Mrs. Griswold

Happy Spring
We expect our baby chicks to hatch on Wednesday April 26!
We have  tested our eggs to see how many have viable chicks by floating the eggs in water and waiting to watch them bounce. Things are looking good.                                          

First Grade uses a Cross Curricular method of teaching. This means that all subject areas are connected to each other and are not taught as separate individual entities. The use of Differentiated Instruction is incorporated daily into our classroom so that each child receives the instruction that fits their individual needs and assignments are prepared according to each students abilities and interests. We will be learning with 6 International Baccalaureate units this year, Each of which follows one of the IB Transdisciplinary themes. How We Organize Ourselves- No Speeding, Where We Are in Place and Time - It's Our Community, How the World Works - Light of My Life, Sharing the Planet - Our Beautiful Planet, Who We are - Mi Casa, and How We Express Ourselves - Imagine It. As always our International Baccalaureate theme runs through all of our learning and is incorporated into all subject areas.  

We have completed four IB units, No Speeding all about rules and laws. The central idea of this units was; understanding systems need to be in place to maintain organization within a community. Key concepts included understanding the reasons for rules and laws, learning responsibility for actions, understanding differences between laws, rules and ordinances, exploring forms of government and the process in which laws are made, and discussing various perspectives as rules/laws relate to equity. The main concentration of this unit was in the area of Social Studies building our classroom rules, making an Essential Agreement, exploring rules of our homes, community and the world. Other subject areas included Math using word problems that include vocabulary words and concepts that relate to rules and laws. Language Arts included reading texts about rules, laws, and government and writing about our learning in our daily journals. Spelling included learning spelling rules using vocabulary words that were related to our concepts. 

Our second IB unit was, It's Our Community, all about how community functions.The central idea of this unit was understanding that public areas straighten communities and provide people with an opportunity to connect. We thought about our trip to the apple orchard and how orchards and farm support communities. We thought about how Halloween festivities help support the community and bring people with similar interests together. The main concentration of this unit was within Social Studies with work in mapping and geographical concepts. Other subject areas included Math measurement and data. Language Arts included reading texts about and writing about a variety of communities. Spelling included learning spelling rules using vocabulary words that were related to our concepts.  

Our third unit Light of My Life, was scientifically based learning about the properties of light. The central idea of this unit is that people make practical applications with light and it is a universal world symbol. Throughout this unit children learned about customs and celebrations which include light within as a symbol. We also learned about light from a scientific perspective understanding the properties of light. This unit included many science experiments as children gained a hands on understanding of light.
Other subject areas included Math understanding equations and frequency. Language Arts included reading texts about and writing about forms of light, how light worked, and the meaning of light which is used in celebrations. Spelling included learning spelling rules using vocabulary words that were related to our concepts. Children composed a written report about a topic of importance pertaining to light. The reports varied from Albert Einstein, to holiday celebrations including light, to how light enables us to see.   

Our fourth IB unit of the year, Our Beautiful Planet, was a study of all things beautiful in our world. The central idea of this unit is that people can establish practices in order to sustain and maintain Earth's resources. Throughout this unit children learned about recycling, global issues, ecology, preservation, natural resources, climate, historical and national landmarks, and more. This unit centered on social studies understandings however science played a big part in the learning as well. Other subject areas included Math, understanding geographical locations, region of the Earth, and shapes. Language Arts included reading texts about and writing about geographical formations and historic landmarks. Spelling included learning spelling rules and using vocabulary words that were related to individual concepts 
“Only if we understand, can we care, Only if we care, we will help, Only if we help, we shall be saved.”  Jane Goodall
Our fifth IB unit Mi Casa focuses on learning about homes around the world. The children have chosen to concentrate on learning about animal homes. This unit is completely inquiry led as children ask difficult questions about the meaning of home? Who has a home? Is a home the same as a habitat? Do all living things have a home? What is the criteria for being a home? What does home mean? The central idea of this unit is that Homes reflect personal identity and may change over time. Key concepts n this unit include; Homes appear different and serve different purposes and needs, home reflects cultures and that culture is passed on in homes. 

Our last IB unit of the year Imagine it will focus on how humans use their imagination to express ideas, thoughts, and creativity. This last unit will involve many artistic adventures. 

No homework this year!

Research has shown that there is no direct correlation between homework and improved student academic learning. However, research has noted that parental involvement within their child’s academic learning supports knowledge acquisition. Therefore, I have made the decision not to send home homework on a regular basis this year, instead homework will consist of any work that your child did not complete during the school day. I encourage parents to spend quality time with your child everyday. Spend time talking and playing with your child to develop vocabulary and a sense of self. Eat dinner together, go for a walk or bike ride, play outside with your child, read together, do an art project together, play a board game or card game. Encourage your child to join a sports program or the After School Program. 


 LAFTER  is running continuously this year. If you have any questions please contact me at Mrs. Griswold.

