Dear parents and guardians,
Last week was Kindness and Justice Week here at BES. Your children had guest speakers and participated in many projects regarding kindness to others. Here are some of the activities we did:
Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts
A Hat for Mrs. Goldman by Michelle Edwards
Night Tree by Eve Bunting
Martin's Big Words by Doreen Rappaport
We were fortunate enough to have two special guests from BES come to our classroom to do Kindness activities with us. Mrs. Jeffords from Guidance came to read us Night Tree and make birdfeeders, and Mrs. Joslin came in to talk to us about dog rescues and to make toys for dogs awaiting their forever homes. Our theme on Tuesday was kindness to animals.
In the book Those Shoes, the main character gives away a beloved pair of sneakers after seeing that one of his classmates needed them more. After reading this story we wrote about times when we showed kindness to others through sharing, gifts, or helping friends and family.
We also learned about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, and the legacy of love and kindness that he left. We made "I have a dream" mobiles to honor his famous speech and came up with our own dreams for ourselves, our community, and the world. Some examples include:
-My dream for the world is for people to be happy.
-My dream for the community is to help others spread kindness.
-My dream for myself is when I grow up I will tell the world that kindness is the right thing to have.
As we look to the next four weeks before vacation (February 25th-March 1st) please remember to send your child with clothing appropriate for the cold and snowy weather. If you have extra items of clothing you would like your child to keep at school (hats, mittens, snowpants) please send in a large bag and they may keep extra items on their hook at school. It is helpful if all items are labeled in case things go missing, are dropped in the hallway, etc.
Here's what we'll be working on before vacation:
Fundations: glued sounds like ang, ing, ong, ung, ank, ink, onk, unk
Reading: Nonfiction decoding and comprehension
Math: addition and subtraction to 20
Writing: personal narratives
Last but not least, your loving and thoughtful children (all on their own!) came up with the idea to donate some school supplies to students who may not have enough. I have contacted an elementary school in Manchester, NH that would gladly take donations. For the next three weeks I will be graciously accepting donations of pencils, colored pencils, crayons, markers, scissors, gluesticks, tissues, hand sanitizer, and garbage bags. Please don't feel pressured, but anything you can spare would be greatly appreciated.
As always, please contact me with any questions you may have. Thank you!
Dear parents and guardians,
December has been a busy month! Your students have been Word Detectives, critical thinkers, mathematicians, and hard workers. Here's a little peek at what we've been up to:
We were fortunate enough to have a visit from Derek from Wildlife Encounters who brought in some amazing animals for us to learn about. We talked about the habitat, survival skills, and personalities of a macaw, a chinchilla, a gray fox, a prairie dog, an African bull frog, and an alligator. We love hands-on experiences like this that allow students to get up close and personal to what they are studying!
Last week in Art students made gingerbread houses with Mrs. Sans and some parent volunteers. It's really starting to feel like the holidays with these festive decorations!
Fundations: students are learning about "welded" or "glued" sounds like am/an as well as suffix -s.
Reading: our word detectives are learning to scoop words into phrases, try out different vowel sounds, and break apart big words into smaller chunks to solve tricky word mysteries.
Math: We have wrapped up our geometry unit on 2-d and 3-d objects and are now doing a quick unit on positional words and ordinal numbers before the holiday break (first, second, third, etc).
Writing: students have been working hard on opinion writing and supplying reasons for their opinions.
Science: With our plants and animals unit wrapping up we will be diving into Space when we come back in 2019.
I hope you all have a fun holiday season filled with family and rest. Safe travels!
Dear parents and guardians,
Today was the 50th day of school. Hitting the 50-day mark always reminds me that the first term of the school year is almost over (already!) Here's what your students have been up to lately:
Last week we finished our first unit in Reader's Workshop. Students learned how to use a reading mat and create book stacks to help build reading stamina, as well as a multitude of strategies about how to be a strong independent reader as well as a helpful reading partner. At the end of the unit we had a reading celebration: each student was asked to read a short book or excerpt to the class to showcase their skills. They were so proud to show their classmates all of their hard work in reading!
Last Tuesday was Election Day in New Hampshire. In our classroom we read the book Duck for President and held our very own in-class election. Duck won by a landslide! Students waited patiently in line to vote in our booth (and had to show photo ID as well!)
Thank you to everyone who contributed clean recyclables and t-shirts to our Bat Day celebration. We kicked off our day by making lab coats to truly feel as though we were scientists. Then, after checking the blueprints and communicating with partners, it was time to build our bat exhibits! The students had an absolute blast building and creating zoo exhibits based on their knowledge of bats!
Dear parents and guardians,
I truly hope you enjoyed your long weekend with your children! Mine involved hiking, cleaning, and apple pie. I love this time of year!
