Spotlight on Specials

First Quarter

First Grade ................................ Exploratory Team

The teachers of these exploratory classes are committed to inspire the creative genius in all students through art, technology, library media, music, counselor and physical education.


​In First Grade, we began the year learning about the rules in our districts Acceptable Use Policy. Our next project was creating a pumpkin in MS Paint and then starting with some basic skills in MS Word as we type a pumpkin poem to go with our picture. Students are learning how to format text, add the picture they created and finish it off with a lovely border. Be on the look out for our finished project!


First grade students have been such fun to have in music class! We have been busy this quarter working with long and short sounds with quarter notes and quarter rests, high/medium/low sounds, and moving to the steady beat. We also spent time learning how music can be used as communication. In music class, we wrote a direction statement (ie: do ten jumping jacks), as well as a question and response (ie: should we play fast or slow?). All three classes gathered together and as one class played the rhythm to go with their direction or question, the other two classes listened, chose from two rhythms and performed the action or gave a response. Listening is a huge part of our music classes. We learned a bit about Johann Bach, one of the most famous composers. After listening to his music, students created a picture of what they thought his music was about. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions!


In our library classes we talked about our five rules: Take Care of Books and Use Shelf Markers, Use Quiet Voices, Raise Your Hand for Permission to Speak, Make Smart Choices and Do Your Best, and Line Up Quietly. We also discussed our safety procedures at RE, where we would go, and what our jobs are. We identified the book’s spine label, what it means, and the different sections of the library. We are practicing using shelf markers correctly in the Everyone section and are looking forward to looking for books in the other sections of the library next quarter. We talked about how best to take care of our books. We discussed the acronym “I PICK” when choosing a good fit book to check out. We identified the author, illustrator, and publisher and discussed their roles.

Physical Education

The first weeks of school were focused on the structure of class and implementing/practicing our warm-up activities and signals. The students learned wam-ups such as Turtle Tag, Egg Toss, and Builders and Bulldozers. We then worked on cooperative activities; games and challenges where students have to work with one another to complete a task. We were able to play games such as Yogurt River, Beanbag Bash, Centipede Bucket Brigade, and Aerobic Bowling. Students spent a lot of time in small groups and teams to work together. They were able to practice good sportsmanship and respecting others—two very important qualities!

We also learn a “Word of the Week” – a word that is important in Physical Education. The words we have learned so far are: exercise, cooperation, competition, pace, humility, and accuracy.

We are finishing up our soccer unit. I am very impressed with the talent each student possesses! We have learned many skills, such as toe taps, trapping, passing, “tic-tocs”, and dribbling. Students were able to participate in dribbling games such as dribble knockout, soccer ball tag, and dribbling bean bag bash. It has been a great start to the 2015-2016 school year! Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.


To kick off the school year, all students created a self-portrait. The self-portraits were made in different colors so that we could create a school-wide rainbow self-portrait mural. The mural is on display in the cafeteria & it looks fantastic!

During the first quarter of art, first grade students completed two art projects. First students learned about an artist named Peter Anton. Anton is famous for making three-dimensional sculptures of sweet treats. After viewing & discussing his sculptures, student created their own sculpture of a cupcake. The cupcakes were made out of paper mache. To frosted the cupcake sculptures, students used a mixture of shaving cream, glue, & food coloring. Students added additional toppings & decorations using a variety of materials. Next, Mr. Case, our student teacher, taught first graders about landscape painting. After studying landscapes, students learned how to mixing the primary colors to make secondary ones. Once the paintings were finished, students cut & pasted the different parts of a landscape to show a foreground, middle-ground, and back ground.


In guidance with Ms. Munsey this quarter we started with getting to know you activities and understanding the role of the school counselor. We also focused on the character trait RESPECT. We spent much of our time discussing and understanding how to be considerate of other people’s feelings and tolerant of differences. During the first quarter we also celebrate Peace Week and Red Ribbon week. During peace week I taught students how to deal with their problems in a peaceful respectful way. We discussed strategies, reporting, and the definition of bullying behavior. Red Ribbon week is October 26th through the 30th. I will be teaching students the importance of healthy choices and good decision making.

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