Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Hello Room 2 Families!                                                       September 4, 2018

     We’re off to a great start in Room 2! There are many new routines and expectations at the beginning of the year and the children were eager learners today. We’re making connections with one another and looking forward to a fabulous year ahead as a classroom community. J

Our Specials Schedule is as follows:

MondayGym with Mr. O’Connor (children should wear sneakers to Gym)

TuesdayArt with Ms. Soeltz

WednesdayMusic with Mrs. Pohl

Thursday: Technology with Mrs. Crozier

FridayLibrary with Mrs. Flannery and Skills Lab with Mrs. Grace

     Please send a morning snack each day. Please remind your child  (or children) that although it is often meant with good intentions and kindness, we don’t allow children to share snacks due to a variety of food allergies. A water bottle, labeled with your child’s name, is a good idea as well. We do have water fountains around the school for refills as needed.

     First Grade Curriculum Night will be on Wednesday, September 12th at 7:00 pm. Parents attend this meeting for an in-depth look at our first grade year. I’m looking forward to sharing the many exciting learning adventures that lie ahead for us all and I’m eager to meet those of you whom I’ve not yet met. Please mark your calendar, as this evening will be full of important information to help you support your child during the school year.

     I’ll be sending home a newsletter at the end of next week so that you know a bit more about the first 2 weeks in our classroom. I look forward to sharing some activities that we will have explored, as well some information about other teachers who will spend time in our classroom during the school year.

     If you have any questions or concerns, or if you’d just like to get in touch to introduce yourself, please don’t hesitate to email me or call me at Happy Hollow at 508-358-8641.

     I hope you all enjoy the remainder of the week and the long weekend ahead!

                                                           Take Care,

Lise Weig J

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Maple Sugaring Newsletter

Dear Room 2 Parent(s),                                            Sunday, March 19, 2017

    The beginning of March has certainly been busy here in Room 2! Our curriculum has provided a rich and diverse set of experiences for these wonderful first graders. We wrapped up our penguin studies, embarked on our maple sugaring unit, and have started a new unit of study in math!

Welcome, Ms. Bullard!

      We’ve had a fabulous time getting to know Ms. Markiyah Bullard! Ms. Bullard is a student at Framingham State University. She is working on her Field Study placement so she spends several hours, one day a week, with us. The kids are so excited to see her when she arrives each week and have warmly welcomed her into our Room 2 community!

Maple Sugaring

     Children have enjoyed learning about the process of maple sugaring. We discovered that people have been making maple syrup and maple sugar for hundreds of years! Native Americans first discovered how to make maple syrup and taught the art of maple sugaring to the early colonists.
      We tapped a sugar maple tree in front of Happy Hollow with the other first graders and have rotated the daily collection of sap. Ask your child about the process of tapping the tree, the tools used, and what kind of weather is needed for sap to run in the trees (warm days and cold nights). Did you know that you need 40 cups of sap to make one cup of maple syrup? Once the sap is collected, syrup is made by heating the sap until it boils. Water in the sap turns to steam. The sap becomes darker, thicker, and sweeter as the water is boiled away, and it eventually turns into syrup. On Friday, we had a chance to boil 12 cups of sap. After boiling all day, we were able to taste some super-sweet syrup. I cooked it a little longer than usual so it was a little more like the consistency of maple taffy…..yum! Kids came back for seconds and wished for thirds! It was such a popular activity that we may try to boil some more later this week.
       We are very excited about our Pancake Breakfast on Tuesday, March 21st. If you haven’t had the chance to send in a check for your child’s breakfast ($3.50, made out to Happy Hollow School), please do so tomorrow. A pink notice was sent home last week; let me know if you need another and I can send one to you with details about the breakfast and volunteering. Thanks so much to the many volunteers that will be joining us! Parents can come to help serve pancakes, take pictures, and clean up once the breakfast is finished. This is a fun event and a great way to celebrate our unit of study, enjoying one of nature’s many treats here in New England!



     We have had loads of fun working on many hands-on experiences with addition and subtraction activities over the past month. Last week, we started to explore place value. Here are the concepts that we will focus on during our unit of study:
·       Read, write, and represent numbers within 120 and count on from numbers within the sequence
·       Understand place value of two-digit numbers
·       Mentally find 10 more and 10 less of a two-digit number
·       Compare two 2-digit numbers using place value understanding and the <, >, and = symbol
·       Add a 2-digit number and a 1-digit number and add a 2-digit number and a multiple of 10 using place value understanding
·       Subtract a multiple of 10 from a multiple of 10 using place value understanding.

