Welcome to First Grade!

Have a great summer!

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Feeling Proud

I am in disbelief that the school year is coming to an end, but I am so, SO, pleased with how the school year has gone!! Every student has done a wonderful job and has made progress in so many areas!

A reminder that the Spring Concert is on Tuesday evening (May 7th).

First and Second grade Sioux Falls Zoo trip is on Wednesday. If your child needs a lunch packed from home, please remember to do so.

Friday is the PTO Carnival! If you haven't already, please consider donating $5 - $10 towards the first grade silent auction item. Thank you to all who have donated and signed up for a work shift!

Next week we will be doing end of the year FAST testing in math and reading. In math we will be reviewing 2-D shapes and start working with 3-D shapes. In reading we will be working with words that contain silent letters as seen in the words 'write', 'know', and 'gnat'. We will also be reading words that start with a three letter blend such as scr, spr, str, thr and shr.

Next week’s sight words are:

before, front, heard, push, tomorrow, and your

Enjoy the weekend and try to find time to read with your student! They would love to show you what they've learned!

Mrs. Lawburgh

First Grade Joins the Circus!

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OK we aren't really joining the circus but the first graders all had a wonderful time! While some of the acts nearly stopped my heart, the kiddos totally enjoyed the thrill and excitement!

Posted below are a few writing pieces we did today to tell about our experience.

The first graders are doing well in phonics as we learn about the long 'u' sound, but with the short week I think we will need to continue with this skill into next week. They will also be learning about the 'au' and 'aw' sound heard in 'hawk' and 'sauce'.

Next week in math the first graders will be reviewing 2-D shapes and start working with 3-D shapes.

Last week I started choosing one student a day to write a story problem for the class to solve at the beginning of math time. I've been so impressed with the student's ability to transfer a number problem into a story. They are all showing amazing number sense and there story problems are so fun and creative. Posted below is today's problem.

Next week's sight words are...

brother, father, friend, love, mother, picture

We will see these words a lot next week as we read stories about the people in our lives who help us.

Enjoy the weekend! (Even if we get snow.)

Thank you,

Mrs. Lawburgh

Circus Writing

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Story Problem of the Day

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Circus reminder and Zoo field trip!

First, I want to remind you all that our trip to the Shrine Circus is next Thursday the 25th! Please let me know if you have any questions regarding that day.

We are going on another field trip! A permission will be sent home today. Please fill this out and return to school by April 30th.The first and second grade classes are taking a trip to the Sioux Falls Zoo. Our field trip is scheduled for Wednesday May 8th. We will plan to leave school around 8:15 AM and return by 3:00 PM. Please indicate on the permission form If you would like the school to provide a lunch for your child or if you would prefer to pack a cold lunch from home. The PTO is generously paying for our admission to the zoo! Please do not send any money with your child. The only thing they will need is a lunch, good walking shoes, and other items depending on the weather. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns!

PTO Carnival INFO

It's time to starting preparing for the Spring Carnival! It will be held on Friday, May 10th. An Arby's meal will be offered from 4:30 - 7:30, carnival games will be from 5:00 - 8:00, and a silent auction from 5:00 - 9:00. This year our theme is Rockin' Rain Forest!

As usual, each grade is responsible for running a carnival game. As of now I am planning on doing piranha races! A.K.A. minnow races. :) I will be doing face painting right next to our race setup so I will need as much help as I can get to run the minnow races.

Please email me with a time that works best for you to come and help. I will start with 30 minute work sessions but depending on the number of volunteers may become 1 hour sessions.

5:00 - 5:30 - taken

5:30 - 6:00

6:00 - 6:30

6:30 - 7:00

7:00 - 7:30

7:30 - 8:00

8:00 - ??? clean up

This is such a fun event for the community and your help is greatly appreciated!

Each grade is also responsible for a silent auction item or basket. In previous years we have done a basket but I have noticed that it usually doesn't go for nearly what its worth. Because of this, I will be purchasing items and splitting them up into 2 or 3 smaller baskets.

Please consider donating $5 - $10 to help purchase silent auction items.

Again, this carnival is such a wonderful event for students, families and friends. Please help make this night a success!

Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.

