December 22, 2014
Dear Students and Families,
We are thoroughly enjoying the start of the winter holiday season! The students were very enthusiastic at our annual Greenbrook Sing-Along at last Friday’s assembly. They sang the Dreidel song to the audience and then joined in on many other familiar tunes including The 12 Days of Winter Break, a Greenbrook original! That same week we were treated to a wonderful winter celebration hosted my Mr. and Mrs. Teza, along with the parents of Arielle and Sravya. The students made beaded snowflakes and a class memory page. They played a very lively snow-blower game and munched on popcorn and apples with dip. We ended our celebration with the Peace song—ask them to sing it for you one more time! Many, many thanks to the parents who attended and to the others that sent supplies. Mr. Teza gave me a generous gift from your families. I am touched by your kindness-- thank you so very much.
Reading and writing time is precious in our room. First graders were so proud to show Mrs. Rogol their work on a new class book called How to Make a Peace Candle. They successfully collaborated with a writing partner to plan, write and illustrate a specific page in the book, using a photograph from the actual project completed days earlier. The exciting part will come soon when we publish that book on the digital app Story Kit. As we shared stories and family holiday traditions, the recurring theme this month has been peace. We learned a new poem named after our peace candles and studied the various symbols of peace. We compared a number of winter celebrations and realized that candles burn in nearly every religious and cultural celebration. We enjoyed several books including Eight Candles to Light, The Bear Dance, The Gingerbread Baby, The Hat and a class favorite Jingle Bells Homework Smells! Some of these are available online (as is The Peace Book, Todd Parr) and easily found on You Tube. We had a great experience with our fifth grade buddies recently, teaching them how to make paper snowflakes, which are displayed proudly in our hallway and classroom.
The students have nearly mastered the number bonds for ten and are using a variety of strategies to prove what they know. If you stop by the first grade hall, you will see a collection of colorful hats along with snowflake equations that are just one example of our work. You may even hear the students mention a new math word, algebra. Yes, they are learning to solve equations with missing addends—counting on, known number bonds, number lines and dot-math are a few of the tools and strategies the students are using frequently. Math stories for subtraction are popular in our classroom. The students love to hear and tell stories about themselves—what better way to engage them in a new concept than to include them in the action!
We had special guests today. Our first grade friends from the Gildenberg and Hayward classes joined us for Frosty the Snowman. Mrs. Hayward’s students brought lots of homemade cookies that they baked themselves and shared them with all of us. It was a wonderful time for our first graders to be together!
*Our Book Snuggle is tomorrow, Tuesday December 23. The students may wear their pajamas to school but please be sure that they have sneakers for gym. I told them to bring a favorite stuffed animal too. We will share lots of winter and holiday books and have hot chocolate, of course!
*The First grade field trip to Jenkinsons Aquarium has been booked for late-January. The trip permission slips will be sent home when students return to school in January. I am figuring out the details and will contact our chaperones as soon as possible.
*January homework will be distributed when the students return from winter break. In the meantime encourage reading if you can!
The New Year is nearly upon us and I am excited to be planning the next part of our year together. I am very grateful for the opportunity to spend such precious time with your children. They make me smile and lift my spirits every day.
My wish for you and your family for 2015 is good health and happiness, and always lots of laughter!
Mrs. Gail Magid
1st Grade Teacher
Greenbrook Elementary School