Hot off the Press!


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on May 17, 2018

We just finished opinion writing.  One of the things we learned how to do was write a review.  At one of our writing lessons, one of the kids said , “We should create our own newspaper!”  Mrs. Gravina helped us make that happen.  Click on the picture below to see what these convincing writers came up with!

Exploring the Pond


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on May 16, 2018

Last week our class took a trip out to the vernal pool to observe pond life.  We brought checklists so we could identify and keep track of what we found.

When we came back in, we created a list of questions we have about pond life.  We observed what we had collected in our small classroom vernal pool.  We haven’t had any luck this year hatching eggs into tadpoles.  If you have any tadpoles in a pond near you, please consider sending a few to first grade so we can watch them grow and then release  them back into nature.

Today we went to Leverett Pond.  We brought an observation sheet with us so we could record:

“I see…  I hear…  I think…  I wonder… ”

We will take our observations and make them into a book for our first grade friends at Erving Elementary School.

Serious Scientists

Silly Scientists

In other news, we finished our unit on opinion writing and have a big surprise coming out for you soon.  Hot off the press…..  but not quite ready yet to share.


We began our unit on poetry writing by honoring our moms with a hand written poem and card.

We’ve also been reading different versions of “The Fox’s Foray”, a classic folktale written back in the 1800’s and retold over generations.  Here is the video version to watch with your child:


What kind of character is the Fox?  Positive?  Negative?  Or maybe both?  We are reading the poem and book version, and watching the video to collect examples to back up our opinions.

Field trip permission slip went home today.  Look for it in the backpacks!


The Pond


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on May 4, 2018

We have frog eggs!   One friend even found a frog that was already dead in the pond and brought that in to share!  Some found it fascinating, others a little gross….  My favorite comment, “Look!  It’s the complete life cycle!”  Yes, that is the point.  It’s so exciting to observe.  I went out to the vernal  pool with several of the kids and we collected pond water to add to our tub to create a safe home for them.  The kids are so excited to watch them grow.

We have a field trip planned to the Hitchcock Center on Thursday, May 24th to learn more about pond life.  I will send more information soon!

Stay cool!


Classroom News


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on April 30, 2018


We had a building challenge last week.  Use the materials provided to come up with your own creation.  Come back to the rug and present your work to the class.

Our Courtyard Keepers are back in action!  Thanks to our expert gardener and former LES teacher, Deb Brazeau, for the donations of plants.

It was Liz’s last day on Friday!  She returns to UMASS to graduate.  We sure will miss her.

We also finished our unit of study on People Who Worked For Justice.  Children wrote about famous people in the history of the USA who showed courage and a belief in justice for others.  Then they chose one favorite person to create a mobile of.  We read our work to our friends and put it on our bulletin board for all to see.  We also wrote letters to Ruby Bridges to tell her how much we admire the courage she had as a first grader when she integrated into her school in 1960.  Please come in to read the children’s letters.  They are so beautiful.

Most importantly, a HUGE THANK YOU to all Leverett families, especially our School Committee members, for your support of our school at Town Meeting this weekend.  The children and I appreciate all you do for our school.  !!



Building Challenge and Wish List


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on April 11, 2018


Walking around and observing the kids at work, I loved listening to their conversations as they worked together.  I overheard one team say, “We are a good team.  We are good builders.  We cooperate.  We listen to each other.  We combine each other’s ideas and make something even better!”  I couldn’t have said it any better.  Once again, the kids remind me it’s not always about the final product, sometimes the process is where the best learning takes place.  Today we learned how to:  Ask Questions.  Imagine.  Plan.  Create.  Improve.  And, most importantly for these kids, work together cooperatively as a team.


As you can see, we have some wonderful builders in our class.  But our supplies are running low.  We would LOVE donations of any of the following materials for our Creation Station and our Building Challenges.

  • TAPE:  masking, duck, clear…any kind of tape
  • popsicle sticks
  • buttons
  • pipe cleaners
  • string, yarn, twine
  • fabric pieces or felt
  • low temp, mini glue gun refills
  • glue sticks
  • interesting recycled containers kids can turn into something cool
  • paper towel or toilet paper tubes
  • any craft items (like jewels or pom poms) that you may find at a dollar store

THANK YOU for supporting our young artists and designers!!!!

First Grade News


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on April 6, 2018


 Look who came into our classroom today!  We had a Nigerian Dwarf Goat visit from Case’s farm.  What a wonderful way to start our Friday.  She is just 10 days old and we got to pet her and ask all kinds of questions.  We all fell in love with this beautiful baby goat and we wrote about her later in our Fabulous News journals.    

We also added a new hero to our timeline of People Who Worked For Justice.



Some block builders added on another room to one of our Bear dens.  The kids have been using them for a cozy reading corner.

First Grade News


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on March 30, 2018

It’s been a busy couple weeks in First Grade!  Here is a quick overview on what we have been studying.

Bear Museum


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on March 7, 2018

Thank you to everyone who came to First Grade today to celebrate our Bear Museum with us!  How proud we were to show you all our work.  🙂  Here are some pictures of us preparing for the big day:

And here are some photos from the kids this morning for all who couldn’t join us.  It was quite a success!

First Grade News


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on February 14, 2018

WOW!  We’ve had a lot of fun projects going on this week.  Thanks for all the AMAZING 100 Days of School projects the kids brought in to share.  We had such fun sharing them and giving questions and compliments to the creator.

  We wore glasses, played math games and colored buttons to celebrate the big day.

We also finished publishing our first Teaching Books.  The kids brought them home to share with you, after reading them to friends at school.  Please return them to school so they can proudly be on display in our classroom library.

Work on our Bear Museum has started!!  Today we took out the paint brushes and started working on our displays.

Most exciting, of course, was Valentines Day!  Oh the joy when the kids all sat down to make Valentines to give to their families and then read notes friends had written to them.  They were so happy.  🙂

Busy, busy days!!  So exciting to share them with your children.  Have a wonderful winter break next week!

First Grade News


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on February 9, 2018

Hello, Families!

100 Days of School is coming on Tuesday!  What does 100 look like?  Look at these great projects that have come into school already!  The kids have been so proud sharing them with the class.


We worked together to make our own 100 Day of School project.  The kids wrote 100 ways to be kind on little hearts and we put them up in the hall.  Please come read them!  It will make your heart happy, for sure.  🙂

Our Bear study continues.  We are learning how to read and get information from an informational text.


We are trying to get creative with ways to learn and memorize our sight words.  This week we took out some salt trays to try making our words in them.

More builders!

We continue to work with numbers, breaking them into parts, and trying to find small groups that can be put together to make larger numbers.

And, of course, we opened up the Valentine Center this week.  So much fun!!



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