Ms. Feenstra

December 14, 2015

Wow! This year is flying by!  We are keeping busy, trying to keep focused as vacation quickly approaches!

Math: We are working on using strategies to add and subtract. We will finish this topic just in time for the holiday break.

Reading: We are working on giving our opinions of books. We have been listening to read alouds and giving our opinions. Soon we will read from book bags and give our opinions of those. We will also go from giving one reason to three.

Writing: In writing, just as in reading, we are writing our opinions of various things. We have discussed how to plan and use a template for our writing. We are also focusing on using punctuation. We will continue this work after the break.

SHHHHHHH… We are having a surprise celebration on Wednesday to thank our fabulous Foster Grandmother, Miss Jane. If you like, please send in snacks to share during our lunch party.

Thanks, as always, for sharing your child with me!!

Kathy Feenstra

12/17 25 cent sale – send your child in with a quarter for shopping

12/23 Wednesday THROUGH 12/31 - Winter Break

1/1 Friday - New Year's Day HOLIDAY

1/4  Back to School!!

December 7, 2015

Hello! We are beginning many new things this week in first grade!

Math:  We have started the next topic, addition facts to 20. Please keep practicing math facts at home!

Reading: We are continuing our work on character traits and also talking about our opinions about books. We share a book and discuss how we feel about the book and why. We are working on giving three reasons to back up our opinions.

Writing: We are beginning the next unit in writing, too! We will be writing opinion pieces. Just like in reading, we will be giving our opinions of things and giving three reasons why. If you have not already, please send in your child’s collection as soon as possible!

Thanks, as always, for sharing your child with me!

Kathy Feenstra

12/23 Wednesday THROUGH 12/31 - Winter Break

1/1 Friday - New Year's Day HOLIDAY

1/4  Back to School!!

November 30, 2015

Here we are, December first tomorrow! Wow, time is flying by!! I hope that everyone had a relaxing vacation with loved ones!!!  We are in the final stretch for 2015!!

Last week was so quick! Thank you to everyone who was able to come to conferences! In class we reviewed with math games, and worked on character traits and independent reading. 

This week we will do some review work on Small Moment writing to prepare for an assessment piece. We will also prepare for the next math benchmark.  In reading, we will be finishing up our unit on characters.

Tuesday morning we will be walking to the Merrill Auditorium. We are going to see Backstage at the Nutcracker. It is always fabulous, and I know the class will love it!! I would love a chaperone if someone is available! Please let me know!

Thanks, as always, for sharing your child with me!!

Kathy Feenstra

12/1 – Nutcracker at Merrill Auditorium

12/23 Wednesday THROUGH 12/31 - Winter Break

1/1 Friday - New Year's Day HOLIDAY

1/4  Back to School!!

November 23, 2015

Hello All!  We have been busy in first grade!!

Math:  We have finished up the latest topic on addition and subtraction strategies. Right after the break we will be taking the benchmark assessment on Topics 1 to 4. 

Reading:  We continue our work on character traits and increasing independent reading time.

Writing: We are finishing up our Small Moments writing unit!  We will practice writing long and strong with details, and will write “On Demand” pieces after the break.  On Demand means that the students will have a 45-minute block of time to independently write a narrative showing all that they have learned about writing a small moment.

This week’s homework packet is longer than usual. Students who complete the packet during vacation will earn eating lunch with me one day!!

I hope that you have a very lovely break. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday; there is always so much to be thankful for. Enjoy your families!!!

Thanks, as always, for sharing your child with me.

Kathy Feenstra

December 1 – Walking field trip to Merrill Auditorium – The Nutcracker

November 16, 2016

Hello All! What a lovely weekend. I hope you were able to enjoy the sun on Saturday!  This week the class will enjoy the first of a few KinderKoncerts. Wednesday will be about a fish who is looking for friends, told and played by members of the string section of the Portland Symphony Orchestra. It should be great!

Math: We have been working on different strategies for adding and subtracting. Soon we will take the first benchmark test – covering the first four topics that we have covered.

Reading: We continue to read and talk about characters in books, what they say, what they do, and how they feel.

Writing: We are adding more details to our stories, learning how to re-read and revise. We are adding feelings, thinking, and talking.

Please note that next week there is only school on Monday and Tuesday, and dismissal is at noon.

Thanks, as always, for sharing your child with me!

