Week 32

Tutoring:

  • If you are interested in summer tutoring for your child please contact one of our excellent tutors below. Most of them will be holding sessions here at GES. 
    • PRIVATE TUTORING OPTION: Achieve Tutoring, Jenison; 616-916-8989

Notes for parents:

  • Please send a towel back to school with your child. With the nice weather, hopefully, we’ll be able to learn outside more again!
  • For our realistic fiction writing unit, our final project will be creating a series boxed set. We would greatly appreciate the donation of cereal boxes for this project! Please send in any empty cereal boxes with your child between Monday, April 26th and Friday, May 7th.
  • We only have two slots left for Mystery Readers this year! If you are interested, please view the sign-up linked here. I am looking forward to having you “join” our class for a fun read aloud!

Upcoming Dates:

  • Monday, May 3 – STEAM, Library (last time to check-out books)
  • Tuesday, May 4 – Music
  • Wednesday, May 5 – Gym
  • Thursday, May 6 – Art
  • Friday, May 7 – STEAM
    • Have cereal box sent in by today!

CELEBRATIONS

Star Students: Our star students from last week and this Monday were Gabba, Sawyer, Finn, Atticus, Sydney and Zoe. Here is a sweet picture from our lunch together! We also had two friends, Chase and Claire, who began the next Star Student round of bringing in a stuffie for the day.

Mystery Reader: We had Major’s dad as our Mystery Reader this week! He read the book How Many Animals Fit on My Tractor? Thanks for “visiting” our classroom for this fun read aloud!

National School Principal’s Day: To celebrate National School Principal’s Day, our class wrote about what we think Mr. Waldie does all day. We put all of the notes together in a book for Mr. Waldie!

Birthdays: This week we celebrated Chase’s birthday. Happy birthday, Chase!

Family Time: Ellery joined the Lost Tooth Club! Continue working on those shoe-tying skills.

 

  • Quote of the Week: All of our friends have received a quote!

This week’s quote – You don’t have to attend every argument you are invited to.


LEARNING

Writing: For this unit, our final project will be creating a series boxed set. We would greatly appreciate the donation of cereal boxes for this project over the next two weeks! This week students continued working on their realistic fiction series. We learned how to develop dialogue in our stories and “put ‘said’ to bed” by using other words such as yelled, cheered, or mumbled. We focused on how to make our stories realistic. Students were taught to write about real places and ordinary people and things INSTEAD of ninja cats that fly to outer space. 😉

Word Study: We used our word study time to fit in some assessments this week.  We made sure to focus on capitalization skills in our writing and looked for our spelling rules in our reading. 

Math: We completed our unit 6 test this week and started right up with unit 7! This unit covers geometry, measurement, and equal shares. The first few lessons are all about time and learning how to tell and write time in hours. We began by looking at a clock and the different parts that make up a clock. They learned the difference between the hour hand and the minute hand and that when the minute hand is on the 12, it is an o’clock time.

Reading: We have started our final reading unit of the year!! This unit is called meeting characters and learning lessons. We are putting together all that we have learned to really dig into books! It is so exciting to see our students really be able to dig into beginning readers and chapter books. We practiced taking a sneak peek, retelling our story, and worked on reminders of how to read and share with a partner. 

Week 31

Notes for Parents:

  • For our realistic fiction writing unit, our final project will be creating a series boxed set. We would greatly appreciate the donation of cereal boxes for this project! Please send in any empty cereal boxes with your child between Monday, April 26th and Friday, May 7th.
  • Here is the link to the April Scholastic flyer that was attached to the book order note!
  • If you would like to sign up to be a Mystery Reader, please view the sign-up linked here. I am looking forward to having you “join” our class for a fun read aloud!

Upcoming Dates:

  • Monday, April 26 – Art, Library
  • Tuesday, April 27 – STEAM
  • Wednesday, April 28 – Music
  • Thursday, April 29 – Gym
    • Chase’s birthday!
  • Friday, April 30 – Art
    • Scholastic book orders due

Earth Day: On Friday we celebrated Earth Day! We did a virtual visit with our adopted cow, Belinda, made “dirt” cups, watched The Lorax, and made a craft

Mystery Reader: We had Zoe’s dad as our Mystery Reader this week! He read the book Should I Share My Ice Cream? Thanks for “visiting” our classroom for this fun read aloud!

