Johnny Appleseed


This week we extended our apple study by celebrating Johnny Appleseed and a few other American Folk Heroes. We learned about Paul Bunyan and Pecos Bill by reading stories and watching short videos about them. We talked about how to understand exaggeration in a tall tale and enjoyed giving examples of tall tales of our own- (it must have rained a million inches Tuesday) On Wednesday, we had “Apple Day”, we spent the afternoon rotating through centers in both classrooms completing apple themed activities at each center. Thursday was Johnny Appleseed’s birthday so we celebrated by writing facts about Johnny and then at the end of the day, we had a special treat when Adam’s mom brought us homemade apple cake-yum! You probably saw us come home with cute Johnny Appleseed pot hats too!

October begins our study of all things Halloween, spiders, bats, and pumpkins. We will begin next week with spiders.

Math has us learning subtraction strategies this week and next. We have also been regularly incorporating Mountain Math a few times a week and the kids have really taken to it.

We finished up last week with a special performance of Pinocchio. Live Theatre Workshop came to St. Michael’s and shared their wonderfully original performance of Pinocchio complete with singing, amazing masks and a question and answer time at the end. Thanks to Ms. Allen for inviting them to school.

Wednesday, you will find a progress report in your child’s Eagle Express folder. Progress reports are meant to give you a glimpse of where your child is at this point in the school year. If you have any questions about progress reports, please don’t hesitate to ask. 🙂

Important Dates: Mon-Fri. 10/7-11-No School-Fall Break; Fri. 10/18-Grandparents Day; Thurs. 10/24 Pumpkin Day; Thurs. 10/31 Halloween Party in the park,

All about apples!

This week, it was all about apples! We read some great non-fiction books about apples, made our own apple book, wrote facts about apples (to go with our stained glass beauties on the line out front!) and had some fun with an old-fashioned hidden pictures page with an apple orchard.  But, we’re not through yet! Next week is Johnny Appleseed’s birthday so we’ll be adding more fun.

In Math, we wrapped up our work on foundational addition skills and are headed into subtraction.  We’ll be using a lot of the same practices only subtracting this time (ie: one more/one less, counting back on a number line, and always demonstrating our thinking and our strategies with word problems.

It was great to see all those who could stop by on Back to School night.  Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule(s) to be there.  We think the format was the “just right” mix of time in our rooms, time to ask questions, and time to visit all of our enrichment teachers.

Next week: We will kick off the week talking about Folk Tales including Pecos Bill and Paul Bunyan.  This leads into our study of Johnny Appleseed and a fun “apple afternoon” on Thursday to celebrate.  This is a fun mini-unit for us, so if you have folk tales that your kiddos love and would like us to read, send them in!  We’ll be working our subtraction skills in Math.  And, our Social Studies unit is of course, American Folk Heroes.

Hope your weekend was happy, and you’re looking for the cooler (ahem, sub-100) temperatures and rain headed our way this week! 🙂

Important Dates: Mon-Fri. 10/7-11-No School-Fall Break; Fri. 10/18-Grandparents Day; Thurs. 10/24 Pumpkin Day; Thurs. 10/31 Halloween Party in the park,

Give us some Space!

Mailing out the Flat Stanleys!! 🙂

We had a busy week in first grade! We spent a whole lot of time learning about Space (and managed to mail our Flat Stanleys, too!)

We kicked off the week talking about stars.  We made our own stars and did a little writing project about our wishes on the first star. Then we talked about the moon, and how it looks like it changes based on how it reflects the son’s light.  We studied the planets and the order they’re in, as well as some fun facts about them, (and we learned a lot more at the Planetarium, too!) Of course the highlight of our week was our field trip where we combined learning about our solar system, the constellations, and even more fun with rocks and minerals! We wrapped up the week talking about orbits and enjoyed learning about how we orbit the sun and the moon orbits us on Earth.  We even made a model to show what we know. (**Many thanks to Adam’s mom, Agnes, for all the wonderful pictures from our trip! Here are a few more…

In Math, we are busy working on addition and strategies.  Our kids are getting more fluent every day and can demonstrate their knowledge by drawing pictures to show how they are thinking and articulate how they arrived at answers which means they are becoming teachers to each other.  We will be adding Mountain Math to our schedules now that they are becoming more comfortable with our text to get more practice/instruction on the core concepts of first grade including time, money, 2-d/3-d shapes and graphing.

We are reading all the time; directions, books, our schedule, and everywhere else we can.  We appreciate all that you do to support us from home and updating the reading logs.

Next week: Class picture day is Tuesday, Individual picture day is Wednesday–free dress–(*it’s also a half day for teacher in-service) Thursday is Back to School Night for parents at 6:00 p.m.  And, we will be studying APPLES!  We are thrilled to welcome Fall in such a delicious way.

