Thursday, April 11, 2019

April in Room 1

Spring has Sprung in Room 1

Maple Sugaring: Early spring means tapping the maple tree and collecting sap. We boil the sap in our classrooms and it turns into deliciously sweet maple syrup. The children all get a chance to see the sap boil down and taste the syrup. We celebrate the end of the process by having a pancake breakfast.

This Thursday was our traditional pancake breakfast and the children loved eating the pancakes and sharing their knowledge of the maple sugaring process. Here are some pictures from our breakfast. A special thank you to all the parents who helped up serve and clean up!







Classroom Gardens: We planted radishes and snap peas in our classroom garden this week. We will be watching them grow throughout the spring. Deborah Niles, one of our second grade teachers, coordinates the garden program. If any parents or family members are interested in helping with the gardens you can contact Ms. Niles about volunteering. Her email address is

The frog spawn has arrived: Spring also signals the arrival of frog spawn and the start of the frog life cycle. The frog spawn arrived today and we will be observing and recording how they grow. We will read about frog habitats and life cycles as well as the way they have adapted to their environments. We will be reading and learning a lot about frogs and making our own non-fiction "All About Frog" books too.

We are growing wood frogs. These frogs are native to this area and lay their eggs in vernal pools. We will also be learning about pond habitats. This is a great time of year to take a family field trip to one of the local ponds in the area to see what's going on.

Learning About Light: We are still in our physical science unit about light and sound. The children finished studying about sound by making their own instruments. They experimented with how to make parts of the instrument vibrate in ways to made sound. They also experimented with ways to adjust the volume and pitch.

Now we are learning about light. He talked about natural and man-made sources of light. We discussed how shadows appear when something blocks a source of light. We also talked about how some materials are opaque (able to block light completely), translucent (able to block some light but still allow some light to go through) and transparent (allowing most like to pass through it).  We will continue learning more about light and color after vacation.

March Madness: All three elementary schools across the district  participated in reading 16 non-fiction picture books throughout the month of March. The children voted on their 8 favorites and then they were shared again and they voted for their 4 favorites, then 2 favorites and finally the most favorite. The winner was Finding Winnie by Lindsay Mattick. It is the story behind the character Winnie the Pooh. The children really enjoyed hearing all the books and being part of the voting process.

Language Arts: 
Folktales: The children finished the unit on folktales by writing their own folktales with a partner and sharing them with the class. The books are part of our classroom library collection.

We will be moving into more non-fiction writing about frogs. A trip to the library to get and read some non-fiction books or magazines about frogs and ponds is a great way to supplement this unit. 

Fundations: Spring and sprung go along beautifully with our Fundations learning. We are learning about two and three letter blends just like in spring and sprung and skunk and clump. We are also learning about digraph blends such as those found in  shrunk and three. We have also added eight new trick words to our list; any  many  how  now  down  out  about and our. These words have the vowel combinations of ow and ou that we have been recently introduced.

Math: We are again finishing our unit on advanced addition and subtraction and will be moving into learning about money and geometry. Playing games and doing activities that require your child to add money are great practice for this upcoming unit. 

April Vacation: Beginning at the end of the school day Friday, we will be having our spring vacation. Hopefully everyone will have a chance to relax and recharge. The last part of the school year tends to go so quickly.  Enjoy!

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Room 1- March Update

Here are pictures and updates of some of the events I mentioned in our February post.

100th Day: The children had a good time doing 100 day math activities.




Ecotarium: We had a wonderful trip to the Ecotarium on March 1st. The staff at the planetarium showed how the sun, earth and moon rotate so that the view of the moon changes for us on earth. We also saw how the sun appears to rise in the east and set in the west. We got to tour the Ecotarium and then went to the sound and light workshop. The staff showed the children how sound and light waves move. Here are a few photos from the field trip.




Reader's Theater: We are learning about folktales and also working on build our reading fluency. Reader's Theater is a great way to do both. Children read folktale plays and practiced their parts. Then the children shared their stories with the entire class. Everyone sounded like professionals.




