PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

Grade 1, Class 101, Update!

Hello 101 Families,

I hope that everyone had a wonderful and restful vacation. My family and I spent a lot of time outside and enjoyed every moment of not having to get out the door by 7am! As we settle back into our routines, I still cannot believe that it is the end of April – it seems that 101 will be 2nd graders before we know it! Time, please slow down!

Here is what we are working on this week…



We have launched into the world of poetry during our reading and writing times. While reading poetry of all kinds, students are noticing that poetry:

  • can be silly and that there can even be made up words! (*Think Dr.Seuss!!*)
  • can be presented in a collection (lots of poems about 1 topic: weather, animals, etc.)
  • can be about ANYTHING (pencils, vacations, animals, sports, weather, first grade, brothers/sisters/family, etc.)
  • can be ANY length (a few words, several pages)
  • may rhyme
  • may feel like a story

As a class, we then read, explored, noticed and talked about one specific kind of poem. (We will be exploring other forms of poetry soon!) We wrote the following ACROSTIC poems together:


Tables then worked together to write their own acrostic poems and had a great time! There were giggles everywhere, and all of the students were genuinely engaged. Today, students tried writing acrostic poems on their own. They are truly enjoying the process. Here they are, hard at work…

And here are their first (group) acrostic poems…



We continue our work with measurement! This week, we are measuring bulletin board border (to help our teachers out). We are using a new, standard unit: unifix cubes! Students are problem solving ways to use two different colored cubes to make measuring more efficient.


Social Studies

We have really begun to dive into our Social Studies unit about Brooklyn!! We started by brainstorming what we knew about our city/borough.

This week, we have been carefully studying and noticing details in images from Brooklyn long ago. We saw paintings of the Belt Parkway long before it was a highway!! Ask your child about what he/she remembers from our discussions about these two images.

Screen Shot 2017-04-20 at 11.51.15 AMScreen Shot 2017-04-20 at 11.51.27 AMSoon, students will be taking a neighborhood walk around Bensonhurst (stay tuned – I may need an extra body or two for 30 minutes next week). On this walk, students will notice and record what they see/know/wonder about our school’s neighborhood. They will finally get to use those amazing sketch pads that they made during our BEAM trip!

Later, they will do this same work (walking, wondering, noticing) in their OWN neighborhood. Together, we will build our knowledge about this borough that (most of) 101 calls home.