First Grade News



from First Grade

Special Events in October

We enjoyed a great field trip to Gaver’s Farm! Thanks to the parents who were able to chaperone that trip! Our Fall Party was great fun! Many thanks to the room moms, volunteers, and parents who donated supplies to make the party possible. The Fun Run was a success! We had fun and raised money for our school! Thanks to the PTA organizers and helpers! We had parent-teacher conferences and had the chance to discuss our students’ progress and goals.


We are reading for information using non-fiction texts and reading to demonstrate comprehension of fiction stories as well. We are continuing to visualize, complete graphic organizers, and ask and answer questions. Our new comprehension skills will include determining importance, making inferences, and summarizing information.

Making inferences is “reading between the lines”. We use what we know, and what the author and what the pictures tell us, to get meaning. For example, if we see a photo with children dressed in coats, hats, and gloves playing in the snow, we can infer that it is winter. If the text says, “Mommy I need a band-aid!” beside a picture of a crying child, we can infer that he was hurt.

When we read texts we will determine importance, which means that we will pick out facts or events that are important. For example, in a text called Working Dogs it would not be important to know the color of the dog’s fur, but it would be important to know that a dog can help a person who is blind. Students will also need to know the difference between a fact and an opinion. Dogs help to find people who are lost is a fact. Dogs are cute is an opinion.

Determining importance is necessary for other strategies such as note taking, retelling and summarizing, which are used at all grade levels. To prepare our students for this we will model and practice taking notes.

Taking notes can be as simple as writing words or drawing pictures of new/important information when reading, listening, or watching a video. Completing graphic organizers is another form of note-taking. At the first grade level, summarizing and paraphrasing means that students will tell or write what a text is about, using their own words.


We have worked with hearing the difference between long and short vowels and spelling short vowel words. We will also work with blends and digraphs. Blends are when two or more consonant letters are together but you can hear each sound, such as st, bl, gr, str. Digraphs are when two consonant letters are together and make one sound such as in ch, sh, and th.

The bar has been raised for our high-frequency words. Originally, the goal was for students to be able to read and spell the 100 words from the list by the end of the school year. Now we are working toward being able to read and spell all 100 words with fluency and automaticity by the end of January. We will review and work on the words in the second half of the year. Of course, we understand that some students have already accomplished this goal while others may need more time. Students who need it will receive extra assistance from their classroom teachers, intervention teachers, and parent volunteers. Any further help at home that you can provide would be beneficial as well.


We have begun to emphasize proofreading and revising our writing. Revision is changing, adding, or taking away information to improve the IDEAS of a story. Soon we will be working more on using describing words (adjectives) to make our writing more interesting.

Editing is checking the CONVENTIONS or MECHANICS of writing. We say to “Call the COPS” and check for appropriate/accurate:


Organization/Overall Appearance,

Punctuation, and



In math, we are working on addition and subtraction facts to sums of 20. We are working toward fact fluency, but at this time it is especially important for the students to be able to demonstrate their understanding of these operations with manipulatives, pictures, and words. We will represent and solve story problems with addition and subtraction.

We are using nonstandard measurement and compared lengths of objects. We have reviewed geometric shapes and are learning the basics of fractions. These skills are ones that are easy to apply to real life situations, especially using fractions and food!

We will extend our work with place value and counting to 120. Students need to be able to count forward and backward by 1 and 10. They should be able to tell what number is in the ones, tens, and hundreds place. They should be able to draw a picture to represent any of these numbers.

We have learned a great deal about maps and globes and will revisit the topic throughout the year. We are going to be using our map skills when we learn about Cultures and Celebrations in an upcoming unit of study. When we learn about Thanksgiving, we will touch upon ideas from our unit called Past, Present, and Future.


We will be learning about Space, specifically the earth, sun, moon, and stars. This unit requires some observations of the sky in the daytime and the nighttime. When we go to the Earth and Space Science lab for our next field trip, it will enhance the Space unit as well as the Organisms unit which will happen later in the school year. You may want to take a virtual or real family field trip to the Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC to enhance this unit. You can also observe the night sky and notice the changes in the phases of the moon.


  • November 8th is a teacher work day.

  • Thanksgiving Break is November 27th-29th.

  • Please help your child learn to zip, button, and tie shoes independently.

  • If reading books come home, please make sure they are returned to school the next day.

  • Donations of tissues, zip-lock bags, dry-erase markers, sidewalk chalk, inside recess games, and treasure box items would be appreciated. A big THANKS to those who have already sent in items!
  • Please do not send your child to school if he/she sick. The policy is that they are to be fever free without the aid of fever reducing medicine for 24 hours before returning. Children should also not return to school for 24 hours after vomiting. It is difficult to control the spread of germs when sick children are in the classroom.
  • Please make sure that your child is dressed appropriately for the colder weather as we reach the end of fall and the beginning of winter. We will go out for recess whenever weather permits.

We hope you have a very

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! We are thankful for our students, our wonderful school, and our supportive community!