Friday, December 8, 2017

Week of December 4th

We had another great week in first grade!

This week in math students learned how to represent and interpret data using a bar graph. They also practiced doubles facts and combinations to tens. They shared strategies to solve these facts and discussed how they are all still working to get better (and faster!) at solving these equations!

We also spent a lot of time coding this week! This week students participated in the Hour of Code as part of the Computer Science Education Week!Students explored Scratch Jr. independently and with partners. Students had to problem solve and complete tasks.

This week students practiced identifying nouns and verbs! We learned two chants to help us remember the difference. Have your student teach you our chants!

We’ve had another science filled week! We focused on clouds. We read books, sang a song, and made our own clouds. The students were so busy at work making cotton ball clouds. They did a great job making each cloud look different and like the right type of cloud! I may have forgotten to get the camera out as we were having so much fun but check out a few examples! Next week we’ll use what we know about clouds to learn about the water cycle!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Weeks of November 13th and 27th

We’re back to work after Thanksgiving! We started our new science unit. We are learning about weather! We learned about temperature, wind, and how we measure weather this week. Ask your student what an “anemometer” is! We are keeping track of our scientist observations and learnings in our science journals! We created our own wind--huffing and puffing to push objects across a table!

We practiced our sight words and our handwriting while getting up and moving around the room! We also practiced our short e sounds this way too! The kids are always focused and ready to learn during a write-the-room activity! Just look at those teacher letters (what we call neat handwriting)!

This student found a connection to math in our reading. The book said the glasses were in "rows" but he noticed that they were actually in columns!

Look at this reading stamina and focus!

Here's a belated peek at our week before Thanksgiving Break! We did a lot of fun Thanksgiving activities and read books about Thanksgiving. We did turkey math and made Thanksgiving bracelets. I hope you read your student’s Thanksgiving book! We had a four winds lessons about beavers, too! We tried to be beavers by chomping down carrot trees and eating pretzel bark! We all had a blast!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Week of November 6th

Hello Families!

The kids worked so hard this week! It was a big week as we close out the assessment window--a lot of great reading and writing being done in first grade! We balanced it out with some fun and some free writing! So many creative stories!

We finished up our unit on Solids and Liquids. We learned about the properties of liquids and how about the changing states of matter. We even did an experiment and watched as a solid (baking soda) and a liquid (vinegar) make a gas. I hope your child told you about our science experiment excitement! Have them explain the science behind what happened! If only we had caught it on video.

We even squeezed in a quick lesson on kindness. We read the book The Recess Queen and talked about how we can be kindness queens and kings! We made kindness crowns that were so cute!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Week of October 31st

This week was four days of fun and hard work! Thank you to everyone who joined us and/or brought something for the Halloween Parade and Party! It was so much fun! The kids had a blast. With the unexpected Monday off, we spent Tuesday morning getting the classroom ready for Halloween by making a giant paper chain. I hope you glanced up and saw it hanging from the ceiling. They exceeded my expectations and made a paper chain at least 300 links long (I stopped counting at 100). This was no ordinary paper chain, each link had a number model (also called a number sentence or equation). This was a great way to practice writing number models and solve equations. The equations were really creative! We also write about our costumes and practiced our hundreds chart skills with a mystery picture!

We started our science unit on Solids and Liquids. We explored the properties of solids by looking at a variety of objects and seeing if they were flexible or rigid, smooth or rough, flat or pointed, etc. Just look at these scientists hard at work!

In reading we've been working hard on retelling! We retell the characters, setting, events (beginning, middle, end), problem and solution, and the central message.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Trick or Treat for Unicef

A note from Ms. LaRose's 2nd graders: 

Porters Point School will be participating in Trick or Treat for Unicef this year.  To learn more about Trick or Treat for Unicef click here to view a short video. Boxes will be sent home on Monday, October 30th and need to be returned to school by Friday, November 3rd.  Thank you! 

Friday, October 27, 2017

Week October 23rd

What a busy week we’ve had!

In math we’ve worked hard finishing up Unit 2 and starting Unit 3. Unit 3 focuses on using addition and subtraction to solve number stories. On Thursday we did math explorations! We compared lengths, we matched pairs, and we practiced counting larger numbers. The kids worked so hard and were brilliant mathematicians!

To celebrate Fall we made torn paper trees and wrote poems about Autumn. The trees came out great and add a nice bit of Fall to our hallways!

We had some awesome visits from local community helpers. Libby and Megan came from Colchester Rescue to talk about their work as and EMS. Officer Mellen came to talk about his job as a police officer. We also had two parents come in and talk about their jobs as a dispatcher and as a health insurance salesperson. The kids did great for all of our guests; we’re working hard on asking questions not just telling stories.

This week was also our walking field trip! We had beautiful weather this Friday and the students enjoyed walking around Porters Point Road to explore the places and community helpers that are all around us.

Some highlights from our short week last week. We practiced our Short O words doing a scoot. Students traveled with a pencil and clipboard, they sorted the words hung around the room based on their short o word family. The kids had a great time! We also learned about dentists and teachers as community helpers.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Week of October 9th

What a fabulous Friday we had to finish out an awesome week!

