Sunday, September 29, 2013

A Silly Class Picture Too!

We will make sure to have another class photo taken on the makeup day in early November, since we were missing a few friends on this day.Who knows, maybe the photographer will ask for a silly pose too!

An Awesome Open House

It was great to see so many families at Open House. First graders were so excited to share their "mini me's" with you. They also did a GREAT job of sharing their learning, and their goals for the year. If you were unable to sign up for a conference, please look for a sheet in your child's folder with some available times. I look forward to talking with you more at conference times on October 14th, and 15th. Please remember that there is NO SCHOOL on conference days, and your child is expected to be at the conference too.

Saturday, September 28, 2013


We had an assembly to create community, learn the names of new staff, and to reinforce the meaning of CARES,  the  acronym for our school wide  behavioral expectations.
We will be working on all five of these expectations;  Cooperation, Assertion, Responsibility, Empathy and Self-Control. In October, we will have a special focus on Cooperation!  Screech appeared at the assembly, and announced an incentive of a school-wide popcorn party for classes that meet their class set goals! We are confident that our class will be able to reach it's goal by mid October.

Saturday, September 21, 2013


Learning about Insects- Beetle Week

Beetle week has been very interesting. We learned that the beetle life cycle is similar to the life cycle of the ant and the honeybee. We also learned that in the larval stage, most beetles look like worms, or grubs. On Friday, our focus was the "Click Beetle". We read Eric Carle's "The Very Clumsy Click Beetle." We then watched a short video of a live click beetle.

In the afternoon, we created our own click beetles. We were very surprised when they actually clicked and flipped!

Hopes and Dreams

During the first 6 weeks of school, we always like to set some goals for the coming year. This goal setting is framed for first graders as "Hopes and Dreams". We have been reading and listening to stories which reflect this theme.

 In "Surfer Chick" we read about a youngster who was able to finally learn to surf, after some coaching and a persistent attitude. 

We also read a book about six year olds, and some of the things they liked to do, and hoped to do in school.

We listened to a third story, "The Curious Garden"(click to listen), and discovered what a difference, just one person can make.

 Finally, each first grader completed their own "Hopes and Dreams".
 Please come to Open House this week( Thursday at 6:15) to view these lovely pieces.


We have been learning how to work together to solve problems. This balloon challenge presented an opportunity to practice cooperation( the C in CARES). At first we started with teams of two, to move the balloons across the space. We then increased the teams, and were actually able to have teams of 8 !
We hope to try again, and maybe have a team of 16!



Sight Word Review

Help your child to develop fluency with high frequency words, by trying to "beat the teacher" in this practice video!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Number Corner

Each day, we have some time to explore the concept of number. We usually look at our calendar, and the date, and make some equations. We look at the days we have been together in school, and do a group activity to supplement our daily math lesson. Today at "Number Corner" we looked at the date.
I was very impressed with the equations that the class came up with to represent the number 9.
Ask your child about the meaning of sameness, or equality in math. Don't be surprised if they also show you the symbol for "not equal"!

Learning About Insects- Ant Week

We spent last week learning about ants. We learned many interesting things, and were most fascinated to learn that ants actually stroke aphids, to get them to release a liquid called honeydew. This special liquid is stored in the ants second stomach(crop), and is later fed to the queen ant down in the ant colony. Ask your child about some more interesting ant info!

On Friday, we constructed some ant traps, to attract some for observing. (Unfortunately, the lawn we used had been mowed earlier in the day, and the ants were way below the surface). First graders needed to invent a trap, and decide what might attract ants. Would it be a sweet treat like honey, sugar or fresh chocolate chip cookie crumbs? Would the ants like salty, greasy foods like chips? Would honeydew melon, or grapes work?

Students then created a diagram of their ant trap , and also predicted the amount of ants they would see. Guesses ranged from 4 to 100.

Traps were set outside, and we agreed to observe at 4 regular intervals.

Several groups teamed up for their trap assembly.

Ask your child about their final outcome, and the plan for next time!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

A Trip to Harrison Field

We went to visit Harrison Field and forest last Thursday. It was fun for everyone to see how high the sunflowers had grown. We had planted seeds in the spring. We noticed that the plants were just getting ready to blossom.

As we entered the forest, it was amazing to see how each first grader became connected to the natural world. Some kids began to build, some went to check on spots they remembered from last year. Some kids even created ways to use the forest as a playground! We discovered a leopard slug near a log. It was about the size of a hot dog!

Please try to set aside time to join us on Thursday mornings for ECO lessons this year. We would love to have as many adults as possible for these days. It is a special time for all of us, as we learn through nature!