Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on September 25, 2017

Look for homework tonight in the backpack!

Also, beautiful Peace Assembly at school today.  Ask your child about it!  🙂

First Grade News


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on September 22, 2017

Thank you to all families who have sent coins in for our Hurricane Relief jar. The 6th Grade is organizing this school fundraiser to send cash donations to hurricane affected areas.  The first graders have been very generous and proud as they put coins in the jar from home.  A great way to teach them how important it is to help others in need.

  In preparation for our Peace Assembly on Monday, the kids and I created a poster about how we can be peacemakers in our classroom and in our families.  John Porcino, local storyteller and all around rock star to the kids, came into our classroom today to sing songs and lead us through some activities related to being a peacemaker.  He’ll also be at our assembly on Monday at 9:00.  Join us if you can.

Our first butterfly emerged today!  We’ve been studying the life cycle and the metamorphosis these insects go through.  This week we went outside on a bug scavenger hunt and made stick puppets to help us understand this big, fancy science word:  metamorphosis.

As always, here are pictures of our proud builders and creators.  This week we had more fidget spinners and even some pontoon boats and an elevator.  I can’t wait to see what they come up with next!

Have a great weekend.

What did you do in school today?


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on September 15, 2017

Wow!  It’s been a busy week.  I can’t believe how comfortable the kids are in the room, and we’ve only been in school for 12 days!  Here’s a peek into what we are learning….

In writing, we began the year learning that writers write about PEOPLE, PLACES and THINGS they love.  Last Friday it was a beautiful afternoon, so at writing time we took a walk out to the woods to a explore a shared PLACE that would make a great story.  When we came back to the classroom, there were many stories about the woods, the bridge and stream we saw and the stone wall we discovered.  Our school is in a beautiful place.

 Back in the classroom we are learning about how to write a story and the steps writers go through to get their ideas on paper.  

In math we are learning strategies to help us count accurately.  We are building patterns, sorting, counting on the 100 Board  and learning how to play new math games with friends.  

In reading we are learning about alphabetical order and we are exploring all  the book series in our classroom.  “Who Would Win” is a favorite.  Scholastic Book Orders went home today.  All your book purchases help us earn points to buy new books to add to our classroom library.  Thank you in advance for your order!  


In science we are learning about BUGS!!  We learned about the parts of an insect and how those parts help it survive and move in its environment.  We were scientists and observed the caterpillars and mealworms that we are caring for.  Today our caterpillars made a chrysalis!  That was exciting to watch.  

Finally, a huge shout our to our builders!  Each day we make sure to have building and design time.  Look at these creations!  We even have a group of fidget spinners.  


Have a great weekend!

First Grade News


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

We’ve been busy here at school getting comfortable with the first grade routines and connecting with old and new friends.  We are happy to have two new students join our class this year.

We spent some time setting goals for ourselves this year.  What are your hopes and dreams for first grade?

We talked about how each student is special, brave, and able to try their best in first grade.

We made a bulletin board to show everyone who the new first graders are and that we are studying insects in our classroom.

We worked in groups to decorate posters and talk about what our classroom rules are.

And what it looks like to be a great classmate.

We make sure to have fun everyday working with our friends to build or create.

We’re slowly starting to learn some new math games and we’re exploring the reading tubs we will use to learn this year.

Overall, it’s been a wonderful start to a new year and I hope your first grader feels the same way!

Welcome back to school!


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on August 30, 2017

Hello First Grade, Families!

This is our classroom blog.  Every week I will post pictures and stories from the classroom.  Please check it out to see what is happening at school for your first grader.  We had a great first day today!  We got to see our friends and learn some new names.  We read books about the first day of school and went outside to explore the playground.  We created some artwork for our bulletin board and used some of the building materials in our classroom.  Here are some pictures of our classroom:

This is me.  The kids call me Alissa and I am the first grade classroom teacher.

This is Marla.  She is our classroom assistant and will be with us each day helping students with their work.  Marla is also an amazing artist and will be helping the kids create visual journals this year.

