Mrs. Jamesbarry’s First Grade – Room 3 Classroom Notes – Sept. 16, 2014

It was great to see so many families at Back to School Night. The kids did a wonderful job showing you around the room- diligently filling you in on some of the things that make up our day. If you didn’t make it last night, please stop in the room to see the self-portraits and sign-up for a Fall Conference.

This week we had our first homework and first Scholastic book orders go home. I heard that many of the kids were excited to have their first homework assignment. I hope we can keep that enthusiasm throughout the year! Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. The book orders are optional. There are some good deals and it is a nice way to get more books in your child’s home library and our classroom. The orders can be made online or sent back into the classroom by Sept. 24th.

In the classroom literacy we are working with the short vowel -i and the final sound of -x. Our new handwriting letter is d. We are also examining texts to determine whether a story is fantasy or realistic fiction. We continue to get use to our daily writing routines – settling in and focusing, stretching out words as we write, using the word wall, and rereading our writing as we go. Our goal is to build our writing stamina by a few minutes each week.

In math we are creating our own bug story problems. The backgrounds have been completed and now the bug stories are coming to life.We will begin solving them soon using pictures, words, and numbers. In our number corner we are examining patterns and tallies, as well as writing number sentences to reflect the date.

Thanks again for all of the support you give to your kids and school!

Cheers, Ms. Sarah

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mrs. Jamesbarry’s First Grade Classroom Notes – Sept. 9, 2014

Welcome to Ms. Sarah’s First Grade Classroom Notes! Each week I’ll describe some of what the learning looks like in our classroom, as well as keep you up to date on various other classroom and Lewis happenings. I will also occasionally post pictures that document our class activity on my blog at

We had a lovely first week together. I am enjoying getting to know your children and their interests. We have spent our time learning about the classroom expectations and some of the routines of first grade, reading lots of stories, and just getting to know our new classroom family.

This week we are focusing much of our literacy work around the story Sam, Come Back! It is a simple story about a cat who runs off. We will being doing a variety of activities this week including reviewing our kindergarten sight words, talking about story characters, practicing our letter a formation and handwriting, as well as learning about the final -ck sound.

In math we have been exploring our math manipulatives including the favorite geoboards and polydrons. We are enjoying our interactive Number Corner routines which include pattern detective work, the daily number, money, time, and figuring, to name a few. We will begin some problem solving later in the week. It should fun!

Finally, a big thank you those who promptly returned the school paper work. If you haven’t gotten to it yet, please get it to me as soon as possible. Your child’s safety is very important to me – so having up to date information is important. If you have questions or just want to chat, you can stop in after school or email me at to set up an after school meeting time. Cheers!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Classroom Notes – June 11, 2014

We had a fabulous time at Berkeley Park this afternoon with our 5th grade buddies from Mr. Vestal’s class. We played a fun game of “Everybody Runs Kickball”(Mr. Vestal’s version), and Duck, Duck, Goose. There were kids playing lots of other ball games, climbing trees, and generally having a grand-ole-time. We enjoyed some tasty ice cream treats to add to the festivities. Thank you Shanon, Sara, and Laurie (Dakotah, Sasha, and Luca’s moms) for accompanying us.

We are spending the rest of our week reflecting and wrapping up our year. Throughout the week classroom folders will be coming home, along with art portfolios, and other odds and ends. We will spend part of our Friday afternoon with Ms. Brenan’s class for a popcorn and movie party. The kids have asked for pajamas and stuffed-animals, as well. So we’ll be getting comfortable on our last day.

Finally, it seems like it was just a few short months ago that these kiddos walked into their first day of second grade. They have all grown in so many ways. I am proud of them all!  Thank you for being such friendly and supportive families. I wish you all a fun filled Summer! Cheers- Ms. Sarah

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Classroom Notes – June 3, 2014

This week we are testing our independence by working on a number of things independently, including finishing up our nonfiction book projects, working through a math problem solving packet, and using ipads with partners to learn more about neighborhoods, communities, and maps. So far the kids are meeting the challenge well. On Tuesday we had a visit from third grade teacher Ms. Kennedy. She wanted to meet the second graders and share a few things with them about 3rd grade. Serendipitously, being independent was one of the things she mentioned. 