Star Students: All of our star students from last week will get to have their special lunch on Friday along with our last star student.

Family Time: No new students joined the lost tooth club or shoe-tying club this week.

  • Quote of the Week: All of our friends have received a quote!


LEARNING

Writing: This week students created their very own character that they will use for their realistic fiction series! They used a character web to describe what the character looks like, where he/she lives, and what kind of trouble he/she could run into! Students began writing book one of their series. I was blown away by their creativity! For this unit, our final project will be creating a series boxed set. We would greatly appreciate the donation of cereal boxes for this project over the next two weeks!

Word Study: We began a new bend of our unit and learned all about capital letters this week. First graders learned that we need capital letters at the start of a sentence, the start of the name of a person or place, the start and end of a letter, the word I, and starts of dates.

Math: We completed our first quiz of the unit which you should have seen come home earlier this week! We also began learning how to compare within a story with the help of comparison bars. These are very similar to math mountains, but instead of trying to figure out a total we are comparing to see who has more/less and how many more/fewer. We will be taking our test for this unit next week.

 

Reading: We are wrapping up our unit on Getting to Know our Characters. The week readers worked to retell- identifying the beginning, middle and end of what they read. We also focused on finding our stories’ problems and solutions. This was a great connection to writing and helped to give us ideas for the stories we are writing.

Week 30

Notes for Parents:

  • If you are interested in donating an item for our Earth Day celebration, you can sign up here. Thank you!!
  • Here is the link to the April Scholastic flyer that was attached to the book order note!
  • If you would like to sign up to be a Mystery Reader, please view the sign-up linked here. I am looking forward to having you “join” our class for a fun read aloud!
  • Please remember to return your child’s baggie book to school each day.

Upcoming Dates:

  • Monday, April 19 – Art, Library
  • Tuesday, April 20 – STEAM
  • Wednesday, April 21 – Music
  • Thursday, April 22 – Gym
  • Friday, April 23 – Extra recess
    • Early Release (students dismissed at 12:15 p.m.)
    • Earth Day Celebration

CELEBRATIONS

Star Students: Our star students from before break were Tucker, Melwyn, Bryce, and Evelyn. This week the star students were Major, Norah, Isaiah, and Lucy. Here are pictures from eating lunch together!

Birthdays: This week we celebrated Lily’s birthday (April 10). Happy birthday, Lily! We also celebrated Bryce’s birthday at Family Time since we skipped Family Time the week before break.

Family Time: Major joined the Lost Tooth Club! Continue working on those shoe-tying skills.

  • Quote of the Week: All of our friends have received a quote!


LEARNING

Writing: This week we began our new writing unit, From Scenes to Series! We will be learning how to write well-elaborated realistic fiction stories throughout this unit. Our class worked together this week to develop a character and we began a shared writing together. You can support your writer at home by asking your child about the character, what the character’s problem is, and how the problem is solved.

Word Study: We took a special look at our snap words this week, and we studied some of the words that may be extra tricky. We sometimes make bloopers with these words because the spelling doesn’t necessarily match the sounds in the word. (ex: might doesn’t sound like “m-ig-h-t”). We also got a special delivery from Rasheed that helped us build big compound words with some of our snap words, such as “something” and “anywhere.”

Math: We began Unit 6 this week which covers comparisons and data. The kiddos learned some new vocabulary that will help them throughout this unit. We focused a lot on sorting different items and comparing the data to figure out which groups had the most/more or fewest/fewer.

Reading: We are still in our unit about Getting to Know our Characters.  This ties in well with our new writing unit as we can take the stories we are reading and imagine a new story for the character.  This week we used all we know to solve tricky words. We kept practicing and didn’t give up when the words got hard. We used the pictures in our stories to help us better understand our story.  We also worked on our retell skills, highlighting the characters, setting, and story events.

Week 29

I hope you all have a wonderful and safe spring break with your family!

