April 5th

Writers and Readers Workshop
Students have been working hard on creating their own series fiction books. They are working on character development which will connect between their different texts. While reading they have been trying to find series books and see how they teach about character and see how their personalities are similar between books (friendly, clumsy, grumpy etc.). We have been having a lot of conversations about how books can be our teachers and how we need to see how famous authors write, and see how can use those same ideas in our books.


We have been working on building patterns and also looking at number patterns. We have talked about our “penny jar” and creating patterns where we add more or take away some counters from a jar/the paper. We have even switched it up to where they start on a different number to check and see if they can still notice patterns that are not as common. Example rather than 3, 6, 9, 12 doing 2, 5, 8, 11

We are starting our flowers and insects unit. We have just gotten our pre assessments done and are looking forward to being scientist when planting plants and examine seeds. We will also be working on our big research project where we will look into different insects and see how plants and insects work together.

Makers Space
Makers Space has been a hit!!! They have been loving building their marble mazes with Mr. Levy. You will be surprised at their creativity when you bring them home next week.


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: tizmos.com/stmaur1p 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!