Class Picture

Class Picture

Friday, September 15, 2017


Each month, students from all first grade classrooms join together for a sing-a-long. In each of the five classrooms, children study and learn similar content and are exposed to shared songs, poems, and chants. This past week, friends got together to share their learning of insects thus far while singing "Big Bugs, Small Bugs," "Head, Thorax, Abdomen." "Flea Fly," "buzzing bees" and a favorite of all our teachers, "The More We Get Together." INQUIRE with your child about any one of these songs. Each day, children READ and sing these titles as a class and independently from their poem folders stored in their book boxes.



Our first ECO this year directly connected our classroom study of insects to the outdoors. Mrs. Dostie's class joined us for a wonderful afternoon of learning. Students enjoyed a cooperative game of "Insect Relay." Moving like a variety of insects, students raced across the field, pretending to be bees, grasshoppers, butterflies, etc. Showing empathy, students cheered for their friends, all while showing self-control. Later on in the afternoon, students looked for insects in the forest, and created their own insect art, using materials found on the forest floor. INQUIRE with your child what materials they used, and why. At the end of every outdoor learning adventure, first graders take some time for reflection and think about what they are thankful for in that moment.  Enjoy the attached video of this.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

ECO - Thursday

Leaf Mandala(1).jpg
ECO Science Outing!
We will have ECO ALL AFTERNOON on Thursday.
If you plan to join us, please let me know Please leave younger children at home.  We plan to leave school around 12:45 and return around 2:30.
Please make sure that your child is prepared with:
  • walking/hiking shoes or boots
  • sweatshirt or fleece layer
  • coat or hooded jacket (if needed, weather dependant)
  • water bottle (if your child doesn’t have one at school)
  • backpack
  • rainpants/snowpants (optional)
  • hat, mittens, etc (optional)
Please check the weather and use your discretion on what best to outfit your child with!


Scholastic Book Order

Click on this direct link above to order books for your family. You can place an order at any time throughout the year. Remember, every time you order from this great program, our class receives points toward new books for our classroom. Thanks for helping to grow our classroom library!  Let me know if you have any questions!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Scholastic Book Order

I will be sending home book order forms in your child’s red communication folder several times during the year. These book clubs offer a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction books for children at very reasonable prices. If you choose to place an order, our class will receive a lot of free books!

Children will have one week to bring in their orders, and the orders take about two weeks to arrive. I will be using the Scholastic Reading Club. You may choose to order online and pay with a credit card, or fill out the form attached to the paper catalog and pay by check. You can write one check for multiple Scholastic orders. Please make your checks payable directly to Scholastic and send your order and check in a labeled envelope.

More titles available through scholastic website as well.  Feel free to simplify your life and order online:

Classroom Activation Code!



Wednesday, September 20th

Being Ready for the Rainy Weather

Please do your best to ensure that your child is dressed appropriately for the weather.  We strongly believe that every child needs to have adequate time to move and play outdoors daily, so we’ll be going out even if it’s chilly or there are sprinkles.  Rain jackets and boots are a must! Generally speaking, we'll be going outside for recess unless there is thunder and lightning in the forecast or there is an absolute downpour. Everyone will have a better experience if they’re comfortable and prepared, so please bear this in mind as your child heads out to school each morning.

Monday, September 11, 2017

First Grade Birthday Breakfast Information

First Grade Birthday Breakfast Information & Sign Up

Birthdays are a time for celebration!  We have the tradition of having ‘birthday breakfast’ once a month in first grade classrooms to meet the expectations outlined in our school handbook which state:

Sweet treats such as candies, cupcakes, brownies and chocolate chip cookies have little nutritional value and should not be sent to school.

Consider visiting or sending in fun activities and games to celebrate special occasions at school rather than food.

When foods not meeting these expectations are sent to school by parents for celebrations, the foods will not be returned but a copy of this guideline will be sent home as a reminder.

We welcome families to join us for this celebration - regardless of whether your child’s birthday falls on that month! We encourage all families to join us in a morning meeting when we will sing a birthday song, and enjoy a special breakfast as a whole group.  

Each month, we will need your help to make the birthday breakfast a success. We ask families to supply a special healthy breakfast treat, and suggest planning ahead by signing up in advance.  Breakfast ideas range from juice, muffins, bread, cheese and crackers, fruit salad, veggie and dip, fruit kabobs, yogurt parfait, granola, etc.  All breakfast items need to be nut-free so please read the labels carefully.

Even if you are not able to attend, you can contribute to the breakfast.  If you are not bringing a birthday treat, we welcome you to join as well! This is a great chance for you to join your child’s class and celebrate with the whole class community.  Please sign up for a date or a few dates that work for you and your family to bring a breakfast item to school.  I will send out an email reminder the week prior to our breakfast as well to help coordinate items and participation.

