December Newsletter

What We Have Been Learning in First Grade

Upcoming Events

Thursday, December 11th: Delayed Opening

Friday, December 19th (12:25-1:25): Winter Classroom Celebration & Book Exchange

December 22- January 2: Winter Break

Holidays Around the World Potluck

Wednesday, Dec. 17th, 5:30-7pm

MES Cafeteria

Bring one of your favorite holiday dishes to share or pick a new dish to try!


In math, we just finished a unit on fact families. We explored how addition and subtraction are related. We enjoyed making fact family ice cream cones, houses, and related equations. We are now starting a new unit on place value. By the end of this unit, we will be able to describe two digit numbers as a group of tens and ones. We will be able to write numbers in expanded form equations.


In Reading, we began a new unit on non-fiction books. We started out by noticing and learning how to use features in non-fiction texts such as the table of contents, diagrams, headings, glossary, and index. We are now focusing on using non-fiction texts to gather information. Students will be working with a partner to gather and record new facts during our mini-lessons. We will also refer back to our previous unit on tackling tricky words because non-fiction books often have these. This unit is connected with our non-fiction writing unit.


In Writing we are midway through our "How-To" unit. Students are demonstrating their sequencing skills as well as writing for an audience. Prior to writing our "How-To" books, we examined other "How-To" books as well as the features or supports authors added in to help the reader. In this unit we are also working on using specific words to help the reader follow our steps and help us understand the message we are trying to convey.

Project Time

In Project Based Learning we investigated the voyage of the Mayflower and the First Thanksgiving. We created Mayflower books that highlighted the events that occurred during the Mayflower’s journey and were asked to put themselves in the pilgrims’ shoes. Our classes reflected on whether they would have enjoyed the conditions on the ship, what they would have brought on board, and why they thought they were trying to reach the New World. We have also been learning about different winter holidays celebrated around the world. We are learning the meaning behind various holiday traditions included in the celebration of Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, and the Chinese New Year. This unit will culminate with a Holidays Around the World Potluck Celebration where we welcome friends and family to bring a dish from their own holiday tradition!