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1st Grade News 2019-2020

During the first week of school, we will be spending time going over classroom procedures and getting to know each other.    I can tell we are going to have a PAWSome year!

First graders have been off to a fantastic start!  We spent the first few weeks of school learning new routines and practicing the skills that we will need to make the classroom run smoothly.  With such a small class size we were easily able to learn the daily routine. If our schedule changes, students are quick to tell me it is different.   In Language Arts, we are very excited to be extending our expanded approach to language arts called Walk to Read.   We are lucky enough this year to be able to align schedules with grades 2, 3, 4, and 5.  During this During this time we are split into smaller groups to be able to work even closer to students needs.   We are still using the classroom structure called Daily 5. Students currently have the chance to choose between Read to Self and Read to Someone.  We spent a few weeks practicing the skills needed to make Walk to Read successful and have now been split into smaller groups for a few weeks. In the classroom we practice word sorts, which are sent home each week.  In Social Studies, we have been learning about the community and community helpers.


In First Grade, we continued learning about community helpers.  We concluded the unit by writing our own community helpers book.   Students worked very hard to write a rough draft, rewrite a final draft, and illustrate their page in our book. In Science,  we learned about our senses. We experimented with each sense and learned that we use many senses together. When asked what their favorite sense experiment was all of them enjoyed the taste test, but didn’t like tasting bakers chocolate!  We have also been learning about apples and pumpkins. We conducted many experiments including finding out whether apples and pumpkins float and comparing the insides of pumpkins and apples.  

In Language Arts, Walk to Read is going awesome!  Students have learned where they need to be, where they are going, and the expectations of each group.  It is very exciting to see all the meaningful learning happening! We continue to practice word sorts in the classroom.  It is beneficial for students to be practicing these sorts each night, as well as reading.  

As much as I hate to admit it the warmer fall weather will soon be gone.  As the weather gets colder it is important for students to dress appropriate to go outside.  We will be going outside each day unless it is raining or is below zero. Please send your child with appropriate clothing for the weather!   


First graders have been learning about America’s history and have read many books about Native Americans, Pilgrims, and the First Thanksgiving.  We have been comparing life today to life in the past and have learned that many things have changed! We took an artifact walk and looked at different pictures of artifacts from schools of the past.   Students enjoyed guessing what the items were and what they might be used for.  

In Math, first graders have continued to practice addition to 20.  We have practiced different strategies, such as adding doubles, doubles plus one, and making a ten to add.  After Thanksgiving break we will be learning different strategies to practice subtraction from 20.   

Please remember that the weather is getting colder.  Please have students dress appropriate to go outside.  We will be going outside each day unless it is raining or is below zero.   Also, please send in a pair of shoes for your child to change into.


December has been a busy month!  As always it has gone by way too fast.  In Math, we have been busy learning many new skills.   First graders have been learning different strategies to subtract from 20.  Students are starting to become more fluent with math facts to 20.  

In Social Studies, we have been learning about maps.  We have looked at many different types of maps and have been learning how maps are helpful tools.  Most recently we learned about the cardinal directions-north, east, south, and west. We learned two different ways to  remember the order of the directions. One way was a GoNoodle song Never Eat Soggy Waffles.  Another way to remember the order is by the phrase Never Eat Shredded Wheat


We had a very exciting Code Week in first grade! Not only did we participate in the whole school activities such as creating a Pixelated Code Week Banner and Code-a-Kabob, but we also did several unplugged activities as well as an hour of coding using Scratch Jr.  Our class was lucky enough to have Mrs. Placey come into our room and do a Gingerbread Coding activity with them. Students were very excited to try and trick their friends.  

This week we started out holiday craft. Students have really taking their time on the project and are excited to complete it and bring it home to their families. I hope that you have a relaxing and wonderful holiday!


January has been a bit of a mixed up month with winter assessments and a lot of sickness.  As long as weather permits we are getting outside each day for some fresh air and opening windows in hopes to get rid of germs.  First graders spent some time with the nurse learning about proper handwashing and reviewing why it is important to cover our cough with our elbows.  I am hopeful that everyone will start feeling better soon.  

In Math, we have been learning more about tens and ones.  First graders have been counting larger groups of numbers, making groups of tens, and learning about expanded form.  Soon we will be comparing larger numbers and solving to find out what number is 10 more or 10 less. 

In Science, we have been learning about animal groups.  We have read many books and have learned the characteristics of each animal group.  We are going to spend the next couple of weeks learning about ocean animals and their habitats in preparation for our field trip to Living Shores Aquarium!  Students are very excited about this trip and have started to count down the number of days until our trip! 

This year the 100th Day of School falls on our Early Release Day, which is Wednesday, February 5th.  Due to this Mrs. Hemon’s class and our class will be celebrating the 101st day of school this year. We are excited to be doing a 101 Dalmatians theme day!  More details about this will be sent home in a separate letter.


First graders have had a busy month of February.   We started the month off by celebrating the 101st day of school!  Our 101 Dalmatian theme was a real hit. Students dressed up in red, white, and black and enjoyed having their stuffed dogs with them throughout the day.   We made headbands with long ears and soon had a classroom full of dalmations!  

Although we had to reschedule our field trip a couple of times we were very excited to finally be able to go to the LIving Shores Aquarium!   Students enjoyed being able to participate in interactive tide pools. They were able to touch many different sea animals including stingrays, crabs, and nibble fish.   In the rainforest exhibit they were able to interact with tropical birds and see many other tropical animals such turtles, snakes, and frogs. One of the students favorite parts was a drawing station where they could bring their own sea creatures to life! 

When we haven’t been celebrating or on a field trip we have continued to learn about tens and ones.  First graders have been making groups of tens, learning about expanded form, comparing larger numbers and solving to find out what number is 10 more or 10 less. In Science, we continued to learn about animal habitats.  In Social Studies, we have started learning about famous people in history.