1B Classroom Update 2

September 29, 2018


Parent Update

Hello amazing parents of 1B! Can you believe it is already the last day of September? We can't believe the first month of school is already coming to an end! Many exciting things have been happening! Our amazing first graders continue to blossom with their learning skills as we dive deeper into our ELA, Math, and IB units.

We have been continuing to work on to building our community and making new friends by playing fun group games and reading books about these themes. In order for us to start getting to know one another along with the classroom expectations, we created a classroom contract that described how they wanted their classroom to be. Students distilled their ideas down to being caring, respectful, clean, helpful, trying their best, etc. Each member of 1B signed the contract and have been trying their best to fulfill those qualities.

Recently, we have started to discuss our Hopes and Dreams for First Grade as a class. Today, we met with students individually to discuss their personal hopes and dreams. Having a conversation with them about this at home would be very helpful. We are very proud of their progress so far and we are excited to see what's to come! :-)

A Day in the 1B Classroom

Morning Meeting

It has been great to watch our friends come in every morning and get ready to start their day. We want to keep this routine going so we wanted to send a brief reminder that school starts at 8:10am and we begin our Morning Meeting promptly at 8:30am. During Morning Meeting, we start off our day by greeting our friends, sharing what we did over the weekend, playing a quick community building game, reading our morning message for any important announcements, going over the calendar, counting the days of school, and reviewing our daily schedule, so we would love for all of our 1B friends to be present. We understand that buses, elevator traffic, and breakfast may play a big factor, so we can make adjustments accordingly and start Morning Meeting at 8:40am the latest if needed. Thank you all for being so supportive and understanding!

Introducing our Class Pet

This year, our class pet is a golden gecko. In order to make our gecko feel like a part of our 1B classroom, we started off by voting on a name for him. Then we went up to his tank to say hi and observe how he was doing. We check up on him every day to see if he has enough food, water, and light so that he can stay healthy. We really hope that he enjoys being in our class!
Big picture

Learning in the 1B classroom


In Phonics, we are practicing how to spell CVC (consonant vowel consonant) words (e.g. cat, dog, pin, etc.). To do this, we tap out each sound that we hear on our fingers (pointer, middle, ring finger) and then blend the 3 sounds together (by moving our thumb across the fingers) to say the word. We have been continuing to practice this since last year and we are now experts! Have your child do this to support them in spelling at home!


Building upon Unit 1's discussion regarding "tools" needed to do specific jobs, Unit 2 focuses on "tools" that people use "without hands" to help with our work. Our 1B friends were introduced to three habits of character: initiative, perseverance, and collaboration. We learned that "initiative" is being a leader and deciding what needs to be done while asking questions to help me learn. "Collaboration" means to work nicely together with other people and listen to each other's ideas. "Perseverance" means to keep trying even when something is hard and to challenge myself. Go ahead and ask your child what these words mean, and be prepared to hear them use these words in your daily conversations, they will surprise you!

In order to put these new skills to the test, we took part in two challenges:

  1. Name Juggle Challenge

  2. Cup Stacking Challenge

For the Name Juggle Challenge, our challenge was to pass the ball to a classmate, remember the order, and do it as quickly as possible. The tricky part was to remember who we passed the ball to every time. For the Cup Stacking Challenge, our challenge was to build the highest tower using cups from all teammates (3 per person). We needed to make a plan so that every teammate could help build the tower. Check out the pictures below!

Lit Block

During Lit Block, we focused mainly on reading skills. We worked on skills such as picking the perfect reading spot, how to work on ignoring distractions and why it is important to re-read stories. 1B continued to show these strategies throughout the week by adding on what we have learned. Independent reading is a time that we look forward to in order to both learn new words and show our new skills. In addition, Lit Block included strategies to use when working on our story writing skills. Students created a “heart map” which allowed them to gather ideas that interest them for story writing. They then practiced sketching ideas to remember what our stories will be about. We worked on ways to enhance our writing by using these strategies and trying to add multiple punctuation marks (.?!) in our stories.


In Math, we wrapped up our unit where we reviewed basic Kindergarten skills including sorting and counting. We related counting to addition by using "counting on" as an addition strategy and represented a whole number by its parts using number bonds. We also started our brand new unit on Geometry. We have identified 2D shapes (circle, triangle, square, rectangle, trapezoid, hexagon) by their attributes: how many straight sides and corners they have. We played games where we had to guess the shape based on the description of their attributes, built different shapes using straws, and formed shapes using our bodies.You can practice shapes with your child by looking for them in your home or neighborhood and discussing its attributes, such as, "How many sides and corners does this shape have?"

Math Block

Math Block began this week on Wednesday! During this hour, students are placed in small differentiated groups and rotate around the classroom through 3 stations that are either independent, semi-independent, or teacher-led. Each station is designed to strengthen the students' number sense and challenge them to solve problems by thinking about already-taught math material in a new way. It was hard in the beginning, but also lots of fun!

