February 11th – 15th

On the Academic Agenda this Week:

Math: This week our focus will be adding and subtracting 1 and 2 digit numbers without regrouping.

Reader’s Workshop:    Our practice “Digging” for important information with “Digger the Dog” continues with non-fiction. We will also be working with Retelling stories by recalling important key ideas and details.

Writer’s Workshop:    Our opinion writing continues. This week students will write about whether they think it would be better to be a crab or a jellyfish.

Phonics:   We will review vowel teams, as well as begin to discuss words that end with a Y.

Social Studies:  Our study of continents and oceans continues.


A HUGE THANK YOU to all the moms who came this past Thursday to lend a helping hand with STEM project construction in the science lab. Our projects look fantastic! 🙂 The students cannot wait for you to see them on Friday. Thank you… Mrs. Brown, Mrs. Harrell and Mrs. Abimbola for all your help! You guys hot glued, held up things for taping, cut trap doors and cleaned up. Thanks so much! I also want to thank all the parents who generously sent in items for all of our projects. Without your support it would not have been so successful. With that thought… DON’T FORGET that this Friday, February 15th from 8:30 – 9:15 first grade students will be presenting their projects they worked so hard on. If you have just a few minutes to swing by to see them, it would mean the world to your child. They will be sharing their blueprint and telling you all about the special features they included into the final product. 🙂

Enrichment Rotation this Week:

Monday:        STEM Lab

Tuesday:      P.E.       Wear your tennis shoes to school

Wednesday:    P.E.   Wear your tennis shoes to school

Thursday:    Music

Friday:      Special presentation for STEM Day in gym


Our Busy Learners:

Our 2 Day Read- a -Thon-

Just Me & My Bear

In Celebration of our study about Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt










Snuggle Up With a Great Book-



“There is More Treasure in books than in all the Pirate’s Loot on Treasure Island” – Walt Disney


Have a great week! 🙂 I will see you again here week after next on the Blog! Have a restful Winter Break:)




February 4th – 8th

What a busy short week we had! We successfully accomplished all that we needed to in 4 days. 🙂

Our class discussed being a kind friend and having NO PLACE FOR HATE during our week of Kindness. Making the world a more kind and respectful place was part of our discussions.

On the Academic Agenda this Week:

Math:   We will continue practicing adding 10 more / less to any given number, as well as extending practice on identifying key addition and subtraction words to solve story problems.

Reader’s Workshop:   Students will be introduced to our newest Beanie Baby comprehension friend, “Digger the Dog”  . He teaches students how to “dig” for important information in fiction & non-fiction text. Our friend “Questioning Owl” moves over to the guided reading table where we will continue asking those important questions Before, During and After a story. By midweek, we will begin learning about Point of View. Our goal is to identify who is telling the story at various points in the text.

Writer’s Workshop:    Students will begin a new opinion writing piece this week.

Phonics:    This week our focus will be on ie and igh words

Social Studies:    Our study of continents and oceans begins.



Please do not forget about sending in items for our upcoming STEM Day project. Although we have collected toilet paper and paper towel rolls, there are very few medium to larger sized boxes or containers to house 3 small paper animals for a shelter. For those students who have already provided a container, I wrote their names on them. For those students not providing a container… they will have to choose from what is leftover. That is only fair. In order to design a blueprint for their shelter, they need a container. I have gathered up what I have from home, but I won’t have the number needed to make a class set.   Ideas for Containers:

  • saltine crackers boxes      * oatmeal cylinders     * liter sized soda bottles   * paper quart sized milk cartons   *   milk jugs     * shoeboxes     * jumbo sized cereal boxes

We will be going to the Science Lab this Thursday for construction. Please make sure that your child has his / her container by Wednesday for blueprint design. 🙂

  • Our class valentine list will come home Monday
  • Don’t forget Teddy Bears for Monday!
  • Mark your calendars… Our STEM Day is: Friday, February 15th from 8:30 – 9:15. Your child will enjoy showing you their animal shelter, as well as extension activities from the class this year. I hope you can attend. 🙂

Enrichment Rotations this Week-

Monday:     P.E.       Wear your tennis shoes to school

Tuesday:     P.E.       Wear your tennis shoes to school

Wednesday:       Music

Thursday:       Art

Friday:       Math Lab


Have a wonderful week! I will see again here next week on the Blog. 🙂

January 28th – February 1st

On the Academic Agenda this Week:

Math:   This past week our learning focused on comparing 2 digit numbers with greater, less than and equal value. This week, we focus on determining the value of numbers with 10 more, 10 less, 1 more/ less. We will also begin our addition facts to 10 fluency race. Our homework this week will be reflective of that skill. I also recommend having addition practice online with Johnnie’s Math Page. That website is:   jsmathpage.com


