Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! I hope that your break is filled with wonder and excitement!

Thank you all for the wonderful gifts!  They mean a lot and are truly appreciated!  Thank you for all that you do to help in the success of every child in our classroom!  You are amazing!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Art order

If you ordered something from Square1 Art and you did NOT get it sent home, please let me or the art teacher know ASAP.  All that we received have been sent home!

Week of December 15 Spelling Words


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Week of December 8, 2014

Spelling words:

This week in math we are wrapping up our way to make 20 unit.  Next week we will be practicing skills that we have learned and begin the ideas of the new unit that will begin after break.

We are still learning about stars and the sun!

In language arts..these kids are GROWING into HUGE readers! They are blown away by the level of books they are reading to me.  We have been working to read books of their choosing and in small groups so I can see where they are with what they choose.  They are good!  WOW!!!

Please stock up on books and keep reading over break! That will be THE only homework assignment!  READ READ READ! 2 weeks is WAY too long to not read!!!!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Week of December 1

Welcome back from Thanksgiving! I hope that you have a fabulous, family filled week!

This week brings a lot of fun and excitement! Just like all weeks! :)  December 2, Tuesday, is field day.  Please be sure that your child is dressed appropriately so they can enjoy all of the fun and excitement!

This week in math we will continue to work on numbers and how they are related when adding and subtracting.

In Language Arts we will be talking about author's purpose in nonfiction books as well as starting our Gingerbread Themed work.

In science we will start learning about Earth and Space!

Spelling Words: 

Thursday night brings the second round of Parent Teacher Conferences.  If you have any issues, or I haven't seen you for a conference yet this year, please schedule a time with me if we don't already have one scheduled.  Also, please feel free to contact me by email if you have any questions!

Happy December!  :)

Monday, November 17, 2014

This week...

This week, there is no spelling test.  Practice those sight word lists! There will be a celebration on Friday for those that have reached the different levels.  Everyone should have their name written on the 100 word star by now! If your child hasn't done that, please work on that for this week!

We will be making some fun Thanksgiving things throughout the week while practicing graphing and writing.  If you are planning to be out, please give me a heads up so I can send home the creations before Thanksgiving break!

Please be sure to read with your child over the break!  There will NOT be a home work packet over the break.  The next one will come home the 5th of December.

Parent Teacher conferences are coming up in December. I will be giving first chance to those that I have not met with already this year and those students that I am worried about.  If you have questions, please let me know!

Have a fabulous Thanksgiving! Thank you for all you do to support our learning!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Great American Teach In HELP!!!

Calling all parents, friends, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins!!!!!

HELP!!!! We need some career folks to come share their jobs with us!  Here are the time slots that we are needing help to fill in our room for Thursday, November 20:


If you are interested in helping there is a form to fill out. I would be happy to email it to you if you are able to come share your career talents with us!  THANK YOU!!!!

Monday, November 10, 2014

News and Information

Hello families! Sorry that it has been so long since I last posted!

This week's spelling words are: might, sight, light, right, fighter, and tight.  As you can tell we are doing the -ight family as many of the words on the 3rd 100 word list have the -ight sound in them.

From now until Thanksgiving break:

If your child hasn't yet completed the first 100 words and isn't on their way through the 2nd 100 words, then please be sure that you are regularly practicing them!  Please send them back to school when your child knows a list or 2.  The motivation is great!  A celebration for all of those that have finished the first 100 as well as a bigger celebration for those that have finished the second 100 word lists will be happening the Friday before Thanksgiving break!

In social studies we are beginning to talk about Pilgrim children and children of today.  It is a fun way to learn about a long time ago and compare and contrast it to their own lives.

In science we are working on a class "science fair project".  Shhh!  The kids don't know yet....   We are going to figure out why the Statue of Liberty is green when she is made out of bronze!   It includes vinegar and salt--for those that love salt and vinegar potato chips it is a sensory filled experience! :)

In math, we are working on fact families and truly understanding what the equal sign means.  We are also working on some graphing that will include some Thanksgiving fun!

