Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Wrapping up 2017

The first half of our year has flown by.  We are building our stamina for learning each and every day as we become readers and writers.  We finished up our narrative writing unit about small moments in our lives. We just began a new writing unit that will be continued after the new year on informational writing.  Students will become experts in their interests and create book all about their topics.  Some of the topics we are experts on in our class are: sports, animals, game, and hobbies.  In math we have finished up our second unit this year on geometry and are currently digging deeper into addition and subtraction, as well as place value.  We have been working on story elements in reading.  Students have begun to retell stories with key details and they are identifying main characters, settings, and problem/solution.  We have already grown so much as a class in 2017, I am excited to see what 2018 can bring!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Beginning of Year Math Concepts

These are the First Unit math concepts that have been taught from the beginning of the school year until the end of September.

  • Identifying numbers within 100
  • Writing numbers to 100
  • One-to-one counting of objects
  • Skip counting by 2's, 5's, and 10's
  • Counting forward and backward to 20 at least
  • Adding and subtracting within 20
  • Solving story problems using pictures, words, and numbers

* If your child is unable to correctly show these skills consistently at home, please continue to practice them as they are the basis for most of our math learning in 1st grade.

Second Unit Math Concepts:

We are beginning a new unit in mathematics called Comparing and Combining Shapes. This geometry unit focuses on two-dimensional shapes and the relationships among them. Throughout this unit students observe, describe, name, compare, classify, represent, and build with 2-D shapes. Later in the year, in another geometry unit, students will learn about three-dimensional shapes and objects. Throughout this unit, students will be working towards the following goals:
        - Compose and decompose shapes in different ways.
        -Build and draw familiar 2-D shapes.
        -Use geometric language to describe and identify important features of familiar 2-D shapes, and use those features to sort those shapes.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Making Connections
A Comprehension Strategy

Dear Parents,

We have been working on the comprehension strategy of making connections.  We’ve talked about how readers think and read at the same time.  They make connections from what they already know to information in the text.

Thinking about what you already know is called using your schema, or using your background knowledge.  Schema is all the stuff that’s already inside your head, like places you’ve been, things you’ve done, books you’ve read – all the experiences you’ve had that make up who you are and what you know and believe to be true.   When you use your schema when you read it helps you use what you know to better understand and interact with the text.  It makes reading more meaningful and fun.

We read the story Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes.  We talked about experiences we’ve had that made us feel worried.  We connected our memories and emotions of feeling worried with Wemberly and could better understand the story.  We could relate to Wemberly and how she felt.  Our discussions helped us connect to the story. 

As adult readers we make connections all the time, perhaps without even being aware that we are doing so.  Sometimes a book will remind us of a personal experience or emotion. This is called a text-to-self connection.  A book may also remind us of another story we have read or a character from another book.  This is a text-to-text connection.  This can also include poems, scripts, songs, or anything that is written.  Finally, there are text to world connections.  These are connections that readers make between the text and the bigger issues, events, or concerns of society and the world at large. 

You can help your child learn how to make connections!  As you read with him/her become aware of your own thinking and share it out loud.  Model your thinking for them and encourage them to share their thinking too.  At first you may hear “I don’t know,” but keep modeling for them.  They are learning from you what proficient readers do in their head as they read!

Have fun making connections together!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Beginning of the Year Reading

Beginning of the year assessments are wrapping up and I just wanted to touch base with you about your child’s results.  In a packet that was sent home, you will find: a scale of reading levels with your child’s highlighted, a book list of just right books you can get from the library or purchase, a strategy paper for reading at home with your child and a Raz-kids login to read books online at home.

In order for your child to grow as a read, your child reads to be presented with Just Right books. “If the book is too difficult, it will lead to frustration; too little of a challenge will lead to boredom (Routman, 2003). So the book needs to be “just right.” A just right book is one that provides a little bit of a challenge for the student. It should be a book that the student finds interesting and can be read with a small amount of assistance with the text. Spending time reading just right books during independent reading time will help students become stronger.”

Thanks for working with me to help your child build reading skills necessary for life!

Monday, July 17, 2017

All About Miss Robart

        Hello! My name is Miss Robart, and I will be your child’s first grade teacher. I am excited to teach first grade because the kids have so much enthusiasm for learning and they make tremendous growth throughout the year. I taught Title One reading for three years for students in grades kindergarten through fifth, and then three years of third grade at Glen Oak in Columbus, Ohio. This will be my second year at Gold Rush teaching first grade. I am so excited to have moved to Denver last year and began teaching in the Douglas County School District. I have wanted to move to Colorado since I was in middle school after taking many family vacations skiing at the resorts in Colorado.

      I am originally from Piqua, Ohio. I have one sibling who is two years older, and she is a respiratory therapist at Ohio State University medical center. I attended Ohio University for my undergraduate program and I completed my master degree from Ashland University. I am eager to use all of the knowledge I gained to help your child be successful in first grade.

    I spent most of my summer reading, running, riding my bike and hiking.  I enjoy staying active and healthy. I love to run and play volleyball whenever I get a chance! I look forward to our year together, getting to know you and your kids, and building strong partnerships with families!

My Favorites:

Movie: I Am Sam
Book: One and Only Ivan
Color: Pink
Food: Seafood
Drink: Milk
Sport: Volleyball and Skiing
Season: Winter
Animal: Pugs
Hobby: Painting and Running


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 25th.  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.