First Grade Update

October 16, 2015

Dates to Remember:

  • Each Friday: Homework Due
  • Oct. 16: Zoo Permission Forms Home; Chaperone Sign Up Deadline
  • Oct. 23: Spirit Rally/End of 1st Nine Weeks; Zoo Permission forms due
  • Oct. 23& 24: Lakeside Family Creativity Workshops
  • Oct. 29: Dallas Zoo Field Trip
  • Oct. 30: Report Cards Go Home
  • Oct.31: Lakeside Cardboard Challenge Day of Play

Weekly Happenings

This week, we continued to add to our reading strategies. We talked about how understanding a story's elements promotes comprehension. Story elements we discussed were character, setting, plot (including problem and solution), and theme.

In spelling and phonics, we talked about the sounds of SH and TH. We practiced spelling with these sounds at the beginning or end of a word.

In social studies, we continued to work on the PBL in which we will be "Mapping our way through Coppell." Please see our note below about needing pictures from out and about in Coppell. Please help us collect these!

In math, we explored counting on or back by 10 from any number. For example, we learned to start with 32, and continue 42, 52, 62, 72, 82, 92, 102, 112, 122. This is a new and sometimes difficult skill in first grade. We will continue practice next week.

In science, we moved from learning about animal life cycles into talking about where animals live and how they are classified. Our Oct. 29th zoo trip will tie in with our animal discussions and research we will be doing later this month!

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Pumpkin Math

During the week of October 26-30, we'll be exploring pumpkins... during math! We will be measuring, weighing, counting, and graphing with this fun fall symbol.

Each child needs to bring a SMALL pumpkin by Monday, October 26th. Please see the picture above for an example. Small pumpkins are necessary for us to be able to do our math the way it is designed. Thank you!

Each class is also in need of ONE large, class pumpkin. If you're willing to donate one big pumpkin to your child's classroom, please contact your teacher. Thank you!

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Maps PBL... Photos Needed

We have been studying maps for the past few weeks and are working hard to make digital maps of Coppell. We've learned about communities and that they have some important places and some fun places. We need photos of important and fun places around Coppell, and we need you to help! As your family is out and about, please snap photos of some of the places listed below and put in your class' online dropbox. Please do not email photos to teachers. Put them in the dropbox by Wednesday, Oct. 21st so that kids can access them when making their maps.

Go to

Log in with your child's class login information.

Upload any photos you take of places in Coppell.

Thank you!!!

Dropbox Log In Information:



pass: first1A



pass: 1bisgreat



pass: firstgrade

Click the link below to see what photos we need from around Coppell!

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Dallas Zoo Field Trip Update

We are going to the Dallas Zoo on Thursday, October 29th. If you would like to volunteer as a chaperone, please let your child's teacher know by TODAY, October 16th, so we can let the zoo know how many adults are attending. There is no cost for the students to attend (Huge thank you to PTO!!!), but each chaperone will need to pay $5.00 at the gate. This day will focus on your first grade child, so we ask that no siblings attend.

The children's zoo permission forms with information will be coming home today. Please return those by next Friday, October 23rd. All children will need to pack a completely disposable, sack lunch that day. We'll also wear red (Lakeside) shirts and tennis shoes.

School-Wide Event

Lakeside Family Creativity Workshops

  • Friday, October 23rd
  • Saturday, October 24th

Click here to learn more!

Book Bag Burning Questions... Answered!

Why does my child have the same book(s) for more than a day?

We work in first grade to build a solid reading fluency foundation. Reading a book just one or two nights does not build fluency. Kids need to practice reading orally at a correct pace, and need to be in the habit of backing up and rereading sentences after they stumble over books. We're practicing good oral reading voices, reading with feeling, reading punctuation, etc. Reading books for a few nights builds stamina in these areas.

Why are books sent home multiple days, even after my child's teacher has heard the book aloud at school, too?

Books are sometimes re-sent, even after meeting with a guided reading group, if we feel a child needs a bit more time with a book. It might be so they can become more smooth as they read aloud, or it might be because we feel the comprehension needs to be a bit deeper. We've always told the kids why they have the books they do... just ask them!

This book seems too easy for my child. Why was it sent home?

Books that we send home are meant to build stamina and solidify the reading relationship at home. Books in the book bags will be more difficult the first time you read them with your child, but they should get easier with each rereading. We want your child to see immediate success with you, we want you all get to be a part of the process as your children grow as fluent readers, and repeated practice builds long term success.

We've read the book... now what?

Anytime you've finished reading a book from the book bag, there are other things that you can/should practice:


  • Retell the story in order, with specific details.
  • Talk about the elements of the story: character, setting, problem, solution.
  • Make predictions about why a character did something, how a character felt, etc.
  • Discuss why an author chose specific words to tell the story, or how an author was able to show a character's feelings or actions with words.
  • Make connections: how does the book remind you of yourself, someone you know, or another book?
  • Discuss new vocabulary words.
  • Talk about main idea and details.
  • Discuss new vocabulary words.
  • Point out the elements of nonfiction text: table of contents, headings, bold words, pictures and captions, maps, glossary, index
  • Ask questions about what you've learned.
  • Make predictions about why something might happen/why a fact could be true.
  • Relate what you've read to something you already knew.
  • Look up more information about the topic if you're still interested.

“Character is the noblest of possessions.”~ Unknown