This is my 27th year teaching in Wayland. Time sure does fly when you are having fun! During that time, I have taught both second and first grades. First Grade is a magical year of incredible growth!

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Hello Families.  Have you heard about our science experiment with air and parachutes?  Has your child tried to build one at home?  We have been exploring how air interacts with parachutes.  I have included pictures and a few short videos from this experiment at the end of this blog.  

Can you tell me about wind resistance and how this helps a parachute float to the ground?

We have added the following trick words to our word wall:
a, and, his, is, of, the

Ask your child to teach you the song I taught them to help them remember how to spell the word “of.”

Readers’ Workshop:
We have begun Reading RTI.  This is when we work with children in small groups to work on specific reading and phonics skills, based on assessments we have given.  During this time your child may work with me, Mrs. Sontag, Mrs. Behr, Mrs. Lukianov, Mrs. DiStefano, or Mrs. Pimentel. 

Our class has learned all of the beanie baby reading strategies and should now be able to use these independently to sound out unknown words.

We continue to work on our fluency as we read aloud.  The goal is to read as if we were speaking. 

As your child reads with you at home, ask him/her how he/she would “scoop” a sentence.

Here is an example of what I mean by "scoop" a sentence.


I read the book, The Night of the Veggie Monster, by George McClements to the class.  It is about what happens when a boy has to eat a pea with his dinner.  This is a perfect example of a small moment story.

I will refer back to this book often to remind them what a small moment story looks like as we do our writing.

Open Circle:

We have learned several ways to calm down when we are excited, nervous, upset, or disappointed.  It is important to be calm so that we are able to make good decisions about our reactions.

Show me some of the ways you could calm down.  Is there one that works best for you?  When might you use one of these strategies?

We also began to look at the size of the problem vs. the size of our reactions.  This is something all of us can relate to!  Even Mr. Jones, who came by for a visit during this time.  While our feelings may be big, our reactions need to match the size of the problem.  Our class will continue to explore this concept next week.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, October 5, 2018

Hello Families.  Thank you to all of the families who signed up for our 20-minute fall conference.  If you have not signed up yet, please do so now.   The link is in the top right corner of this page.  Conferences begin next week.

Below are some things we have been working on and questions to ask your child.  I have also included some photos and videos of our science experiment this week as well as our Loker Garden Harvest today.

We have learned the keywords and sounds for all of the consonants and short vowels.  We are now working on putting sounds together and tapping out CVC (consonant vowel consonant) words. 

Can you tell me the keyword and sound for_______?(a-z)
How would you tap out the word “mud?”

We have completed our first unit and started our new unit this week.  We will be working on the following skills for the next month:

Conceptual Understanding of solving word problems about putting     together and taking apart situations
Learning combinations of numbers up to 10 beginning at a targeted    number based on the results of an assessment
Understand the relationship between addition and subtraction and use visuals to understand this relationship (turn around facts as well)
Use number bonds to understand the relationship between addition and subtraction
•Begin to introduce fact families

A note went home on Thursday that explains our current science unit.  We explored what air can do this week and used our science journals for the first time.

What did you discover that air can do?
Tell me about your science journal.

Open Circle:

We learned how to deal with annoying behavior.  Here are the steps:
1.     Tell the person specifically what it is you want them to stop.  “Please stop making noises.”
2.   Tell the person why that behavior is annoying you.
“When you make noises, I am distracted and cannot focus on my work.”
3.   Tell the person what you would like them to do instead.
“Please do your work quietly.”

Some of the children put this lesson to use before the end of the day!  J

Ms. Pirelli came in earlier this week to talk with us about “space bubbles.”

What is a space bubble?  What can you do in the classroom to respect your classmates' space bubbles?

We are really looking forward to our Multicultural Potluck dinner next Thursday evening in the Loker cafeteria from 5:30 PM-6:15 PM.  I hope to see all of you there!  Lauren Grenier has sent out a reminder about this wonderful event.  Thank you, Lauren!

Have a great weekend,


Sunday, September 23, 2018

Hello Families.  Can you believe we have been in school for only 12 days?  We have been working hard to learn first grade routines and expectations.  The first 6 weeks of school are all about building a solid foundation so we are able to do our best learning throughout the year.  Our motto is “practice makes progress.” 

We made rules for our classroom together.  It was a three-day process!  We discussed why we come to school (to learn was a common theme) on the first day.  On the second day, we shared our hopes and dreams for first grade.  On the third day, we discussed how we would all be able to learn and work on our hopes and dreams.  From those discussions, we came up with the following rules:

Below is some of what we have been working on, in addition to our routines and expectations.  I will also provide suggested questions for you to ask your child.

At the end of the blog are some photos, and a couple of short videos, from our first 12 days.

We have reviewed the sounds and letter formations for the following letters:
a, b, c, d, e, f, g, I, m, n, o, r, s, t, and u

Can your child tell you the keyword and sound for each letter?
Tell me about the “skyline,” "plane line,” “grass line,” and “worm line.”

Readers’ Workshop:

We are learning what our Readers’ Workshop times will look and sound like.  During this time, we have worked on our handwriting, and All About Me book, reading poems as a class and individually, and practicing our independent reading.  Teachers have worked with individual students during this time to assess reading skills.

What is one of your favorite books in your independent reading bag?  What makes it a favorite?


We are working on:
•careful counting
•comparing numbers using the symbols <, >, and =
•tricky teens
•expectations for math stations

When working with the symbols <, >, and =, I showed the class how the symbols relate to a number line.  We do not compare the symbols to a mouth but want the children to understand the meaning of the symbols.

Can you show how the symbols, < and > relate to the number line?

Open Circle:
Open Circle is our social skills program.  There is a page on Open Circle in the packet I sent all of you last week.  As I told our class, we learn life skills in Open Circle.         

On Friday, we worked on deciding which non-verbal signals we will use in our class. 

Can you show me the non-verbal signals you decided to use in your class?  When would you use them?

We have read the following books to help us learn and practice our routines and classroom expectations:

Thank you to everyone who has signed up for our 20-minute fall conference.  If you have not done so yet, please use the link found in the top right corner of this page, to schedule a time for us to meet.  

Hope you had a wonderful weekend!