Friday, January 13, 2017

Greetings everyone!  While wishing for a good helping of some 'real' snow, I hope you are all enjoying this Spring-like January weather.

Last week we learned about what happens to light when it travels through something transparent, like water.  Ask your first grader to describe what happens, and what the word 'refraction' means.

                              
Here are some friends watching light travel through water. The pencil in the cup of water helps to illustrate refraction.  Try it at home!

Since the New Year began, we have been reading our books looking for Keywords.  We have been practicing using highlighter tape to find keywords.  To help with comprehension we played a game with the keywords we found.  To play, we wrote the keywords on a sticky note.  The we faced a friend and gave hints (descriptions) of the keyword.  We know we understand the words when our friend guessed the keyword  from our verbal descriptions!  This is also something really fun to try at home.

                             
            Above are two friends practicing and playing the Keyword game last week!

                            
We got to read with our friends from Mrs. Hollowell's class this week!  We practiced our non-fiction texts by reading and talking about our reading with each other.  Above is a friend from our class and a friend from Mrs. Hollowell's class enjoying some non fiction.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Cape Elizabeth Land Trust, or CELT, generously granted the first graders at Pond Cove School a presentation by the Chewonki Foundation!  In addition to providing the entire fee for 6 presentations, CELT allowed us to use their lovely space, just across the street from the IGA parking lot, and an easy walk for us to make.

As part of our unit of study about the Night, including what we see in the night sky, and animals that are nocturnal, we study owls.  The Chewonki foundation gave each first grade class a one hour presentation all about owls native to Maine, which included live owls!

Above is  Byron, a 27 year old Barred Owl.  Ask your child to tell you
something about Byron.

The large owl in the photo above is a Great Horned Owl.  Ask your little one if those are really
horns on it's head.

And this little fellow in the photo above is a Screech Owl.  Ask your child why the Chewonki
Foundation is caring for this little owl, or any of the owls that are at Chewonki.

Here are some photos of activities over the past few weeks.  Enjoy!
Role Playing conflict resolution with Mrs. G.

Buddy Sharing after Writing Workshop

Yoga with Ms. Moe!

Learning the coding app Block Island with Mr. Charltray

Just a bunch of first graders with their stuffies!

Ms. Hasson read us a story about a snow day after our first snow day!




Thursday, November 10, 2016

Hello Families!  Here is a brief update from this very busy week.  I hope you all and your families have a lovely Veteran's Day weekend!

First graders cast their ballots during Pond Cove School's mock election day, this past Monday, November 7th!

Placing their ballots in the ballot box, below.

Proudly sporting their "I Voted!" stickers!


During the days leading up to this week's election we read books to learn about what elections are.  The book, What Are Elections?, by Jennifer Boothroyd, helped define the terms we use during election season, such as candidate, citizens, and ballot.

The book, I Can Be President, Too! by Yanitzia Cannetti, helped us learn about personal qualities people demonstrate, such as one who is responsible, fair, determined, etc.  We learned that children have these qualities, too, and why these are important qualities to have.

Time for giving Thanks!  
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, our annual food drive has commenced!
Please read below a letter that was recently emailed to Pond Cove families.  First grade is collecting boxes of hot or cold cereals, granola bars, and fruit bars to donate to Judy's Pantry. If you send your first grader to school with a donation, there are boxes in the lobby for him or her to deposit a box of food.  Thank you very much for helping us with this project, we can accept donations until November 18th.

Dear Pond Cove Families,     Thanksgiving, Cornucopia,

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect and be thankful. In the spirit of giving and sharing, Pond Cove School would like to invite the children to donate a non-perishable food item to local families in need.

All items will be donated to Judy’s Pantry, right here in Cape Elizabeth. Please send any donations to school from Monday, November 7 - Friday, November 18th.

We have been in contact with Judy’s Pantry, and at this time, there is no need for canned vegetables or tomato soup.
Please be sure there are no open boxes or expired dates, and
lower salt & sugar options are preferred if available.

Kindergarten:    Canned and dried fruits and nuts
First Grade:       Cereal (hot & cold); granola & fruit bars
Second Grade:   Hearty soup, stew, chili
Third Grade:     Tuna & canned chicken;other meats & fish
Fourth Grade:   Peanut butter(creamy&chunky), jam/jelly

Many thank yous, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Please remember that there are two "no school" days for the children next week!  Tuesday, November 8th is Election Day.  There will be no school for kids while the day will be used for Teacher Workshops.  
Friday, November 11th is a no school day in observance of Veteran's Day.

