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!


Week of April 16th

Readers workshop
We have been working on connecting what lessons we have learned about and how they may be similar or different to other books we have read.

We have started patterns and the kids had a ton of fun making different kinds of patterns using blocks and their bodies. Check the math tab for new info about the unit.

We have started learning about plants and insects and did a fun experiment on Friday to see how water goes up the stems of celery.



Week of April 9th

Readers workshop
This week we talked a lot about the lessons we learn from books such as working together is better than working by ourselves, or that we should try to think of our friends perspectives and how they are feeling when we make choices.

Writers workshop
We have been adding chapters to our realistic fiction stories and the kids are really enjoying the opportunity to have their characters solve new and different problems.

We are working about a 4 part art project while doing a self portrait that uses 4 styles of art. This week we focused on pointillism.

We have started working on color and will do body movement patterns and number patterns next week.

Field trip!
The kids had a ton of fun and thanks so much to the volunteer moms!

Week of April 2nd

Writers Workshop
The kids have been LOVING writing and its hard to get them to stop. We have been creating series books where kids are on their 3rd~ book using the same characters/setting/etc. We have talked about how we can expand on the same info and create new problems and or trouble for our characters to solve.

If they want to create stories at home and share them in class they are more than welcome to as well. We love having a book basket of student created books to share in our classroom.

Readers Workshop
We have been looking at how authors are like directors and teach us how to read their stories by using commas and words such as whispered or screamed. We have been talking a lot about going back and making our reading more smooth or to fix the way we say things to build fluency.

We finished unit 6 today and will be starting unit 7 Monday. Please sign and return their math tests by Monday.

Upcoming events

Please check the email about world book day!

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.