 Kathy Feenstra 

Upcoming Dates to Remember:

11/17 Tuesday - PICTURE RETAKE DAY

11/23 Monday - Conferences - NOON DISMISSAL

11/24 Tuesday - Conferences - NOON DISMISSAL

11/25 Wednesday - No Teachers or Students

11/26 Thursday - Thanksgiving Recess

11/27 Friday - Thanksgiving Recess

12/1   Tuesday – Grade 1 to the Nutcracker, Merrill Auditorium

November 9, 2015

Hello!  Here we are in the second week of November already!!  Conferences are around the corner, if you haven’t gotten a notice from me, you will be receiving a phone call from multi-lingual about your day and time. I am doing my best to schedule appointments at times that are convenient for everyone!

Math:  We are practicing strategies to make addition and subtraction easier!

Reading: We are reading books about characters and noticing what they do and say to help us understand what the characters are like.

Writing: We are making our characters talk and move in our Small Moment stories.  We are also trying to zoom in on the stories and write in small steps.

Garden: We had our last fall garden class with Katrina. We talked about nocturnal animals. Katrina brought in two owls from the Audubon.  We played a game to learn about echolocation.

Thanks, as always, for sharing your child with me!!
Kathy Feenstra

Upcoming Dates to Remember:

11/17 Tuesday - PICTURE RETAKE DAY

11/23 Monday - Conferences - NOON DISMISSAL

11/24 Tuesday - Conferences - NOON DISMISSAL

11/25 Wednesday - No Teachers or Students

11/26 Thursday - Thanksgiving Recess

11/27 Friday - Thanksgiving Recess

November 2, 2015

Today was a GREAT day!!  We walked to Merrill Auditorium and enjoyed a wonderful production of Caps for Sale!!  The class did a terrific job staying together and following directions. We loved reading the book in class and really enjoyed watching it all come to life!

Math:  This week we begin our next topic, practicing math facts to 12, using addition and subtraction. Please practice math facts at home. It is a goal in first grade for students to learn them “in a snap.” The sooner children are able to answer facts quickly by memory, the easier math becomes. 

Reading: Last week, we worked on setting personal and partner goals. We will continue this work. We are beginning the next unit, which focuses on Ways to Know a Character - things they do, how they feel, and what they think.  It is a very fun unit! 

Writing:  We are continuing our work on Small Moment Stories. Last week everyone was sure to have a feeling in their writing, and each student shared their feeling and the reason why.  This week we will be focusing on making our writing easier to read. 

Garden: This week, garden class was inside due to rain. Katrina reviewed the life cycles of plants and animals. She also shared many different types of leaves, and we played a find your partner game. At the end of class, everyone had a chance to taste maple syrup.

Thanks, as always, for sharing your child with me!

Kathy Feenstra

October 26, 2015

Hello Parents! 

Math: We are continuing our work on subtraction. Many thanks to all who are helping your children complete the homework each week! We will finish the subtraction topic this week!

Reading: We are setting goals! We have been talking about the many habits of reading that we have learned. Now we are each picking the ones that we need to work on, and making sure to use them when we read. Ask your child what his/her goals are.

Writing: We have begun writing Small Moment Stories. These are stories about our lives. We have thought, planned, sketched, and written. We will continue this work for the next several weeks.

Garden: Katrina showed us many different Maine animals, and told us all about what they do all year: migrate, dormant, active, and hibernate. Everyone picked an animal and acted out what they do each season. We also tried lemongrass and honey tea made from the herbs in our school garden!!

We are going on a FIELD TRIP next Monday, November 2nd! We will be walking to the Merrill Auditorium to see “Caps for Sale.” We will leave at about 9:15 and return at about 11:30. If you are interested in being a chaperone, please let me know as soon as you can!

Thanks, as always, for sharing your child with me!

Kathy Feenstra 

October 19, 2015

Hello All!  Thanks to those who came to the Reiche Road Race and Yard Sale yesterday! It was a great event and very successful fundraiser for the school!

Math: We continue to work on how to subtract, especially using stories (word problems). Please do the homework with your child. We are doing Gumball math timed fact tests at least once a week. Practicing math facts at home will help your child to learn them faster. Many are bringing home the sheets to practice from.

Reading: We are focusing on how to help our partners be better readers. Students are being students and teachers as they remind each other of what good habits (strategies) to use to figure out hard words.