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April 15 - 18

Days seem to be going by faster and faster! I know I say this a lot but I am so proud of how much progress every single student has made this year! You should all be proud as well.

We spent a lot of time over the last 4 days working on cutting words into syllables. This is such a helpful trick when decoding unknown long words. As adult readers we often don't think about syllables anymore. If you need a crash course so you can help guide your student in reading here is a link to some helpful posters! We worked specifically on open, closed and consonant -le words.


The first graders worked on growing number patterns in math this week and were even able to create their own patterns and rules! I am very happy with how they are doing. Next week we will talk more about shrinking patterns.

Next week in reading we will be focusing on the long 'u' vowel sound spelled oo (food), u (super), uCe (flute, cute) ew (new), ue (glue) and ui (fruit). I believe that this is the trickiest vowel sound to master as it can be spelled in so many ways and can say the 'oo' or 'you' sound. Please take the time to go over these spellings with your student. Here is a link to different anchor charts for each long vowel sound.


Our sight words for next week will be answer, brought, busy, enough, and eyes.

Thank you and Happy Easter!!

Mrs. Lawburgh

Weeks are flying by!

Only 6 weeks left of first grade! I can't believe how fast the weeks have gone by!

We had a great week working on our 'how to' writing projects. I love seeing the kids become more and more independent as they write! See pictures below.

In math, we spend time reviewing finding a missing addend in an addition problem. The students were very excited today as they got to play a missing addend card game! The kids played in groups of three. Two students picked a card and placed it facing out on their forehead so they couldn't see it. The third player then told them what the sum of the cards was. Each player holding a card then had to figure out what card they had based on the other players card and the sum of both. After practicing as a group for a while they finally were able to play on their own and loved it! I may need to bring this game back next week. :)

We are consistently making progress in reading and I LOVE seeing those light bulbs go off when an unknown word is solved or a phonics pattern is spotted in a word! Next week we will be working with the 'ow' and 'ou' sound as in 'down' and 'house'. The students are pretty familiar with this spelling pattern but it will be great review!

Next week's sight words are:

color, early, instead, nothing, oh, thought

Julie Hogie started coming today for Junior Achievement! She will be coming for the next 5 weeks every Friday afternoon. Today she talked with the students about the businesses and neighborhood that make up a town.

Enjoy the weekend!

Mrs. Lawburgh

'How to' writing projects

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Raise your hand if you love full weeks of school?

What a great week full of learning! In reading this week we continued to work with the controlled 'r' sounds. er, ir, ur, or and ar. The first graders are doing a great job identifying these chunks in words and decoding their sounds. Keep it up! The students started learning about adjectives this week and did a great job! Just today they all independently identified adjectives in sentences. Ask them if they can show you our super hero song for remembering that adjectives describe nouns. :)

As we were writing this week the students focused on incorporating sequencing words such as first, next, then, and last. Next week we will be working on "how to" writing using these same words.

In math I decided to take a little jump back to review some basic addition and subtraction skills. The students learned a new strategy for subtracting large numbers that are close in range. For example 23 - 21. Instead of starting at 23 and taking away 21 numbers, the students practiced starting at 21 and counting up to 23 instead, getting an answer of 2. They realized that this was a very helpful trick!

Next week in math we will continue to review some previously taught skills while diving in a bit deeper.

Our sight words for next week are:

began, better, guess, learn, right and sure

Enjoy the weekend!

Mrs. Lawburgh

A short week, yet again!

OK Mother Nature... enough is enough! Another short week but nonetheless, productive. Thank you for your flexibility as we find another date to schedule conferences. If you would like to meet earlier, please let me know and we will find a time.

This week we continued our never ending unit of coin counting. :) If all goes as planned, next week will be our last week practicing this skill for a while. We will then be moving on to 2- and 3-D shapes! We will take Monday to wrap up a few reading concepts before starting the next unit. The students will be learning about ways we can classify and categorize things. While reading various texts, the first graders will work with the /ar/ sound as in dark and arm. We call this the pirate chunk (arrrrr!) in first grade and make a hook with our finger to help us remember its sound. We will also be practicing joining sentences using and, but and or. Another skill will be irregular plural nouns such as child - children, person - people, foot - feet.

