Author’s Breakfast!


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on June 19, 2018

Thank you so much to everyone who joined us today for our Author’s Breakfast.  It was so wonderful for us to have our families here to celebrate with us and be proud of all our hard work this year.  I hope you enjoy taking time to look through your child’s portfolio tonight!

First Grade News


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

The weather has been so beautiful lately and we’ve enjoyed having snack outside in our courtyard, which has been much improved by our very own Courtyard Keepers and the flowers they planted this spring with our volunteer, Deb.

Interest in our tadpoles has been growing ever since Joe, our custodian, delivered A LOT of tadpoles from his pond to our room so we could watch them grow.  They are mesmerizing to watch.  Would you believe we even got to watch a dragonfly nymph hatch into a dragonfly right before our eyes one morning?!?  In all my years teaching about pond life, I have never seen THAT happen and it was so exciting for all of us!!

We are also excitedly getting ready for our Author’s Breakfast next Tuesday.  I hope you can join us!  You should have received a handmade invitation from your child.

This is what a first grade poetry workshop looks like.  Look at all these poems!!!  Come in next Tuesday from 9-10 to hear us read them.

One of our expert builders recently created a playground out of recycled materials at Creation Station.  She shared the details of her work with the class, including a tire swing, rope ladder…….these kids are amazing with the ideas they come up with!

Field Trip


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on May 25, 2018

Excellent field trip yesterday to the Hitchcock Center!  When we got back to the classroom I asked the kids to pass our magic wand and share one thing that surprised them or one thing they learned. Most kids shared about exciting insects they found in the pond.  One child ended our sharing by saying, “I learned how to be friends with the Erving First Grade.”  So much learning, so much fun.

Back in the classroom, we are so lucky to have a resident artist in our classroom.  Marla is helping the kids make an Eric Carle-like mural of a pond scene on the bulletin board outside our classroom, using textured papers the kids made with her.  It is so beautiful.  Please come take a look!

Happy long weekend, everyone!

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.

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