Monday, September 19, 2016

Dear Parents,                                            
Happy Monday!  I hope that you had a great weekend and are ready for what lies ahead for the week!
We began our day with our prayers, confession and absolution, and our blessings to each other.  Then we spoke about God’s promises and how God ALWAYS keeps His promises, even though that might be something we struggle with from time to time. We learned about Abram and how he had some “road blocks” in his life, but God continued to tell him over and over that He was there for him and that he could trust Him.  Praise God for never failing us and always keeping His Word. 
We took our first math test today and the graded tests should be coming home tomorrow.  From what I saw when I was walking around during the test, they did a good job!   Topic 2 (or chapter 2) will be on subtraction!   If you have a number line at home, please allow your firstie to use it.  I would rather have them use a number line, than their fingers.  If you don’t have one, it is easy to create one!  You will need a half a sheet of paper, pen or marker, and a ruler.  Use the ruler so that the number line is straight, and create the line to go to the number 20. 
We learned about a new “Unthinkable” today, Glassman.   Ask your firstie what he does… but just in case your firstie forgot, Glassman causes us to have the wrong reaction to a situation and usually, it is a BIG reaction for a small problem.  We learned about some” self-talk” that we can say when we are in a situation that we may not like and how we can also take a few deep breaths or tense up our whole body, and then relax. We will continue to talk about Glassman and RockBrain (he gets us stuck on one idea so that we don’t think about ANYTHING ELSE) and how we can go with the flow, stick with Superflex, and defeat those pesky “Unthinkables”!
We began our NWEA testing today.  This is a skills test that happens three times a year.  In first grade, we test reading and math skills.  I think this assessment is good because it shows how a child improves and learns throughout the year.   We didn’t all finish the test today, so will we finish up throughout the rest of the week.  Today, we did the Reading test.  Next week we will take the Math test. 
Don’t forget to practice this week’s spelling words and memory!  
See you in the morning!

“Following the Signs”
Miss Gallagher

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Dear Parents,
Today we started with choir (grades 1-4) and we practiced our songs that we will be singing for church on Sunday.  I like to start choir with some warm-ups, which are tongue twisters….ask your firstie if they remember any of them… J Between you and me, I EVEN have a hard time with them (a few of them are lips, teeth, tip of the tongue”, “unique New York”, and “rubber baby buggy bumpers”)!  They are fun but they also serve the purpose of warming up our mouths to sing!  Win. Win. 

Today we went out and looked at the gourds in the Trinity Community Garden.  The firsties were SO excited to walk around the garden and check out all of the different kinds of gourds that are growing out there.  After we took a gander at the garden, I dismissed them for recess….to which they RAN like crazy children.  It was pretty funny…..”FREEDOM!”  (well that is what it looked like to me, anyways!). 

Our first spelling test will be tomorrow, so please help your firstie to practice!  Also, don’t forget to practice for our memory test tomorrow as well.  I am looking forward to seeing what these firsties can do!

Tomorrow, their hard-covered reading books will be coming home.  Please have your firstie read to you, our first story “What is a Pal?” several times over the weekend.  The kiddos need to bring their books back on Monday….so please help them to remember! Thanks!

We have almost made it through our first FULL WEEK!  Wahoo! 
Blessings on the rest of your Thursday,
Miss Gallagher

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Dear Parents,
Happy Tuesday!  Whew!  We are working hard in 1st grade!  Every day, except Wednesdays (because we have Chapel or our Prayer Partner activities) we start our day with a time of prayer, a confession and absolution, and a then we give each other a blessing.  It is such an awesome way to begin our day and I love to spend that time with them….they are quiet and respectful and listen to each other.   Ask your firstie to show how we give each other a blessing!  We also talked today about how we don’t always have to ask God for everything, but we can also thank Him for what we have as well! He gives us SO MUCH and it is important to thank Him for our blessings as well.  

During our daily snack time, we watch short videos or sometimes we tune into a live cam that is in an aquarium….they love it!  In this national aquarium (It's in Baltimore), there a sea turtle who only has three fins (because he was injured).  The firsties love to watch for him!  Ask your firstie what his name is.  We don’t watch the live cam every day, but there have been a few times now, that the kiddos have requested it and it is clear that they enjoy watching.

The magazine sale ends tomorrow!  Don’t forget to turn in your orders! 

We are just trucking along in Math!  Today we worked on “order in adding” and we learned that it doesn’t matter what number comes first when you are adding, because your sum will be the same!  Good stuff!  We are already getting close to the end of our first chapter and there will be a test. 

