Parent Letters

Little books

For the week of October 31 there will be no little decodable books in your students homework folders.  We will be reading a trade book entitled From Seed to Pumpkin.  The small decodable books will resume the following week of November 7.  

Pumpkin Patch

Pumpkin Patch

Fall Field Trip to Dorris Ranch

Here are just a few of the pictures from our fall field trip to Dorris Ranch.  The operative word here was wet!  It rained from the time we got to the ranch until we got back to school.  And what did the weather do?  It stopped raining a few minutes after we got back to school and then a few minutes after that the sun came out.  As one of my lovelies said “Teacher, all of my parts are wet!”  Yes, we were all wet.  Rain and all, we had a great time.  Kids sorted beans, washed clothes, pumped water and then hauled it, swept out the cabin that in 1850 held two adults and six kids, played with toys that kids would have played with in the 1850’s, got to sit inside a Kalapuya plank house and got to sit in a re-creation of a wagon that brought most settlers to the west via the Oregon Trail.  Thank you Sylivia, Stephanie, Kristen, and Isabel for coming with us and helping to chaperone.  Enjoy these photos.

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Dear Families,

I wanted to update as to homework especially as the school year winds down. 

First you will probably notice that our spelling words look a bit different.  We will be reading Amazing Whales this week and our words are pulled from this non-fiction text. 

Second even though we have finished reading the small decodable booklets, I’ll be sending the extras home as another opportunity to read a familiar text.  I’ve included a blank recording sheet.  Please record the date, the title and your signature.  The booklets are yours to keep at home.  It is my hope that you can use them over the summer for students to continue practice their reading and to perhaps read to a younger brother or sister.  This in addition to family books, library books, thrift shop books, garage sale books and books as gifts will help stop the dreaded summer slide.  As you may know Oregon has one of the shortest school years in the nation.  Anything we can do to keep students reading is helpful and puts each student in better stead for second grade both from a skill perspective and a confidence perspective. 

We still have another week or so to continue in the math unit we’ve been working on–coins and adding two digit numbers up to  100.  You’ve noticed that the number one thing we’re working on is showing our work.  So there will be lots of number bonds, ten sticks or the arrow way.  The big take away in math is that students must show their work.  Simply putting down an answer, even the correct answer will not be enough.  As you may have noticed we are taking slow steps toward teaching students the conventional algorithm that you and I learned in school.  But first it is show, show, show your work.  Students must show their understanding of place value–tens and ones.

And of course there is the reading book.  The first grade goal is for every student to read at 68 correct words per minute or more in a standard first grade passage.  As of the last measurement our class average is 74 words in a minute.  Yes, I know reading is not a team sport but the average shows you that there are several students who are reading well above the grade level average.  And another chunk who are right there at the cusp and will soon pop up to the grade level benchmark.  I always say there are three hard working folk who get kids up to benchmark and on their way to decoding print and ready to transition from learning to read to reading to learn–hard working kids, hard working parents and a hard working teacher.  It takes all of us to get our kids up to grade level and ready to go into second grade comfortable with the grade level requirements.  So thank you for listening to your child read, read, and read again and keep them motivated and in the game even as the school year winds down.  My plan is to take one more measurement that last week of school and I’ll be excited to see growth between now and then.

Thanks for all you do in raising such curious, engaging, determined and joyful learners.

With warm regards, Robin Hanson

First Grade Music Program–all dressed up and all joy!

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Spring Field Trip to City of Eugene Public Works Open House

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What fun!  Our spring field trip was to the City of Eugene Public Works Open House.  A big thank you to Shannon Lloyd, Shannon Spicer, Chris Mullen, Chris Shandy, Jodi Strausbaugh, Eric Freel, and Margaret Julich for coming with us.  We dodged most of the raindrops until the very end when boom!  A big rainstorm dropped while we were loading onto the bus.  Chris, an urban forester was our tour guide and we got to see lots of big trucks, a police car, wet land animals, learn about trash and litter, learn about protecting the soil and the drains so dirt doesn’t go into the drain and into the river, the airport, and finished up having lunch at the site before coming back to school.  We came back to school to do our math and to dry out.  A fun day! 

Lesson 26

Spelling Words

1. mix
2. mixed
3. hop
4. hopped
5. hope
6. hoping
7. run
8. running
9. use
10. used


The surprised teacher saw the bear above the even numbers.

The spelling test will be given on Friday or the last day of the week.

Animal Reports

We are busy writing animal reports.  Students chose an animal so we have students researching sea urchins, wolves, frogs, sea turtles, and bats.  Next we took notes from our book, and now we are writing the rough draft.  Still to come is the editing process and then our final copy.  Our report will include information on what our animal eats, habitat, and young.    A big thanks to Shannon for helping students find pieces of information.  Enjoy these pictures showing our work in progress. 

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March Art

March art 010resizeMarch art 009resizeMarch art 011resizeArt from March–yes belatedly but still beautiful none the less.  We celebrated Dr. Seuss, talked about Vincent Van Gogh and painted a flower watercolor and then celebrated all the wind in March with kites.  Enjoy these masterpieces! 

April PTO Meeting

string on fingerReminder:  There is a PTO meeting this Monday, April 11th in the elementary library beginning at 2:30 PM.  Come and hear about PTO events, meet the fifth grade teachers–Ms. Dorris, Ms. Kirk and Mr. Mart; and  hear Mrs. Killen present on Playworks. 

Enjoy these Spirit Week 2016 pictures–what a enthusiastic group of firsters!

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