# February 14, 2014

## star student Hanna

Hanna turned 7 recently and this week she was our gracious and givingstar student! She read an Elephant and Piggie book to her classmates, much to their enjoyment! She also brought in some of her favorite toys. She has been enjoying baking lately and made each of us a personalized cookie with the letters from our names as well as a cake to celebrate! It was not only a thoughtful gesture but it was delicious as well! Thanks Hanna!

## literacy

We began writing our very own fairy tales and let me tell you, they are incredible!!! The creativity is just spilling out of your children and I am SO excited to watch these stories evolve! Please ask your child about their story and encourage any discussion surrounding it. We will continue to draft and edit it this upcoming week before publishing our final versions.

We met with Mrs Fuson's sixth-grade writing class for the first time. Their assignment is to write a children's book so they interviewed each of our students to get to know them better. They asked questions about our likes, hobbies, what makes us laugh, and what we look for in a friend. The 6th-graders will write for us and confer in the upcoming week. I think since we are doing such extraordinary work writing our fairy tales we will read them to our buddies once we are finished!

## math

The last lesson of unit 5 was the function machine. It is simply another way to put rules to numbers to learn and recognize patterns in adding and subtracting, much like the frames and arrows rules we used before. We had our unit 5/mid-year assessment to evaluate how students are absorbing the math we have exposed them to so far in first-grade. On the whole the test went really well. I will be in touch with you personally if I feel your child needs more focus in a specific area.

## social studies

We began a new social studies unit on geography. We learned the cardinal directions, North, South, East, and West, and how these directions help us read a map. We even identified North, South, East, and West in our classroom with a compass. Ask your child about the game we play with directions.

I briefly introduced the students to landforms and the idea that our planet is alive and moving. We watched a video that identified some of the different landforms. We identified raised landforms such as hills and mountains versus low landforms like valleys and canyons and flat landforms like the plains and desert. We also looked at different bodies of water like lakes, oceans, rivers, etc.

We will look more closely at landforms next week in an effort to teach that landforms affect the environment we live in. (The students were shocked when I told them that while Minnesota has many lakes there are not any islands unlike our very unique Panama!)

## upcoming

Tuesday, February 18 at 1:45 we have a pod assembly. Please send your child to school wearing their pod color.

First-grade is having a ball! On Friday, February 28 at 1:30 please come dance and eat with your child in the elementary cafeteria. This will be a celebration with all of first-grade. Girls are invited to come as princesses (which they are SO excited about) and the boys may dress as knights, princes, kings, etc.

We are looking for volunteers to bring food and decorate the cafeteria. Please email me if you are able to help.

Spirit week is from February 24-28. The themes are as such:

Monday February 24: wacky tacky day

Tuesday February 25: twin/triplet day

Wednesday February 26: pajama day

Thursday February 27: superhero day

Friday February 28: mojadera (I think our water time is in the morning around 10:30 so we will not have p.e. or swimming but we will get wet!)