 

Notes for Parents:

  • If you would like to sign up to be a Mystery Reader, please view the sign-up linked here. I am looking forward to having you “join” our class for a fun read aloud!
  • Please remember to return your child’s baggie book to school each day.

Upcoming Dates:

  • Friday, April 2 – Sunday, April 11 – SPRING BREAK
  • Monday, April 12 – Gym, Library
    • Celebrate Lily’s birthday!
  • Tuesday, April 13 – Art
  • Wednesday, April 14 – STEAM
  • Thursday, April 15 – Music
  • Friday, April 16 –Gym

CELEBRATIONS

April Fools: I surprised the kiddos with “brown-E’s” and they weren’t too thrilled with me… ha! They then were able to enjoy an actual brownie treat during our movie.

Mystery Readers: We had Major’s mom as our Mystery Reader this week! She read the book No Mail for Mitchell. Thanks for “visiting” our classroom for this fun read aloud!

Star Students: Our star students this week were Tucker, Melwyn, and Bryce! Due to our fourth star student being absent on her day and one of the other star students not being at school on Thursday, we will do our special lunch on Monday after break.

Birthdays: This week we celebrated Bryce’s 7th birthday. Happy birthday, Bryce! We keep celebrating him during our next Family Time as well 🙂 (We skipped it this week.)

Spring Fling Fun: We had a fun celebration of Spring on Thursday with four rotations.

Mrs. Blauwkamp – Tech Time

Ms. Hutchison- Bingo

Mrs. Kuiper- Peep Directed Drawing

Mrs. Cooley – Movement


LEARNING

Writing: To wrap up our persuasive writing unit, students got to choose their favorite persuasive letter to send to someone! If your child wrote to you, feel free to write back to them. 

Word Study: This week tried to learn from our bloopers when we read. We Focused on the mistakes we make when we read. We also tried to think of ways to memorize our snap words like Father And Mother, I Love You = family!

Math: This week we took our Unit 5 test! It was a tricky unit for our kiddos with a lot of different skills mixed in. Please take some time to look over the questions to gain a better idea of where your child is at. Keep practicing tens and ones at home! After break, we will be starting Unit 6: Comparisons and Data.

Reading: While we got to know our characters better this week we looked for clues to make our acting just right, imagined new endings to stories, and thought about the audience we were reading to. It has been a great March is Reading Month.  We enjoyed celebrating with your children and can’t believe all the growth they have shown.

Week 28

Notes for Parents:

  • If you would like to sign up to be a Mystery Reader, please view the sign-up linked here. I am looking forward to having you “join” our class for a fun read aloud!
  • Please remember to return your child’s baggie book to school each day.

Upcoming Dates:

  • Monday, March 29 – Gym, Library
    • Return March is Reading Month calendar (if participating)
  • Tuesday, March 30 – Art
  • Wednesday, March 31 – STEAM
    • Bryce’s birthday!
  • Thursday, April 1 – Music
    • Wear pj’s for comfy reading
  • Friday, April 2 – Sunday, April 11 – SPRING BREAK
    • April 10 – Lily’s birthday!

Mystery Readers: We had Claire’s mom as our Mystery Readers this week! She read the book Ava and the Rainbow (Who Stayed). Thanks for “visiting” our classroom for this fun read aloud!

Star Students: Our star students this week were Joshua, Ava, Breckon, Gracie, and Lily! They led the class in the Pledge of Allegiance and we all ate together in the classroom on Friday.

First Grade Family Time: Breckon and Lily joined the lost tooth club this week! Continue to practice your shoe tying at home.

  • Birthdays – This week we celebrated James and Joshua’s 7th birthday. Happy birthday!

  • Quote of the Week – This week’s quote went to Finn for never giving up and pushing himself to do better. Proud of you, Finn!


OUR LEARNING

Writing: This week, students practiced editing their persuasive letters. We practiced rereading and asking ourselves, “Does it make sense?”, correcting our capital letters and punctuation, using the word wall to spell snap words correctly, and stretching out the sounds in tricky words.