Tapping the Sugar Maple Tree: All three first grade classrooms saw Mr. Hernandez drill a hole into the sugar maple tree in front of Happy Hollow School. Then we added a bucket and a lid. Each class has gone to the tree this week to collect sap and measure it. Next week we will be boiling the sap in our classrooms to make a bit of our own syrup.

Fundations: Here is a list of the trick words we have learned and will be we learning throughout the month. We are also learning about open and closed syllables and being exposed to the vowel combinations below.


Math: We just finished our unit on place value and will return to addition and subtraction.
In this unit of study we are focusing on the following skills:

  • The Make a 10 Strategy for addition and subtraction
  • Solve equations with three addends with a sum up to 20
  • Understand the meaning of the equal sign and determine if equations involving addition and subtraction are true or false
  • Determine the unknown whole number in an addition and subtraction equation including missing addend, missing subtrahend, and missing minuend.
  • Relate addition to subtraction to solve subtraction equations
  • Solve subtraction word problems with a missing whole

We will continue to keep you updated on our learning. 
It has been a pleasure meeting with parents so far this month and I look forward to meeting everyone else throughout the month.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Room 1 News –February Update

Room 1 News –February Update

Sky and Weather: The children are becoming amateur meteorologist with our new weather unit. We are looking at the sky to see the weather conditions and clouds. We are checking the temperature each day at calendar time. We are keeping weather journals. We learned how anemometers measure the speed of the wind. We have made pinwheels to test if it is a windy day and even designed and built our own wind instruments. 

Now we are learning about the moon and how you can sometimes see it in the daytime as well as the night. We are learning how it does not always look the same to us even though its real shape remains the same. We will observe and record the moon shapes at school this week and next week. Then these journals will go home for homework on Friday, February 8thand you will be asked to go outside at night to observe the moon and record what you see. All journals will need to be returned Friday, February 15th. We will discuss out observations at that time.

Here are some photos of the children making their wind instruments.

Field Trip to the Ecotarium: We will be visiting the Worcester Ecotarium on Friday, March 1st. We chose this field trip because it covers two of our new science units (Weather and Sky as well as Sound and Light). We will visit the planetarium there to learn about the moon and stars. We will also go to an activity about sound and light waves. Sound and Light Waves is the topic of our next science unit. 

Permission slips went home today to be filled out and returned with a check payment by next Wednesday, February 6th. We ask that you return your permission slips and payments promptly as we must make an advanced payment to the Ecotarium to reserve our space. Parents are invited to chaperone. We would love to have 3 or 4 for each class. The fee for chaperones is $18.00 and covers admission to the Ecotarium and two educational programs. 

Friday is Pajama Day: This Friday, February 1st is Pajama Day for the entire school. It is a spirit day event sponsored by the student council. Children are invited to wear warm pajamas and/or bathrobes. This is a fun event, so children can choose to participate or not. Boots and outside gear must still be brought to school as we will follow a regular recess schedule. 

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner:Our class will be sharing valentines and doing a few valentine activities on February 14th. I will be sending home a class list on Friday. In order to keep with the school and state policies, VALETINES SHOULD NOT INCLUDE CANDY. 

100thDay: 100thDay will fall on the week of February 11th. We will do some 100 day activities for math. We will not be asking children to bring in 100 collections. 

Math: Our math unit this month is place value as well as addition and subtraction. Children are recognizing that the placement of digits in the tens and ones columns indicates their value as representing groups of tens or single ones. The are practicing adding and taking away groups of tens for any number up to 100. 

Non-fiction: Our reading and writing units are all about non-fiction. We have read many non-fiction books including biographies and “how to” books. We have written “how to” instructions and will be sharing them this week. We have also begun reading about penguins and will start becoming experts on these birds. We will eventually be writing an “All About” book about them. 

We will be working hard right up to our winter break that begins on Saturday, February 16th