Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Thanks for a Great Year!!


My first year in first grade has been a blast!!  We've had so many fun times, that this year has flown by.  First grade is not an easy year for many kids, as it is such an important year!  We have went from nonreaders to fluent readers, from counting to 20 to counting to 120 and beyond.  We not only learned so many academic concepts as we have also learned how to collaborate and make friends.  I am blown away by how much your children have grown academically,  socially and physically just this year!  Thank you for helping my job become a little easier by supporting them academically at home and following through with them on any behavior concerns we encountered during the year! 

I have tried my best to get them to become the "smartest first graders in the school", like I mentioned to them frequently throughout the year.  With this in mind, I have created a data binder for each child to take home with many assessments and writing we have completed throughout the year.  You can see the progress they have made, as well as see any academic holes they still may be missing and need to practice over the summer.  If you have any questions about their progress this year, feel free to email me after you have checked out all of the great projects/ assignments they have completed!

We created a little thank you video as well, it is attached below!

Sunday, April 16, 2017


Creating balanced class lists that meet the needs of all students is a difficult endeavor.  This process involves hours of thoughtful dialogue between classroom teachers, administrators, and other staff members.  We take this responsibility very seriously.  Our process for creating class lists is detailed below.

· Teachers identify the social and academic needs of each student.  They refer to existing data and record pertinent information to assist them in their decision-making.

· Teachers meet as grade level teams to form class lists that are balanced.  Balanced classrooms meet each student’s academic, social and emotional needs.  Teachers consider each child’s personality, academic strengths and needs and friendships.  Learning specialists and the specials team also collaborate with classroom teachers to provide feedback.

· Each grade level team types a draft of their class list, which is then submitted to me.  I review each child’s placement and ensure that all parent input has been considered. Classroom teachers approve any additional changes to ensure classes remain balanced. 

· Class lists are finalized in August to reflect the addition of new students.

This process is consistent across grades K-4.  Our 5th grade team collaborates with teachers at Cimarron Middle School to ensure students’ success in 6th grade.

We strongly believe that this detailed and collaborative process creates learning environments that benefit all students.  It is a delicate balance that takes tremendous thought by professionals who know and care about your child.  Please remember that our ultimate goal is always to create balanced classes that promote the success of each child.  Please also know that your child is placed in a classroom for very specific reasons and that our process benefits all students.  Because of the input and thought given by teachers, parents, and administrators, we are reluctant to make changes once this process is complete as moving one child can disrupt the balance of an entire classroom. 

We do value parent input and welcome any insight you wish to share about your child’s strengths, needs and learning style.  We will take into consideration all pertinent information that you share with me on or before FRIDAY, April 28th.  While we welcome your input, 
we cannot honor specific teacher requests.  Please put your thoughts in writing and address them to me (Jenny Brown).  I will accept either a letter or email (jjbrown@dcsdk12.org).

I cannot express enough how important it is that your thoughts are in writing.  As you can imagine, I receive a great deal of parent input and verbal information is nearly impossible to track.  Further, please direct all of this communication to me, as I am ultimately responsible for reviewing final class lists in July when teachers are not available.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

First Grade Field Trip
Denver Botanic Gardens – Monday, May 8th

Field trip Information:
On Monday, May 8th the first graders will venture to the Denver Botanic Gardens for an exciting day of plant discovery! This field trip will provide hands on experience and up-close examination of how plants grow, pollinate, adapt to different environments and function in our world to enhance the learning of our Science unit about Plant life cycles and adaptations.
  • The bus will depart GRE promptly at 9:15 AM and will arrive back to GRE no later than 2:00 PM.
  • Your child will need a sack lunch and a drink (disposable if possible). Please make sure the sack lunch is clearly labeled with your child’s name.
  • We recommend that your child wear sturdy walking shoes and sunscreen, as we will be outside for a large portion of the day.  

Wednesday, March 1, 2017


If you would like to sign up for a winter conference, the sign-up is open online.  Winter conferences are on March 8th and March 15th.  If you are not able to make it to any of the times available, please let me know and I will find a different time to meet!

1st Grade Music Program

1st and 2nd Grade Specials Program
Culture Connections
At Gold Rush Elementary we believe that the arts serve an essential role in helping to develop the whole child.  Our 1st and 2nd Grade Specials Showcase is a way to highlight some of the important learning happening in their specials classes.  Each year at GRE the first and second grade students explore a theme during their Art, Music, and PE classes and then have the opportunity to share their learning with parents and invited guests.  This year our theme helps students to explore the 21st Century Skill of Global Awareness.  Each performance will last about 30 minutes.
Please look for your child's class below and save the date and time.  Since there will be two different performances on each night, parents and students are asked to arrive only 15 minutes prior to the performance.  The idea of having fewer classes in each show is that there will be plenty of seating and the whole audience will be more “up close and personal”.  Students are asked to wear a solid color shirt in one of the colors of the Olympic Rings:  Red, Black, Yellow, Blue or Green
Thursday, March 2nd   6:15-6:45
Mrs. Rossi's 1st Grade and Mrs. Meier's 2nd Grade
Thursday, March 2nd   7:15-7:45
Ms. McMillan's 1st Grade and Mrs. Moore's' 2nd Grade     
Thursday, March 9th   6:15-6:45
Ms. Robart's 1st Grade and Mrs. Woolum's 2nd Grade
Thursday, March 9th    7:15-7:45
Mrs. Martino's 1st Grade and Mrs. Graham's 2nd Grade

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

New Math Unit for March

Our class is starting a new unit in mathematics called Number Games and Crayon Problems. We will be working on adding and subtracting numbers to 20 in many different contexts, with the goal being fluency with addition and subtraction problems within 10. Students encounter new kinds of story problems, and think a lot about the notation mathematicians use for addition and subtraction. Throughout this unit, students will be working toward the following goals:
-Fluency with addition and subtraction within 10
-Solve problems with one addend unknown.
-Understand the equal sign.
-Determine the missing number in an equation.
-Solve problems with an unknown change.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Winter Reading Focus

During January and February we have focused in reading on making inferences in fiction and non-fiction texts.  We have found the evidence of our inferences through pictures and the words the author states.  We have also been focusing on determining importance within non-fiction texts.  The students have researched different American Heroes and symbols, chosen the most important information, and created presentations to share the most important facts they found about their topic. We are excited to share our presentations with you through the app, Seesaw.