Monday, October 23, 2017

Pen Pal Letters

A very special part of being in our 1st grade classroom is having a penpal! This school year, Mrs. Dunn's 1st graders in Topsfield, MA and our class will get to know each other through letters. Mrs. Dunn and I are excited to bring penpal letters to our classrooms as a way to connect our Tri-Town schools. In a few years these groups of 1st graders will be at MASCO together. Towards the end of September we were the first to send off letters introducing ourselves to our penpals.

Our letters were signed, sealed and ready to deliver. We walked them up to the mailboxes and off they went.
We have been anxiously checking the mail and waiting to hear back. Just a few days ago we got a message from Mrs. Dunn's class on Twitter and instantly wrote back.

Now we watch the mail as we know these pumpkin pals are in transit. There is still something to be said about the good old fashioned snail mail. 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Watermelon vs. Seed

Personal Narratives are stories we write about ourselves. Rather than writing large watermelon narratives we have been focusing our ideas into "seed" stories. The 1st graders thought of one small moment in their long 6 or 7 years old lives to write a seed story about. We shared these ideas on a sticky note and added them to our class watermelon.
Students took one of their "seed" ideas and used transition words to break the story into a sequence of events. Like all good writers, we began with detailed draft pictures. Next, we added sentences that we revised with our green pens and edited with our purple pens. All circled words are ones we need to look up in a pictionary. We also checked for capitals and periods. Yes, we're only in first grade!
Small moment story with transitions
The last stage of the writing process is to publish our work, meaning we copied it over in our neatest printing so the reader never knows we made so many revisions and edits. To celebrate all our hard writing work we had a publishing party with Mrs. E. Higgins' class.
Common Core State Standard: Write narratives in which they recount two or more appropriately sequenced events, include some details regarding what happened, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide some sense of closure.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Pumpkin Adjectives

Clever 1st graders practiced their knowledge of adjectives or words that describe nouns, by making adorable Adjective Pumpkins. Enthusiastic students chose an adjective from the back table and then created a pumpkin that matched that describing word.
Smart students really grasped the concept of an adjective with this activity...thank you Halloween! Precious 1st graders were even coming up to our adjective wall to use them in their writing pieces.
They couldn't be making their happy teacher prouder!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

iLove iPads

We are definitely lovestruck with the iPads! If you haven't heard, we each have our own iPad in our classroom this year. You guessed it...that means even more digital projects and sharing. Everyday we spend time learning, creating and innovating on the iPads and we are loving it! We love using the iPads as a digital resource for reading and showing our reading thinking. Students have discovered reading on Epic! which is the Netflix of books. We have even been making our own sight word books (complete with our very own pictures and voices).

1st graders have been taking their math assessments on the iPads using Google Forms. We have even utilized the iPads as digital white boards to practice number bonds, forming our letters, practice Fundations sounds, numbers and number words.
This isn't even the best part...each first grader has their very own google drive. Students have been uploading their reading thinking, digital projects and math work. We have learned to take pictures, crop pictures, record our thinking and upload to our drives. Yes, this teacher is VERY impressed. Stop by Room 116 and ask us to see our drives.
As you can tell we are simply in love!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Dot Day

Yesterday, Fuller Meadow celebrated International Dot Day inspired by Peter Reynold's book, The Dot. Dot Day is a global celebration of creativity, courage and collaboration. Polka dots, creative dots and even dot socks were everywhere! Check out all the dots in room 116.
The Dot is the story of a caring teacher who dares a reluctant student to trust in her own abilities by being brave enough to "make her mark". After staring at her paper with no ideas for drawing, the little girl angrily jabs at the paper and says, "There!" Then, this one little dot marks the beginning of this girl's journey to find confidence and courage in her work.

First grade students were given the same challenge today-to make their mark in the world. In order to practice the themes of Dot Day, with a little help from Dr. Carreiro, we did our very 1st Breakout EDU of the school year. Students were split into two teams to work together to solve clues and unlock locks in order to break into the box. During the Breakout EDU, Klipfel & Kids were problem solving, using critical thinking and working on their communication skills. 

Once groups finally broke into the box, they found stylus pens and used them to go make their digital marks. We then read the story and listened to the adorable Dot Song (listen above).
Check out the dots we created by clicking below:
To end our dot-tastic day, 1st graders collaborated to make our mark together and headed to the giant dot on our hot top.
We encourage you to make your mark and see where it takes you...
1st Grade Dot

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Open House

Normally, Klipfel & Kids looks like this...

Tonight, Klipfel & Kids looked like this...

It was a pleasure meeting all of you at Open House. The boys and girls will love seeing your picture, names on the Smartboard and reading your notes. Oh and of course they will be so surprised that you helped earn them some Klipfel Kash. Thank you for your continual support from home during this school year. I look forward to seeing you again soon!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Friend Request Accepted

I am happy to report that all of us in first grade have made many new friends. Here's a quick glimpse into our first few days...
1st graders are becoming experts with the creative pen on the Smartboard, popping balloons to get to know each other, and illustrating our own selfies. Two days down and many more learning adventures ahead. Thanks for following us at Klipfel & Kids.
Klipfel & Kids
September 2017

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

1st Day

Today marks the first of many happy days in 1st grade. Time sure does fly when you're having fun. I guess the smiling faces, excitement and adorable new outfits of all the first graders only helped. I loved hearing about your summer adventures and look forward to many more shared stories this school year. Klipfel & Kids is your one stop spot into virtual room 116. Take our hand and let us take you for a tour...

