First Grade News

First Grade News

1-121 (Mrs. Giazitzoglou) &

1-122 (Ms. Levine) 


May 2017



Dear First Grade Families,


Wow, it's May!  We have had over 140 days of school and unbelievably, we are approaching our last month!  As the weather gets warmer, the flowers aren't the only ones blooming.  The children have been working hard and will really enjoy the remainder of the school year!  We have shifted our focus for the rest of the year to our community study and will be spending a good amount of time making and working on our final projects.



Important Dates:


May 18th – Anderson Parent Engagement Evening

May 29th – Memorial Day - No School

June 8th AND June 12th – No School

June 15th – Glogster Day/Art Show 8:45 – 9:15

June 16th – Field Day

June 26th – Eid al-Fitr – No school

June 28th- Last Day of School (Half Day)


Now, here is what we have been working on and what we will be doing the rest of this month:



April was poetry month, and the students are learning a number of different styles of poetry.  It was wonderful to see how excited the children were about poetry. Students shared poems they found at home and wrote their own amazing poems.

Speaking of poetry…… in preparation for our Glogster Day in June, this month we will take a deeper look at poetry and will apply these writing techniques to our community study! On Glogster Day, we will celebrate our yearlong study of the Upper West Side community by using technology as a platform for our writing, and multimedia art as a synthesis of our learning. We look forward to seeing you at our celebration!


In reading, we continue to analyze the characters in well-known fairytales, placing them on a character trait scale. We have been making sure to support our thinking with evidence from the text.


As always, please make sure to talk with your child after their independent reading each night. It’s so important that they understand what they are reading by discussing the characters in their books.





In math, we are finishing up our unit on fractions and time.  Please continue to reinforce these topics at home.  Practicing fractions goes well with yummy cooking activities, and time practice goes beautifully with bedtime preparation schedules. J Our next steps will include beginning measurement (both nonstandard and standard.)

         As always, continue to practice basic addition and subtraction facts, as well as making change at home. It’s important to keep these skills fresh in your child’s mind. We are emphasizing that these skills are used in daily life. J


Thank you for your continued support. 



First Grade Teachers

First Grade News

1-121 (Mrs. Giazitzoglou) & 1-122 (Ms. Levine)

March/April 2017


Never mind, March, we know

When you blow

You’re not really mad

Or angry, or bad;

You’re only blowing the winter away

To get the world ready for April and May.


Welcome to our “Mapril” newsletter,

where March + April = lots of springtime learning!


In writing, we have closed our “Scenes to Series” unit with our wonderful publishing party!   Next, we kicked off our newest writing unit by integrating science into our writing!  Like scientists, we are performing experiments about matter, with a focus on liquids and solids.  Students are applying the scientific method in order to write about what we learn. As a close to this unit, we will share and compare our experiment conclusions with the scientists in the other first grade class. In addition, Mr. Moy will be continuing the study of the properties of liquids. Students will learn to use the terms, transparent, translucent, viscous, miscible and immiscible. Students will combine safe liquids to examine “miscibility”, that is, which liquids mix easily and which don’t. The latter focus will be part of the Grade 1 entry to the District 3 Science Expo. In reading we are making connections between our nonfiction texts and the world around us. We are sharing our wonderings in our reading partnerships. In addition, we are revisiting all the special features found in our nonfiction books.


We are finishing up our unit on geometry and will begin a new unit on fractions. If you want to help your child with fractions, you can have them help you in the kitchen using the measuring cups, 1/2 cup, 1/3 cup, etc. You can also use fruit, pretzels, candy, and more to talk about fractions of sets. For example, place 2 pretzels, 3 pieces of candy, and 1 fruit on the table. Next, ask them to tell you how many objects are there, this is the denominator. Then, ask them to tell you how many out of the group are candy, this is the numerator. Finally, have them tell you the fraction, 3/6 is candy. Fractions can be so yummy!


Social Studies

As the ground thaws, we will resume our walking trips for our community unit study. Stay tuned for dates of visits to the Police Station, Fire Station and Post Office.




We are looking to inspire all of the students in continuing to become independent in skills surrounding the tying of shoes. This will build up confidence for situations when shoes get untied, and it will also get things ready towards being independent in second grade. 



All the best,


Mrs. Giazitzoglou and Ms. Levine





Dear Families,

As we approach February, we wanted to share what will be coming up in first grade.

·      On Tuesday, February 14th we will celebrate Valentine’s Day!

·      On Thursday, February 16th we will celebrate the 100th day of school!

