Carr's Kiddos

This Week in First Grade

Week of January 6-10, 2014

Dear Families,

Well, we finally made it back! After two weeks of Holiday Break, and an additional two calamity days due to the cold temperatures, we finally started our new year together. I hope everyone had a relaxing, fun-filled time. I was able to spend some time with family, get some organization done at home, read just for fun, and catch up on some much needed sleep. Now that all the decorations have been put away, the holiday treats consumed, and the cabin fever relieved, it's back to our daily routine. Thank goodness!!

Our first week back was spent remembering some of our routines and procedures. The kiddos did a great job getting back into the swing of things. One thing to make sure to remember is to keep an eye on the Specials schedule (always found on the home page of our web site) and know especially what day Gym is. Mr. Decker will not allow anyone to participate who is not wearing appropriate footwear. If your child is wearing boots to school, please make sure they also have packed gym shoes.

Just a reminder about breakfast at school. Breakfast is offered daily at school for $1.25. They begin serving when the first bell rings to let the students in the building at 8:35. Please let me know if your child is NOT allowed to purchase breakfast. If I haven't heard from you that they are not allowed, they will be allowed to purchase a breakfast. Also, it would help greatly that if your child IS going to purchase breakfast, that he/she arrives at school as close to 8:35 as possible, so that their eating time does not run over into our learning time.

Please keep an eye on the forecast and make sure your child is prepared for the colder temperatures at recess. Even though recent days have been to cold and our playground still covered in snow, and we therefore have had indoor recess, if it does warm up enough to clear the playground and is above 20 degrees, we may head out for recess.

We all enjoy celebrating special events, but please remember that in an effort to promote healthy food choices, Darby Creek is requesting a move toward healthy celebrations. If you would like to provide a treat for your child's birthday, please be mindful of choosing a treat that would be a healthier choice. You can find some suggestions on the "Class Celebrations" page of our website. In the past, we have enjoyed pretzels, grapes, fruit snacks, pencils, etc. Celebrations can also be in the form of a gift to the class given in your child's name such as a book donation. As we have a variety of food-related allergies in our class, this also helps to assure the safety of all of our students as well as allowing everyone to join in the celebration without exclusion.

As always, if there is anything you need to know, but can't find on the web site, please send me an email and let me know. It is there for all of us, so I want to make sure that you are getting the most out of it too.

Thanks, and have a great week!

Mrs. Carr

Curriculum Happenings


We have been working on taking a look at story problems and being able to think critically in order to solve the problem. So many students want to quickly jump to an answer, that they don't really give much thought to what then need to find out or the best way to solve the problem. We are working on reading the problem all the way through, finding out what the problem is asking for, identifying the important information, and making a plan for problem solving. We are also learning a variety of ways that we can solve problems, including drawing a picture, acting it out, using tools, and using mental math.

Science & Social Studies

In Science, we are continuing our practicing of being scientists and learning what scientists do. While we were gone over break, we had an explosion of mealworms turn into beetles. Much attention and fascination is given to the way the beetles behave in the tank and how they interact with the mealworms.

In Social Studies, we have been learning about the way life was in the past as compared to life as we know it now. This will be an ongoing topic for a while. This week, Darby Creek also adopted a new motto: "We take care of ourselves. We take care of others. We take care of this place." While this was something that was in the works prior to break, it was really made personal with the vandalism of our building over break. We will continue to share ways in which we all work together to take care of each other and our community.


We have been talking about identifying the schema, or prior knowledge, that is necessary to understand something we read or learn about. Imagine reading a story about a skunk, but you don't know how a skunk defends itself. You would miss out on a lot of meaning in the story without that prior knowledge. Or, if I ask you to find the name of the month in a paragraph, but you don't know what a month is or the names of the month.


In our writing, we are continuing to tell personal narratives. These are stories that we tell about things that have happened to us. Anything that we have done can be turned into a story. We will be working on adding more details and descriptive language to our personal narratives. At this point in first grade, we should be moving beyond stories with only one sentence per page.

Spelling/Word Study

We have finally begun our weekly Spelling activities. Prior to break, the students were given their first spelling list. However, with all the craziness leading up to break, I decided to postpone our start until this week. The first "feature" that we studied were words with -it, -at, and -ot in them. Our first group of sight words were "its, not, and little." Overall, they did well. When grading the tests, I will take notice of whether the feature is used correctly, as well as if the entire word was spelled correctly. The graded tests as well as the pre-test and new lists are in their red Friday Folders. Please make sure you are spending a few minutes each night reading and writing these words. We will also be studying the features in class.

This week's feature: -ag & -og and the sight words: see, you, & yes

A Few Reminders

Please Take Note...

Specials: Please check the weekly Specials schedule on the Home page of our web site and make sure your child is wearing tennis shoes on our Gym days. For their own safety, they will not be able to participate without appropriate footwear.

Remind 101: If you have not signed up for the text alerts from Mrs. Carr yet, it's not too late. Using your mobile phone, text the message: @carrs to the number: (614) 470-5313. I will occasionally send out important, last-minute information (such as when we have a snow day or when I need to quickly give you information.

• Lunch Reminders: Help your child practice his/her lunch number if they don't already know it. Also, make sure they know what they are choosing for lunch before they arrive at school. It will make lunch time go much more smoothly.

• Family Picture: If you have not already sent in a 3x5 or 4x6 family picture for our gallery, please do so. We aren't complete without you!

• Time For Kids: As mentioned in the Beginning of the Year letter, please send in a check for $4.42 made out to Time For Kids for our year subscription. (The checks are sent directly to the company and they will not accept cash.) This is a very valuable science/social studies resource for our class. (If you are unable to send a check, please contact Mrs. Carr.)

• Twitter: Remember to follow us on Twitter! Our goal is to Tweet out our learning 2-3 times per week. Our Tweets are so much more meaningful with someone to read and reply to them.

• Media Center: Although there is a 2-week due date, the students can return their library books at any time; we do not have a set library day. They simply put their clip in the library basket whenever they are ready to go.

• Birthday Treats: Please keep in mind that we are trying to encourage healthier choices in our meals, snacking, and treats. See the "Class Celebrations" page on our website for suggestions. If you have a birthday coming up, please contact Mrs. Carr to make arrangements for that.

• Communication: If you have to send something to Mrs. Carr, such as a note or lunch money, make sure it goes in the student's book selection folder. Those are checked daily. Papers and envelopes that are just put loose in the backpack will not be found. As always, the most reliable form of communication (when possible) is email.

• Early Dismissal: We often find that it is necessary for parents to pick their children up from school before the end of the day, either to go out of town, go to doctor's appointments, etc. As we are trying to make the most of every minute we have, it would be much appreciated if you could let Mrs. Carr know ahead of time if this is the case to minimize the learning missed by the student.

• School Directory: The school directory is now LIVE on the Darby Creek PTO website! Just go to and click on the "Forms & Reports" heading and select "Directory." When you click on the button to "View Darby Creek Elementary Directory", you will be asked for the password. Your password is: DarbyDirectory13-14 (this is case sensitive with no spaces). Please protect your password and information in the directory. This should be used within our Darby Creek community only. From there, you may print the PDF version of the directory and/or search the PDF form for a specific student (using the Control F function on your computer). If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Samantha Brill at

Upcoming Events

1/13: PTO Meeting, Media Center, 7:00pm

1/17: Interims sent home

1/20: No School - Martin Luther King Day

2/5: Late Start Day

2/10: PTO Meeting, Media Center, 7:00pm

2/10-2/13: Conference Week

2/14: No School - Conference Comp Day

2/17: No School - President's Day

2/21: Family Fun Night - Time TBA