The best part(s) of first grade!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA                               


The best part of first grade is learning and growing as a group.  But, if we can’t be together, then we’ll do our best work wherever we are, whatever the circumstances — because first grade is a magical time no matter where it takes place. Thanks for being our partners in learning. We’re going to miss you!

Happy Easter!

Wishing you joy and good health this Easter weekend.

Thank you for partnering with us to keep your children safe, and helping them to continue on their learning journey in first grade.  We appreciate all that you do.

More Dr. Seuss and Rainbows!

We had a great week in first grade! We finished up our study of Dr. Seuss by reading, Oh the places I’ll go, and adding our sweet hot air balloons with our own “plans for the future.” :). We also did a flip book after reading a Dr. Seuss biography.  Take a peek at these up in our room.  Then we moved on to rainbows as we get ready to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!  We learned that rainbows can come in more shapes (round!) and colors (monochromatic, fog, etc.!) We even made rainbows with skittles! See below:

We also learned that Black is made of lots of colors when we did our chromatography experiment–we saw lots of green, pink, and blue in the black marker lines.  We rounded up our week with rainbows about US! This was our project to demonstrate our learning about adjectives.  (We even got a chance to watch the old Schoolhouse Rock video about them!)  These are hanging up on our line making the corridor very colorful!

In Math, we are still working our way through subtracting with regrouping.  This can be challenging but many, “Ohhhh’s” and “I get it now’s” have been heard in our room the last few days, so we are making good progress.  We’ll keep this going along with some new work on fractions.  We are looking forward to this.

And, of course, the biggest news of the week came after school on Friday.  We will be working hard all this week to develop a plan for making this transition and home period as smooth as possible for each of our families.  Please know that we will be available by phone and email to help/answer questions while your child is at home.  We will be sending sample schedules for you so that you can see what we might normally be doing at certain times of the day, and roughly how long we allot for each assignment, but of course this is just a guide for you, and you can create a schedule that works for your family.  Our goal is to help each of our students continue to progress and do so in a way that feels familiar, and allows them the same level of independence that they would have in school.  We can’t thank you enough for being partners with us in this endeavor.  We welcome any feedback on the volume/level of work that we are sending your way.  Know that we are being intentional with what we send home, but also understand that this is a very different environment for all of us.  We appreciate your patience.

Upcoming events:

This Wednesday is a half day–noon pickup.

Love of Reading!


We started the week by celebrating Dr. Seuss’ birthday!  We read the Cat in the Hat, and (of course!) made our own hats! We kept the week going by reading Green Eggs & Ham next, and doing some opinion writing on food we don’t like and why.  We also watched Horton Hears a Who, and did a “hero” writing piece.  We also read Yertle the Turtle, did some comprehension and a writing piece on being King or Queen of the classroom! We wrapped up the week by reading the Sneetches, and wrote about the lesson they learned.

Along the way, we got a chance to go to the Book Fair…

and listen to a presentation from wonderful author, Jennifer Stewart!  It was a great week for reading, and having fun!

In math, we are working on regrouping.  We started with addition, and are thrilled at how quickly the kids are catching on! 🙂 We will shift gears and try subtracting next week.  Be prepared for a little bit of growing pains as we learn.  We will keep practicing, practicing, and practicing with both addition and subtraction through the end of the year!

Next week, we will spend Monday and Tuesday wrapping up our study of Dr. Seuss with Oh the places you’ll go, and a biography flip book of Dr. Seuss.  Then we’ll shift gears to rainbows and colors as we prepare for St. Patrick’s Day!

Important Dates:  Wed., 3/18-Early Dismissal (Teacher In-Service); Wed., 3/25-Field Trip-Tucson Village Farms; Fri., 4/3 Fine Arts Night; Wed., 4/8 Easter Egg Hunt-1st Grade; Thurs-Mon., 4/9-4/13-No School-Easter Break.

Have a happy week!

Elephants, and piggies, and pigeons, oh my!

We loved studying the work of author, Mo Willems this week.  We had so many great books to read!

We kicked off the week reading, Amanda and her Alligator.  We did some comprehension work, and even made our own “thinking caps!”  Next we read, Knuffle Bunny and did a writing piece about something very special to us.  These went along with our artwork out on the line which was inspired, of course, by the art in the book.  We read, Don’t let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, and did our own class book and a writing piece about something we REALLY want to do (but can’t yet!) . Look for these up in our classrooms!  We also read as many Elephant & Piggie books as we could squeeze in, and a few more Pigeon books, too!  We love Mo Willems!