 Here is what we are asking for students to do:

Preparation for the 100th Day of School February 16th

Please prepare a 100th day T-shirt.  Be creative in your creation of this.  We are asking that your child does not simply glue 100 items on a t-shirt, but thinks “outside the box.” Inspiration may come from messages of hope, reflections of interests, or even venues to teach about something.  Your child may represent 100 in any way that they like.  This is an open-ended assignment, and your child can represent 100 in any way he or she chooses on an old T-shirt.  Please wear your 100th day T-shirt on February 16th.


Preparation for Valentine’s Day – February 14th


Each child will be asked to create valentines for each of their classmates. We will be asking the kids to write at least one compliment on each of their valentines instead of just writing the names of to and from.  Compliments may be started with:

You are always _

You are really good at _

I like that you _

You are nice because _ 

We are approaching 100 days to get to know our classmates, so we can think of some great compliments! We will give the children time to complete these as part their homework, however, you may want to start collecting materials to make your cards early. The cards may be store bought, though we encourage creating homemade versions.  If you would like construction paper or drawing materials, please let us know.


 Please bring in your valentines for your classmates by February 13th.  Please do not send in any candy or treats.

We are in the countdown to a most lovely day!!!! 


First grade teaching team


February 2017

First Grade News

1- 121 (Mrs. Giazitzoglou)  & 1-122 (Ms. Levine)


 Dear families,

With our approach to 100 days under our belt, first grade is as busy as ever! This month we have many special celebrations. February 14th is Valentine’s Day, and we will share valentines on Valentines Day, February 14th. Each child should bring in Valentines for every child in their class (due February 13th) that includes at least one compliment about that child.  The Hundredth Day of School will be on February 16th.  Students should wear their 100th Day of School t-shirt on that day, and we will be celebrating in 100th day style! 


Important dates:

February trip- Shake Shack date to be announced

February 13th - Valentine cards due (the share will be on February 14th)

February 16th- 100th Day of School – Wear your 100th Day of School t-shirt

February 20th- 24th - Mid-winter Recess

SAVE THE DATE: March 6th - Scenes to Series Publishing Party!


Now, here’s what the first grade has been working on and what we’ll be doing in the month to come:



We are encouraging the children to work hard in order to hand in homework reflecting their very best work.  Reinforcing the skills we learn in class has been very beneficial. Please remember to have your child fill out their reading log each night. It is very important to help them develop good homework habits early on.



In Word Study, we are working on spelling patterns and rules with our Explode the Code activities and exercises. 

As the year progresses, the children are expected to write more in class and at home.  If your child is still working on mastering “sight words” it may be helpful to create a word wall at home, or use portable flash cards.  If this is something that you would like to do, please talk to us about it during parent teacher conferences.  In addition, we continue to learn and reinforce grammar rules. We are learning about how to use an apostrophe when writing a contraction, and we are also discussing when to use an apostrophe with a proper noun. Finally, we are emphasizing the use of proper spacing between words.

In reading, we are finishing up our study of Meeting Characters and Learning Life Lessons: A Study of Story Elements.  This connects beautifully with our writing unit, From Scenes to Series – Fiction Writing.

In writing, we have focused on story elements.  Our work has centered on character development, stretching out the problem, and giving the reader a solution that leaves the reader feeling satisfied.  We are thrilled to invite you to our Scenes to Series publishing party on March 6th at 8:40!


Social Studies

We continue to study the Upper West Side community by visiting local places and learning how they help to meet the needs and wants of the community.



            This month we will begin our unit on Geometry. Here, we will study polygons, or 2-dimensional shapes that form the flat surfaces of prisms and pyramids. We will learn about five kinds of 3-dimensional shapes: prisms, pyramids, cylinders, cones and spheres. In addition, we will compare and contrast these shapes and learn the terms for the parts of the shapes. We will also explore symmetry, and look for examples of geometry in real life!

            At home, you can look for both 2-D and 3-D shapes and explore and name these shapes. You can also create shapes with toothpicks and sticks of twisty-ties. Finally, look for geometric shapes in floor tiles, quilts and buildings in your neighborhood!

            We will continue to reinforce previously taught topics as well.


As always, thanks for your support and please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.



Have a “love”ly February,

Ms. Levine and Mrs. Giazitzoglou



 January 2017

First Grade News

1-121 (Mrs. Giazitzoglou) & 1-122 (Ms. Levine)


Once again, a thousand thank you hugs for your heartfelt cards and gifts!  On behalf of all of us, your tokens of appreciation were deeply appreciated!!!! Welcome back and happy 2017!!!!  We hope that you all feel as well rested as we do.  It was a wonderful time off, and we hope you were able to spend time with family and friends, as well as be able to get some rest and relaxation!


First Grade has been busy with community service. Thank you so much for your participation in the Food Drive! All donations are greatly appreciated.   