Reader’s Workshop:   Our focus this week will be asking those important 5 W’s and How questions Before, During and After reading. This is a very important strategy as we work to build strong comprehension skills as a proficient reader. By Friday, expect to see your child bring home a laminated Beanie Baby Comprehension Friends bookmark for you to use at home. Please be consistent in using this each time he / she reads at home. Being able to recall specific details from the test goes beyond oral reading. 🙂


Writer’s Workshop:     Students shared their opinion pieces for ” Hey, Little Ant”  in Author’s Chair this past week. We began a new opinion piece with inspiration from “Duck! Rabbit!” , a cute story where the two characters are in disagreement of what they saw… was it a rabbit or was it a duck?   Students are in the process of writing their opinions.


Phonics:    This week students will learn about long a diagraph words with ea and ee


Social Studies: We will conclude our study of Theodore Roosevelt this week.



Don’t forget about kindness week 🙂     I posted a list of events on last week’s post from Mrs. Kotarba.

Our annual STEM Day is coming up soon! Please mark your calendar for February 15th. Students will present their projects to parents from 8:30 – 9:15.  In preparation for this, we are in need of items such as : toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, scraps of cloth, felt or heavy plastic, a bag of peat moss, plastic milk jugs or paper milk containers. Students will be using these items to construct their projects. I am looking for a parent volunteer or two who could assist the class in the Science Lab on February 10th from 12:15 – 1:00. Extra hands will be needed for holding up items for students to tape as they construct projects. The project itself is totally designed and engineered by students, but extra assistance for first graders is always great to have. 🙂 If you can help out, please let me know. Thank you in advance!


Enrichment Rotation this Week:

Monday:      P.E.     Wear your tennis shoes to school

Tuesday:     Music

Wednesday:     Art

Thursday:     Math Lab

Friday:      STEM Lab


Have a great week! 🙂   I will see you again here next week on the Blog.

January 22nd – 25th

Let me begin this week’s post with a HUGE Thank You to all the parents who so graciously donated food items for our special 100th day activities. The students absolutely loved the day! Our station rotations ( we had 9! ) allowed the students to make projects, explore counting groups of 10, exercise with 10 sets of movement and building a tower of 100 cups. 🙂  Make sure to scroll down to the end of this post to see all the great pictures I captured that day! I appreciate your investment in making these type of activities successful. The marshmallows not used, will now be available for our upcoming STEM project. The cereal and animal crackers will be bagged and kept on hand for students without snacks.

On the Academic Agenda this Week:

Math :   We will begin working on comparing 2 digit numbers with symbols < , > and =

Reader’s Workshop:  Our focus this week will emphasize asking questions while reading by applying what our Beanie Baby friend, Questioning Owl teaches us about using those 5W’s – Who,  What,  Where, When and Why. 

Phonics:    Our focus this week will be on looking at words with Long O Diagraphs such as:   oa,  oe,  ow,  and old

Writer’s Workshop:  Opinion writing pieces continue

Social Studies:     We will begin our study of Theodore Roosevelt


Thank you so much for all the glue sticks school supply donations 🙂  This will help us greatly! 🙂

Here is a message from our counselor, Mrs. Kotarba:

As part of our “No Place for Hate” program, we are looking forward to participating in the Kindness Challenge from January 28th-February 1st.
The students will work together as a class to complete activities to show kindness such as, asking a new friend to play, helping someone, writing a thank you note, or performing a kind act of their own design. Teachers will have daily discussions, read stories, and watch short video clips about showing kindness, inclusion, and respect.
Additionally, we will show kindness in our community by hosting a toiletries drive to benefit The Center for Children and Young Adults AND Safe Path Children’s Advocacy Center. With the help of our Student Council, we will be collecting items such as shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, etc. These items will go to children in our community. A flyer with more information will come home about this.
We will also have some fun by dressing up to the following themes each day.
Monday (1/28)-Hats off to kindness (wear hats)
Tuesday (1/29)-Being kind is groovy (wear 70s clothes)
Wednesday (1/30)-Kindness Rocks (wear rock star clothes)
Thursday (1/31)-Cougars are Kind (wear Cougar Pride or school colors)
Friday (2/1)-Cheer for Kindness (wear sports clothes)

Lori Kotarba
School Counselor, grades K-2
Kincaid Elementary School
1410 Kincaid Road
Marietta, Georgia 30066
(770) 578-7238


Enrichment Rotation this Week:

Tuesday:        Art

Wednesday:      Math Lab

Thursday:      STEM Lab

Friday:       P.E.         Wear Your Tennis Shoes to School


Happy 100th Day!!!!

















