The Week Ahead
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Kelsey Grich

Emily Reagan

June 19, 2017

Last week we continued our author’s study on Dr. Seuss and read many of his published works. The children enjoyed imagining and creating a Dr. Seuss character of their own and writing about their character. We also continued exploring geometry in math and animals in science. Next week, first graders will have the exciting opportunity to visit the second grade classrooms and ask questions to both students and teachers about next year. Heading into this week is bittersweet as we bring our year together to a close. The community that 1B built was certainly a special one that we will never forget. While we are sad to say goodbye for now, we look forward to summer adventures and the year ahead. Please read on to see more of what we did last week and what to expect for the week ahead.

Last week, students progressed through several geometry menu items. Students discovered more shapes on the geoboard. They selected several to record and write about. They had to draw the shape they had created, label it, and write a sentence about how they knew it was that shape. In addition, students had a book of Tangrams patterns created by all the Cheetahs. Each student had 13 new creative puzzles to solve, including a rocket ship, dog, and snow cone.

Last week, we read another installment of the Sir Cumference series. We read Sir Cumference and All the King’s Tens. Sir Cumference and Lady Di are planning a surprise birthday party for King Arthur, but their plans are turning into a royal mess. More and more guests arrive, and the guests need to be fed. The knight and lady race to count tens, hundreds, and even thousands of partygoers in this fun practice of place value. Last week, we also read the book How Much, How Many, How Far, How Heavy, How Long, How Tall Is 1,000? to help our students visualize larger quantities.

This week, we will read another book in the Sir Cumference series, Sir Cumference and the Great Knight of Angleland. In this book, Radius goes on a quest to become a knight! Armed with only a circular medallion, his wits, and a mysterious poem, Radius must find a missing king!

Our last estimation jar contained beans that filled most of the jar. The students have worked hard to stretch their estimation skills over the course of the year. As the objects grew in number and increased in difficulty, continued practice helped them make reasonable estimations of the objects in the jar.

Last week, students resumed their Math Writing packets which will contain number of the day, guess my rule, show a subtraction strategy, and word problems. They reviewed subtraction strategies, such as using parts of a whole, doubles facts, counting backwards on a number line, and drawing pictures. Students also decomposed the numbers into their parts to subtract friendlier numbers.

Students also continue to practice their facts with a partner each week. They can use flash cards or a deck of cards. They flip over the top card and add the two numbers. The first person to add the numbers gets to keep the cards. In small groups, students review addition or multiplication facts on the Greg Tang Kakooma site, which you can find here.

This week, we will play several fun games reviewing what we have learned this year. We will have different bingo games with addition and subtraction facts and questions that review number sense, such as “a number you say when skip-counting by 30.” In addition, students will play a three-dimensional and two-dimensional shape bingo. We will also create a class bar graph and pie chart of activities that we are most looking forward to this summer.


Across our learning day, we are and will continue to stress the importance of developing good writing habits and letter/number formation. We practice our best handwriting every time we have the opportunity to write. Thank you for encouraging your child to do the same at home with homework and this summer as they embrace new and exciting new writing adventures. We appreciate the time you take to make sure your child’s handwriting is to the best of their ability.

Last week we continued our author’s study on Dr. Seuss. We read many of his published works including The Lorax and Oh, The Places You’ll Go. Both teachers and students were feeling sentimental about moving on from first grade, but excited about what next year will bring. The children finished creating their own Dr. Seuss characters out of modeling clay and supplies and wrote character biographies that provided details about various things such as what their character looks like, what they are like as a character, and how they act. Next week we’ll wrap up our Dr. Seuss author study by reading more of his published works and sharing our character biographies.

Last week we continued with Word Work as a literacy component. The children practiced vowel patterns as well as various long and short vowels. Word Work is a time, amongst many others, where we target each child’s individual needs. We are so proud of the work students have done during word work this year and are able to celebrate their successes through their written work and reading skills.

Last week, we continued learning about different animals with our animal bookmarks. Students learned more about reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, mammals, fish, and birds. Students had the opportunity to select their favorite bookmark to bring home.

Last week, students reviewed different simple machines. Students explored the ideas of a lever, inclined plane, and pulley and discussed, with our Rube Goldberg builds in mind, how these simple machines help create motion and force. This week, students will explore a pulley and a wedge with these same questions in mind. How do they make work easier, and how do they impact or create motion or force?

Next week, we will do a fun demonstration using yeast and hydrogen peroxide called elephant toothpaste. Check out how to make it here. We will also do fun games reviewing what we have learned this year, including a plant matching game and Habitat Adventure.

Last week we continued our mindfulness practice by focusing our listening on just one sound and practicing deep belly breathing to relax our minds and bodies. We continued to activate our brains during mindfulness by using essential oils. The children regularly come to mindfulness with mindful bodies and are working on being present the entire time. The children now lead our mindfulness practice, settling the class using the Tibetian singing bowl and leading the class through deep breathing with essential oils of their choice. We open up discussion about what the scents remind us of as our sense of smell is strongly connected to our memories. We have had many children bring in singing bowls and essential oils of their own to share with our community. They have done a wonderful job taking on this leadership role, and we look forward to continuing this practice. We hope to see this mindfulness exploration manifest itself this summer in one way or another in your child’s life. Please continue this conversation and practice at home!

Last week we revisited our first grade service learning project by visiting AgeSong University, one of the local assisted living facilities, for the last time this year. Before we visited, we discussed as a class again why we have visited so much this year and why the connection between the children and the residents was an important connection to make. We brought games we thought the residents would enjoy and perhaps remember from when they were children, like checkers, card games, and chutes and ladders. Throughout this yearlong project, the children have enjoyed playing games and engaging in conversation with some of the residents at AgeSong and gained a broader and deeper perspective of their place in time. After visiting we reflected as a class, but we encourage you to keep this topic alive at home by asking questions and engaging in dialogue. Thank you for your support throughout this year with AgeSong, we really appreciate it!


There will be no formal homework this week. Please continue to read for at least fifteen minutes every night with your child. This is a good week to discuss what books your child might be interested in reading this summer!


Friday, June 23: End of Year Ceremony, 9:30am - 11:30am

Please ensure your child arrives at school by 9am and comes straight to our classroom. The Moving Up Ceremony will be held in the gym beginning at 10am. This ceremony is an opportunity for us to gather in reflection of a great year and celebrate transitions through music, merriment and memories with our eyes set toward the future. After the ceremony, please pick your child up back in our classroom. We look forward to seeing you there! The ceremony will be followed by a family picnic in McLaren Park hosted by the AVS Parent Group.

Friday, June 23: Family Picnic at John McLaren Park, 12:00pm

a progressive learning environment
an emphasis on science, math and technology

Alta Vista School  |   |   Telephone: 415 / 467.3700