Blazing into 1st Grade

September Newsletter

Welcome to a New School Year!

Hello! We are so excited to be jumping right in to a new school year! The excitement of the staff and students in this beautiful new building is contagious and we are ready to have a wonderful year at Butterfly Ridge.

What We Are Learning in 1st Grade

Word Study

  • understanding that sentences start with a capital and end with punctuation (. or ! or ?)
  • recognizing and making rhyming words
  • hearing sounds in words
  • building words
  • exploring syllables (clapping it out)

Ways to Incorporate This at Home:

  • Ask your child what sound they hear at the beginning of a word and what letter makes that sound
  • Play a game at dinner to see how many rhyming words you can think of. One person start by saying a word such as, "cat". The next person around the dinner table says a word that rhymes such as, "bat". Keep moving around the table with each person saying a new rhyming word. How many can everyone think of?
Big picture


We are working on personal narratives, or small moment stories. Students are choosing brief events that happened to them to write a beginning, middle, or end to tell the story. Some students have written about: jumping into the pool, learning a new game in music class, the excitement of losing a tooth, walking into class on the first day of school, and more! They are focusing on adding details and making the characters from their story come to life.

Ways to Incorporate This at Home:

Get your child to notice the small moments. Did you walk to the car and see a rainbow? Did they lose a tooth at home? Did the family pet do something silly? Did they teach a younger brother or sister something new? Say, "Hey! This is a great small moment story! Tell me what your story would say?"

Big picture


We have been working on asking and answering questions while reading. We've talked about how different question words help us ask about specific elements in a story. For example:

  • Who? - refers to characters
  • Where? and When? - refers to the setting
  • What? - refers to what happens, the events
  • How? Why? - refers to the details such as character feelings and reasoning

We are moving into focusing on events at the beginning, middle, and end of the story. Also, we will be working on figuring out who is telling the story or who the narrator is.

How to Incorporate This at Home:

Read to your child, with your child, and let them read to you each day. When reading, ask questions such as:

  • Who are the main characters?
  • Where is the story taking place? When does it take place?
  • How is the character feeling?
  • What happened at the beginning/middle/end?

Ask them if they have any questions, or things they are wondering when reading.

Big picture

Social Studies

We just finished our first unit on rules and responsibilities. Students learned the school rules and shared some rules at home. We talked how rules and community members at school and in our neighborhood keep us safe.

We are moving on to symbols of the United States. We are learning what a symbol is and how it represents something. Students are participating in a meaningful lesson on creating personal symbols with our STEAM leaders and Makerspace teachers, Mr. Dulberger and Mrs. Getzandanner.

How to Incorporate This at Home:

As you are at home or out and about, see if you can find symbols that represent something (stop sign means stop, arrow means go this way, golden arches means McDonald's, a flag represents a country). If you see some, send them to your child's teacher so we can share them in class!!

Big picture


In math we've been working on:

  • reading, writing, and modeling numbers up to 75
  • understanding that numbers with two digits are made up of tens and ones (i.e. 43 has 4 tens and 3 ones)
  • grouping objects by tens to help them count

We will be moving to:

  • adding and subtracting within 20
  • solving words problems by adding and subtracting (i.e. "Mrs. Bailey has 5 apples. Ms. Silvey gave her 6 more. How many apples does Mrs. Bailey have now?")
  • understand what the equals sign (=) means

How to Incorporate This at Home:

  • have students count objects at your house and encourage them to group by tens to count
  • give them real life situations to add and subtract (you gave them 7 slices of apple, they have 5 left, ask if they can figure out how many they've eaten already)

Big picture

Look at What's Been Happening in 1st Grade!

Do you have a Frederick County Public Library card? It's Sign-Up Month! Check out what FCPS and FCPL are up to below!

FCPS and the Frederick County Public Libraries system are great partners, and Library Card Sign-Up Month is a perfect time to let you know about a new fine-free access program local libraries offer our students.

Now, using their FCPS student ID number and an FCPL prefix (119829), students can create a Student Success Card that lets them:

  • Borrow 3 print items (books or magazines) without any late fees
  • Access eBooks at
  • Use learning resources such as encyclopedias, journal articles and test prep

Students who already have an FCPL card can keep that card, too. It allows them to borrow up to 75 items and acess additional materials such as DVDs and video games.

See more about the Student Success Card:
For middle/high school students
For elementary school students

Visit for complete details.

See the recent news release about the FCPS and FCPL partnership:

1st Grade Team

Ms. Lynn Silvey (1st teacher)

Mrs. Sarah Bailey (1st teacher)

Ms. Allyson Golightly (1st teacher)

Ms. Kaitlyn Moore (1st teacher)

Ms. Leigh Friedman (1st teacher)

Mrs. Christine Majalca (EL teacher)

Debbie Brant (SEIA)

Lauren Gordon(SEIA)