November Update


Dear First Grade Families,

We are all having a great time in First Grade!  We wanted to update you on some of the exciting things that we are learning in First Grade.

In reading, we have been doing the exciting work of becoming “Word Detectives.” This unit is all about supporting your children’s word solving skills in a way that feels joyful and fun.  Children are being asked to be on the alert for difficult words, using what they know to solve those words, and checking their attempts to make sure their reading “makes sense.”  Some strategies you may overhear your children discussing: looking slowly and closely, studying words from the beginning all the way to the end, searching for snap words and scooping up words to make reading sound smoother, among many others.  In addition, children are working to be supportive and collaborative peers as reading buddies.  This unit strengthens their partnerships, asking them to monitor each other and encourage one another to solve tricky words, using the strategies we are currently teaching.

In Writer’s Workshop we have been studying Expository Writing.  The children have begun to write many “Expert Books”.  We have learned that we are all experts and we can write well about these topics to teach others. We are all teachers!  Each of the children are choosing topics that they know a great deal about and breaking their topics down into at least 5 important sections.  They will begin to include headings, introductions and conclusions.  In this unit, students will learn about elements used in writing a non-fiction text such as, a table of contents, chapters, bold words, diagrams with labels, headings & subheadings, etc… Students will be experimenting with various forms of paper used when writing non-fiction-all about books.

In Math, we have begun our doubling/pairing unit.  The final activity in this unit involves the necklace investigation.  This investigation explores the concepts of unitizing, early algebraic thinking, and multiplication.  The children will work to develop mathematical conjectures and theories.  Students are focusing on carefully representing their work and providing evidence for their theories and conjectures. Within the unit the children will learn the importance of gaining information from what “works” as well as “what doesn’t work” when solving problems and working towards conjectures.  The classroom is full of such rich mathematical conversations.

We are all really enjoying our Mystery Readers.  The children continue to discuss all of the books read to us long after the reader has left.  Please try to keep it a surprise, it really adds to the excitement if the children don’t know who is coming!  Please let us know if you still need to sign up for a Mystery Reader date.

We are really looking forward to seeing everyone at parent teacher conferences.  If you are in Ms. Sarah’s class, be on the look out for the conference schedule that is out this week.  If you are in Ms. Kristin’s class, please be sure to sign up online.  The information regarding signing up online was sent home last Friday, October 27th.

As always thank you so much for all of your support!  Please feel free to reach out with any questions, comments, and our delights.

All the best,

Kristin and Sarah

October Update

Dear First Grade Families,

We are having a great time in First Grade!! We wanted to update everyone on some of the exciting things that have been going on in First Grade.

Book Shopping is officially up and running.  All of the children have an assigned shopping day and a book bin to keep their books in. The children are really excited about this new routine!

Our Personal Narrative/ Small Moment stories are coming along!  Many of the children have multiple stories in their writing folders.  We will soon begin the process of revising, editing, and fancying up our stories as we start the publishing process.   Mark your calendars for our First Publishing Party on Wednesday, October 18th at 8:30 in our classrooms!

Our classrooms are a buzz with interesting mathematical conversations.  We have been playing many math games.  We have also been working with the bead string and investigating numbers and their systems in our number talks.  We are presently focusing on story problems which include both addition and subtraction. We are looking for efficient strategies for solving these problems (doubles, near doubles, making tens, counting on, etc).

Next week we will officially begin homework.  Our focus for homework for this month will be Reading.  The children will be bringing their book baggies home to read each night. Each week’s homework will highlight our reading focus from our daily lessons.  For example: students might be asked to share 3 good reading habits that they are practicing, students may teach you about what it means to be a good reading partner, what makes a good retell, etc.…   Children should be reading for at least 15 minutes per night.  Stay tuned for more information as the month progresses.

Last week we had our first Mystery Reader visit!  Both classes enjoyed the surprise and loved hearing the stories that each family read to us.  We are looking forward to our next Mystery Reader visit!

Just a quick reminder…we have snack every afternoon.  Please send your child with a healthy snack labeled with his or her name.

As always, thank you for all of your support!  Please feel free to reach out with any questions, comments and/or delights.

All the best,

Kristin and Sarah

First Grade is Off to a Great Start!!