In Math, we are working on measuring accurately and comparing by identifying “how much longer” or “how much shorter.”  We are also busy adding 2-digit numbers to prepare us for working with re-grouping next week.  This will kick off a few weeks of practice adding and subtracting with regrouping.  Since this is a new concept for our kiddos, we’ll be practicing in class and also sending it for homework.  Please help us patiently learn this new concept, but also let us know if your child seems to really struggle.  Our goal is to learn this slowly, and practice often, so that it is retained! 🙂

Next week is LOVE of READING week which is highlighted by the Book Fair coming to campus!  (Doors open for students on Tuesday and will stay open before and after school all week.)  We will be greeted by Wilbur & Wilma Wildcat at all school chapel on Monday to kick off our week.  *We will also be collecting gently used or new books for the Angel Heart Pajama Project, a non-profit group that provide pajamas and books for children in need. Your donations are greatly appreciated. First graders will be enjoying Dr. Seuss books all week and celebrating his birthday on Monday!

Upcoming events:

Book Fair, Tues.-Fri., 3/3-3/6;  Author Jennifer Stewart visits K-2 from 1:30-2:00–Book signing available, Pajama day-Friday, 3/6;

Have a wonderful week!


Dental Health, Buddy Breaks & Valentines!

We sure did squeeze a lot of fun and activities into our week before break!

We kicked off the week talking about teeth.  February is Dental Health month, so we read stories about teeth and even watch a BrainPop on why it’s important to care for our teeth.  This led to our fun “marshmallow teeth” projects hanging up in the room which also have our writing piece on why it’s important to floss.  We also talked about (and read stories about) the Tooth Fairy. We wondered what she does “with all of those teeth.”  This became the starter for our art project–which is on the line–featuring our sweet versions of the Tooth Fairy.

On Wednesday, we got a chance to hang out with our 8th grade buddies during a buddy break.  This is a chance for us to just have fun together on the playground, and to give the big buddies some practice at leadership.  Lots of “duck-duck-goose” and “tag” were enjoyed by all.

Thursday and Friday were spent on all things valentines and love.  We read lots of valentine stories, wrote about times we felt loved, and even made valentines for other teachers on campus to show them our appreciation.  So sweet.  We finished the week with our valentine exchange and a milk and cookie snack.  Thanks so much for taking time to help your kiddo address valentines and to Eli & Charlies moms who brought in our snack.  It was the perfect kickoff to the break!

Valentine Exchange!








After the break: We’ll be talking about author Mo Willems! Yay–A first grade favorite!  We’ll read about Knuffle Bunny, Elephant & Piggie, and of course the pigeon!  We’re also getting ready for the lenten season as we celebrate Mardi Gras on Tuesday with a pancake lunch and the steel drum band visits.  The book fair is the following week, and we’re into March.  So, enjoy the break! Rest, recharge, and get ready for more first grade fun!

Important Dates:

Tues., Feb 25th-Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras, Wed., Feb 26th-Ash Wednesday,

Penguins, and field trips, and STEM night, oh my!

We had a BUSY week in first grade! We kicked off the week talking about Groundhog Day, and whether we’ll be enjoying an early Spring (yes!) or six more weeks of Winter.  We read some fun books and did some fun activities including ABC order word work, and a word search.

Then, it was back to our work on our penguin research papers.  These took lots of time, and involved looking up facts, editing, re-writing and presenting.  Our kiddos did such great work.  We are so grateful to Ms. Hart and Mr. Sullivan, and all of you for coming in and asking us questions about our penguins.  It really reinforced how important this work is, and gave us a chance to show that we really are “penguin experts!” 🙂

On Friday, we got to go to the Fox Theater to see the production of, Miss Nelson has a field day.  Big thanks to Ms. Allen for setting this up for us.  We heard lots of kiddos say it was their first time on a school bus! 🙂 . We had tons of fun as you can see below.

In Math, we are still busy comparing numbers (greater than/less than) and looking for missing numbers on a 120 chart.  We are headed into a new chapter on comparing sizes of objects as well as some geometry (ie: shapes) . We also did some work on place value in homework which will ultimately lead to us adding and subtracting with regrouping after the break.

We finished our week (after school) with tons of fun at STEM night.  Thanks to all who could make it–what a great turnout!  We hope you had fun exploring all the hands-on activities and looking at all the Science boards by our upper school kids.  We thought it was a great night.