Most excitedly, here is our brand new group of first graders.  We look forward to seeing them all back at school tomorrow!


Great Year!


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on June 23, 2017

It’s been such a wonderful end to our year in first grade together!  Our field trip to Northfield Mountain, our Author’s Breakfast and the heroic rescue of our class pet on Wednesday.  It was a very exciting day in the classroom.  So exciting, the class sat down and wrote a story together about it.  I had to share it with you so you could hear the full story.  There was a lot of cheering in first grade.  Hope you enjoy reading it and hope you have a fabulous summer with your soon-to-be second grader!


Bob’s Rescue

(written by First Grade with a little help from their teachers)

Once upon a time there was a first grade studying ponds.  Their teachers, Deb and Alissa, said, “Let’s get some tadpoles to have as pets.”  So Deb went to Leverett Pond to collect a blob of frog eggs and brought them into the classroom.  Soon after, one of the eggs hatched into a tadpole!  All the other eggs didn’t hatch for some reason, and the children became very attached to the surviving tadpole in their tank.  Every day the kids put in new water collected from the vernal pool on the playground.  Every day they fed their tadpole frozen lettuce.  The tadpole ate and ate and grew and grew.  The children loved to watch the tadpole and would gather around the tank first thing every morning.  One day they started calling him Bob.  He got fatter and fatter.  Suddenly, someone noticed he had back legs!  He was growing!  The kids were so excited.  Soon, he had his front legs.  He started to breathe oxygen with his new lungs.  One morning, the children came in to see he had lost his tail.  Overnight he had become a froglet! The children admired their new friend.  Soon the whole school new about Bob the froglet.  Children and teachers would come down to the first grade with curious eyes and say, “Can we see Bob?”  The class was amazed and joyful.  Bob, their froglet, was famous at Leverett Elementary School.  Deb kept saying, “He is a frog now.  He can hop.  We should return him to Leverett Pond.”  Alissa kept saying, “Oh, can we keep him for just one more day?  He’s so cute.  The children would miss him.”  


Then one day……


Deb and Alissa arrived at the classroom early one morning.  They leaned over the tank to say good morning to Bob and discovered BOB WAS GONE!  They searched everywhere for him.  They looked under the rug.  They looked around the tank.  No Bob.  The principal, Ms. Lacey, was the first to respond to their call for help in the search for Bob.  She reached into the tank with her bare hands and removed the rock he liked to hide behind.  No Bob.  She reached in again and ran her fingers through the leaves and muck at the bottom of the tank.  No Bob.  He could not be found.  Deb and Alissa looked at each other and cried, “Where is Bob?  What will we tell the children?”  Soon after, the children arrived and a new day began in first grade.  Deb and Alissa shared the sad discovery with the children.  Everyone looked worried and sad.  So the children gathered in a circle, passed a magic wand around and everyone shared a hope or wish for Bob, their missing friend.  To cheer everyone up, Alissa said, “Let’s go for a hike in the woods behind school.  It will be fun.”  And the children lined up and headed outside for an early summer hike together.


An hour later, as the class was returning to first grade, two fifth graders, Levi and Maddie, came running down the hallway yelling, “WE FOUND BOB!  He was on the blacktop at recess.  We found him and brought him back to your tank.”  The children cheered and rushed back to their classroom to look for Bob.  Everyone peered over the edge of the tank and within seconds Bob swam by!  IT WAS TRUE!!  The teachers invited the 5th grade heroes to come in and tell the children all about their heroic rescue.  The first graders asked questions and offered comments of gratitude to the rescuers.  They were so thankful to have their friend safe and sound back in the tank.  


Then Deb carefully transferred Bob into a container WITH A TOP, and put him into her car so she could give him a ride back to Leverett Pond.  So that is the story of first grade’s amazing water animal, BOB, who is now back at home in Leverett Pond.


Or is he…….??!!??  😎





This Friday!


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

  This Friday!  Please come to our Author’s Breakfast.  Come meet the authors!!  All these fabulous authors will be presenting their work.