Important Dates: Tues. 9/17-Class Pictures (red shirts/khaki shorts/skirts); Wed 9/18-Individual Pictures-Free Dress;Wed. 9/18-Half Day-Teacher In Service; Thur. 9/19-Back To School Night K-4;  Mon-Fri. 10/7-11-No School-Fall Break; Fri. 10/18-Grandparents Day (See our calendar for more future dates and stay tuned for one more fun date in October!)

First grade rocks…(no, really!)

Stacking rocks takes a steady hand, patience, and teamwork!

it was a great week in first grade studying rocks.  We kicked off our short week reading a book called, Everybody Needs a Rock. This book gave us all the tips we needed for finding the perfect rock on our rock hunt. We got low, were very quiet, found it all on our own, and let it jump around in our pockets. 🙂

We also watched a really cool Brain Pop Video on how to decide if a rock is igneous, sedimentary, or metamorphic.  We made little booklets to help us remember some key points as we decide, like Igneous rocks come from volcanoes!  We used this information at our “Rock Exploration Stations,” where we used adjectives to describe our rocks, and then decided to which group the rock belonged.  Fun!

But, it wasn’t all rocks this week.  We are still working on addition to 20 and looking for quick ways to identify these numbers using:  count on, use ten frames, and show what you know with a picture.  We’re also comparing numbers using vocabulary such as greater than or less than and playing a game similar to “War” where the kids add their cards together and the higher number keeps all the cards.  We use cards with numbers and dice, and even dot cards to change it up and solidify this learning.

We hope you loved the final interviews as much as we loved putting them on the line.  These first graders are becoming quite the writers and we are super proud of them.

Next week we’ll be studying space, including stars, planets, orbiting, and the moon.  And, of course this goes right along with rocks as we head to the Planetarium on Wednesday!  The Flat Stanley’s will be headed out on Tuesday, and in math, we’ll be looking at story problems, sharing our strategies for addition, and making some simple graphs.  Phew! It’s going to be a busy week. Have a very happy weekend! Go Cats!

Important Dates: Wed. 9/11-Field Trip-Flandrau Planetarium (red shirts/khaki shorts/skirts); Wed. 9/18-Half Day-Teacher In Service; Thur. 9/19-Back To School Night K-4; Tues. 9/17-Class Pictures (red shirts/khaki shorts/skirts); Wed 9/18-Individual Pictures-Free Dress; Mon-Fri. 10/7-11-No School-Fall Break; Fri. 10/18-Grandparents Day (See our calendar for more future dates and stay tuned for one more fun date in October!)

Week 2 in the books!

We made battery powered lights in Technology–So cool! Thanks Mr. Rebert!

It was another great week in First grade!

This week we talked a lot about friendship.  We kicked off the week with the darling book, Stick and Stone. It tells about the beauty of friendship and how we are better together.  We did a little writing project about how they helped each other, too. We also read Mean Jean the Recess Queen, and talked about if we knew someone like Mean Jean and how we’d help them to be a better version of themselves. But, our big book this week was The Adventures of Flat Stanley! We read the story and then made our own Flat Stanleys to get ready to mail.  We also wrote about what we could do if we were flat–there were lots of adventures to the playground!! 🙂

In Math, we are building our addition strategies as we work with numbers in the teens. This involves recognizing ten frames, counting on, counting with our fingers, using a number line and using mental math. We played games including a game similar to bingo where we had to choose to add one more or add two more; building numbers on a ten frame and then deciding how many to add or take away when a new number is presented; and working with mystery bags to count and record numbers (we’re looking to see how the kids organize items to count them–ie: rows, one line, etc. and if they recount and can recall for recording.)

In Social Studies this week, we finished our interviews.  This process involved “interviewing” a friend from the other class, writing a paragraph using that information (with prompts,) editing the paragraph, writing a final draft, and drawing a portrait of that friend.  It was a long process, but we think the results are lovely!  Look for them up on the line on Tuesday!

Next week, we are shifting our Science and Literature topic to “rocks.” We’ll read some great books about the 3 different types of rocks, how to find a perfect rock, and do an observation station where the kids can sort rocks into different groups and justify why they put them in those groups. We’ll keep working on addition in math but add story problems to the mix.

Have a wonderful 3-day weekend! See you Tuesday. 🙂

Important Dates: Wed. 9/11-Field Trip-Flandrau Planetarium (red shirts/khaki shorts/skirts); Wed. 9/18-Half Day-Teacher In Service; Thur. 9/19-Back To School Night K-4; Tues. 9/24-Class Pictures (red shirts/khaki shorts/skirts); Wed 9/25-Individual Pictures-Free Dress; Mon-Fri. 10/7-11-No School-Fall Break; Fri. 10/18-Grandparents Day (See our calendar for more future dates and stay tuned for one more fun date in October!)