Friday, September 25, 2015

A busy week!

We had another busy and productive week here in first grade. First graders have really begun to settle into all of their daily routines. We earned so many tickets that we filled the ticket jar for a SECOND time and earned some extra recess! Don’t forget to ask your child what he/she has been doing to earn tickets!

In writing we started a new narrative writing project - All About Me books! 105 writers wrote the first part of their book about what they look like and next week we will work described our families, and list a few of our favorite things! We talked about what a heading is, discussed when to use capital letters and punctuation, and even got to use special writing tools (mechanical pencils!) to help us practice our neatest handwriting. This project will be one of the many writing projects we will save to show you at our end of the year Author’s Breakfast!

During math we are continuing to practice addition to ten. Help your first grader at home by encouraging them to practice the math facts that were sent home in the green folders on Back to School Night. There are many engaging, kid-friendly math apps that can help them with these facts at home, including Math Bingo and Mathopolis. If you would like an extended list of ipad resources, please let me know. We have also been busy practicing using the ST Math app so that when homework goes home in October, we will know just what to do!

Room Parents
Our room parents this year will be Dawn Naddaff, Victoria Nguyen- Schultz. and Charlene Coughlin. Thank you all for volunteering!

Picture Day!
Picture day at Pine Glen will be on Tuesday, September 29th. If you would like to order pictures please send in the order form with your first grader.

Talking Tidbits:
-Ms. Zanotti, our school counselor, visits first grade!
-ST Math & our new friend JiJi!
-All About Me books
-Letter formations
-Filling the ticket jar --again!
-Our Author of the Month - Kevin Henkes

Friday, September 18, 2015

Reading, Math and Writing-- Oh My!

We are in full swing here in first grade!  We are now writers, readers, and mathematicians. This week we began our first grade reading and math classes.

In reading, we began establishing our first grade reading routines and learning our centers. We also began phonics instruction.  The first unit of our phonics program, Fundations, reviews letter sounds and formations learned in Kindergarten.  Ask your first grade about the letters and sounds they practiced this week.  

During math time we took the Symphony math assessment and got started using ST Math. We also began Topic 1 of our math program, EnVision.  Be on the lookout for “mathazines” that will be coming home with your first grader. You can use these to get the scoop on math time from your first grader!

In writing, we took some time to write friendly letters to our families who visited Pine Glen on Back to School Night.  On Thursday, we read a story and a poem to learn about and celebrate Constitution Day! Next week will will continue to work more on narrative writing with our first writing project.  

It was great to  meet all of our families at Back to School Night. First graders loved coming into school on Thursday to find letters written by their families. As always-- please be sure to contact me if you have any questions or concerns regarding your child and first grade.

Talking Tidbits

  • Our new reading and math rooms!
  • Writing time
  • Friendly letters
  • Constitution Day!
  • Back to School Night
  • Running during gym time!
  • Earning our stars with Mrs. Agati in music!

Friday, September 11, 2015

A Super Second Week!

Our second week of first grade was fun and productive!

Stories and Writing
This week we began getting ready to be first grade writers. Before we even picked up our pencils we spent time talking with our peers and sharing stories orally.  We started the week by telling stories about our lives. We brainstormed stories about times we were happy, times we got hurt, celebrations we have been to and more! We took time to share stories with our classmates. First graders told stories about birthday parties, falling off bikes, visiting the zoo, and all kinds of adventures.   We learned to tell juicy details to make our stories more exciting and to use questions words to ask questions when we wanted more details.  We also learned how to take turns being the talker and the listener. We talked about how if you can think it-- you can say it. At home, take some time to tell your child stories and spend time listening to theirs. Encourage them to include lots of details!

Later in the week-- we got ready to write! We discussed that writing is talking with a pencil. We learned that if you can think it, you can say it, and if you can say it, you can write it! Before we began writing, we brainstormed some reasons why writers write. Together we talked about audience and sharing our stories with each other. We learned if you can think it, you can say it, if you can say it, you can write it, and if you can write it-- someone can read it!!

We brainstormed what we needed to be first grade writers. We needed things such as paper, pencils, folders, and some other materials.  We  designed our writing folders, got our materials and began free writing! Check out some pictures below!

Lifeskills & Ticket Jar!
First graders did an excellent job following our life skills and classroom rules this week. Our First grade ticket jar was full and the whole first grade earned a first grade dance party on Friday!!  We can’t wait to fill our jar again to earn another first grade prize!

Hero Assembly
First Graders attended the Pine Glen Hero Assembly on Thursday, September 11th. At this assembly we honored the heroes that keep us safe including our police officers and firefighters. We made cards to thank them for their bravery and hard work and also wore red, white and blue to show our support! Check out our patriotic pictures below!