Many thanks to volunteers Shea and Joe McGonigal, and Kim Doyon for coming into our class yesterday for our Halloween craft day!  They brought adorable Halloween crafts that were perfect for first grade fun.  Here are a few pictures of our morning:

Making ghosts!

Frankensteins.....

...and vampires!

Web design!!

One of our school social workers, Deb Hannon, is teaching one session per week in our class.  We are working on what it means to be 'mindful' at school.  Last week's session included an activity focused on teamwork.  Our project was to fill a box with blocks having passed them all around the room without moving our feet!  We soon realized how much we can accomplish if we work together.  
Here are some cute photos of the activity:
With help from our friends...

...we can move a pile of blocks into an empty box.



Monday, October 17, 2016

Last week we began using the Kids A-Z app on our school iPads, Raz Kids.  Many of my young friends have told me that they were able to access their account at home too, yay! I had created our classroom account using information from their latest reading assessments with me.  The fiction and non-fiction texts in your child's Raz account are geared to his or her independent reading ability.  There are three components to each text:  the text is read to the child first, then the child reads the text independently, and lastly they answer comprehension questions about the story.
While our school subscription last through December of this year, I believe you are able to continue your child's account on your own once the school's subscription ends.  There is a fee, however.

Thank you for helping me create a parent/teacher conference schedule, I am appreciative of the time it takes for you to arrange your day to fit in a meeting with me.  I look forward to meeting with you soon!

Below are some photos from our trip to Down Home Farms this past Wednesday, 10/12.  Many thanks to the Tammaro family for hosting the entire first grade class on three separate day!  And, many thanks to our parent chaperones for the trip;  Katie Edwards, Kim Doyon, Colleen Oakley, Maria Rinaldi, and Christina McAnuff.

                                             Our bovine friends waiting to be fed! 
           


This little piggy went to market....


Mr. Tammaro explained how machines help the farm.



The cows were really hungry!



                                              We fed the cows their breakfast!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Last week we were reintroduced to our school iPads, and some educational apps. Mr. Charltray helped us set up Skoolbo and Addimals! When we experienced a glitch in the set up, Mr. Charltray called the company while we were watching, and they fixed the problem! Later in the week, we learned about the reading app, RAZ Kids!


"Farm to Table" is the theme for October!  We traveled to Alewive's Farm right here in Cape Elizabeth and learned lots from farmer Caitlin Jordan.  We got to harvest vegetables, too!  This week, we will go to the Tammaro family farm, Down Home Farm.
Enjoying vegetable soup from freshly harvested vegetables!  Yum!




Here we are harvesting beets and tomatoes!  We learned that harvesting veggies is a lot of work, phew!



We looked at our harvest and did some writing about it when we returned to 
school.


Thank you for selecting a date and time for parent teacher conferences, which begin next week.  I am looking forward to meeting with you!

Saturday, September 24, 2016


We got our Yoga on this week with help from Ms. Moe!  She taught us to do deep breathing, and then we practiced Cat/Cow poses.  Deep breathing and Cat/Cow helps prepare our brains and bodies for learning.  We noticed how good we felt afterward, too!
Ask your resident first grader to show you how it's done!



One of our first math goals is learning the sums of 10 so well that we know them in a 'snap'!  To practice we played a game called "Bunny Hop".  Our hungry bunny needs to hop on a number line from it's rabbit hole on the number 0, to get to the carrot waiting on number 10, and then back again to it's rabbit hole.  The children rolled a six sided die to get the counting going, thinking "I landed on 4, what do I need to roll to get to 10", and so on.  Learning sums of 10 is such fun!

Book bags came home this weekend!  Our little readers chose a few books that they'd been practicing this week to take home to read over the weekend.  (Note the fancy name cards on your child's book bag!  Who doesn't love a little glitter?!)  The children have been working on developing the following reading habits:  sneak peaks (or previews), which helps with making meaning once the work of word reading is underway, checking our sneak peaks (were our predictions right?), rereading to make our voices sound smooth, like talking.  First graders are also working on developing the skill of remembering to pack their book bags to return them to school on Monday!

We are looking forward to the First Grade Open House this coming Wednesday, September 28th from 6:30 to 7:00 p.m.!  Your first grader will be your tour guide, showing you around our classroom and around the school.

Have a wonderful first weekend of Fall!