1B Classroom Update

October 13, 2018

Parent Update

Hello amazing families of 1B! We have welcomed October with open arms. Many exciting things have been happening! Thank you to everyone who made it to Back to School Night and helped make it a big success. We know work schedules are hectic and we appreciate the unconditional support from your end. It was great meeting all of you and sharing about what is happening in First Grade this year. We hope you enjoyed the presentation and got lots of information. We are truly grateful to have so many actively involved parents. Our amazing first graders continue to blossom with their learning skills and

Back to School Night

Fall into Learning


Sight words are high frequency words, which means that they show up in our reading and writing most often. Also, most of the words cannot be sounded out. Therefore, students should memorize how to read and spell these words to help both their reading and writing progress in First Grade. Some students pick up on the words quickly in class while others require practice at home. Some ideas for practice at home are: making flashcards, writing them with special markers or on an easel, writing sentences using the words, or practicing spelling them in the car (out loud or written). Below is the link to a list of Kindergarten sight words for review and each week, the list of First Grade sight words will be updated throughout the year!


We read The Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires, which was about a little girl who had a wonderful idea. With the help of her puppy assistant, she plans on making the most magnificent thing! She gathers parts, and hammers and nails until finally she finishes just what she wanted. Our 1B friends identified how the girl used the habits of characters to help her create a magnificent thing in the end (a scooter and attached cart she made out of junk).

We also read The Little Red Pen by Janet Stevens and Susan Crummel which was about a red pen who couldn't correct a mountain of homework all by herself. None of the other supplies (stapler, erase, pushpin??) offer to help but when the Little Red Pen tumbles in exhaustion into the Pit of No Return (the trash!), her fellow school supplies must get themselves out of the desk drawer and work together to rescue her. Trouble is, their plan depends on Tank, the rotund class hamster, who's not inclined to cooperate.

We will do this by:

  1. Looking closely at the pictures

  2. Rereading important parts of the text

  3. Listen carefully to the words

  4. Answer questions about the words and pictures

  5. Act out important parts of the text

  6. Talk with classmates about the text

A Language Dive is a conversation about a sentence from a complex text.

We have been practicing how to use evidence from the text to support our answers.

  • I can identify a character’s feelings using evidence from the illustrations and the text.

  • I can identify a character’s feelings using evidence from the illustrations and the text.

  • I can describe a character or important events in the story.

To support your child with this at home, encourage them to prove how they know how a character is feeling by finding a picture or word in the book that tells them this information!

: The video below is 1B singing our "Learning Target Song." Each unit has a learning target song or poem that students read to prepare them in finding out what their "learning target" or "goal" is for that lesson! We direct our "bows" to the target in order to reach our aim of the day.


Lit Block


For the past two weeks we were reviewing 2D shapes during Core Math lessons and Math Block activities. Students exhibited solid knowledge of shape attributes, we moved on to composing new shapes (composites) and decomposing complex shapes. For instance, we created a chart and asked our friends to find different ways to decompose a hexagon. Students came up with a variety of strategies like merging 6 triangles, or 1 trapezoid and 3 triangles, or putting together 3 rhombuses, They internalized the rule that there should not be any overlaps or gaps. In the next week we will be moving onto 3D shapes and enhance our students’ knowledge of Geometry.

Math Block

Big picture


In Inquiry, our students have been enjoying sharing about their family photos that you sent in. We have also read The Great Big Book of Families by Mary Hoffman to learn more about the different types of families, what they do, where they live, etc. We also created a KWL chart of what we know about families, what we want to learn about families, and what we have learned so far. We will continue to fill out the "L" for "learned" column more throughout this unit!


Last time during "Second Step," our social-emotional curriculum, we learned that repeating things to ourselves helps us remember them. We repeated the rules by saying, "Eyes watching. Ears listening. Voice quiet. Body still." This week, we focused on something called, "self-talk" which is when we talk to ourselves in a quiet voice in our head. Even though some friends may distract us, we can still do our work by using self-talk and our attent-o-scopes. We learned that self-talk helps us learn and that we should ignore anything else that is distracting us.

We also discussed three different ways to ask for help: passively (looking down, whiny, quiet), aggressively (rude, angry), and assertively (looking at other person, sitting up straight, respectful, calm). We learned that when we get stuck, first we should try one more time by ourselves. Then we should ask another student for help. If the other student can't help us, then we should ask the teacher. Watch the videos below of our KB actors role playing different situations!

(Video on self talk)

(video on being assertive)

Closing CIrcle

To kick off our Debates series, we began with Topic #1 on competition. We posed the question: "What do you think about competition?" and the kids split up into 3 groups - like, like and dislike, and dislike. They were given time to talk to their teammates about their opinions and then we chose some students from each group to share. Afterwards, we came to the conclusion that although some students like competition, some students don't and we want everyone in the class to feel welcome and comfortable. Therefore, we will limit the amount of individual competition with "points" (unless it's a team game) but we will have students who want to share their work have time to show their friends and get recognized. That way, some students won't be embarrassed or feel upset that they weren't able to "win" and will be given the option to still showcase their work.

