First Grade News

February 1-5

Conferences and Interims

You have been invited by Marie Nixon to sign up for "Mrs. Nixon's February Parent Teacher Conference." Please click on the link below to view the online sign up sheet.

For any student receiving an interim, the interim will be shared during Parent Teacher Conferences. If there is no conference time scheduled the interim will be sent home.
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Supporting Our First Grade Readers

The first grade team is doing things a little differently with the start of 2016. We are mixing our classes for Reading Workshop and Word Study. All three first grade teachers will have students from all three classes. We will be working on the same topics, just in a way that meets the needs of students differently. We are so excited about this new way of supporting our first grade readers!
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****Learning Celebrations****

Book Selection!
Please make sure your child is reading EVERY night and returning their folder each day so they can select a new book!
For more information go to and look for the Book Selection Flyer!

Classroom Jobs

Students are really taking care of their classroom! The class has come up with a list of classroom jobs to help Take Care of This Place! Please ask you child about our classroom jobs.


We are answering the question "Why do readers stop to think about their reading?". We have stopped to

  • make a connection to another book
  • ask wonder questions and find the answer
  • think about the character
  • notice a clue
  • think about the authors message


In writing

  • We have collaborated with Mrs. Braley's 2nd grade class to share our writing. Both classes are working to add details to their narrative writing. Students were paired up to share their stories and then receive and give feedback. We notice that second grade used words alone to tell their story.
  • We continue to write personal narratives. Personal narratives are a story about you told by you. Only you can tell the story. Every Monday we write our weekend news. Please ask you child what they wrote about this week.
  • We continue to make sure capital letters do not sneak into the middle of our words when we are writing our stories!
  • We are adding feelings and the five senses to bring our stories to life. We are also making our characters talk using speech bubbles and quotation marks.

Math Thinking

  • We are learning about Place value. We are writing numbers and making numbers using the tens and ones tools. We know the first number tells us how many tens we need to make the number. The second number tells us how many ones we need to make the number.
  • We are learning that if we know all the ways to make ten it can help us add larger numbers. 13+17= 15+15= 16+24=
  • We continue to write and draw our math thinking in our math journals. We are drawing organized pictures that are easy to understand. We are picking and using tools efficiently to solve problems. We are solving word problems with our math partners.
  • We are working on "Counting On" starting at any number. We put the starting number in our head and and count on. Some of the higher numbers can be tricky especially the change in decades Example 29,30 or 39,40.
  • We are continuing to explore math apps on the IPads, and students are logging into JiJi Math (ST Math).

Here is a website that has links to some great Apps we are using or will be using in the classroom. As of right now they are free:) We use the number frames and number rack Apps now. Right now it looks like they are available as an Apple App and also as a Web App. Here is the link

Nonfiction Reading and Writing
  • We are sharing our interests and growing our nonfiction library
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Darby Creek Maker Space Needs Your Help!

The Darby Creek Makerspace is looking for donations! We are in need of popsicle sticks, duct tape, straws and cups (paper, plastic, Dixie..etc). We are also looking for toilet and paper towel rolls. Please leave any items in the Makerspace bins by the front office. Thank you.

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A Note from Mrs. Hawley

First Grade: Myself and Others

I am unique and special. I have relationships with others including family and friends. There are all kinds of families. My family loves me unconditionally. I know how to be a friend and can make friends by smiling, being friendly and letting friends know that I care. My world of caring grows as I grow.

Support Groups

Our Syntero counselor, Amy Figluiolo, will be leading Grief Groups (For those who have had a loved one die) and Bully Groups (for students who want to learn healthy ways to respond to bullying.). If interested, contact Mrs. Hawley for the necessary forms. (

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Happy Birthday!!!!

For more information Click on Class Celebrations

Birthdays are a special time and we love to celebrate with your child. To share in this celebration you may send in a favorite toy or your child’s favorite book to share with the class. If your child has a summer birthday, we will be celebrating his/her “half” birthday during the school year (July 22nd would be celebrated on January 22nd). I will be passing out a special gift to your child to celebrate their special day!

We will not be sharing an edible treat for birthdays
If you would like to send in a non edible item for the students, we have 26 students in our classroom.

Please do not send birthday invitations to school to be passed out unless everyone is invited. While we understand that it is often not possible to invite an entire class to a party, invitations passed out to only some children result in hurt feelings. Children’s addresses may be found in our school directory.

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Dear Families,

Thank you for signing up to volunteer! I am asking for two volunteers per week. In the comment box please list either the exact time or time of day(morning/afternoon) you will be volunteering. This information will allow me to get materials ready. If you are available on a certain day to work on items at home please add at home to the comment box. Items sent home may include sorting time for kids, cutting out laminated items or gluing items to be laminated later.

Thank you again for your time!!!

Mrs. Nixon

If you are able to volunteer your time please go to
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Dates to Remember

Animal Parade

Dear Parents,

It's time for our Annual Animal Parade!!!! Your first grader has been learning about French artist ;Henri Rousseau in art class. He was an artist who was fascinated with the zoo and botanical gardens and all the animals in them. We made Jungle masks in art from tag board, acrylic paint, raffia, foam and pipe cleaners. It's time to show off our masks in our Annual Animal parade. If you are able to watch your first grader prance through the hallways, please join us on Friday February 5th at 1:50. See you then.

Amy Buscemi


2/1--7:00 p.m. PTO meeting--Special Area Teachers to attend

2/9--DCR Parent Conference/Partnership Night

2/11--Valentine's Day TREAT

2/12 and 2/15--NO SCHOOL--Conference Comp Day AND President's Day

2/26--End of First Grading Period

3/7--7:00 p.m. PTO Meeting Media Center--Kindergarten to attend

3/8--7:00 p.m. 5th Grade Music Performance

3/11--6:00 p.m. DCR/ PTO Movie Night



Important Reminders


Please be sure your child dresses for the weather when they come to school. Per the Handbook, we will go outside if the temperature is 20 degrees or above with a wind chill. Students have 30-40 minutes of outdoor recess. Many of our students attending after school day care wait up to 15 minutes outside for their day care busses. Students waiting for parents picking them up sometimes wait for up to 15 minutes outside for their rides. It is so important our students come to school with the clothing they need to say warm while they are outside. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Darby Creek Directory

Here is a letter from Samantha Brill about accessing The Darby Creek Directory

Hello teachers!

I need your help distributing some information! To keep this as secure as possible, we are asking teachers to email out the password information for the directory to the parents of your students. Thanks in advance for your help!

The Darby Creek Directory is live on the PTO website ( To find the directory, click on the "forms and reports" tab and select "directory." This is a password protected page.

PASSWORD: darbycreekdirectory

all lowercase, no spaces.

Thanks for all you do,

Samantha Brill

Have you visited our classroom webpage?

Please stop by our classroom webpage to read The Nuts and Bolts of First Grade and learn how we are going paperless! Also please share with your child the tab called Meet Mrs. Nixon! I will be updating the webpage with stories from the classroom and student work throughout the year.
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Darby Creek Elementary PTO

Please visit our Darby Creek PTO website.