Believe it or not we're 27 days into the school year, and your students have already done so much! Here's a peek at what we've been working on in class...
On Friday September 21st BES celebrated our Read-a-Thon/Walk-a-thon by starting the day with a "Drop Everything and Read" event. Everyone in the school took a book to the hallway and sat down to read together. Communal reading builds a sense of community and shows the students that everyone is working on their reading abilities in some way.
On September 27th three of the first grade classes hiked Blue Job mountain to kick off our science unit on plants and animals. We had a beautiful day and some happy hikers! Thank you to our many chaperones who made the day possible!
I'm not quite sure what happened on those last two pictures...probably one reason I rarely take selfies!
Last Thursday we had a special second grade guest reader come to our classroom. It's so important for students to see what strong readers look and sound like, and of course I love that my former students come back to visit!
For the past two weeks students have been working hard on learning parts of speech (nouns, verbs, and adjectives). Last week students were given a mystery item in a paper bag and were tasked with using as many adjectives as possible to describe the object to the rest of the class.
Today the Barrington Fire Department visited the first graders to talk about fire safety. Students learned about the different parts of a fire truck, how firemen put on their gear and what the different pieces are for, as well as the importance of having an exit plan and a meeting place at home in the event of a fire. We are so grateful to the Barrington Fire Department for all they do!
As we dive into October we'll be working on the following topics in first grade:
Digraphs (sh, wh, th, ch, etc)
Using various reading strategies to improve decoding, fluency, and stamina
Informational writing, how-to books
Plants and animals
Dear parents and guardians,
Welcome to the class blog! I will periodically be updating this site with information about what your children have been learning, upcoming important dates, and pictures of your children working hard and having fun. I hope you enjoy this insight into our classroom!
It was certainly a hot start to the school year...and your children were troopers! We started off the year getting to know new friends through partnerships, games, and little interviews. It's such a good feeling to make a new friend!
The second week of school we started digging into academics. Some was review, some was new, but students truly rose to the occasion! In Fundations we reviewed proper letter formation and letter sounds as well as using the Fundations writing grid for proper letter placement. In writing we eased into personal narratives by writing about and illustrating activities we did over the summer. Your children sure were busy!
In Math we reviewed numbers 1-10, strategies for counting, terms like "more", "less", "greater", "fewer", and "the same." We took our very first assessments on Friday in both math and Fundations, and everyone knocked it out of the park! In Science we have been exploring what it means to be a scientist by practicing what scientists do: so far we have observed with tools like magnifying glasses in the BES Learning Garden, and measured objects in the classroom with rulers. Everything was recorded in our Scientist Notebook!
Reading is arguably one of the most important skills that your child will work on this year, and in Reader's Workshop we have already learned about so many things! Students have learned how to pick out a "just-right" book, how to use a reading mat, set reading goals, and demonstrate stamina. We've also practiced what it means to be a good partner: sitting elbow-elbow-knee-knee with a book in the middle, taking turns, and giving reminders and encouragement.
We also worked on our drawing and fine motor skills by drawing self-portraits. I can't wait for you to see these works of art at Open House next week!
If you're looking for a few conversations starters for the dinner table, here are just a few!
-What are some strategies you can use for counting?
-Can you sing me your song for lining up?
-What are some expectations for partner reading?
-What Kevin Henkes books have you read in class? Which one has been your favorite so far?
-What is a Compliment Circle?
I hope that you will join us for BES Open House from 5:30-7:00 on Thursday September 20th. Your children will have the opportunity to take you on a tour of the building, show your their classroom, and exhibit all the hard work they have already put into the school year.
Dear parents and guardians,
We've had a busy few weeks in first grade! With the end of our latest WIN cycle we returned to our unit on light and sound. Students learned about the qualities of light as well as how different materials respond to light. We did an inquiry lesson in which we made shadow puppets and explored how they could be used with light sources. Here are some of their (rather astute) observations:
-There are no shadows without light
-The closer an object is to a light source the bigger the shadow; the farther away an object is to a light source, the smaller the shadow
-Paper is not 100% opaque, some light still shines through when the paper is close to the light
Students recently participated in our spring I-Ready assessment for both math and reading. I was very impressed by the time and energy all students put into their assessments to demonstrate their skills. They really have made incredible growth this year!
Last week we had our Memorial Day Whole School Assembly. Not only did we have some of our very own first-grade cub scouts present the colors and lead the school in the Pledge of Allegiance, but we also had three students recognized for participating in every wellness challenge this year!
