We had our first mystery reader surprise the students. One of our student's grandmothers was visiting from overseas, so it was the perfect time to surprise us with special mystery readers! Our visitors read the story "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" by Laura Numeroff, a funny story about all the situations that you would get into if you gave a mouse a cookie. Our guests brought cookies for everyone to share. This is the start to many fun reading adventures for first grade. The students enjoyed it so much and are very excited for our next reader . . . whenever that may be (wink, wink)!
Friday was our Halloween party, so today we met with our prayer partners and did some Halloween science. We had a lot of fun learning! We made our tissue paper ghosts dance without touching them. We put candy pumpkins in three liquids (milk, water, and oil) and compared the results. We used geometric shapes to make bats, and we played "Would You Rather".
The first graders are learning a lot! We have finished our chapter on addition and have moved on to subtraction. While we are working on many ways to add and subtract in school using manipulatives, number lines, work mats, and mental math, it is always a good idea for first graders to be working on memorizing addition facts at home, with answers up to ten. By the end of the year, math facts with answers up to 20 would be beneficial for the kids to practice and memorize.
We are currently learning blends, digraphs, and suffixes in phonics. We are reading on a daily basis and have reached over 5,000 on our reading log minutes already! This week, we have been very busy! The students worked in groups using geographic shapes to make Christopher Columbus' three ships. We had a fire prevention assembly and a spiritual adoption presentation. Last week, we visited the Church and learned about many holy things and how to be reverent.
We have some important dates coming up:
October 13th: Parent/teacher conferences; no school for elementary students
October 20th: Fall Festival
October 26th: Grandparents' Day; Picture Retake Day
The first graders are settling into a routine in the classroom and they are enjoying the new building and all its amenities, especially the playground! We are learning about the planets in the solar system, addition, and letter blends in phonics. We are learning about creation in religion, and how important it is for us to take care of God's wonderful gifts, including each other. The first test packet will be coming home this week. Don't forget on Wednesday, September 20, the students have off school so the faculty can attend a workshop and retreat with the rest of the diocese and Friday, September 22 is picture day!
I wanted to send out a quick tutorial on the MyMath online. I am sending the usernames and passwords home in the homework folder today on an instructional sheet. If you don't get it, please let me know! When you first log in, you will see a picture of your student's textbook. If you click on the book, it will take you to a screen that looks like this:
On the left side above the video, you can pick the chapter and the lesson your child is working on. Once that is done, you can scroll through the Lesson Resources section on the right to see videos explaining that lesson, extra practice, and a page with the manipulatives that the students use in class. Below you can see a picture of this page. You can pick which manipulative you would like to use and then drag as many over on the page as you need (we will use the connecting cubes, two-color counters, attribute blocks, currency, and base ten blocks this year). You can also pick a background to match the mats we use in our book and in class (we will use tens and ones charts, ten frames, number lines, hundred charts, and part-part whole this year). If you want to look at the pages from the book itself, you can click on eBook on the right side of the page. This is a great resource for your child, especially the manipulatives page. There are also several fun math games on this site. If you have any questions, please email me and I will try to answer it!
We had a great first week of school in first grade! We've learned the letters N, O, and T in phonics. We started adding in math. We did several worksheets helping us get to know each other and helping the students get to know each other. We've talked about school rules, bathroom rules, and recess rules. The students had computer class with Mrs. Dixon and art class with Mrs. Fagnani for the first time. They also had Spanish, gym, and library. Monday will be our first music class of the year. We've read stories, played games, and even did a science experiment! It went so well, I just know this year is going to be great!
In addition to our class work, this coming week we will be doing some of our beginning of the year testing and we will have our first school Mass in the church at 8:30 Friday morning. All are welcome to celebrate Mass with us! Please remember that on Monday, September 4th, the students have off school for Labor Day. We will be talking this week about what Labor Day is, what our parents do, and what we want to do when we grow up. Reading logs will be sent home this week. I will start collecting them on September 11th. Have a wonderful week!
