Weekly Newsletter


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Our bowling schedule has changed.  We will now be bowling from 11:20 – 12:20 and should be back at school by 12:45.   There was an issue with the busses and we had to adjust.  Sorry!  L 


Friday, September 5, 2014

Next Friday is Parent-Teacher Conference Day.   Conferences are at your discretion.  If I have not called you or contacted you, then it is not required.  However, I am more than happy to meet with anyone who just wants to touch base and discuss your child’s progress so far.  Please call Mrs. Rea in the office to schedule a conference if you would like one. 


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Hi Everyone!  The times had to be switched on our Thursday field trip and we will now be gone from 10:15 – 1:30.  That leaves us missing all available lunch times at school.  My plan is for the kids to have a snack before we leave school and eat lunch when we get back.  Since the cafeteria will be closed when we get back, everyone will need to pack a lunch from home that day.  I would also encourage sending a larger than usual snack since our tummies are in the habit of eating at 10:30.  Thanks and I hope some of you can come along and join us at the farm. 


Friday, August 29, 2014

Hi everyone!  This is Ms.Noell writing to you from my front porch.  I am home today with a sick child but I wanted to let everyone know to check backpacks for folders tonight.  No, I'm not mean enough to give homework over the long break, but there is a permission form for our field trip to Emma's family farm and I let the time slip up on me to get those out.  Please be on the lookout for those and I will see you on Tuesday.  Ms.Cindy and Ms.Venturella are taking great care of the first graders today! 


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tonight is Social Studies Weekly night.  There is not a reading book because we are reading Social Studies Weekly and completing the activities on the back instead of reading and reading journals. 


It is Readers Theatre week again and we are working on Old Mother Hubbard’s Hungry Family.


We are exploring folktales, myths, and legends from other cultures in our Social Studies Block.  Apparently, a rumor is buzzing around upper grades (who recently studied the Holocaust) that first grade is reading about Nazi spiders.  I thought I should clarify that we are reading Ashanti tales about Anansi the Spider.  Perhaps a combination of missing front teeth, southern accents, and speed talking have aided the confusion.  I do not teach the Holocaust or WW2 in first grade.


Happy Tuesday! 


Monday, August 11, 2014

First Grade Announcements


  • Math:  We are working on representing numbers with spatial patterns .  Later this week we will begin Topic 2:  Comparing and Ordering Numbers.

  • Social Studies:  We finished up our Science unit on Living Things and their Needs.  Now we are venturing into Social Studies with our first topic, Culture.  We are learning that people from all cultures need food, clean water, and shelter.  Today we brainstormed how our families get clean water for drinking, cooking, and bathing.  We all have relatively easy access to the water we need.  But, in some places, water is a precious luxury and people must collect it and carry it to their homes.  We read A Cool Drink of Water  from National Geographic and the first graders had a chance to see how this basic human need is met in different communities across the globe.  As we continue, we will learn about dance, art, and stories from cultures around the world.  Culture is not a topic we ever really leave.  We will move our instructional focus to other topics, but throughout the year and across the subjects, we will be honoring and celebrating world culture.  We welcome family input anytime you would like to share customs, traditions, artifacts, or stories from your family’s cultural heritage. 

  • Social Studies Weekly:  Beginning tomorrow, your child will bring home a Social Studies Weekly newspaper once per week.  The information and activities they contain are correlated with the new TN Social Studies curriculum and will help us update our existing programs until new materials are published and available.   They are sequenced for a traditional school calendar, so they will always be a little “off” from what we are covering in class but they will always serve as an important review or preview of our classwork. 

  • We are reading and studying The Three Billy Goats Gruff this week.  We will be story mapping, reflecting on our favorite parts, and composing a written character analysis of the troll.  If you have a chance to peek on our reading board at the back of the room, we created posters of the characters and they are excellent collaborative works of art. 

  • We work on sight words in a variety of ways throughout the year.  Sight word recognition is a cornerstone of reading fluency and practicing them at home or in the car is a great way to help your blossoming reader at home.  For this purpose, I am sending home a master list of sight words we will work on throughout the year.  It is yours to use however you wish, but some ideas that have helped first graders in the past are:  index card matching games, post it notes with sight words around the house, magnetic letters on the fridge, and stringing letter beads on string.  It is also helpful to review the sight word books that come home in the folder at home each night.  You might be surprised at how often it happens that a new reader comes across the very word we practiced over and over and does not recognize it in the context of a story.    Repeated exposure and practice leads to automatic recognition and that is our ultimate goal. 


Our week is off to a  great start!  I will see you tomorrow!




Noell Brickell

Instructor, First Grade

ETSU University School

Box 70632

Johnson City, TN 37614

Ms. Brickell


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