Author Archives: rstadt

Important Notes: Week 9

It looks like we might be in for some wet and cool weather this week!!!  As your child begins to bring their cold weather gear to school, don’t forget to label everything.  Hats, gloves, and even boots frequently go missing and we want to make sure all these items get returned to the correct owner.

We are excited for some fun fall activities this week!!!

October 24 – Turkey Trot

If your child would like to participate and you did not sign up already, late registration can be filled out at the race.  The races begin at 5:00.  Gates open at 4:30.  If your child signed-up for the race, Turkey Trot t-shirts/goodies will be sent home on Monday.

October 24 – Library Day

October 26 – Picture Retakes

Send back in your child’s picture folder, and I will make sure they head down to smile.

October 26 – Math Assessment

October 27 – Halloween Party @ 12:45

Click on this link for information about our party –> Halloween Party Details

October 28 – Happy Birthday Hailey!!!

Our fall parent-teacher conferences have been scheduled!!!  Look for an e-mail on Monday with your designated time.  Please respond to the e-mail to let me know if your time looks good or if we need to reschedule for a different date/time.  Thank you!

Thank you for supporting your first grade reader at home with their take home books.  Remember to return these books to school each day, so your child can bring home a new book to read to you!!!

Halloween Party Details!!!

Our Halloween Party will take place this Friday, October 27, from 12:45-1:30.


On FridayOctober 27, your child can bring their Halloween costume to school in a bag. Please keep all swords, weapons, makeup, etc… at home for the real Trick-or-Treating.  We will change into our festive gear around 12:30ish. Your child will wear their Halloween costume during the party and change back into their school clothes (or stay in their costume) after the party before we have recess.

Thank you so much to all the parents who are donating supplies and volunteering during the event. Please send in your party donations by Thursday, October 26th, so I can double check that we have everything we need.  Food items can be brought in the day of the party.

We are looking forward to lots of fun!!!  I’ll take pictures to share on our photo stream for you to see if you haven’t signed up to volunteer at the party!  Please remember, if you plan to attend the party, you need to sign up to help with our craft, game, or snack and complete a background check. Please leave younger siblings at home to allow for space in the classrooms. I am planning on the following volunteers as of today: Farrah Foust, Whitney Elders, Kelly Archer, Tracey Schroeder, Elizabeth Hoffman, Patty Rayla, and Mary Segard.*  

*If your name is not on this list and you would like to attend our party, head to our sign up page and add your name to help with our game, snack, or craft.  Also, fill out a background check.

Learning Update!!!


This past week, we continued to focus on how to decode tricky words while we’re reading. We reviewed the strategies from last week and if we still need help, then when we come to a tricky word, we skip it (Skippy the Frog) and read the rest of the sentence. Once we have read to the end of the sentence, we try it again (Tryin’ Lion) from the beginning of the sentence and make a good guess for the tricky word (using the context clues from the sentence).


The kids have now met: Lips the Fish, Eagle Eye, Chunky Monkey, Stretchy the Snake, Flippy the Dolphin, Skippy the Frog, and Tryin’ Lion.  That is quite a list of strategies.  But, most importantly, when they have tried a strategy and have a good guess of what they think their tricky word is…they NEED to be careful.  Careful Caterpillar checks to make sure that their guess makes sense, looks right, and sounds right.  When the kids guess a tricky word, they need to ask themselves those three questions to self check and make sure that their word makes sense, looks right, and sounds right.  If it does, great! If it doesn’t, then good readers keep trying to figure it out!


We started a new unit of writing this week, focusing on making our stories easy for other people to read. We spent time focusing on neat handwriting, finger spaces, and spelling our word wall words correctly. We spent time writing a shared writing piece. We chose to write about our first writing celebration and we have been working our way through the steps of writing a good small moment story, focusing on neat handwriting, finger spaces, and word wall words. We are seeing some huge growth in handwriting and finger spaces.


This week, we focused on subtraction equations and stories.  We continued to emphasize that a subtraction equation always begins with the total and worked hard to label all our equations so we knew which numbers to put where.

We also learned that we can use addition to help us solve subtraction.  If we know the partners for an addition equation, we can use this understanding to help us find the missing partner in a subtraction equation.

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Pillow & Blanket Day

clipart_blanket THURSDAY, October 19, will be a pillow and blanket day in Room 106!  Your child may bring a cuddly blanket and comfy pillow to snuggle with throughout the day!  If possible, please encourage your child to bring a smaller pillow – pillow pets are very welcome!

Plan to pack your child’s pillow and blanket in a separate bag for easy packing and carrying at the end of the day.  Thanks!

