We are not done yet!

Happy Friday, everyone! 

While the activities and excitement this week lend themselves to the feeling that we are done with school for the semester… we are not! We are looking forward to three more days of school with your first and second graders next week. We’re not done with you yet!


  • This week’s strategy: Chop, chunk and slide. This strategy shines when you come across a big word that you don’t know. Readers know that they can chop up these big words into smaller chunks, or parts, so that they can read them. Building this kind of independence (instead of just giving up and asking someone to tell you the big unknown word) is an important step along the journey of becoming a stronger reader.


  • Your first grade mathematicians are interpreting and using standard notation (<, >, +, -, =), generating equivalent expressions for a number, adding and subtracting within 12, and developing counting on and counting back as strategies for adding and subtracting two numbers.
  • Your second grade mathematicians have launched into their third unit of math! We are determining a quantity represented by a given number of tens and ones, determining the difference between a number and a multiple of 10 up to 100, and working our way through more complex addition and subtraction situations.


  • All first and second grader writers are busy, busy, busy these days! Fiction stories are pouring out of pencils, and these stories contain just enough suspense to keep you on the edge of your seat. Be sure to ask your first or second grader about the Fairy Tale Trail, trading out boring vocabulary, trying juicy leads (like a talking lead, a sound effect lead, or an action lead), and – of course – the story that he or she is currently crafting. You will certainly hear some creative tales!


  • The red dogwood sprigs have been cut for about two weeks now, so if you have the space and the patience available, then keep your sprig in water for another few weeks. You should see signs of budding around the new year.


  • Truth be told, every person (both young and old) in this classroom has been using all of our tools this week. The Breathing Tool to take some moments of pause before reacting. The Personal Space Tool to convey our individual needs for space in and outside of the classroom. The Listening Tool to observe others’ reactions to our behaviors. The Empathy Tool in order to feel with someone instead of just feeling for them. The Quiet Safe Place Tool to provide ourselves with the time and the space to calm the eff down. The Using Our Words Tool to reflect on how we communicate with ourselves and with others.


  • Thursday, 12/21 – Winter Break starts. Woohoo!
  • Thursday, 1/4 – First day of the second semester.
  • Friday, 1/12 – K-4 Assessment day. Save the date! We will send out personalized invitations for appointments on this assessment day when we return from break.


  • Thank you all for joining us at school this week for our K-4 Winter Festival. What a wonderful, magical evening to share together.
  • Bija’s grandparents came and shared the story of Chanukah with our class. Thank you for the story, the lessons, and the donuts and latkes!
  • Thank you, Santa and Mrs. Claus, for visiting school today! Everyone enjoyed the chance to share cookies, hot chocolate, and their Christmas wishes with you.
  • Thank you, Lisa, for being our math helper this week.
  • Thank you to everyone who donated time, money, or items to this year’s Family Gift Giving Project. We were able to help the Ks fill more than 100 bags! Many families will enjoy these gifts and smiles this year – thank you.


  • Homework folders and book bags went home today. Your kiddos have more reading homework than usual. This reading homework is due after Winter Break. We are looking for high quality retells, and your reader gets to choose the way that he or she does the work. Using either the retell sheet or the story arc, your first or second grader will retell one book that was read over break. Spelling  homework, however, will be important to get to before next Wednesday. We will be doing a spelling check on this week’s sort next Wednesday.

Have a great weekend!

– Kristina, Casey, and Katie