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Mrs. Hewey’s First Grade News

March 27, 2017

Dear Families,

      It is hard to believe that it is already the end of March.  We will be having conferences in a few weeks.  If you get a translator at your conferences, the translator will be calling you this week to schedule your time to meet with me.  If you don’t need a translator for your conference, look in your child’s blue folder or backpack for the conference sign up paper.  Choose two times that would work for you and send the paper back to me by Friday.  Next week I will send home a schedule with everyone’s scheduled time on it!

      I have noticed a big change in our class this month.  Everyone is growing taller, teeth are growing in, and the kids are able to focus much more, share more easily and think about others without being reminded.  The other day two kids disagreed about something, and they had the best conversation, never getting mad but just sharing their different ideas.  At studio time, three children were playing a card game with Grammy Bev, and one student kept losing every game.  She never got mad and the other children were cheering her on.   It is the amazing thing about first grade; children grow up in so many different ways!

      Today I told the children about our next, new science unit.  We are going to be studying birds this spring.  We are going to be studying Maine birds and we are also going to be hatching chicks in our very own classroom.  Please talk to your child about the birds you know – whether they are from this country or another country - what they look like, what color they are, how big they are, what sounds they make and any special things you know about their bodies.  I am so excited to start this new study and see which birds interest the children the most. 

                        All the best,   Kristie



Posted by Kristina Hewey  On Mar 26, 2017 at 5:50 PM 11 Comments

Mrs. Hewey’s First Grade News

March 13, 2017


Dear Families,

     Today your child will be bringing home some pieces of writing in the blue folder.  The children wrote both poems and opinion pieces in January and February.  I chose some of their best work to save and show you at conference time, but I hope you will enjoy what is coming home today as well!

     This Wednesday, March 15th, the school is having a Tech Talk Night.  You are invited to bring your child and come learn about the technology we are using in our classrooms.  If you have a device, like a phone or an I Pad or a laptop, you can bring it with you and learn how to do things at home with your child.  Tech Talk will be from 5:30-6:30 PM.

     I am sending home this month’s Scholastic Book orders.  If you want to order something for your child, please send me the form and money or order online by Friday, March 17th.

     When I went to pick up the children at music on Friday, they were singing a song while also performing a dance they have learned.  The dance required them to move to the right, move to the left, move forward and clap hands with a partner, and then move back to their spot.  I was so impressed at how well they could dance and sing at the same time!  You can ask your child to sing you one of the songs they have learned in music class.

     All the best and be ready for snow!



Posted by Kristina Hewey  On Mar 12, 2017 at 3:58 PM 1 Comment
Dear Families,
Oops!  The special performance is on Wednesday, March 1st, from 9:30-10:30!

Posted by Kristina Hewey  On Feb 27, 2017 at 9:57 AM

Mrs. Hewey’s First Grade News

February 27, 2017


Welcome back from vacation! Let’s hope that there are no more snowstorms so we can get back into our routines of school and learning.  I feel like it’s been forever since we had a whole week of school!


This week I’d like to invite you to a special performance at our school.  Thanks to Portland Ovations and Culture Club, a storyteller and artist named David Gonzalez is coming to perform Aesop’s Fables on Wednesday, February 28, from 9:30-10:30.  He will be performing for the younger students in the school (Pre-K, K, 1st, and 2nd graders), and you are welcome to come watch the show with your child.  The performance will be in the cafeteria.


With the weather changing so much, it has been hard to know what children should wear each day for outdoor clothing.  The snow is supposed to melt this week, but please don’t forget that snow pants are still good for children to wear when it is cold out. They are outside every day for half an hour so snow pants, boots, and mitten keep their bodies warm during recess.  Of course, the weather is so crazy that it’s supposed to be 50 degrees on Wednesday and back down in the 30’s on Friday!


For those of you who plan ahead, our school conferences will be April 10th and 11th.  Those days will be half days which means that your child will be dismissed at 11:40

Either a language translator or I will be scheduling your conference time in the next few weeks.