A little note about reading levels and such....the key to documenting reading levels is for your child to be able to read with accuracy the text that they are presented with.  This means that they need to say the correct word AND/OR correct themselves when they make a mistake.  They also must be able to retell and relate to what they have read without much prompting to do so.  These are the key features to showing that you are able to read a different level than where you currently are.  So, if your child is able to read chapter books but doesn't read words accurately and doesn't go back to fix a mistake when they realize it doesn't make sense, then it isn't considered a "just right level" for them at that point even though they can "read" it.  If you have further questions about this, please let me know!  But this is certainly a way that you can help your child at home!!!  :)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Reminder! Book Talks Friday!

Friday, October 31 your child should be dressing as a book character, bringing the book to school, and giving a book talk about the book.  This does NOT need to be elaborate or even store purchased.  The goal is for your child to have fun and to share information they picked up while reading a book.  We have been talking about characters and setting since the beginning of the school year.  This is a way to have some fun with it and share with each other!

If you have any questions, please ask! :)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Field Trip

New permission slips came home on Friday. No new money is needed...just a new permission slip since we are now going on Thursday. Please send in Tuesday!!!

Spelling words for Oct 24


Sorry I forget the rest. These are the tough ones. I will add the rest Tuesday. The other 3 are all rhyming with mine.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Unit 1 Math Post Test Forms

Unit 1 Math Post Test data sheets will be added to the HW folders this week.  Please sign them and return them in the HW folder.  (I will be putting them in plastic sleeves.)

Dance and Drumming

Notes for all dance and drumming forms came home today.  Students either got first or second semester dates.  Please pay attention to when your child gets to join in the fun.  We had LOTS of interest in these programs! :)

Friday, October 3, 2014


1. If you sent in your form for drumming or dancing, I have turned them into the office.  I do not know when/how you will receive notice.  I asked, and didn't get an answer nailed down.

2. Please send back the form for the classroom "phone book".  It came home a few weeks ago.  If you need a new one, please let me know.

3. Field Trip forms need returned by week after next.

4. The homework that came home today is all math practice.  It is all review of skills that we have covered in class. Many of the students can add or subtract and figure out the addends. But when it comes to using doubles to do it, they are struggling.  We are working on this for a few more days. Then we will be moving one to using groups of 10 to think about adding and subtracting.  Please be sure to practice their word lists AND send them back into school.  They take quite a while to do each list when the whole list is sent back in to read to me.  It is ok to send the whole list, but please know I can't always get them all done every day. (I still have a few left from today!)  I am seeing a LOT of improvement and am SO excited! As are the kids!  When they get a word that they finally remember that they haven't gotten before it is such a HUGE celebration! WAHOO! :)

5.  Reading logs aren't due until the 17th.  Please read regularly.  If you lose the log, write it on a piece of paper! I am not picky as long as you're reading nightly! :)  Can your child write the title on the paper? Try it! That's a goal...so they are in charge of their reading and owning it! :)

6. Have a wonderful weekend!  Enjoy some family time and all the wonder that goes with it! First graders are really fun! They bring such joy!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Math Parent Letter

Current Math Unit Parent Letter for the unit ending October 3

This link has more links to games, problems, standards, etc. that we are learning in math currently. This unit is all about using doubles to add or subtract 1. This unit ends the end of this week.

What is starting next week is about how to use 10 to make adding and subtracting easier.
The unit we start next week

Field Trip, October 24

Forms came home today for a field trip to see a play in Tampa.  The cost is $10.  If you need assistance, please let me know.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


This week we are working on doubles in math.  Many are "getting it" and some are having trouble with it.  The idea of doubles is if you have 30 can it have a double fact?  Well, yes because if you take 30 erasers (or whatever you have around the house) and divide it into 2 even groups, there are 15 in each group. So 15+15=30  BUT 30=15+15 also!  Paying attention to those signs is a really important part of the process too.  So after realizing what doubles are (addends that are the same number), there is really more to this.

Try this with your child.  They should be able to do this!
Ask them if 17, 14, 5, or 8 can be doubles.  How do they know? Can they explain it to you?
Can they show you how they figure out this problem (draw a picture or use manipulatives)?
Can they write a number sentence? (example: 3+3=6 or 6=3+3)
Can they explain what doubles are?

