Friday, December 22, 2017

Dear Moms and Dads,
We want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Thanks for all you do for us.
Mrs. Lausier's Fantastic First Graders

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

First Grade News for December

Important December Dates to Remember

December 1st - PTG Kids Shop - 5:00-7:00 p.m.
December 4th - Family Coding Night - K4 Computer Lab
December 8th - Report cards sent home
December 15th - K-4 Holiday Concert - 1:00 p.m.
December 19th - Polar Express Day (if the 19th is a
    snow day, it will be on December 20th)
December 22nd - Classroom Christmas party
December 22-January 1st - Christmas vacation
January 2, 2018 - Back to School! - Happy New Year!

    The month of December is going to be a busy one! The children are going to be learning so much! In our Houghton Mifflin reading program we will be working on drawing conclusions, comparing and contrasting, and sequencing events. We are also going to be working on reading, writing and spelling words with r clusters, l clusters, and s clusters. We will continue to add more words to our Word Wall as the month of December goes on. Our short vowels will continue to be a focus, too.

    In math we will continue working on solving addition and subtraction problems. We will also continue to share and discuss our strategies for solving these problems. We have played many games to practice our addition and subtraction, and we will continue to work on these games. We will also work on several activities that will help us work on counting to higher numbers. The children will work on making their own counting strips, which they will make to show how high they can count. I can’t wait to see how high they can go! Before we finish the month of December we will begin Unit 4 - What Would You Rather Be? In this unit the children will be describing and sorting collections and collecting, recording and representing data. The children will even get to write a survey question and ask their classmates the question and collect all of the data!

    In our Lucy Calkins writing program the children will continue to write teaching books, choosing topics they are experts in to teach others. Soon they will begin writing chapter books, learning how to make a table of contents to introduce each of the topics in their chapter book. The children will learn how to write introductions and conclusions for their chapter books, finding ways to keep their readers engaged and interested. We should be finishing our published chapter books shortly after we return from our Christmas break.

    In December the first graders will be doing a  ‘Christmas Around the World’ unit in social studies. The children will learn about the Christmas traditions in 6 different countries - Russia, Mexico, Germany, England, Holland and Australia. They will also make a project that shows the Christmas tradition of each country. It will give the children the opportunity to learn how children around the world celebrate at this special time of the year.

     We want to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season. Enjoy this very special time of the year with your child. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Friday, November 17, 2017

    PJ &  GAME DAY

On Tuesday November 21st our class will be having a pj day and game time.  We have earned over 1,500 DOJO POINTS! WOW!!!

Please send your child to school with appropriate PJ’s and warm clothing for recess.  Slippers are allowed, too.  

We will set aside some time to play games.  If you wish to allow your child to bring in a game please do so.  We will be responsible when playing the games.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017


Important Dates: Friday November 10th no school
Wednesday November 22nd start of Thanksgiving break

It is hard to believe that we are already in the month of November.  We had a wonderful turnout at conferences, and feel so thankful to be teaching these awesome kiddos.

In Reading we will be taking our theme one/two end of unit assessment.  As we begin theme 3 we will continue with read to self and guided reading using “just right” books.
For comprehension skills we will be working with topic, main idea, details/summarizing, and making predictions. For grammar we will work with sentences and the naming part of the sentence and the action part of the sentence.  In a few weeks…...WE WILL ALSO BE STARTING WEEKLY SPELLING TESTS. Each first day of the week the students will bring home a spelling list and a spelling contract( this gives ideas to help them practice throughout the week).Our test are usually on Friday or the last day of each school week.

In Math we are finishing up Geometry and will be starting addition, subtraction and the number system.  Some goals for our first grade friends are to compose numbers up to 15 using two or more addends.  Students will develop and work with strategies to solve addition and subtraction problems.  They will generate equivalent expressions for a given number ( 10+2+=12 is the same as 5+5+2=12). We will be practicing counting forward and backwards from any given number up to 100.  

By now our first small moment books have been published and we are moving into becoming authors of nonfiction chapter books!  The writers will become a teacher and through their writing they will teach others about their chosen topics.  They will learn how to organize their topics into chapters and will dabble with creating a table of content for their chapter book.  
***A big push for all of the students is to correctly and neatly form letters, and to use capital letters to begin a sentence or thought, and to end that sentence with punctuation.