STEM Night Invention Convention:

Next week: We’ll be talking about teeth for Dental Health month, and of course, Valentine’s Day.  We are excited to have the kids together for our Valentine exchange on Friday.  If you’d like to bring valentines in early, feel free.  We’ll be making bags to hold them in class, so no need to bring a bag in! Happy weekend!

Important Dates:

Fri., Feb 14th-Valentine’s Day Card Exchange/special snack, M-F, Feb 17-21-No School-Rodeo Break., Tues., Feb 25th-Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras, Wed., Feb 26th-Ash Wednesday.

100 days of fun!

We did it! We hit a huge milestone last week, as we enjoyed the 100th day of school! (We even took two days to celebrate!)

We kicked off the week talking about Chinese New Year.  This year is the year of the Rat.  We learned that many of us were born in the year of the snake or the dragon. We watched a cute puppet show on video that showed an idea on how the animals were selected to be on the calendar, and then made our own calendars.  We also played with tangrams which are fun and challenging! We used 7 pieces to make lots of shapes including a very challenging square!

Next, we kicked off our unit on penguins.  We were all assigned a penguin to study, and began researching what our penguins eat, where they live, and interesting facts about these awesome animals.  We are learning a lot about how to find and organize information.  We will be presenting our “expert” information to our classmates next week to practice presenting. 🙂

In math, we are just beginning to work on measurement (using both non-standard, and standard tools.)  This kicks off with concepts of larger than/smaller than.  We are also wrapping up our study of time for a bit (well done 1st graders!) and moving to place value.  This is great timing as we have moved into numbers in the 100’s place on our calendar, too.  We’ll keep that up until the break.

Friday was definitely the highlight of our week.  We kicked off our 100th day celebration early by doing some rotations with the Kindergartners, and enjoying stacking 100 cups, making hats with 100 dots, using 100 stickers and 100 licks on a lollipop. So fun! Then on Friday we enjoyed a snack with 100 pieces,  wrote what we’d be like at 100 years old (and added a wonderful photo!) and did lots of math using 100–tally marks, cents, skip counting, coin flipping and more! it was a really fun day! 🙂

This week we’ll be talking about Groundhog Day, wrapping up our penguin study, preparing for STEM night, and heading to the Fox Theater to see Miss Nelson has a field day.  Happy February!!

How many licks does it take?  About 100!! 🙂

Important Dates:

Fri., Feb 7th-K-4 Students travel by bus to see, Miss Nelson has a field day!, Fri., Feb 7th-STEM Night; Fri., Feb 14th-Valentine’s Day Card Exchange/special snack, M-F, Feb 17-21-No School-Rodeo Break., Tues., Feb 25th-Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras, Wed., Feb 26th-Ash Wednesday

Arctic Animals are so cool!

It was a great week in first grade as we kicked off our learning about polar animals! We kicked it off in the Arctic (we’ll be studying penguins next week!) with polar bears!  We read from some non-fiction stories and learned some really cool facts (did you know that their skin is actually black? We do!) We wrote our facts on polar bear paws and put them together with some chalk polar bears–hope you’ve had a chance to see these on the line!  We also learned about walruses–who make all sorts of sounds to communicate including whistling! We tried our hand at whistling too, and graphed the results! Lots of us are future whistlers! We also learned about the arctic fox, who has one of the coolest adaptations. Just ask us.  We made some “fluffy” foxes and added the most important fact we learned.  These are out with the polar bears!

In math, we are practicing “true/false” with equations (some of which are written in reverse, ie: 10=7+3) We are also decomposing numbers, practicing our addition and subtraction facts and working on telling time (ultimately to the 5-minute.) We keep practicing our Mountain math, too and so we are getting review on all 16 major concepts in math.

Next week we’ll be celebrating Chinese New Year on Monday by making a Chinese Zodiac and talking about the animal which represents the year we were born.  This year is the year of the rat!  We’ll also be kicking off our study of penguins, and each student will be assigned a penguin to research and prepare a report.  We’ll be doing a 100th day kickoff on Thursday afternoon with the Kindergartners, and celebrating the 100th day of school on Friday! (Phew!) It’s going to be a busy week!

**Please note that we are need in some items for our 100th day snack. If you can help us by bringing in an item, we’d appreciate it so much!

Happy last week of January! 🙂

Important Dates:

Fri., Jan. 31st-100th day of School, Fri., Feb 7th-STEM Night; Fri., Feb 14th-Valentine’s Day Card Exchange/special snack, M-F, Feb 17-21-No School-Rodeo Break., Tues., Feb 25th-Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras, Wed., Feb 26th-Ash Wednesday