Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween in Room 26

We had a "spook-tacular" time celebrating Halloween at school. The day began with the costume parade and sing along followed by our classroom party. We decorated mini-pumpkins, played Halloween BINGO (with a SUMO WRESTLER!), colored picture frames, and constructed fruit kabob jack-o-lanterns! Please enjoy these photos from our celebration:

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Note about Math

Dear Families-

From time to time, I will post updates from our Singapore math curriculum, Math in Focus, to keep you informed about the work your first grade mathematician is doing in the classroom and ways you can further practice the skills at home. Currently, we are working on a subtraction unit. During this unit we want to make sure that students get a strong foundation on the CONCEPTUAL side of subtraction. Later we will work on fact fluency. For now, you'll want to focus practice on examples and play with the concept of subtraction. See below for ideas:

More ways to practice and play with subtraction:

  • Talk about examples of subtraction that you see in your home life. (ie. At the dinner: "I have 8 beans on my plate. I eat one. Now I have 7. 8 minus one is 7).
  • Make up subtraction stories.
  • Play "What's hiding?" by gathering a small collection of objects (coins, beads, noodles...). Show a total (whole) then take some away and hide them behind your back or under a bowl or paper. Ask you first grader, "what's hiding?" Repeat with totals 10 or fewer. 
  • Play with playing cards or dice: Roll/reveal numbers. Subtract to find the difference. 
  • Play Ballon Pop Subtraction:

Monday, October 24, 2016

Hedberg Aggregates Field Trip

Last week, we took a science field trip to Hedberg Aggregates. We collected rock samples and toured the large collection of rocks at Hedberg.  We also explored their rock displays and sat on their collection of rock benches. Special thank you to Jeff Greeney and the Hedberg company for their generous support of this field trip. We hope you enjoy this slideshow of photos from our trip:

Update about First Grade Homework

Dear Families,
This week we began working into our first grade homework routine. The first layer of first grade homework is the take-home reading routine. Thank you for your support with reading these books together at home and returning them daily. We hope you find this to be a meaningful home school connection.

Many families and children may be curious about how the rest of grade 1 homework will unfold. With the new Singapore math curriculum, we are in the process of developing a thoughtful homework plan to extend our curriculum and provide worthwhile math homework for first graders. We are looking to continue rolling out our first grade homework within the next few weeks. For now, you can anticipate the following about homework:

  • Book bags will continue to come home each day.
  • Other homework elements will be mainly Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.
  • Occasionally, larger homework projects and games will come home with multiple days for flexibility of completion.
  • One piece of the homework routine will be ongoing math fact practice.
  • One day of homework each week will focus on a literacy activity.

This can all be QUITE CONFUSING so know that homework will always be outlined each week on the Peek at the Week. Please sign or initial the sheet after the work has been completed. The “Peek at the Week” should go back and forth in the take home folder each day. Feel free to write comments or questions, especially if your child didn’t understand the homework or if it was too hard.  If you felt it was fun, we’d like to hear those comments, too!        

Please be prepared to be flexible and patient with us as we work toward a meaningful and manageable homework plan for your first grader and family.

Thank you,
Grade 1 Teachers

Breck Scares Hunger

Hello Families,  

We wanted to make sure that EVERYONE knows they are invited to participate in "Breck Scares Hunger".  We are working together throughout all divisions to collect 14,000 pounds of food to help stock local food shelves. This is OPTIONAL, but if you wish to participate, there is an information card in your child's folder. 

Incentives for Lower School:
4 tons - extra recess
6 tons - The bounce house will show up at a recess
7 tons - Mr. Kim will camp out in the Headmaster's Garden, and wear pajamas all day.  Top participants will join him for breakfast, and everyone gets a pajama day!

Please bring donations to US or MS/LS entrances to be weighed on Oct. 31Nov. 1, or Nov. 2, before school, 7:45-8:30 AM. Donations can also be brought to school on Sunday, Oct. 301-4 PM, LS/MS entrance.

We can do this! Go team!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Singapore Math Night

Below you will find the parent handout from the Lower School Math night with our Singapore Math consultant, Cassey Turner. We will be posting a link to the video of her presentation soon.


