Coming Up

It was a pleasure to talk with all of you at conferences last week!!!  Thank you so much for all of the support and encouragement that you provide your child at home working on math homework, take-home books, sight words, Raz-Kids and MobyMax.  I can’t wait to see how these sweet little ones continue to grow!!!  If you have any questions or concerns as the year continues please let me know.

November 1-16 –  P.E. C.A.R.E.S.

Last day to donate is Wednesday

November 14 – Vision Screening

November 16 – Parent Club Meeting @ 6:30

November 17 – Popcorn Day

    Library Day

Brrrrr!!!!  It has sure been cold outside!!!  Just a reminder to send your child to school with their cold weather gear – our lunchtime recess is a long one.  Also, don’t forget to label EVERYTHING in case a mitten, hat, or boot goes missing!

Our classroom has been a tad on the chilly side too.  Feel free to send your child to school with an extra sweatshirt or sweater to wear in the classroom.

Save the date…

November 22-26 – Thanksgiving Break: No School

December 14 – Holiday Program @ 6:30

Happy November!!! 

We had some great conversations this past week as a part of our Be Nice * Be Safe focus. We talked about being a buddy on the playground and how to stand up for ourselves and others.  We will continue our discussion this week, focusing on the difference between tattling and reporting.  The kids loved sharing and thinking about what they might do if their feelings get hurt at school.  What a kind, caring, helpful, and sweet group of first graders!!!

November 1 – 16 – P.E. C.A.R.E.S. Food Drive

November 6 & 8 – Parent-Teacher Conferences

November 7 – Book Fair Preview Day

We will head down to the book fair so your child can make a wish list of the books he or she would like to get.  You do not have to purchase these books.  This experience gets the kids excited about new books to read or look at!!

November 9 – Book Fair Buy Day

Today our class has the opportunity to visit the book fair to purchase books.  If your child would like to buy a book, please send his/her money to school on Wednesday in an envelope labeled with your child’s name and the phrase “Book Fair Money”.

November 9 – Jet’s Pizza Night

November 10 – Western Day

Dress up in your cowboy/cowgirl gear in honor of our book fair this week!

November 11 – Veteran’s Day

*We will not have our normal library time this week due to the Book Fair.*

Last Week:

We learned how good readers stop and check when their reading doesn’t look right, sound right, or make sense. This awareness is crucial for beginning readers who sometimes make the mistake of skipping or changing words. Your first grader can read more carefully by using a reading finger and reading at a moderate pace.

If your child does make a mistake, encourage him/her to fix it, by saying, “Something didn’t sound right (or look right) in the sentence/on that page. Can you find it?” After fixing the mistake, make sure your first grader rereads the corrected sentence to ensure comprehension. We introduced the students to the idea of a guard dog as a way for the students to be on the lookout to see if they are letting in (or out) any unwanted words.


We are continuing to write Small Moment stories in Writer’s Workshop. We began the week by learning about PUNCTUATION ( . ! ? ). In order for the kids to know where to add their punctuation, they needed to know when a sentence was complete.  We spent time building sentences and we learned that you must have a who and a what in order to be a sentence. We practiced adding PUNCTUATION to stories that didn’t have them. This can be a hard concept to grasp and we will continue to work on it all year. We shared our stories with our partners and pointed out our WHOs and our WHATs and where we added our punctuation.

Thursday – Pajama Day

This week we earned our Twelfth star!  The class was very excited and we voted to have Pajama Day on Thursday.  11-2-17 . Tomorrow!!!!

Send slippers in their back packs if you like.  But they must have shoes on to come to school and wear on the playground.  If they do not have PJ’s then comfy clothes will work too!

We have the very best class!  They are doing so well!



This Week

Oct. 30-Nov. 3 – Be Nice * Be Safe Week

October 31 – Happy Halloween!!!

November 1 – P.E. C.A.R.E.S Begins

November 3 – Library

November 3 – Early Release Day

Students are dismissed from school at 12:15.  (Sack lunches can be ordered through Food Service and will be sent home with your child.  Please make sure your child knows if he or she needs to order a sack lunch.  Feel free to send me an e-mail to let me know.)

November 5 – Day Light Savings – Fall Back

Last Week

We focused heavily on capital letters. We talked about the three main places that we need to add capital letters: the word I, names of things, & at the beginning of a sentence. We spent time practicing together and they worked hard to add these to their own writing. We are encouraging them to be careful not to add capital letters to all their words (which is common for beginning writers). Understanding what a sentence is and when one starts and ends is a tricky concept that we will continue to build on throughout the year.

This Week

It looks like we might be in for some wet and cool weather this week!!!  As your child begins to bring their cold weather gear to school, don’t forget to label everything.  Hats, gloves, and even boots frequently go missing and we want to make sure all these items get returned to the correct owner.

We are excited for some fall fun activities this week!!!

October 24 – Turkey Trot

Canceled- due to weather.

Wear your Turkey Trot t-shirt to school Tuesday

October 26 – Picture Retakes

Send back in your child’s picture folder and I will make sure they head down to smile.

October 26 – Math Assessment

October 27 – Halloween Party @ 12:45

Our fall parent-teacher conferences have been scheduled!!!  Look for an e-mail on Monday with your designated time.  Please respond to the e-mail to let me know if your time looks good or if we need to reschedule for a different date/time.  Thank you!