Check out the library area, browse the shelves, pick out a favorite story and snuggle up with a monkey or two.

Make sure to enter your email on the right sidebar to receive email updates about our adventures. We also love to receive comments on our blog throughout the school year!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Summer Adventures

Old friends and new friends, add a post or picture with your summer adventures. I look forward to seeing your days at the beach, reading by the pool and flights to adventurous places. If you are having trouble adding a post or picture, email it to me at and I will add it for you. Happy summer days!
Made with Padlet

Monday, June 19, 2017

Goodbye Friends

First grade sure was easy!
Dear First Grade Families,

It's finally here-summer! Today, I give you back the same child from the fall a few inches taller, a few months wiser, and much more mature. Although this growth would have happened anyway, it has been my pleasure to watch them develop every day. They are all readers, writers and mathematicians, and I am overwhelmingly proud of each and every one of them.

One last thank you to all the boys and girls for their continuous hard work this school year. Thank you also to the parents for your support and encouragement from home, as well as, all our faithful blog followers. We loved all the times you visited our classroom as guests, mystery readers, volunteers or helpers.

Enjoy your days at the beach and nights by the BBQ. Don't forget to post your summer adventures on our summer padlet or send me an email with what you are up. I love nothing more then getting notes and postcards too! This summer, encourage your student to join the library's summer reading program. Trips to the library on those rainy days can be a great way to spend time-you might just see me there. Don't forget, our blog and Symbaloo are always there with great links to learning. Do a little bit of practice with words or numbers every day. Your children love to learn – they'll surprise you.

We have truly lived, loved, laughed, and learned together this year. I wish it could continue but each and everyone of you is ready for 2nd grade. Remember, I will always be interested in your child's future, wherever they go, whatever they do. Their joys and sorrows I will always be happy to share, so please make sure to keep me in the loop for many years to come. Until we meet again!

Love always,
Miss Klipfel
Hello 1st Graders                                                       Goodbye My Good Friends

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Monkey Day

Marvelous Monkey Day was a magnificent hit in first grade. Today we met Margaret and H. A. Rey the author and illustrators of the Curious George Series.

Curious George and our monkey friends from home helped us do our school work all day. In reading, 1st graders learned the story behind the creation of the Curious George stories. Curious George began as a character in Margaret and H.A. Rey's french book titled Raffy and the Nine Monkeys. We practiced drawing George step by step and I LOVE how different all the monkeys look.
Afterwards our monkeys joined us for a most delicious snack break. I couldn't resist making a few banana phone calls. Another part of monkey day included brainstorming things we are curious about and using crazy Curious George hands to help us practice telling time.
Writer's Workshop had 1st graders transforming themselves into curious little monkeys. Imagination and creativity shined through as these monkeys came to life.
1st graders get an ape-plus for today! Check out all our monkey photos:

“George can do what kids can’t do. He can paint a room from the inside. He can hang from a kite in the sky. He can let the animals out of their pens on the farm. He can do all these naughty things that kids would like to do.” -Margret Rey

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Tide Pool Boogie

Thank you to everyone who could attend our Tide Pool Boogie this morning. As you can tell 1st graders have learned so much about Tide Pool creatures. They worked very hard learning all of the songs, poems and hand motions.

We also loved having you back in our classroom for our Author Share. The boys and girls have been working hard since September to become better writers and were extremely proud to share that with you today. It is always a treat as a student, teacher or parent to see the growth since the beginning of the school year. In the words of a first grader, "Look how I used to spell that!"

Check out our favorite first grade memories video:

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Field Day

Today was a jam packed 1st grade day with field day, sports day, Pigeon and Mo Willems. Needless to say we had a spectacular day (and yes we're ready for a nap). Students (and their teacher) played tug-of-war, ran through obstacle courses, and ate delicious snow cones. Students even had a sponge race. Smiling faces and cheers filled the back field!  Check out our field day slideshow:

Thank you to all the volunteers who helped make this field day a success!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Tide Pools

The BIG day finally arrived! Today we suited up and headed out to Odiorne Point in Rye, NH. 1st graders had a blast exploring the rocky shore and seeing first hand everything we've been learning. Thank you to all the chaperones who braved the weather and were able to join us today on our excursion. Our little scientists did an excellent job sharing all their sea creature knowledge. I'm happy to report we all looked adorable in our tie dye and made it back to school with smiles on our faces. Enjoy our tide pool slideshow:
p.s I am collecting pictures for a slideshow for our upcoming Tide Pool Boogie Performance so please email me the great snapshots you took today. Thanks in advance!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Breakout EDU (1st Grade Edition)

A few weeks ago, Dr. Carreiro brought Breakout EDU to our Fuller Meadow staff meeting. After trying Breakout EDU with some Fuller Meadow colleagues, I just HAD to let my 1st graders try! Dr. Carreiro let our class be her guinea pigs. She set the boxes up and got the learning activity ready.
Students were split into two teams to work together to solve clues and unlock locks in order to break into the box. Clues were based on one of our favorites, Pete the Cat, making it fun and educational for students. During the Breakout EDU, Klipfel & Kids were problem solving, using critical thinking and working on their communication skills. 
Personalities, strengths and leadership skills were apparent during this activity. This breakout allowed quiet bystanders to have their voice heard and help their group solve the clues in order to crack the clues. Dr. Carreiro and I were blown away!
and then....


Thank you again to Dr. Carreiro for introducing this amazing learning activity to me and facilitating it with us. We will definitely be back for more!