September Newsletter

What We Are Learning in First Grade


Welcome to 1st grade! This is our grade-level newsletter which will come out once a month. We are off to a great start and appreciate you sharing your children with us each day!


In reading we are learning and practicing independent reading strategies to maximize our reading workshop time. We have started and will continue to set goals in reading as well as rereading for accuracy. In the next week we will begin practicing what to do when our reading time becomes interrupted, helping while partner reading, and "making movies" in their mind to think about how the book sequence will go and if the "movie" matches what is actually happening in the book.


In Math, we have been establishing math routines and learning to collaborate and cooperate with our teammates. In the coming weeks, we will be collecting data in order to make and interpret graphs and tables. We will be working on accurately counting sets of items in relation to addition. Two methods we will use are counting all and counting on. To count all, students count each item. Counting all sounds like, "One, two, three, four, five...". To count on, students begin at a given number instead of starting all over again. Counting on sounds like, "This group has 3, and if we add these items that makes four, five, six...".


In Writer's Workshop, we used activities from "Beyond the Names" in order to learn our classmates' names. We graphed and charted the number of letters and syllables in our names. We also sorted names in a variety of ways.

Also in Writer's Workshop, we began the first Lucy Calkins unit of study on Small Moments. Small Moments are true stories that students visualize in their minds before they draw a picture and write a story to match it. We will continue to work on adding details to our stories as we grow as writers.

We are also working on handwriting and letter formation. Each day, the students practice writing 1-2 letters, focusing on forming letters in the correct way. We finished "pull back letters" and we are now working on "slant letters."

Project Based Learning

We started this year with an "All About Me" unit in Project Based Learning. We created self-portraits, All-About Me bags, and "Heart Maps" that featured the things that are the most important to us. In this unit we got to know more information about our classmates and the things that make us unique.

We are also working on a map unit in Project Based Learning. In this unit we are learning how to read and interpret maps including their title, compass rose, and map key. We have also learned to identify landforms (hill, valley, lake, mountain, river) and their specific features. Using what we have learned about maps we were able to create our own maps of the classroom.

In our next unit we will begin learning about the properties of rocks, soil, and sand!

Upcoming Events

Thursday September 18th- Delayed Opening

Thursday September 25th- Teacher Workday

Friday September 26th- Progress Reports go home & Picture Day