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

Thank you so much for sending in the great family maps, highlighting the important places in the world for your family.  The kids have been coming up to share one at a time and have been so proud to share their family’s story with the class.

We went outside to our playground this week to learn about cardinal directions and tried to figure out what was on the north, south, east and west sides of our school’s playground.

Then we came back in the room to make a big map of our playground, helping each other decide where to place each object.

Then the kids set out to make their own maps, which you will see coming home today.  Each map had to have a key, title and compass rose pointing in the right direction.  Then we added ourselves in the playground on our favorite structure.

Some other creative builders this week:

Next week you will see some more family homework coming home to help us in our study of Families in America and Around the World:  how we are unique, same, different.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend with your family!

Read A Thon


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on November 20, 2018

We had lots of great reading time at school today!  Reading with friends, with teachers, and even with our 4th Grade buddies, who came down to visit us.  We also made time to read a recipe and make some yummy hot cocoa, which was delicious on this snowy day.  Your child will be bringing home their poetry notebook so they can read to YOU over vacation.  Please make sure to return it to school next Monday.

Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Writing Celebration


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

We did it!  We published our first books in First Grade.  Each student wrote their own Small Moment (personal narrative) story, edited it, and published it this week during Writer’s Workshop.  Yesterday we raised our glasses of chocolate milk and apple cider to toast all the writers.  We each had a chance to offer a compliment to the group on how hard everyone worked.  There was a loud and joyful “Cheers!” as everyone raised their glasses.  Then we displayed  our stories so everyone could admire them.  Everyone had a chance to read their book to a partner before we put them in a special “Published Books” tub in our classroom library.  Please ask your child about the story he or she created to add to our library.  We are all feeling very proud.

Happy Halloween


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on October 31, 2018

Look who showed up in First Grade today for Character Day!

We read books about Fairy Houses and used the nature items we collected in the woods last week to build our own Pumpkin Houses for a small animal or fairy to visit.  Your child will be bringing one home today.

Oh, the fun and the mess it was to gut our own pumpkins!

Then we got to carefully decorate the insides to create a cozy home for a visitor.  We put them on display in our “museum” for all to see.

Here is a peak at Choice Time and what some of our creative builders have been making in the midst of their play time.

First Grade News


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on October 26, 2018

Here is a quick peak at what we are learning in math:

We went outside today for Forest Fun.  We went in search of items from nature that we could use to build a cozy animal/fairy home inside the Pumpkin Houses we are making next Wednesday on Halloween.

In addition to making Pumpkin Houses, we are also having Character Day next Wednesday.  Children are invited to come to school dressed up as a character from a book.  Here are the guidelines:

-The character you pick must come from a book, not a movie.

-Weapons need to stay at home.

-No masks that cover your entire face.

-Nothing bloody, gory or too scary.  It’s for school!

Hope you are able to come have some scary fun at the PTO’s Halloween Party, which is here at school tonight.  The kids are very excited about it!

Our VIP and more


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on October 18, 2018

Every week we have a new VIP (very important person) in First Grade.  This special role means you get to bring in something special from home to share with the whole class, and then take questions and comments from your classmates about what you brought in.  Also, when we do our Paths (social curriculum) lesson, the VIP gets to sit in our compliment chair and receive compliments from the teacher, the students, and one you give to yourself.  These are recorded and sent home for families to see and add on to.  Ask your child when their VIP turn is coming up.  Jobs rotate each week and this is one of the jobs kids get most excited about!

Today in writing we sat with partners to read our stories to them and get feedback on our work.  They are becoming great writers AND listeners to their peers’ work.


Fall is here!  Look at the bulletin board we made to show the changing seasons, and all that happens to our Earth depending on where the sun is in our sky.

This beautiful tub of pumpkins showed up in our classroom today.  We are saving them to use for a special project on Halloween.  🙂

Field Trip


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

We had a great field trip today to the Hitchcock Center!


When we returned to the classroom, we met our 4th grade reading buddies for the first time.  Children interviewed each other and then took time to read to each other.  We will continue this reading partnership with our new friends throughout the year.



Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on October 10, 2018

Dear Parents and Supporters of First Grade,

If you notice up above, there are tabs that take you to different pages on our blog full of information about our classroom.  One of them is “Wish List”, which has general supplies we are always in need of.

We also have a special request.  You have probably noticed the flexible seating we are trying to build in our classroom this year:

The kids love it!  Especially the bouncy balls!!  The balls allow the kids to wiggle around while doing their work, which really helps young children focus, accomplish more, and be happier at school.  This year we were lucky to have 4 yoga balls donated to our classroom.  Unfortunately, 3 of them have already gotten a hole in them from a pencil and we are trying to repair them.  As wonderful as they are, we are realizing this is something we will need to repair/replace often.

If anyone is interested in helping us build our collection of bouncy balls and happy kids, and is able to support this new endeavor,  please follow the link below to purchase a ball for our classroom.  We have found the larger size ball works best.

Thank you for considering and please watch for more pictures to come of happy, bouncing kids working away in first grade!

With Thanks,


Mountain Day


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on October 5, 2018

We had such a wonderful Mountain Day on Thursday!  The First Grade walked over to Leverett Pond together.  While we were there, we had snack and read a story about all the beautiful things to be found in the woods.  Then we broke up into groups and explored the area, searching for “treasures” to bring back to school to put under our new digital microscope.  We practiced how to be quiet with a “coyote walk” so we could use our senses and take in all that was around us.  I wish I had pictures to show you!  But they were somehow lost when I uploaded them to the blog.  Please ask your child about our adventure.  It was great fun.  Here are a few of the treasures we brought back to school to share:

Back at school, Mr. Mwangi took that yellow mushroom and placed it under the digital microscope for us to look at up close.  All of a sudden, microscopic bugs started walking across the screen.  Bugs we never would have seen with the naked eye.  We were so surprised!!

This is Count.  He is our mascot who helped us learn about shadows this week in science, and how the position of the sun in the sky affects our shadow.  You should have seen some science journals come home this week where children wrote about our experiment with Count.

Our Writer’s Workshop is up and running!  The children are well on their way to becoming independent writers.  Right now we are learning strategies we can use to make our stories more interesting.  At Parent Teacher Conferences, I will share some of your child’s writing with you.

 A favorite part of writing time is “Author’s Chair”, where a few writers are chosen to come up in front of the room and share their writing on the big screen with the whole class.  Then the other writers offer “questions, comments or compliments” on the writing.  They love being able to share their work!

Hope you have a wonderful long weekend!

What did you do in school today?


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on September 28, 2018

Thank you to all families who were able to join us for Open House!  I look forward to talking with you more about your child’s progress at Parent Teacher Conferences coming up soon.  Here is a quick snap shot of our week at school in First Grade!

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