standard units of measurement in this unit.

The third topic explores the usefulness of measuring with similar units.  Students measure the same objects from the second topic using two different non-standard units, toothpicks and small paper clips, simultaneously to measure one object and answer the question, “Why do we measure with same-sized length units?” (1.MD.2).  They realize that using iterations of the same unit will yield consistent measure results. Students use standard units to answer such questions as, “How much longer is the pencil that the marker?” (1.OA.1).

The fourth topic closes the unit as students represent and interpret data (1.MD.4).  They collect data about their classmates and sort that information into three-categories.  Using same-sized pictures on squares, students represent this sorted data so that it can be easily compared and described.