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Mrs. Smith-December 11-15

Office # 303-387-6600

Dear Parents,

Can you believe it is already December? This month will go by quickly, filled with so many festivities and end of the semester assessments.

We had such a fun week as we toured around Europe learning about Holiday traditions and special countries represented in our class population! Last week we enjoyed a visit from Freddie's father, skyping his Bubba from Bulgaria! Then on Friday Delilah's mother, brother and grandmother came to share about Ireland! They brought a slideshow with pictures from her grandmother's farm in Ireland. They also brought us yummy sausage and shortbread to sample! This coming week we will have a presentation from Sweden and Israel (Hanukkah).

Our first grade Polar Express party will be on Thursday, December 21st. You should have received an invitation/announcement in your child's Friday folder with information regarding this special day. Students wear their jammies to school that day and the "party" takes place in the morning. We board the Polar Express and act out the story, complete with hot chocolate and yummy treats! Their will also be a gift-book exchange. Each student needs to bring a wrapped new book, appropriate for a boy or girl. The tag should read "To A Friend...From, Your child's name".

Last week we learned more about the author Mo Willems, reading many of his Pigeon series books. The students described the pigeon, identified problem/solutions, made predictions and learned about making inferences. This week we will start reading Piggy and Gerald books!

These next few weeks before winter break we will be busy with some final assessments which will be shared in your student's report cards. Assessing each child using the DRA takes a bit of time, so there may be a few days we will not be able to meet for our reading groups. Book bags will continue to go home for you student to read, as well as sight words to practice. First graders grow so quickly with reading and it is very important that I monitor their progress, including comprehension.

Please read the attached letter regarding an exciting opportunity for our students with Junior Achievement! They are asking for some parent volunteers to help administer the program. Let me know if you are interested in helping...


Mrs. Joanie Smith

Class Pages:


Upcoming Dates  

POLAR EXPRESS PARTY- Thursday, December 21st. More information coming soon!

WINTER BREAK- Friday, December 22nd- January 5th

NO SCHOOL- Friday, January 12th. This is a teacher work day.

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. DAY- There is no school on Monday, January 15th.

Social Studies / Science

Science: We have been exploring various habitats and specific animals that make their homes in those habitats. As we research Australian animals our first graders are discovering the basic needs all animals have in common.
Science Vocabulary: habitat, protect, survive, rare, provide

Social Studies:  We are loving our time exploring Europe during the holidays! We have visited Germany, Bulgaria, France and Ireland. Next week we will travel to Sweden and Israel. 
Social Studies Vocabulary: culture, custom, 
similar, language, diverse

The Big Cheese


Our Big Cheese for last week was Delilah Gruenburg!  Delilah had such a fun, colorful poster to share with our class! We especially loved her picture visiting the Kennedy Space Center... pretending to use the astronaut toilet! There were LOTS of questions about that concept! We enjoyed getting to know Delilah better last week!

Reading Bags

Please return reading bags each day even if you have not been able to read the book  This enables your child to bring home a new book from that days guided reading lesson.  Sight word rings are added to every few days.  These are to be reinforced each night at home to improve fluency.

After reading the book, ask your child comprehension questions about the story.

  • Who are the main characters?
  • What happened in the beginning, middle and the end?
  • What connections can you make with the story?
  • What does the story remind you about?

My website is updated weekly, by Friday evening.  Make sure you check-in for the latest classroom information!



Our Upcoming Week At A Glance... 
For the week of Dec. 11-15
Theme: Christmas Around the World
Author's Study: Mo Willems

Phonics: Fundations- base words with suffix-s
Phonemic Awareness: isolating the base word from the suffix
High Frequency Words:  Unit 1,Unit 2, Unit 3 and Unit 4 words
Comprehension: comparing/contrasting similar texts, story elements (title, setting, character, problem/solution), sequence of events
Fluency: Reading with expression, rapid naming of       sight words
Grammar: Sentence structure, punctuation
Vocabulary: culture, custom, language, similar, diverse
Writing: Holidays Around The World-(factual descriptions),Squiggle Books, personal journals, birthday pages
Mondays the students will have the opportunity to write in their journals. It can be helpful to discuss with your student what they may want to write about. 

First Grade Froggy

First Grade Froggy went home last weekend with Maya! They enjoyed so many fun events together, including going to the Sand Creek Mock Sleepover and the Book Club!


Reading Bags: Read the books each night and return the following day.  The sight word rings are to stay in the bags so that new words can be added.  Please go over these words nightly with your student.  

Homework should not exceed more than 30 minutes a night. Our purpose is to build responsibility and practice skills.

  •  Read nightly for 10-15 minutes from their      reading bags. 
  •  Word work skills- Fundations/ Letter Study:

Tricky Words:  

a, and, the, is, his, of, as, has, to, into, or, for, she, he, me, you, your, I, they, was, one, said, from, have, do, does

New Words:

were, are, who, what, where, there, here, when


  Homework Due Date
 MondayMath packet/iReady ReadingHomework packet due Friday
 TuesdayiReady Math
 Wednesday iReady Readingi
 ThursdayiReady Math

Math packet due


Last week in math we practiced solving story problems and how to prove our answers are true. We took part of the mid-module assessment and will complete it on Monday. We continued to practice solving story problems using various strategies. We learned about doubles, equations that are two of the same number doubled (2+2=4). Memorizing double facts can help us solve other closely related equations such as 2+2=4... or 2+3 must equal 5. We will be using doubles plus one and then doubles minus one to help us solve more equations.
Here are the parent letters for Module 1.

Sprint/ Fluency Builders- We practice our fluency with timed tests. At the end of the test, the students circle the number they got to and then we correct our work with a different color crayon.

Problem Set- Students practice independently in class. Teacher is there for support and then we go over it. Students explain their thinking and correct as needed.

Exit Tickets- Students complete exit ticket on their own and turn into teacher. Teacher uses this to inform instruction. This is not sent home.
Math homework will be going home in the yellow homework folders Monday and can be turned in on Fridays.

Specials Schedule

Specials for the week of Dec. 4-8

PE-No-Wear your gym shoes!

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