We had two great mystery readers this month. Our first reader read Ricky, the Rock That Couldn't Roll by Mr. Jay. It is a heart-warming story about a rock that can't roll. All his friends are playing and rolling around, but Ricky is flat on one side so he can't roll around. His friends are determined not to leave their friend out, so they try different strategies to help him roll. The students really enjoyed the sweet, yet scientific story. Our reader then handed out pet rocks for all the students. Our next reader read There's a Bear on My Chair by Russ Collins. It is an amusing story of a mouse who wants to sit down on his chair, but there's a bear in his chair. He tries several ways to get the bear to leave, with no avail. Eventually the mouse gives up and leaves. The bear gets up, goes home, and to his surprise, finds the mouse in his bed. This made the students giggle a lot! The students were each given a bear eraser to help them remember the story. Both were adorable stories that the students really enjoyed! I also included pictures of the kids playing in the snow and a slideshow with some of our Martin Luther King, Jr. projects. The students made posters on the interactive TV. They also made posters with their dream of what they think would make the world a better place.
Monday, January 30th: Dress in 50s attire
Tuesday, January 31st: Dress in vintage T-shirts (60s); Miss Pam's retirement party 5:00 to 7:00
Wednesday, February 1st: Dress in tye-dye (70s)
Thursday, February 2nd: Dress in neon (80s); remember it's a gym day
Friday, February 3rd: Dress in spirit wear; All school Mass
Tuesday, February 14th: Valentines Day party
Monday, February 20th: No school - President's Day
We had a lot of Christmas fun, but we did not forget the reason for the season. As service during Advent, we illustrated the nativity story (with help from our seventh grade prayer partners); then we told the story to the PreK using our illustrations. On the last week of school before break, we met again with our prayer partners and practiced sentence writing, we had a Polar Express day in our Christmas jammies, and we had a great Christmas party.
Important Upcoming Dates:
Friday, January 6: Whole School Mass 9:00
Tuesday, January 10: Phonics Review for Parents 3:00
Monday, January 16: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day; No school
Friday, January 20: First Grade attends Mass with prayer partners 9:00
Week of January 29th: Catholic Schools Week (more details to follow)
We had two great mystery readers helping us get ready for Christmas. The first read Little Blue Truck's Christmas by Alice Schertle. The book is about a little blue truck that delivers Christmas trees to his animal friends. The students loved the sweet story and were excited by the surprise at the end - a Christmas tree with real twinkling lights! Our reader handed out a coloring sheet and crayons for students to decorate their own Little Blue Truck. Our next reader read Olive, the Other Reindeer by Vivian Walsh. The story is a cute story about a dog named Olive, who misunderstood the Rudolph line "all of the other reindeer" and thought it was saying "Olive, the other reindeer". He thought this meant he was a reindeer so he took 2 buses to the North Pole to help Santa fly his sleigh. Santa and the other reindeer thought it was strange that a dog wanted to pull his sleigh, but Olive ended up saving the day when he could sniff his way home. As a surprise, the students received cool Christmas glasses and a candy cane. The students enjoyed both Christmas readers so much!
We've been having some Christmas fun in other ways too. Our elf, Snowflake Cuddles, is usually not a mischievous elf, but this week she really made the students laugh. She got all the iPads out and took a different selfie on each iPad and set them up on the students' desks. Due to weather, we were stuck inside for recess twice this week. The students enjoy the different things to play with in the classroom when can't go outside or use the gym. And of course, we are practicing often for the Christmas show on December 13th.
December 8th: No gym class; wear school uniforms; All School Mass 9:00
December 9th: Gym Class; wear gym clothes
December 12th: All School Mass 10:00
December 13th: Christmas Show; be in the social hall, dressed up by 6:15
December 19th: Ugly sweater day; wear uniform bottoms
December 21st: Wear Christmas pajamas for Polar Express Day
December 22nd: Classroom Christmas party; Dress down in green and red; early dismissal
December 23rd: First day of Christmas break
January 3rd: First day back to school
We had a fun Thanksgiving mystery reader! She read a great book, "How to Catch a Turkey" by Adam Wallace. The story is about a turkey running loose through a school right before Thanksgiving. The students turn the school upside down trying to find the turkey and they hilariously strategize how to catch the turkey. Each student got a fun Thanksgiving squishy to help them relate to the story. The students are loving their mystery readers!
In class, we are doing a lot of writing. The past five weeks, we worked on a series of weekly writings about things we're thankful for, some fun, some serious. I've also challenged the students to thank their parents every week during November for something they don't normally say thank you for. They could decorate a turkey for our bulletin board saying what they said thank you for if they wanted to. The students thanked their parents for tucking them in at night, helping them with homework, cooking them dinner, driving them to school, snuggling with them, and so much more! We also did some playdough sentences. We made things out of playdough and wrote sentences telling what we made. In addition to Thanksgiving writing and playdough writing, we made cards for veterans to thank them for their service.