Have a Great Week! I will see you here again next week on the Blog! 🙂








January 14th – 18th

What a busy week back we had!  The students learned about Fact & Opinions, Author’s Purpose, Lewis & Clark, as well as Sacagawea, made flubber in the science lab and reviewed using open number lines and word problems in math. 🙂  I am sure they were ready for a restful weekend.

On the Academic Agenda this Week:

Math:   Practice and review of Missing Addends equations and Word Problems continues again this week.


Reader’s Workshop:   Students will be introduced to our first comprehension Beanie Baby friend, Questioning Owl. This friend teaches students the importance of asking questions Before, During and After reading. The five W’s – Who, What, Where, When, Why and How will be emphasized. In guided reading groups, students will practice identifying the Main Idea and Supporting Details from a story.


Writer’s Workshop:    This past week we spent time exploring the differences between Fact & Opinion. This helped as we eased into our new writing genre, Opinion Writing. The first writing piece was why Cats were better than Dogs, or vice versa. After reading the book Hey, Little Ant for opinion inspiration,  students began writing reasons why the ant should / should not be squished. We will be finishing those this week to be ready for Author’s Chair.


Phonics:   Our focus this week will be on words with ay and ai


Social Studies:   The students have certainly enjoyed learning about Lewis & Clark’s famous expedition along with the help of Sacagawea. Our study will conclude by Thursday. We will discuss Dr. Martin King, and the contributions he made to civil rights on Friday as we prepare to observe the holiday next Monday.



A big THANK YOU to all of the families who graciously donated  glue sticks and items for  our upcoming 100th Day this week. This eases some of the expense these projects incur. I am still in need of the following:

  • a big bag of animal crackers
  • goldfish
  • a small bag of Skittles
  • chocolate chips
  • a bag of Tootsie Roll pops

I have some great activities planned for Thursday! I want this to be a SUPER SPECIAL day for the class! 🙂 Any donations would be greatly appreciated!


Enrichment Rotation this Week:

Monday:      Math Lab

Tuesday:        STEM Lab

Wednesday:       P.E              Wear Your Tennis Shoes to School

Thursday:     P.E.           Wear Your Tennis Shoes to School

Friday:          Music


Have a Wonderful week! I will see you again here next week on the blog.  🙂



January 7th – 11th

Happy New Year!    I am looking forward to starting back on Monday!  It will be great to see everyone, as we begin the second half of this school year.   I hope your families had a wonderful holiday break filled with relaxation, memories and time spent with family.   My break was so much fun and memorable this year.  My sister (who is also an educator here in Cobb County) and I took a Disney cruise aboard the Magic.  Some of you had asked that I post a few pictures from my adventures:


Memories for a Lifetime! 🙂


On the Academic Agenda this Week:


Math:       We will continue to work on Word Problems with Unknown Numbers. This skill continues into the 3rd quarter. I want the students to have a solid understanding of not only how to identify key words to determine addition or subtraction, but also the necessity of strategy applications. It is not just about providing an answer, but yet how did you arrive at getting that answer?


Reader’s Workshop:   In our guided reading groups, we will begin to use “Close Reading” strategies as we grow our reading abilities. Just like math strategies mentioned above, as we move into this 3rd quarter, students are beginning to dive deeper into reading. We have successfully learned about the importance of “decoding” with our Beanie Baby friends the first half of the year. Now as we move into the 2nd half, students are now prepared to really get into the deeper comprehension end of the reading process. This is where our Comprehension Beanie Baby friends come in. Students will learn how to ask questions while reading, visualize where pictures are not provided, make connections and inferences, etc. I am super excited about getting started with this! 🙂 Each week I will explain how each friend is helpful, and provide you with a bookmark at home to further reinforce this strategy at home.


Writer’s Workshop:    I am so proud of the writing accomplishments of our class! On my teacher work day, I had an opportunity to reflect over each student’s writing portfolio, and take a closer look at each of the 4 informational writing pieces written over the 2nd quarter. Let me tell you that there are some great little writers! I was really looking for consistency and growth. What I found was just that, with the majority of our class. As we move into this 3rd quarter, our focus will shift from informational writing to opinion writing. I will begin the week with a lesson on determining the difference between Fact & Fiction before launching into our first opinion writing piece. I have a lot of fun ideas scheduled throughout this 3rd quarter for writing pieces. 🙂


Phonics:   I would like to spend this week with diagraph reflection before moving into long vowel patterns.


Science / Social Studies:     The first part of the week will be spent reviewing Sound. Midweek our study of explorers, Lewis and Clark will begin.



