Friday, December 22, 2017


You know Dasher and Dancer and Miss Klipfel and Vixen. Mango and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen. But do you recall the most famous 1st graders of all? 1st graders started this adorable project with a directed drawing to make reindeer. They were instructed with step by step directions that turned into darling reindeer that were all just a little different. We then painted and of course added a glitter red nose.
Once our drawings were finished our reindeer came to life. Check it out with our song below:
Happy Holidays from all of us in 1st grade! Thank you for all the adorable holiday cards and the generous gifts. Have a wonderful relaxing vacation with your children. Klipfel & Kids will see you next year.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Grinch Day

1st graders had an idea, an awful idea, a wonderful awful idea...Grinch Day! All the Whos down in Whomeadow, the tall and the small, enjoyed an awfully wonderful Grinch Day. 1st grade gathered in the amphitheater and enjoyed the story How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
Later, Klipfel and Kids worded on a Breakout EDU: Grinch Edition to stop the evil Grinch from stealing the holiday spirit. Students had to work collaboratively in teams to solve the clues and open all the locks.  
Later in the day, each 1st grader made their own Grinch card with pictures and kind messages to help grow another person's heart. We even got to visit different first grade classrooms while we worked.
At the end of the day, 1st graders then gathered around in a circle (just like the Whos) and played musical cards to the song, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. We passed our cards from one Who to the next until the singing stopped. Each 1st grader then got a card made by another 1st grader to help make their heart grow (it also helped grow their teachers' hearts). It was truly adorable!
We know the Grinch's heart was too sizes too small so 1st graders were on the lookout for others showing kindness to one and all throughout the day. We added lots of new hearts to our giant Grinch and learned the most important lesson of all.
Merry Grinchmas!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

1st Grade Fairy Tales

Once upon a time, in a school far far away, the whole Fuller Meadow 1st grade, wrote two magical fairy tales. It all began many days ago with our collaborative brainstorming session to discuss potential fairy tale elements. Once writing and illustration were complete in all five classrooms, our group fairy tales were ready to be put together in Book Creator using a little extra fairy dust. 1st graders are pleased to present Princess Ruby and the Magic Wand and Princess Ruby and the Lava Lair!
Click the cover pictures above to be linked to a printable version of our book for you to cherish forever and ever. Below, watch the books as a movie, read aloud by our own fluent first graders!

Princess Ruby and the Magic Wand

Princess Ruby and the Lava Lair
You can also add The Adventures of Princess Ruby to your digital library.
Click on the links: Princess Ruby and the Magic Wand and Princess Ruby and the Lava Lair from an iPad, iPhone or tablet.
Then click on OPEN IN and then Open in (see illustration below)
Click Open in iBooks.
As the story goes, students and teachers lived happily ever after with a new magical tale added to their digital library to read again, and again and again.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Tri-Town 1st Grade Gingerbread Exchange

1st grade classrooms from Middleton, Boxford and Topsfield partnered up for the 2nd Annual 1st Grade Tri-Town Gingerbread Person Exchange. Each classroom was responsible for creating and decorating a gingerbread person and writing a letter to send to all the other classrooms. Klipfel and Kids got creative by drawing and decorating our very own gingerbread people. I love how different they all came out!
After our gingerbread people were ready, as a class we wrote a letter telling the other 1st graders about us. Top news to share included our LOVE for monkeys and our real winter fireplace in the classroom. Oh and we of course had to send along a joke. What do monkeys sing at the holidays? Jungle Bells, Jungle Bells!
Finally we packaged our gingerbread people and letters up and off in the mail they went. Now we wait for our twelve packages from the other 1st grade classrooms to arrive. We can't wait to learn about all the other 1st grade classes.
Check out more pictures of the project on Twitter with #TTUGingerbreadExchange. You can also see what the Tri-Town 1st Graders are up to be looking at #TTUGR1.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

1st Grade Fairy Tale

Princes and princesses of 1st grade have been royally enjoying exploring the elements of fairy tales. We discussed how fairy tales are made up stories that usually have magical elements and often contain the number 3 or 7. Klipfel & Kids along with the rest of the Fuller Meadow 1st Graders were inspired to write our very own group fairy tale. We began with a collective brainstorming session to discuss possible story elements.
After coming up with some magical ideas, possible settings and even potential characters, each class had to determine which part of the fairy tale they would write. This year 1st graders across classrooms are writing two fairy tales with the same beginning. Meaning our tales will have common characters and settings but the events will be different. We will have so much comparing and contrasting to do! Here is how we broke each story into parts:
Klipfel & Kids rolled the dice and landed on the end, meaning we are responsible for writing the solution to our first grade fairy tale.
We are anxiously waiting for Mrs. Scharffenberg's class to write the beginning and Ms. Teixeira's class to write the middle so then we can get started. Once each class writes one part of the story we will then digitally illustrate the story and create a digital book. This really is one collaborative project! Stay tuned for our first grade fairy tales coming to an iPad near you soon.