We had our second mystery reader of the year. She read the Witch on the Broom by Julia Donaldson. The story is about a witch and her cat flying through the air on her broom, picking up helpful friends on their way. The friends find themselves in a battle with a dragon, but they work together to get out of their predicament. Then when the broom breaks, the witch brews up a very impressive brew to solve their problem. The story is funny and heart-warming! The students each received a small treat and pencil in the shape of a witch's broom to help remind them of the book. The students loved it and can't wait for their next mystery reader!
The slideshow below is filled with pictures from our Halloween party. We started with a parade in our costumes with PreK - 3rd grade. Then we watched Curious George Halloween and had snacks. Next, we handed out our treats for one another and then played games the rest of the day. We turned each other into mummies and played musical chairs and Hullabalo. What a fun day!
This past week was Pumpkin Week! During pumpkin week, we learn everything there is to know about pumpkins - the life cycle of the pumpkin, the parts of the pumpkin, and what a pumpkin feels like, smells like, and most importantly, tastes like. We had eight different pumpkin treats this week: pie, roll, dip, cookies, bars, muffins, and more. We acted as scientists and did experiments on our pumpkins and recorded our observations. We also dug out pumpkin seeds which we will plant and bring home. We even did a puking pumpkin experiment.
We had a fire safety assembly, which is always exciting and we started playing Freckle on our iPads. The students' logins have been taped to the inside of their homework folder just in case they want to play Freckle at home - this online gaming platform will help the students hone their math and ILA skills.
We had our first mystery reader of the year! The kids always love this program. A family member of one of our students plan a date, secretly, to come in and read to the class. They usually bring a small treat or trinket to help the students relate to the book. And while the students love all that, the surprise is really the best part! When we get the call from the office, the students just can't contain their excitement, wondering if this mystery reader will be their family member! And our first mystery reader did not disappoint! A dad came in and read a great Halloween book, How to Catch a Witch, by Alice Walstead. The story follows kids chasing a witch on Trick-or-Treat night and the many ways the witch evades the children. It is a funny book and the students really enjoyed it. Then the students got a trick-or-treat of their own and a Halloween pencil. The students loved it and can't wait for our next mystery reader!
The last two pictures are the students with their new Squishmallow pets. The pets get to sit with them at their desk and the students can interact with them as long as they are paying attention and being quiet while I'm teaching. If the student is not behaving at the moment, the pet needs to go back to the Squishmallow School for a little while. I bought the Squishmallow pets with the money I won from having the highest attendance at Back to School night, so thank you to everyone who came!
Important Upcoming Dates:
Wednesday, October 12: Fire Prevention Assembly
Thursday, October 13: Dress Down Day $3.00
Friday, October 21: All School Mass; Fall Fest
Friday, October 28: Halloween Party
Monday, October 31: Black and Orange Dress Down Day
Tuesday, November 1: All Saints Day, All School Mass
Thursday, November 10: Picture Re-Take Day
Friday, November 11: Early Dismissal for Teacher Training
Tuesday, November 22: Early Dismissal for Thanksgiving Break
One of our students' fathers came in to discuss how and why we call 9-1-1. He is an officer in Baltimore County and brought lots of gear in for the students to interact with. He spent time with the students, answered their questions, and even let them climb in the front seat of his police car. It was a great experience for the students! Thank you Officer Brown!
Below are pictures of Officer Brown's visit and various things we do in the classroom.
The first graders are settling into a routine nicely. We have had two students take home the weather bag already, two students of the week, and we've even had two students fill their sticker charts. In addition to our reading, math, handwriting, and religion, we have been doing a lot of science in the past two weeks. We had two class pets, a small frog and a baby rat snake. We searched and found leaves that were filled with chlorophyll, that were drained of most of their chlorophyll, and that were already dead. We have learned why trees are important and ways we can help not waste products made with trees. With Mrs. Noel's help, we also did experiments to see how sound waves travel.
Here are some important upcoming dates:
Wednesday, September 29th: First grade shops the book fair
Wednesday, September 29th: Mandatory school zoom meeting
Friday, October 7th: Parent/Teacher Conferences - no school (A packet of work will be sent home that week to be completed on that day so that day can be counted as a school day)
Monday, October 10th: No school
Friday, October 21st: Fall Fest
Lots of interesting things are happening in first grade! The students are learning their letters and letter sounds in phonics. We're working on blending sounds together to read and breaking words down into sounds so we can spell. We're learning the apostrophe s, the suffix s, and nouns. In math, we're working on addition number sentences. In religion, we're learning that God is our friend and he created this world for us, so we need to take care of it. Putting that into real world action, we're recycling in the classroom (along with the rest of the school). We're starting to really understand the daily routine, which will mean we will be finding more ways to have fun while learning.
Remember, this is a blog, so you can scroll down and see old posts and important dates.
Reading Log Minutes: 18,729
Welcome to First Grade!
Hello! I am Stacey Biggins, one of the first grade teachers 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
Wednesday: Spanish, Library