End of the Year Survey

Parents and Guardians,

As we wind down this school year, I just want to say THANK YOU for all of your support this year. I believe that our team effort has really paid off in helping our students become their best selves. I would appreciate it if you would take the time to complete this survey I created. I look forward to honest and open opinions so I can grow as an educator. Please know that all responses are anonymous. A paper copy of this will also be sent home next week if you would rather use pen and paper.

Thank you!

Chilly Rooms

The building AC is on and with weekend low temperatures, it may be chillier than normal in our classrooms this week. Please make sure your students are dressed warmly. Thank you!

April Fun!

It is officially May and I’m still getting April Fools’ed by 6 and 7 year olds. I guess that’s what I get for pulling the best April Fool’s prank ever. In case you didn’t hear, we grew donuts this year. Well, that’s what my students thought we were doing. We started by planting donut seeds on Monday March 27th. I told the students I purchased the packet of seeds from Walmart, but really made the packet myself and used Cheerios. We sprayed our donut plants throughout the week with our choice of glazed or chocolate donut spray. On Wednesday, we were surprised to find our donut plants sprouting. Some firsties were non-believers but I reminded them to believe in the magic or their donut plant might not grow! They were pretty quick to become believers then. On Thursday, mini-donuts sprouted from our plants and by Friday, we had full grown donuts. Most of the students were skeptical, but still seemed shocked when I shouted, April Fools! Fortunately for them, they were still able to enjoy their yummy April Fools treat.

And, of course, we were busy learners this month. We learned all about how real plants grow, what they need to survive, and the parts of a plant. We practiced fluent reading by performing our stories to the kindergarten classes. We tested our problem solving skills by “breaking out” of the Edubreakout box and worked collaboratively with partners to build a tower made of spaghetti noodles that actually held a marshmallow. In math, we explored symmetry and geometric shapes to make our names and create new patterns. And Easter was celebrated with some egg decorating, Easter stories, and some fun crafts.

We broke out of the box!


March Has Come and Gone

Wow! Time is flying! This week will end the 3rd marking period and begin the 4th. Our little first graders are even closer to being big second graders. We have a lot left to do and learn within these next two months. Don’t forget to read the newsletter to see what’s happening during the month of April.

Check out some of the things we’ve been doing during the month of March…

During Read Across America week, we read a lot of Dr. Seuss!

Comparing and contrasting different Dr. Seuss stories

Reading Dr. Seuss stories

Hearing some “big kids” from the high school reading during Read Across America Week.

Some of us were grossed out! 🙂


Playing with our Oobleck during Dr. Seuss week.

Tracking our mushers during the 2017 Iditarod Race. Our one racer, Dallas, came in second place!

Using our map skills to track mushers.

Using our inference skills to figure out how to catch this silly leprechaun!

Using indoor recess time to google photos and videos of leprechaun traps (all without my help!)

Making the clever traps.

Our St. Patrick’s Day Disco Dance Party!

Well-earned and deserved reward for our first graders who have worked so hard this year!

Read Across America and February Fun

Don’t forget that this Read Across America week and we are celebrating as an entire school. If possible, we encourage your child to participate in the following Dr. Seuss dress up days:

Monday, February 27– “Fox in Socks”-   wear crazy socks

Tuesday, February 28– “The Cat in the Hat”-   wear a hat

Wednesday, March 1-“Wacky Wednesday”- dress wacky

Thursday, March 2-“Many Colored Days”- wear your favorite color

Friday, March 3- “I Am Not Going to get Up Today”- wear comfortable clothes/ sweatpants and Sneakers for PE.



From making groundhog shadows to showering our friends with Valentine’s, February was full of learning, love, and lots of fun! Take a look at some of the learning we did this month…

Sorting our 100th Day items before taking a look at everyone’s projects.

Showing off our projects and our crowns.

Happy to be 100 days smarter!

Hopping on hearts to retell, The Biggest Valentine Ever, beginning with the “setting”.

We like to get crafty, too.

The birthday girl getting crafty and writing about the things she loves. We all enjoyed this project!

What does it mean when the groundhog sees his shadow? Why does he see it some days and not on other days? We explored these questions and more using groundhogs and flashlights.