Important Upcoming Dates:

January 3rd - School resumes

January 25th- Trip to TD Bank

January 12 – First Grade Publishing Party – Reviews (8:45-9:15)

January 16th – Martin Luther King Jr. Day, school is closed




Coming up this month…


Social Studies


We continue to visit local facilities on the Upper West Side to help deepen our understanding of our community. We are learning how each place helps to provide for the needs and wants of our community. In addition, there will be discussion about Martin Luther King Jr. to honor his memory as the holiday approaches.





This month we are continuing our writing unit, Writing Reviews!  In this unit, we are introducing the art of persuasion to create our reviews. We are learning that persuasion is a process where we try to convince someone of something.  Children try to persuade us to do something every day, and now we are taking it to the next level! Through a series of mini-lessons and activities, the children are learning both the format of a letter and the power of persuasion. They are focusing on explaining judgments in convincing ways, bolstering arguments, and hooking the reader with catchy beginnings and endings.  The next time your child tries to persuade you, ask them to write you a letter! We are thrilled to celebrate our reviews during our publishing party on January 12th at 8:45!  Please note, in following with publishing guidelines, siblings were able to join us for our first publishing party but will no longer be joining for the remaining publishing parties. Siblings are only allowed to attend the first publishing party.


This month also has us finishing up our unit entitled Readers Have Big Jobs to Do. Students strengthened their reading partnership skills.  Together, they tackled hard words by using context clues, challenged each other’s predictions, and shared wonderings about the text.  In mid-January we will be Meeting Characters and Learning Lessons in our books.




After learning how to identify and count coins over a dollar, we will now learn how to make change. Please allow your child to practice counting dollars and coins at home or even at the store!  Once we get comfortable with making change, we will continue to reinforce this topic through our “classroom economy.” Children will earn stars for GOOD CITIZENSHIP. These “citizen stars” are earned for positive behavior, good deeds, being kind, following rules, working hard, and helping others in the classroom and school community.  The citizen stars will then be traded in as “earned” pennies. At the end of each week they will “trade” these pennies in for the least amount of coins. At the end of the month, we will create a school store where kids can “buy” items for the money they “earned.” Here, we will be practicing both adding coins, as well as making change. We will also have an embedded chance to decide to “save” the earnings for a future purchase.  This will help to reinforce the concept of savings.

In addition to making change, we will begin to focus on subtraction strategies such as counting on and counting back. Mad Minute subtraction will also start at the end of the month. Please practice these basic subtraction facts at home and continue to practice your sums greater than ten addition facts. Aim to get all thirty in a minute!!



In January students will begin our study "observing weather" (how appropriate).  The activities will include:

v Identifying different weather conditions and recording temperature for several weeks to note changes and patterns.

v Making paper thermometers to practice reading temperature in Fahrenheit.

v Practicing reading real thermometers.

v Identifying several cloud types and how they indicate weather conditions.






All the best,


First Grade Teaching Team



First Grade News

1-121 (Mrs. Giazitzoglou) & 1-122 (Ms. Levine)

 December 2016


Wow, it is hard to believe that December is arriving already!  The holidays and vacation are quickly approaching, and we have lots to do before winter recess is here!  We would like to thank you for all of your help throughout November.  It was great to see all of you during Open School days and Parent-Teacher conferences.  The children truly enjoyed sharing their school lives with all of you.



Important Upcoming Dates:

December Levine Trip to Library (date to be confirmed)

December Giazizoglou Trip to Library (date to be confirmed)

December 26th-January 2nd- No School- Winter Recess

January 3th - Return to School



Coming up this month…

Social Studies

         We are excited to have further developed our understanding of needs verses wants during our trip to Fairway.  Students interviewed the store manager and took on-the-spot notes for the answers.  We are so proud of the first graders for completing this first interview, and we look forward to our next trip to the library where we will continue to work on our interview/note taking skills.  As we venture out on our trips, we will make additional connections to the many needs and wants of the community. 



         We have finished up our nonfiction study. So much of reading is nonfiction, from newspapers to professional books, from train schedules to restaurant reviews, and the list goes on!  Nonfiction is all around us, and we have been very excited to have our first graders grow in the reading/writing processes surrounding this genre!


In reading, our unit on Learning About the World: Reading Nonfiction tapped into the world of curiosity, all while learning comprehension strategies as we explored.  We worked on previewing the text, predicting, noticing the structure of text, and synthesizing information from many sources as we looked at the print, pictures, and text boxes. 


In writing, we have finished our unit on Nonfiction Chapter Books.  Through this study, we learned about keeping the readers in mind while writing to answer their questions.  Students also worked on writing with details and helping readers picture the details by using comparisons.  The end of this writing unit culminated in a celebration, and for this celebration, we met with kindergarten classes to teach what we are experts on!


