Dr. Seuss Takes Over First Grade

and other fun during Read Across America Week

Warm Greetings to you all!

Thank goodness Mother Nature remembered what March is supposed to feel like!! Hope you're all out enjoying this beautiful day and the windows are wide open allowing all the stuffiness and nastiness of winter to exit!!

This past week was a fun week of learning indeed. Monday was rather odd though as a bunch of story book characters showed up at Memorial School instead of first graders! I was feeling a bit funny and even our principals were looking a bit different! Throughout the week, we have been learning about synonyms, antonyms, alliteration and different story elements. Our math goals continue to focus around word problems and automatic recall of addition and subtraction facts to 10, but we also added another goal of skip counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s. All of us have a wonderful foundation of skip counting to 100 by 5s and 10s. As first graders, our magic number is 120. Counting by 2s though, is very tricky! We have to be able to get to 50, but some tricks and secrets might have been shared throughout the week to make these concepts a bit easier. Ssshhhh....don't tell anyone though!

Next Friday, the 14th, our second trimester ends. I'm not quite sure where the time has gone honestly, but I'm so excited for what we have still in store. Report Cards will come home the 27th. If you have not yet scheduled a conference with me, please check your kiddo's tote, as the sign up sheet came home Thursday afternoon. I am so looking forward to seeing and talking with you about your kiddo and first grade, what's to come for the rest of the year, and even next year's expectations. As always, if any of the times I have offered just will not work for your family, please let me know and we can schedule an alternative time.

Happy Weekend!


PS - Don't forget to hop the clocks forward an hour tonight!


Wikipedia defines the term alliteration as "the repetition of the same sounds or of the same kinds of sounds at the beginning of words or in stressed syllables of an English language phrase". Dr. Seuss scatters alliteration all throughout his tongue twisting book, Fox in Socks. First graders think it's hilarious when their teacher cannot read a book without messing up thirty-five times because it's just so tricky! Every kiddo had the chance to create their very own silly alliteration too. This book has also paired well with our class created Fluency Rubric, which focuses on: 1) expression and phrasing, 2) accuracy, and 3) rate or how fast/slow we read. Our Daily5 Literacy rotations will not include a fluency center for the rest of the year so we can practice these three areas. I will be sending home a copy of the rubric for families to keep at home and practice together.

Clean Feet, Dirty Feet...

The Foot Book helped us to learn about opposites, or antonyms. The kiddos got to do this activity with Mrs. Jordan, as I was getting "teacher smart" on Wednesday. I was impressed to see the list of antonyms they brainstormed together, and of course, their little feet were great!

Story Elements with The Lorax

Kiddos had a very important job while listening to my rendition of The Lorax. Story elements make stories. They make stories interesting and they give stories a framework. The elements that kiddos had to listen for were: the title, author, characters, setting, problem, solution and author's purpose. Once they heard one of these, kiddos raised their hand and took a sticky note back to their seat to write down their thought. We were able to create this truffula-rific bulletin board together. After we decided the reasons Dr. Seuss wrote this story, kiddos were given a poster where they had to draw a way they can take care of our Earth. We also got to watch the Lorax in the afternoon!

Patterns in the Sky

Kiddos have had homework over this past week where they have had to check out the sky, stars and moon and then draw a picture and write down any observations. We began discussing these observations this week and it was stated that the moon had not looked the same every night. So we read a book all about the phases of the moon. The big phases we talked about were: full moon, half moon and crescent moon (the one where the moon looks like a sliver or a Pillsbury crescent roll!) We did a science experiment with a stick, a flashlight and a half peeled orange that illustrated some of the phases of the moon that we see. Did you know the moon does not illuminate itself? We found out that the moon is so bright because it reflects the sun's rays! The moon make look like cheese or cake, but it is actually a giant ball of rock and dust. Craters are created on the moon due to all the flying debris out in space. It may look cool up there and it might sound neat to want to live on the moon, however, man can actually not survive on the moon alone. There is no air, water, plants or animals alive out there. Pretty sure a few friends were disappointed to hear this little factoid. We have had some wonderful conversations around the sky, sun, moon, stars and space. Below you will find a little clip about the Day and Night Sky. We compared the two then took a peek at the video.

