Want to volunteer in the classroom or meet in-person about your 1st grader? Check out our sign-up calendar: https://signup.com/go/eWUiHjd ​ ​ ​


Upcoming Events:

  • Jan. 27 - Teacher Work Day - No School for Students
  • Jan. 30 - 1st Grade Concert - 6:30pm
  • Jan. 31 - Sprit Day: Twin Day - Find a siblings or friend to match clothes. Students can also match with me! I'll be wearing a gray t-shirt, jeans, and white tennis shoes.   
  • Feb. 3-4 - Lunch for the Break Food Drive
  • Feb. 14 - Valentine's Day Party (more info to come) 
  • Feb. 14 - Popcorn Friday
  • Feb. 17-21 - Second Winter Break - No School


Next Star Students:

  • Jan. 28 – Aiden
  • Feb. 3 - Noah
  • Feb. 10 - Anna



  • Visualizing -  Visualizing means creating a picture or movie in our  minds of the story. For example, if the book says, "It was a beautiful day at the beach," we might imagine a sunny day with calm water and people relaxing and playing in the sand. This is a great skill to use as more and more students begin exploring chapter books. 
  • R Blends - When two or more consonants are together in a word, their sounds often blend together (like the "bl" in blend). So far, we've been focusing on "r" blends such as gr, cr, tr, pr, and more!



  • Twin Sentences - It's important to write more than just one sentence to teach about an aspect of a topic. One strategy for elaboration is twin sentences. For example, "In soccer you can pass. A pass is where you kick the ball to a teammate."
  • Expert Words - Good teachers include important vocabulary about their topic. We learned to use words that are specific to our topics and teach what those words mean. For example, instead of saying, "A monster that explodes," a student should use the expert word, "Creeper" when teaching about Minecraft.
  • Spelling Strategy - We learned how to use words we know to spell new words (e.g. using "art" to spell "smart" or "look" to spell "took." 



  • Making a 10 to Add Nine - The class also practiced manipulating addends to make equations easier to solve. This week we practiced adding to nine by making groups of ten. For example when adding 9 + 6, we can really think of the problem as 10 + 5. This aids mental math fluency for students with a firm understanding of the partners to 10.
  • Making a 10 to Add Eight - We extended the previous skill by applying the pattern to adding to 8. For example, when adding 8+6, we can think of the problem as 10+4. Another way to think about this strategy is the 6 is "giving" 2 to the 8 to make a 10.


Social Studies:

  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. - We focused on learning about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his message. We discussed the unfair laws that he worked to change and the work we still have to do to make things fair for all kids and people no matter our skin color. 
  • Growth Mindset - We began our work learning more about having a growth mindset. This is a topic we've informally been learning about all year, but now what our learning is starting to get more difficult, we're really focusing on our own thinking when it comes to challenges and learning. This week we learned the brain is like a muscle and mistakes are how we make it stronger. If we're too afraid of making mistakes and give up, we can't learn!

Messages from the PTA:

  • The Apollo PTA is collecting donations for a Food Drive to benefit the Lunch for the Break Program (Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank). Our class is collecting Dry Black Beans (approximately 16 oz. bag). If you would like to donate, please bring this in between February 3rd- 7th. Thank you!

 ​​About Weekly Updates:

Based on feedback from parents over the years, I’ve retired the tradition of the “cute” PDF bi-weekly/monthly newsletters in favor of much less “cute” weekly updates. In order to get these updates out quickly and often, please forgive the boring format, brief bullet points, and occasional typos. I promise I do proofread  them, but my Friday afternoon brain will definitely miss things. These updates are be emailed, posted on our class website, and posted to Class Dojo. If at any point you would like to add or remove an email from this list, please let me know!