Author Archives: rstadt

Handwriting Book!!!

You may have noticed that your child came home with their yellow handwriting workbook today. Since the beginning of the school year, we’ve focused on the pages teaching the correct formation of the capital and lowercase letters.  There are lots of additional pages that we didn’t complete and we wanted to send the books home for you to use as a resource.  Please keep the book handy and pull it out so your first grader can try a page from time to time.  We know that PRACTICE MAKES PERMANENT, so let’s keep practicing the correct way.  Thanks for your support from home!


Important Notes: Week 15

It looks like cold weather (and maybe snow) is coming!!!  Remember to send in your child’s boots, snow pants, gloves, hat, scarf, and coat labeled with their name. We can’t wait for some fun, snowy recesses!!!

December 4-15 – Candy Cane Sale

December 4 – Scholastic Book Order Due Online

December 5 – Penguin Patch Holiday Shoppe

We will head down to shop in the morning.  If your child is going shopping, please send your child’s money enclosed in the Holiday Gift Shop envelope. (If you are making out a check, please make it payable to Georgetown PTC.)  Make sure to fill out the information about who your child will be shopping for and how much to spend on each person!  Thank you!

December 7 – Jet’s Pizza Night

December 8 – Math Assessment

 December 8 – Popcorn Day

We will not have library this week due to the holiday gift shop.

Be sure to check out the class photo stream to see photos of our holiday reindeer!

Candy Cane Sale!!!

The annual fifth grade candy cane sale is officially here!

The annual candy cane sale has returned. Our fifth-grade classes will sell candy canes to help raise money for their end of year activities. This year the sale runs from Monday, December 4 through Friday, December 15. The cost for each candy cane is $1.00 and they will be delivered the same day they are ordered. Thank you for your support and happy holidays!

Learning Update!!!


This past week in reading, we spent time focusing on the characters from our books. The kids did a great job noticing who their characters were and even finding who the main character was in their story.

We pulled out some of our favorite characters,Pete & David, and studied them as characters.  The kids had plenty of schema about both characters from other books, so they knew some of things the characters might do.  As we read the stories, we noticed that there were patterns to what happened in each story.  Sometimes the patterns were in the words and sometimes the patters were with how the character acted. Patterns help teach us about characters and can even help us predict what might happen in a story.  We noticed that Pete stays calm and upbeat throughout his stories and we noticed that David has a hard time making good choices, but then always seems to turn it around in the end.

The kids did a great job of being on the lookout for patterns in their character books!


We spent time immersing the students with books that model persuasive letter writing. We read some books featuring unhappy crayons who tried to persuade their owner to change how he used them. We also read some books about a little boy who is trying to persuade his parents to get him a pet iguana, a new bedroom, and to come home from vacation so he can leave his grandparents’ house. All these books are written with such humor, that they kept us laughing all week. We used these books as a reference as we moved into our persuasive letter writing unit.

The kids noticed that the letters in the books had some things in common:

1. They started with Dear {Greeting} & a name {Audience}

2. They asked for something {Opinion – “I think…”}

3. They ended {Closing – Sincerely/Love/From} & signed their name {Signature}

One thing we noticed about persuasive letters was that the best letters had to do with things that were important to us and that helped make our home, neighborhood, or school a better place. We brainstormed some ways we could help make our school a better place to learn. We will keep adding to this list each day.


This week, we continued to work on missing partner and missing total equations and stories. We started each day off with a review of equations and the kids have grown in their ability to recognize addition or subtraction and then label the equation with the matching secret code (P + P = T or T – P = P). If you notice your child knowing the answer right off the bat, encourage them to write the answer in right away, BUT then they need to go back and check that their answer is correct by labeling the secret code, drawing the math mountain, and placing their TOTAL at the top. This will help to reinforce how important it is to check their answer and make sure it makes sense (and help eliminate silly mistakes).

We spend the rest of our time mixing up subtraction and addition stories to see how independent the kids are becoming at following these rules to solve their math stories.

  1. Circling the numbers in the story
  2. Listening to see if the story is subtraction or addition
  3. Writing the secret code that matches the story (T-P=P or P+P=T)
  4. Adding the numbers to the equation
  5. Drawing the math mountain
  6. Putting the total at the top
  7. Clapping and counting ON or UP to solve for the missing number

Next week, we will review some more and end the week by taking the Unit 3 math assessment.

Scholastic Book Order

Shop Online:
Class Activation Code: HGKWW

First Grade Families,

The holidays are just around the corner! :)  Books are the perfect gift to encourage your blossoming first grade reader!

If you are interested in ordering any books from our November/December book order (the flyers came home yesterday), please submit your order online by Monday, December 4.  If you are ordering the books as a gift for you child, let me know, and I will hold on to them here at school for you!

In our classroom, we are loving Pete the Cat, Piggie and Elephant, Pigeon, Biscuit, David, and Little Critter during our character study right now.

Ordering online is fast and easy:

  •  REGISTER at
  •  ENTER the Class Activation Code at the top of this post
  •  CHOOSE from thousands of print titles, value packs, and Storia eBooks
  •  SUBMIT the order to me by the due date
  •  EARN FREE Books for our classroom too!

Let me know if you have any questions and thank you!!!

Rachel :)

Important Notes: Week 14

I hope that your Thanksgiving weekend was filled with family, fun, food, and a little relaxation too.  I had so much fun with my kiddos and caught up on a bunch of household chores, but I am missing my first graders dearly!!!  Get ready – these next four weeks will be jam-packed with holiday fun!!!

We had a little Friends-giving celebration in our classroom before break!  We made thankful pumpkins, read about the first Thanksgiving, and made Pilgrim hat snacks out of cookies and candy!