First Grade Common Core Standard for Writing - W.1.6. With guidance and support from adults, use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017


1st graders have been busy exploring 2D plane shapes and 3D solid shapes. Students worked on distinguishing shapes by defining and non defining attributes. As part of our Math in Focus program we explored, identified and described plane and solid shapes. Students took plane and solid shapes to compose pictures. Partners worked on using good math vocabulary to discuss how many sides, vertices, edges and faces these shapes have.

Students then took cut outs of plane shapes to compose pictures in their math journals. Students counted the different number of triangles, circle, squares and rectangles in their creative pictures.
You can even make a monkey out of shapes! 
Our shape creating fun led us into a great discussion about the 2D and 3D shapes we see at school, at home and all over the world. Our emoji pillow is really a cylinder but has a face of a circle and our keyboards are rectangles. We even discovered that our tissue box is a rectangle prism with 6 faces, 12 edges, and 8 vertices!

What shapes do you see around you?

Saturday, November 25, 2017


Before Thanksgiving break we ended the day by playing my favorite game show, Jeopardy! 1st graders from our class and Mrs. E. Higgins' class had a blast reviewing all the different things we've learned so far this year.

Students took turns selecting a category and amount. Our categories included:

Writer's Workshop

What's the date?

Count on Me

Gobble Gobble

Name that Sound

What's in your Book Basket?

1st graders worked as groups to figure out the answer and then wrote it on their iPad. Groups then turned their iPads around to reveal their answers. In this case four heads were definitely better than one. 

Students impressed their teachers with knowledge of book genres, calendar questions, and even knew the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock. Ask them to share about Jeopardy!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

We are Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving from all your 1st grade friends. There are so many wonderful people and things we are thankful for each and everyday. Click below to see what we are thankful for.
I am thankful for my lovable first grade family. Happy Turkey Day!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Give Me Five, Turkey!

I am always shocked that some students have never made a hand turkey before. I guess you have to learn everything somewhere and what better place than 1st grade!

These turkeys quickly turned into mathematical tools. We'll use them to help us count by fives throughout the month of November.
Make sure to practice counting by fives at home. Mix it up by starting from any number. Use your hand turkeys to help or nickels to make sure your child really understands how to count automatically by fives.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Happy Halloween

Stuck on a word....

have no fear your reading buddies are here!

The power might have postponed us but it couldn't stop us! Happy (belated) Halloween from your favorite 1st graders! Thank you to those who donated to our Halloween Party with delicious food or games. A special thanks to our room mother for organizing our event and all the parents who helped during the big party.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Pumpkin Patch Reader's Theater

1st graders have been working hard on their reading fluency and expression this month with a delightful Pumpkin Patch Reader's Theater. We practiced, performed, and then recorded our work, focusing on our expression and fluency. We even got a little fancy and used a green screen while recording to add a real pumpkin patch to our movie. Check it out below:
Make sure to be on the lookout for these future Hollywood actors and actresses.
Common Core State Standard R.F. 1.4: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Perfect Plump Pumpkin Alliterations

Our perfectly pretty pumpkin published alliterations are done! Alliterations are sentences that have the same sound repeated at the beginning of many words. First, we used pictionaries to help brainstorm words that start with the beginning sound in our names. We unscrambled funny alliterations on the Smartboard to help us understand that our alliterations must make sense. Students then wrote a sentence to make their own alliterations that went with their adorable pumpkins.
Wait, we weren't done yet. Next, we used the iPads and took a picture of our pumpkins in the courtyard. As a class we recorded ourselves fluently reading our sentences using one of our favorite apps Chappterpix. Make sure to watch our final published piece above.

First Grade Common Core Standard for Writing: With guidance and support from adults, use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017


A huge thank you to the Hanglin family for their very generous donation of pumpkins for the whole classroom! We have made the most of this bountiful harvest and completed different learning activities with our pumpkins.
First, we turned into scientists to observe our pumpkins. We used all of our senses - we smelled the pumpkins, felt the pumpkins, and looked at the pumpkins' color, shape, texture, lines, etc.
Next, we decorated our orange friends and turned them into pumpkin pals. We used them to help us practice our reading fluency. Our pumpkins really enjoyed hearing our just right books!

Stay tuned because next we are using our pumpkins for fun fall writing!

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.