Summer has arrived…

We got to experience a lot of “lasts” in first grade this past week.  Last time with our buddies, last time as our 1A and 1B group, and of course our last week as first graders. Big congrats to our Soar With Eagle Award winners, Alyson and Leilah. And, thanks to everyone for sharing your families with us this year.  We loved being your teachers, and spending the year with you.  Have a wonderful summer–full of the perfect mix of travel and relaxation, and lots of time with family and friends.

xoxo, Mrs. Zlaket & Mrs. Moseley

2nd Grade Here We Come!!

It’s hard for us to believe that we are entering the last week of 1st grade! This week saw a lot of “lasts” for us. Our last spelling and timed math tests, our last visit to the library and our last homework! To get our minds ready for summer, we focused on camping this week. We learned about owls and wrote owl facts, read a funny story about skunks and wrote about things we think “stink”, and no good campout is complete without s’mores, so we enjoyed (microwaved) s’mores on Friday to celebrate the end of the week. We did a variety of review in math including addition and subtraction with regrouping, telling time, and money review.

This week we will be doing some year-end reflection. Writing letters to next year’s first graders, writing about our favorite moments of the year, and of course celebrating all of our hard work and accomplishments. We will take some time to go and visit the 2nd grade classrooms. The kids get to ask some questions of the current 2nd graders and start thinking about next year.

Events this week:

Monday, May 20 – class party at Playformance (kids can wear comfortable clothing) Drivers still needed if you’d like to join us 🙂 We will leave school around 9:00 and be back at noonish. Lunch will be provided.

Friday, May 24 – Last day of school. Noon dismissal NO AFTERCARE

Happy Mother’s Day

We had a great week in first grade getting ready to celebrate with our sweet moms!  We sure hope you enjoyed the gifts as they were made by your kiddos with so much love for each of you. :0) We also spent a little more time talking about insects and learning butterfly and ladybug facts galore!

In Math, we finished up our chapter on 2-D and 3-D shapes and took our final test.  We will be working on a review packet, as well as Mountain Math over the next two weeks to keep our skills sharp! Some ways to keep your kiddos thinking about math this summer include having them wear a watch and figure out how long until their next activity; playing with games that improve spatial relation skills (ie: tangrams, puzzles, rubik’s cube, etc.;) pay for items with bills and coins, playing card games that help with math facts (ie: war with two cards to add/subtract or place value war (highest or lowest!) Lots of the tools for these type of games are at your local Dollar store and our kids have lots of fun playing them.

Next week, we’re going “camping.”  Well, not really, but we are talking about animals you might see and things you might do while camping!  Be on the lookout for owl, skunks, deer and a tent, or two! Happy Mother’s Day weekend!  Watch/Listen below for just some of the reasons we love our moms!

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Important Dates:  Friday, May 17: Art Expo-5:30-7:30; Monday, May 20-9:00-12:00-1st grade class party at Playformance **We have a driver sign up sheet outside our classrooms if you can join us!**; Friday, May 24-Last Day of School-Noon Dismissal (no aftercare)

3-D shapes & Insects

We had lots of fun this week exploring with 3-D shapes and reading about insects.  We kicked off the week reading, The Bugliest bug and doing some comprehension work.  Next up, we read a nonfiction story about bees.  We did some re-telling of facts and added some 3-D bees to our work. These are up in the classroom. We also read a story called, Hey Little Ant.  This is a story that does not have an ending.  Read our endings and enjoy the artwork out on the line.

In Math, we have been busy working in our chapter on 2-D and 3-D shapes.  This week we were counting faces, edges and vertices of 3-D shapes as well as identifying the shapes, and finding this type of shape in our world.  We are enjoying this chapter a lot–very hands on!  Next, we’ll be getting a short introduction to fractions and then we’ll be taking our chapter test.

In the week coming up, we’ll be working on a top secret Mother’s Day surprise, so don’t worry if we act a little secretive. 🙂 We’ll also be finishing up our study of insects.  We’ll be focused on ladybugs and butterflies! Have a wonderful week.

Important Dates:  Wednesday, 5/8: Half Day-early dismissal at noon (Teacher in-service); Friday, May 17: Art Expo-5:30-7:30; Monday, May 20-9:00-12:00-1st grade class party at Playformance; Friday, May 24-Last Day of School-Noon Dismissal (no aftercare)

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

This short week in first grade was all about celebrating Earth Day.  We had lots of great discussions about ways we can reduce, reuse, and recycle! We started the week working on our favorite ways to do these things, and then picked one to go up on the board with our “recycled kids.”  Take a peek at these up in our classrooms.  We also wrote letters to “Mother Earth” and made some sweet little Earth flowers to go with them.  They’re still up on our line if you haven’t seen them yet.  We finished the week making a beautiful four piece rainforest picture to highlight each of the levels of the rainforest.

We started our next chapter in math this week, as you know.  This chapter covers 2-d shapes, 3-d shapes, and an introduction to fractions.  We are through the 2-d section already and headed to 3-d shapes this week.  This is a fun chapter to end on because it’s not difficult and lots of fun. We will continue to review other concepts covered this year in Mountain Math.