In Science we will be working with sound.  Students will experiment with different sounds and try to observe that sound is made from vibrations.  

November will be another busy, but fun month full of learning and growing together.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Center Drive School is a community of staff and students who are working together to create a safe learning environment in which everyone feels welcome.  We would like to celebrate our school community by inviting students to join us in wearing various themes every Wednesday for the months of October and November. The following are the dates and themes:

October 25th - Mismatched Sock Day - We are all different and special
November 1st -Inside out day - We all have feelings
November 8th - Red, White, and Blue Day - Eagle Pride!
November 15th- Crazy Hair, Don't Care - Be Confident!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Some fantastic first graders at our fire safety presentation
Thanks to the Orrington Fire Department

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Dates to remember
*October 6th full day teacher inservice
*October 9th Columbus Day
*October 26th early dismissal due to Parent Teacher Conferences from 1:00 to   8:00
*October 27th NO School due to Parent Teacher Conferences from 8:00 to 12:00

We will be continuing to review consonant sounds and short vowel sounds.  Through reading texts we will be comparing and contrasting, and working with cause and effect.  Our reading genres will be fantasy, realism and realistic fiction.  A main focus will be on story structure and elements.  Reviewing and working on high frequency words will be done.  Students will continue to read just right books daily.

We are still working on small moments.  We are working on ways to bring our stories to life, make our characters talk, move, feel, and think.  We are working on telling our stories in steps.  After we complete our narrative unit, each student will publish their favorite small moment story.

We will be finishing up unit one this month.  We will be working on composing numbers.  Our unit 2 is on 2-dimensional geometry.  A goal is decomposing and composing 2-D shapes. We will also describe and sort shapes.  

Our second unit is Communication.  We will discuss how people can communicate with people who are nearby and far away.  Our discussions will be centered around how we communicate with others.  The students will practice communicating using light and Morse Code.  They will also create a telephone using cups and string.  They will need to build, test, and explain their creation.  It is always amazing to see how many “phones” do work!

Please continue to check communication folders daily.  

The year has started wonderfully and the first graders are awesome!

Monday, September 25, 2017


We did it!!  We earned over 500+ Dojo points.  The fantastic first graders voted……..and the results are in. Bring your favorite stuffed animal to school won.  So, on Friday the 29th we will each bring in our favorite stuffy to tell about, write about, read to, and practice math with.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

September News From Grade One

We are off to a wonderful start!  The students are all so eager and anxious to learn all about grade one.  We have worked on classroom and schoolwide rules and expectations.  Just a few reminders…..We do not bring toys to school unless it is for a special day or a reward.  We can not heat up meals at lunchtime.  

Here is a little bit about what we will be working on this month……..

How Many of Each is our unit one title.  We will be working with the mathematical ideas of counting, ordering, comparing quantities, and addition.  Children will be asked to explain their math thinking and reasoning.  We are also working on correct number formation.  

We have started our Back to School Review Unit.  In this unit we work with introducing the reading strategies of prediction, retell/summarize, and question.  We review rhymes, beginning sounds, and other phonemic awareness skills.  Letter formation and recognition is also a focus.  We will also review high frequency words that were taught in Kindergarten. The students  have started read to self time, and we are working on increasing our reading stamina.  We are also working on selecting a “just right” or a “good fit book”.  Doing this will increase reading fluency and accuracy.  

Writing Small Moments with Independence is unit one!  As writers they will be challenged to bring their small moments to life.  They will make a beginning for their story, show what happens in order, use details to help the reader picture the story, and make an ending for their story.  

Coming up…...we will study the behavior of light.  Students will observe reflection of light, and which materials allow light to pass through and which material block light.  

September will be a busy and fun month.  If you have any questions or concerns please contact me. We are partners in this adventure called first grade!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Monday, August 28, 2017

Our Classroom is ready......Are you?

I am so super excited to start this school year!  We will be learning so much, and we will have tons of fun doing so.
Here is a list of our classroom specials:
Every other Monday -  Guidance
Tuesday - Computer
Wednesday - PE & Library (don't forget sneakers and books)
Thursday - Art
Friday - Music

Thursday, June 1, 2017

First Grade News
June 2017

Important Dates to Remember
    June 2nd - Spring Concert - 1:00 p.m.
June 5th Beach Day
June 6th - Field trip to Moosepoint State Park -   
    June 14th - Field Day K-4
    June 15th - Last student day - 11:30 dismissal

These last couple of weeks in first grade are going to be so busy! We still have things that we are trying to finish up before we send the children off to second grade.

