First Grade News


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on January 17, 2020

Welcome back to First Grade News!  The kids are happily back at school and ready to learn in 2020.

One of the first things we did when we returned from our break was finish up our study of American Symbols.  These wonderful creations, teaching what we learned about our favorite American Symbol, are hanging on the bulletin board outside our classroom.

We have now immersed ourselves in non fiction texts.  We are learning how to write teaching books about topics we are an expert on.

In science we are learning about animal adaptations, and the “superpowers” animals have to help them survive in their habitat.  In this activity, we learned about different kinds of bird beaks and why birds have different beaks to help them get food.

Today we had John Porcino visit our classroom.  He is here at LES through the STARS Grant, and will be doing a Storytelling Residency with all classes.  He will be teaching us how to be storytellers, using folktales from all around the world.  On our first day with him today, he taught us how to tell the world’s shortest story:  a joke!  The kids loved it!  Your child should be coming home today with a good joke to tell at the dinner table.  🙂

Our expert block builders of the week came up with quite a design!

Today we also read books about Martin Luther King, Jr. and watched part of his “I Have A Dream” speech on Pebble Go.  Ask your child to show it to you.  Then we traced our shoes and wrote on them ways we can “walk in his footsteps” by working for freedom and justice in our own lives.  We will tape them on the floor in our classroom as a reminder of this great man.  More photos later when our “Justice Walk” is complete!

Have a great weekend!

First Grade News


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on December 20, 2019

We have been working so hard the past couple weeks talking about America:  maps, people, families, jobs, diversity, symbols.  All the wonderful things that we have in common and the ways in which we are different.  Every first grader is coming home today with a surprise gift for their family, which I won’t say too much more about, besides how excited they are to share it with you.

Wishing you and your family a very happy holiday season.  It is such a gift to spend each day with these First Graders.  I hope you all have lots of fun and special family moments together over our school break.  See you in 2020!

First Grade News


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on December 6, 2019

We have been immersed in MAPS and the excitement is growing as we discover them all around us and talk about how useful they can be.

More 100 Boards

Our VIP shared a very special song with us today.

Pajama Day


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on November 26, 2019

Nothing is sweeter than spending a Read-A-Thon/Pajama Day in First Grade!

Super fun day for all our readers!

First Grade Map Makers


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on November 25, 2019

We are map makers!  Last week we learned how map makers often use blue and green to represent land and water.  Then we used markers, paint and clay to make our own representational maps.  At the end we shared our work with friends.

More 100 Boards!  The kids worked so hard on this project!!

Every morning we practice greeting one another using our eyes, a friendly voice and some kind of fun handshake.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving break!  I am so grateful for time at Leverett School with all of these wonderful First Graders!!

First Grade News


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on November 15, 2019

We continued building our mapping skills this week by learning about “bird’s eye view” and making a map of our classroom.  The children also started learning about coding during computer lab and used directional words like north, south, east and west to solve coding puzzles.

In Math we are learning about our numbers and how they all fit together to form patterns on the 100 Board.

Each week we have a VIP, a very important person, who gets up in front of the class to share something special from home and receive compliments from the class.

Today we made Native American Talking Sticks.  The colors we used have a very special meaning.  Ask your child to tell you about them.

Writing Celebration


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on November 8, 2019


The kids have been working hard since the beginning of the school year writing “Small Moments”, or true stories, about their lives.   We’ve learned lots of strategies about how to make our stories exciting.  We’ve been through the editing process. We spent lots of time “fancying up”  our stories and making them look beautiful for our readers. Today was the big day when we got to read our finished, “published”, books to our friends and bring them down to Ms. Rivers so she can display them in the library.    We received special certificates to honor all our hard work.   The students wrote comments to each other on the back.  Compliments about what each reader liked about their friend’s book.  This one says, “I like your action.  I loved your story.  I like your handwriting.”    

Writer’s Workshop is often more than a writing lesson.  It’s time when kids come together to support each other, learn from each other, make mistakes and learn how to make them better.  It’s when they learn to be brave.  It’s not easy reading your work in front of the whole class!  Today we gathered to share our feelings about our work.  I heard a lot of “I feel proud, excited, happy…”  But also, “I feel scared to put my book in the library.  What if the readers don’t know what I was trying to say?”  It takes courage!

And now they are all proudly displayed in the library.  Please come take a look at them!

We also started a new unit on MAPS for social studies.  How do maps help us?  Please look around for examples of maps and feel free to send in any you find with your child to share with the class.  More good teamwork in action below!


Halloween Fun!


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on October 31, 2019

Oh, the excitement in the room this week!  On Wednesday we had a design challenge:  How can we use a pumpkin to make a small house for an animal or a fairy?  The kids came up with the most creative ideas!  They used the “treasures” we found in the woods on Mountain Day and created such welcoming little homes.  I heard lots of shouts of, “This is gross!”  “This is so challenging!”  “Let me get my hands in your pumpkin so I can help you!” as the kids dug out all the pulp.  We put our final product in a little “museum” and walked around to see our friends’ ideas.

Today the fun continued with Book Character Day.  Look who showed up in First Grade today!

Wishing you a happy, safe, and somewhat dry Halloween!!

Mountain Day


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on October 25, 2019

Today was Mountain Day!  The first graders walked over to Leverett Pond and enjoyed a hike in the woods together.  On the way there we looked for “treasures”, or items from nature, that we could use to build a pumpkin fairy/animal house with next Wednesday.  We found so many cool things!  While we were there we had snack together “on top of the mountain” and looked out at the pond.  Then the kids had time to explore and play with friends.  When we got back to school we took our lunches outside and ate in the courtyard.  What a great day out in nature together!

First Grade News


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on October 17, 2019

Last week we planted pinwheels in front of our school to celebrate Peace Day.

Today was our field trip to the Eric Carle Museum!  We had a great time and I think the kids really enjoyed making art and learning more about how Eric Carle makes his award winning books for kids.  Please use the pictures to have your child tell you about the highlights of our trip.

Yesterday one young scientist brought in a wasp’s nest that he found in the woods.  The kids were so excited to take it apart and see what the wasps built inside.  It was fascinating!  Then we all wrote about what we saw like a scientist.  “I see……  I think…..  I wonder…..”

We also had some owls show up for snack time!

In science this week we also started talking about the seasons and what kinds of seasonal changes we see.

Lots happening in First Grade!

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