For our next units, we will begin Writing Reviews and Readers Have Big Jobs to Do.


As always, we continue to work on spelling, writing neatly, and properly using punctuation.




We will continue to practice our basic math facts with our Mad Minute routine.  In Mad Minutes, we are practicing sums less than ten and will soon move to sums greater than ten. Please review these facts with your child at home.

       After finishing up our unit on place value and the open number line, we have now started our unit on money. Students will identify and count coins and dollars. Please allow your child to practice counting dollars and coins at home or even at the store! We continue to learn strategies for adding double-digit numbers. We have learned how to use the open number line and add tens (also dimes!) and ones (also pennies!) separately. Here are some examples of the strategies we use:




Open Number Line






37 + 21 = 58





Step 1.Draw a horizontal line with a ruler.

Step 2.  Put a circle at the left hand end like this.    

Step 3.Break 21 into 20 and 1 (2 tens and 1 unit).

Step 4. Draw two large jumps representing the two 10's and write

the numbers underneath as before.


Step 5. Draw 1 small unit jump and write the number underneath


 Adding Tens and Ones – Partial Sums



The entire Partials Algorithm is built on the premise of children

thinking of numbers in pieces.  We begin with children looking at

problems horizontally so that they are more concerned with

decomposing the number into its pieces than a procedure for solving

the problem.   Once children understand the process behind

adding numbers in parts, it is time to transition them from horizontal

problems to vertical problems.





17     +   25   =  ?

  Ù            Ù

10 + 7    20 + 5

o Add the 10s  10 + 20 = 30

o Add the 1s  7 + 5 = 12

o Add the partial sums  30 + 12 = 42

  So, 17 + 25 = 42



Helpful Website

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01


Many families have asked for a list specific to the reading level.  There is a wonderful website that can help with a specific search by level as well as categories for that level.  If you would like to check it out:


1. Go to

2. Click on Level Books

3. Go to Select a Reading Level System

4. Select Guided Reading Search

5. Click Advanced Search

6. Enter the level(s) as well as any other specific parts to the search





Ms. Levine and Mrs. Giazitzoglou

November 2016

1-121 (Mrs. Giazitzoglou) and 1-122 (Ms. Levine)



Spirit Week at Anderson has been wonderful!  The children have been having a blast! Storybook Character Day was super successful as it was great to see the children’s enthusiasm for their books and costumes!  Each child shared their storybook and how and why they picked their character.  Thank you for all of your help and support in making these events possible! 


Important Upcoming Dates:

Tuesday, November 1st-4th – Spirit Week

Thursday, November 3rd – Parent-Teacher Conferences (Half Day, dismissal at 11:40)

Tuesday, November 8th – No School - Election Day

Thursday, November 10th- Picture Retake Day

Friday, November 11th – No School- Veterans Day

Thursday & Friday, November 24th -25th  - Thanksgiving Recess

Tuesday, November 29th – Report cards go home 

A Few More Notes:   

      Parent-Teacher Conferences are on Thursday, November 3rd from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. & 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. We will have a half-day of school.  Please send in a snack AND lunch on this date.  We will have a combined eating time.  We are looking forward to meeting with all of you to discuss your children’s academic and social progress.   Please be sure to have an appointment scheduled with your teacher. If you are unable to schedule a time on Nov. 3rd please contact us as soon as possible.


Here is what we have been busy working on and what is to come in November: 


The kids have been eagerly participating in Reading Workshop. Each child knows his/her reading level and can pick out just right books. We finished up our unit on Building Good Reading Habits and we’ve begun our exploration of the genre of nonfiction! Ask your child about the special features of nonfiction books that help us learn!  In addition, students are beginning to work in book partnerships.  Ask your child to explain what makes a strong reading partnership, and let your child demonstrate it with you!

For Writing Workshop, we have finished our unit on Small Moments; Writing with Focus, Detail, and Dialogue. In unison with our reading of nonfiction books in Reader’s Workshop, we are writing our own nonfiction books. We are applying all of our knowledge of nonfiction text features and incorporating them into our own books. Students are thrilled to have the opportunity to become teachers when we celebrate our writing by teaching the kindergarteners all about our topics later this month.


We are currently engaged in our unit on place value! We are exploring the concept that place value can lead to number sense and efficient strategies for computing with numbers. We are asking ourselves How does a digit's position affect its value? and What are different ways to represent numbers, using our understanding of place value? As a cross-content area project, students will build a landmark found in our greater New York City community using base ten blocks and their creative vision!

As the unit progresses, the number line is being used as a model for double-digit addition strategies.  An open number line will be introduced—a helpful model used as a tool to explore and represent strategies for double-digit addition.