Word Study: Students learned that the /er/ sound in the middle of words is usually made by ir or ur. One strategy to figure out which one is correct is to try writing it both ways to see which one looks right. We also studied some different spellings of the /air/ sound: are, ere, air, and ear.

Math: We practiced writing our numbers up to 120 on a grid to help us figure out what would be 10 more or 10 less than a given number. We also learned how to add and subtract multiples of ten. The kiddos took their second quiz, and we will be finishing this unit before we leave for spring break!

Reading: This week while getting to know our characters we- imagined what characters might say by using the pictures, worked to smooth out our voices, and tried putting ourselves in the character’s shoes.

Week 27

Notes for Parents:

  • If you would like to sign up to be a Mystery Reader, please view the sign-up linked here. I am looking forward to having you “join” our class for a fun read aloud!
  • Please remember to send your child to school each day with their Baggie Book.
  • Some kiddos are coming without coats, but it’s still pretty chilly during our morning recess. Try to have them bring a coat if it’s less than 50º out. Thank you!!

Upcoming Dates:

  • Monday, March 22 – Music, Library
    • Wear crazy socks for Rock Your Socks to celebrate World Down Syndrome Awareness Day! 
    • Return March is Reading Month calendar (if participating)
  • Tuesday, March 23 – Gym
  • Wednesday, March 24 – Art
    • James’ birthday!
  • Thursday, March 25 – STEAM
  • Friday, March 26 – Music
    • “Hoedown” wear jeans day! You can even add a belt or boots if you’d like.
  • Saturday, March 27
    • Joshua’s birthday!

CELEBRATIONS

Computers: We finally have our very own computer cart in our classroom! They had a blast exploring their new computers and what all we will be able to do with them. We wrote a persuasive letter to Mr. Waldie asking for our own cart, so we must have been pretty convincing 😉

Mystery Readers: We had Evelyn’s mom as our Mystery Readers this week! She read the book How to Catch a Leprechaun. Thanks for “visiting” our classroom for this fun read aloud!

  • Kindergarten Mystery Readers: We also had all of the kindergarten teachers come visit our classroom to read us a book! It was SO fun for the kiddos to see their teachers from last year 🙂

St. Patrick’s Day: We made a fun craft for St. Patrick’s Day to share what we are “cereal”sly lucky for in our lives! It went along perfectly with our read and feed snack this week which was Lucky Charms. We also had some delicious cookies Evelyn’s mom sent in since she was our Mystery Reader that day!

Star Students: Our star students this week were Ellery, Chase, Kendall, James, and Claire! They led the class in the Pledge of Allegiance and we all ate together in the classroom on Friday.

First Grade Family Time: No new friends joined the lost tooth club or shoe-tying club this week. Keep practicing those shoes at home!

  • Quote of the Week – This week’s quote went to Ellery for finding the good in every situation and others. You always find a way to make the ordinary special. Way to go, Ellery!


OUR LEARNING

Writing: This week we continued our persuasive letter writing unit. Students began writing their own letters asking for extra recess, longer snack time, staying up late and more!

Word Study: We started learning about bloopers we might make while writing tricky words. Bloopers are actually GREAT for us, because we learn from our mistakes! We also started learning about bossy R and the way it changes vowel sounds (ar, er, ir, or, ur).

Math: We continued working with story problems, and we focused on how the unknown number can vary from problem to problem. They were also introduced to problems with three addends (partners). This is a tricky skill that we will continue to build on! Please take some time to look over the first quiz from this unit which will be coming home tomorrow.

Reading: In reading as we worked on continuing to get to know our characters we paid close attention to the end, worked to use all the pages of the story, matched our voices and body gestures to the feelings while we read, and thought about what was happening while we were reading.

Down Syndrome Awareness Day: Today (March 21) is World Down Syndrome Awareness Day! Joshua is a first grade student who has Down Syndrome, so his family offered to donate a book to each classroom to help teach students about differences. Joshua and his sister went from class to class to gift them with a book, and our class received the book Just Ask by Sonia Sotomayor. This book taught us all about how everyone has their own superpowers and how we can celebrate those differences. Tomorrow our class will be wearing crazy socks to help celebrate Joshua and other individuals who have Down Syndrome!