Next week's sight words are:

four, large, none, only, put, round

Enjoy the weekend!

Mrs. Lawburgh

Another week in the books! Literally!

Wow what a fun week celebrating the books of Dr. Seuss! We got the chance to read some of my favorites: The Cat in the Hat, The Sneetches, Bartholomew and the Oobleck (my personal favorite), and Horton Hears a Who! We will be reading more next week! With this week being so busy and a day short we took a break from our reading curriculum and did some review. We practiced decoding wacky nonsense words such as brath and flish. We reviewed some rules regarding those tricky vowel teams and spent some time cutting up long words into syllables. The kids did great!

We continued to work on coin counting in math! The kids are getting pretty good at counting mixed coins such as 5 dimes and 3 pennies or 6 nickels and 2 pennies. Just today we started counting quarters and pennies. Next week my hopes are to have the kids counting a mix of dimes, nickels and pennies ALTOGETHER! We can do it!!

We started a new word work activity that helps the kids become more familiar with a keyboard. Their job was to type the sight word on a paper key board until they could do it fluently. Then they wrote their word three times.

As more kiddos are starting to take AR tests on their leveled books I can see their motivation to read grow! They get so excited when they see that they answered their comprehension questions correctly! But not quite as excited as me! :)

I encourage you to take the time to read with your student/s this weekend! They would love to show you the progress they have made!

Enjoy the weekend and remember, no school on Monday due to teacher workshops.

Mrs. Lawburgh

Ready to watch Horton Hears a Who!

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Green Eggs and Ham sight word flip!

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February 26 - March 1

Man oh man I wish days were longer! What a great week full of learning! The first graders are all doing very well with counting 'like' coins. I am hoping to start counting mixed coins on Monday or Tuesday! Throughout the week we also solved a few math word problems and I am so impressed with how their reading has improved!

The students are becoming very fluent in reading long vowel words. I see so much growing confidence in these kids and I love it! I encouraged the kiddos to work on fluency and expression this week as they read aloud and I heard some amazing reading! I wish you could see my smile as I type. :)

Next week is Read Across America so of course we will be reading tons of Dr. Seuss favorites!

See my previous post for the list of dress up days.

Next week's sight words are:

found, hard, near, woman, would, write

Have a great weekend!

Mrs. Lawburgh

February 18 - 22

I am so impressed with how this first grade class is improving in their reading! Every student is showing progress and using skills we have learned to help decode unknown words! Keep it up first grade! Working with the long 'o' sound was very successful. I love it when the kids see those spelling patterns in words and instantly know it will have a long 'o' sound. With the snow day on Wednesday we didn't quite get everything finished for the week so we will continue this unit on Monday. After we wrap this unit up we will start working with the long 'i' sound as we read stories about insects.

Working with coins in math was very successful this week! I took a post assessment today on coin identification and value and WOW the kids made so much progress since the beginning of the week. Next week will we start coin counting! If you have the time, quiz your student/s this weekend on coin names and values. They may even have a song to sing for you. :)

Our sight words for next week are:

caught, flew, know, laugh, listen, were

We will be celebrating Read Across America the week of March 4th - 8th!

Monday: My Many Colored Days: First grade color is red.

Tuesday: Fox in Socks: Wear a pair of crazy socks!

Wednesday: Wacky Wednesday: Wear your wackiest clothes!

Thursday: Theodore Thursday: Dress like your favorite Dr. Seuss Character

Friday: Sleep Book: Get comfy and wear your PJs!

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Have a great weekend!

Mrs. Lawburgh


Hello all,

Conferences have been rescheduled for Thursday, March 14. I will be sending out an email soon regarding time slots. If the 14th doesn't work for you please let me know and we will find a new time. Thank you for your flexibility! I am hoping and praying for normal weeks to come!

New take home books will be sent home today. Please feel free to keep these at home throughout next week. And don't forget to READ, READ, READ with your student/s! I can't stress how important this is. :)

Next week in math the students will start working with money. I am so excited to tackle this new skill. In reading we will be working with the long 'o' sound as we read books about how animals survive in nature. Especially in these sub-zero temps! The students will practice fluency as they read and retell stories including the main idea and supporting details. Please start practicing this skill at home if you haven't already.