We have just begun our last math unit this week. It is all about 3-D geometry. We will be working with our 3-D shapes - Geoblocks and interlocking cubes - to describe 3-D shapes and their attributes. The children will be describing and comparing rectangular prisms. They will also be identifying the characteristics of 3-D objects by touch by playing Blocks in a Sock. They have to reach in and figure out which block is in the sock just by feeling it. We are hoping to finish this unit by the end of the year.
In science we are still working on our plant unit - Plant Traits and Inheritances. When we finish this unit we are going to try to squeeze one more unit in-Animal Traits and Inheritances. If all goes well we should be able to finish it up before the students become second graders!

In Writing Workshop we are working very hard to finish our last writing unit, which is writing realistic fiction. We just started writing a new realistic fiction series, and these will be chapter books! Hopefully we’ll have time to get our last series all finished. If the children work hard I’m sure they can do it!


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

First Grade May News

Dates to remember
  • May 11th Wiswell Farm Field Trip
  • May 29th no school Memorial Day

Twos, Fives, and Tens
Students will be developing and working on strategies for accurately counting a set of objects by 1’s and by groups.  We will be using manipulatives, drawings, and notations to show strategies and solutions. Knowing addition combinations of 10 and adding single digit numbers will be skills we will work with.  Students will also be working on adding and subtracting with 2-digit numbers.

“The more you read the more things you will know.  The more that you learn the more places you will go.”
We do lots of reading at school and appreciate the reading that happens at home.  As students read to or with you work on story structure (talk about characters, setting, problem, and solution). We will be focusing on noting details and comparing and contrasting as we read our stories.  

From Scenes to Series: Writing Fiction
The students are creating realistic fiction stories.  They are thinking of characters, and settings, and imagining trouble for their character(s), and helping their characters get out of trouble.  Students are really enjoying this unit.  

Parts of Animals and the structure and function of those parts is what students will be learning.  We take an imaginary trip to the zoo and notice how each animal moves, eats, and survives in its habitat.  For a wrap up activity students will plan and create their own super animal.

I can not believe we are in the month of May. This school year has gone by so they say "Time flies when you are having fun!"

Monday, April 3, 2017

April News From Grade One
       **Important Dates**
April 8th Spring Fair
April Vacation 17th - 21st
April 14th Book orders are due

“April Showers Bring May Flowers”.......and science brings parts of plants.  We will be learning about plants, and what the job of each part plant is.  We will also talk about the characteristics of plants and how these allow the plant to survive.

In math we are working on unit 7. This unit is called color, shape, and number patterns.  The focus points are:

*Identify what comes next in a repeating pattern
*Constructing, describing and extending repeating patterns
*Represent a repeating unit in more than one way
*Compare repeating and nonrepeating sequences
*Identify what comes several steps beyond the visible part of a pattern
*Associating counting numbers with elements of a repeating patterns
*Determine and describe number sequence
*Describe how a number sequence represents a situation with a constant
 rate of change
We will continue to work with math facts, and we truly appreciate any time spent studying them at home.  

In reading we are working with summarizing as we read.  We will work with the comprehension skills of categorize and classify, topic/main idea & details, and drawing conclusions.  We will also focus on action words (verbs) and present and past tense.  Compound words and homophones will be practiced during this unit.  

We are still working on writing convincing reviews.  We are trying to persuade readers to try something new, such as a resteraunt, new movie, or game.  The writers need to stretch their thinking and add convincing reasons to support their opinions.  

It is still snowy, muddy, and wet outside, so boots and winter gear are still needed for recess. To help keep our classrooms clean please send in a pair of shoes for your child to change into for the day.  

Thursday, March 2, 2017


Important Dates:

March 13th      Space Projects due
March 17th     St. Patrick’s Day….wear green :)
March 23rd     Grades close
March 24th     Teacher Inservice
March 31st       Report Cards go home

This month in reading we will continue to work on vowel pairs, such as ow and oa.  We will also work on the long and short sounds for “oo”, the different spellings for the long u (ou, u_e, ew, ue, u, oo), and the long i (ie, i_e, igh).  We will also be working on several comprehension skills, such as sequencing events, problem solving, and fantasy/realism.  For comprehension strategies we'll be summarizing, clarifying for understanding, and questioning.

