Trailblazer Newsletter

Mrs. Keyes' First Grade Newsletter, 10/14/16, Issue 7

It's All About Learning!

Welcome to Mrs. Keyes' first grade newsletter. I hope you enjoy seeing the students grow in academic, character, and leadership.

St. Croix Preparatory Academy will develop each student's academic potential, personal character, and leadership qualities through an academically rigorous and content-rich educational program grounded the classical tradition.

Eliana Clark is our Student of the Week!

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Character Every Day

We have many opportunities to practice responsibility in our classroom. Can you give your child a "school" responsibility at home? How about having them be in charge of packing a healthy snack every day?!


Adjectives are making our writing more interesting. This week, we thought of many ways to describe our class monster. Then, we used those describing words to make an unusual adjective monster poem. Your child also began writing an adjective poem about the object they brought in.

Using Adjectives

We practiced choosing adjectives with this picture game. Ask your child to use an adjective to describe an object at home.


Students put the finishing touches on their autobiographies this week. This was a big project, going from bubble diagram to draft to final copy. You'll see these at conferences.

Writing is a cognitively complex task. Students will work hard this year to go from writing single sentences with support to writing six sentences cohesively on one subject with a topic sentence and concluding statement (fourth quarter).


If your early education was anything like mine, learning history was a very different experience from that of your child. Our core knowledge plunges students deep into ancient history 5,000 years ago with the Ancient Mesopotamians. This rich experience of learning history often sparks a flame of interest in young learners. Please encourage your child to share what they’ve learned each day.

So far, we’ve learned that “ancient” is really, really old (thousands of years). We learned that Mesopotamia was the “cradle of civilization” and before that time, people were hunters and gatherers. Ask your child to name the two great rivers in Ancient Mesopotamia. Next week, we’ll be delving into the inventions and “firsts” of this great civilization. Our test will be on Friday, October 28. A bright orange study guide was sent home today to help you assist your child in preparing.

Thank You to Lucas' Mom

A big thank you to Katie Kohler for assembling our large pocket folders. Your children will be using these to organize papers and projects from their three Ancient Civilizations studies.

First Grade Core Knowledge Poem, "Wynken, Blynken, and Nod"

One of our core knowledge poems, Wynken, Blynken, and Nod, by Eugene Field, inspired these beautiful watercolor paintings. Ask your child to tell you why this poem was written.

Math Homework

In first grade, your child will have math homework most nights. The purpose of math homework is for your child to practice the concepts learned in class and to be prepared for the next lesson.

It is your child's responsibility to bring their homework home, complete it (with parent guidance as needed), bring it back to school, and turn it in. That's a big job, and so we have systems in place to help your child be successful.

If your child does not turn in their homework for any reason (other than absence), they will be asked to complete it in school, first thing in the morning. This will ensure they are prepared for the next lesson. They will also receive a SCPA Character Notice, a green half-sheet, informing you of the action. Mrs. Knippenberg, Miss Morrison, and I am consistently implementing this process.

How is your child's science fair project coming along?

Need help finding an experiment? Here are a few good websites.

Home Experiments

Kid Science

The Original Science Fair Blueprints

Try science:

Mill City Museum Field Trip on Thursday, October 27

Your Registration & Payment form is due on Monday, October 17. Thanks to so many of you who have already registered.


On Monday, October 31, lower school students may choose to wear costumes of a literary character, such as Cinderella or Harry Potter; or an historical figure, such as Abraham Lincoln or Betsy Ross. Costumes must be respectful. No blood, guts or gore. Dressing up is not required. Students who choose not to wear a costume should wear their uniform.

We will have a fun pumpkin party that afternoon with theme-based activities in small group rotations. Please let me know in advance if you would like your child to opt out of the party so I may make alternate plans for them. If you would like to volunteer for the party, please let me know.

Click here to donate to our St. Croix Prep Marathon!

Monday’s incentive is the dry-fit long sleeve spirit wear shirt if students reach $140 in their account. Then on Wednesday, a hooded sweatshirt if they reach $225.

Click here to connect to

Our next book order will be placed on Oct. 26. Everything you need is on the Scholastic website, Click on the “For Parents” tab.

Mark Your Calendar

Wed., Oct. 19 All School Marathon

No school on October 20, 21, 24 and 25

Wed., Oct. 26 First Grade Science Fair

Fri., Oct. 27 Mill City Museum Field Trip

Fri., Oct. 28 Prairie Planting Day

Nov. 10-11 Lower School Conferences

Tues., Nov. 15 Fall Music Concert (Grade 1, 6:00 p.m.)

Classroom Volunteers

Door Decorators

October Vivienne Rothschild - Thank you!

November Tiffany Billman

December available - please let me know!

Hint: our door must be less than 50% covered with paper for fire safety.

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