We've had some great mystery readers in the past month! First, the Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt was read to the students. It's a cute story about a little boy's crayons going on strike because they all want to play a different role in coloring. The students laughed often, especially when the peach crayon was "naked". Second, Tacky and the Winter Games by Helen Lester was read to the students. This story is about a penguin, who, with his friends, tries to qualify for the winter olympics. Each attempt at a winter sport, Tacky and his friends do something wild and funny, but in the end, the love and joy of playing sports comes through. Last, Betty Lou Blue by Nancy Crocker was a great book that teaches an important lesson. She gets picked on because of her big feet, until the kids get trapped in a snow drift and Betty Lou Blue becomes the hero thanks to her feet!
First grade is learning a lot and having a lot of fun doing it. Ms. Pam planned our winter carnival, lots of parents came in to help, and the first grade scored lots of great prizes! In addition to the winter carnival, we've been learning about Lent and living by Jesus' example, learning place value in math, and practicing writing personal narratives. In phonics, we are learning the dropping rule when adding suffixes and irregular spelling of words with vowel digraphs such as ea. We are reviewing sentence rules every day, such as punctuation and capitalization. We are doing weekly math fact worksheets on Tuesdays to help highlight where each student needs practice. Memorizing math facts with answers up to 20 will help the students transition to 2-digit math. We finished our mid-year testing and we are making great strides as a class!
Here are a few important dates coming up:
March 2: Mass at 8:30 a.m.
March 7: Report cards will be sent home.
March 19: St. Joseph's Day Mass 8:30 a.m. (First grade will be doing the readings.)
March 28: Early dismissal 11:45 a.m.
March 29-April 1: Easter Break
April 2: Snow make-up day
Catholic Schools Week was a lot of fun for first grade! Our school theme was St. Joseph goes for the gold. On Monday, we celebrated the USA by wearing red, white, and blue and we made cards for community helpers. This year we made cards for my oncologist, while second and third graders made cards for local firemen and police officers. On Tuesday, we dressed in spirit wear, received a soft pretzel snack, and had no homework. On Wednesday, we had our Jump Rope for Heart, which we did with our prayer partners. On Thursday, we had our school olympics where students did relays and other games mimicking the Winter Olympics. First grade did the skeleton races. Then we had lunch with our parents. Friday, we ended our week with school Mass, an open house, and an afternoon of board games with our prayers partners. Throughout the week, each class picked a country to learn about. We picked Indonesia, as one of our first grade parents is from Indonesia. She helped me teach the class about Indonesia by making three different finger foods from Indonesia for the kids to taste, giving us Indonesian money to explore and compare to our money, and lending us a flag. We learned a lot this week and had tons of fun doing it!
Our January mystery readers have been a lot of fun for the first grade! First, a mystery reader read Pete the Cat and the Missing Cupcakes by James Dean. This cute mystery about friends preparing for a party and trying to find their missing cupcakes teaches us that it's cool to be kind. Our next mystery reader read the Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett. This twist on a classic has all the fun and sass of the original, but it has a much happier ending!
Catholic Schools Week is coming quickly. There are a lot of great things planned. First, the theme is St. Joseph Goes for the Gold, so each class has chosen a country to learn about during the week. We have chosen Indonesia. The following are a few things you will need to know throughout the week:
January 28: Catholic Schools Week opening Mass 9:00 am followed by an education fair; Students are encouraged to wear their school uniform to Mass
January 29: Dress down in red, white and blue to celebrate the United States of America
January 30: Dress down in school spirit wear; No homework!
January 31: Dress in gym uniforms for Jump Rope for Heart
February 1: Dress in white shirts and gym uniform pants; Parent luncheon 12:00; Magic Elm Skating Party 6:00
February 2: Closing Mass 8:30; Open House 9:30
We had a lot of Christmas fun in first grade. We did service for our school, by sharing the Good News of God's love with the preschool students. The first graders each illustrated a person, animal, or place from the story of the first Christmas and we told that story through illustrations. The students also colored a message for the preschool telling them that God loves them. We performed Las Posadas throughout the school, which is an Hispanic celebration of the first Christmas. Santa came to visit and gave each of the first graders a chance to sit on his lap and tell him what they want for Christmas. We decorated our classroom, made a craft with our prayer partners, and did many Christmas activities. The students also did an amazing job and looked absolutely adorable in the Christmas show.
I wanted to thank everyone for the thoughtful cards and gifts at Christmas. I also wanted to thank you all for your prayers. My scans came back clear and I know that is God answering the prayers of my students, family, and friends.
We had a Christmas mystery reader last week and this week. Last week's mystery reader read the story "A Wish to be a Christmas Tree" by Colleen Monroe. It's a great story of an overgrown pine tree that dreams of being a Christmas tree but is always overlooked because of it's size. Then, the animals in the woods made him a Christmas tree to help him achieve his dream. It's a heart-warming story. The students then enjoyed Christmas tree cakes. This week, our mystery readers read the book "Little Reindeer Saves Christmas," a story about a little reindeer that is called up to fly Santa's sleigh when his other reindeer get sick. There were lots of laughs with this story. Then the students were given bags of Christmas cookies with reindeer on the cookies. As you can tell by the pictures, the students get very excited when we have mystery readers!
Our mystery readers are adding to our Christmas spirit! Llama Llama Holiday Drama by Anna Dewdny is a great holiday book that reminds us that Christmas is not about the gifts. It reminds us that being with family is more important during the holidays than the presents. Our guests also brought llama lollipops and cupcakes to help us remember the great story.
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)!
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