Friday, October 14, 2016

October Update

It's been a great first month of school! The children have been busy making friends, learning new routines, and figuring out what first grade is all about. We enjoyed meeting with you at conferences and hope you've been able to connect with your child's learning via Seesaw.  Each month, I also post an update on this website to give you an overview of all the learning that has been happening at school. Here is a little glimpse into what's been going on in room 26:


In reading, we have been working on reading LONG and STRONG! We decorated our very own book boxes and are beginning to fill them with lots of just-right books. We have also started working in reading groups to introduce strategies for problem solving words, building vocabulary, and developing fluency. Later in October, we will begin our take-home reading routine. At this time, you can expect your child to bring home a baggie of books nightly to practice as a part of the homework. We will send more information in a note soon. Thank you for your help with this important part of developing your child as a reader.


We have a strong bunch of writers in room 26!! They have been learning to identify small moments in their own lives that could become a story on paper. We call these "seed ideas." Our young authors are also learning to tells their stories over many pages, adding details to both the pictures and words. Their writing folders are bursting with stories. We'll be ready to publish our first books in just a few weeks! Thank you for your help with the writing folder project. These folders will be a helpful tool for new writing ideas all year long.


We have already finished 3 units in our new Singapore math curriculum, Math in Focus. In these first units, the first grade mathematicians learned to think more deeply about the relationship of numbers and the concept of addition. They were challenged to discover how many possible ways there are to create a total (also called a "whole"). Next, we began to think about addition through math stories. This has challenged the first graders to see math in their own lives and to develop an ability to show and explain our thinking through pictures, equations, and discussion. Now we are moving into a unit about subtraction that will keep building this mathematical foundation for our young learners. If you are interested in knowing more about this new curriculum, please see the posting below about Math Night (Note that this event is a parent-only meeting).


In Science, we are continuing our study of rocks and the Earth. Our field trip to Minnehaha falls was the perfect start to our first grade science work. We practiced our observation skills while sketching and writing about rocks and the landscape. Next in our science unit, we'll be creating our very own collections of rock specimens! The first grade scientists will get their first experience with rock collecting from the HUGE collection of rocks at Hedberg Aggregate Company. We're ready to be "rock hounds!"

Social Studies/CARE

Our CARE theme during October is PARTICIPATION! We've started having conversations and reading books in the classroom about what it means to participate at school and in our communities. This will be a perfect topic for discussion as we lead up to our social studies work on voting and elections.


October will end with some Halloween fun! The Halloween costume parade will take place on Monday, October 31st. As you and your child plan for this special day, please consult the Lower School Handbook for costume guidelines. We will also celebrate in the classroom with Halloween activities and treats!

Happy Fall!

Ms. Bennett and Ms. Madden

Important Upcoming Dates:

October 17 Hedberg Aggregate Field Trip (AM)-Non Uniform. (Chaperoned by teachers only.)
October 17 Picture Retakes (If your child retakes...he/she will need a uniform for the picture).

October 18   Math Meeting for Parents 6:30 PM-Chapel (Childcare available)

October 19   Unity Day (non-uniform). Wear orange to support bullying prevention.
October 19   Swimming Unit 1 Ends in PE

October 20-21 No School/Teacher Workshops

October 31 Halloween Costume Day+Parade (Approx. 8:45 AM in Gym A)

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Lower School Parents Math Meeting

Lower School Math Night for Parents (Chapel)
Tuesday, October 18th
6:30 PM

This is a parents-only opportunity for parents of students in kindergarten through grade 4 to learn about Singapore Math in Focus. If you're unable to attend, this meeting will be recorded and posted for viewing at a later date. Childcare is available for Math Night. Click here to RSVP for Math Night AND reserve your childcare spot.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

CARE T-Shirts

This year, Lower School students are going to have CARE T-Shirts!!! 
These shirts will be coming home TODAY!

We want EVERYONE to wear their CARE shirts for our Community Meeting dates.  
So, that means our first CARE T-Shirt Day will be: Tuesday, October 11  

(This is a casual day/Non-Uniform day for all - the CARE shirt and whatever pants).  

Looking ahead, the other Community Meeting dates for wearing our CARE shirts are:

October 11
November 10
January 4
February 1
April 6
May 3

We will always give you a reminder in advance of these dates. 

Thank you for helping us to CARE so much at school!