Open Circle
     To get into the green zone, helping ourselves get ready for learning, we’ve practiced some 2-minute meditations and deep breathing during our Mindful Moments and Open Circles with Mrs. Santomenna, our school Guidance Counselor. We use in class, putting on one of the calming background scenes with quiet music during our work time to help us stay focused.
      We’ve also continued our work learning about ways to defeat the Unthinkables. In addition to Rock Brain, Wasfunnyonce, Worry Wall, and Brain Eater, we have talked about Energy Hare-y, Glassman, Space Invader, and Body Snatcher. Ask your child how these Unthinkables can get in the way of his/her learning and what strategies he/she could use to defeat the Unthinkables.

      Kids have been doing an amazing job during Writer’s Workshop this past month! Our focus has been on writing nonfiction pieces. They’ve finished their All About Penguins books and have worked on writing letters and How To books as well. Children used graphic organizers to write their How To Tap A Tree book. Kids will be choosing their own topic for their next how-to book, thinking about something they are good at that they could teach to a friend. We’re still working on our Monday journal writing as well, which is a reflection of your child’s weekend or another event that he/she has been eager to share on paper.

       Our next unit of study will focus on some magnificent creatures…WHALES!! It’s a great opportunity to incorporate aspects of reading, writing, math and science into an exciting learning adventure.


      It has been such a pleasure to meet with so many of you for our Spring Parent-Teacher Conferences. I look forward to meeting with those of whom I’ve not yet met during the next 2 weeks. As always, please contact me with any questions, concerns or other information that will be helpful to me in supporting your child in his/her school experience.

I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead. Thank you all for your continued support!

Take care,
Lise Weig J

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Penguin Newsletter

Dear Room 2 Families,                                                                                           January 22, 2017

     We’ve been so busy in the classroom during the past month! The children have been working hard and are very invested in the many topics we’ve been exploring. It’s been wonderful watching them as their reading skills have strengthened, thus helping them to learn more about the world around them. It’s such an exciting time in their learning!

     I hope you’ve had a chance to hear all about our penguin studies these past two weeks! The children have learned so much about these funny little creatures by reading a variety of books, including Penguins by Gail Gibbons and Seven Weeks on an Iceberg, by Keith Potter. Our penguin unit offers such rich selections of nonfiction literature to first graders. We also learned a new poem called, Peter Penguin . We sang Seven Continents, and discovered where in the world penguins live! Your child will illustrate copies of the poem and the song for his/her poetry and song notebook next week. Some of our other favorite books include And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, Lost and Found, by Oliver Jeffers and If You Were A Penguin, by Wendell and Florence Minor. We spent a portion of each day reflecting on what we’ve learned about these birds. Here are a few questions that you may want to ask your child during a car ride or a dinner conversation:

  1. What is the biggest penguin called? (Emperor Penguin)
  2.  How tall is it?  (4 feet tall)
  3. What is the name of the smallest penguin and how tall is it? (Little Blue or Fairy Penguin; 1 foot tall)
  4. How many different types of penguins are there? (18)
  5. What do penguins eat?  (fish, krill, squid, octopus)
  6. What are some of the penguin’s predators? (killer whales, leopard seals, fur seals, sharks, sea lions)
  7. Where do penguins live?  (All penguins in the wild live south of the equator. Penguins can be found in Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica, Africa, and the Galapagos Islands.)
  8.  What kinds of animals are penguins? (They are birds. They have feathers, wings, and a beak, and they hatch from eggs.)
  9.  Can penguins fly? (Penguins lost their ability to fly millions of years ago; they use their wings when they swim as sturdy paddles or flippers.)
  10.  How do baby penguins get their food? (I’ll let your child reveal this one to you!)
     We’ve learned about the penguin’s body, its predators, nest building (though not all penguins build nests), the brood pouches of the King and Emperor penguins, and the penguin’s eating habits. We’ve talked about the similarities and differences in some of the 18 species as well. Next week, we’ll be working on 4 square posters titled, "What We Know About Penguins" and coloring world maps, showing where penguins live.

    We’re so excited for our field trip to the New England Aquarium on Friday, February 3rd! Many thanks to the parents who have offered to join us. A confirmation email for chaperones will be set home this week. A packet for chaperones will be sent home just before our trip.

