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Mrs. Hewey’s First Grade News

June 19, 2017


Dear Families,

     It is hard to believe that this is my last newsletter of the year.  This year has flown by, but the children are ready, nervous and excited for second grade.

     Thank you to all of the families who came to the Celebration of Learning last Thursday.  The children were excited to bring home their birds and their work and to show you all that they have learned about birds.

     Today your child is bringing home his/her writing folder with lots of work inside.  Every day this week your child will be bringing home work from school.   

     If your child had a yellow, red or purple book bag and borrowed books from school, please make sure your child returns it by Wednesday WITH the book!  Some children have returned the book bags without a book in it, and I sent those back in their backpacks to remind them to find the book that belongs to school.

     On Thursday the awards ceremony will be in my classroom and it will begin at 10:30. It will be fun to celebrate every child and the qualities that make each child special to our class.  Thank you for being such supportive families all year long!     
      All the best for a wonderful summer,   Kristie Hewey

Posted by Kristina Hewey  On Jun 19, 2017 at 10:28 AM 19 Comments

Mrs. Hewey’s First Grade News

June 12, 2017

Dear Families,

     Please don’t forget that this Thursday, June 15th, from 5:30-7:00, is the Celebration of Learning for our school.  You will be able to visit your child’s classroom and see all of our work about birds.  Your child will be able to read you a bird book, show you owl pellets, recite bird poems to you, teach you about nests, test you on your knowledge of bird calls, and see if you are as tall as an ostrich, among other things.  Most importantly, your child can show you our baby chicks because they will be going to their new home the next day!  You can come anytime between 5:30 and 6:45 to celebrate learning at East End Community School!

     Last week each child finished making birds out of paper shapes.  The kids used hexagons, trapezoids, squares, triangles and diamonds (also known as rhombuses).  We have hung the birds up in the cubby room and your child has written clues for you to find the bird on Celebration of Learning Night. 

     On Thursday we had a visit from the Portland Symphony Orchestra and the Violin Club of 3rd, 4th and 5th graders.  The violin players from our school were wonderful, and the orchestra members taught us about percussion instruments.  We heard drums, bongos, snare drums, xylophones, and they even played pots and pans for us.  Then, on Friday, the school held a Family Fun Day and the children got to do all sorts of fun, outdoor activities at recess.  Ask your child about some of the things he or she did.  (Hints:  Bubbles?  Tattoos?  Face painting?  Sack race?  Lacrosse?  Cartwheels and round offs?  Limbo?  Walk on a rope? Soccer? Throwing games?  Something else?)  Special thanks to Ms. Wissa for organizing it.  And happy birthday Ashley!

     All the best,  Kristie




Posted by Kristina Hewey  On Jun 12, 2017 at 7:13 AM 19 Comments

Mrs. Hewey’s First Grade News

June 5, 2017


Dear Families,

      This past week your child finished writing and assembling his or her bird book.  The books are beautiful, with an introduction, a table of contents, and four chapters!  You will have a chance to see the bird books on our Celebration of Learning Night on June 15th from 5:30-7:00 at the school.

Your child will be able to show you lots of fun bird activities as well as our baby chicks!  Please plan on coming for about 20 minutes and feel free to bring your whole family.

      It is hard to believe that we only have a few more weeks of school.  Every year, on the last day of school, I have an awards ceremony and I give every child in the class an award.  This year I will be giving the awards from 10:30-11:15 on June 22nd.  Please fill out the paper attached to this newsletter by next week so I can know how many parents are able to come. 

It is a special event, because we celebrate the fact that every child has given our class a special gift!

      The children are concluding their study of informational books, and on Friday I had children work in teams to read non-fiction books about animals other than birds.  It was so fun to watch them sit side by side and read and learn together.  The children shared information about dolphins, sharks, cheetahs, lions, penguins, puppies and lots of other animals.  They have come so far from the beginning of the year when most of them would have insisted they couldn’t read a book by themselves!

      Let’s hope the sun we saw on Sunday will reappear this week!   All the best,   Kristie


Posted by Kristina Hewey  On Jun 04, 2017 at 3:36 PM 31 Comments

Mrs. Hewey’s First Grade News

May 30, 2017

Dear Families,

      Today I sent home the last Scholastic Book order of the year.  If your child would like to order a book, please send me the money and form or order online by next Monday, June 5th.  I will place the order on Tuesday, June 6th so that there is enough time for the order to arrive by the last week of school.

      We had a great time at Wolfe’s Neck Farm in Freeport last week.  Thank you to Ashley’s mom, Evelyne, and Mohamedamin’s mom, Fartun, for coming with us on the fieldtrip.  The children saw a working dairy farm, with cows, sheep and goats.  They loved petting and watching the baby lambs and goats.  The children also made butter.  It was so easy!  The farmer poured Hood’s half and half cream into four jars with tight lids.  The children took turns shaking and shaking and shaking the jars.  Eventually the half and half turned into whipped cream and, after more shaking, they saw it turn into a lump of butter!  The kids tasted the butter on crackers and thought it was delicious.

