Friday, September 23, 2016

Minnehaha Falls

We could have not asked for a more perfect 5 hours for our field trip to Minnehaha Falls. As we drove into the parking lot, the clouds parted, the sun rose....and we were on our way to an amazing day. Thanks to Mrs. Wright, the students got an experts view of the falls and all the surrounding area. The goal of the trip was to view the falls with scientific eyes. They were encouraged to feel, see, hear and smell the air. They then had an opportunity to draw their findings in their science journal. They saw so many wonderful things. Specifically, they saw a lot of Limestone, Shale and Sandstone. These are all examples of sedimentary rock.....which will be learning about in the upcoming week. I was going to put a few pictures of the trip into this blog...but there were so many wonderful pics....I decided to place it into a movie. Please enjoy this with your child and have them explain what the pictures reveal.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Incredibly Busy!

In my original letter home to the students, I explained that I was so excited to go on this adventure called first grade with them. I had no idea how much I would enjoy the ride. You all have such great kids and we have all been having an amazing journey. As one of the students said in class, “ Every day in first grade goes so fast!”. I take that to mean that there is so much to do that the time just seems to fly by!  This particular week was accentuated by the fact that we started swimming as a P.E. unit and then all of the homecoming festivities. It felt as if we had been to a giant celebration each and every day. Below I have posted a lot of pictures to show you what my eyes have seen over the last week so that you can see what your child has been experiencing.

I attended swimming for a couple sessions to see how they managed the new routine. I have to say that I was super impressed with the teaching staff and how your children responded to the responsibilities. Ms. Carlson and Coach Bob have such a mindful eye on your children- really paying attention to your children’s abilities and making sure that they are getting the coaching they need. They have the class in two groups the sharks and the dolphins. In order to maintain a safe environment the sharks and dolphins show their skills at different times. You’ll have to ask your child which one they are! 
Getting our swimming gear from our lockers.

Waiting for swimming rules and instructions even before we get in the water!

For Homecoming, the senior buddies came down and visited us on Wednesday where they helped us make pennants and pom-poms for the coronation. The relationship that is developing with your child and their buddies has been so endearing to watch.  Your children keep asking, “Is this a senior buddy day?”. On Friday morning, Ms. Thomas and I walked around the campus looking for the history of Breck.  Breck has been on multiple campuses and has had many different identities. The students got a chance to see the past of the school so that they can feel pride in what the school has become.  We found old dishes, chairs, doors, uniforms to name a few of the artifacts of the past. We even found Ms. Thomas and my yearbooks from when we were seniors at Breck.  They all had a hard time believing we looked so different! To end the day we went to coronation where we got to watch some of our senior buddies in the court and Adele caring the crown down! It was super fun.... super loud.... but super fun!

 Our Crown Carrier!

STEAM has started. The first session we went to asked the students to create the tallest structure that they could using marshmallows and spaghetti sticks. They had to work in small groups and try and figure out how to do this project together. Needless to say, it was more challenging than they thought it would be. It was a lesson not only in building, but also in learning how to listen to each other to make it work. 

We did all of these amazing things outside of the classroom while inside our classroom we have been extremely busy too! 
In our:
-new math program we have been looking at math equations as part, part and whole.
- reading program we have been encouraging the readers to look for details in their books.
-our writing program we have been fine tuning our ideas for small moments.
-our science program we have been tweaking our interest in rocks.
 - social studies program we have been learning our role as a community member. Each one of us has a role and are responsible for the follow through. Ask your child what some of the jobs of the students are and ask them the responsibility that goes with it! 

Lastly, I need to reiterate how much I am enjoying your children. They are a very creative, imaginative group who have such a strong ability to articulate their thoughts and ideas. It is only September; I can only imagine where they will be by the end of the year.  
Friday, September 9, 2016

Thanks for showing up to Back To School Night!

Thank to all of you for showing up to Back To School Night!

Carol Grams our amazing art teacher wanted me to tell you that she has posted her blog and it has lots of fun pictures of 1st graders! 
Thursday, September 1, 2016

Beginning of the year!

What a great start of first grade we have had! The students have all been adjusting to their new lockers, friends and to their desks! If anyone were to ask me, "what is one of the most unexpected changes from moving from kindergarten to 1st grade?" it would have to be how many discussions about desks we have in a day.....I would have never believed it.  However, if you look at it developmentally, the concept of taking care of personal space is an important lesson, so we are taking the time to discuss it.

On Thursday, your child came home with their homework folder and inside it was the "Peek at the Week". This "peek" is a way to inform you and your child as to what to expect. Your job is to look at this sheet every night, review it with your child and then initial it. It is also a place for you to send little thoughts along the way. When homework starts, the homework column will give you the assignment for each night. As for now, your child's folder and the peek at the week need to come back everyday. Each week we will exchange for it a new week.

I am sure that your child has already shared their excitement about their senior buddies. It is an awesome connection with the seniors of the school and your child will get many chances to meet up with them throughout the year. Please look below to see the kids pairings. On Tuesday morning, the senior buddies will be taking the 1st graders to All School Chapel and sitting with them through the service. There were lots of big smiles on both young and old!

Not sure if you all saw the email about Homecoming T-shirts- however, if you hadn't, here is a link to the order form. It is a nice way to have your child feel school spirit on that special weekend!

Please remember that back to school night is on Thursday at 6:30!

At the bottom of this blog you will see pictures of all of the kids in your child's classroom. Have your child point out each child and say their name. It will be great practice for them and it will give you a face to attach to a name.