In addition to birthday breakfast, some families choose to send in a healthy snack on the child’s actual birthday.  Other families choose to donate a book in their child’s name to the classroom.  Any of these options is fine. It is helpful to communicate with me prior to this.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask! A sign up form went home last week. If you can sign up in advance, thank you.
Birthday Breakfast Dates
8:30-9:00 am

September 29 October 27 November 17

January 26                         March 30 April 27

June 8 (June and summer birthdays)


Reading Behaviors

As I begin to learn more about your child as a reader and find out what he or she knows and can do in this area, our class is learning what it looks like to be a first grade reader.  Students are learning behaviors that first graders show during their reading to self time. Students practice these behaviors as they begin to develop first grade "habits." INQUIRE with your child what it looks like and sounds like during reading and what habits they are developing (ex. take a sneak peak, do something at the end).  Reading workshop happens EVERY DAY, and students are immersed in books - on their own, with partners, in small groups, as well as during whole class teaching.  

Explore time

Choice time at the end of the day is an important part of our day. Social skills are practiced and reinforced as students make their own choices. INQUIRE with your child what they have done at choice time. Who have they worked with?

Super student

You might have heard your child talking about the "Super Student." Each day, a child is randomly selected to be this student. As one way to learn about each other and to build community, the child is highlighted for the day. The class interviews them, asking them questions about their interests, favorites, about their home, etc. We also learn about their name and do a special name chant. Each student then writes and draws all about this "super student." Each page gets put into a special book all about that child. You can look forward to reading these at open house at the end of the month. Throughout this whole process, students practice what it looks and sounds like to be a "super first grader" as we've been referring to them as in the classroom. INQUIRE with your child what it looks like and sounds like to be a super student. What magical powers do they have/show?!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

First Day

We had a FABULOUS first day of first grade.  We were so busy all day getting to know each other and learning about the "first grade way" of doing things.  We focused on learning how to be kind, responsible and safe around the school, all while having fun.  
The picture above is a sneak peak of your own child's photo - taken today on the first day. The trick, however, is you will have to find it on SEESAW.  Look in your child's red folder for directions on how to access their personal learning portfolio. There are also directions posted below on the blog.  

Let me know if you have any questions at all. Throughout the year, I will both seesaw and the blog to communicate. As always, you are welcome to call or email if you need any more information than I give through the blog and seesaw.  

Choice Time

Our choice time is another great time where students get to know each other, work collaboratively together, and share their learning and laughter.  Sometimes, they are so busy doing this, it's hard to stop and look at the camera!  INQUIRE with your child who and what they worked with at choice time today!

Math Group Work

During math time today, we discussed the idea of exploration and group work. Students were challenged to work together as they explored with various materials.  INQUIRE with your child what it meant to work "together."  


Lunch is a great time to catch up with old friends, and get to know new members of our class community.  Let me know if you need any help getting lunch accounts set up. I'm happy to help!

Goofy Faces

After every class picture we ALWAYS take an extra silly one.  We love to learn and find time for some good laughs throughout the day!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Sign up for Seesaw to receive important updates from your child's journal!

Summer Letter to all Families

Dear Families,

Summer vacation is coming to an end. It is time to start thinking about the new school year. First grade brings all types of new adventures in learning and we are happy to start the journey with your child this year.
We believe that children learn best within a framework of clear and simple expectations. Our goal is to provide educational experiences in which your child will be encouraged to develop social, intellectual, physical, psychological and aesthetic abilities in a safe, nurturing and positive environment, which fosters high self-esteem and respect for others. You are the first and most important teacher in your child’s life. We are looking forward to working together with you to help your child reach their highest potential.
We will have a mini-open house for families to see the classroom and meet their teacher and classmates on Tuesday, August 29th at 3:00.  Later in the fall we will be having an open house for parents and families to explore classroom learning, and to familiarize you with the first grade curriculum and day-to-day learning. Below, you will find information necessary to start the year. Please contact your classroom teacher if you need further information.

Our first day of first grade is August 30th! First grade students convene on the lower playground in the mornings. There is supervision on the lower playground from 8:00-8:15, where students are expected to gather. School begins at 8:15, and teachers will meet classes on the playground at this time.  It is important for your child to be on time for school.  Our morning meeting begins right away, and it is supportive of your child’s learning for everyone to be present during this time.  Late arrivals (after 8:15) disrupt the daily routine and cause interruptions to the learning of our class community.
Remind your child to go directly to the lower playground if they are riding the bus to school or if you drop them off on Loomis St. If you plan to escort your child to school, please say goodbye to them on the playground, or at the UES door. First graders are continuing to work on building independence and this is a great first step! Please help us to encourage  independence with morning routines.

Bus riders and car pick-up students will be dismissed at 2:45.  If you choose to pick up car side, pull up by the barriers on Loomis Street and wait for your turn.  Walkers will be dismissed at 2:50. Ms. Closter, Ms. Emily, and Mrs. Dostie ‘s classes will wait by the picnic tables on Loomis Street..  Mrs. Koch and Mrs. Griggs’ classes will meet by the front entrance on Park Avenue. Please check in with your child’s teacher to assure end of the day plans go smoothly.  A written note must accompany your child at the start of the day if the daily routine is changing.  

Home/School Folder
This year, look for a RED daily communication folder in your child’s backpack. This folder should come to school and will go home every day. Please help your child remember this job. The folder will be checked every morning, so please send important notes about your child’s day in this folder. Teachers seldom have time to check email/phone during the school day so if you have a message during the day, please call the office directly and they will relay the information. Also, please check the class blog routinely for updates about schedules, and upcoming events.

