September Newsletter

First Grade Happenings in 1-306



During the past fifteen days of school, 1-306 has been working hard to build our classroom community. We discovered classroom materials, learned about our schedules and routines, established hopes & dreams, and generated classroom agreements, or rules. The time dedicated to building this foundation will support an efficient, fun and safe learning environment for the rest of the year.

A theme for the 2018-2019 school year will be togetherness. During these first six weeks of school, we will continue to take opportunities to get to know one another. Some activities that have allowed us to do this are Morning Meeting, class discussions and dedicated time for sharing such as our Closing Circle.

Every day, we have interviewed a Student of the Day. During this process, students are asking class-generated questions, developing their listening skills and learning about their friends. This is also an opportunity for shared writing and reading.


Literacy is an integral part of our day. It can be found from the Morning Meeting to Math. In September, we launched Reader’s and Writer’s Workshops. We focused on developing good habits for self-selecting books, taking care of books and reading long and strong.

Every morning, 1-306 reads quietly in their independent reading bubble for an ever-growing amount of minutes. They are working on selecting and reading “just right” books, which are not too easy (“downhill”) or hard (“uphill”). As students start to select their own “just right” books and keep them in their book box, they will be able to develop more independence in how they choose and engage with books.

Our schedule allows for us to visit the school library each week. (Our first visit will be next Wednesday and our librarian is 1-306’s own Sarah Scogin!) As first graders become familiar with library routines and expectations, they will begin checking out books each week to keep in our classroom. Additionally, 1-306 has two buddy classes they will be meeting with regularly: a pre-k class of “Little Reading Buddies” (our first visit is next week!) and fifth grade class of “Big Reading Buddies.” These opportunities will facilitate a love for books and reading in your student. In October, the class will be diving into fiction stories and learning about the components of a story that are most important to readers.


As writers, students in 1-306 are building stamina, drawing from their own life experiences and exploring taught craft and features. An important goal for the first part of the year will be cultivating independence in student writers. As part of this process, students are integrating writing folders into Writer’s Workshop, a tool which will allow them to organize their writing progress as well as reference mini lessons and conference notes.

This month, first graders have been learning about what writers can write about and strategies to use if they feel stuck. In the month of October, first graders will write about important moments in their own lives, stretching out those moments to add interesting details for their reader.


1-306 students have been working on being organized and focused mathematicians. Games such as “I Built Ten!” have helped students develop independence and demonstrate their number sense. Many of the games your students have been playing are familiar and allow them to work on their fluency (such as ways to make 10). Ask your student about the math games and other activities they have worked on in the classroom.

Another regular math routine has been Days of School, allowing students to look at the various ways to count, group and notice patterns in the growing number of school days. Ten frames, rekenreks, bead strings and hundreds charts are just some of the tools used for math routines.

In October, we will begin a unit on doubles in addition and how to represent thinking on paper. By using the context of pairs, students will be able to create meaning behind doubles facts and grouping. At home, engage your student when counting pairs and single objects.


During the past month of school, we have been reading various genres of books, including character and author book series (such as Little Critter and books by Ezra Jack Keats). We have also been reading books about feelings and how we can acknowledge certain feelings at school when sad, angry, upset, etc. As our Peace Place and social/emotional work continues, students will be taking a stronger lead in having agency over their own tricky feelings this year and engaging in strategies that lead to communication with each other.


-Thank you to Katherine Issel (Maddie) and Lily Wicker (Kaia) for being our class parents!

-We will have an America Read Tutor named Diana spend a few days each week in the classroom to support students in literacy activities.

-A sheet with questions to ask your students went home this week.

-Handwriting and Sight Word homework is going home each week. Students will benefit from the practice and do not need to return their homework to school.

-Dreambox info sheets with log-in information were backpacked home this week.

-Here are our fall Family Morning dates:

-Thursday October 4th 8:45-9:15 AM

-Wednesday November 21, 8:45-9:15 AM

-Thursday, December 20,  8:45-9:15 AM

-The Specials schedule for 1-306 is:

-Monday: Music

-Tuesday: Art

-Wednesday: P.E.

-Thursday: Big Blocks

-Friday: Science