The students made some amazing discoveries today that honestly blew my socks off!  They are thinkers and are truly starting to explain the thoughts in their heads.  One student connected doubles to Monopoly.  When you roll doubles you get to roll again. When you don't roll doubles, you don't get to go again.  BRILLIANT thinking these kids do daily!  Be proud! :)

Important Info

We were asked today to be sure to share that if your child is a walker and you meet them every day, to be sure to know that they will be sent walking even if you aren't there.  If you are not comfortable with your child walking home alone if you are not there, please arrange to have them as car riders instead.  Also, please remember that the school opens at 7:30 for students to enter.  Sending students into the building prior to 7:30 does not ensure that there will be someone in the classrooms to watch them.  We want all students to be safe and secure.  THANK YOU! :)

Monday, September 29, 2014

spelling words for Oct 3 test

1. star
2. far
3. jar
4. car
5. par
**6. shark**

Number 6 is  a bonus word

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Friday, 9/25....WAHOO!!!!!

We have filled our character card chart!  Tomorrow, Friday, September 26, 2014, we are going to celebrate with a movie and popcorn party at the end of the day!  WAHOO! They may wear comfy clothes but not pajamas for this one.  :)  Please congratulate your group for this amazing work!

If anyone would like to send in popcorn or juice boxes, that would be great!  In fact, if you could email me that you are doing this, that would be great so I don't have to buy it and we have too much!


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Papa John's

Thursday, tomorrow, is a Papa John's PTO night. Check your child's planner today for a sticker with more information!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Spelling List

The spelling list came home today in planners.  The words are orange, green, brown, purple, black.  Two of the words are repeats because they were highly misspelled last week. So for those that learned them, it should be a bonus.  For those that didn't, they will have the chance to learn them. :)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Subject Updates

After progress reports coming home, I want to share a few important things with you! :)

Reading: The end of the first grading period goal is a DRA of 6-8. (Preferably an 8)  I just finished the DRA testing today, Tuesday, September 16, 2014.  That is why the progress reports are coming home on Wednesday, September 17, 2014.  We will shortly begin guided reading groups to work with your child and others at a similar DRA level.  What does this mean for you?  It is possible to look up books through Scholastic Book Wizard online and get DRA levels and leveled book suggestions.  It is possible that your local library might be able to help with this also.  We will also use this information when finding books in the library from now on.  I do allow them to find one on level book and one free choice book that you can read with them if it isn’t on their level.  Also, I am attaching a comprehension sheet that can be used with any book.  One side is for fiction and the other side is for non-fiction.  Please don’t just read with your child.  Please talk about the book.  This is almost as important as reading.
Writing:  Again, we have been writing a lot.  We are working on getting the letters formed correctly and on the line.  This means that using capital letters should only happen at the start of a sentence OR for a proper noun.  Please encourage your child to use lowercase letters when proper to do so. Punctuation at the end of sentences is also what a first grader should be able to do by the end of the first grading period.
Math: We are learning to do basic addition and subtraction. PLEASE encourage your child to show their work.  At this age it means, draw a model to represent the equation.  It is not enough to simply know the answer.  They have a test coming up the beginning of next week.  They need to know the following vocabulary: sum, addends, and difference. We have been working on this in class.  The homework for the next week will really focus on this!  Again, please be sure that they are modeling their work on the paper and not just using their fingers.  I tell them I cannot take their fingers with me when I look at their work.  Another big thing in math is the realization that much of what is written they CAN read!  Reading plays a huge part in math. Even though we read them together, having the words on the page can sometimes be a stumbling block.
Social Studies: We are working on our character.  How can we fill someone’s bucket and why do we have rules?  The hardest part with this is writing.  If your child is having trouble writing sentences this impacts some of what we do in social studies.  Also listening and hearing what is said is important here too.
Science: We are working on properties and the ways we use the 5 senses when we talk about properties.  We have discussed sink vs float as well as used our senses with sour Skittles and animal crackers.  Writing is a big part of science also.  We have to be able to write our observations down and show what we know.