Week 26

Notes for Parents:

  • If you would like to sign up to be a Mystery Reader, please view the sign-up linked here. I am looking forward to having you “join” our class for a fun read aloud!
  • Baggie books started coming home again this week, so please remember to return them to school each day.
  • Some kiddos are coming without coats, but it’s still pretty chilly at recess. Try to have them bring a coat if it’s less than 50º out. Thank you!!

Upcoming Dates:

  • Monday, March 15 – STEAM, Library
    • Return March is Reading Month calendar (if participating)
  • Tuesday, March 16 – Music
  • Wednesday, March 17 – Gym
    • St. Patrick’s Day – wear green
  • Thursday, March 18 – Art
  • Friday, March 19 –STEAM
    • Wear a shirt with words on it!

CELEBRATIONS

Mystery Readers: We had two Mystery Readers this week! Tucker’s mom read the book Llama Llama Loves to Read. We also had James’ mom read Can I be Your Dog? which tied in perfectly with our persuasive writing unit. Thanks for “visiting” our classroom from your own classrooms for these fun read alouds!

Star Students: Next week we will begin a new round of Star Students! They will get to be the pledge leader and eat in the classroom with me at the end of the of the week. It will be a surprise for them when it’s their day 🙂

First Grade Family Time: Ellery joined the shoe-tying club this week! Keep practicing at home so we can have more friends join. Awesome job, Ellery!

  • Quote of the Week – This week’s quote went to Zoe for always wanting to help me out in the classroom and being a helper to her peers. Your heart is SO caring. Way to go, Zoe!


OUR LEARNING

Writing: We began our Persuasive Writing unit this week! Our class worked together to write a letter to ____ asking for _____. We practiced using a greeting, topic sentence, three reasons, a mini moment, conclusion, and closing in our letter.

Word Study: We added /aw/, /au/, and /igh/ to our vowel teams chart. Then we wrapped up Unit 4- Word Builders by building Vowel Town. The kids had a lot of fun with this!   Help your child hunt for these sounds when s/he is reading!

Math: This week we started Unit 5. We worked on solving story problems with unknown partners using teen numbers and reminded students of the make-a-ten strategy.  We focused on using whatever strategy best helps them solve these problems- math mountains, scooping and counting up (or down), and/or making a ten. 

Reading: We are starting a new fiction reading unit this week. This unit is all about getting to know the characters in our books. We practiced taking a sneak peek to get to know the characters, worked on looking for important characters, and worked to understand our character’s feelings by looking at facial expressions, body language, and gestures.

Week 25

Notes for Parents:

  • If you would like to sign up to be a Mystery Reader, please view the sign-up linked here. I am looking forward to having you “join” our class for a fun read aloud!
  • Here is the link to the March Scholastic flyer that was attached to the book order note!

Upcoming Dates:

  • Monday, March 8 – Art, Library
    • Parent Teacher Conferences
  • Tuesday, March 9 – STEAM
    • Book Fair Preview
  • Wednesday, March 10 – Music
    • Parent Teacher Conferences
  • Thursday, March 11 – Gym
    • Book Shopping
  • Friday, March 12 –Art
    • Dress like a cowboy/cowgirl – wear flannel or plaid

CELEBRATIONS

Pizza Ranch Retell: Our class had a blast at our pizza parlor on Friday! Students practiced reading books making retell sandwiches. They looked just like chefs in their aprons and hats! They also got to take home a doggy bag with their leftover sandwiches. At the end of the day, we celebrated with some yummy pizza!

Star Students: Sydney and Chase were our Star Students this week! Thanks for bringing in one of your favorite books to share with the class for the day.

First Grade Family Time: No new friends joined the lost tooth club or shoe-tying club this week. Please have your child continue practicing tying their shoes at home!

  • Quote of the Week – This week’s quote went to Tucker for his love of reading and his excitement to share his new knowledge with the world. Way to go, Tucker!


OUR LEARNING

Writing: We ended our Review Unit this week with one final book review and spent this week publishing our best one. They were so excited they got to edit with pens! Their writing will be coming home with them this week for us to go over at conferences.

