Friday, December 6, 2019


Welcome back!  I hope your Thanksgiving was enjoyable.  I’d like to mention what a wonderful job the first graders did in the Thanksgiving/Chanukah Show!  Everyone spoke clearly and loudly, no one rushed, and I’m pretty sure everyone was smiling.  I know I was!
Now that Thanksgiving is over, we’ve started a new topic.  We are now learning about states of matter!  On Tuesday, the first graders at each table received a bag containing either magnifying glasses, pattern blocks, or plastic fruit.  Each group made a list of similarities and differences that they noticed about what was in their bag.  Then they had to figure out what was the same about all of the items.  We then pulled out our science books to learn that everything is made of matter.  Some matter is solid, which means it keeps its shape even if you move it. 
On Thursday, we read in our science books that another kind of matter is liquid.  This is something that has no shape of its own, instead taking the shape of the container that it is in.  Also, some liquids are thick and some are thin.  We then took out different shaped containers and poured water from one to the next to see how the shape changed.  We also demonstrated the pouring rate of honey (a thick liquid) vs. water (a thin liquid).  Then the first graders grouped up for an experiment.  In each group, one first grader poured oil into colored water, and one first grader poured vinegar into colored water.  One of these liquid combinations mixed, while the other did not.  Ask your first grader for details!
On Friday, we learned a new word: dissolve!  We tried to dissolve dirt in water, but this did not work.  We could still see pieces of dirt floating around in the water!  Then we tried to dissolve a powdered drink mix in water, and it worked perfectly.  It tasted pretty good too!
More states of matter fun next week!

-Miss Deena Tanenbaum

Saturday, November 16, 2019


Pangolins, and quetzals, and basilisks, oh my!  After our weeks of work picking animals, writing reports, making our animals out of art supplies, and practicing reading our reports, it was finally time to share with the whole class!  We gathered around the bulletin boards, first inside our classroom and then out in the hall, and listened as each first grader read their reports.   We looked at the animals they had created as well, and we gave each person a round of applause for their presentation and hard work.  What a great way to bring a unit to a close!
We completed the fourth chapter of our math book this week, and jumped right into the fifth chapter, which is all about addition and subtraction relationships.  Please see the family letter in the Take Home Folder for more details.
Preparations for our Thanksgiving/Chanukah show are going strong!  Again, if your first grader will not be in school that day, please let me know ASAP.  Thank you!
Looking forward to greeting you in person on Wednesday!

-Miss Deena Tanenbaum

Sunday, November 10, 2019


What can you make with construction paper, scissors, glue sticks, tissue paper, felt, some feathers, and a lot of hard work?  Well, first graders can make 44 animals out of all of that!  With the help of pictures from a great many books and magazines, the first graders saw what their chosen animals looked like.  Over the course of two days, they were hard at work creating their animals which are now on display on the bulletin boards both inside and outside our classroom.  You’ll get to see these wonderful creatures when you come to school for parent-teacher conferences!  Continue to stay tuned, because our research project will conclude next week!
We had our November visit to the class tree this week, and like many of the trees around town, it had lost a massive number of leaves since our last visit.  Check out the picture e-mail to see what it looks like now.
We are working hard on our poem for the Thanksgiving performance!  The first graders are focusing not only on learning the words, but also on saying the words slowly and clearly so that we can be understood by the audience.  If your first grader will not be in school for the Thanksgiving show, please let me know as soon as possible.  Also, for the day of the Thanksgiving/Chanukah show, I will be asking for your first grader to wear a white uniform shirt and navy skirt/pants. Thank you!
If you did not yet reserve a time for Parent Teacher Conferences, there are still slots available.  I look forward to greeting you in person!

Have a lovely weekend!

-Miss Deena Tanenbaum

Wednesday, June 12, 2019


Welcome to the C.T.A. first grade blog!  There will be no new posts over the summer.  Please check back in the fall when school starts to read about all that we do!