Writing: We are finishing our How to Books and practicing reading them every day. On Friday, we will share them with another first grade class. This week we will begin writing Small Moment Stories.

Garden: Last week, Katrina taught us about pumpkins and apples. We used all of our senses to explore both fruits. We tasted pumpkin seeds!

This Thursday come hear Barbara Melnick, Head of School at Aucocisco School in Cape Elizabeth discuss the various types of learning differences, how they might affect kids’ performance in school, how children can be evaluated, and resources for help both in and outside of school. 6:30 to 8:30

Thanks, as always, for sharing your child with me,

Kathy Feenstra

October 13, 2015

Hello Parents! I hope you were all able to get outside with your family and enjoy the lovely fall weather!  We are growing as learners and I am so proud of this class. Last Thursday the class had some choice time. I was so impressed with how many students chose to read or work on math! My heart sang when a student came to me and asked, “May I just sit at my desk and read?” For me, it was the perfect start to the long weekend!!

This week we…

Math:  We are working on subtraction!  The class is really thinking about the part-part-whole algorithm. Each day we practice in a different way, and I am watching as they all begin to understand the concept of subtraction. We also did a Gumball Math test. These are great timed math fact tests. Please practice with your child!!  It is easy to do, just ask you child to answer math facts, for example: 1+2=? Most of the students are working on plus one facts. You can practice this anywhere!!!

Reading: We are nearly finished with our first unit in Reading, Building Good Habits. I love watching as the students use so many strategies to figure out words. This week, we learned about The Little Engine Who Could. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can… We never give up trying to figure out the words!!

Writing:  this week we will finish our How to Books by writing a final fancy book with details, a materials list, and a diagram. We will share them with other first graders at the end of the week!

Garden:  We met Katrina in the garden and learned all about how bees make honey. We enjoyed apples and apple cider.  Delicious!!

Thanks as always, for sharing your child with me!!!
Kathy Feenstra

Important Reminders:

REICHE OPEN HOUSE!! Come see the classroom and school!
Thursday, October 15th, 5:00 to 6:30

October 5, 2015
Hello Parents!  We’ve been having more fun learning in first grade!

Science: We had our first garden class with Katrina. We reviewed the life cycles of trees and turtles.  We also examined the compost area and went on a garden scavenger hunt. We will see her every Thursday for the next several weeks. It’s great to have Katrina back!

Math: We are beginning our next topic, subtraction. Please do the homework packet with your child. It is review of what we do during in class. It makes a huge difference in the learning and understanding of math for your child.

Reading: We are continuing to learn and practice good reading habits. Students are doing a fabulous job reading independently and with partners. We are learning how to coach each other. Everyone is a teacher! We have started reading groups. It is one of my favorite times of the day.

Writing: We are adding more to our “How to” books. Last week, we learned about adding more details in interesting ways: using fun language, giving warnings, and making comparisons. We will continue to add to our writing this week.
I am truly enjoying my time with your children each day. It is a kind, caring class. They are motivated to learn and work together as a team. 

Thanks, as always, for sharing your child with me!

Kathy Feenstra

Important Reminders:

10/9 Friday - No School

10/12 Monday - Columbus Day HOLIDAY – No school

September 28, 2015

Another week has rushed by! The Tree of Kindness is sprouting many leaves, the students are learning and applying new skills everyday, and we are all having fun. 

Math: The original plan was to start the unit on Subtraction last week, however, the first grade team decided to stir things up and study 10 frames instead. We believe that giving the students more time to work on numeracy and number sense will make the unit on subtraction easier. The class will continue this work this week.

Reading: We have been working on reading strategies and reading with partners.  I am so impressed with how every student has grown as a reader already. I am excited to watch them grow as readers all year!

Writing: We continue our work on “How to” books. The students are teaching what they know, sounding out words, rereading to be sure it makes sense, and adding more details. They are growing as writers, too!

This week we begin HOMEWORK!! A packet will go home each Monday. Your child should only do one page each night (front and back). The packet is due on Friday. At the Open House in October, we will talk about the reading program, Book It! At that time, we will begin sending books home to be read each night.

Tuesday – September 29th – Picture Day

                                  Book Orders due

Wednesday – September 30 – Early Release begins at 1:50!!!

Thanks, as always, for sharing your child with me!

Kathy Feenstra 

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