Have your child keep an extra set of clothes and or shoes at school.  Please send your child with an extra pair of mittens and  be sure your child has appropriate clothing for going outside to recess.

General Information

We use the Common Core Standards a nationally accepted set of skills centered on depth of learning rather than breadth. This means children will spend time deepening their understandings of topics rather than simply covering many topics. To aid this type of learning a cross curricular method of teaching and learning is present in our classroom, meaning subjects are not segregated they are combined ie. math is not taught separate from science or social studies, reading is not taught in isolation but included in topics of study. Lessons are continually developing based on prior learning because of the use of these methods. It is very important that children attend school every day and arrive and leave at scheduled times. I believe in designing instruction to meet the needs and interests of the children. The designing and use of cross curricular teaching enables me to avoid using programs or workbooks as many traditional classrooms do. I use the method of teaching known as Differentiated Instruction, this means that children will be working on learning at individualized levels and all lessons are varied to meet the needs of all learners.  First grade learning builds off the prior day learning and always spirals. We never really end any topic or academic practice we simply continue to build on it gaining new knowledge and incorporating new abilities.  

Our school is working towards International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program authorization. As a school we will be working with the IB curriculum to support our teaching and the children's learning throughout the year. This program offers a high quality and challenging education for building worldwide communities of schools aiming to create a better and more peaceful world. The aim of IB is to help our children develop into  inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who will help create a better and more peaceful world through being active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that people have differences I am excited to begin this journey along with your children. Feel free to contact me for additional information.  

The school provides a bus for transportation to help ensure that children arrive on time. I encourage families to make use of the bus. Riding the bus helps students learn responsibility and helps them to be independent. The school day begins at 8:20 am and ends at 3:15 pm. Children must be in the room by 8:20 or they will be marked tardy. If for any reason your child will be late, leave early, or be absent it is necessary for you to call the school (464-5386) or send in a note with your child.

Important papers will be sent home every Friday. But please check your child back pack daily. 

Our school day begins right at 8:20 am so any child needing school breakfast should plan on arriving via the bus or be at school by 8:05 am. Children should eat breakfast at home prior to coming to school or buy breakfast here. We have a daily snack time in our room it is usually scheduled for 9:30 am. Children need to bring healthy snacks for snack time or plan to purchase school snack for $1.00. I do not provide children with snacks and sharing food is not allowed due to possible allergy issues.  Lunch is at 11:30 children may either bring their own lunch or purchase one from school. All lunch information including a sign for reduced price or free lunch is available at the office. Again if children bring lunch from home please be sure it is healthy and includes no candy (many lunchables do). Food is the fuel the children need to help keep them learning and active, healthy food is what they need to sustain them not sugary foods that will burn in a short time so avoid these kinds of foods.


 General school rules/guidelines that everyone should be aware of; 

1. Strapless or spaghetti straps tops are not allowed at school.

2. All children should wear clothing that allows for free play and keeps them covered appropriately. 

3. Avoid flip flops although, they are not against the rules, they inhibit a child’s' ability to run and climb during recess and especially PE.

4. Children that arrive in class after 8:20 are marked tardy.

5.  Children need proper attire for recess, we go out to recess every day regardless of damp, snow, cold, or wind! 

Parents are always welcome and I will keep you updated on special events when volunteers would be helpful.

 If your child is having a birthday and you want to send in a special snack just let me know. We keep birthday celebrations small as not all children celebrate in during the school year. 
We will celebrate several holidays throughout the year. This learning helps build tolerance and understanding of various cultures and peoples. Some holidays will include but are not limited to religious holidays such as: Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and non religious holidays: Martin Luther King Day, Presidents Day, Memorial Day. Holiday learning is always taught in a straight forward manner with no preference or opinions given to the value of the holiday. We learn about them to understand we all have different beliefs and we are all entitled to our beliefs.  If you would like to speak with me about any of this learning please feel free to contact me. I welcome families  to come in to our classroom to share a special tradition or holiday information. 

Things to Remember:

PE is every Monday and Tuesday so kids must have sneakers! You may have your child keep an extra pair of shoes at school. 
Library is every Tuesday, so bring those books back.
Health is every Thursday.
Music is every Thursday.
Spanish is every Wednesday and Friday. 
No Homework means you should be spending quality time with your child. 

If you have any questions or concerns please get in touch  me. It is important that we communicate to avoid any confusions or misunderstandings. My moto is no question is to small, silly or unimportant. If you think it, ask it! Children learn by example so always set a good one. Please think of me as a resource for you parents if you are having  issues at home with  behavior, sleeping, eating, etc. (school problems or parenting issues) please feel free to come in to chat. We are a team in your child's education and development! 
 I can be reached at or 464-5386 ext.11 or 258-8769

As LAFTER After School Program Site Coordinator I can be reached at