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September Newsletter

First Grade Happenings


During the past five weeks, 1-306 has been working to build our classroom community. We established hopes and dreams, developed classroom rules (or agreements), discovered materials and practiced routines. 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 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 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 Morning Message to Math to our future Content Study. 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). In each student book box, you will find approximately 10 books which are swapped out weekly when students bookshop.

Our schedule allows for us to visit the school library (in which students check out a book kept in our classroom) and have both younger and older reading buddies each month. These opportunities facilitate a love for reading in your student.


As writers, students in 1-306 are building stamina, drawing from their own life experiences and exploring taught craft and features. Currently, students are integrating writing folders into Writer’s Workshop, a tool which will allow them to organize their writing in progress as well as reference mini lessons and conferences. A primary objective for the first part of the year will be cultivating independence in student writers. You can view an example of your student’s independence on our bulletin board outside the classroom. This is a great example of how students persist, demonstrate resourcefulness and produce written work with a certain degree of independence.


1-306 students have been working on being focused and helpful math partners. Games such as “Guess My Number” have helped students problem solve collaboratively. 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 they have played 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, number lines, bead strings and hundreds charts are just some of the tools used for this routine.

This month, 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.

Read Aloud

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 feeling 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 and togetherness.


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