Sunday, September 24, 2017

Observing Like A Scientist

This week, we have been busy learning how to observe like a scientist. We started by watching and listening to Jane Goodall explain that observation is necessary to be a thoughtful scientist. Motivated by her words, the first graders were given magnifying glasses and then microscopes and set out to look and observe everything from items in the classroom to rocks. The excitement in the air has been infectious. For every discovery, it has motivated the students to look for more. By the time that we went on our field trip to Minnehaha Falls on Friday, they were primed and ready to observe and record! Even in the heat, the students were sounding like scientists and were able to describe something that their scientific eyes were able to see. Below you will find a video of the day. There were too many pictures to place them individually on the blog. Enjoy!
Saturday, September 16, 2017


We have only been in school for 14 days, but it seems as if we have packed months of learning into each and every one of those days. If your child is coming home exhausted every night, (the teachers are too) is because we are taking in so much and trying to find our place in our new environment. I truly believe that for each child  to have a sense of belonging, they need to have an understanding of the community itself. So much of what we do during the beginning weeks of school is the understandings of what makes our school, our classroom and our friendships come together. This can come in the form of learning the rules, getting to know the people and the history of the place/community. The foundations that we are learning, will help the students understand that this place is where they can  belong and also know that it will be a safe place to take academic and social risks.

Homecoming has been a time for the students to learn about the history of Breck. Being in the unique situation of being a teacher who went to Breck, I take great pride in this community, and love teaching the first graders about the beginnings and the growth of this school. On Friday morning we went on a historical walk throughout the school and we located bits and pieces of the schools history that are hidden in different places. We found a door, a part of a gym floor, some dishes, old uniforms, a bell to name a few of the items that came from old campuses and settings of the school. The students seemed captivated and almost seemed to take a sense of pride in knowing that they were a part of a community that has grown over the years.

As the day progressed, the students made banners for their lockers and then took their pompoms and their pennants down to the Anderson gym to be a part of the Breck homecoming festivities. There, the first graders were able to cheer and support the homecoming court (many of who were our personal first grade senior buddies!). Even though it was extremely loud, the first graders seemed to understand that they are a part of this community, taking pride in singing the Breck fight song and the alma mater.

As the year proceeds, we will have so many more opportunities to take pride in our school and within ourselves. The main reason why I love teaching as much as I do, is because when you see a student take pride in what they have accomplished, it is a moment that represents possibilities and hope.

I know that more than anything, the blogs that I write will be ones that will provide information for you, but I also know that you want to see pictures. So I will do my best to show your kids "in action". I hope that you were all able to enjoy some part of the homecoming festivities!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

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!  The desks in the room are a beginning step in learning how to organize personal space. At this point, because they are somewhat novel, the students can be seen opening and closing them multiple times in a day! I suppose they are checking to make sure that everything is in it’s place! Throughout the year we will spend time organizing this space because developmentally, the concept of taking care of one’s personal space is an important lesson, so we are taking the time to discuss it.

Hopefully you and your child are getting used to the daily routine of brining home their plastic folders and showing the "Peek at the Week" that is inside. This "peek" is fairly important....and a way to inform you and your child as to what to expect each day. 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 every day. Each week we will exchange for it a new week. Please make sure that your child’s folder is cleaned out daily so that there will be room for new items the next day.

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 took  the 1st graders to All School Chapel and sat with them through the service. There were lots of big smiles on both young and old!

1st Grade
SR. Buddy 1
SR. Buddy 2
Sr. Buddy 3
Katie Hatfield
Casey Schwarzcopf
Olivia Vang
Paige Olowu
Xavier Williams
Isaac Luten
Brendan Madson
Audrey Hedlund

Sophie Jonsson
Isabella Wanninger
Hugo Schmidt
Mikayala Ennevor
Reuben Stately

Gavin Hopping
Nolan Wenning

Emma Medeiros
Amelia Simmonds
Max Vasicek
Addie Gleekel
Maya Czeneszew
Grant Larson
Svea McNally
Greer Lichtenberg
Cas Roland
Julia Rahr
Kiwi Sundeen
Eric McDavid
Ayanna Platt
Eric McFarland

Livia Reader
Cade O’Neill

Holden Felton
Jordan Curtis
Taylor Phillips
Ruby Walser
Zachary Levy

Below are all of the 1st graders in our classroom. This will give your child a chance to show you, who he/she has played with over the last 2 weeks.

Gray Allingham

Anna Murphy

Julia Burrows

Draeger Maras

Harper Jones

Gloria Jones

Leighton Lunessa

Ayva Jennings

Amelia Cain

Milkesso Tufaa

Finn Carlson

Oscar Kaplan

Jack Pohlad

Kayla Proman