First Grade News


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on January 13, 2017

To honor Martin Luther King this week, our 4th grade buddies came in and helped us make a book about him.  We read books and talked a lot about words we would use to describe this American Hero.  Our buddies helped us come up with some good details.  We also practiced new ways to greet our friends in the morning.  

Sight word notebooks were sent home today.  When sight word sheets come home, encourage your child to add it to this notebook and practice these words at home.  Sight words are words we can not sound out and they are common words we use a lot so we have to memorize them!

We also started our unit on Bears and Habitats.  The children gathered in small groups and told stories of bear sightings.  Then we looked through some interesting bear books and drew pictures of their habitats.

We are writing and reading a lot of non fiction stories these days.  Ask your child about the things he/she is an “expert” about.  We are writing these stories at school now just like real authors of “expert” books.

Happy long weekend!

Happy New Year!


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on January 6, 2017

We eased back into our New Year in first grade by sitting down to paint snow friends.  It was a lot of fun to get out the paint and be creative.  They are now hanging in our classroom and look very pretty.

We also started a unit on reading Jan Brett books for Read Aloud time.  She has so many beautiful winter stories.  This week we read The Mitten.  Children worked with partners to create the characters in the story.  Then we painted, cut them out, labeled them, and created a winter scene for the bulletin board outside our classroom.  Come take a look at it!  It is based on the story.

We have some new math games in the classroom.  They are all reinforcing the math concepts we are working on everyday, adding and subtracting within 10.  By the end of first grade, we hope all first graders know combinations of 10, doubles facts, and +0 and +1 facts.  Here are some kids at work learning our new games.

We started a new unit in writing.  We are now writing non-fiction stories.  Today the kids spent a long time just reading non-fiction texts to become familiar with how they are different from fiction.

We also had a student teacher join our classroom this week.  Harper will be with us from Antioch University on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  We are happy to have her join our class for the next several months.

Have a great weekend!

Happy Holidays!


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on December 23, 2016


We worked so hard this week to finish our books about our families.  After they were done, each child found a partner to read the book to.  We talked about all the ways our families are similar and different.  We have different traditions, holidays, favorite places and foods. Our families look different and believe different things.  But each family is special, loves us and is important to us.  What a great lesson to learn.  Deb helped us wrap the books up into pretty boxes, which you should have seen coming home yesterday with a snowman picture on top.  I hope you love the hard work your child put into making this book for you.  They were so proud carrying them out of school yesterday!  Happy Holidays to you all, see you in the New Year for more learning and fun.






Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on December 8, 2016

We have started our study of America and the symbols that represent our country.  Yesterday the kids made flags that you will see coming home today.  On the back is a copy of the Pledge of Allegiance and a poem called Liberty.  The words in the Pledge mean different things to different families.  This is a great opportunity for you to talk to your child about what it means to you.

We worked in groups to discuss what each color in the flag means.  Groups presented their ideas to the whole class.

Thanks for the maps you worked on at home.  The kids shared them with their friends and we learned about places in the world that are important to our families.

Look at these builders!  We learned how Washington DC is the Capitol of our country and then these builders went to work creating a Capitol in the block area.

Bethany and Mrs. Gallagher came in to do “Space Camp” with us again, teaching us how to respect each other’s personal space.

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And we have new fidget toys in the room to help us when we need a distraction or to help us focus and listen better.  Kids loved checking them out.

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Busy, happy days here at school!

We are also collecting mittens and hats for the Amherst Survival Center.  Please send in new or gently used items if you can before December 21.  Thank you!!




Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on November 22, 2016

This is one of my favorite days of the year.  I think the kids would definitely agree.  Kids came to school in pajamas with stuffed animals, favorite books and cozy blankets, ready to settle in for a long day of reading.  We started the day at our morning meeting practicing how to introduce someone by introducing our beloved stuffed animals to the class.



We learned how to read a recipe and we all helped out by adding something to our crock pot of hot chocolate that simmered in the room for most of the day.   dscn0438 dscn0436 dscn0435

We had lots of independent reading time.

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We also had two surprise guest readers come to our class.


We got to drink some of that warm hot chocolate right after a cold recess outside and raised our glasses in a toast to friendship.

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We made Thanksgiving cards for our families and talked about all the things our hearts are grateful for.

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We finally met our 4th grade reading reading buddies.  Each first grader was partnered up with a fourth grade friend to read to.  They started out interviewing each other and then chose books to read together.

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As you can see, lots of fun reading today!!  Happy Thanksgiving to all.