First graders visited the Pine Glen library for the first time this week on Wednesday. Miss Carney read us a story and we were able to check out two books. Students must return their books before they will be allowed to take out new ones. Please help to remind your first grader to return their books once they are done reading them.  We will visit the library every Wednesday, but students can bring back books on any day.
Back to School Night Reminder
A reminder that Back to School Night is next Wednesday, September 16th at 6 pm. If you haven’t already, please sign and return the notice that was sent home with your first grader.

Talking Tidbits
  • Our ipads!
  • How we are earning tickets
  • Story telling
  • Heroes Assembly
  • Visiting the Library
  • Math games

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Our First Week!

Welcome back to school!

Life Skills & Tickets: First graders in Room 105 had a great start to the year.  On our very first day we got right to work brainstorming rules to make for a fun, safe and successful year.   Throughout the week, we talked about and practiced life skills that will help us follow our first grade rules. These life skills are discussed in more detail in the letter at the bottom of this post, which was also sent home in your child’s green home and school folder. We discussed that life skills are things that all people do to be good citizens and friends to others. When possible, encourage your first grader to apply their life skills at home as well as at school.

Students in first grade have started earning tickets when they are “caught” doing the “just right thing.”  The “just right thing” can be following any of our life skills (following a direction, saying thank you/excuse me, complimenting/helping a friend, etc). Please take some time to talk to your child about how they are earning tickets at school.  

During our first week we also spent some time getting to know one another. We have learned a lot about our new classmates and are already forming new friendships.  We are excited for a fantastic year in first!

Heroes Assembly: On Friday, September 11th, Pine Glen will have a Heroes Assembly to honor and say thank you to the Burlington police and fire departments, our military service members and to remember Pine Glen alum, Thomas McGuiness who died on September 11th. In honor of this day, we invite all Pine Glen students to wear red white and blue on this Friday, September 11th.

Talking Tidbits: In order to help bridge the gap between home and school, it is strongly encouraged that you talk with your child about school often. Below you will find a list of “talking tidbits” from our first week of school to ask your child about. It is my hope that these prompt conversation between you and your first grader.

Confidentiality Meetings: During our year there may be some opportunities for you to volunteer at school. In order to volunteer or chaperone field trips, all parents/ guardians are required to have an updated CORI form on file at the Superintendent’s Office and they must also attend a Principal’s Confidentiality Meeting.  If you have already attended a confidentiality meeting last year, you do not need to attend another this year. If you are interested in attending, Mr. Lyons will be hosting Confidentiality meetings on September 14th, 15th, and 18th at 8:40 am at Pine Glen School.  

Lastly, please feel free to contact me at anytime if you have any questions or concerns about your child.  Enjoy some pictures of our first week below.

Looking forward to a super second week!

This week’s Talking Tidbits!
-Earning tickets!
-Their new classroom
-Art, Music and Gym time
-New friends and new teachers!
-Lunch/ Recess
-First Grade Hopes & Dreams

Meet 105!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Welcome to First Grade!

 I expect that this year will be a wonderful experience for you and your child. This blog is a vital communication tool that I will use throughout the year to keep you informed of all that takes place in our classroom. Please make every effort to check it weekly. I will do my best to send an email each time the blog has been updated. You may also subscribe to the blog by simply typing your email address into the box titled “Follow by Email” on the bottom of this page.

 As we journey into the first few weeks of first grade, please consider that there are many differences between kindergarten and first grade. The first major difference is the length of the school day. First graders now come to school for the entire day. This will mean that your child will be much more tired for the first few months as they adjust to longer day. Please help your child by allowing him/her get a full night sleep. The first few weeks require the introduction to many new routines and procedures that may take some time and may not seem as exciting for your child. Please rest assured that I will make every effort to keep your child's experience positive and exciting, especially once we are settled into our routines.

Another difference between first grade and kindergarten is your child's experience with a variety of teachers. Although they will now have only one classroom teacher, Room 105 students will work with Ms. Govoni for P.E., Mrs. Agati for Music, and Ms. Fallon for Art. Your child may also experience different teachers for reading and math instruction. This will be discussed further at Open House.

 Finally, first grade is a lot of work! I can assure you that I will never ask your child to do anything that he/she is not capable of, but will push your child to do his/her very best each day. My hope is that first grade learning will be enjoyable for your child and will hardly seem like "work" at all!

There are many things you can do to help your child succeed in first grade. Visit the Helping your Child at Home page of this blog for a list of these tips. I have also included a first day checklist below. I hope this is helpful as you prepare to send your child to school.

I look forward to a fantastic year ahead. As these next few weeks unfold, please do not hesitate to call, email or set up a conference for questions or concerns.

Labeled Backpack
Completed Green Transportation Form
Completed Student Information Sheet
Hearty Breakfast at Home Lunch or Load Money at
Water (2 bottles recommended/labeled with name)
Sneakers for Gym (Mondays and Thursdays)
 Smock for Art (can leave this at school/ labeled with name)