PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

Grade 1, Class 101: June is here!

Hello Families,


I cannot believe I sit here on June 2nd and am looking at a calendar with only 3.5 weeks left. Here are some of the important dates coming up:

  • Thursday, June 8th: No school
  • Monday, June 12th: No school
  • Tuesday, June 13: (May-June-July) Birthday Celebration
    • 1:30 – 2:15pm
  • Monday, June 26th: No school
  • Tuesday, June 27th: 1st Grade End of Year Party – ALL ARE INVITED!!
    • Seth Low Park
    • 1:30 – 2:30pm


Reading/Writing: Author Study & Book Clubs

In reading, students have been reading independently/with me (focusing on various reading strategies) and, in particular, they have been reading books by our favorite authors. This was in preparation for their mentor author study. They are really making huge growth in their abilities!

At this time of the year, I cannot stress enough how important this daily quiet reading time really is! We ALL want to avoid the “summer reading slide” when students often slip back a level or two over the break!! Please make sure your child is reading independently every day – for at least 20 minutes.

I also want to stress that it is, obviously, OK to read with your child each day! You can be there for fun/bonding/support and additional reading time (chapter books, “challenge” books, favorite read alouds, etc). Hearing an “expert reader” always helps. Your child will listen to your fluency, intonation, attention to punctuation, etc. HOWEVER, this reading time does not make up for the time when your child ALSO needs to read aloud and alone. It’s OK for them to struggle from time to time with new words. Don’t simply give them the words they don’t know – remind them to…

  • stretch the sounds
  • look at the letter patterns/groups (ed, ing, st, th, ar)
  • look at the first AND last letters of the words
  • use the pictures
  • ask themselves, “What makes sense?”


In writing next week, students will turn their attention from noticing/exploring what their favorite authors are doing across books, and begin to craft their own book that is similar in style.  Here are the mentor author groups that students are leaning towards. (Monday will be our final day to change groups, so you may want to have a conversation about ideas/style with your child over the weekend.)

Eric Carle (The Very Hungry Caterpillar, A House for Hermit Crab)

  • Mackenzie
  • Tristan


Jonathan London (Froggy)

  • Maram


Alyssa Satin Capucilli (Biscuit)

  • Lucia
  • Michelle
  • Lauren
  • Ava


Magic School Bus Series

  • Chelsea
  • Alex
  • Darius
  • Andrew
  • Sam
  • Michael


Kevin Henkes (Chester’s Way, Jessica, Owen, Chrysanthemum)

  • Galen
  • Jake
  • Brianna
  • Kylie
  • Lucy
  • Ulyana
  • Dmitry
  • Elizabeth
  • Matthew
  • Maya


Marc Brown (Arthur)

  • Ariana


Cynthia Rylant (Henry and Mudge)

  • Ryan
  • Sophia


Lois Ehlert

  • Mariel
  • Eli


Audrey Penn (Kissing Hand)

  • Amber


Donald Crews (Sail Away, Rain, Shortcut, Harbor, Freight Train)

  • Daniel
  • Philip


Math: David’s Doughnuts

Our last investigation has begun! The investigation is centered in the context that there is a very busy doughnut shop. (Yum!) Business is booming and the owner, David, now needs help boxing doughnuts in groups of 10 – rather than simply selling one at a time. His newest employee, Gus, is here to help.

Here are some of our mathematical goals for this unit…

  • Students will understand that the place of a digit determines it’s value.
  • Students will be able to decompose a number into hundreds, tens and ones.
  • Students will be able to determine the amount of “tens” or “hundreds” in a given number.
  • Students will begin to develop understanding of the multiplicative structure of our base ten number system. (Example- 90 is 9 tens, or 9X10)
  • Students will use this place value understanding to solve bare number problems within 100.


Social Studies: Urban Planning

Stay tuned – and be prepared – for the next two Wednesday’s! We will have MORE pictures of our building adventures with Lizzie from the BEAM Center.

Ask your child what he/she began building this week. Next week we are adding details to these buildings and then beginning to place our structures on the maps that you saw on Friend’s/Family Day. We will be adding landscapes and more!


Enjoy the beautiful weekend!