First Grade News


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on November 18, 2016

Have you heard about our dance parties?  Sometimes I forget to highlight the fun parts of first grade.  Several times a days a dance song goes on and the kids know it’s time to clean the room and dance to the rug before the song is over.  It’s a lot of fun.  We’ve collected some pretty fun dance songs over the year.  Ask your child about a favorite one.  Here are some pics of the kids dancing along to a yoga song about greeting the sun with a sun salutation.

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The votes have been counted.  We are now proudly being called “The First Grade Lightning Bolts”.


We also learned about partner reading today.  “Elbow to elbow, knee to knee, I read to you, you read to me….”  Pairs joined up to choose books to read to each other.

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We have started our next unit on mapping.  This week we read an excellent book called “Me On The Map”. We worked together to make a map of our school and put it up on our bulletin board in the hallway.  Then children made a book about where in the world they lived.  We looked at and studied maps of our town, state, country, continent and world.  Those beautiful books went home yesterday.  Make sure to have your child read it to you.  Next week, your child will bring home family homework to talk about places in the world that are important to you.

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Coming up next Tuesday:  Pajama Day!  This is a favorite day for all of us.  Cozy pajamas, favorite stuffed animals and blankets, slippers and books are all encouraged to come to school with your child on Tuesday.  It is our all school read-a-thon day.

Have a great weekend!



First Grade News


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on November 9, 2016

Here are some pictures of the beautiful animal/fairy houses the children made out of pumpkins with Miss Sherri while I was gone.

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Look at us all dressed up for Character Day!  We were dressed up as favorite characters from books we love in honor of Halloween.



The election may have been quite controversial in our country, but it was a happy day in first grade.  Children filled out voter registration cards to make sure they were eligible to vote.  (You had to be at least 6 years old and a member of LES First Grade.)

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We created a ballot box and a ballot question.  What should be our class name?  The First Grade Lightning Bolts or the First Grade Cheetahs?  Each child was able to cast a vote.

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At the end of the day we counted out ballots and it was a tie!  We are waiting for a couple classmates to return to school and then we will add their absentee ballots to the pile to see if we can come up with a winner.  We’ll let you know the results soon!


First Grade News


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on October 14, 2016

Look at what we are learning about in writing.  Ask your child what tips they are learning to make their writing come to life.  We are writing small moment true stories.


Writers at work….

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After each writing time we have Author’s Chair.  A few writers come up to share their writing and take questions and comments from the class.  It is a beautiful sharing time that is both community building and confidence building for these young writers.  They learn so much from each other and I always admire their bravery!dscn0313 dscn0314

Here is our new bulletin board showing what we are learning about with the changing seasons.  The kids worked together this week to create the pictures and writing.


Harvest Festival is tomorrow.  Hope to see you there!  As a reminder, I will be out the next two weeks on a family medical leave.  Sherri and Deb will be in charge in first grade.  They will do a wonderful job with the children.  Any questions, please be in touch with them.  Looking forward to seeing you at conferences on November 1 and 2.

First Grade News


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on October 7, 2016

Look at this chicken laying her eggs that showed up during out morning building time.


We were so lucky to have former LES teacher, Dorothy Croswell, come to school this week with her Curious Giraffe show.  She sang beautiful meaningful songs with the children and a good time was had by all of us.  dscn0275 dscn0283 dscn0284 dscn0286

We finished our study of insects and have moved on to a study of the changing seasons.  To kick of this unit we all went outside to observe a tree outside our classroom window.  We noticed the changes happening to it and drew what we saw.  We will go back to this tree in three months and do the same activity, noticing how its changed over time.

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Thank you for coming in this week for Open House!  Meeting families is always one of my favorite days of the year.  Thanks for taking the time to come get a look at your child’s day at school.  I hope you enjoyed your visit.



Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on September 30, 2016

This week we said goodbye to our insect friends.  We set our milkweed bugs free in the courtyard last Friday.  Then we showed up on Monday to find 10 brand new butterflies had emerged from their chrysalis over the weekend.  We wished them well and set them free today.

We made beautiful insect trioramas to show what we have learned about an insect’s habitat.

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Our new math game of the week is called Rolling For 50.  Ask your child about it.

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Have you heard about our meditating table?  I used to call it the calming table, but the kids wanted to rename it.  So we did.  This is what they came up with.  It’s a place to go when you are feeling strong emotions and you need a little quiet time.


Look at this beautiful design created during Math Workshop.


Thanks for coming together and sharing all the great ideas for Harvest Festival.  Looking forward to seeing everyone next week for Open House, Wednesday, October 5th at 5:30.

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