In math we are concentrating on number composition and number operations.  This will develop fluency with facts.  We are becoming pros on the combinations of 10.  We are also working on word problems or story problems.  Take a few minutes daily to practice some addition and subtraction facts.

We are writing opinions and learning how to judge items from our collections.  We have been learning how to give reasons or details to support our choices.  The children are working hard to convince the reader that their opinion is the “right” one.  We will continue to revise and edit our opinions.  

Space travel is continuing throughout the month.  We are learning about the moon and the phases of the moon.  We will also talk lots about the planets.  The class is really enjoying this unit.  

I am sending home a handout with this newsletter which offers strategies to help children find a “just right book”.

March will be a busy but exciting month in our classroom.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The month of February is here and we are almost 100 days smarter!! (100th day is on the 9th)

                                                      Important dates:
*February 11th PTG Valentine’s Dance

*February 14th Valentine’s Day - Each class will have an individual party, and if you want to provide snacks or a treat the students would greatly appreciate it.  Lists will be going home with student’s  names.

*February 17th Field Trip to Planetarium.  Thanks for all of the interest in volunteering to attend.  Wish everyone could come along, but there is limited seating and we were given a certain number of spots.  

*February 20th to February 24th is February vacation.  

Goals for Math unit 6…..
*to  develop fluency with the 2-addend combinations of 10
*to find relationships among different combinations of a number up to 20
*to find as many 2-addend combinations of a number as possible
*to add 2 or more single - digit numbers
*to subtract one number from another, with initial start of 12
*to solve addition and subtraction story problems
* to develop strategies to solve word problems

In Science we are starting a unit called Patterns in Space. We will be observing the phases of the moon.  We will also talk about planets, the sun, and the stars.  

 We are still reading lots and working on story structure.  As students read with you encourage them to talk about the details in the story and to make predictions.  We are continuing to work on long vowels with the focus on vowel pairs (Ex...ea, ee, ai, ay).

In writing we are moving into a unit on writing reviews.  To begin this fun unit each student needs to bring in a small collection of items to use during this unit. The collection should be no more than 6 items, and will need to remain at school for the duration of the unit.  In order to store and keep these items safe please try to send them in a small box of some sort. (shoe box, empty cereal box, or an empty snack box) The collection can be anything the child has at home already…..please do not feel you need to go out and purchase anything.  Have fun picking a collection of items.

As always thanks for your support and contact us with any questions.

Thursday, January 12, 2017


Important Reminders
*No school on Monday the 16th - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
*Please send appropriate winter clothing (ski pants, boots, etc….) Weather changes so quickly we never know if it will be inside or outside recess.
*Please send shoes to change into.

Like each and every month the first graders are busy learners.  In Math we are finishing up unit 4 and will soon begin unit 5.  This unit is called Fish Length and Animal Jumps.  Students will gain an understanding of what length is and get a sense of linear measurement using nonstandard and standard units.  They will compare lengths to determine longest and shortest.  They will work with accurate measurement techniques, and they will describe measurements that are in between whole numbers of units.  In this unit we will continue to gather and collect data. We will also do some calendar work and identify and name coins. **Review skill of counting forward and backward counting sequences with numbers up to 60**

We have started MMF (mastering math facts)  The students are super excited to “rocket” through their math facts.  This is an individualized and structured program for sequential practice of math facts. Successful practice on math facts requires that students practice and learn few enough facts at a time so that they can simply remember and memorize answer.  

“The more you read the more you know”  We are doing lots of reading daily.  Target skills for comprehension are compare and contrast, making generalizations, and cause and effect.  We also are working with questioning and summarizing.  Each day we are working towards fluency.  Spelling words may be getting a bit more “challenging” as we begin digraphs and the long vowel sounds using rules of consonant - vowel - consonant - e.  We are pleased with the progress on tests thus far and returning of the spelling contracts.  

In Science we have started Seasonal Patterns.  One goal is for students to learn that the seasons are caused by the tilt of the Earth...Big concept for these little scientists!
 We are really working on accurate and neat letter formation.  Please take the time to look over, encourage, and practice this concept with the children.

Thanks for all the support!