Where smiles happen every day!

March 21, 2016

Greetings from First Grade!

Looks like the lion in March has reared its mighty mane and given us a real roar again. Wasn't expecting a snow day this late in the game! Hope you are enjoying some cozy time with your first grader!

Read Aloud Schedule

Read alouds have been a HUGE success in Room 17! Students have done an amzing job sharing their stories out loud and later basking in the glory of the compliments! We still have a few more to look forward to in the coming weeks. Please remember to touch base with Miss Melissa in the office regarding BCI checks. I know it is a great deal of effort on your part, but please know we all appreciate it!


We finished up our unit on Balance and Motion with an enormous task...a ROLLERCOASTER! We were successful in building a rollercoaster that sent a rolling marble all the way around the classroom without stopping or falling! Students needed to predict and execute how to get the marble safely down their section of ramp. It was delightful to see students quickly assess and determine how much or how little slant was needed to keep things going. Believe it or not...this was the first class I've ever had that had success on the first try!!! We kept rolling and loving it as a group. We even took the rollercoaster outside on one of those glorious spring days to try the task in a different environment. At one point, we invited the Flanagan class to join in the experiment...two classes of coaster engineers might have exceeded the patience limit...but it was still great fun! This science unit is always a huge crowd pleaser. Our next unit of study, plants, will begin in a couple of weeks.
Rollercoaster (Go noodle)

one of our favorite go noodles...

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We have been using and enjoying the chromebooks during our Guided Reading blocks. Students have access to several online reading sites of their choice. In addition to Reading A to Z and Book Flix, students can independently choose a book and scan the QR code which brings them to a secure site which reads the books aloud to them. Students have demonstrated great growth in navigating their way through sites on the chromebooks and problem solving if the need arises. Three cheers for technology!!!


In math we have just completed our exploration of 2D and 3D shapes, attributes and partitioning. Students worked through a variety of essential questions including:how can these shapes fit together to form a larger shape? What is this shape and how do you know?How many equal shares do you need to make a whole? and How can you show halves, fourths and wholes of a shape? Students enjoyed working with pattern blocks and tangrams throughout this unit. We are now moving onto understanding, representing and solving all types of addition and subtraction problems within 20. We are hoping to increase our speed in fluency with number facts. Please feel free to bring out the flashcards in addition to our classroom activities.


We all know that first graders love to share their opinions on just about everything! We have begun not only sharing our opinions about a variety of topics, but also sharing reasons and details why this is our opinion. Students have written about a variety of topics including favorite cookies, favorite season, best special at school, best snowman and favorite candy. Students are really grasping the concept of trying to persuade our readers to adopt our opinions. Be on the lookout for creative masterpieces coming your way!
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We are working in Unit 11 in FUNDATIONS.

We have introduced the magic e and all its spelling glory. Students have learned that the magic or silent e on the end of the word make the vowel before the consonant say its name. They have learned that cap becomes cape, man becomes mane and so on. We will continue to work on Unit 11 for the next few weeks...this snow day could have thrown us for a scheduling loop; but we will do our best to stay on track. I appreciate you helping your children remember to put their names on homework. I also would like to send a gentle reminder that on phonics HW, words should be marked (digraphs, suffixes, blends, etc.) Thanks for helping your first grader shine on this HW.

very short week

This week will be super short indeed. Students do not have school this Thursday or Friday (3/24 & 3/25) due to PD day and Good Friday. Here's hoping the snow melts and you can all enjoy some outdoor family fun!