The biggest thing that I want to share about where we are so far is all of the positive behaviors that I see out of each and every child in the room.  No one is perfect, but this group of kids is one to be proud of!  They are hard workers and want people to know that they care about themselves and others! This is a difficult skill to teach and they already have it.  If I have one big favor from all of you it is to remind them how smart they are regularly!  They often seem to forget this important piece and they are each and every one SO smart! We all bring different talents to the table which makes us our own smart, unique beings.  The self-esteem will help take them a long way in all of their subject areas—along with the work we do every day! 

Thank you for being part of our learning team this year! If you have any questions or need any further information, please let me know!  As always, I post regular updates to the webpage.  If you forget where to look, it is on the cover of your child’s agenda and you can also google: firstatnorth.blogspot.com

Friday, September 19, 2014

Playground fun! Help needed!

The students LOVE to go outside and play on the covered court.  However, we don't have any balls or jump ropes to play with.  If you would be willing to send in some basketballs, sidewalk chalk, or jump ropes, that would be fabulous!  The kids would really appreciate it!  (Items can be gently used...)

Important Homework Notes...sent home Friday, 9/19/14

A few IMPORTANT notes about homework:

1.       Homework is a review.  What I send home is what we have already covered each week.  If your child needs much assistance with the homework, please let me know that as they should mostly be able to do this work independently.

2.       Reading, beginning in October, will be done nightly.  There will be a goal of minutes read for the month.  Each month the total minutes will go up.  Without reading nightly, reading cannot improve.  This reading should mostly consist of your child reading to you. If you would like to read to your child that will help their reading too, but please be sure that they are reading to you at least 4 nights a week. Please talk about what is read. Comprehension is KEY to success. Reading isn’t fun if we don’t think about and understand what we read.

3.       I want your child to be able to be a kid.  I want them to play games, run around, and be involved.

4.       If you would like more homework, please have your child keep a reading journal.  Have them write the title, author, and then write about what they read.  It could be a summary, a retelling using beginning, middle, and end or first, then, next, and last as they retell it.  You could have them talk about the setting or the characters.  They could connect to books they have already read and events that have happened in their lives.  The key to this connecting is to talk about specific things that happened in the book and not just talking about the book in general.

5.       There will be spelling words every week.  The tests will be on Fridays. These words need to be not just learned for the test but remembered and used in their writing correctly.

6.       Today, sight word “cards” are coming home.  The ones that are marked are the ones that your child knows.  To know a word they must instantly be able to say the word.  If they have to think about it or sound it out, it is not counted as being “known”. The reason for this is because they are sight words.  They are commonly seen in reading.  If you have to stop to think about each word you see, you cannot focus on understanding what you read.  When your child knows a page or two, send them back in and I will check in with them. (This may take a day or two.) The ones they know instantly, we will put a sticker next to it.  When this whole set of cards is known, we will move on to the next set.  This is the first 100 words.  We need to make it through 300 words this year.  The goal is for this set to be known by the end of September.  That is soon.  Some are going to make it…some will keep working.  We work with these words in class also!

7.       Please let me know if you ever have any questions!  

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Please be sure that you are reading with your child at least 4 different nights a week!  Also, please talk about what you have read! :)

Progress Reports and general info about conferences

Progress Reports are coming home Wednesday, September 17, 2014. DRAs got completed today (9/16). There is a note attached to it about where we are in learning so far this year.  Conference times are also on there if you have one scheduled.  I am booked.  If you read this and see your child's progress report and would like to wait until December to come in, I will be giving first priority in December to those parents that I didn't see this time AND those that I have concerns with.  Then I will open the December left over times up to those I saw this time.  As always, if you have any questions, please let me know!

Friday, September 12, 2014

This week ending Sept. 12

This week the kids did an amazing job on their spelling tests!  Nest week's words came home in their homework packet!