In contrast to a number line with counting numbers written below, an “open” number line is just an empty line used to record children’s addition (and later subtraction) strategies. Only the numbers children use are recorded and the addition steps are recorded as leaps or jumps. For example, if a child’s strategy for adding 18 + 79 is to keep 79 whole and decompose the 18 into smaller pieces, moving to a landmark number of 80 (79 + 1 + 10 + 7), it would be recorded on the open number line. Such representations help children move beyond tedious strategies like counting one by one to strategies such as taking leaps of ten, splitting, and using landmark numbers. As always, we will continue to reinforce and built upon previously taught topics. Please continue to reinforce these topics at home as well.

Finally, we will be introducing our “Mad Minute” program to help increase automaticity with basic math skills. Please review the graded sheets sent home with your child.


Social Studies 

We are continuing our discussion of needs and wants of our Upper West Side community this month. Our first neighborhood trip to Fairway will be the start of many trips. Stay tuned for future trip dates!



We continue to explore air! Our focus this month will be "Wind Explorations."  We'll start with making simple kites and figuring out how we can make a wind indoors to fly our kites.  Then we will make simple pinwheels, anemometers, and wind vanes to observe the speed and direction of wind outdoors. The kites will certainly bring the exploration to new heights!

A few housekeeping notes…



Please make sure to check your child’s RED folders nightly. We also send home all corrected homework in the BLUE homework folder for Mrs. Giazitzoglou, and the RED folder for Ms. Levine.  Please take a few minutes to look it over with your child and clean out BLUE folders, or RED for Ms. Levine.  (Sometimes folders are coming back with corrected homework still inside.)  


Grade Page

If you haven’t yet checked it out, we have a page on the school website.  Go to: and click on the class pages grade K-4, and then click on the name. 



Also, if you haven’t already, please sign into Engrade to check up on your child’s progress on Word Study Quizzes. We will also be posting your child’s reading level periodically.


Happy November to you all!




First Grade Teaching Team


                                                             October 2016                                                                                                   

1-121 (Mrs. Giazitzoglou) & 

1-122 (Ms. Levine)


Important Dates:


October 3rd and 4th – Rosh Hashanah. School Closed.

October 10th - Columbus Day. School Closed.

October 12th – Yom Kippur. School Closed.

October 14th – Picture Day

October 20th  - Big Writers Write Small Moments Publishing Party

October 31st - Storybook Character Day

October 31st - November 4th - Spirit Week

November 3- Half day. Parent teacher conferences

November 8th - Election Day.  School closed.

November 10th – Picture Retake Day

November 11th-  Veteran’s Day. School Closed.


It’s official --this is going to be a great year!  We love first grade! With 16 days under our belt, this year’s first grade classes are off to a great running start!  For the past few weeks we have been busy getting ourselves organized while transitioning into 1st grade. 


Read on to find out what we did in September and our upcoming plans for October…


What is going on in the classroom?


Language Arts: 

For Word Study we started off the year learning high frequency words that need to be committed to memory. After assessing all students, Word Study will be differentiated for students’ individual needs. Different groups will be working on rules that are appropriate for their learning needs. More information about this will be sent home at a later date.


During Reading Workshop, the kids have been eagerly exploring new books and finding “just right” books. We have also started our first unit on Building Good Reading Habits. We are reviewing a variety of decoding strategies that include: looking at the pictures to figure out a difficult word, skipping a word to read to the end of the sentence and then going back to figure out the word by using context clues, asking yourself, does this word look right, does this word sound right, and does this word make sense?, and looking for smaller words within a word, for example, small. Please encourage these strategies when reading with your child at home.

In Building Good Reading Habits, students are reading both individually during this time as well as in open book partnerships. Later in the unit, we will set up ability-based partnerships to tap into the positive effect of peers working together to further promote skills for strategic reading.  One of the reading habits we are working on is to take a “sneak peek” at the book before reading.  At home, please ask your child to preview books before reading.  This will support students in their word work by tapping into their awareness of the entire story.  For example, if your child reads the title, looks at the cover picture, and reads the back-of-the-book blurb, this will help to set the stage in figuring out words that make sense within the storyline.




In Writing our first unit is on Small Moment; Writing with Focus, Detail, and Dialogue.  Our mini-lessons for the first bend in this unit include that our lives are full of stories to tell, writers can plan for writing with touch and tell, sketch, then write, stretching words to spell them as we hear and record all sounds, and zooming in on the small moments.  In our second bend, students will be bringing small moment stories to life, with a focus on character, with bringing what is on the inside of the character out, including what characters think and feel.

Our mini-lessons will continue to help us to stretch and grow as writers.

**Please save the date: our first publishing party, Big Writers Write Small Moments, will be on Thursday, October 20th at 8:45 – 9:10am.


