PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

Grade 1 Family Traditions

Social Studies: Family Traditions

We need your help!  In social studies we will soon be studying family traditions and celebrations.  We would like to invite parents to come in and share with the class a tradition in your family or how your family celebrates a winter holiday.  We invite you to come and share your tradition in a 5 to 10 minute presentation.  You can bring in items to show the class and/or email photographs ahead of time that we can project on our smart boards.  You may also choose to have the students participate in a related activity after the presentation.  Here are some examples of what families have done in the past:

  • A dad told the class about their Hanukkah tradition of playing Dreidel.  After teaching the class the rules students played the game with a partner.  
  • A family shared how they have the traditions of decorating ornaments every year for their christmas tree.  The parent brought in supplies for students to make their own ornament.
  • One mom performed a traditional dance from her culture and then taught the class some of the dance moves.
  • A grandma told the class about a special food the family eats.  She brought in the food for everyone to try.

If you have a special traditions that you would like to share with our classes please contact your child’s teacher.  (Please note: We will be having a Chinese New Year celebration in February.  For other spring holidays, we would love to have your come and share closer to the actual holiday.)   


In math we have begun an investigation using attribute blocks.  These blocks come in three defining attributes: size, shape and color.  Students will use these blocks to play games, solve puzzles, communicate and defend their reasoning to others and build logic and classification skills.  Here is a link to a game similar to one we will be playing in school but with Uno Cards.  If you have Uno Cards give it a try.  Scroll to the end of the game to see some more challenging variations where students can also practice their addition skills.

Set and Set Jr. are also great games you can purchase to practice this kind of thinking.

Buddy Classes

Our first graders have been matched with fourth grade buddies! Students are very excited to meet their buddy this week.  We will be working with our buddies throughout the year in different subjects.  For example, buddies might play a game together, read books to each other, share writing or work together on an art project.  Be sure to ask your child about his/her fourth grade buddy!  

Important Dates

Thursday, November 16th: Half Day for Students and Parent/Teacher Conference Day.  Students will be dismissed at 11:40.

Friday, November 17th: Pajama Day!  Your child can where his/her pajamas to school.