Social Studies:

      During the last 2 weeks, children learned about Martin Luther King, Jr. and his continued importance in our world today. I wish you could have been present for the discussion we had about this important leader and famous American who truly made a difference in the world. The children put so much heart and soul into their comments and gave thoughtful insight as to what they wished their future would hold for them. We created posters representing these dreams and wishes as an extension activity after reading the book, We Dream Of A World.  They’re consistent reminders of how we’d like to be treated, what is fair and just, and how we can work together to make a better, safer place to live and grow. Children also made posters with their fifth grade buddies for the Martin Luther King Jr. Dinner at the Wayland Middle School. These posters focused on quotes of Dr. King’s. First graders and fifth graders beautifully illustrated the posters which were proudly displayed at the dinner.

Reader’s Workshop

      During Reader’s Workshop, we’ve begun our in-depth exploration of nonfiction text. We’ve looked closely at the conventions, or features, of nonfiction literature, including captions, maps, photographs, labels, types of print, comparisons, cut-aways, the table of contents, and the glossary. Children have worked independently and with partners to peruse nonfiction texts on a variety of topics. The interest level is quite high when studying nonfiction. Children are always eager to share their books and newfound knowledge with the group! Children have learned that nonfiction books don’t have to be read cover to cover like fiction. A reader can look through the book by reading the table of contents or the index and then find the sections of text they are interested in or focused on. He/she can also look through the pictures and read the captions to learn about the topic.


     We've continued our work with addition and subtraction and solving more complex story problems and equations. In this unit of study we are focusing on the following skills:
  • The Make-a-10 Strategy for addition and subtraction
  • Solving equations with three addends with a sum up to 20
  • Understanding the meaning of the equal sign and determining if equations involving addition and subtraction are true or false
  • Determining the unknown whole number in an addition and subtraction equation including missing addend, missing subtrahend, and missing minuend.
  • Relating addition to subtraction to solve subtraction equations
  • Solving subtraction word problems with a missing whole

Open Circle

     During our Open Circle meetings we are incorporating strategies and language from Michelle Garcia Winner’s “Social Thinking” curriculum into our lessons with Mrs. Santomenna, our first grade guidance counselor. This curriculum provides ways children can begin to reflect on their own thinking and behavior and introduces a superhero (Superflex) and characters (Unthinkables) that embody different behaviors that we all experience. Below are brief descriptions of some of the characters we have introduced so far.

     Superflex, the Super Hero, lives within all of us! His/her super powers enable him/her to be an excellent problem solver and have a SUPER FLEXIBLE attitude.  He/she is a great detective; Superflex is always on the lookout for clues that help him/her think about expected ways to act and react as he/she moves through the day managing his/her reactions, thoughts, and behavior. He/she helps us to defeat the Unthinkables!

The Unthinkables are….

Rock Brain:

Rock Brain makes you get stuck on your ideas, causing you to be inflexible! 


Brain Eater makes you get distracted. He makes it hard for you to think about what the group is doing and talking about.

Superflex strategies: 
* Give the School Listening Look if you are having trouble during a group time. Remember the   Group Plan.
* Get a drink or take a walk with teacher’s permission.
* Move the item that is distracting you out of the way

Was Funny Once

Was Funny Once makes you get carried away and get too silly! He makes you get silly to the point that you are no longer learning or thinking about others.

Superflex strategies: 
* Before getting silly, think about if it is a time to be serious or silly. If you are in school and it is a learning time then it is not a good time to be silly.   

Worry Wall

Worry Wall is an Unthinkable that gets us to worry about little problems or things that may not be problems at all!  Worry Wall may make us feel nervous or unsure about trying new things, going to new places, or changes in our routine or plans.  Worry Wall makes our brains freeze or get stuck and think about the same thing over and over again.

Superflex strategies:
*Take deep breaths and relax.
* Think about happy thoughts.
* Talk back to your worry.
* Tell yourself the facts; "I know that..."

We will continue with our studies of other "Unthinkables" in the weeks to come.


     There are many children who have headphones that are no longer in working order. Please check with your child; if his/her headphones are not working, please replace them at your earliest convenience so that your child can make the most out of the learning experiences for which we use the headphones. Thanks so much!

Progress Reports and Conferences

 Your child’s progress report will be was sent home on Monday, January 30th. It is important to refer to the “Academic Reporting Key” for descriptions of the report card. It is also important to remember that the report cards are based on standards to be achieved by the end of the school year so it is not uncommon to see first graders “progressing independently” or “progressing with support” at this time of year. Conferences begin in early March and will run for several weeks. 

     Please let me know if you have any questions about the information in this newsletter.  I hope you all enjoy the week ahead!

Take care,

Lise Weig :)