Skip Counting to a Beat

Skip counting is so tricky, so we have been counting/rapping/moving to a beat! The videos below have been really helpful to us as we skip count, especially when we're counting by twos. Another visual trick we have learned came from the awesome Mrs. Pongratz. If your kiddo is writing numbers on their fingers, I'm sorry. It's totally my fault. On our right hand, we wrote 2 on the pinky, 4 on the ring finger, 6 on the middle, 8 on the index and 10 on the thumb. This is our pattern that repeats itself when counting by twos. After 10 comes 12 (thus the 2 on the pinky) and then 14 (4 on the ring finger) etc, etc. When you get back to the thumb, you have to bump up to the next 10. It's a great visual reminder for friends as to what comes next! I strongly encourage washable markers!
Counting By Fives Song
Counting By Tens Song
Counting By Twos Song

Snack Duties!

Week of March 10th

MONDAY - Johnny

TUESDAY - Caitlin


THURSDAY - Brooklyn


Up&Coming in First Grade

Mar 9th - Spring Ahead! Daylight Savings Time Begins

Mar 12th - EARLY RELEASE 1pm

Mar 13th - High School Science Presentation

Mar 17th - Happy St. Patrick's Day! Wear Green!

Mar 17th - 19th - Parent Conferences with Ms. M

Mar 24th - Spring Pictures

Mar 25th - Science Fair

Mar 25th/26th - Parent Conferences with Ms. M

Mar 26th - Common Night for Conferences

Mar 29th - Daddy/Daughter Dance

April 1st - April Fools!

Week of April 7th - BOOK FAIR

April 16th - K-2 Literacy Night @ Russell School 5:30-7pm

April 18th - No School

April 21st-25th - Spring Vacation (Think Warm!)

May 11th - Mother's Day

May 14th - Early Release 1pm

May 14th - Spring Music Concert

May 15th - Varnish Day for our Teeth

May 17th - Patriot 5k - come run with Ms. Montgomery!!

"Rollie Robin" Visits Memorial School

This presentation could quite possibly be my all time favorite here at Memorial School. Wow! I mean when you can take a Little Mermaid classic and throw in some words about healthy choices, I don't think there's anything much better than that!

Rollie Robin is an obesity awareness and prevention program designed to encourage physical activities and healthy food choices. The performers were a group of UNH students who were so engaging and talented. Our kiddos at one point even got to stand up and "wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle". Yes they took another well known song (Sexy and I Know It) and turned it into "I'm Healthy and I Know It". For more information on this fabulous traveling message, you can head over to www.rollierobin.com!

Patriot Parents Need YOU!

Our ah-mazing parent organization is always looking for volunteers and helpers. Please read the mission statement of this group below and then contact Katie Maschino (s.kmaschino@securespeed.us) or Ernesta Kennedy (ernestakennedy@gmail.com) to see how you could be of assistance!

The Patriot Parents PTO is an organization whose purpose is to strengthen, enhance, and encourage the educational and social environment of the schools in Gray and New Gloucester. Its goals are to complement the school curriculum with additional opportunities for parents, teachers and students to learn, socialize, communicate and grow.

The Patriot Parents PTO sponsors a wide variety of programs and events for social and fundraising purposes. The PTO also initiates and assists in the introduction of new programs, which will increase educational, social, and health related opportunities for students.

The achievements of the Patriot Parents PTO can be measured in the cooperative spirit with which parents and teachers work together to share their care and concern for Gray and New Gloucester’s students. The PTO’s success can be seen in the student’s appreciation for their schools, their teachers and the opportunities these give them.

Patriot 5k

Saturday, May 17th, 8am

24 N Raymond Rd

Gray, ME

To register, go to www.patriot5k.org. When you sign up, be sure to join Team Mussell, as this team represents Memorial and Russell School. Last year, Team Mussell took home the trophy for biggest representation at the race! Come join me (even my mom and sister!) and plenty of other staff members at such a wonderful event!

Ms. Montgomery & Emmie

In addition to lesson planning and enjoying my weekends, this little ball of chub has taken over much of mine and my family's time! Meet Emmie! My first grade friends actually helped my mom and dad to name this sweet thing! She's a 10 week old fox red lab who enjoys biting, chewing and an occasional kiss. Oh, and let's not forget..food!