Sunday, September 22, 2019

Dear Parents,

Happy last week of September and first days of fall!

Math: We will continue for a couple more weeks to work in this first module of Engage New York working on fluency with addition, numbers to 10, and then work our way into subtraction. The students are learning many different math strategies to solve an equation, and most importantly, learning to use THE MOST EFFICIENT one. Again, daily work at home in Zearn and using flashcards will help your child.

Grammar: We will focus on capitalizing names and using the correct punctuation.

Comprehension: We will focus on cause and effects noticing why and how things happen in a story.

Word Wall Words:    by       did     our

Phonics: We will continue work with short vowel words and learn the reasons why the vowels are short. Your child has learned the vowel song which helps to learn the sounds that all of our vowels make. Ask you child to sing it to you. It about a doggie and how he hurt his paw! We will also begin our Signs for sounds Dictation practice and continue working in Lexia. 

Reading Workshop: Reading Workshop has started and we will continue working in Unit One learning how readers build good habits as well as learning how reading partners work together to build their skills. The students now have their own book bag filled with books at their level from our leveled library. They shop each week for new books to read independently in an area of their choice, building stamina to independently read for longer periods of time. This week, Rio welcomes Momentum in Teaching for more in-depth training on Reading Workshop. We are so excited to hone our craft further as we exapand from Writing Workshop into Reading Workshop.

Writing Workshop: We are working in our narrative unit of Writing  Workshop, writing about a small moment. They have worked through the first stages of writing and now have PICKED A SEED that they want to take all the way through publication. Their unedited drafts and their gathering sheets went home. My hope is that you will work with your child to take one of those drafts and take it to publication at home!  They all LOVE writing and have learned that....WHEN YOU THINK YOU'RE DONE, YOU HAVE JUST BEGUN!

Handwriting: We finished learning how to write all the alphabet letters, capitals and lowercase, the first grade way. Practice at home is very important for those that are still struggling. Thank you in advance for teaming up with us! Handwriting packets will come home this week for those I feel could benefit from them. 

Rotations: Starting soon, each Thursday, all first graders will rotate between the three first grade classes to work in science, social studies, or art. I will be teaching Art and will start with black cats inspired by Théophile Steinlen's French Ad Poster "Tournée du Chat Noir". 

Star of the Week: We will begin next week, September 30th. Please refer to the handout that will come home tomorrow and let me know if you need to make a change. We are so excited to learn about our new classmates! 

Take home folders: Please take time to enjoy looking over your child's work DAILY and help your child remember to bring the empty folder back to school each day.

Important Dates:
Hawaiian Day: Wed, 9/25
Harvest Festival: Fri, 10/11


Spirit Days:
9-25 Hawaiian Day
10-16 Matching Day
11-20 Sports Day
12-18 Ugly Sweater Day
1-29 Pajama Day
2019 Tie Dye Day
3-18 Crazy Hair Day
4-22 Crazy Sock Day
5-13 Wacky Wednesday

Needed Classroom Supplies:
large Ziplock baggies
prize box items (dollar store type)
paper towels

Monday, September 16, 2019

Please Sign Up for Bloomz!

Hi Everyone,

If you have not yet done so, please sign up for our class Bloomz account. I sent home information with our class access code and talked about it at Back-to-School Night. I will be doing most of my communication with you through this app because of its convenience and accessibility. I am also able to share pictures that are only visible to our class members this way. You can message me privately within the app, and you can also communicate with other parents.  If you need the class access code again, please email me at

Thank you!

Ms. Allen

Monday, September 2, 2019

Week of September 3-6

Hello Room 5,

I hope you all had the chance to enjoy the gorgeous weather and extra day off this weekend.
I got to enjoy both friends and family and am recharged and looking forward to seeing your kiddos
tomorrow. It was fun to see several of them playing their hearts out on the Soquel High football field
Sunday morning. 

 Thank you to everyone who was able to attend Back to School Night. I know there was a lot of
information to take in in one night, so don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have questions or need
clarification. I sent most of the pertinent information home. Most importantly, please check your
child’s homework folder daily and stay connected with classroom happenings. This will help you know
how to best support your child from day-to-day.

Math: We will continue working in our Engage New York Program in Module One working on finding
groups of 8 and 9  in a picture and counting on from 5. We will be working with number bonds and
subitizing as well. You can continue to support this learning at home by reviewing the math worksheets
your child brings home and encouraging your child to work in their Zearn Computer Program.
Flashcards are another fun way to help your child add and subtract at home. Engage New York
homework packets will go home Tuesday. These are optional and meant to offer extra support to those
who need it. If I write “please review” on their classwork, you can use the corresponding homework page
to support them further at home. 

Reading: We will enjoy two new stories from our Houghton Mifflin Reading Series that will focus on
helping your child evaluate a story and think about cause and effect in a story.
Reading Workshop has started and we will continue working in Unit One learning about the many
strategies readers use when they read. The students now have their own book bag filled with books at
their level from our leveled library. They will shop each week for new books to read independently in an
area of their choice. By first grade, it is the hope that students begin the year at level “D”. If your child is
not there yet, I will begin sending home a book bag with them each night for extra practice. Please take
the time to read with your child and fill out the reading form. I will switch books out based on your

Word Wall Words:       favorite         find who

Writing; Writing happens across the curriculum and will continue this week as the students write to
the Mystery Person, write in their Weekend Journal, and during our Language Wall Time. We are into
our narrative unit of Writing Workshop,  learning about how writers gather ideas for their writing by
thinking about times they have felt strong emotions, and by thinking of things that are special to them.
We will continue to gather ideas next week and then move into picking a “seed”--an idea we will take
through to publication!