Today we started doing some rotations (center work) where the firsties read to themselves, they wrote and/or formed short a words, and “wrote the room”.  We are starting to get into the swing of things!

Tomorrow is our first practice spelling test.  Thank you for practicing these words with your firstie! 
Have a good night! See you in the morning!
“Following the Signs”
Miss Gallagher

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Dear Parents,
Where were you?  I am sure that you heard that today or have heard it in past years.  That day, 15 years ago, was a defining day for our country.  It is something that will never be forgotten by our generation, and I believe that we need to pass on the knowledge of what happened to the next generation.  Which is why we read a few stories last week about it and had a few conversations about it, though we did not go into great detail. 

  I have a good friend from college that was teaching in Queens, it was her first job and one of the first weeks of her teaching ministry.  She watched the towers fall from the roof of the high school that she was teaching at.  I was able to visit her the following summer and we went down to Ground Zero.  In June, when I visited, Ground Zero was still a construction site.  There were still huge tarps hanging from surrounding damaged buildings, there were still signs up, there were still badges of firefighters and first responders still posted on a makeshift memorial.  There was a cross that had formed from the melted beams that was on display in the middle of the construction.  Needless to say, it was a very emotional visit there and I have not been back.  Someday, though, I would like to visit the memorial that was built in remembrance. 
This coming week will be a tough one because it will be a full week with 5 whole days of school!  Please, please, please make sure that your firstie gets a good night’s sleep and has a good breakfast, so that they are raring to go and ready to learn!

All of the firsties did a great job on their memory work last week….I was impressed!  Remember, if you lose your classroom monthly calendar, I have extras…just let me know!  Remember that the memory work is on the back of the calendar.  For the next three weeks, the firsties will be learning “Luther’s Morning Prayer”, which is something that we say every morning as an entire school.  Our memory test will be on Friday.  

Spelling will begin this week!  Please help your firstie to practice at home and watch for information on how to log onto Spelling City for extra practice and games (I am sending it home tomorrow!). 

Parent letter will be coming home tomorrow as well.  All important information for our classroom, for the week, will be in it, so please take a few minutes to read it through.  

Did your firstie tell you that they tried the potatoes from our Trinity Community Garden?  Almost all liked the potato wedges that I brought it!  I am looking forward to picking our gourds and sweet potatoes in a few weeks!

Has your firstie showed you any moves from Go Noodle yet? The firsties are getting good…! 

Miss Gallagher

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Dear Parents,
How did you survive the storm?  WOW!  My dog, Josie, is absolutely terrified of storms.  She shakes, she pants, she hides under the bed, and just generally becomes unglued!  I feel SO badly for her!  Usually a combination of her thunder vest, being close to me, and anxiety medication, helps her to calm down.  Big storms like the one we had last night causes me think about how POWERFUL God is.  He is powerful and mighty and can do ALL things.  Sometimes that it is so easy to forget, especially if you are going through something difficult in your life, but God reminds us of how powerful he is in BIG and small ways.  Look for those ways all around you! Praise Him for all that He does for you.

Yesterday, I took the 2nd graders out to “pick” potatoes from our community garden.  The 2nd graders planted a few different kinds of potatoes and from what we planted, they dug up 80 potatoes! (Just between us, this city girl was kinda surprised!  This is the first time I have ever done anything like this and there are things that we will do differently for next year...but WOW!) We dug out big ones, small ones, red ones, and yellow ones.  It was such fun to hear…”Look at this one!”and “Miss G, wow…how neat is this?” and “Look at how BIG this one IS!” I brought them home and cleaned them all up and then divided up the potatoes so that each 2nd grader received one big one and a few small ones.  Then sent a note home asking the parents of the 2nd graders to send me a picture of how they end up preparing the potatoes.  I want them to have a better understanding of “garden to table”. 
Again, I will be sending home information when we (the first and second graders) will be picking gourds and sweet potatoes.  We are going to be using some of the gourds to help decorate the tables for the annual Trinity Harvest Dinner and the rest will be coming home!

We have been practicing reading the books that we brought from home, and today we read them to a buddy!  We learned about what apps that we can use on the ipad (I am SURE that you heard about those….) and how to “write the room”.  We also did some more reviewing of letter sounds.
Reading to a buddy!

"Writing the Room"

"Writing the Room"

We are starting to get into a routine and I am looking forward to a full week next week.  

“Following the Signs”
Miss Gallagher