      The class continues to keep a close eye on the eggs in our incubator and is eager for the chicks to hatch.  We learned that chicken eggs hatch in 21 days so we are expecting the chicks to arrive somewhere around the 7th of June.  Ask your child to tell you what parts of the chick are growing inside the egg!

      If your child hasn’t already told you, we also dissected owl pellets last week.  Owls eat their food, such as mice, whole and then they throw up the bones and fur in pellets.  The children worked with a partner to take apart some real owl pellets, and they were so excited to find skulls and figure out what the owl had eaten.  Some kids found small bird skulls and bones, while other children found the skulls and bones of rodents. 

      As always, birds are so much fun!    Kristie

Posted by Kristina Hewey  On May 29, 2017 at 3:09 PM 19 Comments

Mrs. Hewey’s First Grade News

May 22, 2017

Dear Families,

     Last week we saw two bird mounts, the Great Horned Owl and the Puffin.  The children loved the colorful beak of the puffin and the big eyes of the owl.

     We have been working every week with our two Side by Side artists, Leah and Sarah, who are helping the students learn how to show what they know through artwork.  The children have made a page about their bird’s habitat and another about its diet, and today we worked on a page about each bird’s adaptations.  The adaptations are the special features of a bird’s body or special things that it can do to help it survive.  Ask your child to tell you the cool things that his or her bird can do.

     In PE class, with Ms. Queen, the children are learning how to hold a tennis racquet and hit the ball right in the center of the racquet!

     Happy Birthday Dennise this past weekend!

     Hopefully your child has already told you that we have an incubator and some chicken eggs in our classroom.  The kids are VERY excited about hatching chicks! We are going to Wolfe’s Neck Farm in Freeport on Tuesday so that the children can visit a real working farm and understand where our chicks are going to live.  We will be leaving no later than 9:00 AM and will be gone for the morning.  Please make sure that your child wears sneakers on the day of the fieldtrip because the farm does not want children to stub their toes in sandals.  Also, if your child has a water bottle at home it would be great if he or she could bring that on Tuesday.  We will be doing a lot of walking and the kids may want water during the morning.

                     All the best,      Kristie

Posted by Kristina Hewey  On May 21, 2017 at 10:30 AM 17 Comments

Mrs. Hewey’s First Grade News

May 15, 2017


Dear Families,

The class has continued to enjoy watching birds at our birdfeeder.  Last week we saw a male and a female cardinal, chickadees, mockingbirds, a house sparrow, a goldfinch and mourning doves.  We sprinkled seeds on the ground because we read that mourning doves like to eat on the ground, and, sure enough, they came the next day.  Ask your child to tell you how to tell the difference between a female and a male cardinal.

We learned a lot about birds on our trip to the Maine Audubon.  We were lucky enough to see red winged blackbirds at the pond, spot goldfinches, chickadees, sparrows and cardinals at the feeders, see a phoebe’s nest, and hear the geese, seagulls and crows.  We also saw mounts of a blue jay, chickadees, a woodpecker and a buffle duck.  The Audubon educators showed us trees that the woodpeckers and sapsuckers had made holes in, and we played a game about what birds need to survive.  The children also got to take grasses, string and other materials and try to make a nest as well as a bird does!  Special thanks to Shannon, Oliver’s mom, Flor, Dennise’s mom, and Fartun, Mohamedamin’s mom, for coming with us on the fieldtrip.

If you want to come with us on fieldtrips, you must fill out the volunteer application for the school before coming.  If you are hoping to come with us on May 23rd, let me know by this Wednesday and I will send home the application form so you can join us!  Once you do the paperwork, you will not have to do it for any future fieldtrips.

       For all of you mothers, I hope you had a restful, happy Mother’s Day and thank you for giving your children so much love and care.

       Now let’s hope for some sun this week…………


Posted by Kristina Hewey  On May 14, 2017 at 10:05 AM 11 Comments

Mrs. Hewey’s First Grade News

May 8, 2017


Dear Families,

     Last week the children were busy writing their chapter on the habitat of their bird.  They learned where their bird lives, where it nests, and what materials it uses to build its nest

     We have hung a suet bird feeder outside of our window and the class has loved watching and identifying birds who come it.  Last week we saw chickadees and two mockingbirds.

     A teacher from the Maine Audubon came to visit the first graders to do a program about birds’ beaks. The students got to experiment with all sorts of tools and see which tools made it easy to pick up food.  At the hummingbird station, for instance, they tried to suck up liquid with a long eye dropper and some short tweezers, and they found the longer tool that could hold liquid worked best.  Then we looked at pictures of the hummingbird’s beak and talked about how their beaks are long, thin, and made for sucking up nectar from flowers.  Some birds have sharp, curved beaks which help them tear up small animals, while others have short, sharp beaks that are great for cracking seeds and nuts.  Everyone had lots of fun.