We ended the week with our field trip to see the Tucson Symphony Orchestra.  This was a trip organized by Ms. Allen as part of our music curriculum, and we really enjoyed it!  The kids were well behaved and absolutely loved riding on the school bus! (see below!) 🙂  Many thanks for all of the hard-boiled eggs.  The folks at Casa Maria really appreciate the support they receive from our school, and we appreciate you taking the time to participate.

Have a wonderful week!

Important Dates:  Wednesday, 5/8: Half Day-early dismissal at noon (Teacher in-service); Friday, May 17: Art Expo-5:30-7:30; Monday, May 20-9:00-12:00-1st grade class party at Playformance; Friday, May 24-Last Day of School-Noon Dismissal (no aftercare)

Easter Fun!

We squeezed a whole lot of fun into just three days as we prepared for our long-awaited Easter break!  We kicked off the week reading a story called, The Best Easter Egg Ever.  Then we took some time to decorate our own eggs, and write about why we think our eggs should be chosen as the best!  Next up, it was our Easter Egg Hunt.  Big thanks to our room moms who coordinated all of our efforts and hid all the eggs for us! You can see by the pictures above, it was the perfect day for an egg hunt and we were all super excited to go out and find them!  On Wednesday, we got a chance to practice our STEM skills with a building challenge.  We asked the kids to use just toothpicks and jelly beans to create a next for a peep chick.  You can see the results below.  (We definitely have some future engineers in our group!) We also got to make some ramps to see how quickly we could get a plastic egg to roll down without falling off the ramp.  We used only recycled index cards and anything out of our recycle bin.  They went pretty fast! :0)

In Math, we finished up our chapter on measuring and took our chapter test.  We are all set to finish our second math book as we complete the next chapter which includes 2-d and 3-d shapes, as well as an introduction to fractions.

It will be a quick week when we return, and we’ll be spending it celebrating Earth Day!  We will talk the “three R’s–reduce, reuse and recycle” and make some recycled kids to go with our letter to Mother Earth.  We are also in charge of collecting eggs for Casa Maria.  This means that we’re asking  each first grader to bring in one dozen hard-boiled and peeled eggs. These are then turned into egg salad which is handed out to those in need.  Thank you in advance for your participation.

We hope your holiday is full of many blessings and wonderful family time.  Happy Easter!

Important Dates:  Friday, 4/26: Casa Maria Eggs due; Friday, 4/26: K-2 field trip to Berger Performing Arts to see TSO (children travel by bus; Wednesday, 5/8: Half Day-early dismissal at noon (Teacher in-service); Friday, May 17: Art Expo-5:30-7:30; Monday, May 20-9:00-12:00-1st grade class party at Playformance; Friday, May 24-Last Day of School-Noon Dismissal (no aftercare)

Bunnies, and Chicks, and Fine Arts! Oh my!

We had another busy week in first grade as we prepared for Fine Arts Night, and enjoyed getting ready for Easter, too!

We kicked off the week reading the book, Easter Bunny’s Assistant.  This funny book led us to write about why we would make good assistant’s for the Easter Bunny, and also a super cute directed draw of the bunny.  (They hung out on our line as long as they could despite the wind!) We also read a great non-fiction book about chicks which led to a discussion about adjectives and we used some of these to describe our cute little chicks which are hanging up in our classrooms!

In math, we are working on measuring.  This time, we added measuring on a number line which included measuring beginning with a number other than zero.  We will finish up the chapter before the break and head to our geometry chapter with 2-d and 3-d shapes and an intro to fractions when we return!

Of course the highlight of the week was Fine Arts Night!  These kiddos were the cutest little puppies around and sang their hearts out.  We sure hope you enjoyed it.  We think Ms. Allen knocked it out of the park with those cute costumes and the way she had the kids singing right in audience aisles. :0) Thanks for sharing another milestone in first grade!

Next week, we look forward to our Egg Hunt on Tuesday, and a whole lot of family time Thursday-Monday as we celebrate Easter.  Many sweet blessings to all of our families.  Upcoming events: Tuesday 4/16-Easter Egg Hunt; Thur-Mon. 4/18-4/22-No School Easter Break; Fri, 5/17-Art Expo

Farm fun in first grade!

We sure had fun talking about farm animals and enjoying the beautiful weather at Tucson Village Farms!  We kicked off the week with the story, Tops and Bottoms. We completed a comprehension packet to go with it to check our understanding and recall of the story.  Next, we read some fun pig stories and made our darling directed draw pigs–look for them up in our classrooms. We also read a newer version of The Little Red Hen.  But, of course, our big highlight of farming was our field trip.  The weather was perfect, and our kiddos got to learn lots about worms, whole grains, bees, and chickens.  We even got to milk a pretend cow, and enjoy a snack with food right from the farm!  Loved it!

In math, we are measuring everything we can, but now we are using metric units and have shifted from inches, feet and yards to centimeters and meters.  This is a long chapter, so we’ll keep working on it right up to our Easter break.

