First Grade Newsletter

October Edition

Important Dates

  • October 10: Walk for Education
  • October 15: Delayed Opening for Students (2 hour delay)
  • October 23: End of 1st Quarter
  • October 29: Field Trip to Chestnut Ridge Camp and Retreat Center; Spirit Night at City Kitchen
  • October 30: Make Up Picture Day


In math we have been developing strategies for adding and subtracting accurately when solving problems. In order to do this, we have been working on understanding the meaning of the equal sign and using ten frames to quickly recognize numbers within 20. In the coming weeks we will spend a lot of time practicing word problems involving situations of adding to, taking from, putting together and taking apart. We will even be working on adding 3 numbers!

At the end of the month, we will be starting our next unit that relates subtraction to addition and introduces fact families. This is an exciting unit filled with a lot of "AH-HA!" moments and lightbulbs when many students recognize subtraction as the inverse of addition!


In reading we continue to learn and practice good reading habits in order to increase our stamina. The assessments have provided information so that we can begin guided reading groups based on individual performances. We will continue to monitor and adjust groups and share with you how you can support your child at home. In these guided groups focus will be on reading skills, strategies, comprehension, and written responses.

Station time offers opportunities in poetry, writing, big book reading, listening, shopping for books, word work, read/write around the room, independent reading, buddy reading, and computers. In addition, students are engaged in the Raz-Kids reading program on their I-Pads.

As for reading stamina we have already doubled our minutes. We are on our way to 20 minutes of independent reading!


During our writing time we have learned about and started to write small moment stories. Small moment stories come from our lives and generally happen in one time and one place. We focus on that one moment, but tell all about it in great detail. That way the reader can clearly understand our story and paint a picture in their mind of what happened. Ask your child to share a small moment story with you!

We are also remembering to use dictionary spelling for sight words. We've reviewed sight words from Kindergarten and added new ones. The new ones that we are learning to read and write are: be, got, has, if, little, not, us, and want. And as we write we are practicing conventions like using capitals to start sentences, spaces between words, and punctuation to end a sentence.

Coming up later in the month: Opinion writing! What do you think about that? We'll find the words to tell you all about our feelings on a topic. Wow! We are first grade writers!


During PBL time, we have been working on an awesome science unit called "Pebbles, Silt, and Sand." The students have been having a great time learning about rocks and their usefulness in real life situations. We have been hunting outdoors for rocks, sorting them (by size, color, luster, texture, etc.), and doing many fun activities and experiments with them. Some students have even made connections by bringing in their own rock collections to share with the class. This unit will also tie in with our upcoming field trip!