Ms. Ward's First Grade

Newsletter Week 30


This week was Nicolas's first week in 1.3! He is very easily adapting to life in our classroom, and fits so well into our community. I am very proud of how helpful and kind everyone in our class has been in welcoming Nicolas to ISP. He would walk in the door and immediately be swarmed by eager friends wanting to help him with unpacking his bag, choosing his daily 5 and getting his math message done. We are so lucky to have you, Nicolas!


In writing this week we continued out "how-to" writing. There are some great teachers in my class-- writing about how to build a snowman, how to dive, how to make cupcakes, PB&J sandwiches... even how to put out a fire! Next week, we will each pick ONE of our how to papers and take it though the writing process. By the time parents come for conferences, we should be allllllmost finished!

This week during Daily 5 we have busy bees trying to get ready for student led conferences. Each and every one of the students has been putting in a lot of hours to really get to know their own progress and monitor their own behaviors. They have each created a book with the things they are most proud of and the things they would like to work on. They have even included ways for teachers and parents to support them in reaching their goals. They are eagerly awaiting next week when they get to share their progress with each and every one of you!


We started off the week reviewing 3D shape names and their characteristics. We found 3D shapes in objects in the classroom, and worked with partners to build 3D shapes out of toothpicks and play dough! WE know the number of sides, edges, and shapes of all the faces on cubes, rectangular prisms, cones, pyramids, spheres and cylinders.

After reviewing shapes, we took out unit 7 math test, and everyone ROCKED it. I am blown away by the awesome retention of information. They are true curious learners.

Now that the basic skills have been taught for the year, we are working on perfecting skills and building upon those skills. The kids will need to be able to apply their superb number sense in order to solve complex word problems and mutli-step addition and subtraction questions. I can't wait to see what 1.3 can accomplish next!


Moving on from severe weather into ways to MEASURE weather. We discussed four different parts of weather that people measure: temperature, wind speed, wind direction, and rain accumulation. Before telling them the real tools that are used to measure these parts of weather, the students partnered up and invented their own tools. The "Super Measure Rain Collector" by Vicenzo and Raphael not only collected and measured the rain, but it also cleaned the water, too! Daniela and Madeline's "Sucker Up Water" took ocean water and turned it into drinking water! Nicolas Emma and Justina's "Magic Bubbles/ Magic Tree" told us not only about the wind direction, but also the wind speed! And Max and Trixy's "Wind Sonar-anater" used a compass to tell the wind direction and a fan to tell wind speed. I think some of the inventions were actually better than the real tools!

Just so we know, the actual tools that help us to measure weather are: thermometer, rain gauge, wind vane and anemometer (!!). The students identified each one and described what part of the weather each would measure. We finished off the week making pin wheels and watching a special edition of Magic School Bus: Kicks Up a Storm!


If you have not yet turned in a pre-conference form, please make sure you either email me or put it your child's folder by Monday! I would love a chance to look over them before your conferences : )

Student-led conferences are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. On those days, your child will be dismissed at 12:00. On the day of your conference, your child will be allowed to stay at school until your conference time. This will avoid their getting stuck in traffic on the way to or from school. The kids will participate in special classes until their conference time. The TAs will be available to bring your child to meet you at our room (1.3) at the appropriate time. Lunch will be available for purchase as usual.

And if 1.3 could rally behind one of our own, David Swartwout (Ethan's dad and ISP High School Assistant Principal), he is heading up a food drive for people living in the community in El Valle de Ñurum. Many young members of that community are malnourished. Pro Niñez, a Panamanian community based organization, has asked that we collect as many jamonillas or Spam products as we can throughout the month of April. Please send with your son or daughter a jamonilla or Spam product to be placed in a collection receptacle in the ES, MS or HS offices.

Can't wait to see you next week!


Beth Ward : )