Volunteer Options
There will be many opportunities to participate in your child’s education. Look for a volunteer sign-up sheet, a confidentiality form, and guidelines in your child’s home-school folder during the month of September. To help build community within the classroom, volunteering will begin after the first 6 weeks.  

Our outdoor education program, held at Harrison Field, Sabin’s Pasture, Hubbard Park and around the community will begin in September.  Please look for more information about this program in your child’s home-school folder next month.  We rely on parent volunteers to help make this program a success, and would invite you to join us on these outings.  We will be travelling on Thursdays and are excited to have family volunteers.  

We will have a scheduled snack each morning. Children are welcome to bring in their own snack from home or place an order ahead of time for snack from the “snack heroes.” Information about this program will be sent home soon. For the first weeks of school, please send a healthy snack from home.  All five classrooms are peanut-free.  Please do not bring peanuts or products containing peanuts into the classroom.  If you have questions or concerns about snack or lunch, please contact your child’s teacher.

Look for your child’s daily schedule attached to their home/school folder. Please remind your child they need sneakers for P.E. and need to remember their books on library days.

Home School Connections
We believe engaging monthly homework projects are important to support children’s learning in the classroom. The first Home School Connection will be shared with you later in the month. For the time being, keep reading nightly with your child and encourage a love of learning!

Your child will not need to bring in supplies for school work. We will provide these resources for you. Throughout the year, your child’s classroom teacher may create a wish list of materials for various projects.  In the meantime, classrooms always appreciate any of the following items:
  1. Dixon Ticonderoga pencils
  2. Glue Sticks
  3. Black Dry Erase Markers
  4. Soft Tissues
  5. Large Block Pink Erasers
  6. Pink Top Erasers
  7. Sharpie Fine Point Black Markers
  8. Clorox Wipes
  9. Plastic Spoons

Personal Belongings
Please help your child leave all toys at home (stuffies, dolls, cars, figurines, card collections, etc). Even toys stowed away in a backpack can be a distraction from learning for students.

Change of clothes
If you think your child will need a change of clothes during the school year, we will provide an area for this in the classroom. Please store extra clothing in a labeled large ziplock bag and send them  to school. The bag will be returned to you with clothes to launder as needed. Please re-fill with clean, seasonally appropriate clothing as soon as you can.

During our first integrated science unit, we are exploring insects. If your family can find any dried insects on your last days outside, please feel free to bring them in to share. We will be observing insects up close!

Please call or email with any questions or concerns you have for your child. If you’d like to meet in person, please contact your child’s teacher to set up a time to meet in the classroom.  We are excited to see all of the students and families and are eagerly anticipating a year of great learning and fun!


Hello First Grade Families of Ms. Closter's 2017-2018 Class!

Please use our blog to learn about our day and upcoming events. I will post pictures and news each week.  If you are looking for more information about anything in particular, please let me know.

I have been busy getting the classroom ready and look forward to seeing you all at our open house on Tuesday, August 29th and 3:00.  This open house will give you a chance to meet me and see where your child will be learning this school year.

Hopefully you received the welcome letter in the mail, but if not, I will post it above.  We will be kicking off the year learning about insects, so if you'd like to get out into nature and begin looking for these 6 legged creatures, please do.

Let me know if you have any questions at all. I can be reached at

Monday, June 5, 2017


A fun day at NBNC was had by all! 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Almost here...

We may be looking serious as we pose for this picture, but we are certainly excited that the "Wing It" show is one week from today!  We have been practicing our songs each day and putting the final touches on our artwork for the show.  If you can, join us tomorrow (Friday) after school to help make a nest for the stage.  If not, we'll see you next week. 

Please note: If you cannot make the evening performace on Thursday, please join us at our dress rehearsals either on Wednesday at 9:00am or Thursday at 11:00am.  

Lettuce Planting

First graders had a great time traveling with their fourth grade buddies over to the high school. We learned about where our compost goes after we dispose of it at lunch, and all about the high school greenhouse, where we got to taste a variety of lettuces. We even helped plant some more lettuce that will be used for salad bar lunch at Union Elementary School.  


First graders are gaga over learning about birds. Each child has selected a bird to learn about in more depth, and are excited to dive into their learning. Each child will make a guide book page about their selected bird to share with you at our "Wing It" performance next week.  


Mrs. Pierce invited us up to her classroom to visit and learn about the new ducklings that just hatched in their room.  We have also been learning about the chickens our fourth grade buddies are taking care of on the playground.  INQUIRE with your child what the rules are!

Whose Dad?

These sweaty guys did a little hair-styling after gym last week. They came up to me with a question - whose dad do we look like?

Sabin's Pasture Bird Watchers

VT found in the stream!
Despite the extreme hot temperatures, our first grade bird enthusiasts had an amazing day in Sabin's Pasture.  Students played a hawk and bird game, ate a picnic lunch in the shade, then rotated through three centers - birding with Ken and listening and mapping birds, helping the birds by making seed ball buffets, and then exploring in the stream.  What a fun day!