Have a great weekend!

Mrs. Lawburgh

Happy Valentine's Day!

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Happy 100th day of school!

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January 22 - 25

OK this was a weird week. I am ready for winter to be over so we can forget about snow days and late starts! Nevertheless, we got a lot accomplished! On Wednesday the students took the aMath FASTbridge test and did wonderfully! I told them I almost started crying when I saw their scores because I was just so happy. They laughed at me... :) They will be taking the aReading test next week.

In reading this week we learned about the different ways letters can work together to make the long 'a' sound like in cake. These ways are 'a' like in table, 'ai' like in rain, 'aCe' like in take, and 'ay' like in day. The students are becoming so aware of phonics and how letters work and I can see it in their reading! I had students begging to read to me this week. I told them that if I could, I would create another weekday to just sit and listen to everyone read. They asked if I could really do that.

Today (Friday) was the 100th day of school!! Lately we have been spending a lot of time counting down from 120 so today I put the kids to the test. They each had to count down from 100 in writing and they did great! We also had a chocolate kiss scavenger hunt. On each chocolate was a number from 1 to 100. Once they found a kiss they had to record the number, 10 more, 10 less and draw the base-ten blocks to match. They all had a blast!

Our 100th day writing challenge was for each student to write 100 words! We may need to finish this on Monday, but the kids were definitely up for the challenge.

I forgot to write about this last week but we have started doing a k - 6th grade behavior program called HAWKS. Each letter stands for a specific characteristic that supports great behavior.

H - honesty

A - attitude

W - wise choices

K - kindness

S - self control

Last week we focused on honesty. Every morning the students gathered in the gym and listened to a teacher share a time they were affected by honesty. During the days teachers were on the lookout for honesty and awarded students with a paper wing if they were caught being honest. These wings went in a bucket and at the end of the week a name was drawn from each grade. Last week's first grade winner was Aidan! This week we focused on attitude. Our first grade winner was Aly! While we only had one winner a week, I am so proud of all the first graders for making so many great choices.

Our whole class sight words for next week are:

because, blue, into, or, other, small

I am so blessed to be a teacher at HPS! Have a great weekend!

Mrs. Lawburgh

What's your favorite season?

SOME of the books ordered through the SRCL grant!

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January 14 - 17

Hello everyone! I hope you all made it through the snow day! If your student completed his or her snow day packet please return it to school on Tuesday.

This week in reading we learned about where our food comes from, farm to table! The kids were very surprised when they realized that food isn't all made at grocery stores. As we read these stories we practiced retelling using first, next, then, last, sequencing. We will spending more time with this writing form within the next few weeks. In phonics the students worked with the short and long 'oo' sound as heard in words such as food and good.

The kiddos finished their favorite season opinion writing last week and I am so proud of their hard work! Every student has made so much progress from the beginning of the year! Keep it up!

In math we focused on balancing equations. We compared the words equation and equal to determine that an equation show two equal things. The kids started the week by sorting through equations determining if they were true or false. If they were false (8+2 = 5+4) we brainstormed ways to make it true. Towards the end of the short week the students practiced identifying missing number to balance equations (8+2 = 5+?) These kids are becoming so independent as we were working on increasingly complex, two-step problems. We will continue to work on this math skill this coming week.

I am continuing to see great progress in sight word spelling and reading as the students spend more time working on their own individual spelling list throughout the week. Hard words are becoming easy and I see confidence boosting in every student.

Our sight words for the week to come are:

about, eight, animal, give, carry, our

In phonics we will be working with the long 'a' sound shown by 'a', 'ai', and 'ay', as seen in words such as table, rain, and stay.

An exciting note: Through our Striving Reader Comprehensive Literacy (SRCL) grant, I was able to purchase books for my classroom library! I am so thankful for this grant and our two HPS coaches, Mary chick and Hope Doom, who have given so much support and help to our teachers so that we may meet the needs of every student on our classrooms. See picture above.

Have a great week and please take the time to remember MLK today.