On the same note, we get compliments everywhere we go!  The cafeteria ladies can't get over the cleanliness of the tables and floors when they leave as well as the FABULOUS choices they make while they are there.  We were also the recipients of the purple pallet in art for this week by earning the most character points out of all of the younger elementary classes.  WAY TO GO!  We have so much to celebrate as this year gets rolling!  This class is such a joy to be a part of...compassion, friendship, hard work, ... ABOUNDS!  Thank you for sharing them with me every day!

We have been talking and writing about our 5 senses in science.  We have been working on observing while using them.  It is amazing the words they come up with when they apply these skills!

In math we are using models to add.  This is the important part.  It isn't simply adding that is enough.  They need to also be able to SHOW that they know what those numbers are.  Please encourage this.  Fingers are not enough as I cannot see that they understand it.  Also, please encourage them to read as much of the directions and the problems as possible, Many of the students can read most of the words.  They just haven't fully become aware that they can read the words!

In language arts we have been working to get DRAs done (hopefully the beginning of the week)!  We have been reading to self, reading to someone, doing word work, writing, and using the listening center.  They are coming right along.  Reading groups are close in our future.

In social studies this week we reviewed our classroom rules and worked to incorporate our new friend into our routines.  We also talked about heroes and why they are our heroes to observe September 11th.  Their writing is displayed in our room. Stop by and check it out!  They came up with some good ones.  (While writing we are working on telling why and giving details so this supports that work also!)

In writing we have been working on capital letters and punctuation in all sentences.  We have also been working on proper formation of letters on the lines.  While working on this we are also adding details--either to create a picture OR to support our ideas from the text if we are writing about a book.

Please be sure that you are checking the planners nightly!  The conference sign up papers came home Thursday in the planners!  Speaking of conferences I have middle times (like 4:15ish-5:15ish) open if you are interested in coming this round.  If your child is doing well, you do not have to come this round...we have more in December.  Please know that I cannot meet with all parents on this night as there isn't enough time.  We can make other arrangements if needed.  Slots are filling up fast.

Again, these kids are amazing!  Keep up whatever you are doing at home as it is working! :)

Thursday, September 11, 2014


Hello! Today conference forms came home in the planners today.  If you are interested in a conference please sign up.  If you think all is well and you would like to wait until December's conferences, that is fine too.  Please know that if there is ever an issue, I will be in contact with you.  We are still in the data collecting phase of what we are doing.  As I get it all together, I will be sharing it with you.

From Wednesday, 9/10...

We had our first library day.  Normally we will go to the library Friday mornings.  Each child can check out 2 books unless they still owe a book from last year.  The goal is for 1 to be a "just right book" on a first grade level and one to be a "free choice" book that might require adult help to read.  Because it was our first time and it was the end of the day, we ran over with choosing books so our agendas didn't get filled out.  Everyone had a fabulous day!  Also, there is a fundraiser for the school Thursday night, 9/11, at the ice cream place in the Winn Dixie plaza.  Check the planner for the label about times and the name of the ice cream place!  As always, thank you for understanding that sometimes our learning and excitement gets in the way of the routine of filling out the planners.  Please know that if there was ever a day that you need to know about a poor choice when this happens, I would let you know by a phone call or email!  Otherwise, please know we will make it up the next day.

On the same note, please be sure that you are checking your child's planner nightly and initialing it or signing it.

Spelling test on Friday as well as the homework folder being due!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Personal CD players or headphones?

Does anyone have any personal CD players or headphones (not ear buds), or AA batteries that you would like to donate to our listening center?  If so, please send them in. THANKS!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Homework Folder....forgotten

The homework folders were sitting on the table at the end of the day today...they will come home on Monday.  So sorry!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Week of September 2-5, 2014

Spelling words for September 12, 2014 test
This week’s words will review the short a sound.

Monday is picture day! Forms came home last week in the Thursday folder.  Please send them back to school if you haven't already if you are interested in purchasing pictures.

Please be sure to return the Thursday folder the next day.  Starting this week, all work done in class will go into their mailboxes to come home on Thursdays as well.  This will be an important day to check that Thursday folder for important information and to check to see what we have done at school each week!