Thank you for supporting your first grade reader at home with their take home books.  Remember to return these books to school each day, so your child can bring home a new book to read to you!!!

Halloween Party

Our Halloween Party will take place this Friday, October 27, from 12:45-1:30.


On FridayOctober 27, your child can bring their Halloween costume to school in a bag. Please keep all swords, weapons, makeup, etc… at home for the real Trick-or-Treating.  We will change into our festive gear around 12:30ish. Your child will wear their Halloween costume during the party and change back into their school clothes (or stay in their costume) after the party before we have recess.

Thank you so much to all the parents who are donating supplies and volunteering during the event. Please send in your party donations by Thursday, October 26th, so I can double check that we have everything we need.  Food items can be brought in the day of the party.

We are looking forward to lots of fun!!!  I’ll take pictures to share on our photo stream for you to see if you haven’t signed up to volunteer at the party!  Please remember, if you plan to attend the party, you need to sign up to help with our craft, game, or snack and complete a background check. Please leave younger siblings at home to allow for space in the classrooms. I am planning on the following volunteers as of today:    sign up web site .   *  

*If your name is not on this list and you would like to attend our party, head to our sign up page and add your name to help with our game, snack, or craft.  Also, fill out a background check.

Last Week


This past week, we continued to focus on how to decode tricky words while we’re reading. We reviewed the strategies from last week and if we still need help, then when we come to a tricky word, we skip it (Skippy the Frog) and read the rest of the sentence. Once we have read to the end of the sentence, we try it again (Tryin’ Lion) from the beginning of the sentence and make a good guess for the tricky word (using the context clues from the sentence).


The kids have now met: Lips the Fish, Eagle Eye, Chunky Monkey, Stretchy the Snake, Flippy the Dolphin, Skippy the Frog, and Tryin’ Lion.  That is quite a list of strategies.  But, most importantly, when they have tried a strategy and have a good guess of what they think their tricky word is…they NEED to be careful.  Careful Caterpillar checks to make sure that their guess makes sense, looks right, and sounds right.  When the kids guess a tricky word, they need to ask themselves those three questions to self check and make sure that their word makes sense, looks right, and sounds right.  If it does, great! If it doesn’t, then good readers keep trying to figure it out!

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We started a new unit of writing this week, focusing on making our stories easy for other people to read. We spent time focusing on neat handwriting, finger spaces, and spelling our word wall words correctly. We spent time writing a shared writing piece. We chose to write about our first writing celebration and we have been working our way through the steps of writing a good small moment story, focusing on neat handwriting, finger spaces, and word wall words. We are seeing some huge growth in handwriting and finger spaces.

Last Week

Now that the kids have some solid reading time each workshop, we began introducing our accuracy strategies.  These strategies help our students decode tricky words while they are reading.  The first strategy that we talked about was Lips the Fish.  Get your lips ready and say the first few sounds of the word out loud. The next strategy is Eagle Eye.  Now that you have gotten your lips ready for the first sound, look at the pictures for something that starts with that sound.


Then, Chunky Monkey.  If the picture didn’t help you, look for a chunk of the word that you know (ing, at, it, sh, ch, and). And then, Stretchy the Snake. Zoom in on the tricky word, s-t-r-e-t-c-h out the sounds in the words slowly. Then, crash the sounds together to figure out the word.


We introduced the kids to the idea that vowels generally make three sounds (short, long, & schwa). We made a chart about what these sounds are and practiced making each sound. Flippy the Dolphin reminds us that when we are stretching out a word, to try the short vowel sound first and if that doesn’t work, FLIP IT and try the long vowel sound, and then the schwa sound.


You may have noticed that your first grader’s blue folder was bursting with small moment stories. We have finished our first unit in writing and we spent the week celebrating our writing. Part of the celebration is bringing home all of their stories so they can share them with you! They have worked so hard on these stories! Ask your first grader to share these stories with you! I hope you enjoy them!

This past week we spent most of our writing time preparing a special story to share at our writing celebration! First, we picked out two stories that we are very proud of to revise on our own. Next, we revised our stories together to check for all the parts of a good small moment story.


Then, we edited our stories by making sure they were easy to read.  After that, we got a chance to use colored pencils to add some color to our stories. Finally, on Friday, we celebrated!

During our celebration time, we had a chance to share a favorite part of our story with the whole class. Next, we read our entire story to a partner. Once we were finished sharing, we came back together and had juice for our juice toast. I am so proud of how far these first graders have come as writers since the beginning of the year.


We spent time studying a new math concept: SUBTRACTION!!!  When we solve stories that involve “taking something away” we use a minus sign (-) to represent what happened.  For example, when given the story:

There were 5 cookies.  I ate 3.  How many are left?

Our first graders learned to represent this thinking with circle drawing, break-apart stick, and minus sign right through the circles that were taken away:

We also emphasized that a subtraction equation always begins with the total.  Then we show the “minus” partner, which means that our answer is actually a missing partner (rather than a missing total like an addition equation).  Our first graders “trained their brains” to count up the total and write that number first to accurately represent a subtraction story or circle drawing with an equation.

With our introduction to subtraction still very fresh and new, please support your child on their homework pages as they learn to understand the strategies involved with solving and representing subtraction stories!!!!