As we are generating ideas for writing, we are also working on remembering writing mechanics.  The children are reminded of when to use capital letters (at the beginning of words such as the days of the week, months, and names) and proper punctuation (periods, question marks, and exclamation marks).  Please reinforce these skills at home during all writing assignments. 



We will be starting our “Handwriting Without Tears” series in class this month.  Please remind your children to hold their pencils properly and to start their letters from top to bottom.  It will be increasingly difficult to change their pencil grip and letter formation, as they get older.   In addition, please encourage neat handwriting at home.


Social Studies: 

As we mentioned during “Meet the Teacher” night, we are exploring the theme of community.  We discussed the definition of community and came to a conclusion that our classroom is a community in itself.  As part of our social studies curriculum, we are creating a classroom map, discussing both cardinal and ordinal directions. In our field trips, we will venture outside of our room and into the larger Upper West Side community.


In addition, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with a member from Landmark West.  Landmark West is a committee set up to preserve the Upper West Side. A Landmark West educator will come to our classroom and teach us about the architecture of the neighborhood.  In our first lesson, we will learn the differences between a cornice, arch, and dentils! Next stop, 77th Street, with history and architecture right outside of our school door!  For more information on Landmark West visit:



 We reviewed consecutive numbers and discussed different ways to skip- count by 2s, 5s, and 10s, while we looked at patterns on the 100s chart. In addition, we went over four different strategies for adding numbers: counting on, making doubles, making 10, and adding both 9 and 10.  Please practice the addition games located on our class website.  This will help your child commit these facts to memory!


This month we are beginning our unit on place value. We will be exploring the concept of value for each digit. Place value is the basis of our entire number system. A place value system is one in which the position of a digit in a number determines its value. In the standard system, called base ten, each place represents ten times the value of the place to its right. You can think of this as making groups of ten of the smaller unit and combining them to make a new unit. Ten ones make up one of the next larger unit, tens. Ten of those units make up one of the next larger unit, hundreds. This pattern continues for greater values.  The same digit in different place-value positions has different meanings. For example, the "2" has a place value of 20 in the number 25, but the "2" has a place value of 200 in the number 253.  Our goal is for students to recognize that every place has a value, ultimately bringing us closer to a future understanding of our unit on money. Students will explore many ways to show a number. For example, 256 can be shown as 2 hundred, 5 tens and 6 ones. However, it can also be shown at 256 ones or 25 tens and 6 ones and even 24 tens and 16 ones.


It’s been an engaging kick-off to Science in first grade with our first unit, Air is There! Mr. Moy is so excited to share what first grade has been exploring in Science!  The first grade scientists are learning how they can control air by using plastic tubes and safe syringes (to see air compression); vials and water (to trap air underwater); and balloon rockets (to observe jet propulsion).

Please visit the Anderson Main Web page, then go to “K-4 Pages” and use the dropdown to find Mr. Moy’s website. Please visit the site regularly for Science updates and news!


Upcoming Activities and Important Reminders:

 Storybook Character Day is coming on Monday, October 31st.  For those who may not know, we have a wonderful tradition at Anderson: in lieu of coming to school in traditional Halloween costumes, the children are encouraged to think about a storybook character they would like to recreate and are asked to come dressed up on October 31st.  The purpose of this day is to encourage literacy and share our favorite books with others.  Please talk to your child about what character he/she might want to be.  Try to think of a character that your child really likes or enjoys.  You may also choose a sports figure or famous person-just remember that they will have to bring in a book about that person.


Label all clothing!  As the weather gets a bit chillier, your child is coming to school with a few more articles of clothing.  Please make sure that everything that comes to school is labeled.  We want to make sure that if these items are accidentally misplaced, there is a way for them to be returned.


Please have your children eat breakfast at home in the morning before school. Many of them are coming to school without having eaten breakfast and are missing important morning routines and lessons to eat. Remember even a lig

ht breakfast is fine as we have snack early in the day, usually between 9-9:15 am.  (If your child rides the bus to school, we understand that there is a system in place for breakfast for those students.)


Red Home Folder

Make sure to check red home folders when they come home.  Be sure to take out notices after they have been read. 


Please make sure your child writes his or her first and last name on the homework.  We want to establish this very important routine of writing the name, as this is a routine not only important for first grade, but in the years to come as well. 


Thank you for your continued support.  Happy October to you!

Ms. Levine and Mrs. Giazitzoglou


"Weekend News" starts on Monday, September 26th.  Weekend News is written in class each Monday, and it is a chance for students to write about something that happened over the weekend.  

What can I do to help my child get ready to write Weekend News in class?