Word Study: This week we learned about the vowel teams oi and oy which make the same sound but look different. We also learned about the vowel teams ew and ue.

Math: This week we took our Unit 4 test. Tests will be sent home, and I will review them with you at parent-teacher Conferences.

Reading: We wrapped up Unit 3 this week. We have learned so many tools for understanding our books.  Our last focus was on sounding like a “Reading Star.” We are also so excited for all our special March is Reading Month events. We encourage you to find fun ways to read with your child at home to “mix it up” this month. Read to a stuffy, flashlight read, FaceTime a relative to read them a story, find something fun to help beat the end of winter blues!

Hats Off to Reading

Wanted to send a quick reminder that tomorrow the kiddos can wear a cowboy hat, bandana, or handkerchief for March is Reading Month.

Also, thank you again for your generous donations for our special surprise tomorrow! Our classroom has transformed into the Pizza Ranch Retell, and I can’t wait to see their faces as they walk in tomorrow 🙂 I’ll share pictures soon!

Week 24

Notes for Parents:

  • If you would like to sign up to be a Mystery Reader, please view the sign-up linked here. I am looking forward to having you “join” our class for a fun read aloud!
  • Here is the link to the March Scholastic flyer that was attached to the book order note!
  • We are taking a break from the baggie books for this next week. I have almost read with all my kiddos, and they are making so much progress! As soon as I have read with everyone, we will start up baggie books again with their (potentially) new level.
  • The reading calendar that was sent home on Friday is for a school-wide reading program and students have the chance to win prizes. This is something that is totally OPTIONAL, so do what works best for you! What’s most important is that they are reading every night. Wednesdays will be read and feed days where the PTC will be providing us with snacks! Fridays will be dress-up days.

Upcoming Dates:

  • Monday, March 1 – Art
  • Tuesday, March 2 – STEAM
  • Wednesday, March 3 – Music
    • Send in supplies for Friday
  • Thursday, March 4 – Gym, Library
  • Friday, March 5 – STEAM, Early Release (students dismissed @ 12:15 pm)
    • Pizza Ranch Retell Day – wear a cowboy/girl hat, bandana, or handkerchief

CELEBRATIONS

10 Star Reward: On Friday, we had another classroom celebration, and the kiddos chose a boys vs. girls day! Throughout the day they competed to see who would earn the point for each activity based on making smart choices and being ready to go in a snap. They kept the score close all day and ended with a tie, so they each got to pick a piece of candy!

Mystery Reader: Ava’s mom was our Mystery Reader this week! Thanks for “visiting” our classroom for this fun read aloud! Ava was so excited to see her mom 🙂

Star Students: Lucy, Joshua, Isaiah, and Norah were our Star Students this week! Thanks for bringing in one of your favorite books to share with the class for the day.

First Grade Family Time: No new friends joined the lost tooth club or shoe-tying club this week. Please have your child continue practicing tying their shoes at home!

  • Quote of the Week – This week’s quote went to Chase for always having a positive attitude and looking at each day as a fresh start. Way to go, Chase!

  • Birthdays – On Tuesday, we celebrated Gracie’s 7th birthday. Happy birthday, Gracie!


OUR LEARNING

Writing: We began our final bend, book reviews! Students picked their favorite books and started writing convincing book reviews.

Word Study: Our “vowel team” chart is filling up quickly! This week, Rasheed returned from his construction visit and reminded us that just like buildings can be made from different materials, words can be made from different vowel teams, too. We learned about the different sounds of oo.

Math: We practiced counting on with 2-digit numbers from a decade number, non decade number, and into the next decade. We also learned some methods to help us add 2-digit numbers. We will continue to practice these skills as we prepare for our test next week!

Reading: We tried making movies in our minds as a strategy to help us think about what is happening in the book. Focusing on who’s talking in our book, we looked at dialogue. We made sure we were reading the best words and getting the job done quickly.

Black History Month: Throughout the month we have reflected on the importance of what this month represents! We celebrated many influential leaders through various books, videos, and magazines. This week we learned about Misty Copeland, Ruby Bridges, Harriet Tubman, and Jackie Robinson.