December 8 Santa Bags

Students will be making Santa Bags this week to prepare for our holiday party.  Each child is encouraged to bring in 26 small items/treats place in the bag of classmates. Some ideas are pencils, holiday erasers, pencil sharpeners, books, balls, small toys, candy canes, snack treats, stickers, ornaments, note pads, crayons, markers, games, and other desk items or goodies. You may even want to wrap the items in wrapping paper, tissue, or foil. Creativity is appreciated!

The children may bring their Santa bag stuffers in on Thursday, December 12 through Tuesday, December 17.

November 12 CHES Book Fair

The CHES Book Fair will continue through this Friday, November 15.  If you would like your child to purchase books, you can send in cash or set up an e-wallet, and I will send them down in the morning to choose books.  The book fair will also be opened in the morning prior to our Thanksgiving lunch, if you would like to visit.  For more information about hours, merchandise and setting up an e-wallet visit the following link.  Happy reading!

CHES Book Fair



November 3 Thanksgiving Lunch Schedule

Families are invited to join their children for a special Thanksgiving lunch next week.  Each grade level is scheduled for a particular day over the course of three days.  We ask that families only attend on the day of their own child’s lunch, as we will be rearranging the lunchroom and eating in our rooms on other days to accommodate families on their given days. The schedule for first grade is as follows:

Wednesday, November 13 Pizza Day

Thursday, November 14 Sack Lunch

Friday, November 15 Thanksgiving Lunch with Families

October 20 Red Ribbon Week Begins

You are invited to participate in a week of spirit to celebrate our choice to be drug free!

Monday, 10/21 Proud to be Drug Free – Wear red!

Tuesday, 10/22 Peace Out to Drugs – Wear peace signs and/or tie dye!

Wednesday, 10/23 Team Up Against Drugs – Wear favorite team gear! Note: First grade will be changing into class shirts for our fieldtrip to Sparkles Skating Rink.

Thursday, 10/24 Lei Off Drugs – Wear lei and/or Hawaiian clothes!

Friday, 10/25 Our School Chooses to be Drug Free – Wear school spirit shirt or school colors!

September 8 End of Testing – Yeah!

Thanks so much to all the families who donated “brain food” for our testing week.  The children enjoyed the extra snack, and it helped keep their tummies from growling during testing.  The children did a great job sitting still, being quiet, and thinking through the problems on the test.  I was very proud of them.

I hope you enjoyed playing Bump with your student.  Bump is a great way to build addition fluency.  As the year goes on, we will move to numbers to 20 with three dice AND use number dice instead of dot dice.  I find that games are the best tool for helping students memorize math facts.

This week, we are back to normal; so, expect reading homework this week.  Also, we will be going to the Learning Commons to check out books on Thursday, so please make sure to send your child’s books back to school by then, if you have not already.

If you have not already, please remember to send in fieldtrip payments this week.  Remember, you can pay the first semester balance of $18 now and send in the remaining payment in January.  If you would like your child to have a class shirt, it is essential that you send in the $4 t-shirt fee by Wednesday, September 11.  T-shirts will be ordered only once, at the end of this week, for students who have paid in advance.

Finally, we will be finishing up our Boosterthon Celebrations this week, according to the following schedule.  I will send home reminders in the children’s folders.

Tuesday, September 10  Hat Day

Wednesday, September 11  20 Minutes Extra Recess

Thursday, September 12  Fluffy Friend Day


September 2 – CogAT Testing

We will be having CogAT testing this week from Wednesday, September 4 through Friday, September 6.  Testing can be stressful as children need to sit still and be quiet for a long period of time, so we will try to make this week a balance of hard work and fun!  There will be no reading homework (I encourage you to read with your child!), and I will be sending home a math game for you to play together.  In addition, parents have gotten together to provide special morning treats to help make sure tummy’s are full before we start testing each morning.

Here are some suggestions to help your student be prepared for testing.