  • Discuss the weekend with your child on Sunday night or on the way to school on Monday.
  • Send in photos of the weekend.
  • Write a list of all the things your child did over the weekend and send it in.
  • Have your child sketch out their weekend on a piece of paper.

Ask your child questions. Over the weekend did anything:

  • N ew and interesting happen?
  • E ntertain you?
  • W onderful happen or make you wonder?
  • S urprise you?

September 2016

Dear First Grade Families,

Welcome to the 2016-2017 school year! We are so excited to work with your children and you.  We are looking forward to your children having an exciting and successful first-grade experience as we help them grow both socially and academically.


          As your child’s teachers, we’d love to get to know more about them.  Please tell us about their loves, fears, hobbies, and interests. We appreciate your input about your child, as it will enable us to best meet your child’s learning needs. It is also important that your child is aware of the home-school connection. We encourage you to speak with your child about the school day and what he or she learned to further support and enrich the experiences in school.


Part of creating a positive parent-teacher relationship is communication. We will be creating a monthly newsletter informing you of what is going on in our class and in the school.  These newsletters will include important dates such as field trips, half days, no school days, and classroom/school events.  It is very important to read these newsletters carefully.


Important Dates in September:

September 8th  - School begins

September 12th – No School – Eid al-Adha

September 15th – Meet the Teacher Night


This newsletter contains important information that reflects both classroom and school-wide policies for this year.  Please keep this packet in a safe place so you can refer back to it throughout the year.


Thank you ahead of time for your support and cooperation. We look forward to a wonderful year together and getting to know you and your children.


                                                              Your First Grade Teaching Team

Classroom Procedures


We will have snack time each day. Please have your child bring a small, healthy, and yummy snack.  Examples are fruit, carrots, yogurt, pretzels, small sandwiches, or cheese and a small drink. PLEASE TRY AND REFRAIN FROM SENDING NUTS AS WE ARE BEING MINDFUL OF ALLERGIES. Please do not send in glass containers or soda cans. Paper napkins and any necessary plastic spoons or forks are also required. PLEASE LABEL YOUR CHILD’S SNACK WITH THEIR NAME AND THE WORD “SNACK.” This helps to avoid confusion between lunch and snack.  Each class will determine the best timing for snacks based upon the schedule and individual class needs.



Each day your child will bring home his/her “RED FOLDER” labeled “Anderson News.”  In this folder, you will find notes from the teacher and the school. Your child should return this folder to class each school day containing any necessary responses to memos or dismissal notes.   Please be sure to remember to remove notices from the “Keep at Home” section of the folder every day. Place any school forms, permission slips, and/or notes to the teacher in the “Return to School” section of the folder.


In addition to the Red Folder, your child will also have a HOMEWORK FOLDER (BLUE). Your child will take the Homework Folder each Monday and return the folder on Friday (for students who prefer no homework over the weekend) or the following Monday (for students who need the weekend to complete the homework).



We will be celebrating birthdays in class with students. We will celebrate birthdays by reading your child’s favorite story. You may come in to the class to do a read-aloud or you may send in the book with your child. PLEASE CONTACT US A WEEK IN ADVANCE TO SET UP A TIME FOR YOUR VISIT. We will celebrate with the whole class on your child’s birth date or in the event of no school, we will celebrate at a scheduled time close to that date. If you choose to send in something for your child’s birthday, it must be a non-food item. For example, children may donate a book to the class, give out pencils, stickers, bookmarks, etc.

 Note that invitations to classmates/schoolmates to outside-of-school parties are not to be distributed on school premises or on the school bus. This is school policy. We wish to avoid having hurt feelings on the part of those children who don’t receive invitations or are unable to attend.


Health/Food Matters

If your child has a food allergy, please inform us immediately.


Even if the school has been previously informed of health issues, please be sure to inform us in writing if your child has any health issues (e.g. allergies, asthma, hearing/visual needs) or dietary restrictions that warrant attention from us and/or the school nurse.



All medication must first be cleared by the DOH on site nurse, along with proper 504 documentation.  This helps to ensure the safety of all students.  At no time can medication be administered without DOE approved documentation.  This includes, but is not limited to: eye drops, cough/cold medications, aspirin, and topical creams.


Trip Volunteers

Parents volunteering to help chaperone class trips will be recruited in advance by the class parent(s) who will be determined on “Meet the Teacher Night.”




Anderson Homework Philosophy


The Anderson School assigns homework to correspond with what students are learning in their classrooms.  Homework is a support – not a substitute – for classroom instruction.  The amount of homework is grade-appropriate for Anderson students.  While homework is an important support for school learning, more is not necessarily better.  Too much homework can place inappropriate pressures on children and undermine intrinsic sources of motivation such as curiosity.