I hope to have this blog updated every week on Thursday.  Please note that sometimes life happens and it may be Friday, but that is my plan.  That way when the Thursday folder comes home and/or the Homework Folder on Fridays, you will remember that you need to check this.  As I said in the newsletter last week, if you cannot access this easily, please let me know and I will print a copy for you.

This week we have been working on adding and subtracting within 20 in math. This will continue into the next few weeks as well.

In Language Arts we are working on our routines and getting the Daily 5 up and running.  We are also doing DRAs to find out what reading level each student is currently on.  We have been talking about the beginning, middle, and end, characters, and setting.  These would be wonderful things to discuss as you read at least 4 days at home each week!

Today, Thursday, was a truly amazing day!  Every student in the class was on task, listening, following directions, working hard, raising hands, ... Even in art and at lunch!  Please chat with your child about this and reiterate how marvelous it is!

Homework folders will come home on Fridays and are due back the next week on Friday, completed.  Please be sure that your child is reading AT LEAST 4 nights a week as well as completing the other homework that is assigned.  Spelling lists come home today.  They need to be able to spell them correctly to get credit. Your child will be writing these in their planner.  If you need a copy of them, please check here.


Please send in a snack if your child would like one.  They will have time for a snack after specials.  PLEASE NO PEANUT SNACKS as there is an allergy in the room next door and we share bathrooms/air space.  This was mentioned in the newsletter that went home on August 29. Water bottles are also a nice addition to the day.  They can keep them at their seats.  Please only send water though as it isn't sticky when it spills. They are hungry, hungry, hungry by 9am every day!

Specials Schedule Change

This week we have a new specials schedule.  It is written in your child's planner/agenda.

Friday, August 29, 2014


Today we read SHARK books.  Many of the students are crazy for sharks.  When excitement and inquiry meet up....well let's just say there was some amazing creating and writing going on today! We now have created sharks to "catch" our work.  As the students do some amazing work, it will be showcased in the shark's mouths.  I will post pictures after they get laminated on Wednesday and then get cut out.  They are all unique. What is the most fun about them?  Most of the students used information that we learned from the books to choose their color schemes for their specific shark. It was fun to hear the conversations happen around what colors were being used and why.  We will have to see when sharks pop up in our learning again!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Classroom Clip Chart

Classroom Clip Chart
It is never too early to learn the importance of making responsible choices. So, in our classroom, we keep track of our behavior on our classroom clip chart. Students move their clip up on the chart for making responsible choices and move their clip down on the chart for making inappropriate choices. The best part about this system is that it gives students an opportunity to IMPROVE their behavior and make better choices, which allows students to move back up on the chart! The chart below explains how the clip chart works.

Students move to pink for making OUTSTANDING choices in school. This level is reserved for extraordinary behavior. This is truly a celebratory place to land!

Great Job
Students move to purple when they continue to make positive choices. This is a great accomplishment!

Good Day
Students move to blue for making positive choices, trying their best, and showing good character.

Ready to Learn
All students begin every day on green and are ready to learn. Clips are moved up and down on the chart according to choices they make in school. If your child remains on green, they had a fabulous day at school and have done everything they need to do to be successful at school! This is a good place to be every day.

Think About It
Students move to yellow as a friendly reminder to follow the classroom rules.  It is a warning to say something needs to change.

They will be asked to reflect about their behavior, the choices made, and how they affected others.

Teachers Choice
Students who continue to make poor choices move to orange. When students move to Teacher’s Choice, the teacher will choose an appropriate consequence.
It could be taking a break, loss of privileges, whatever is logical for the misbehavior and meaningful to the student.

Parent Contact
Students who move to red will have the behavior noted on the consequence form in the homework folder. This should be signed by a parent and returned to school the next day. The student may also lose recess time or other privileges. There may be additional contact from the teacher through a note, e-mail, or phone call home to discuss the student’s behavior.

Welcome to First Grade at the Beach!

Hello Parents! Welcome to a place for sharing everything that we do in First Grade this year.  It will be a fabulous way for us to stay connected without paper newsletters all of the time. :)  Check here for spelling words, updates about homework, what we are working on, and anything else that I can think of that shares what fun we have every day at school!