All the best,    Kristie

Posted by Kristina Hewey  On Feb 26, 2017 at 5:09 PM 2 Comments

Mrs. Hewey’s First Grade News

February 6, 2017


Dear Families,

      The children have been so excited about reading these past few weeks.  Every morning I write a message on the easel in our classroom, and the kids love to come in and read my message all by themselves.  When kids finish breakfast or snack, they often curl up with books in the library area or even crawl under my desk to read with their friends. They are not afraid to try reading “hard” books and actually enjoy figuring out tricky words.   This is the exciting part about teaching first grade; it is so fun to watch the children grow as they develop skills and confidence.  However, because they are so excited, sometimes children want to read very fast to prove that they are great readers and they will not stop when they read a word that doesn’t make sense.  Last week we talked about how we have to stop when we read a word that doesn’t make sense and go back to reread.  We can think about what is happening in the story, and we can also go back and look at the word again.  If you notice your child is doing this at home, you can ask your child, “Does that make sense?  What can you do to check?” 

In art the children made shadow puppets with Ms. Maher. Ms. Maher is going to let us borrow her projector and screen so the kids can make shadow puppet plays this week.

Next Tuesday, Feb. 14th, is Valentine’s Day and some of the children in the class will want to give cards to their friends.  If you would like to have your child make or give cards, I have sent home a list of all the children’s names.  I can also send home paper if you want to have your child make homemade cards. 

                        All the best,














Posted by Kristina Hewey  On Feb 05, 2017 at 9:44 PM

Mrs. Hewey’s First Grade News

January 30, 2017


Dear Families,

     The children have been learning that you need to give reasons why you have an opinion, if you want to persuade someone else to agree with your writing.  The children wrote about their favorite piece in their collection and tried to give four reasons why they thought it was their best.  We read a funny book called I Wanna Iguana and it was about a boy who was trying to convince his mother to let him have a pet iguana.

The boy and his mother wrote letters back and forth, and he had to give her lots of reasons why she should let him have a pet. 

     We have been learning more about the sun and other kinds of stars in the night sky.  During our studio time, the children have been busy making stars for our night sky wall in our classroom, making constellations on black paper, creating a sun catcher to hang in the window, building rocket ships out of cardboard boxes, or designing spaceships in the block area.  These studios will be open all week so that they can rotate and try all of them.  Ask your child to tell you the different colors that stars can be.  The class was surprised to learn that stars are not just white or yellow!

     Today I am sending home this month’s Scholastic Book orders.  If you would like to order a book for your child, please pay online or send me the order form and money by Friday, February 3rd.  I will send out the book order on the weekend so it will be here before February vacation!



Posted by Kristina Hewey  On Jan 29, 2017 at 11:45 AM

Mrs. Hewey’s First Grade News

January 23, 2017


Dear Families,

     Thanks to all of your recycling efforts, the class now has enough boxes for everyone to make a spaceship.   You do not need to send in any more boxes, cardboard, bottles or tubes.  Our cubby room is overflowing, and the children are very excited to start designing and building their own spaceship.  They are also going to create a mural to make a background night sky for our space area. 

     Last week the children who are English Language Learners (ELL) went to ACCESS testing for an hour on Tuesday and on Wednesday.  The ACCESS tests a child’s reading, writing, and listening skills.  The teachers who tested the children said that the students from our class were very focused and worked hard the entire time!  This week the final first grade ACCESS testing will be given on Tuesday.

     On Wednesday we are going to start a new opinion writing unit.  Tomorrow I will send your child home with a small paper bag.  If your child has a small collection – maybe 3 to 5 things at the most – your child can bring in the collection to school.  I usually say no toys at school, so I want you to know that I have told children that it is okay just for this week!  Your child might have a collection of cars, hair barrettes, Lego guys, Pokemon cards, ponies, rocks, dolls, shells or something else like that.  We are going to use the collections to help learn about how to persuade other people about our opinions.  We will keep the collections at school for several days.  I will have some extra collections at school for children who do not have anything to bring from home.

                     Should be lots of fun!   Kristie

Posted by Kristina Hewey  On Jan 22, 2017 at 3:42 PM 5 Comments

Mrs. Hewey’s First Grade News

January 17, 2017


Dear Families,

      I hope you had a peaceful and restful long weekend.  Last Friday I read a book about Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and we had a class discussion about how the world has changed because of his work to promote equality and justice.  The kids were surprised to learn that, years ago, they couldn’t have gone to school together because brown children and white children were not allowed to be in the same classrooms or even to sit on the bus together.  After the discussion, I asked the children to think of one thing that would make the world a better place.  The children’s beautiful hopes are on display outside our classroom.  If you are dropping off your child or picking them up, have your child show you his or her dream of how to make the world a better place for everyone.