November 28 – Library Day

December 1 – 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.  Feel free to send me an e-mail.)

Congratulations to CONNOR who earned an outstanding award for our class!!  He was caught by Mrs. Reagan demonstrating our be nice, work hard, and learn well motto.  Connor is an outstanding role model for others in our class!!!


Learning Update!!!


We spent this week revising and editing our small moment stories. Each student had the chance to choose a favorite piece they had been working on and then we worked to make it even better.

After revising and editing, we added color to our pictures and a cover page with a title and author. Finally, at the end of the week, we got to celebrate our stories!  After reading and coloring, we shared compliments about what we’ve learned as writers and had our Hawaiian Punch toast! We had a great time wrapping up our second unit of writing. We hope you enjoy the stories that come home!


We continued to work on subtraction strategies, this week. The first graders performed very well with the strategy of:

  1. Circling the numbers in the story
  2. Listening to see if the story is subtraction or addition
  3. Writing the secret code that matches the story (T-P=P or P+P=T)
  4. Adding the number to the equation
  5. Drawing the math mountain
  6. Putting the total at the top
  7. Clapping and counting ON or UP to solve for the missing number

We are in the habit of checking to see if the number we solved for makes sense in the math mountain (the largest number always has to go at the top). If they make a mistake, the math mountain helps them to realize this.

For an easy to read version, click here –>  Solving Number Stories


This week, we continued to focus on common chunks that we see in words. We focused on words with ED endingsED typically makes three different sounds when it is at the end of a word. We worked on sorting words as we listened to the sounds the ED made.

The kids are noticing our H Brothers, R Sisters, and ED endings in their books and all over the classroom!

Important Notes: Week 13

We have a short, but very fun week ahead with some festive Thanksgiving projects!!!  We will also be reading several books to get our brains ready to begin writing persuasive letters.

We had a fun writing celebration on Friday complete with a toast.  I kept your child’s celebration story at school, but look for all their other writing to come home on Monday.  You will be amazed at how easy it is to read!!!

November 21 – Library Day

November 21 – Spelling Assessment

Our spelling words are: in, it, is, that, you

November 22-26 – Thanksgiving Break: NO SCHOOL

November 23 – Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Thank you so much for all your donations for our PE CARES food drive.  Our school collected nearly 4,000 items!!  Way to go, Georgetown families!!!

Important Notes: Week 12

It was a pleasure to talk with all of you at conferences last week!!!   These first graders have been working hard since the beginning of the year.  Thank you so much for all of the support and encouragement that you provide your child at home working on math homework, take-home books, sight words, Raz-Kids and MobyMax.  I can’t wait to see how these sweet little ones continue to grow!!!  If you have any questions or concerns as the year continues please let me know.

We had so much fun visiting the book fair this week!  THANK YOU so much to the PTC and the sweet families from our classroom that donated books.  We have tons of new stories that we can’t wait to read!!!  Check out the cute cowboys and cowgirls from Room 106 in the photo above.  More photos from our week are on the photo stream.

November 1-16 – P.E. C.A.R.E.S.

November 14 – Vision Screening

November 14 – Library Day

November 16 – Parent Club Meeting @ 6:30

November 17 – Popcorn Day

November 17 – Writing Celebration

Brrrrr!!!! It has sure been cold outside!!!  Just a reminder to send your child to school with their cold weather gear – our lunchtime recess is a long one.  Also, don’t forget to label EVERYTHING in case a mitten, hat, or boot goes missing!

Our classroom has been a tad on the chilly side too.  Feel free to send your child to school with an extra sweatshirt or sweater to wear in the classroom.

Save the date…

November 22-26 – Thanksgiving Break: No School

December 14 – Holiday Program @ 6:30

Learning Update!!!


This year, we will gradually introduce our students to many different chunks that they can use when decoding a word (vowel teams, r-controlled vowels, etc.).  This week, we focused on H BROTHERS (th, sh, ch, & wh) & R SISTERS (ar, er, ir, ur, & or).


This week we focused on zooming in to the most important part of our small moment story. When we are writing our stories, it is easy to list off a bunch of things we did. We might end up with stories that sound like this….

“This weekend I went to the mall with my mom. We got some clothes. Then we went to Subway and got a sandwich. Next we went home and watched a movie. I hope we can do that again!”

We have been calling this a watermelon story. A watermelon story is a big story (many moments). In Writer’s Workshop, we want to write tiny seed stories. These stories are small, zoomed in stories. Like seeds in a watermelon, there are small stories inside of big stories.

Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 8.41.59 PM

Looking at the example story, we could write a seed story of going to the mall. We could also write a story about getting our sandwich from Subway or watching a movie at home. We want to focus on one moment in time, and write lots of details about that one time.

We also talked about making sure to add details to that seed story. We can do this by adding dialogue, writing details that use our five senses, and adding actions of what our hands, feet, and face are doing.


We continued to study and solve stories with missing partners this week during our math switch.  We also introduced our yellow quilt cards which have trained the kids to find a missing partner by clapping and counting UP with their fingers until they get to the total.

Screen Shot 2013-11-17 at 4.13.53 PM

We ended the week by circling back to subtraction and began using our counting up strategy to quickly solve these equations.  The kids are very excited to begin subtraction on MobyMax!!!

While solving stories, our first graders performed very well with the strategy of writing the SECRET CODE (T – P = P), adding the equations on top, and drawing the math mountain to go with the equation.  We are in the habit of checking to see if the number we solved for makes sense in the math mountain (the largest number always has to go at the top). If they make a mistake, the math mountain helps them to realize this.