And….you will even get to meet this guy, Bob, our class tadpole.  Have you heard about him?  He’s growing bigger by the day.


Hope you see you Friday!


Author’s Breakfast


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on June 2, 2017

Have you heard about our class pet?  Here is Bob, our tadpole.  Deb brought in a whole blob of frog eggs a few weeks ago, but only one has survived.  We’ve watched him grow and now we can see his back legs forming!  If you look really closely, you might see them!


We’ve been working on some pond books to follow up on the things we learned on our field trip.  The bulletin board outside our classroom is full of animals we made who live in different levels of the pond habitat.

Authors Breakfast is coming soon and the end of the year is quickly approaching.  It’s hard to believe.  When I look back at the year, I’m amazed at the great work the children have accomplished.  It’s time to celebrate!  The children will soon be making invitations to invite you to our Author’s Breakfast on Friday, June 16, from 8:45-10:00.  Each child will pick one story he/she has written this year to read to the group and then we will have a breakfast celebration afterwards.  We hope you can join us for all or part of this special First Grade writing celebration!

Field Trip Fun


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on May 12, 2017

We had a wonderful field trip on Thursday.  Another teacher asked our class how it went when we returned to school and a student said, “It was fabulous!”  I agree.  We all went to the pond at Northfield Mountain to dig deep in the mud in search of small critters who live there.  At first, it was hard to see the small insects, but once we did, the excitement started to build and children started filling their buckets with water striders, caddis flies, water bugs, tadpoles….and lots of other bugs.


Then we brought our buckets inside to put the insects under a microscope so we could observe what we saw up close.  We drew pictures of the most interesting bug we saw and labeled it.

After our pond program we had lunch in a yurt!

Then we took off for a hike in the woods!  We found a balance beam to walk across and a huge rock to climb for a class picture.  Our day ended with a special snack and a bus ride back to school.  Thanks so much to all the chaperones who joined us and helped out all through the day.

We celebrated Deb’s birthday this week!  She will be retiring this year from LES and we sure will miss her!

We also had a special visit from local author, Micha Archer.  She came in to teach the kids how to make paper and then how to use the paper to make a collage illustration.  We will use our illustrations to make a class poetry book.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Happy Spring!


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on May 4, 2017

Spring is here and flowers have been arriving in first grade every day!   In honor of spring’s arrival we went outside to draw the tree outside our door.  We’ve been observing it all year and drawing the changes that occur throughout the seasons.     We finished our Light and Sound unit by doing a project with light and how it travels through objects.  The kids made beautiful stained glass art that is hanging in our classroom windows.

  Now we are moving on to our study of Ponds in preparation of our trip to Northfield Mountain next week.  Their program is excellent.  The kids will be finding insects and plants that live in the pond, bringing them inside to observe under a microscope, and then setting them free back into nature.  We’ll also have some fun hiking in the woods and having a picnic lunch together.  Watermelon and lemonade to follow.  This week we did a craft that helps us understand the water cycle and how water accumulates in ponds.     We also have tadpoles in our room!  Deb found these in the vernal pool on our playground.  Do you have a pond near your house?  If you find any frog eggs, please send them into school so we can observe them grow.  We promise to take good care of them, learn from them and set them free soon.


We have also moved on to Opinion Writing.  The kids each brought in a collection from home of valuable items.  Now they are giving out awards like “Most Favorite”, “Most Valuable”……  and writing their opinion as to why each object deserves the award.  First Graders LOVE the chance to write about their treasured objects and share their opinions with classmates.

Next week we will have a visit from a local author!  Today we went outside with Lani for a “story walk”, where we walked in the woods and read the story “Daniel Finds A Poem”, which is a book about a boy who writes a poem after a walk in the woods talking to the animals.  We all loved the chance to get outside.  The book is posted on trees behind the Leverett Public Library if you’d like to take your own story walk.  It’s a sweet story your child can read with you.


Happy Spring, everyone!

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