      In physical education class, the students have been doing gymnastics.  Ms. Queen has been teaching them to tumble and work on mats, and she also has been teaching them how to climb up a very long rope.  Ask your child to tell you his or her favorite gymnastics trick!

      Thank you to all of you who have sent in boxes, tubes, and cardboard for our spaceships.  I appreciate your help very much.  I also want to thank the families who helped your child see the moon.  The kids were very excited to see the full moon.   Also, thank you to Oliver’s family for sending in tissues last week when we ran out!

      Lastly, happy birthday to Nathalie this week!



                              All the best,  Kristie

Posted by Kristina Hewey  On Jan 16, 2017 at 10:20 AM 2 Comments

Mrs. Hewey’s First Grade News

December 19, 2016


Dear Families,

       Last week the children began learning about shadows.  The children are beginning to realize that when something blocks light it makes an area with no light and we call that darkened area a shadow.  We went outside to find our shadows on the playground, tried to make hand shadows in front of a projector light, used a flashlight to make a shadow on a tin foil person, and, of course, we read more books about light and shadows.

On Friday a local artist named Christina came to all the first grade classrooms and helped us turn recycled soda bottles into beautiful lanterns.  We hope you will come to our Celebration of Light this Wednesday, December 21st, from 5:00 – 5:30 PM at the school.  We will start our celebration in our classroom and your child will read you the All About Me book that all the students have been working on.  Your child will also show you some of the work that we have been doing related to light.  Then all of the first grade students will make a giant parade and we will leave the school in a parade of lanterns while singing you a song.  I hope you will be able to join us as we celebrate light on the shortest day of the year!

       In math, all of the students are working on getting fluent at making combinations that add up to five or ten.  You can play a game with your child to help them get speedy at this.  Tell your child a number between 0-5 and ask them how many more they would need to make five.  For instance, I could say, “I have 2.  How many more do I need to make 5?” and your child would say, “3”.  If your child finds all the numbers 0-5 easily, ask him/her about numbers to ten like, “I have 7.  How many more do I need to make 10?” (If that’s easy, ask your child to make combinations to 15!)  At this point, your child might need to use his or fingers to answer you, but many students are starting to do this work in their heads. 

              Thanks for your help!               Kristie  Hewey

Posted by Kristina Hewey  On Dec 19, 2016 at 10:18 AM 2 Comments

Mrs. Hewey’s First Grade News

December 12, 2016


Dear Families,

       Last week we began learning about light.  The children took turns going into the “bear cave” that we made in the classroom (a table with a lot of blankets on it).  I hid different colored paper dolls in the bear cave, and the children made predictions about which dolls would be the easiest to see.  Then we compared the results; the class found out that the white and the shiny silver dolls were the easiest to see and the black one was the most difficult to see.  We also experimented with what kinds of materials would block light and the kids started learning the words transparent, translucent and opaque.  A first grader named Kaya brought her dad, Chris, to talk to us about his work as an electrician.  Chris did an amazing job of explaining how lights work and what electricians do to fix lights or power lines, and he answered lots of questions the children had.  Then, at the end of the week, the children became very interested in the way that light can reflect.  They noticed that Bilan’s sparkles on her hijab made reflections in our classroom, and they all got excited when the sunlight, shining on Elvis’ library book, made a reflection on the ceiling!  We took a shiny piece of silver Mylar into the bathroom and when we shined a flashlight at it the light bounced and reflected on the ceiling.  The children also are making glitter cards, and they noticed that the tiny pieces of glitter make tiny reflections, too.  So much fun with light!

       Today your child will be bringing home his or her report card in the blue folder or your child’s backpack.  Please check to make sure that you get the report card and read about your child’s progress.  Feel welcome to contact me if you have any questions about your child’s learning.

                                    All the best and stay warm!



                                                  Kristie Hewey

Posted by Kristina Hewey  On Dec 11, 2016 at 4:32 PM
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