As part of our non-fiction language arts and animals unit students participated in a brainstorm about some unidentified bones I brought into the classroom. Their questions and wonderings were so informed and interesting! Although some of them were disappointed the bones did not belong to a dinosaur (the bones belonged to a deer), their thoughtfulness about their observations and their use of background knowledge showed me that they are just about ready for second grade!
Speaking of second grade, the year is winding down and the hot weather is arriving. Mornings tend to be cool and the afternoons can get quite toasty in our room, so please remember to dress your child in layers and pack a water bottle so that they may stay hydrated. And if possible please do not send your child in flip-flops. There are a lot of foot injuries this time of year due to a lack of sturdy footwear.
I will be sending out an email in the next week with information regarding special events for the end of the school year (field day, etc), so please be on the lookout for that. Also, the last day of school, which is June 21st, is a half day with dismissal at 12:45pm. And just like that, in 14 school days your children will be second graders!
Dear Parents and Guardians,
We had a fantastic trip to Great Bay Discovery Center in Greenland this week. The weather was stunning and we were able to kick-off our non-fiction language arts unit with hands-on experience! Thank you to our chaperones and docents who helped make the trip possible!
A new exhibit at Great Bay this year was a live-feed of an Osprey nest on the edge of the estuary where an Osprey family is awaiting the hatching of their young. One group was lucky enough to see both parents at the nest!
At the discovery tank students were able to see estuary animals up close, such as flounder, several types of fish, crabs, and an eel. Students were also able to hold a horseshoe crab!
At another center students learned all of the important components that make up an estuary: the plants, animals, minerals and nutrients, and other water components that make it such a unique ecosystem. When you churn it all together you get estuary soup...yum!
Many animals make their home on the shores of the estuary, like crabs, horseshoe crabs, snails, and other creatures. We got a chance to explore the coastline and try to find a few!
What a fabulous day full of learning!
Dear Parents and Guardians,
My apologies for the late April blog post...there has been so much going on in first grade these past few weeks! The last eight weeks of school will be a blur, so we'll try to savor as much of it as possible...including this new warmer weather!
For the past two weeks we've been working on a poetry unit in reading and writing. Students explored with free verse, acrostic poems, and rhyming poems. Below are a few pictures of our class using word family plastic eggs to find rhyming words for our poems.
During Geography week we learned about the famous artist Pablo Picasso, who was born in Malaga, Spain. We painted our own Picasso-inspired self-portraits!
To cap off Geography week we performed the Spanish Alphabet song at our whole-school morning meeting. Thank you for helping your children practice this song. They performed wonderfully and were very proud of themselves!
On Friday we combined with Mrs. Heyliger's class to have a poetry slam! Students got to sit on a stool, use a microphone, and read poems that they had written themselves. We had a blast! Even Mrs. Maxfield stopped by to hear our hard-working poets.
What a fantastic week in first grade!
Thank you to those of you who have signed up to be chaperones for our next field trip. As a reminder, if you have not sent in your child's permission slip for our trip to Great Bay Discovery Center please do so as soon as possible.
As always, please contact me with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello, parents and guardians!
Here are a few reminders about the next two weeks:
-There is no school this Friday, March 23rd due to a Teacher Workshop
-Grades for Term 2 close on Thursday, March 22nd and report cards will be sent home on Friday, March 30th.
-There will be no homework this week, March 19th-23rd
We had a wonderful time on Friday with our March STEAM project: Leprechaun Traps! In the morning we planned out our designs with pictures and descriptions of tools and strategies, and in the afternoon we made our designs come to life! Thank you to our parent volunteers for helping to facilitate this project.
Suddenly we find ourselves at the bittersweet last day of vacation. I hope each of you had a safe and relaxing week with your students and are ready for the months ahead, as these last four are the ones that really fly!
As a reminder, when we return to school tomorrow BES will be celebrating Read Across America week to celebrate the life and work of Dr. Seuss as well as to celebrate a student's love for reading and learning. Each day has an optional theme for participation, which was sent home in a flyer and the school newsletter. On Monday we will participate in "Drop Everything and Read", a time where the entire school pauses in what they are doing and reads together. Students may bring a small stuffed animal to school tomorrow in which to use for this activity.
And now, a little look back at our last week of school before we left for break. BES celebrated our Invention Convention, an opportunity for students to choose a self-directed project in which they have to solve a problem. I was extremely impressed by the inventions in our class. We even had one of our own win the Grade 1 Student Choice Award!
On Friday we had reading buddy time with Mrs. Heyliger's class. The students love the chance to see friends from other classrooms, share books, and practice partner reading!
The 2018 Winter Olympics ended on February 25th. We decided to do a medal count to compare how many gold medals different countries had won. Check out this patriotic graph!
As always, please contact me with any questions you have and I will respond in a timely manner. Fingers crossed that Spring is on its way!