1B Class Update 1

September 2019

1B Greeting

Parent Update

Hello wonderful 1B Families! Our first month of First Grade was a great success. Our 1B students have done a great job of adjusting to the new routine of our school and classroom, as well as having lots of fun. We kicked off the school year with a Scavenger Hunt activity to get to know each other. On our paper, there was a bunch of pictures of different hobbies, and we had to go around the class to find out who liked to do what. We got to know our friends from last year a little bit better by exploring common interests. We also created our own sculptures using play dough to take home on the first day of school.

We have been continuing to work on to building our community and making new friends by playing fun group games and reading books about these themes. In order for us to start getting to know one another along with the classroom expectations, we created a classroom contract that described how they wanted their classroom to be. Students distilled their ideas down to being caring, respectful, clean, helpful, trying their best, etc. Each member of 1B signed the contract and have been trying their best to fulfill those qualities.

Recently, we have started to discuss our Hopes and Dreams for First Grade as a class. Today, we met with students individually to discuss their personal hopes and dreams. Having a conversation with them about this at home would be very helpful. We are very proud of their progress so far and we are excited to see what's to come! :-)

Our 1B class has been striving to create a warm and caring community where our friends feel comfortable learning as well as take risks in building independence. Our amazing first graders continue to blossom with their learning skills as we dive deeper into our ELA, Math, and IB units. We have many more things to introduce and look forward to teaching our students. We are confident that this first month will turn into a great year, as there are many exciting things yet to come! We want to thank you for your continued support and interest in being involved with our First Grade learning community. Hope you a wonderful weekend as we are sending love your way :-)

Big picture

First Week of School

Scavenger Hunt Mingle

First Grade Questionnaire

We are so excited to begin this year of learning and growth with you and your child. As we begin our time together, we would like to learn about your child’s interests and unique personalities. Please write us a brief email (our class email is dtes1b@brooklynprospect.org) about your child. We have included the following questions for your consideration:

  • What does your child love? Please tell us what your child is passionate about or share a topic on which he or she is an expert.

  • What are your hopes for your child this year?

  • As a family member, what supports do you need? How can we work as a team to create the best school experience for your child?

  • Is there anything else that you would like us to know about your child?

A Day in the Life as a First Grader

Morning Meeting

It has been great to watch our friends come in every morning and get ready to start their day. We want to keep this routine going so we wanted to send a brief reminder that school starts at 8:10am and we begin our Morning Meeting promptly at 8:30am. During Morning Meeting, we start off our day by greeting our friends, sharing what we did over the weekend, playing a quick community building game, reading our morning message for any important announcements, going over the calendar, counting the days of school, and reviewing our daily schedule, so we would love for all of our 1B friends to be present. Thank you all for being so supportive and understanding!
Calendar Song
Morning Message


We have been assessing student's knowledge of letters and sounds. We have built a repertoire of stories, songs, rhymes, and chants that our friends have enjoyed and at the same time heightened their awareness of language sounds and written symbols. In the coming weeks, students will be working on recognizing beginning, ending, and short vowel sounds. Slowly we will be introducing Phonics centers where students work with teachers to build on these skills and also work independently to practice building words, matching and sorting to pictures to word combinations. In the below pictures, our 1B friends are working on neat handwriting formation. Practice these skills at home by having your child identify sounds of items around the house and use their fingers to tap out each sound they hear.

In Phonics, we are practicing how to spell CVC (consonant vowel consonant) words (e.g. cat, dog, pin, etc.). To do this, we tap out each sound that we hear on our fingers (pointer, middle, ring finger) and then blend the 3 sounds together (by moving our thumb across the fingers) to say the word. We have been continuing to practice this since last year and we are now experts! Have your child do this to support them in spelling at home!


In ELA, reading and writing are intertwined. This unit, we were challenged with a mission to accomplish by a very "special guest," Detective McHammer (pictured on the right)! He introduced us to a variety of tools and had a discussion with 1B about which tool is the best for certain jobs. Our 1B friends practiced using sentence starters like "I notice" and "I wonder" to ask and answer questions. In each mission, he challenges our 1B friends to closely examine each tool and make observations of why it is best for specific jobs. Some tools we learned about are tweezers, whisk, funnel, calculator, eyedropper, etc. We explored these tools through discussions and read alouds. These activities build their literacy as well as citizenship skills. Moving forward, we will be exploring specific tools that people from around the world use. When using tools at home, ask your child what the purpose of the tool is and how it helps them! Feel free to send photos of various tools (cooking, cleaning, math, science, etc.) that you use at home to us.