Mrs. Stadt :)

Important Notes: Week 8

We had a fabulous first writing celebration on Thursday!  The kids were so proud of their writing.  I kept this final piece at school and will be saving it to go in a special book that you will receive at the end of the year.  The rest of your child’s writing was sent home for you to enjoy!  Our next writing unit will focus on making our writing “easy to read” using neat handwriting, finger spaces, capital letters, punctuation, and spelling words correctly.  We are excited to get started!

Make sure to check out our class photo stream for some videos and pictures of our celebration.  On our half day we also made the cutest pumpkins – check the photo stream for a picture of your child holding their masterpiece. :)  Always feel free to send me an e-mail if you would like me to re-share our photo stream link with you.

October 16 – Culver’s Night from 5:00-8:00

Come have a yummy dinner or dessert and support our school!  I will be serving/running from 6:30-7:00.

October 17 – Library Day

Please help your first grader return his/her book.

October 20 – Holiday Posters Due

This week we will begin our workshop time (math intervention) in the afternoon.  Incorporated into this time, will be our math fluency practice on either computers or iPads.  Each day your child will have a chance to practice five minutes of addition (and later subtraction) practice on MobyMax.  Your child has access to this wonderful opportunity at home too.  More information will be shared soon about using MobyMax with your child’s Clever login at home!

Thank you so much to our parent volunteers who began supporting students with our sight word intervention last week. We are very excited to continue meeting with you!

Please feel free to begin sending in any Halloween party donations.  I can hold on to these items at school.  If you are interested in donating or volunteering, here is the link:Click to View Volunteer Opportunities on

Learning Update!!!


Now that the kids have some solid reading time each workshop, we began introducing our accuracy strategies.  These strategies help our students decode tricky words while they are reading.  The first strategy that we talked about was Lips the Fish.  Get your lips ready and say the first few sounds of the word out loud. The next strategy is Eagle Eye.  Now that you have gotten your lips ready for the first sound, look at the pictures for something that starts with that sound.

Then, Chunky Monkey.  If the picture didn’t help you, look for a chunk of the word that you know (ing, at, it, sh, ch, and). And then, Stretchy the Snake. Zoom in on the tricky word, s-t-r-e-t-c-h out the sounds in the words slowly. Then, crash the sounds together to figure out the word.

We introduced the kids to the idea that vowels generally make three sounds (short, long, & schwa). We made a chart about what these sounds are and practiced making each sound. Flippy the Dolphin reminds us that when we are stretching out a word, to try the short vowel sound first and if that doesn’t work, FLIP IT and try the long vowel sound, and then the schwa sound.


You may have noticed that your first grader’s blue folder was bursting with small moment stories. We have finished our first unit in writing and we spent the week celebrating our writing. Part of the celebration is bringing home all of their stories so they can share them with you! They have worked so hard on these stories! Ask your first grader to share these stories with you! I hope you enjoy them!

This past week we spent most of our writing time preparing a special story to share at our writing celebration! First, we picked out two stories that we are very proud of to revise on our own. Next, we revised our stories together to check for all the parts of a good small moment story.

Then, we edited our stories by making sure they were easy to read.  After that, we got a chance to use colored pencils to add some color to our stories. Finally, on Friday, we celebrated!

During our celebration time, we had a chance to share a favorite part of our story with the whole class. Next, we read our entire story to a partner. Once we were finished sharing, we came back together and had juice for our juice toast. I am so proud of how far these first graders have come as writers since the beginning of the year.


We spent time studying a new math concept: SUBTRACTION!!!  When we solve stories that involve “taking something away” we use a minus sign (-) to represent what happened.  For example, when given the story:

There were 5 cookies.  I ate 3.  How many are left?

Our first graders learned to represent this thinking with circle drawing, break-apart stick, and minus sign right through the circles that were taken away:

We also emphasized that a subtraction equation always begins with the total.  Then we show the “minus” partner, which means that our answer is actually a missing partner (rather than a missing total like an addition equation).  Our first graders “trained their brains” to count up the total and write that number first to accurately represent a subtraction story or circle drawing with an equation.

With our introduction to subtraction still very fresh and new, please support your child on their homework pages as they learn to understand the strategies involved with solving and representing subtraction stories!!!!

Important Notes: Week 7

We had an amazing week!  We reached our reading stamina goal of 20 minutes, took an extra recess on the 2/3 playground, and enjoyed some yummy popcorn too!!!  Thank you so much for your donations at the beginning of the year – we loved having this special treat and are looking forward to our next popcorn day!

October 9 – Super Switch Begins

This week we are beginning our Reading Super Switch, a highly focused reading program that will take place on Mondays-Thursdays.  All students in grades first through third will be grouped with readers of like strengths and needs.  We are excited about the learning that will take place with this program!