Mrs. Lawburgh

January 7 - 11

What a week! The first graders did a great job in math this week learning about measuring length using different units. First they used large and mini marshmallows and worked their way up to measuring in inches and centimeters!

In reading we learned about what life was like in the past. They told me I was very lucky to not have to teach all grades in a one room schoolhouse! :) In phonics we continued learning about the vCe (vowel, consonant, e) pattern in words such as huge, joke and these. This is becoming much more familiar to the students as reading unknown words is becoming much easier! Woohoo! We also spent time working on breaking tricky words into syllables. The kids were so amazed when they found they could read long words such as 'sunshine' and 'complete'! Keep it up first grade!

The kids did a great job on their opinion writing project for the week. Each student chose their favorite season and provided reasoning and a closing sentence to tie it all up. Pictures to come next week as we are not quite finished. :)

Sight word spelling was a total hit this week! On Monday, Wednesday and Friday the kiddos got a chance to practice their own individual list of sights words during their "word work" time. They LOVED using my new Wikki Stix (wax sticks) to actually build their words! At the end of the day today one first grader said "Mrs. Lawburgh! I can't believe I didn't know how to spell these words on Monday! Now they are so easy!" Music to my ears!

Next week's whole class sight words are...

after, buy, every, soon, work, done

Have a fun weekend!

Mrs. Lawburgh

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Short Week!

I was oh so happy to see the first graders on Wednesday! It feels good to be back after a relaxing break. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

During the week before break I visited a school in Brookings and got a few cool ideas for our classroom. I have been debating on the best way to do spelling tests and this school had a system that I thought would be great to try! This week I pulled each student one on one and went through our sight word list. Instead of reading the words, I had the kids spell them. The first five mistakes became their spelling words to focus on for the next week. Next week they will have their words posted in their desk. During our reading rotation time they will get a chance to practice their words using various tools such as bendable wikki stix, magnetic letters or rainbow writing just to name a few. I'm so excited to see how this helps our sight word spelling!

We will continue to work on our phonics concept spelling words throughout the week, but won't be tested on them. I will be sending each student's list of words home on Monday.

Before break we were working on solving math word problems. The kids even wrote their own addition story problems with pictures to match. This week the kids worked on writing subtraction story problems and they did a fabulous job! These kids are becoming so independent!

On Friday, we had a substitute teacher while Hope Doom and I pulled students one on one for their math and reading FastBridge testing. I am very please with the progress we made from the start of the year. With the sub, the kids made new classroom decorations as our room looked pretty bare after the Christmas decorations came down. They were very happy when they found out they were making penguins!

Our whole class sight words for next week are:

ago, girl, boy, old, how, people

I hope you have a great weekend!

Mrs. Lawburgh

Week of December 10 - 14

Reading / Language Arts-

This week in reading we focused on the genre of plays and dramas. This was fun and new for the kids! We read through a few different plays and practiced reading each characters lines with expression and fluency. Hopefully later this year we can make puppets and act out plays in our small puppet theater.

Our spelling concept for the week was 'i consonant e' words such as hide, bike, smile... We are all starting to be very aware of words with that bossy e at the end. Its so great to see kids notice those 'spelling tricks' as they read and write.

We had the chance to write letters to Santa this week! What a fun writing project that was! It was great practice for using commas in lists when we write. We also talked about using opening and closing sentences in our writing to make it more interesting for the reader.


This week in math the first graders spent a lot of time working independently on solving addition and subtraction word problems. Gaining independence is a huge part of first grade and I'm so excited to watch these learners become more self sufficient. They did a fabulous job and even got to write their own addition story problems today! I was so impressed with their hard work and perseverance! Way to go first graders!

Next week's sight words:

any, from, happy, once, so, upon

Next week's spelling words:

space, slice, nice, page, stage, wedge, bridge, once, from, happy

Bonus words:

seven, eight, nine

Note- Please take the time during the week to practice the spelling and sight words with your student. The extra time spent at home makes a world of difference!!

Thank you!

Enjoy your weekend with the kids!

Mrs. Lawburgh

Week of December 3 - 7

Another awesome week over! The first graders worked so hard this week and I am so proud of them all!