It is my pleasure to welcome you and your child to First Grade at St. Joseph School!
This will be my sixth full time year at St. Joseph’s Catholic School and I could not be more excited to teach this wonderful upcoming first grade class! I also look forward to meeting all of you at our Grade Level Meeting on Wednesday, August 16, 2016 at 5:30 PM in the first grade classroom.
As you prepare your child for First Grade, please refer to our classroom’s supply list below. I have also included a list of supplies for art class that your child will need in addition to the supplies needed in the classroom. Please label your child’s supplies with a Sharpie marker or name labels. It is very helpful to have every marker, crayon, glue stick, etc. labeled with your child’s name as students will manage their own supplies. The art supplies should come in the tote bag so the students do not get the art supplies mixed with their classroom supplies.
School Supply List
1 box (no higher than 24 count) of crayons
5 sharpened pencils
1 large eraser
2 glue sticks
2 2-pocket folders
1 pencil case or box
1 dry erase marker
1 coloring book
1 package of disinfectant wipes
1 box of tissues
Mrs. Fagnani’s Art Supply List
1 tote bag (approximately 12 x 16)
1 box (24 count) of crayons
1 art shirt (pull-over)
1 box of colored pencils
1 box of fat classic colored markers
4 glue sticks
1 box of tissues
1 package of baby wipes
Each student will receive a lined copy book, a homework journal, and a writing journal at school. Should you have any questions, comments, concerns, suggestions, please feel free to contact me at any time! You can reach me by calling the office at 717-632-0118 or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy the rest of the summer!
With anticipation for a very blessed school year,
First we had a mystery reader tell us a good Canadian hockey story, The Hockey Sweater by Roch Carrier. He shared hockey cards and little hockey sweaters with all the children. In the story, the main character and his friends all wear Montreal Canadiens' sweaters. When his mother orders a new sweater from the department store in the big city after the old one has worn out, he is mistakenly sent a sweater of Montreal's bitter rival, the Toronto Maple Leafs instead. The boy faces the persecution of his peers and his coach prevents him from playing hockey because of his sweater.
Our next mystery reader read us the story Pete the Cat and his Magic Sunglasses by James and Kimberly Dean. In the story, Pete the Cat starts out grumpy but with the help of his "magic sunglasses", he sees everything in a new positive light. Throughout the story, Pete helps his friends see things more positively too. Our mystery reader also brought "magic" sunglasses for all the students, with brownies!
Mystery readers are so much fun!
Our field trip was so much fun! We had a very adventurous day! First we had a fascinating assembly with real dinosaur fossils. Mr. and Mrs. Straka are paleontologists that have found some amazing fossils, some of which are displayed in the Smithsonian. I even got to hold dinosaur poop, while the students guessed what it was from a series of clues! Then we dug for many, many different types of minerals and fossils, which we used to build stegosauruses, just like real paleontologists do. We had a pizza party and popsicles, we played dodge ball, made fossils out of play-doh, and made dinosaur art. It was a great day!
The first grade used their attribute blocks to make lots of fun pictures. Manipulating and combining the shapes to make pictures helps the students recognize how shapes are related. Having the shapes physically in their hands and tracing the shapes onto paper helps them gain concrete skills in geometry. And let's not forget just how much fun it is to "play" with blocks! The students were super creative! They made trees, seashells, and ice cream cones with help of outlines. They made flowers, soccer balls, rocket ships, birds, peacocks, houses, potatoes, and many cool designs without outlines.
Welcome to First Grade!
Hello! I am Stacey Biggins, the first grade teacher at St. Joseph School. I am so excited to be teaching first grade! If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me by e-mail or by sending a note with your child. I can also be reached at the school office by calling 717-632-0118. By working together, we will all have a blessed school year!
Email Mrs. Biggins
First Grade Specials
Tuesday: Computer and Spanish