Thank you 🙂     A very special thank you to our room moms, Mrs. Wheeless and Mrs. Brown for a GREAT Christmas party. These ladies organized games, crafts, snacks and fun. The students were engaged and had a great time! We also had lots of help from other parents and siblings. Thank you so much for making this time a wonderful experience! Be sure to scroll down to see some great pictures I captured that day.


We are in good shape with most of our school supplies, but have a need for glue sticks. We use those quite a bit each week  with interactive notebooks and projects, so we go through a lot. Glue sticks just do not last as long as liquid glue, but they are easier for first graders and do not make a mess like liquid can. If you can donate to the cause it would be greatly appreciated. 🙂 Thank you in advance!

Our Charlie & the Chocolate Factory Day was so much fun! Not only did we see the movie, but the students made their own chocolate covered with sprinkles pretzel sticks to take home and enjoy. 🙂      We will begin Beverly Cleary’s Mouse and the Motorcycle this week.


Enrichment Rotation this Week:

Monday:       STEM Lab

Tuesday:        P.E.     Wear your tennis shoes to school

Wednesday:    P.E.    Wear your tennis shoes to school

Thursday:       Music

Friday:           Art


December Memories:

Class Elves in our Hallway



Willy Wonka for the Day



Class Christmas Party Fun










Thank you for reading my lengthy post this week! It is my goal to keep you informed of what is going on each week in our classroom! I am looking forward to a fabulous 2019! 🙂 See you next week here on the Blog!





December 17th – 21st

On the Academic Agenda:

Math:    Our focus will cover data collection, place value and word problems.


Reader’s Workshop:      We are still in discussions about Main Idea and Supporting Details. The students are enjoying our projects and book discussions. I am administering DRA reading tests for each student in preparation for next report cards as well.


Writer’s Workshop:   Students are finishing up their final informational writing piece for this 2nd nine week quarter. Students chose a person to research and collect facts before writing. Their choices were:   Jackie Robinson,  Harriet Tubman and George Washington.


Science:  We will conclude our study about Sound



Our class party will be on Wednesday from 11:00 – 12:00

We are down to the last chapter on Monday for our class read aloud,    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.    Students will make a special treat as they come in on Tuesday morning. That afternoon, we will watch the movie. It is great to compare & contrast the two afterwards.


Our Lost & Found area is growing! If your child has lost something, please let me know so that we can check it. Donations are made for unclaimed items after the holidays. Marking jackets, sweaters, water bottles, etc. with a name is most helpful.


Enrichment Schedule this Week-

Monday:    Music

Tuesday:     Art

Wednesday:     Math Lab

Thursday:     STEM Lab

Friday:     Early Release Day  – no enrichment today


Congratulations to our 2nd Nine Weeks Cougar Pride Class Recipients:

Matt,  Hannah,  Brayden  and Cash 🙂     These students were chosen for different reasons:   compassion to others, listening attentively, doing the right thing, and working hard. It is my goal to recognize all of our students for hard work, good choices and compassion for others by the end of the year. 🙂


Thank you, Mrs. Metzger for being our Mystery Reader on Friday! 🙂 The class loved your Christmas stories and yummy candy cane treats!


Our Busy Learners  

The Desk Inspector Visits Our Class. Look at all the clean desks he found!


First Grade Friends

Daily 5 Word Work


What’s the Main Idea?



This is my last post for 2018. It is amazing how quickly the school year is passing! I wish everyone a wonderful holiday season. Make some memories and relax! 🙂   I will see you again in 2019.


December 10th – 14th

Let me begin this post with a big THANK YOU for the showering of birthday gifts and student cards this past week! 🙂 Wow is all I can say! You made me feel very special indeed. 🙂 Your thoughtfulness is amazing! I enjoyed my special day.


On the Academic Agenda this Week:


Math:    Our week will be divided between word problem practice in guided math groups, as well as place value to 99 and true / false equation values. As you can see, we are still very busy this holiday season. We need to spend some time further exploring how to solve the problems with missing numbers. Those are tough! I really want to practice a bit before administering 2nd quarter assessments next week.


Reader’s Workshop:    We will continue to practice Main Idea and Supporting Details until midweek. Afterwards, we will begin to explore the author’s purpose in writing a story.


Writer’s Workshop:     Friday, students shared their animal research writing pieces. We all learned so much about different animals. This week, students will choose a person in history to research and write about. I want to have the opportunity to take into consideration the work on 4 – 5 different writing pieces for this 2nd quarter before determining the final report card grade.