And, as if one big event wasn’t enough for us, we got to celebrate all the hard work that went into creating our country report posters.  The kids were so excited to share what they learned with all of you.  THANK YOU for supporting our work with the beautiful floats and delicious dishes.  Everything was wonderful, and we know we could not do it without you!!  Hope you enjoyed one of our favorite first grade traditions! 🙂

Upcoming events: Friday, 4/12-Fine Arts Night (kids need to be at the classroom at 6:30 p.m.); Tuesday 4/16-Easter Egg Hunt; Thur-Mon. 4/18-4/22-No School Easter Break; Fri, 5/17-Art Expo

Once upon a time…in first grade!

We had lots of fun this week reading fairy tales.  We kicked off the week talking about words and features that are often found in fairy tales–“once upon a time,” good and bad characters, talking animals, etc. We read the story of the three little pigs, and wrote about why the wolf could NOT blow our house down.  We also read Cinderella, and made our own “slipper” along with a reward poster.  After reading Snow White, we made our own magic mirrors and wrote about our best traits (look for these hanging in our classrooms.)  And, of course, we heard the Princess and the Pea and wrote similes to share with you on our line!

In Math, we are busy measuring in standard unit (inches, feet & yards.) We are learning to estimate and the approximate length of an inch, or foot or yard.  We will continue this chapter (shifting to metric next) right up until Easter break. Keep those tape measures handy! :0)

Of course, we’ve also spent lots of time working on our country reports.  We hope to be able to talk with you about our posters and share interesting information about the countries we studied.  We are working hard and learning some really neat facts!

Next week, we have a guest speaker on Monday to help us get read for Earth Day and talk to us about her book. We are learning about the farm in honor of our trip on Wednesday–Don’t forget red shirts and khaki bottoms are dress code for field trips!  We will also be sharing our country project posters, our floats and food from our countries on Friday! Please join us.

Upcoming events: Wed. 4/3-Field Trip to Tucson Village Farms; Fri. 4/5-Country Parade-Floats can come in when they’re finished–food should arrive Friday-1:45-3:00; **DATE CHANGE**-Tues, 4/16-Easter Egg Hunt; Thur-Mon. 4/18-4/22-No School Easter Break; Fri, 5/17-Art Expo

Mo Willems Week!

We sure had fun reading the wonderful and engaging books of author, Mo Willems.  We kicked off the week reading the classic, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! and did our own versions of “Don’t let the pigeon drive the _____.” We also read, Knuffle Bunny, and made the darling pictures out on the line complete with our writing about some very special to us.  (Did you notice that the pictures are of places on our St. Michael’s campus?) We also read lots of Elephant & Piggie books, and did a whole lot of comprehension work with these. Such great books!

As you know, we took this week to review time for math.  We felt that our kiddos needed a bit more instruction and support, and so we took the week to do some extra practice.  We even played “connect four” which you can see below. Hopefully you’re seeing some improvement at home, but be sure to keep asking “what time is it?” :0). Next week, we’ll be headed into our chapter on standard and metric measurement.

In Social Studies, it’s all about our country projects.  We are doing all of our research for our posters at school.  But, as you know, the kids will need to work on their “floats” and their food to share at home.  Some reminders on that…First, please be sure to mark your calendar for Friday, April 5th from (approximately 1:45-3:00.) . We will be getting prepared for the parade which happens at about 2:00 first for those who may choose to wear clothing from their country. (This is optional, but absolutely okay if you and your child want to do so!) The parade route is similar to the route we did at Halloween.  We will finish at the Smith Center where all the food will be.  Regarding the food, we would love to have you pre-portion your dish, if possible. (ie: if you make a cake to share, it should be pre cut.) We will provide plates, so that everyone may sample. Dishes can be hot or cold.  If you choose to bring a dish that is hot/warm, you may want to bring it right before the parade, and it can be left in the Smith Center.  If you have questions about the float, please ask us.  In general, the floats are made from shoeboxes so that the kids can carry them in the parade. They should be decorated with things that are native to your child’s country.  For example, if your child were in charge of the USA, the float might be covered in red, white, and blue paper.  It might have a Statue of Liberty, some American money, the Grand Canyon, a map, a flag, an eagle, or a model of the white house.  Anything that goes on the float can be made of paper, or legos, or small plastic models, or whatever you have at home in order to make it.  They can be hand drawn by your child, or printed from the computer–get creative!  This is our biggest final event of the year, and our kiddos are super excited to be “experts” about their country.  Hopefully, this will give you some ideas and get you excited to talk about their country!  Thanks tons for your support!

We rounded out the week with some fun with our 8th grade buddies.  You can see below that we had tons of fun! Have a wonderful, warm weekend!

Upcoming events: Fri. 3/30-St. Michael’s Gala, Wed. 4/3-Field Trip to Tucson Village Farms (drivers wanted!); Fri. 4/5-Country Parade-1:45-3:00; Wed, 4/17-Easter Egg Hunt; Thur-Mon. 4/18-4/22-No School Easter Break; Fri, 5/17-Art Expo