The Explorer

Mrs. Knippenberg & Mrs. Lowery's First Grade News 10/14/16

Welcome Aboard! We hope you enjoy watching your child grow in academics, character, and leadership this year.

St. Croix Preparatory Academy will develop each student's academic potential, personal character, and leadership qualities through an academically rigorous and content-rich educational program grounded the classical tradition.

Micah Brechler is our First Mate of the Week!

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What Makes This First Mate A Fabulous First Grader?

Micah is such a hard worker in class. He loves to participate in morning meeting and saying the Pledge. His favorite Daily 5 center is Read to Self. I have seen Micah's stamina improve so much this year. Most of all, he loves his classmates. When asked what makes him special, his classmates said that he is a good friend on the rug. They also notice how he really tries his best with his writing. Micah loves baseball and playing with his big brother. We are so happy to have him on our team!

Adventures Through Academics!

Building Character

In first grade, we discuss daily what it means to be a responsible student at St. Croix Prep. Character building is important to the growth of your child. In our class this year, your child will have the opportunity and responsibility of setting specific goals for themselves. Each Friday, your child will bring home a pink Friday Reflection Sheet for you to read together, sign, and return to school on Monday. The purpose of this sheet is to serve as both a tool to help your child grow, and a communication piece between school and home.

This Friday, we held our first peace circle. A peace circle will be a special kind of morning meeting every Friday where your child will have opportunities to learn about and participate in peaceful community building activities. This morning, we brainstormed what we thought the word peace meant. Responses included: safe, calm, quiet, and happy. Throughout the year, we will continue to work on how to be a classroom of peacemakers. The kids really enjoyed our first meeting and look forward to next week!

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This week was all about Adjectives. We enjoyed many hands on activities to practice describing a noun. It was fun to get out hands gooey in a pumpkin, share and write about special objects and paint pictures to describe what we hear.

Because of the short week ahead, we will combine our next weekly reading unit between this coming week and next. We will not have a reading test this coming week.

Every Friday, your child will be assessed on the skills taught in class each week. A formal letter explaining the weekly concepts will be sent home Monday so you are informed about what your child will need to know on our Friday tests.

Please also remember to send your child's book pouch with the book inside. They will not be able to receive a new book if they have not returned the old one. Thanks for your continued support on this!

Click here for fun ways to practice sight word cards

Click here to a great blog with ideas for practicing sight words with your child.


It was a fun Friday as we celebrated finishing our autobiographies. Each of your children worked hard over the past three weeks to create a story about themselves at school. We look forward to sharing these stories at parent teacher conferences.

This week, we will work on writing descriptive sentences about animals and will be assessed on our writing soon.

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History & Science

This week, Siri demonstrated her science fair project in front of our class. She will miss the fair, so she was able to get her project done a little early. It was a great opportunity for the other students in our class to see what will be expected of them in a couple weeks. Students will be graded on their presentation as well as displaying all five steps of the scientific method at our First Grade Science Fair on Wed., October 26. I will resend our Science Fair letter via e-mail this weekend.

Also, in history we have begun our studies of ancient civilizations, starting with Mesopotamia. We will learn about how these cities began, and how it all started with farming. Ask your child how the ancient Mesopotamians were able to water their crops. Can they tell you what Mesopotamia means?

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First Grade Fall Festival Party - Monday, October 31

Thank you to the following parents who are offering their time to help out with the party. I have all the chaperones I need now, but will be sending out a list of things to donate in next week's newsletter. Stay tuned!

Special thank you to: Jeanette Geisbauer, Kelly Van Ranst, Kristen Sheehan, Kristen Brechler, and Carrie Beth Schrader!

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Pirate's Chest Store Items Needed

As we approach October, it is time to introduce you to our pirate's chest store. Each Friday, your child earns sand dollars. They earn this special classroom money by collecting points from turning in homework on time every day and doing their individual classroom job. Toward the end of each quarter, your child will be able to shop with the dollars they earned at my special classroom store called the Pirate's Chest. That is where you come in. I rely on the donations of small prizes like fun pencils, erasers, stickers, small prizes from the dollar section, etc. If you would like to donate any prizes towards this special store, please send any time to school with your child. I will collect them and store in a special place until the day of the store. Our first Pirate's Chest will take place at our Fall party on October 31. Thank you for helping out!
Click here to support our school marathon fundraiser

Type in Ms. Knippenberg's class. We are less than $100 away from our goal!!! Thank you!

Mark Your Calendar

Mon., Oct. 17 Mill City Field Trip Registration Due

Wed., Oct. 19 All School Marathon

Thur., Oct. 20-25 No School

Wed., Oct. 26 First Grade Science Fair 3:00-3:30 in PAC

Thur., Oct. 27 Mill City Museum Field Trip (Must be in uniform)

Nov. 10-11 Lower School Conferences

Tues., Nov. 15 Fall Music Concert (Grade 1, 6:00 p.m.)