P.S. - If your child asks, Detective McHammer is Ms. Park's twin...not Ms. Park! ;-)

Building upon Unit 1's discussion regarding "tools" needed to do specific jobs, Unit 2 focuses on "tools" that people use "without hands" to help with our work. Our 1B friends were introduced to three habits of character: initiative, perseverance, and collaboration. We learned that "initiative" is being a leader and deciding what needs to be done while asking questions to help me learn. "Collaboration" means to work nicely together with other people and listen to each other's ideas. "Perseverance" means to keep trying even when something is hard and to challenge myself. Go ahead and ask your child what these words mean, and be prepared to hear them use these words in your daily conversations, they will surprise you!

In order to put these new skills to the test, we took part in a cup stacking challenge. We had to build the highest tower using cups from all classmates. We needed to make a plan so that every teammate could help build the tower. Check out the pictures below!

Detective McHammer Hammer Hammer


Our mathematicians started off the school year with an exploration of how to use and care for math materials in our classroom. With these materials, they've practiced making different shapes as well as writing and counting up to 120 through various games! Moving forward, we will also begin Number Stories, a math curriculum focused on Cognitively Guided Instruction, where students solve word problems by utilizing a variety of strategies including counting unifix cubes or drawing pictures. This is a great way for students to openly explore strategies and then be able to share their strategies with their classmates, learning from one another and advancing their mathematical thinking. To support your child at home with their formation of numbers, we encourage kinesthetic activities such as making numbers with playdough or shaving cream.

In Math, we wrapped up our unit where we reviewed basic Kindergarten skills including sorting and counting. We related counting to addition by using "counting on" as an addition strategy and represented a whole number by its parts using number bonds. We also started our brand new unit on Geometry. We have identified 2D shapes (circle, triangle, square, rectangle, trapezoid, hexagon) by their attributes: how many straight sides and corners they have. We played games where we had to guess the shape based on the description of their attributes, built different shapes using straws, and formed shapes using our bodies.You can practice shapes with your child by looking for them in your home or neighborhood and discussing its attributes, such as, "How many sides and corners does this shape have?"

Number Stories

In Number Stories, we are working building the fluency of counting and adding. Our number story learners spent this week working on various different types of word problems. We're also always excited to see which classmate is in the word problem of the day! We began by working on problems containing addition and subtraction of two (two digit/one digit) numbers. Next, we worked on We that were more challenging that included adding multiple sets of numbers in a group. They each showed a variety of ways to solve these problems and some shared our strategies with the class.

We have also been working very hard at mastering the art of creating number bonds so that they can recognize that two parts make a whole and writing number sentences that match our work. We also recently introduced the "counting on" strategy as a way to add more efficiently by counting on from the first addend, starting at a bigger number and counting on from it. At home, continue encouraging your child to add objects in their daily life and solving it by counting on. For example, for the following problem, "We had 6 apples and bought 4 more, how many do we have now?" Encourage your child to count on from 6, "7, 8, 9, 10" to get to the answer. Our mathematicians are off to such a great start and are excited to continue to grow their brains!

IB: Family Diversity

We are excited to announce that our first inquiry unit of first grade will be Family Diversity! Inquiry is a time in which students ask questions about a teacher-selected topic and work together to answer them through a variety of hands-on activities. Our goal for this unit is to have students recognize that families have many differences and similarities across cultures. We hope to have them do so by identifying different family structures through comparison of their family or those of their friends to other families in our own community or even the world. We will also allow students to share some family story-telling with the class either through writing or other forms of communication.

In Inquiry, we've been reading and learning about how many families are the same but can also be different. Our 1B friends also had a little glimpse into Ms. Park and Ms. Copeland's family and got to see a presentation about our parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. Moving forward, we are going to explore some questions that they have about family and want to learn about.

To kick off our IB unit and support our discussions around family diversity, please help us answer the following questions about your child and family:

  • Who are your child’s immediate family members?
  • Who are the primary residents in your child’s household?
  • What are some important dates or events for your family?
  • What are some typical weekly routines in your household?

Additionally, please share a family photo with us, which will be displayed on our IB bulletin board throughout the family unit. Feel free to email your family photo to dtes1b@brooklynprospect.org or send your child in with a hard copy. Thank you for your support!

Me Too Game


At BPCS we always want to make sure we are creating a community where students come together and work with others to strengthen their academic as well as social emotional skills. Our classroom culture is becoming cohesive as we work to establish friendships and express how we feel in a positive way. One way this occurs is through giving someone a "shout-out" for demonstrating that they are caring for their community. We reinforce the message that we are a team and we are here to work together to make our community strong and successful. In the next couple of weeks, we will be showing our friends how to problem solve with read alouds, power talks, and letting others know how they feel in a positive manner.

At BPCS, we always want to make sure we are creating a community where students come together and work with others to strengthen their academic as well as social emotional skills. Something we have added to our daily routine during closing circle is a social-emotional curriculum called "Second Step." In this program, students are called on to discuss, role-play, and play games about different social situations. This week, we focused on learning to listen and that rules tell us how to listen and act in a group so everyone can learn. The Listening Rules are: ears listening, eyes watching, voice quiet, and body still. Please feel free to talk with your children at home about ways in which to listen to others inside and outside of school.

Movement Break

We Work Hard and We Play Harder!

Recess at Metrotech

Specials Introduction

Welcome to the 2019-2020 School Year. As part of the academic experience at Brooklyn Prospect students will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of specialist classes during the week.

Our goal for these classes is to augment the core classroom experience by providing opportunities to engage all types of learners in very interactive subjects areas. As teachers, we hope that these exciting lessons will expose students to new experiences, and plant the seeds to help our BPCS students grow into balanced, creative, globally-minded community members.

1B's specials schedule is: Spanish (Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays), Musical Theater (Wednesdays), Music (Mondays, Thursdays), and P.E. (Tuesdays, Fridays),

Espanol with Maestro Sahil

There are plenty of ways you can support our learning experience and encourage your student to grow her/his/their 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 theatre plays, concerts, and festivals.

Musical Theater with Ms. Wangerin

Hello! My name is Diana Wangerin-Foster (Mrs. Wangerin) and I'm thrilled to be teaching the first-ever BPCS Musical Theatre program. This is my third year at the Downtown Elementary, as I had the pleasure of teaching 4th grade for the last two years. This year your 1st graders will be immersed in singing, acting, and dancing, all the while showcasing their abilities in multiple performance opportunities! I look forward to witnessing the all-around growth of every 1st-grader in the coming year. Stay tuned for many exciting updates!

Music with Mr. Kramer

This is my fourth year teaching music at BPCS, and I am so excited to make music with your kids this year! I will be teaching First Grade twice a week this fall, and I will lead a Big Sing with your students once a week in the Spring semester. Just like last year, our classes will include folk music, playground games, dancing, and some instrument playing. In the First Grade, students start to name and develop the musical skills they learned in Kindergarten -- especially how to play the beat in songs!

P.E. with Mr. James

Talk about being number one. Our 1st graders are putting in work and showing out. We are stepping into leadership roles and making some crafty moves. Yes, we’re talking about in PE; the home of physical activity where we build friendships, cultivate teamwork, and condition ourselves for future fitness endeavors. Lead by our own superstars, classes begin with student led warm up laps. We are learning the proper way to get the body primed and moving. Once moving, there’s no stopping us. We are continuously pushing our bodies, making strong advancements in active personal space and color-associated workouts. But that’s not all….We are currently working on our footwork. Getting from point A to B isn’t enough. Agility, rate of speed, coordination, and control is what’s on the horizon. We are using these skills and challenges to build upon for our next activities to come! Next up, Soccer!!!!

Amazon Wishlist

We have created an 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!


  • We started our whole school Lit Block and each student has their own Lit Block book baggies in their book bags (with 5 books inside). Feel free to have the students read at home but please make sure that they bring the book baggies back to school DAILY so that they can read during Lit Block.
  • Snack will occur around 10:30am and 1B will eat lunch at 12:30pm. Please pack a snack that matches your child’s appetite and travels well as they will eat during Lit Block where they move to another room to read. If possible, please avoid liquid based snacks, such as juice, as this will help to minimize spills.
  • We are happy to announce that we will officially start using Remind App as a method of communication to ensure that all families have access to information regarding our school. In the coming days, you will receive a welcome text message from your classroom to the primary phone number we have on file. Please save this phone number, as it will be the same number used whenever your child's teachers send a notification. If you have not received a text message by Friday, September 27, please email Ms. Molina at amolina@brooklynprospect.org for further assistance.
  • Picture Day (October 21st) 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.
    • There will be a picture retake day in the future.


  • Remember that in First Grade, regular student dismissal is at 3:45pm every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday and early dismissal is at 1:30pm every Wednesday!
  • Please send students with a water bottle so that they are able to drink throughout the day without leaving the classroom. The water bottles will be sent home daily to be cleaned and washed.
  • If you haven't already, please send your child in with an extra change of clothes in a ziploc bag with their name labeled in case of emergencies.

Important Dates to Remember

  • Thursday 10/3 - Back to School Night from 6-7:30pm (K-2)
  • Friday 10/4 - School wide Lice Check
  • Monday 10/14 - Indigenous Peoples' Day (No school)
  • Tuesday 10/15 - PD Day (No school)
  • Monday 10/21 - Picture Day
  • Thursday 10/31 - Halloween Parade (2:15-2:45pm)

Contact Us

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