According to the philosophy of homework as defined by the Anderson School, the purpose of homework is:

·   to reinforce skills taught in class

·   to provide an opportunity for extended and independent learning based on content specifically addressed during class time

·   to provide the teacher with data to access the mastery of skills

·   to build stamina as a student

 Roles and Responsibilities of Parents

Parents are responsible for conveying to their children the importance of meeting expectations for homework tasks and deadlines, and helping their children learn to manage their time.

Parents should use their discretion when assisting their children with homework.  It is acceptable to help your child, but do not “do” the work for them.  If you have concerns about your role in homework you should write us a note or ask for clarification during “Meet the Teacher Night.”


                               First Grade Homework Policy


First grade students at the Anderson School will have weekly homework packets to help reinforce and review classwork or preview an upcoming learning unit. Homework will consist of literacy and math activities. At times, assignments in other areas will be given. Your child will bring home the Homework Folder each Monday and return the folder on Friday (for students who prefer no homework over the weekend) or the following Monday (for students who need the weekend to complete the homework).  In addition to the homework packet, there will be a word study quiz each Friday. The word study will switch off between sight words and differentiated word patterns from Explode the Code books based on classroom assessments. When Explode the Code is assigned, the book should be sent back in the red folder on Friday.

On average, students in the first grade will have 20 minutes of homework each night.  Each child's work pace differs, and varying levels of comfort with assigned materials will impact the time some assignments take. At the end of each packet, there is a “Homework Checklist” to help your child check over their work.


In addition, students are expected to do at least 20 minutes of independent reading each night.  Students are also expected to record their reading in their reading log. Reading logs will be handed in with the homework each week. In addition to these 20 minutes, we encourage shared reading and/or reading aloud to your child.


Nightly Routines


Students need to establish a routine that includes a time and place for homework. A parent or caregiver should be available at home to model responsibility and to provide the appropriate atmosphere for homework. If a child is spending more than thirty to forty-five minutes on one assignment on any given night, parents should step in, help their child pack up materials, and include a note to the teacher.  A note on the homework assignment explaining difficulties can go a long way in helping a teacher individualize instruction for each student. 





          Anderson School Procedures


School Arrival

It is imperative that your child arrives at school on time each morning. Even being a little late for school can cause anxiety in a child (and parent), in addition to missing morning routines and opening lessons. You and the Anderson staff want your child to profit by getting the most time at school. 


We will be picking the children up at 8:20 a.m.  Elementary students will walk in the entrance door closest to Amsterdam Avenue on 77th Street.  Students will enter the auditorium and wait for the teacher.  


Please note that if your child does not go to the classroom with the teacher, he or she must stop at the main office in room 102 to get a late pass.  If your child does not obtain a late pass, he or she may be marked absent for the day. If your child will be having school breakfast, please be sure to drop him or her off no later than 8:00 a.m. so there is adequate time for your child to complete his or her meal before school starts. 



Dismissal this year is at 2:35 p.m. In the red folder is a “Dismissal Notification Form” which we are requesting that you fill out and return once you are certain of your child’s day-to-day dismissal procedures.  In first grade, we will start to expect your child to take on more responsibility in their daily dismissal schedule.


Any change in dismissal procedure, whether it is for one day or longer-term, must be reported in writing immediately. This is especially important for the children who take the school bus home. If there is a change in the busing procedure for that child on a particular day, a note must be backpacked to us; otherwise we have to send the child home in his/her normal manner that day. In the event that a note is forgotten, you must call the office in a timely manner (212-595-7193) and fax  (212-496-2854) in a note stating the change. This is school policy and must be



adhered to strictly.  This policy was created for the safety of the children. 




In addition, if you and your bus child have invited a non-bus child to your home (for a play date, etc.) the non-bus child may not take the bus home with your child. A parent/guardian must pick up both children from school.



The school has requested that you call the Anderson office (212-595-7193) to inform them when your child will be absent. When the school’s voicemail picks up, there will be an option to report a child’s absence. Choose this option and leave a message with any pertinent information.


Once your child returns to school, please be sure to also write a note stating your child’s name, classroom number/teacher, date, and reason for absence.  Please also submit a doctor’s note if applicable.



Parents sometimes wish to take their children out of school for a week-or-more trip, or a few days before a school holiday. Please realize that your child will be missing lessons if this occurs and consider the message conveyed to your child—that school can be missed now and then in favor of a time away. School is obviously a priority for your child during the academic year; he/she should come to school every day (except during illness).


Blue Emergency Cards

Blue emergency cards will be sent home today to parents who did not fill them out during registration.  This needs to be filled out by you and returned as soon as possible. Please note that your child will only be released to those persons listed on this card.  Please inform the office and classroom teacher of any changes that must be made on the blue card throughout the year.