Our Community Helpers unit continued with making maps of a community, real or imagined. Some students wanted to make their own neighborhood; other students wanted to create their own communities! We did a "Scoot" where students travel around the room and make observations about different types of community helpers. It was a fun way to get up and moving around the room to kick off our learning about community helpers. We also got to see fire truck and learn about fire safety!

This week we’ve been practicing our short vowels and continue to practice our sight words. On Friday we had stations to practice our sight words. Building words with Play-Doh was a big hit!

In Math on Friday we learned about XtraMath--a program designed to help students practice their basic math facts and build math fact fluency. We continue to practice our math skills through math games!

We had our first Four Winds lesson! The kids were so excited! We learned about spiders and different spider adaptations. We took a walk in the forest to search for spiders and spider webs. We also made a web as we shared what we learned about spiders! The kids can’t wait for the next lesson!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Letter from Ms. Foley

Below is a letter from our School Services Clinician. Please contact her if you have any further questions. Thanks!
Hello PPS families,
Happy Fall!
I hope you all are settling in to the new school year.
My name is Courtney Foley (Ms. Foley to the kids) and I am the new “school services clinician” at Porter’s Point School. People also sometimes refer to me as the “school social worker.” I work with kids and families with varying needs and challenges. I am very happy to be joining this community and I look forward to getting to know students and families.
I often meet with kids in my office during breakfast or lunch and sometimes I allow kids to invite a friend or two to join us while we practice social skills and work on building positive friendships. These meetings are informal and occur sporadically for kids who are not on my caseload. As such, your child might get asked, “Would you like to eat lunch with me and Ms. Foley today?” and your child would then get to respond “yes” or “no” for that day. If you are not comfortable with your child being invited to join us for a lunch or breakfast, please contact me directly via email at or by phone at (802) 264-5918.
You may hear from me throughout the year about various opportunities for giving and if you are ever interested in donating to the PPS community, please let me know and I can give you more information about how to do so.
Thank you for your time!
Courtney Foley, MS
Porters Point School
School Services Clinician

Friday, October 6, 2017

Week of October 2nd

What a week in first grade! We celebrated two birthdays which always makes for exciting days! On birthdays, we spend our writing time interviewing the birthday student and writing a page for their birthday books! I’m hoping to get the books out within a week of your child’s birthday.

In reading we started our Guided Reading groups! We are already working hard using the strategies we are learning and applying them to our reading. In our reading group we read new books, re-read old books, practice sight words, and more to become better readers!

We are learning about the human body. We started with the skeletal system and made these adorable q-tip skeletons! We learned about some of the bones in our body such as the stirrup and the femur our smallest and longest bones! We even sang and listened to some bones songs!

We had an impromptu lesson on kindness on Friday afternoon! We read Kindness is Cooler, Mrs. Ruler about acts of kindness and how "a slice of nice makes a mile of smiles". Then we wrote a letter to a classmate with one way that they made us smile! It was a great way to spread kindness and build our classroom community.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Week of September 25th

Hello Families!

We had another great week in First Grade!

This week in writing we learned how to bring our writing to life by making our people move and talk in our illustrations. Check some of the awesome work. One student wrote a small moment about our Writer’s Workshop lesson about bringing our small moment to life!

In Social Studies we’ve been learning about feelings. We’ve read a lot of great books and had good discussions about what characters are feeling and times that we have felt the same way. We read Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. We talked about how Alexander was feeling and what we can do when we are having our own ‘very bad days.” We made doorknob hangers to let others know when we are having a good day and when we have bad days. The class was very creative!

We practiced our compliment circle again this week. We used our compliment starters to help us give genuine compliments. When we do a compliment circle we get to sit in a special way which I call “long legs” or  “daddy long legs.” When we get a compliment then sit criss-cross. This lets the class know that they have received a compliment and to choose someone who is sitting with “long legs.” It’s one of the few times we get to sit this way so it adds some excitement! The kids all go to rug and exclaim “don’t forget to sit with daddy long legs!”

PPS has managed to earn a celebration at our All-School Morning Meeting four weeks in a row! I’ve been told that we made history when we earned three in a row and we did it again this week! We earned a Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Week of September 18th

Hello all!

Another great week in First Grade! Students have continued to work hard every day! We continue to build our classroom community and to settle into our daily routine. Here's a look at out math rotations. On this day we rotated through using Dreambox, exploring pattern blocks, and a number packet to practice our teens.

On Monday we celebrated Constitution Day. We learned about why the document was written and what it means for our country and how it helps us be good citizens. We brainstormed what it means to be good citizen and the students had amazing responses: help other people, follow the rules and the laws, listen to the police/teachers, help mom do chores, donate to others, among many others! We learned a new song about Constitution Day and it was a big hit!

This week we continue to talk about being a good friend. We have read a lot of books about how to be a friend and how to appreciate our differences! We read Spaghetti on a Hot Dog Bun and did a fun craft about what makes us unique! We also baked our own Friendship Pie after reading Enemy Pie.

My favorite part of our Friendship Unit is the introduction of our compliment circle! This is one of my favorite classroom traditions that I try to do every week! We started this week by talking about what a compliment is and complementing each other’s clothes/appearance just to practice what a compliment looks like. In the future we move past our clothes, but it worked out perfectly for us to compliment our spiffy picture day outfits!