Empty Bowls, Conferences, and MARCH (eek!)

Happy Friday, everyone!

Thank you so much for your additional vigilance with these germs that are floating about. The extra recovery days you’re giving your kiddos are really making a big difference.

We’ve been able to dive right into our academic worlds this week. Here’s a glimpse into our latest lessons…

First Grade


  • Your first grade readers are looking closely at the characters in their books. They created character pictures to gather all the information they knew about the main character in their book, and they used some “Thinking Bubbles” to consider what other characters might be thinking in the story as well. Check our our Facebook group for some “Thinking Bubbles” example videos!

  • In phonics this week, all first graders took a closer look at the -ed ending. This sneaky guy can make three different sounds (/id/, /d/, and /t/), which can be quite tricky for a reader and a writer to navigate. Using words like played, jumped, and wanted, first graders sorted the ending sounds and made sense of the three different sounds of -ed.


  • First grade writers this week worked on finishing up their restaurant, movie, mountain, and aquarium reviews. They wrote about Timbo’s, Sure Thing Burger, Mezzaluna, Dr. Dolittle, Frozen II (better for girls), Buttermilk (the best mountain for kids in the world), Snowmass, and the New York aquarium. They added details (Bumps has the cheesiest mac and cheese!), capitals at the beginning of sentences and of names, and punctuation, and designed covers for their collected reviews. Next week they’ll write book reviews! If you have time to talk about favorite books this weekend, they’ll have a running start on Monday.


  • We are powering our way through addition and subtraction. We spend most math class working in partners to win different math games. They are working hard to pull apart numbers and put them back together again. So much evidence of growth in the entire class! We wrapped up a big unit today and will be moving onto the next which is titled “Would you rather be a whale or an eagle”. Either way it’s gonna be a ton of fun!

Second Grade


  • Your second grade readers have learned a new way to categorize their thinking about books: The “BHH” method! B = book, where the reader thinks about the main events that happened in the book. H = head, where the reader wonders why the author made the literary choices that are in the book. H = heart, where the reader has an emotional response to a character or an event in the book.

  • In phonics this week, second graders taught Gus how to break apart multisyllabic words. Wanna know the trick? Look for either twin letters (double consonants) or two consonants together in the middle of a long tricky word, split them, and then read the smaller parts one by one.


  • Your second grade writers continue to write personalized opinion letters about books. Whether sharing an opinion on a favorite character or a favorite part of a book, all writers are starting to consider their audience a little more carefully. If their audience hasn’t actually read the book that they have a strong opinion about, then writers need to add some short retells to their letter to give their reader some more background and to help clear up any confusion.


  • Bar Graphs!!! We have been transferring data from tables and charts and turning into bar graphs. Our class did some dividing and for sure some conquering as four different groups each made a different bar chart to share at the All School Meeting. Everyone did great! They were even speaking into a microphone, telling the entire school how they had done all of their hard work. We got lots of compliments from students and teachers alike all day!



  • First graders and seventh graders were in charge of teaching the whole school the “Apology and Forgiveness” Tool at this morning’s All School Meeting. They did a phenomenal job! Check our Facebook group for some videos of this morning’s skits.
  • Our spring conferences are coming up… and your child will be in charge of this round of information sharing! Give Cindy a call to snag a time slot that works for your family. As a school rule, we do not usually schedule make-up conference times. But if you find yourself in a scheduling snag, then reach out to us and we’ll see if we can make an exception.
  • There is a toolbox activity sheet in your child’s homework this week.
  • Also in the homework folders this week is an informative letter about planning for next year’s Family Hoedown. It takes all of us to pull of this awesome, important, and (turns out!) super fun event – read the letter to find out how you can be a part of it next year!
  • Be sure to check your emails for information from Hilary Forsyth about next Wednesday’s Empty Bowls event at Bumps (Buttermilk). She’s still seeking folks to sign up for a food donation or to work an hour shift. I’m serving soup from 5:45 – 6:45, so I’ll see you there!
  • Please remember to pack your kiddo a snack on Hot Lunch Thursdays or any El Tioga days.


  • Kristina is out of the classroom next Monday and Tuesday (enjoying a delayed wedding trip up at Avalanche Ranch!), and Bo and Susan will be holding down the fort.
  • Wednesday, March 4th – Empty Bowls event! 5pm at Bumps (at the bottom of Buttermilk) – see you there!
  • Friday, March 6th – the second graders will team up with the sixth graders to remind our school community about the Empathy Tool at All School Meeting.
  • Wednesday, March 11th – our next skating day
  • Thursday, March 19th – Conferences
  • Friday, March 20th – Conferences
  • Monday, March 23rd through Friday, March 27th – no school. Spring Break.
  • Monday, March 30th – no school. Teacher Workday.


  • Thanks, Lindsay, for being our Celebrity Guest Reader this week!
  • Thanks, Team of Germ Attackers, for fighting the good fight this week (and every week!).

That’s the latest from our 1-2 learning center. Check the Facebook group for video evidence, and enjoy your weekend!