Reading / Language Arts-

Our theme this week was how we measure time. We read a super fun story called A Second is a Hiccup by Hazel Hutchins. This gave the kids a better idea of how long certain measurements of time are compared to others and how living things and seasons change over longer periods of time. This theme also gave us great opportunities to review telling time to the hour, half hour and nearest 5 minutes!

Our phonics concept this week was 'a consonant e' words such as take, game, wave, etc... Other concepts we worked on were verbs and contractions with the word not such as can't, hasn't, and wasn't. We found out that Dr. Seuss's Green Eggs and Ham has a lot of contraction make up words in it! (I do not like green eggs and ham, I would not eat them here or there...) We enjoyed reading through the book filling in the 'make up' words with their matching contraction.


We focused on reading and solving word problems this week. We started off the week focusing on addition words such as total, in all, and all together. We read word problems, identified the addition words, and together solved the problems. Later in the week we did the same with subtraction words and word problems. Finally on Friday we had some independent practice and read and solved problems on our own. We will spend more time doing this next week! It was very cool for the kids to see how we can use reading to help us in math.

Next week's sight words:

green, grow, should, together, pretty, water

Next week's spelling words:

smile, white, ride, hide, bike, mine, shake, some, water, should

Bonus words: four, five, six

Notes- Please make sure your student comes to school with winter boots AND indoor shoes. Sending an extra pair of socks may be necessary as they can get wet at freeplay. Lastly, our classroom is very dry and lips are chapped. Please consider sending a pack of 2 or 3 sticks of chap stick. I can label them and keep them in a safe place so no germs are shared.

Enjoy having your kids home for the weekend!

Mrs. Lawburgh

Week of November 26 - 30

November came and went with the blink of an eye! The kids are very excited to read Chicken Soup With Rice on Monday for the month of December.

Reading / Language Arts -

Our spelling/phonics concepts for the week were words with wh, -tch and ph. These are tricky concepts for kids to grasp so we will continue to review them throughout the year. My favorite quote from the week was...

"But Mrs. Lawburgh, f says /f/! Silly English!"

Our theme for the week was all about maps. We read stories about maps and got to learn about our state, country and continent. We even got the chance to make maps of our classroom. This was a great way to practice spacial awareness! Another skill we worked with was irregular plural nouns like child / children, tooth / teeth, etc. We practiced identifying words and sorting them based on their plural ending of -s, -es, or if it was irregular.


Number order was our focus math skill for the week. We spent every day practicing sorting numbers from least to greatest and vice versa. I loved listening to the kiddos explain their reasoning behind how they sorted their given numbers. Our number sense is growing!

Next week's sight words:

why, way, today, some, now, away

Next week's spelling words:

make, take, came, game, gave, late, some, today, why, one

Bonus words:

two, three, four

Have a great weekend!

Mrs. Lawburgh

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Week of November 12 - 16

On Monday we celebrated Veterans Day. We read stories about who Veterans are and how we can honor them. The kids thought is was so cool to see real Veterans at the Veterans Day program. They even got the chance to thank a few veterans who stayed for the lunch afterwards.

In reading / language arts this week we focused on the sounds th, sh, -ing, -ong, and -ang. Our theme for the week was helping out in our community. We read stories from multiple genres about characters who helped out to make a difference, including a story about Martin Luther King Jr. During and after reading these stories we spent time practicing identifying the characters, setting, and events. We then practice retelling the story in our own words, remembering to include important key details. Finally, the kids learned about common and proper nouns. They did a great job finding nouns in sentences and identifying whether they were common or proper.

In math we learned how to add three numbers together. This was a pretty wild concept for the kids as they are so used to adding just two numbers. After practice and some silly story problems to put the numbers into real life situations they got it! We practice adding doubles and 'make 10' numbers (7+3, 9+1) first to make the problem as simple as possible. I love watching these kids learn and understand new skills!

Just a reminder, we only have school on Monday and Tuesday this week. We will not be having a spelling test.

Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Week of November 5 - 9

Progress, progress, progress! I can't tell you how much joy it brings me to see those light bulbs turn on when a student finally gets a math concept or remembers a sight word!

Math -

This week in math we reviewed one less and one more and dove into ten less and ten more. Now, this is a tricky concept for kiddos to grasp but these first graders are picking it up and running! Being able to work with the tens and ones of a number fluently will build their number sense and create a firm foundation for many other math skills they will learn! Next week we will be working with not just adding two numbers together... but three!

Reading -

Main idea and details, details, details! We had so much fun this week reading about animals and the places they live. We spent a lot of time reading about meerkat families and identifying the details that tell us more about them. On Friday we practiced doing animal research through books and the internet. The kids had a blast! We discussed how to use the internet safely and responsibly and even how to record facts using our own words.

Our sight words for the week were: no, eat, under, who, of

Our sight words for next week are: all, her, call, want, day

Spelling words for next week are:

fish, shop, ships, with, things, crash, sang, wink, want, call

Bonus words are: one, two

Week of September 24th

Cough, cough! Sniff, sniff. What a week!

We made it through our FAST reading and math testing this week. Thank you to our wonderful sub for allowing me to pull students one at a time to get through each test. I am so excited to see our scores grow as we keep progressing through the school year.

Teaching new skills was challenging this week as many kiddos were sick at home. But we did get a change to learn our new math skill of comparing numbers. We met two hungry alligators who only wanted to eat the greatest numbers they could find. The kids enjoyed feeding them and had a great time learning as well!

Our phonics concept this week was the short 'i' sound. After mastery of the cvc words I added a few consonant blends in the mix to switch things up a bit. The kids did great!

Our stories this week focused on the places people live. We studied photos of country living, small towns, suburbs and great big cities. The kids were blown away when they saw how cool a city looks at night! We even made a class graph to show how many of us live in town vs. the country.

Just a reminder that our field trip to the apple orchard / pumpkin patch is this Thursday. The kids are very excited!

Please stay healthy this weekend and get lots of rest!

Language Arts

We have growing readers in the first grade room! I have had such an amazing time watching these kids start blooming as readers. This week we spent time diving into the short ‘a’ sound. We practice blending sounds together to make a word, isolating individual sounds, and then changing it to make a new word. We focused on the genres realistic fiction and nonfiction and practiced identifying the differences between the two. In our reading we also spent time asking questions about different texts, pointing out important details that were placed in the text and illustrations and lastly, practicing visualizing what was happening in the story to better understand the text.

A skill we also spent time on was using expression when reading out loud. Please find the time this weekend to read with your student. Listen for how they use expression and encourage them to try new things with their voice!

Our sight words this week were what, does, school and not.

Next week’s sight words are down, out, up and very.


Every day in math for the past two weeks we have had a ‘number of the day’. After we find this number on the 100 chart we find different ways to represent that number. We build it using base-ten blocks, spell it in word form, and use tally marks. Next we find 1 more and 1 less than the number, as well as 10 more and 10 less. After that, we practice decomposing the number and show it in its expanded form. For example if our number was 27 we would separate the tens and ones to show that 20 + 7 = 27.

The skill we focused most on this week was finding 1 more or 1 less than a two digit number. We noticed patterns and talked about how we found our answers. This is something we will continue to work on to increase our number sense.

It is SO important for young math learners to be able to explain how and why they got their answer. We spent time doing “number talks”. During this time I would post an addition or subtraction problem on the Smart Board. The students would then take time to independently solve the problem. After they found the answer they were encouraged to think of how they got their answer. We would then share the different ways as a class and compare how we all think.


Our focus skills in writing this week were using capital letters to start sentences and punctuation at the end. To practice this we started a writing project centered around two of our vocabulary words. Common and subject. We discussed common subjects that we have in school such as reading, math, science, art etc…

Then we came up with brand new subjects that were uncommon in school. Some of the new subjects the kiddos came up with were making ice cream, riding a four wheeler, tree planting, how to open a store, sliding with penguins, two-tusked narwhals, and making waffles and pancakes.

After writing our opening sentence together the kids took off on their own. Enjoy!

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First Week of School!

Wow! What a great first week in first grade! This past week in reading we spent a lot of time working on phonemic awareness. This helps us become fluent readers! We reviewed letter sounds and practiced identifying the beginning, middle and ending sounds in CVC words such as bat, can, sit etc... We also met a new friend named Stretchy the Snake! He helps us remember that we can read words by slowly stretching through each sound. Ask your student if they can show you how this is done!

