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!



November 16th

First time playing with robots!

I ordered 3 sphero mini’s for the class and it was our first time getting to try them out on Friday! They are a ton of fun and a great first robot! Below are two mini videos showing the kids play. If you are interested in some Christmas presents I highly suggest one of these! – Amazon – Promo video

Kids videos



The kids have been working on solving addition words problems, and will start subtraction next week. They have also been working on finding multiple ways to solve a problems that has the same answer; ex: 4+4 and 5+3 =8

Readers and Writers

Non fiction has been a ton of fun and they love sharing what they have learned and creating their own books. We have talked about sounding smooth and lively while reading. Ask them to do some “parmesan cheese” reading and see what they say!


Please check out the link that is in the email for photos from the field trip.

Thank you SOOO much again for all the families who came to help! The kids were amazing and couldn’t have asked for a smoother day.

November 1st

The kids have had a ton of fun learning about shapes and how they can combine them to make different objects. We spent the last week building “quilt” designs where they had different shapes to make an array pattern.
We finished up our second unit today, an update from unit 3 will be posted next week.

Readers workshop
We finished up our small moments units and have just begun non-fiction. We will begin looking at how these texts are organized and how we can use a table of contents to find out specific information. There are often times new content specific vocabulary that may be difficult to read, but they are often super engaged and love to talk about what they have learned.

Writers workshop
We are making our own teaching books, and this week has been an amazing opportunity to find out some more of the kids interests. They will be looking into creating their own non-fiction chapter books where they can teach their peers.

We have also just finished our unit on the Brain! It was an amazing chance for students to get the chance to make learning authentic and look for ways they use their brain, while also looking for ways to improve ourselves while learning about being persistent and resilient when facing new challenges! The next few weeks will focus on word inquiry and getting ready for our Christmas concert!!

October 12

Writer’s Workshop

This week was our last final week (we will finish next week) to work on their small moment books. They have picked their two best books, and working on editing and revising them to make them the best they can be!


They have really enjoyed working on the brain and got to make a fun brain hat this week. They are learning about how different parts of the brain can do different things, with focusing how we have a left and right side, along with things the brain is control of such as breathing, moving body parts, etc.

The kids have been doing a great job at learning about shapes and all of their qualities. They are able to sort and describe shapes and played a game of what’s my rule where they classify different shapes into two piles and the other have to “guess the rule.”



October 5th

Wooohooo we had our first assembly!!

They were all super nervous before hand, but went on stage and knocked it out of the park! They loved all the games and were full of excited smiles the whole time.

We have started learning about shapes and using tangrams to realize how larger shapes are made up of smaller shapes. They took hope a page today to find some rectangles at home as well.
Click the math tab at the top to see the information on our new unit.

Readers workshop
They will take home a bookmark on Monday during conferences. We are working on making sure all of our “post it” notes are becoming habits and something we do without even thinking about ti!

Writers workshop
We have talked about reading like a writer and how we can look at what amazing authors do how use those same ideas to add amazing craft moves into own books.


September 28th

Seems like time has literally been flying by the past few weeks!

Readers workshop

The kids have really begun to build up their reading time and focus. We have been working on building their good reading habits such as doing sneak peaks and doing something at the end. When reading at home you can ask them to take more sneak peaks about what they think will happen next.
We have also begun to to work on strategies for hard to read words.
We will be sending home a bookmark with you next Monday during conferences. Please keep this close so they can use it as a resource each time they read.
Their stories have been coming along real well and are using tricks such as labeling pictures, adding speech or wondering bubbles, and adding emotions so we can understand how they felt during that moment.
We have found a few more ways to make the /a/ and /i/ phonemes (sounds) it is great to see them take control of their learning and discover the patterns we have in English.
We have just finished up our first unit and will send home their tests this week for you to sign and return.
Assembly on Friday!!!
We have started practicing this week and they are beyond excited! I may send home a paper if they need a little extra practice at home. We are super excited to have you all on Friday from 8:20 in the auditorium.
Again thank you so much for all your help, we could not have had so many ideas without you!



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.

Welcome to 1st grade 2018-19

Welcome video from Miss Gerken and myself:


About myself:


All about Grade 1:

Questionnaire to help me get to know your child better:



We have been practicing our writing and the kids are LOVING writing with fountain pens. They are all doing a great job… just working on having them continue that handwriting in other places.

We have started working on our insect research project, they have chosen their groups and will begin researching next week. We may ask them to finish a little bit at home with you as well if we run out of time.

We have been learning a little bit about place value and how we carry over when we get to 10. We have had some fun math games and they are really enjoying it. We have also learned how to skip count by 2, 3, 5, and 10.

Science fair
6th grade invited us to come see their science fair presentations. They have a lot of fun ideas and hopefully sparked some sciencey thoughts!