Monday, March 30, 2020

Grade One Home Enrichment Website

An email goes home most days to first grade families giving the link to the Grade One Home Enrichment Website. Here is the link for you to access whenever you like.

There have been a few additions to the site. 

The link to On Line Programs and Practice now gives log in instructions for additional programs including: 

Happy Numbers
Starfall (This website has math and language arts.)
Symphony Math (You are now able to do Symphony Math at home.)
Tumble Books (This website includes books in English and other languages) 
Brain Pop Jr.
K-2 Skills Lab Enrichment (This includes links to many math games.)

We will keep you updated on additions and changes to this site.
Coming soon....Just for Fun  with additional links to explore.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Hello Room 1 Families

Dear Children and Parents,

We have all had a few days to experience what living and learning from home is like.  I found the first couple of days were great for cleaning and shopping and having more family time. My dog Bailey was especially happy to have company all day.  Now I’m thinking it’s time to find more things to learn and do. 
I wanted to let you know that I brought the newt home with me and it is living in my downstairs room. It is a bit quieter in my house than the classroom, so the newt is climbing on the rock and looking around at its new environment. 

I also brought home the young lettuce plants we started growing in our classroom. They are in a sunny window in the front of my house. I take them out and put them on the patio a few hours a day to get them ready to be planted in our class garden when we return to school.

All the teachers at Happy Hollow are working together to plan some learning activities for you. The first grade teachers and all the special education and specialists teachers are part of the planning as well. We will be letting you know our ideas very soon. 

We will be communicating regularly by email and I will be posting information on our class blog as well. Since, most of my information is at school, I will be postponing conferences until after our return to the classroom.  If families would like to keep in touch, please feel free to email me and let me know how you are doing. 

Ms. Pond wanted to make sure you knew she is thinking of you everyday and is looking forward to hearing from everyone in the near future.
Enjoy this sunny day and I will be in touch very soon.
Laura O’Brien

Monday, March 2, 2020

Room 1 News - the week of 3/2/20

This week is full of fun and learning. 

Tapping the Sugar Maple Tree
This morning we tapped the sugar maple tree in the front of Happy Hollow School. The three first grades will be taking turns checking the bucket daily to see how much sap we collect. We wrote about how we tapped the tree during writing today. We learned that February and March are the only two months to tap a tree here in Massachusetts.  Warm days and the cold nights are the conditions necessary for the sap to run. 

Planting Lettuce Seeds for the Classroom Garden
Last Thursday, we planted lettuce seeds and placed them under a grow light in the classroom. (Thank you to the green team for providing us with the grow light.) Today the children came to school to see tiny, green sprouts coming out of the soil. We will be recording our planting progress in a planting journal. 

Pajama Day to Celebrate Acts of Kindness
We filled the warm and fuzzy jar with acts of kindness just before February vacation. The children voted to celebrate by having a pajama and stuffed animal day this Wednesday. Children can wear pajamas, bathrobes and slippers if they wish. Pajamas must be warm enough to wear at school and out to recess. Also, robes cannot go past the child’s ankles. Stuffed animals must be able to fit into the child’s backpack.  

Dress Up Day this Friday
The student council has planned a spirit day for this Friday. It is called Dress Up Day. Children are invited to wear fancy clothes of costumes on this day. This again is voluntary. Children do not have to dress fancy if they choose not to.  Clothing must be safe to wear in school and at recess and no masks are allowed.

A sign-up schedule will come out tomorrow for spring conferences beginning the second week of March.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Our Visit to the New England

Our visit to the New England Aquarium was a success. The children were able to see African and rockhopper penguins up close. They participated in a penguin workshop. They reviewed  different penguin behaviors and learned how scientist collect data about penguins. They used the data they collected to make a graph. This experience truly enhanced their learning about penguins.

They also got a chance to explore the entire aquarium. They could see hammerhead sharks, sea turtles, eels and other deep sea animals in the center tank. There was a sea lion show in the outside pool. There were two exhibits that allowed children to touch sea creatures such as crabs, star fish, sand sharks and rays. Here are a few pictures from our visit.

A special thank you to our chaperones and HH PTO for helping to make this trip happen.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Penguins, Penguins, Penguins

The month of January is all about penguins. 
We are learning about penguins in all our subject areas.

Non-fiction Reading and Writing:
To begin our research about penguins, we started the month discussing the difference between fiction and non-fiction reading. We learned that many times readers read fiction for enjoyment and usually read a piece of fiction from the beginning to the end. When readers read non-fiction they are usually reading to learn information. There are many features in non-fiction texts that give readers different types of information and there are guides to help readers find the information they are seeking. Non-fiction text may have a table of contents, glossary, index, maps, photographs, captions, cut outs, graphs and more. We discussed how these features can help readers. We also learned that a book or article can be non-fiction and not contain any of these features. As long as the book or article is giving real facts it is non-fiction. We have read several books and magazine articles about penguins as well as watched several videos on the subject.

After reading the book, Watching Penguins in Antarctica by Louise and Richard Spilsbury, the children acted out how the males and females leave the ocean and go to the rookery to lay their eggs. Some of the children were the female penguins who pass the egg to the males to keep incubated as the females return to sea. The other children acted out the role of the male penguins as they huddled together to keep their egg warm and survive the harsh Antarctic winter. When the females return with their bellies full with food for the chick,  the males go to the sea to eat and bring back food. Here is a video clip of the children acting this out.

Once the children acted it out, they wrote a book about how Emperor Penguins have their chicks and take care of them.

Math and Measurement: This Friday we started a new unit on measurement. We will be learning the correct way to measure things by using a consistent unit and not overlapping or leaving spaces between the units. We will begin by using non-standard units such as unifix cube, paper clips and our feet and hands. We will be comparing the  heights of the different penguins and comparing the height of penguins to ourselves. We will be doing some graphing of penguins sizes as well.

Science: We are working on becoming expert penguin zoologists. We will be reading all about penguins including the different kinds of penguins, the habitats, and how features of a penguins' bodies help them survive in their different habitats. We will also be focusing on how penguins nurture and protect their young.

Field Trip: To enhance our study of penguins, we will be going to the New England Aquarium to take a class about penguin behaviors and to see penguins up close. The trip is Friday, January 31st. Permission slips have been sent home. Parents must have a current CORI clearance in order to accompany us on the trip. Thanks to those who have already volunteered to chaperone. We can take up to 10 chaperones per class. Thank you to the PTO who partially funded the trip for us.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019



It is time for the annual Student Council Coat Drive! Student Council is hoping for 100% participation! Please donate gently used coats for both children and adults. Anton's Cleaners has graciously offered to clean the coats before they are shared with people in need. 

Our donation box is easy to spot outside the office.
We appreciate your generosity and good will.

Here is a link to the video shown to the school at our assembly.

So if you have any unused coats at your home please send them in!

Sunday, December 1, 2019



The children were given the assignment to assist a team of meteorologists by making an instrument that could show if it was windy outside. The meteorologists needed to be able to see the instrument from their window and be able to tell if it was wind or not windy.

The task involved using the engineering design process of identifying the problem, doing research on materials and possible solutions, making an initial design, testing it out and then revising it to make it better. Prior to the project, our class had been studying about wind and had observed and made several wind instruments. They observed a anemometer, made whirlybirds, pinwheels and kites and read about communities that had harnessed the wind to make energy.

Here are a few pictures and images from that final day of making the instruments.

After we designed our instruments we made them.


Then we tested them.

Then we made adjustments.

Then we re-tested them.





Our final products!

We had a great time and learned so much!