In math we spent a lot of time getting familiar with the 1-100 chart. We noticed patterns and talked about why the pattern exists. We even got a chance to build number using ten sticks and one cubes. We also reviewed adding and practiced a few different adding strategies!

One of the many books we read this week was How Full is Your Bucket? This story explains that everyone has an imaginary bucket over their head. When a person is kind or someone is kind to them, a drop goes in their bucket and they feel great! But when a person makes poor choices or others are not kind to them, they loose a drop from their bucket. I posted a few pictures below of some of the ways to be a bucket filler that the kiddos came up with!

Things to Know

ClassDojo -

This year in first grade I will be using ClassDojo as my classroom management/reward system. ClassDojo is a great way for parents to stay connected with classroom happenings and their student’s behavior. Through this program I will be able to upload pictures and share the great things we will be doing in first grade. I will also be able to update parents (privately) with positive behaviors that their student(s) may have shown. If negative behaviors arise I will contact parents as needed. Positive behaviors will earn your student Dojo points. As your student collects dojo points they will have a chance every few days to spend them on prizes. These include working at my desk for a day, bringing something special for show and tell, eating lunch with Mr. Chick, and many more! With every point that is earned I will add to our whole class point chart. Every time the class earns 50 points we will celebrate with a whole class reward. This system is subject to change as I have never tried it before. :)

Take-Home Bookbag-

Each Monday of the year in first grade your student will bring home their own take-home book bag filled with several books from my classroom library. While it is not a requirement, I highly encourage each student to read these books at home, whether it be read to self, to someone, or read aloud to them. I cannot stress enough the importance of reading at home, especially with a parent, sibling or friend! Book bags are to be returned to school the following Monday. During the year i may send home sight words or math fact flashcards in each for practice use.

Spelling -

In previous years I have had spelling pretests on Mondays and tests on Fridays. This year, for various reasons, I will not be doing spelling tests. Instead, I will be focusing on a wider range of words that correlate with our spelling concept for the week. Rather than learning only 10 words a week, the students will be working daily on understanding the spelling concept and improving their phonemic awareness.

Dates To Remember

Aug. 20 - First Day of School

Aug. 31 - No School (Labor Day Weekend)

Sep. 3 - No School (Labor Day Weekend)

Sep. 21 - 12:00 PM Early Dismissal

January 14 - 17

Hello everyone! I hope you made it through the snow day! If your students completed his or her snow day packet, please return it to school on Tuesday.

Last week in reading we learned about where our food comes from, farm to table! The kids were very interested in how food gets to grocery stores. As we read various stories we practiced retelling using first, next, then, last sequencing. We will be focusing on this writing form within the next few weeks. In phonics we focused on the short and long 'oo' sound heard in words such as 'good' and 'food'.

The kiddos all finished their season opinion writing and I am so proud of their work! They have all come such a long way since the beginning of the school year! Keep it up!

In math we started talking about balancing equations. We compared the words equal and equation to find that an equation shows two things that are equal. First we practiced identifying equations that were true and false. If it was false (8+2 = 7+4) we brainstormed ways to make it true. By the end of the (short) week the students were working on finding the missing number in order to balance an equation. (8+2 = 6+?) These kids are becoming so much more independent as we dive into more complex, two-step math problems.

I am continuing to see amazing progress in our sight word reading and writing as the kiddos spend time working on their own individual spelling list throughout the week. Hard words are becoming easy and I'm seeing confidence levels boost in every student!

Our whole class sight words for the week to come are:

about, eight, animal, give, carry, out

In phonics we will focus on the long 'a' sound shown by 'a', 'ai', and 'ay' seen in words such as table, rain, and stay.

An exciting note... Through our Striving Reader Comprehensive Literacy (SRCL) grant I was able to order books for my classroom library! I am so thankful for this grant and the coaches we have (Mary Chick and Hope Doom) that put so much effort and passion into helping HPS teachers meet the needs of every student in our classrooms.

Take time to remember MLK today.

Have a great week!

Mrs. Lawburgh