It is a busy week around school. Thursday is the last Walk and Bike of the year and is also our beloved Field Day. This is a fun all-school event. We will be spending the afternoon outside rotating among fun activities. Please help the kids dress appropriately. It should be warm so shorts and a tee-shirt will be great and athletic shoes are a must. Please, no boots or slides. I hope to see many of you there – as I appreciate all of the support you have given the kids and I throughout the year. Finally, this Friday night is the Family Picnic. So plan on bringing a picnic dinner, or pick up some bbq there, and enjoy an evening with the fabulous Lewis Community.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Classroom Notes – May 27, 2014

First of all, I want to send a big thank you to everyone who made me feel so appreciated by bringing flowers, cards, or gifts last week. I feel blessed to work each day with your children at such a wonderful and caring school. Thank you for making it feel even more special with your generosity. That said, I hope everyone had a fun-filled Memorial Day weekend. It is hard to believe that there are just two and half weeks left in the school year! That means that Field Day is just around the corner on Thursday, May 6th. If you are interested in helping out please let myself or Ms. Layman know asap. She is looking for folks to help the 5th graders run the games. It is always great fun – so if you’re looking for one last volunteer opportunity for the year, this might be it!

In the classroom, the kids are hard at work writing about their animals. We are looking more closely at our animals to see what adaptations they have that help them survive. A few of the things we’ve learned are that Sasha’s arctic fox has fur that changes color with the seasons to help blend into its environment, or be camouflaged. And Luca’s flying squirrel has extra flaps of skin that act like wings that allow it to glide from tree to tree, making it easier to escape predators and find food. Pretty cool stuff!

In math, we are learning about the symbols that are used to indicate dollars and  cents. We’ve learned that it is important to include decimal points to indicate where the dollars end and the cents start. We also continue our work on double and triple digit adding and subtraction. This is a tricky algorithm for kids but I am seeing more and more kids’ eyes light up as they begin to truly understand borrowing and carrying. Remember, it takes lots of practice… This will be a good skill to continue to practice over the summer. Cheers!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Classroom Notes – May 21, 2014

The kids have been busy reading about their animal of choice and recording facts in preparation for a nonfiction writing project. They are focusing on finding facts about the animal’s habitat, diet, appearance and behavior. They will make use of some of the nonfiction text features we learned about in our April weather books. The kids are also hard at work creating habitat murals. Next week they will be creating animals to add to the habitats. Next up – adaptions.

In math, we have a new rotation of math Work Places that has the kids adding and subtracting with money and base ten pieces. They are buying charms, taking Hawaiian vacations, and racing to one hundred and back, to mention just a few of the games. They are also using IXL Math at one rotation. It is one of the kids’ favorite, so if you have access to the internet at home, I encourage you to get them into the habit now, so they can work over the Summer to keep their math skills current- while having some fun and educational computer time.

On Thursday we will be heading to the Northwest Children’s Theater at 11:00 to see a fifties musical version of Little Red Riding Hood. This time we are taking a yellow school bus. (Phew!) We will be eating in the classroom before we go at about 10:30. If you can, please pack a snack to eat upon our return at 2:15 – as they are usually hungry!  If you are chaperoning, please be at school no later than 10:45. Thanks & Cheers!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Classroom Notes – May 14, 2014

Art Night was a great success! Thank you to all who attended, and to those of you who served as class docents! You all did a wonderful job! Back in the classroom we are all about text-features and habitats! 

In Language Arts, we are finishing up our nonfiction text features booklet on weather this week and jumping right into a mini-unit on habitats. We have a guest speaker from the Clean Rivers Education Program on Wednesday morning as our unit kickoff. It should be a fun and informative presentation. Over the next few weeks we will be learning about various habitats, food chains, and animal adaptions. The kids will be researching these three aspects as they relate to one animal of their choice more thoroughly.

In Math, we have been practicing our addition with regrouping and subtraction with borrowing. These are still pretty tricky for many of the kids. We will continue to practice in class, but will also be moving forward to our last unit Games, Graphs, & Toys, so a little bit of extra practice at home a few times a week can really help make it stick. In this new unit we will be to returning to problem solving -this time we are working with problems involving money, as well as taking a look at probability.

Next Thursday, May 22, we will be heading to the Northwest Children’s Theater to see Little Red Riding Hood  (a no- so-traditional version, from what I hear). I have only received a few permission slips back so far so please try to have them in ASAP. I will be choosing 6 chaperones from those folks that were interested on Friday as well- so please get your slips in by then if you would like to accompany us as a chaperone. 

Finally, two more things- Scholastic Book orders are due this week. And please feel free to send a water bottle with your child to keep on their desk in this hot weather. Cheers!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment