Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Dear families,

Sorry for the delay in blog posts. The end of the year always flies by with many events and deadlines.

We have just finished with Unit 3 and will begin Unit 4 upon returning, the info for Unit 4 is here or accessible from the top bar under the Math section.
They had a ton of fun learning about some word problems as well as using learning tools to help them solve addition and subtraction problems. We had a few talks about making sure to really read and understand the problem so they will know if it is an addition or subtraction problem.

Readers Workshop
The kids have been doing a great job at learning to be enthusiastic non-fiction readers. They are learning to build up their fluency by reading like they are in an adventure. We came up with “putting some parmesan cheese on it”, or “give it some more flavor” as ways to make our reading more exciting. We have talked about using the table of contents and how we can begin to look for information.
Over break make sure to give them reminders about building their good reading habits and using their book mark for reminders and/or goal setting. Especially sneak peaks and doing something at the end.

Writers Workshop
Their books are really coming along and will finish shortly after returning from break. They have shown so much progress and amazing to see how much more they are writing. They have really begun to show a desire and motivation to want to write which is so great to see! Our next step is making sure to go back and re-read what we wrote so we can work on our editing skills.

Christmas Concert
Thank you for all your support and encouragement at our concert, the kids all worked so hard and put on such an amazing show!

Tech practice
If you child gets computer time we are working on typing in websites. They can practice typing in: and going to Teach Your Monster To Read.

Spirit Week
They all dressed up so lovely and had a ton of fun celebrating school spirit!



First week of first grade 2018

We had an AMAZING first week at school. Everyone has gotten along so well, and are so helpful to everyone. They are beginning to make new friendships and have been doing a great job of trying to include everyone.

They were able to come up with their own classroom rules and are starting to take ownership of their choices. We will be working a lot on independence and taking ownership over our actions throughout the year. There is so much learning to do in addition to academics in first grade.

The week was mostly spent on doing some social skills, learning classroom routines, and getting to know each other, as well as me getting to see where everyone is academically. We will start some of our core subject lessons from next week.


Details about our upcoming math unit are posted along the math tab at the top.


Questionnaire to help me get to know your child better: (if you have not done so yet)



Tips for reading with your child

(This has also been added to Readers’ Workshop post section at the top)

Throughout the year I will post a few updates about what you as parents can do to assist your child.

For the first few weeks our goal is to help them to love reading. We will be learning how to pick a “just right book” throughout the year, although sometimes they may still come home with books that are to hard for them (especially towards the beginning when any book is ok at the moment).

Here are some ideas of what you can do to help them at home. Some tips can be exchanged between each group but tried to organize them a little to help.

If they don’t know most the words
Read the pictures – have them describe in detail what is happening in the pictures and see if you can see any words that match (if there is a pizza in the picture look for that word)

We will start something called a picture walk soon which is where we go through the pictures and tell our own story.

Have them pick out words they do know such as simple sight words: a, the, at, home, etc.

Feel free to read the book along with them pointing to the words and maybe helping them sound out easy to read words.

If they know some words

Have the read the words they can and use strategies such as sounding it out, looking for word patterns, using the picture, etc. Whatever tools they are most comfortable with when coming upon a hard to read word. We will be going over new strategies throughout the year that will help them with this as well.

If they know all the words 

Encourage them to read the book once, and again to see if they notice anything different. Also ask questions listed below.

Additional skills/questions to ask them

Connect prior knowledge – Ask them what they already know about the subject before they open the book.

Make a prediction – Ask them what they think will happen next.

Connections – Ask them questions such as do you have any connections (Have you been to a park like that?)

Retelling – Have them retell important parts of the story

Characters – Have them describe or tell about the traits of characters in the story.

Week of March 12th

We had a crazy crazy exciting day on Friday while we were Leprechaun hunting. We search all over and he made a mess of our room a few times and even left some green footprints and handprints around the room. Unfortunately he escaped at the end of the day… It was quite a fun and exciting day…. feel free to keep the search at home as well!


Writers workshop
They have been blowing me away with the amount of writing they are doing! They are in LOVE with fiction books! This week we talked about creating series books and creating new books using the same characters, but getting into new problems!

Readers workshop
We are studying characters more and more and finding out how different characters connect. We have been reading the first of the Magic Tree House Series as a class and using out new tools during read aloud and buddy reading.

We have been working on different combinations and taking that to the next level with questions such as:

I have 10 crayons
I have 4 red and the same amount of blue and green.
How many do I have of each?

I have 12 crayons.
I have the same amount of green, blue and purple crayons.
How many do I have of each?

They have been doing super well and am very impressed!

Ours schedule for Japanese Culture Day.



Week of February 26th

Hopefully everyone enjoyed the wonderful sunshine toward the end of this week.
On Thursday afternoon 1P and 1G got a chance to go to the main building rooftop so we could get some sunshine and read outside for a class period. It was nice to get some fresh air and spend some time reading with new buddies or by ourselves with the sun rays!

Week of January 29th

We are sending home a dream journal where kids can write down 2 (or more) dreams they have over the next week!

We have finished our last unit, and did our pre assessment on measurement!

Kids are working on finding ways to help improve their understanding. This we touched on…
If you aren’t sure what’s going on then we need to go back and reread.
You can play a movie in your head to replay what you just read, or create one while you read.
We need to keep track of who is saying what and looking for quotations.

I was SO impressed with their writing this week! They have gotten started so quickly and remained on task while staying super engaged. They love doing opinion writing and writing reviews to help convince their readers.
They also showed a lot of improvement in helping their friends edit. They have been working so well together to find ways to improve their writing.

The kids are really curious about the brain and we learned how it is divided into several parts and how each part focuses on different skills.


Week of January 15th

This week we talked about what hard to read word strategies and finding out when some may be most useful such as “does it make sense” “does it sound right” or “does it look right”. When they know what may be wrong they can then find a more focused in solution.

We finished up our opinion writing about our collections and will move on to reviews next week. This week we talked about how to ask friends for quotes and using quotation marks, as well as how to politely disagree on something.

We planned and conducted our very own surveys where we asked the class.

We have begun learning about the brain and the kids have shown a ton of interest! They are asking tons of questions and it has been fun seeing how our brain works and how sometimes it even tries to trick us!

Week of December 11th

Hope everyone has an amazing holiday!!!

We hope you all like your ornaments and snow globes, and thank you to first grade families for the gift. I can’t say thank you enough! We appreciate everything and the kids loved having you all help for the pot luck!

The kids had a wonderful last week, had tons fun dressing up and celebrating the holiday season!























Week of October 9th

In Readers and Writers we have started learning about non-fiction.

Writers Workshop
We have discussed the differences between writing small moment stories about our lives, and now learning how to write “how-to” stories such as: how to take care of a dog, or how to play basketball. We have also talked about how to books, where events come in a sequence.

Readers Workshop
The kids have been super into non-fiction books and starting to identify how we read the two types of books. We looked at the table of contents and they loved seeing how we could look for information and then go right to that page, they kept coming up and showing me all the new things they have learned!
This week we talked about doing your sneak peak but now looking at a few pages and using the information on the title page as well.


This week we started learning about designing some quilts using different patterns, while also identifying what shapes are hidden inside the designs as well. They were quick to pick up on the patterns and repeat them over and over like a real quilt.

Word inquiry
This week we looked at words that end in a y, and all the different sounds it can make! Here are a few examples below, and an attached picture.

fly – /i/
happy – /e/
play – /ay/
toy – /y/


First week! 2017-18

They made it!!!
It was an awesome first week and can see a lot of great friendships forming.
This week was spent getting to know each other, going over routine and learning about the classroom and school.
I am also working on meeting with everyone so that I can get to know them better and find out their specific skills. Over the next week or two we will be doing some pre-assessments to find out what each child knows and areas where we can help them progress. This was way can create a curriculum that meets the needs of each child and their specific needs.
Next week we will start unit 1 in math, there is a link below or you can look just above this post to find the math tab. Each unit we will post these sheets to help you stay informed.
We did start our readers and writers workshops and the kids started creating some of their own stories and will learn how to staple and connect their pages next week.
At the end of the day Friday we talked about doing a sneak peak while reading. We look at the covers and make predictions about what this book will be about. We talked about taking our time and trying to make connections between pictures and words and also noticing small details in the cover art. It would be great if you could ask them to do little sneak peaks at home when reading as well!
Again so sorry for all the information! This should be almost all of it at this point! Hopefully spreading it out has helped!
Montessori will be dismissing at normal time next week, so need the fine arts building foyer totally empty. We ask that all parents wait outside the fine arts building till our dismissal time. Grade 1 classes will then enter the foyer and we will dismiss from the doorway.
Tote bag
If you would like to send your child with a tote bag to keep at school to help them carry their water bottle and lunch to the cafeteria you are free to do so. This makes it easier for them to keep their belongings together (and not get dropped) while walking down the stairs to the cafeteria.
Starting next week the kids will pick a book from our classroom to bring home each night. We ask that you use this as a bonding time to enjoy books with your child. I have posted a little info if you would like about reading with your child.
Again our biggest goal for them in the beginning of the year is to get them to love books, pick apart more details in the pictures. The more they love books the easier reading becomes!
Math Unit 1 info
If you could please fill out this questionnaire (printed or via word) by next Friday that would be wonderful. We are curious to know more about your child and their home life as well.

If you could just bring their library book to school on their library day, this way they can get a new book each week. You are also welcome to come in before and after school to check our or look at library books.
This week we will focus on bringing home books and giving them a chance to enjoy reading. The following week we will be sending home a few words a week to practice.