Ms. Mai's Weekly Update

Friday, October 14, 2016

Week 6 Reflections

Dear Families,

As digital natives, your children quickly learned how to use the digital portfolio app, Seesaw, on the iPads. While I was nervous to release so much responsibility during the second week of school, I knew I had an obligation. Seesaw not only engages the children, but also enhances the teaching and learning in the classroom by encouraging collaboration and increasing peer-to-peer interaction. I intentionally gave minimal directions when launching the use of iPads to honor the developmental stage that first graders are at--learning through exploration and play.

This week, I assigned the children their very first in-class Seesaw assignment. Some of you have already viewed the videos on Seesaw. Some of the children noticed the comments from their family members and with wide, excited eyes said, "I'm going to read another book and do another video!"

Families, thanks for supporting the learning in our class and most importantly, thanks for supporting your children!

Enjoy this video appropriately titled, "If You Give a Kid an iPad." All of the videos and pictures were taken by the students during Daily 5 and Math Work Places. Pretty amazing!

Until next time,

Ms. Mai

If You Give a Kid an iPad...

First Graders Were Never Meant to Sit Still

A special thanks to the following families and friends for donating to our Donors Choose project:

Mark and Jamie Hein (parents)

Chi Huynh (parent at Sunset Hill)

Kim Favre (my sister!)

Dana Catania (donor from Texas)

Please spread the word so this project can be funded by December and your children can sit and (stay focused) on the amazing wobble chairs during small-group instruction!



Monday 10/17/16 (Day 5): P.E./Media *library books due*

Tuesday 10/18/16 (Day 1): P.E./Music

Wednesday 10/19/16 (Day 2): Art

Thursday 10/20/16: No School (MEA)

Friday 10/21/16: No School (MEA)

Upcoming Events

10/25/16: Conferences

10/27/16: Picture Retake

10/27/16: Conferences

10/28/16: Fun Run

11/1/16: Conferences


I apologize for not getting the sign-up for volunteers up sooner. My team and I are still solidifying the details for Mystery Readers. I am also still planning and organizing different ways volunteers can support our classroom, whether it's in the classroom with the children or working on teaching-related tasks. I will send out the link via Sign-up Genius if you are interested by the end of next week.


Reading Street: Animals, Tame and Wild

  • Explored how animals help people and other animals
  • Identified and described main characters and setting
  • Used visualizing as a reading comprehension strategy
  • Read The Story of Ferdinand, Amazing Animal Helpers, and Paul Bunyan (half the children have never heard of Paul Bunyan!)
  • Read and spelled words with short o

Reading at Home

Please continue helping your child track reading minutes for October. This reading log is due on Monday 10/31/16. If at least 15 students reach or exceed the October goal of 200 minutes, the whole class will celebrate the achievement with Flashlight Friday.


Username: bvfirst Password: (student's last name)

Writing Workshop

We officially launched the Writing Workshop on Tuesday. The students were very eager to write about "Small Moments" from their lives. It's amazing that with just one week of mini-lessons, the children's writing is already filling up with more descriptive words and details. I can't wait to see how their craft in writing continues to develop over the next few weeks.


What did we work on this week?

  • Verbalized thinking strategies
  • Recognized the number of dots on dominoes (improving instant recognition)
  • Explored the relationship between addition and subtraction
  • Wrote addition and subtraction equations to match real-life math stories
  • Played two new Math Work Place games called "Domino Add & Compare" and "Sort the Sum"

Sites for additional math practice:

Greg Tang Math

Bedtime Math


We explored and discussed several topics this week with help from Puppy and Snail and lots of role playing using the Second Step curriculum:

  • Lesson 17: Solving Problems, Part 1
  • Lesson 18: Solving Problems, Part 2
  • Lesson 19: Fair Ways to Play
  • Lesson 20: Inviting to Join In

We are right on schedule for our science unit "Pebbles, Sand, and Silt" set to begin on Monday, October 24, 2016.