Fall into GIfts

Amazon Wishlist

We have created a 1B Amazon wishlist of classroom items we would love to have. If you choose to donate something, we want to thank you in advance and would really appreciate if you could tell us the itemized list in order to ensure that we receive the items. Thank you so much everyone!

Specials in 1B

Español with Maestra Nivia

Hola Familias de 1B,

I am happy to share that 1B is doing a maravilloso job in Spanish. So far, we explored our emotions using fun theatre conventions. We reviewed simple vocabulary of the things that are in our classroom such as: lápiz, mesa, silla, puerta, etc. Moreover, we relearned and discovered new colors: rojo, azul, amarillo, gris, turqueza, among others. Currently 1B is learning about Families and how they all look different. They learned that in Latin America people use two last names instead of one. We are learning new vocabulary words such as: mamá, papà, hermanos, abuelos, primos, tíos and mascotas. We are super excited to see how the bilingual brains of 1B keep growing and developing!

There are plenty of ways you can support our learning experience and encourage your student to grow her/his interest in Español by reading books at home and listening to music in Español. Participate in cultural events in your community that expose your student to the Spanish culture, such as plays, concerts, and festivals.

Muchas gracias,

Maestra Nivia

Science with Ms. Cimoch

In science we have been learning about beak adaptations. Scientists learned that all birds have beaks, but not all beaks are the same. To help us understand why birds have different beaks, we used tools to mimic different kinds of beaks and tested out which ones worked best for eating different kinds of food.


  • Each student now has access to an online reading site Raz Kids (www.kidsa-z.com) that is customized to each child’s reading level! We have sent login information home on Friday in your child's Take Home Folders. The login information sent home will give you step-by-step instructions. However, you can already access your child's account through the teacher username 1bclassroom. Each child's password is his or her first and last name (all lowercase letters e.g firstnamelastname).
  • We sent home yellow take-home folders with your child's work along with the RAZ Kids login information. Some of the work is not yet finished so please feel free to complete these at home with your child. We will be sending work home bi-weekly. Please make sure to send your child back to school with the empty folder by Monday so that we can send home other important flyers or student work. Enjoy checking out your child's hard work!
  • If you want to volunteer for the Halloween Trick or Treat Parade on Tuesday October 30th from 2:15-2:45pm, please use the link below to sign up! Be a photographer, a treat giver, or a musician! We’ve added a music slot this year so that parent volunteers can lead the parade with some festive beats. You can shake a tambourine or show off your true talents with an instrument you bring from home! You can also donate goodies (healthy snacks that are nut free, stickers, pencils, rings, etc). Donation collections will begin Monday, October 22nd in a collection bin on the 8th floor. Remember to send your child to school with their own bag or basket to collect their treats!
  • As for the costume policy, students are welcome to wear their costumes to school with the following exceptions:
    - No violent or scary costumes
    - No play weapons (sword, knives, guns, etc.)
    - Nothing challenging to take on and off when using the bathroom
    - Students who will not wear a costume are expected to wear their uniform.
Halloween Volunteer Sign Up

Join us for the Halloween Parade by volunteering to help out for this festive and spook-tacular event!


  • If you haven't already, please send your child in with an extra change of clothes in a ziploc bag with their name labeled. For our friends that were in KA last year, their teachers passed along their old change of clothes. Please let us know if you'd like us to send them home while you send in a new set for your child.
  • Picture day is right around the corner and we are so excited! Below are a few things to keep in mind as the day approaches:

    • Uniforms are not required on picture day.
    • All student photos will have a true blue background.
    • We will follow up with information on pricing and how to order photos.
    • Picture retake day will be Thursday, December 6th.
  • Our Wednesday Parent Volunteer Program begins on September 26th! Help out our school by volunteering from 8:30-10:30am on any or all Wednesdays from 8:30-10:30am at the BPCS downtown campus. See the sign-up for more details.
Parent Volunteer Program

Community volunteers will support staff and students in a variety of ways.

Important Dates to Remember

  • Tuesday October 16 - DTES Information Night (Gym 6-7pm)
  • Thursday October 18 - Picture Day
  • Thursday October 25 - Family Coffee Grades K - 2 (Playspace 8:30-9:15am)
  • Friday October 26 - 3rd Annual Multicultural Potluck
  • Tuesday October 30 - Halloween Parade (2:15-2:45pm)
  • Sunday November 4 - Daylight Savings Time ends
  • Tuesday November 6 - Election Day (No school)
  • Monday November 12 - Veterans Day (No school)
  • Thursday November 15 - Fall Curriculum Share (2:15-3:30pm)
  • Monday November 19 to Friday November 23 - Thanksgiving Recess (No school)
  • Friday November 30 - Narrative #1 sent home

Contact Us

Please feel free to reach out to us if you ever have any questions or concerns!