     This Friday is our fieldtrip to the Maine Audubon in Falmouth.  We are going to be going outside to see birds in their natural habitats.  We will be leaving at 9:00 and returning by 11:30.  Please have your child bring a jacket and wear sneakers because we will be outside and walking on trails in the woods.

                          All the best,  Kristie


Posted by Kristina Hewey  On May 07, 2017 at 4:22 PM 7 Comments

Mrs. Hewey’s First Grade News

May 1, 2017


Dear Families,

       Last week we got a new student in our room and her name is Helena.  Everyone in the class has been eager to help her and to show her all the new routines.  Welcome Helena and happy birthday this week, too!

I am sad to say that today is Kiley’s last day in our classroom.  She is moving to a new house in another town, and the children will miss her friendly, gentle presence in the class.  We wish her well in her new school and know that she will quickly find new friends!

Last week Portland Stage Company actors came to visit our school and to act out some stories and poems for us.  For instance, four actors performed two books called Mean Jean The Recess Queen and Chester and Wilson.  They showed the students how actors use their voice, their body and their imagination to bring stories alive.  Following the performance, an actor named Dustin came to work with our class in the room and it was lots of fun.

The children have been noticing birds everywhere we go.  On Friday we saw yellow goldfinches swooping on the playground, two chickadees and we found bird’s nests hidden in some evergreen trees.  In writing, I am teaching the children how to read information about the bird they are studying and to take short notes to remember the information.  Over the past few days, the children have been learning where their bird lives and we have been calling that the “habitat” of the bird.  Ask your child about his or her bird’s habitat and what kind of nest it has!

All the best,




Posted by Kristina Hewey  On Apr 30, 2017 at 6:11 PM 30 Comments

Mrs. Hewey’s First Grade News

April 10, 2017


Dear Families,

     The children had a great time at the Golden Acrobats performance at the Merrill Auditorium.  The acrobats did amazing tricks with their bodies, and I wish I could have taken pictures of the children’s faces as they watched!  If you Google Golden Acrobats, you can see some pictures of the tricks they do.

     Today and tomorrow (Monday and Tuesday) your family is scheduled for your child’s conference.  We only have 30 minutes to talk so please make sure to be on time.  Your conference time is written on the yellow newsletter in your child’s blue folder or backpack.

     Last week we had another bird mount (a dead but real bird that is stuffed) in the classroom and it was a duck.  The children learned that a male duck is called a drake and the female is a hen.  We had a drake in the classroom and the kids loved his bright green head and yellow bill.  Then, when the kids went out for recess, some of them saw real ducks waddling on the field.  It was as if the live ducks knew we were learning about them!

     This upcoming week is supposed to be very warm so your child won’t need snow pants or mittens or hats.  The kids will be very happy to have true spring weather and not have to get all their winter clothes on.

     Every child in the class is going to be studying one particular bird and learning about where that bird lives, what it eats, what is special about is body, as well as learning about its eggs and babies.  Ask your child to tell you what bird he or she is going to study.

                    All the best,   Kristie



Posted by Kristina Hewey  On Apr 09, 2017 at 3:21 PM 25 Comments

Mrs. Hewey’s First Grade News

April 3, 2017

Dear Families,

     Last week the children began learning about birds.  They got to see a real kestrel, a type of falcon bird, which we borrowed from the Maine Audubon.  The bird was not alive anymore but had been stuffed, so the kids enjoyed looking closely at the feathers and body parts of the bird.  Ask your child to tell you what the kestrel looked like.

     On Friday a writer named Sarah Braunstein came to celebrate the I Am poems that all of the first graders wrote.  Two children from each first grade class used a microphone and read their poem to the entire group.  Congratulations to Believe and Dalyla who were brave enough to do this!  Then Sarah Braunstein, my husband, Mrs. Melton, three fourth and fifth graders, and Ms. Alexander came back to our class and everyone got to read their poem to our visitors. Sarah was so impressed by the details that the children put into their poems and how much she learned about each one of them. The children’s I Am poems are hanging in the hallway of the first grade wing so you will be able to see them when you come for conferences next week. 

     Happy Birthday to our March birthday friends, Dalyla and Oliver! 

     Reminders!!  This Thursday, April 6th, is our fieldtrip to see acrobatics at the Merrill Auditorium.  We will be leaving after 9:00 so please make sure to get your child to school on time.  We will be back before lunch.

     Also, next week is conferences so children will be dismissed at 11:40 on Monday and Tuesday, April 10th and 11th.  Lunch will be served very early those days.  On Friday, April 14th, April vacation begins so there will be no school on Friday and the following week.  We will return to school on Monday, April 24th.

Posted by Kristina Hewey  On Apr 02, 2017 at 3:33 PM 41 Comments
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