Handwriting: We will finish learning how to write all the lowercase letters and start learning how to
write the capital letters. Daily handwriting practice at home is important as your child is just learning
how to write the letters the magic c way and the stick way.


Take home folders: Please take time to go over your child's work daily and help him or her remember to
bring their empty folder back to school each day.

Important Dates:
Parent Alliance Meeting: Thurs, 9/12
Run For Rio: Sun, 9/15
Picture Day: Fri, 9/20
Movie Night: Fri, 9/20
Harvest Festival: Fri, 10/11

Needed Classroom Supplies:
prize box items (dollar store type)
Gummy Bears
Baby Wipes

I hope you all have exactly the week you’re hoping for! Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any
questions, comments, or concerns.  


Caryn Allen

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Week of 8/26

Dear Fabulous First Grade Parents,

For those of you I haven't had the opportunity to meet yet, I wanted to formally introduce myself. My name is Caryn Allen and I am excited to be starting my 10th year of teaching here at Rio. I began my career teaching kindergarten for two years, taught 3rd grade for 5 years, then decided to switch things up and taught the 1st/2nd combo class two years ago, and last year taught the 2nd/3rd combo class. I am excited to be back in 1st grade and look forward to making this my home for quite some time. I was ready for the change and challenge of teaching the combination classes and now fully welcome getting to focus on one grade level again. I love my job and feel so fortunate to get to spend my days with your kiddos and our amazing Rio staff. This is truly a special place to be. On a personal note, I am the mama of four great boys! My stepson, Chase (25),  who is adulting amazingly and owns his own business, Christopher (19) who just started San Jose State as a junior, Cameron (17) a senior at Aptos High, and Carter (13) who is in 8th grade at Aptos Jr. High. I am also the proud grandma to the sweetest little girl, Aurelia, who is 2 1/2. To say the least, life is full and I am never bored! I look forward to meeting you all at Back to School Night on Thursday, and getting to know you better over the course of our year together. 

As for our first days of school, we are off to a great start!  Our first full week went smoothly learning the routines and guidelines for our class.  Please remember to drop off your child on the upper playground if you arrive at school before 7:55.  Students are found roaming the halls and/or in the classroom without adult supervision.  Now that they are in first grade, the class is working on being independent and responsible students.  It would be very helpful (if you're not doing so already) to say "good-byes" at the bottom of the stairs so that your child can play independently and line up on their own when the bell rings at 7:55.  This will help make a smooth and calm transition into the classroom.  If your child is having a challenging time going to the upper playground on their own, you can encourage your child to join the line as we walk down to the classroom.  

Math:  Students took the Comprehensive Growth Assessment last week which informs my instruction so that I can meet each one where they are in math. This week, students will begin our first math module. They will become math "detectives" by finding groups of 5 in a picture and counting on from 5.  This concept will help students add/subtract quickly by finding groups of 5 without having to count from "1".   After students find groups of 5 and count on to find their answer, they will show their work in a number bond.  Please review your child's daily math work found in their daily folder each evening.  You can also help your child at home by learning math facts to 10.  Flashcards are a great way to practice! I will be sending home a packet of each of the "homework" pages that correspond to our daily lessons. The pages are optional, but a wonderful resource to reinforce learning and provide extra practice for those who need it. 

Reading:  Students chose leveled books from our classroom library.  They have several books in their desk that they will use for Reader's Workshop.  The class practiced how to choose leveled books from our library and also practiced silent reading in a quiet area in the classroom.  We will continue this next week.  I'll talk more about this at Back to School Night.

Writing:  Students did an amazing job writing similes for a fun writing/art project!  They wrote about themselves and painted a water color background for their writing piece. I posted pictures, but you'll love the finished product even more when you see them at  Back to School Night.  They are darling!  Students have also been writing daily about our class " Mystery Person". We are reviewing proper handwriting, capitals, punctuation, word wall words, sounding out words, and using and spaces between words. This week we will continue with Mystery Person (every student has the chance to be the mystery person for a day and we ask them questions to learn more about them, and then we write and send them home with a class book). We will also begin Writer's Workshop and learn how to gather ideas for our first  "small moment" stories. 

Growth Mindset:  We practiced the routines of mindful breathing by having a calm mind and body.  We "sat like a frog" and practiced breathing, sitting still and being present in the moment.  Students continue to fill each other's buckets with compliments and kind words.  I'm so grateful to have such a kind and compassionate class.  

Physical Education:  We have P.E. on Wednesdays.  Please have your child wear sneakers on this day.

Back to School Night is on Thursday, August 29th.  This as an adult only event so please have childcare set up for the evening.  I'll go over curriculum, homework, volunteering, and answer any questions you may have.

Back to School Night:  August 29th 6-6:30, 6:35-7:00 Principal’s Welcome/Parent
School Site Council: Tuesday, August 27th from 2:30-4:00 in Library

Have a wonderful week,

Ms. Allen

Dear Parents, Happy last week of September and first days of fall! Math:  We will continue for a couple more weeks to work in this first ...