Dear First Grade Families,

First Grade has gotten off to a great start!!  We wanted to update everyone on some of the exciting things that have been going on in First Grade.

Classroom community building is very important.  Each morning we begin with a morning meeting where we greet each other and often have time to share “important news” from our lives.  We are learning to be respectful of others, as well as our surroundings.  We are becoming a tightly knit community of learners and teachers.  The children teach Sarah and myself all new things everyday.  It is very exciting to be part of such a wonderful group!

Our current writing unit is Personal Narrative: Writing Small Moment Stories.  We have been learning to tell the stories of our lives.  The children are thinking about ways to help the reader feel as if they are experiencing the moment.  They are working on bringing their stories to life using talking, moving, feeling, and thinking.  Details help to paint a picture in the reader’s mind.  Each child is learning to “zoom in” on important events that have occurred to him or her.  The stories are amazing! As we discussed at the open school night, you can support this work by continuing to model excellent story telling for your kids every day at home!  In addition, please help the children continue to see their lives as the lives of a writer…there are stories just waiting to be told at every corner.

Our current unit in reading is Building Good Reading Habits.  We have been reviewing familiar reading habits and strengthening them.  We have also learned new reading habits for reading long and strong.  We have been taking time to “do something at the end of each book”, for example retelling the story to ourselves, retelling a favorite part, rereading the book…just to name a few.  We have been also learning new habits for tacking hard or tricky words.  We are thinking about (when we get to a tricky word): What looks right? What sounds right?, and What makes sense?  The running start is one of our favorite strategies.  Readers should always reread as they are tackling a hard word.  We have also begun working with reading partners to practice good reading habits and also to develop strong book talk.

In math we are making great discoveries about numbers.  Some of the children have begun to discover shortcuts or “rules’ for the rest of us to use when solving math problems. Many of these concepts are helping us to solve more complicated multi step math problems.  We have been working on decomposing numbers and part/whole relationships.  We are beginning to work with doubles and near doubles.

Our first Mystery Reader will be Friday, September 29th. Please try to keep the “Mystery” in mystery reader, it really adds to the excitement.  Please let us know if you still need to sign up for a Mystery Reader date.

Other notes of importance:

  •  Birthday Snack – We love celebrations!  Keep in mind the celebration should be 10-15 minutes. For our birthday celebrations this year, we invite you to join our class and share a special treat of your child’s choice during snack time. Please give us a week’s notice to plan a celebration, and remember, goodie bags are not permitted during school celebrations.
  • Changes to dismissal need to be given in writing.  Please send a note either weekly or the morning of a dismissal change.
  • Please be sure to label your child’s belongings such as jackets, sweaters, water bottles, lunch boxes, and snacks.  This is very helpful when something goes missing.

As always thank you so much for all of your support!  Please feel free to reach out with any questions, comments, and our delights.

All the best,

Kristin and Sarah

Preview Night May 25th TONIGHT! 5:00-7:00 See schedule below

flyer for preview night copy

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Take a brief view of next year’s curriculum 
across the content/specialty areas.

• Teachers will present work/expectations/goals across the year for next years class/grade.

• Music, Art, Science, PE and Technology will provide a curriculum overview for their specific subject with presentations for Grades 1-2 and 3-5.

• 5th Grade Families will participate in a Workshop with Josh and Gina – Transition to Middle School

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Spring First Grade Curriculum

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 11.12.31 AM.pngHello Spring!

Just a quick update to fill everyone in on what we have been working on in first grade.

In writing we are doing the very exciting work of writing realistic fiction stories. Creating characters, imagining adventures and working to get their characters out of trouble we have been hard at work as authors. Specifically, we have been adding details, making our characters move, think and feel.  We are working hard to bring our stories to life.  We are currently working on writing a series of books that feature the same characters.  We have learned that series authors have big jobs to do.  We look forward to sharing our Realistic Fiction Series with you in the coming weeks!

Vision Screening for Grades K and 1


Screen Shot 2017-01-09 at 9.50.43 AM.pngDear Lower Lab Families – Grades    K-1

On February 2nd the Department of Health will come to the school to test the vision of the Kindergarteners and the First Graders.

It is important that your child be present.

If your child wears glasses, please make sure that he/she brings them on that day.

Sincerely –     Hugues Recamier, School Aide