And, we're off!

First Few Weeks of First Grade

A Community of Learners

In room 108 we have been developing our classroom community of learners. We are working together, helping each other, and listening to each other. We are honoring our classroom promises to...
  • Be Respectful
  • Be Responsible
  • Be Safe
  • Mind our Manners
  • Make hearts happy
Students have also participated in activities that allow them to develop stronger friendships and partnerships in the classroom. All students were interviewed and our work will be complied in a class booklet. It will be a memory students will forever cherish.

Olson's Owlets


In first grade, students learn about The Daily Five (a structure of literacy that allows for differentiation instruction in a consistent manner). It is essentially a classroom management system to work through reading and writing workshops. Students focus on Word Work, Listen to Reading, Read to Someone, Read to Self, and Work on Writing. We are currently working on Read to Self, Work on Writing, and Listen to Reading. Because students are in the beginning stages of reading, this process takes a bit longer. As soon as students can build stamina to independently work, I will begin meeting with students both individually and in small groups to provide individualized reading instruction. This is perhaps my favorite time of the day!


Students are learning routines for Guided Math, a classroom structure that allows me to meet with small groups. It also allows for students to use manipulatives and hands on experiences to learn math. This week we worked on understanding the difference between a learning partner and a play partner. Please ask your child about good play partners and good learning partners.

We also learned how to play the game Tens Frame Concentration. The object of the game is to find as many combinations of two cards that equal 10 (think memory with numbers). We continue to strategies for counting accurately (using tools in our classroom such as the numbers chart, number lines, cubes, tallies, etc).


You can find a schedule of our Specials rotation in your child's BEE Binder.
  • Students need to wear shoes appropriate for Physical Education on the days we have P.E.
  • On our library day students should place their library books in the crate by their BEE Binders when they arrive at school.
  • Mrs. Garbers (our school's amazing social worker) teaches "First Grade Friends." This is a wonderful avenue for our students to learn about school expectations, social skills, character education, and other issues or concerns that may arise in the school or classroom. She is a fabulous resource for us.

Calm, Clarity, and Peace of Mind...Yoga in our classroom

I am a very passionate about the benefits yoga and mindfulness can have on an individual. I have been practicing yoga for 15 years and am an assistant and yogi at Rootdown Yoga Studio in La Crosse. I have also completed coursework for a program called Yoga 4 Classrooms, which is a very simple program that allows students to practice simple breathing techniques at their desk or virtually anywhere (no mat needed). We don't have a specific time when we practices these movements; we simply take "Brain Breaks" throughout the day and I guide the students through different breathing activities or simple movements. I always notice a calmness in the room after students participate in a breathing exercise. It is amazing how simply asking students to focus on their breath in for five seconds and then out for five seconds can really help! I have attached a couple articles and resources for you to look at if you are interested.

Read, Read, Read

I have three wild children at home. I understand the hectic lives families lead at the end of the day. Please know, that my foremost educational goal this year is for your child to read and read well. At the end of the day, I hope that you and your child can sit down and read together. Allow your child to read aloud to you, but please don't lose sight of the importance of reading aloud to your child! Please let me know if you are in need of chapter book recommendations.

Scholastic Book Orders

I will send home Scholastic book order forms every month. However, you are able to go onto the Scholastic Book Club website and select books at any time throughout the month. I will place the orders at the end of each month. If you would like to place an order and want your books sooner, please let me know. I would be happy to put the order in for you, as long as we can meet the free shipping requirement. ;) Scholastic Books are an inexpensive way to get books that are the "right fit" into your child's hands. Our classroom's online code is J2PM8.

Friday Fun Day

Every Friday students can look forward to a few extra fun activities. One is Book Buddies (see below). Another is a special visit from Emma and Mrs. Garbers. They sing spirit building songs build character and school moral. The students love their visits!

Book Buddies

This year our first graders will connect with fourth grade students for "Book Buddies" every Friday afternoon. This literacy focused activity allows for first graders to interact with fourth grade students in a positive, nurturing setting.
I like math
Fill a bucket


Many of you heard that the camera crews were in our classroom last week. It's true! WXOW came to interview a very special student in our room, Justus. Last year Justus was diagnosed with kidney cancer. He has had a difficult, long journey but is now cancer free. This news clip opened the doors for an excellent conversation with our classroom. Students asked Justus many questions and he offered excellent answers. After all questions were answered, one students said, "I am so glad you are here with us, Justus," The sincerity and kindness of this statement melted all of our hearts and opened the doors to some deep empathy in our classroom.

Please check out Justus' story!


Great Green Run and Roll

Friday, Oct. 2nd, 10am

504 South Oak Street

La Crescent, MN

Please come and cheer on your child as he or she participate in our school's only fundraiser for the year, The Great Green Run and Roll. All money needs to be turned into the classroom teachers on this day. Students will receive a t-shirt and a headband this day and if they raised enough funds. It will be an amazing event!

Please note, that S. 5th, Oak Street, and S. 6th streets will be closed to traffic. Please pare at the pool or on another side street.

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Spirit Week

In honor of The Great Green Run and homecoming week at the high school, we are having spirit week at the elementary school. Mrs. Garbers sent out a flyer about this on Thursday. Here are the exciting days for next week:

Monday: Crazy Hair Day

Tuesday: 70's-80's Day

Wednesday: Opposites

Thursday: Dress as your Role Model

Friday: GREAT GREEN RUN and ROLL DAY! Students will get their t-shirts this day!

Flashlight Reading Event

Friday, Oct. 30th, 1:45-2:45pm

Room 108

It's spooky how much we love to read! You are invited to Room 108's Flashlight Reading Event! Throughout the year we will be celebrating our love for reading by inviting loved ones into our classroom to read with us. I will be sending home more information as the date approaches, but I just wanted you to get this date on your calendar. Each student is allowed to invite ONE loved one to class from 1:30 to the end of the day. Students will share on literacy related performance and then partner read with their loved one. We will also have a potluck style snack bar. Students love having their close family and friends visit the classroom!

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

We are in this together!

I value your voice and ideas in our classroom. I appreciate your thoughts and concerns. Please, never hesitate to contact me!