* Please make sure your child is at school on time. Children do best when the rest of the day is as routine as possible.
* Encourage your child to exercise his/her mind and body each evening. Outdoor playtime helps clear heads and energizes the brain. Reading aloud to children is a great way to prepare for test taking. It allows children to practice listening and is a wonderful way to relax and de-stress.
* Make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep, so they are able to concentrate and remain alert throughout the long testing time.
* Please make sure your child has a good, balanced breakfast each morning. Studies suggest that orange juice and proteins are great brain foods.
* Give your child extra hugs and encouragement this week. Some test questions can be difficult, and teachers can provide no assistance, so the children need to know “they can do it!”


August 28 Champathon Update

We are headed into the last days of our Champathon to raise money for playground, learning commons and technology improvements at Cheatham Hill Elementary.  Our class has already raised $64 dollars per dance move which will bring in almost $2000.  Excellent job, first grade families.  If you would like to join us for the final event – the danceathon – we will be dancing from 8:15 – 9:00 this Friday, August 30 in the gymnasium.

August 21 We are scientists!

Today, we learned that scientists observe, measure, sort, build, research, write, and have fun!  Take a look at our photo gallery for a peek at our day.

This week, I began sending home reading folders.  I hope that you enjoy reading with your child.  While it is important for your child to read to you – to build fluency and confidence – remember it is also important for you to read with your child.  When you read to your child, you model fluent reading, show your child that you enjoy reading, and create memorable moments with your child.  Please remember, however, that while I think that it is important for you to read with your child as often as possible and the books I send home in your child’s folder are specifically chosen to match his or her reading abilities, homework is always optional.  Please do not stress if you have a busy evening or your family chooses to bond in other ways on some nights.

Tomorrow, I will be sending home Reading and Math Inventory reports.  These are tests we take on the computer three times a year, to monitor progress in these two areas.  While these tests can provide valuable information, they are only a small part of how I measure your child’s progress.  As you look at scores, please keep in mind that your children are new to this type of testing and still learning how to take tests and how to take tests on the computer, so scores may be lower that expected as children are still developing listening, testing, and computer skills.  In addition to academic skills, we will also be working on these other important skills throughout the year.

August 13 In the Beginning . . .

I have had so much fun this week, getting to know our new first graders and watching them got to know one another.  Everyone has made at least a few new friends, and I’m beginning to hear more names and less “that guy” or “that girl!”  This week, we have been showing what we learned in kindergarten and learning first grade routines.  We have been counting to 120, building our silent reading stamina, writing super sentences, and learning the meaning of patriotic songs.

Tomorrow and Thursday, we will be taking the Math and Reading Inventories.  These two tests, taken on the computer, will help me plan appropriate instruction for each student and will help us measure the growth your child makes in these two areas.  I will share more information after the testing is completed.

Tomorrow night, I will send home your child’s first homework.  We have been working on retelling with key details.  Your child will bring home illustrations from the story Cookie’s Week.  Have your child order the cards and then retell the story.  S/he should say something like “On Monday, Cookie did something, and something went everywhere” for each illustration.  We have been practicing telling with expression, so the story should make you laugh and smile!  Enjoy!

August 3 Welcome!

Welcome new first grade families!  Our journey has begun.  We have had an exciting two days, getting to know one another and navigating our new classroom.  I have been so impressed with our adventurers – they are already showing an eagerness to learn, to take on new challenges and to ask question when they don’t understand.  In the coming week, we will continue to learn about classroom routines, curriculum, and expectations, as I learn more about our little learners in order to create just-right activities to ensure they all continue to grow as a group and individually.

If you would like to learn more about first grade and our little learning community, Kindergarten, First and Second Grade Open House will be on Thursday, August 8 starting at 6:00pm.  The evening will be divided into two sessions, to help those who have students in two different grade levels.  During both sessions, I will give you a quick peek at what your child’s day will look like and share information about curriculum, behavior management, and family involvement.  I hope to see you on Thursday!