Number Stories

In Number Stories, we are working building the fluency of counting and adding. Our number story learners spent this week working on various different types of word problems. We're also always excited to see which classmate is in the word problem of the day! We began by working on problems containing addition and subtraction of two (two digit/one digit) numbers. Next, we worked on We that were more challenging that included adding multiple sets of numbers in a group. They each showed a variety of ways to solve these problems and some shared our strategies with the class.

We have also been working very hard at mastering the art of creating number bonds so that they can recognize that two parts make a whole and writing number sentences that match our work. We also recently introduced the "counting on" strategy as a way to add more efficiently by counting on from the first addend, starting at a bigger number and counting on from it. At home, continue encouraging your child to add objects in their daily life and solving it by counting on. For example, for the following problem, "We had 6 apples and bought 4 more, how many do we have now?" Encourage your child to count on from 6, "7, 8, 9, 10" to get to the answer. Our mathematicians are off to such a great start and are excited to continue to grow their brains!

IB: Family Diversity

In Inquiry, we've been reading and learning about how many families are the same but can also be different. Our 1B friends also had a little glimpse into Ms. Park and Ms. Perez's family and got to see a presentation about our parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. Moving forward, we are going to explore some questions that they have about family and want to learn about. If you haven't already done so, please send a family photo to dtes1b@brooklynprospect.org along with answers to the questionnaire. We are so excited to learn about the family diversity in 1B!

  • Who are your child’s immediate family members?
  • Who are the primary residents in your child’s household?
  • What are some important dates or events for your family?
  • What are some typical weekly routines in your household?


At BPCS, we always want to make sure we are creating a community where students come together and work with others to strengthen their academic as well as social emotional skills. Something we have added to our daily routine during closing circle is a social-emotional curriculum called "Second Step." In this program, students are called on to discuss, role-play, and play games about different social situations. This week, we focused on learning to listen and that rules tell us how to listen and act in a group so everyone can learn. The Listening Rules are: ears listening, eyes watching, voice quiet, and body still. Watch the skit below as our actors Chace (teacher), Leila (student), and Beckett (student) acted out on the importance of following directions. Please feel free to talk with your children at home about ways in which to listen to others inside and outside of school.

Playing in the 1B classroom

Wishlist for the 1B Classroom

Amazon Wishlist

We have created a 1B Amazon wishlist of classroom items we would love to have. If you choose to donate something, we want to thank you in advance and would really appreciate if you could tell us the itemized list in order to ensure that we receive the items. Thank you so much everyone!


  • We are so excited for our Back To School Night! It will take place on Thursday, October 4th from 6-7:30 pm. There will be a short presentation by your classroom teachers and some time for Q&A. Childcare will be available for BPCS students and their school aged siblings. Younger siblings are welcomed to attend, but will need to remain with an adult. If your family will need childcare, please RSVP below. We hope to see you there!
  • Our Wednesday Parent Volunteer Program begins on September 26th! Help out our school by volunteering from 8:30-10:30am on any or all Wednesdays from 8:30-10:30am at the BPCS downtown campus. See the sign-up for more details.
  • Picture day (October 18th) is right around the corner and we are so excited! Below are a few things to keep in mind as the day approaches:

    • Uniforms are not required on picture day.
    • All student photos will have a TRUE BLUE background.
    • We will follow up with information on pricing and how to order photos.
    • Picture retake day will be Thursday, December 6th.
Back to School Night RSVP

If your family will need childcare please RSVP by Tuesday, October 2nd.

Parent Volunteer Program

Community volunteers will support staff and students in a variety of ways.


  • If you haven't already, please send your child in with an extra change of clothes in a ziploc bag with their name labeled. For our friends that were in KA last year, their teachers passed along their old change of clothes. Please let us know if you'd like us to send them home while you send in a new set for your child.
  • Please send a family photo to dtes1b@brooklynprospect.org along with answers to the questionnaire. We are so excited to learn about the family diversity in 1B!

Important Dates to Remember

  • Thursday, October 4 - Back to School Night Grades K - 2 (6-7:30pm)
  • Monday, October 8 - Indigenous People's Day (No School)
  • Tuesday, October 9 - Professional Development Day (No School)
  • Tuesday October 16 - DTES Information Night (Gym 6-7pm)
  • Thursday October 18 - Picture Day
  • Thursday October 25 - Family Coffee Grades K - 2 (Playspace 8:30-9:15am)
  • Friday October 26 - 3rd Annual Multicultural Potluck
  • Tuesday October 30 - Halloween Parade (2:15-2:45pm)

Contact Us

Please feel free to reach out to us if you ever have any questions or concerns!