First Grade Family Literacy Night is October 18th

First Grade Family Literacy Night is Thursday, October 18th from 6:00-8:00

It’s not too late to still sign-up for the First Grade Family Literacy Night happening next Thursday, October 18th.  We will start the night off in the cafeteria with some pizza for everyone, so don’t worry about dinner – we’ve got that under control!  

Children (siblings are invited) will remain in the gym for a movie while the parents are invited to join Mrs. Wilson, Mrs. Terry and myself as we provide you with the tools to help provide additional supports for your developing readers at home.  We will include such topics as The Power of Yet, managing homework, and how best to help your child with developing and strengthening their reading and math skills.  Parents who attended last year’s presentation found the information presented to be of value to them as we look to strengthen the bond between home and school.

Please return the response form that was sent home previously, or, if you are unable to find the form but are interested in attending, simply send me an email with the number of adults and the number of children who will be attending.

If you should have any questions, please let me know by sending an email to

First Grade Fall Fest

The First Grade Fall Fest will be Friday, October 26th, 2018 from 1:00-2:30.

Our annual First Grade Fall Fest will be held on Friday, October 26th from 1:00-2:30 in the first grade hallway and outside (weather permitting).  Mrs. Terry and I combine classes for the afternoon.  Students are divided into groups, rotating between a variety of stations, including Fall Bingo, Apple Relay, Pumpkin Bowling and Ring Toss.

We are looking for volunteers to help supervise each of the stations, as well as supplies to be donated to help make this a successful and fun day for the children.  Please note that Penn Manor requires all volunteers to have clearances on file with the district.  If you are interested and able to volunteer, or are willing to donate items, please click on the link below.  We are looking forward to a fun-filled Fall Fest in first grade!

To access the Sign-Up Genius, please lick on the link below:

Pajama Party Friday!

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Pajama Day is Friday, October 12th!

I set a goal, the students worked hard to achieve it, and now they get to experience the reward of hard work and dedication.  In September, I set what I felt was an achievable goal for the first 5-6 weeks of school.  If the students could earn 1,000 ClassDojo points, they could choose a reward for the entire class.  So we sat down and everyone contributed an idea; we brainstormed, so no idea was initially rejected.  After everyone contributed, we talked about those rewards that could be considered, and eliminated those that would cost Mr. Heiney WAY more than his teacher salary could afford.  When the list was narrowed to five, every child was given the opportunity to vote on two of them, with the reward earning the highest number of votes considered to be the winner.  (Voting was done the old fashioned way – heads down, eyes closed and hands up).  

As a result, this Friday – October 12th – is our classroom pajama party.  Students are invited to wear their pajamas to school for the day.  They are allowed to wear slippers if they choose; however, I do ask that they wear sneakers or other acceptable footwear to school to prevent any safety hazards and to also wear on the playground at recess.  

If you should have any questions regarding the pajama party, please don’t hesitate to ask.

It’s Apple Time!

We’ll be doing some fun apple activities (choosing our favorite color apple, making home made applesauce, and celebrating Johnny Appleseed’s birthday) on Wednesday, 9/26.  Would you please consider helping us out by sending in the items listed on the attached link?  All donations should be sent to school no later than Tuesday, September 25th.  Thanks for helping to make our day fun!

Here is the link:

Parents – YOU have homework!

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I had a room full of excited children when I told them that their family now had homework every Friday that we have school.  Starting this weekend, you are now being asked to complete a weekly assignment – writing a letter back to your child.  Every Friday that we have school, your child will be writing a letter home to you.  Initially, we will be writing these letters whole group, so everyone will have the same topic – what we learned this week in first grade.  As the year progresses, however, the letter will become more personal and more individualized, as the students become more comfortable with the writing process.  As the letter home explained, I will be compiling every letter into a journal that your child will take home at the end of the school year.  This will not only serve as evidence of their progress throughout the year, but, more importantly, serve as a reminder of your child’s first grade year.  Please join me in helping to create some special memories for your child.

Coming Up This Week in Room 6…

Monday, September 17th – Day D  Physical Education with Mr. McCabe – remember to wear your sneakers!

Tuesday, September 18th – Day A Music with Miss Brennan

Wednesday, September 19th – Day B Applied Engineering with Mr. Kelley

Lesson Two Spelling Test – click here to see a list of this week’s words

Thursday, September 20th – Day C Art with Miss Fasnacht

Friday, September 21st – Day D Physical Education with Mr. McCabe – remember to wear your sneakers!

Coming up later in September…

Friday, September 28th – Elementary In-Service – No school for students

Coming Home Today…

Hello everyone! Today your child will be bringing home two items that are to be returned to school. We started our very first math lesson today. As I explained to many of you at Meet the Teacher Night, I utilize a Guided Math approach, which is similar to guided reading, in that every student will meet with me in a small group setting, based upon similar levels and abilities. For this week, we are completing our math in a whole group setting so that the kids can get used to the actual math lesson. We will start working in small groups next week. They are bringing home their first math packet. We completed half of the packet in class; the other half is to be completed at home. Once we begin the guided math format, they will have more of an opportunity to finish their homework in class. (And don’t worry – you can handle this math!) Students are expected to complete their homework and return it tomorrow in their OWL Folder.

Also in their OWL Folder, you will find an All About Me bag. I use this activity as a simple way of getting to know each of the students and for them to get to know each other. There is a note inside the bag explaining what to do. In essence, they are to bring three items in their bag that tells something about them – for example, maybe a picture of their family, a favorite stuffed animal or a souvenir from someplace they have traveled. I do stress the importance of not bringing anything of value, so that it does not become lost, stolen or destroyed. Bags can be brought in anytime this week, so do not feel the pressure to have to gather those things this evening. Once your child has had the opportunity to share, the bags will come back home. (There will be an opportunity for your child to do something similar throughout the year as they are named our OWL Star for the week.)

They should also have their very first spelling list in the Keep At Home pocket of their OWL folder.  I explained to them that this is to be placed on their refrigerator door (or any place that you find convenient) so that they can remember to be studying their spelling words throughout the week.  Each spelling list will have 10 words and the date of the test should always be listed.  If you should have any questions regarding this list, please let me know.  Students are only responsible for spelling the ten words listed.  They are expected to be able to identify the high-frequency words and have a general understanding of the robust vocabulary; however, they will only be graded on the spelling list.

There is also a Scholastic Book Order form in the Keep at Home Pocket of their OWL Folder.  Instructions for ordering books online are included; however, you can still do it the old fashioned way by sending an order form and money in an envelope with their name clearly marked on the front.

Tomorrow – Wednesday – is our gym day, so please be sure to have your child either wear their sneakers to school or have a pair to change into for gym class at the end of the day.

As always, if you should have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. Have a good night!

More Fun in First!

On the second day of school, we read the story Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein and discussed the importance of not interrupting others when they are speaking.  We then identified actions that would be done by a respectful student (and therefore expected behaviors in the classroom) and those that would be done by an interrupting chicken.

We also learned about sequencing (first, next, then, last) as we read There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Books and created our own Old Lady book as we placed the items in the order that she ate them.  

We took some selfies (admittedly, Mr. Heiney needs to work on his group selfies!) and drew our own selfies that will be hanging in the hallway for Meet the Teacher Night this Wednesday, August 29th, from 4:00-6:00 pm.

Oh, and we had fun at recess!