Trailblazer Newsletter

Mrs. Keyes' First Grade Newsletter, 9/30/16, Issue 5

It's All About Learning!

Welcome to Mrs. Keyes' first grade newsletter. I hope you enjoy seeing the students grow in academic, character, and leadership.

St. Croix Preparatory Academy will develop each student's academic potential, personal character, and leadership qualities through an academically rigorous and content-rich educational program grounded the classical tradition.

Berea Nicholson is our Student of the Week!

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Character Every Day

We have many opportunities to practice responsibility in our classroom. Students start off the day with seven morning jobs to ensure they are ready to learn. Ask your child how they show responsibility each morning!

Is your child writing a book at home?

Lucas wrote and illustrated a book he shared with the class. Thanks to all of you for encouraging your child's love of reading and writing! I am impressed by how many students are eager to be authors and illustrators. See more authors below!


Students learned to identify nouns this week. We practiced in many ways, including labeled drawings. Have your child name nouns around the house - they’re very good at it!

Comprehension Strategy: Act it Out!

Our new favorite word this week showed up in TWO read alouds. We decided that we liked the word “slink” from Kevin Henkes’ Julius the Baby of the World. (Henkes’ books are filled with rich vocabulary.) Later, it showed up on our Language Arts read aloud called Wolf! Slink is a great word to act out! Check out Giada "acting out" the wolf in the latter story.

What is reading fluency?

Fluency means reading smoothly, with expression, and sometimes using character voices. Why do we read with good fluency? It helps us understand what we read.


Students have begun their first grade autobiographies. Many were surprised that our first task was to write in “bubbles.” One of the biggest lessons in this project is that writing is a process. We began with ideas, then transformed those into sentences. Now, we are in the process of editing. Students learned to help each other improve their writing through peer editing. (We were very careful to use our best “peacemaker” skills in the process.) Last, we will move to the final copy complete with illustrations. Students will make a engaging cover with a title of their choice. I think it will be something for the keepsake box!

Science - The Scientific Method

Assessment on the Scientific Method is complete and was sent home today. Well done, everyone! I hope our science unit has stirred up some interest in a science fair project. If you’re stuck for an idea, use the websites on the science fair handout. As always, contact me with questions - I’m happy to guide.

It Sprouted!

We found out what happens when you put Indian corn in a pan of water. Ask your child about it. Fascinating!!!

Prairie Planting - October 28

Several acres of SCPA land are being prepared for us to start planting native prairie grasses and flowers. Students from kindergarten through grade 12 will be joining together on Friday, October 28 to start the process. We will be planting seeds, then stomping them into the soil in a fun way. Dress code for the day is a spirit wear top and bottoms that can get dirty out in the fields. Stay tuned for ways parents can sign up to help.
Click here to donate to our St. Croix Prep Marathon!

Donations totaling $65 by Monday, October 3 earns your child a marathon t-shirt!

Would you like to donate any one of the following items for our upcoming Minnesota unit?

  • Three pouches of blueberry muffin mix (just add water)

(Thank you for our first donation of the first three pouches)

  • Two jugs of apple juice
  • 36 small juice cups
  • Two parent volunteers to bake the muffins we mix in class on Tues., 10/04 and bring to school on Wed., 10/05 (parent pick-up works best).

Email me if you can help! Thanks!!

Click here to connect to

Because of our September order, I got to choose three new books for our class! Thank you! Our next order will be placed on Oct. 26. Everything you need is on the Scholastic website, Click on the “For Parents” tab.

Mark Your Calendar

Mon., Oct. 3 School Picture Day (students wear uniforms)

Wed., Oct. 19 All School Marathon

Wed., Oct. 26 First Grade Science Fair

Fri., Oct. 28 Prairie Planting Day

Nov. 10-11 Lower School Conferences

Tues., Nov. 15 Fall Music Concert (Grade 1, 6:00 p.m.)

Classroom Volunteers

Door Decorators

October Vivienne Rothchild

November Tiffany Billman

December available - please let me know!

Hint: our door must be less than 50% covered with paper for fire safety.

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