October 10 – Library Day

Please help your first grader return his/her book.

October 12 – Writing Celebration

We are excited to celebrate all that we’ve learned about great first grade writing!  Our celebration will be for first graders only. We’ll share our writing with the class and toast to the great writers we are becoming!

October 12 – Jet’s Pizza Night

October 13 – Early Release Day

Students are dismissed from school at 12:15.  Sack lunches can be ordered through Food Service and will be sent home with your child.  Please make sure your child knows if he or she needs to order a sack lunch.

Our Halloween Party is coming together!!  Thank you so much to everyone who has volunteered materials and your time already!!  Remember our party will take place Friday, October 27 @ 12:45.  If you are planning to attend the party, please sign up to assist with the craft, game, or snack and fill out the background check form: BACKGROUND CHECK.

Click to View Volunteer Opportunities on

If you would like to donate to our party, we could especially use: toilet paper rolls, orange tissue paper, juice boxes, and goodie bags.

Mind Up!!!

An idea we have been talking about in Mind Up is how attitude affects how well you can handle situations, especially solving problems.  We introduced the words: optimistic thinker and pessimistic thinker.  We talked about how optimistic thinkers think with happy thoughts and are more likely to solve problems successfully.  Pessimistic thinkers are often defensive and react with anger when problems arise. The kids spent a good deal of time role playing different problems and sharing how an optimistic thinker would react as opposed to a pessimistic thinker.

For example: If someone takes the seat that we want at lunch

Pessimistic Thinking: “That person is so mean, it’s not fair, I was going to sit there.”

OPTIMISTIC THINKING“I can find another friend to sit by, I can try to sit there tomorrow.”

We talked about how we can train our brain to get better at optimistic thinking by practicing. We agreed that we need to start practicing optimistic attitudes so that we can handle problems better on our own. We are going to practice taking a few deep breaths when a problem arises and thinking of the problem from a different point of view.  When these situations arise at home, remind your first grader to use optimistic thinking…ask them, “how can we think about this situation optimistically?”

Learning Update!!!


When we read with our first graders, there are three areas that we look for growth throughout the year: comprehension, accuracy, and fluency.  This week, we introduced a tool to aid the students in strengthening their reading comprehension.


This tool helps guide the students in retelling the events of a story in order.  When we use thistool, we start by reading a story.  When we finish reading, before moving on to another story, we see if we can remember the events of the story.  The kids practiced retelling the events across their fingers and then when they finished while they take a picture walk through the book to see if they remembered the events.

We also talked about how good readers think about their books as they read.  We focused on how when they finish reading one book, before moving on to their next book, they can stop and think.

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We have had a busy week in Writer’s Workshop! We know that good small moments stories have lots of details and one of those details includes using dialogue in our stories. We can add dialogue by either writing exactly what someone in our story said or we can add a speech bubble to our picture and write what our character said in the speech bubble.

 We also learned this week, how to finish our stories with a special ending  We talked about how when you give a gift, you finish by wrapping it up and tying a bow.  Stories are similar, our endings help “tie a bow” to our stories and help the reader know that our story is finished. We talked about how sharing some thoughts or feelings at the end of our story is a good way to finish. We used some sentence starters to help us think of some good ideas for endings.

My favorite endings were the “I hope” endings, and we had a chance to share some of our great endings with the rest of the class. We challenged the kids at the end of the week to see if they could start a new story that included all of the parts of a good small moment story.


Our first grade mathematicians have learned to solve addition stories by drawing pictures, using circle drawings, and writing equations.

This week each of our math groups brainstormed solution strategies for solving equations with missing totals.  To solve 5 + 2 = ___, our first graders suggested…

…making a circle drawing underneath the partners:  

…counting the partners on all their fingers: 

A third strategy that we learned was: COUNTING ON!!!!  Counting on is more accurate and time saving than the first two methods.  When we count on, we underline the greater number and draw dots under the smaller number to show our math work.  Then, we clap and say the greater number, and count on by pointing to and counting the circles under the smaller number.

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  We learned how to use our red quilt cards to increase our fact fluency.

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Toy Day!!!

boys-playing-with-trucks-thumbRoom 106 has done it again!!! :)  We’ve reached our first 15-star goal and this time around the kids have chosen a Toy Day as their prize.

Toy day will take place on: Thursday, October 5, 2017 .  Your child may choose a special toy (or two) from home to sit on their desk and play with at special times throughout the day. Please choose something small and no violent toys (guns, swords, etc.) or electronic toys (DS, MP3 player, iPad).

Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions!

Mrs. Stadt :)