Valentine’s Day Reminder

Just a little reminder…

We will be celebrating Valentine’s Day with some special activities and lessons. Please feel free to have your child send in a card for his/her classmates. I ask that if your child sends in cards, he/she does so for everyone in the classroom and not just certain students. Please make sure the names are clearly printed on the Valentine. We will separate and sort the cards upon arrival on Valentines’ Day.  The class list is here: Student Roster- First Name-2lzrzv9

January Learning

The month of January brought new and exciting learning! We learned all about solids, liquids, and gases by reading and exploring with snowmen! We read Sneezy the Snowman by Maureen Wright and then tried melting our own ice by competing an Ice Race. The fastest time was awarded to Jude and Karson who melted their snowman under the hot water in the bathroom sink. There were many other clever ideas though, like blowing warm air, sitting on the ice, and wrapping the ice in paper towels. We also read The Biggest Snowman Ever by Steven Kroll and attempted to build our own biggest snowman ever! After we built our snowmen, we melted them on a skillet to watch it quickly become a solid, liquid, and finally a gas!

Recently, we’ve been practicing asking ourselves questions before, during, and after reading. This is actually a very difficult skill, but these firsties have been nailing it. We read a Tacky the Penguin and The Emporer’s Egg to practice the questioning strategy. (Pictures below!)

Don’t forget to check out the February Newsletter for upcoming dates and news!

Running hot water over the ice cube during our Ice Race to earn the second fastest time!

Using cheerios to understand solids, liquids, and gases.

Sitting on the ice cube during our Ice Race!

Watching our snowman, a solid, quickly become a liquid, and then evaporate into a gas! Bye little snowman!

Building our snowmen. Brrr! Our hands are cold!

Building our snowmen just to watch them melt!

Questioning while reading The Emperor’s Egg.


Hi Parents and Guardians!

You will find that I added the January Newsletter (a little late, but better than never!) under the Classroom News Page. I have some important dates in there, including the ones for our First Grade Strategies Night and Parent Teacher Conferences. You can also find important dates under the “Calendar” page.

Stay warm!

Mrs. Herr

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!

I hope everyone is enjoying their time with family and friends. Our final school days of 2016 were filled with lots of learning, love, and fun! Students learned about story elements through reading various versions of gingerbread stories including, The Gingerbread Boy retold by Davit Cutt, The Gingerbread Girl by Lisa Campbell Ernst, and The Ninjabread Man by CJ Leigh. We decorated Gingerbread cookies and then graphed our results of the first bite. (Most of us took our first bite off of the arm!) Students had the chance to work with a partner to “roll” their own holiday fictional narrative (look for pictures soon) and practice building their fluency by reading Holiday Reader’s Theaters. We also wrote letters to Santa and put them in the big red Santa mailbox. The letters were then taken to Macy’s as part of Macy’s Believe Campaign. Our school wrote at least 130 letters, which is equivalent to $130! On our last day of school before break, we celebrated our time together by participating in a holiday book exchange and singing in Blue Ball’s Holiday Sing Along. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I look forward to seeing all of those little smiling faces again on Monday January 2nd.



Merry Christmas!


Gingerbread Decorating


Can’t wait to eat our cookies!


Let’s see how many candies we can fit!


Holiday spirit!


More decorating!


Book exchange for the boys


At the Holiday Sing Along!


Book exchange for the girls


Tree decorating


More tree decorating


Mailing our letters!



Off to Macy’s to deliver 130 letters!

Christmas Book Exchange

Can you believe that Christmas is just around the corner? During the week before Christmas vacation we will be doing many holiday related learning activities. To end our week, we will be having a “fun” day on Friday December 23rd. We will do holiday centers and snacks plus a book exchange in the morning.  We will also watch a holiday movie in the afternoon.

For the exchange, please have your child bring a gently used book or a book costing no more than $5.00. It could be a magazine, early chapter book, or a picture book. If your child is a girl, please choose a book of interest for a girl.  If your child is a boy, please choose a book for a boy. Students may bring in the gifts beginning the week of Monday December 5th and up until Friday December 23rd. Please wrap the book and tag it appropriately:

To:  A girl OR boy

From:  Signed by your child

**I know the holidays can be a hectic and tight financial time.  If this is a burden for any reason, please let me know and I will donate a book for the exchange so that all the students can participate.  All I ask is that you let me know as soon as possible so that I can plan/shop appropriately.**

Thank you! 

Mrs. Herr

family christmas card

Frits Ahlefeldt, Hiking.org via Compfight