Phonics:   Our focus will be on the diagraphs  ch,  sh,  th,  wh


Social Studies:    I will be giving the Thomas Jefferson test on Monday. Please review over the information on the back of the Thomas Jefferson puppet, as well as the newspaper weekly that came home on Friday. We will then begin to learn about Sound.




Enrichment Rotation:

Monday:       Art

Tuesday:       Math Lab

Wednesday:     STEM Lab

Thursday:        P.E.      Wear your tennis shoes to school

Friday:        P.E.       Wear your tennis shoes to school


Have a great week! 🙂 I will see you again here next week on the Blog! 🙂




December 3rd – 7th

On the Academic Agenda this Week:

Math:    We will continue to work on word problems, but are moving on to equal equations with True / False recognition. Example: 4+3 = 7+0.  This will be our learning focus for the week.


Reader’s Workshop:   I want students to have a deep understanding of recognizing the Main Idea and Supporting Details for both fiction and non-fiction text, so we will continue to work on that skill throughout the week.


Writer’s Workshop:   Students are working on animal research  writing pieces right now. Our goal is to bring those to Author’s chair by midweek, and then begin a new informational piece.


Phonics:   We will review final ck in words on Monday, and then begin to learn about words with the diagraphs ch and sh.


Social Studies:   This week we will learn about Thomas Jefferson and the many contributions he made.



Enrichment Rotation this Week:

Monday:      Math Lab

Tuesday:     STEM Lab

Wednesday:     P.E.    Wear your tennis shoes to school

Thursday:     P.E.      Wear your tennis shoes to school

Friday:        Music


Have a great week! I will see you again next week here on the blog! 🙂

November 26th – 30th

I hope everyone had a restful and wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! As we come back and move into the final stretch of this 2nd nine weeks quarter, we will be very busy. Please continue to work on daily reading, sight word mastery and weekly homework assignments. They all play an important role in building fluency, reinforcing skills presented at school and moving reading levels each nine week period. 🙂

On the Academic Agenda-

Math:   We will work on word problems with unknown numbers for most of the week. I am very proud of the hard work students have done by learning strategies on how to solve what the unknown numbers are for addition & subtraction facts. Any papers coming home with low grades will need review. I wanted to establish a solid foundation on how to solve those before moving into word problems.


Reader’s Workshop:  Our focus these past 2 weeks has been on Fiction and Non-fiction Text features. As we come back from the break, we will be working on identifying the Main Idea and Supporting Details for fiction and non-fiction texts. Students will be introduced to our last two decoding Beanie Baby Friends, Fix it Bear and Helpful Kangaroo.


Writer’s Workshop:     Information writing pieces continue. Students will write an informational piece on Benjamin Franklin.


Phonics:   I would like to spend Monday reviewing “Open Door” vowels with students, before moving into words with final ck        Example:    sock     pick     rock


Science / Health:     With the weather being so crummy the week before break with all the rain, it put a damper on our plans to get outdoors and check out Shadows to conclude our study of Light. With fingers crossed, I am hoping for sunshine Monday, so that the students can get outdoors and become “Shadow Detectives”. We have an indoor experiment as well.  Tuesday will begin our nutrition study.



This is a message from our counselor, Mrs. Kotarba:

Kincaid Elementary has put the annual “Giving Tree” in the front lobby of our school. If you or your child would like to donate a toy or clothing item for a child in need, please select a paper ornament from the Giving Tree. Please purchase the item listed on the ornament and place the unwrapped item under the tree by December 14th. All items will be delivered to MUST Ministries for their Toy Shop benefitting needy families in our community. Please contact our school counselors if you have any questions about the Giving Tree. Our counselors can be reached by email lori.kotarba@cobbk12.org or Meredith.weitnauer@cobbk12.org or by calling the school. Thank you in advance for your generosity!



A huge THANK YOU to all the families who most generously donated Lysol and Clorox wipes to our class. I can assure you that those will be put to good use. As I come in each morning, I wipe down all student desktops, chairs, door handles, guided reading table and computer keyboards in an effort to keep germs away. With cold temps and flu season around, keeping surfaces clean is so important. We should be in great shape for a good while. 🙂   I also want to thank the parents who sent in M & M’s for our math problem solving activity. It is now in my lesson plans for Friday. 🙂


Enrichment Rotation this Week:

Monday:    STEM Lab

Tuesday:     P.E.       Wear your tennis shoes to school

Wednesday:  P.E.       Wear your tennis shoes to school

Thursday:      Music

Friday:            Art


Non – Fiction Text Features Scavenger Hunt:




Using Flippy Dolphin Decoding Strategies During Guided Reading:



Have a Great Week!   I will see you here again next week on the Blog! 🙂