Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on December 21, 2017

We had two big projects we worked on in first grade this week.  The first one was doing research on one American Symbol.  The kids read books and learned how to summarize important facts on a bubble map.  The we wrote sentences about our favorite symbol, drew a picture and worked on a collage challenge:  see if you can make your symbol using only paper, scissors and glue.  They came out wonderful and are now hanging on our bulletin board in the hall.

We also spent lots of time this week talking about Family:  how our families are similar and different, how each one is special and unique.  Each child has worked for weeks to make a family book and was so proud to finally sit down this week to look through the finished product.

Afterwards the kids found a partner to read their book to.  Each team asked each other:  How are our families similar?  How are they different?

Then we went to work wrapping up a special surprise coming home for you today.

Oh, the excitement once they were all lined up and ready to go!  Every first grader sharing a different plan of how to give it to their family.

Wishing all families a wonderful holiday season.  Hope you have some restful, special moments with your wonderful children.  See you in 2018!



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

We finished!  Today we finally finished our map and worked together to bring it up to the library where it is proudly on display.  Please take the time to come take a look at it before or after school someday.  The kids are so proud of their work and we are so proud of them!  Afterwards, we all wrote about what we learned from this project.  Here are a few of the lines the kids shared that impressed me most….

“I learned you do not have to be perfect.”

“I learned how to be brave and try new things.”

“I learned that it is a great map.”

“I learned to use teamwork.”

“My favorite part was carrying the map to the library.”

“I learned that when you have a great team it’s not too hard.”

“My favorite part was building it.”

“I learned that there is a Safety Complex in Leverett.”

“I learned that when you can’t fit a building, you can make an inlet.”

“I learned it is fun making a map.”

“I learned that teamwork can do so much!”

“I like that we all put effort into it.”

“I learned that sometimes we all make mistakes.”

“I learned you does not have to be perfect.”

“I learned that the trees look easier than they are.”

“I liked that we all worked together.”

Personally, I liked that it was SO MUCH FUN and I’m so grateful for the help of Marla, our assistant teacher, who is also a true artist, who helped us all along the way.

Here are some close ups:



Leverett Map


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on December 1, 2017

Work on our 3D map continues….

Read A Thon


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on November 21, 2017

We made lots of time to get cozy and read for Read A Thon today.  We even got to have our fourth grade buddies come down to read with us.

We also had some good map builders at work today as we started to assemble our town buildings on our town map.  One builder said to me, “For choice time today, can I just sit and look at our buildings?”  The kids are so proud of their work.

Happy Thanksgiving!  Hope you have some wonderful time with family and friends.

First Grade News


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on November 17, 2017

Hello, First Grade Fans!  We are busy at work and had some fun days at school this week.  Today we finished writing our Small Moment (Personal Narrative) stories and had a publishing party.  The kids walked through our “book museum” to admire all the hard work of our first grade authors.  Then they gathered in small groups to read their stories to their friends.  Finally, we gathered to raise our glasses and toast to our success as young writers.  We are very proud of them!

We also started a new social studies unit on Maps.  We are building a 3-D model of the area around Leverett near our school.  This week we talked about what kinds of goods and services communities need.  Then we chose partners and went to work building and painting.

In Fundations we have started learning about digraphs.  I sent home a packet today of work you can do with your child at home to reinforce this concept, along with some new sight words to practice.

Some pattern block friends showed up in First Grade this week.

Have a great weekend!

Pumpkin Houses


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on November 1, 2017

Today we made our animal/fairy houses.  Oh, what a mess!  But it was SO FUN!!!  I hope your child’s pumpkin house made it home safely to be placed outside tonight for some visitors.  🙂


Character Day


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on October 31, 2017

Look at the cool characters who showed up in first grade today.

Tomorrow we are making animal/fairy houses.  Please send in all nature items your child collected by tomorrow for our fun activity.



Mountain Day!


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on October 18, 2017

What a fun Mountain Day we had here at Leverett School yesterday.  All classes headed out to the woods for a hike with their classmates.  First and Second Grades walked to Leverett Pond.  We had some obstacles to face on the way, like a fallen tree to climb over, which made it even more fun.  While we were there, Tracey read us a traditional tale about a beaver and we saw a real beaver dam.  We collected signs of Fall to bring back to school to create into art projects during art class.  It was a really fun day.

Back in the classroom….. we are learning about Seasons and how sunlight affects the changing patterns we see as the Earth moves from one season to the next.  Today the kids broke up into teams to do the “Seasons Challenge”.  They had to work together as a team to create a tree that would teach others what happens in each season and what changes we might see.

Our readers are making progress every day!  Keep reading with your first grader each night.  It makes a big difference in their confidence with the book the next day.  And thank you for remembering to return the reading bags to school every day.

Marla continues to help us make beautiful visual journals where we record the important things we do and learn about in first grade.

Remember there is no school on Friday for a Curriculum Day for teachers.


First Grade News


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


Take a peek at some of the math games we play at school!

The Courtyard Keepers have been busy at work going out to the courtyard several times a week to weed and clean up the garden beds.  It looks better out there already!  We have the help of master gardener and retired Leverett teacher, Deb Brazeau.  She’s been very kind to donate her time and teach us all a bit about gardening.

Every so often we need a break, so we strike a yoga pose and try to make a letter of the alphabet with our bodies.  Today we were making the letter U, and we had so much fun doing so, I just had to show you.

In science we have been studying the sun and the moon, how they both give off light and appear to move across the sky.  You may have seen some of our experiments coming home.  This day we were playing with shadows.  We put our friend Count out in the sun, traced his shadow, and came back later to see what happened.  It moved!  What happened?  We had a great discussion about the sun’s place in the sky.

Some more excellent builders:

Thanks to everyone helping out on Harvest Festival this weekend.  I wish I could be there to take part in all the fun with the kids.  I hope it’s a super fun day!

Courtyard Keepers


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


Many classes at LES will be doing a service job this year for our school.  The First Grade will be the “Courtyard Keepers”.  The courtyard is a beautiful space in the center of our school that is not used much.  We are going to do what we can to clean the courtyard and make it a more inviting place for children, staff and parents to enjoy.  


Can you donate any of the following objects to help make this job a little more fun and productive for the kids?  



  • Gardening gloves
  • Aprons or smocks to wear outside
  • Large buckets to use for weeding and composting
  • Small rakes, brooms, dustpans, shovels
  • Foam knee cushions
  • In season plants to put in the garden beds
  • Other ideas??



If you would like to help with this project, please let me know.  We will be taking small groups of children outside to lend a hand during choice time at the end of the day when the weather is nice.


Thank you!


Skip to toolbar