Week 8!

We had a great first week of our reading super switch.  Our groups worked hard and our transition from room to room was smooth.  We are looking forward to some amazing growth from our readers in the weeks to come.  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!!!

October 24 – Be Nice * Be Safe Week

October 25 – Turkey Trot

If your child would like to participate and you did not sign up already, late registration can be filled out at the race.  The races begin at 5:00.  Gates open at 4:30.

October 26 – Library

October 27 – Picture Retake Day

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

October 27 – Math Assessment

October 28 – Halloween Party @ 12:45

For more information about our Halloween Party click on this link –> Halloween Party Details

It looks like our temperatures will be a little cooler next 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.

Halloween Party Reminder!

Our Halloween party will take place this FridayOctober 28, from 12:45ish-1:30ish.


On Friday, October 28, 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 after the party before we have recess.

Thank you so much to all the parents who are donating supplies and volunteering during the eventPlease send in your party donations by Wednesday, 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 and 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. I am planning on the following volunteers as of today: Krista Hammersmith, Heather Gaudard, Jamie Detillion, Jamie Rodriguez, Tricia Lozon, Emily Mieras, Krista Hammersmith.

Social Studies Update!

This week we also discussed what it means to be a good citizen.  Each day we added another attribute to our “Good Citizen” chart.  Here is what we learned:


1. FOLLOWS RULES.  We discussed reasons that we have rules such as rules help us learn, rules keep us safe, rules help make things fair, etc.

2. RESPECTS AUTHORITY.  We brainstormed a list of people who have power with authority (principal, teachers, bus drivers, moms, dads, etc.) and how they enforce rules. When we listen and respond to those in authority we are being respectful.

3. IS FAIR. We discussed what fairness looks like at school, and learned that fair isn’t always equal – it’s getting what you need in order to be successful.

4. IS RESPONSIBLE.  We learned about ways we can be responsible at school such as making sure that you have all of your tools ready (without being asked).  We are planning to begin classroom jobs next week to practice being responsible.

5. HONORS THE USA.  One way we can do this is to respect and remember symbols of the United States that represent our freedom such as the American Flag, White House, Liberty Bell, Statue of Liberty, and Bald Eagle.

If you notice your “first grade citizen” displaying any of the attributes above be sure to commend him/her on a job well done!

Math Update!

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!!!!

Writing Update!

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, capital letters in the correct places, and end punctuation. We are seeing some huge growth in handwriting and finger spaces. Adding capital letters and punctuation to the right places is a bit trickier and we’ll keep working on this all year.


Reading Update!

This week, we focused on using what we know about word families to help us figure out new, tricky words. The kids noticed word family words that they knew in a snap. When we took a closer look at those words, we noticed that words from the same family all end the same.


We then used that same word ending to help us figure out other, tricky words with the same word family ending.


We also talked about 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. 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.

Handwriting Update!

You may have noticed that your child came home with their yellow handwriting workbook earlier this week. Since the beginning of the school year, we’ve focused on the pages teaching the correct formation of the capital and lowercase letters.  There are lots of additional pages that we didn’t complete and we wanted to send the books home for you to use as a resource.  Please keep the book handy and pull it out so your first grader can try a page from time to time.  We know that PRACTICE MAKES PERMANENT, so let’s keep practicing the correct way.  Thanks for your support from home!


Week 7!

We ended last week with a writing celebration & cute pumpkins that are now hanging on our walls!  It was a great half-day of school! I hope you are enjoying all the pictures that have been posted to our photo stream, let me know if you need me to resend that information your way!

October 18 & 19 – Vision Screening

October 19 – Library Day

October 20 – Marco’s Pizza Night

October 21 – Spelling Assessment

This week we are beginning our Reading Super Switch, a highly focused reading program that will take place on Mondays-Thursdays.  All students in grades first through third will be grouped with readers of like strengths and needs.  We are excited about the learning that will take place with this program!

Thank you so much to our parent volunteers who began supporting students with our sight word intervention last week. We are very excited to continue meeting with you!

Our first graders have access to two wonderful online resources at home: RazKids & MobyMax.  Information pages with your child’s username/password were sent home earlier this month.  This week, please log-in to these websites at home and check them out with your child.  Let me know if you have any questions as you explore these valuable learning opportunities. (If you need your child’s username/password sent home again just send me an e-mail.)

Math Update!

Our first grade mathematicians have learned to solve addition stories by drawing pictures, using circle drawings, and writing equations.

This week each of our math groups brainstormed solution strategies for solving equations with missing totals.  To solve 5 + 2 = ___, our first graders suggested…

…making a circle drawing underneath the partners:  

…counting the partners on all their fingers: 

A third strategy that we learned was: COUNTING ON!!!!  Counting on is more accurate and time saving than the first two methods.  When we count on, we underline the greater number and draw dots under the smaller number to show our math work.  Then, we clap and say the greater number, and count on by pointing to and counting the circles under the smaller number.

Picture 3

  We learned how to use our red quilt cards to increase our fact fluency.

Picture 1