Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on February 14, 2020

So much love, joy and pride in the classroom this week.  100th Day of School, Storytelling Festival, and Valentine’s Day…along with a snow day, too!  Here is a glimpse of our week.

Exciting Days In First Grade!


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on February 7, 2020

We have several exciting days coming up in First Grade next week.

Many kids have already brought in their 100 Days of School project,  as we get ready to celebrate 100 days in First Grade on Wednesday, February 12th!

We are also preparing for our Storytellers Festival on Thursday, February 13th.  The kids have been practicing by telling their stories to stuffed animals and creating posters to help them remember all the important parts.  Please join us on Thursday from 1:15-2:45, when your child will have the chance to tell a story to our visitors.

Today, of course, was pajama day, and we had a lot of stuffed animal visitors in our classroom.  John Porcino came in and played a harp for us.  The kids were mesmerized by how beautiful it was!

Have a great weekend!

Artist in Residence


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on January 30, 2020


We are thrilled to have John Porcino, local storyteller and musician, visiting our classroom.  The kids really enjoy our time with him and the joy he brings to our class.  John is teaching us how to be brave, courageous storytellers who tell our stories with expression.  Most of all, he is encouraging us to TRY to retell our favorite story; the one we each chose from a long list of folktales that we read together.  Please check your child’s backpack tonight.  They are bringing home their favorite story to practice reading and retelling to you.  Please take some time to walk through the story with your child to better prepare them for our fun Storytellers Festival, coming to LES on February 13th!  Everyone is encouraged to come to this event to hear our wonderful young storytellers in action!

What makes a good storyteller?  This is what we are learning.

First Grade News


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on January 24, 2020

This week we have immersed ourselves in non-fiction!  Come take a look.

We read a big book together on different animals and how they get their food.  Then we did a little research, using the text to help us record the names of several animals, what they eat, and how they eat their food.  The beginning steps of research.

We read about Martin Luther King, Jr, and put a poem about him into our poetry notebooks.  We also finished our Justice Walk, recording ways we could follow in his footsteps.

In writing, we are making our own teaching books on a topic we are an expert on. This is the chart the kids use, as they move through each step of making a teaching book.  Ask your child about the book they are making.

In science, we learned about camouflage and played a game where we had to find paper moths camouflaged in our classroom.  We talked about the reasons why animals need camouflage.  Ask your child about them.

Today the Kindergartner’s Chinese Dragon visited our classroom.  🙂

Our wonderful builders of the week:

Have a great weekend!  Hope everyone stays healthy.  There has been some sickness traveling around the classroom.  Take good care and have a restful weekend.


First Grade News


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on January 17, 2020

Welcome back to First Grade News!  The kids are happily back at school and ready to learn in 2020.

One of the first things we did when we returned from our break was finish up our study of American Symbols.  These wonderful creations, teaching what we learned about our favorite American Symbol, are hanging on the bulletin board outside our classroom.

We have now immersed ourselves in non fiction texts.  We are learning how to write teaching books about topics we are an expert on.

In science we are learning about animal adaptations, and the “superpowers” animals have to help them survive in their habitat.  In this activity, we learned about different kinds of bird beaks and why birds have different beaks to help them get food.

Today we had John Porcino visit our classroom.  He is here at LES through the STARS Grant, and will be doing a Storytelling Residency with all classes.  He will be teaching us how to be storytellers, using folktales from all around the world.  On our first day with him today, he taught us how to tell the world’s shortest story:  a joke!  The kids loved it!  Your child should be coming home today with a good joke to tell at the dinner table.  🙂

Our expert block builders of the week came up with quite a design!

Today we also read books about Martin Luther King, Jr. and watched part of his “I Have A Dream” speech on Pebble Go.  Ask your child to show it to you.  Then we traced our shoes and wrote on them ways we can “walk in his footsteps” by working for freedom and justice in our own lives.  We will tape them on the floor in our classroom as a reminder of this great man.  More photos later when our “Justice Walk” is complete!

Have a great weekend!

First Grade News


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on December 20, 2019

We have been working so hard the past couple weeks talking about America:  maps, people, families, jobs, diversity, symbols.  All the wonderful things that we have in common and the ways in which we are different.  Every first grader is coming home today with a surprise gift for their family, which I won’t say too much more about, besides how excited they are to share it with you.

Wishing you and your family a very happy holiday season.  It is such a gift to spend each day with these First Graders.  I hope you all have lots of fun and special family moments together over our school break.  See you in 2020!

First Grade News


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on December 6, 2019

We have been immersed in MAPS and the excitement is growing as we discover them all around us and talk about how useful they can be.

More 100 Boards

Our VIP shared a very special song with us today.

Pajama Day


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on November 26, 2019

Nothing is sweeter than spending a Read-A-Thon/Pajama Day in First Grade!

Super fun day for all our readers!

First Grade Map Makers


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on November 25, 2019

We are map makers!  Last week we learned how map makers often use blue and green to represent land and water.  Then we used markers, paint and clay to make our own representational maps.  At the end we shared our work with friends.

More 100 Boards!  The kids worked so hard on this project!!

Every morning we practice greeting one another using our eyes, a friendly voice and some kind of fun handshake.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving break!  I am so grateful for time at Leverett School with all of these wonderful First Graders!!

First Grade News


Posted by Alissa | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on November 15, 2019

We continued building our mapping skills this week by learning about “bird’s eye view” and making a map of our classroom.  The children also started learning about coding during computer lab and used directional words like north, south, east and west to solve coding puzzles.

In Math we are learning about our numbers and how they all fit together to form patterns on the 100 Board.

Each week we have a VIP, a very important person, who gets up in front of the class to share something special from home and receive compliments from the class.

Today we made Native American Talking Sticks.  The colors we used have a very special meaning.  Ask your child to tell you about them.

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