March 31

How Has It Been TWO Months?

Hello Firstie Families and Friends!

I can’t believe it has been 2 months since I’ve posted.  Most of our followers keep up with us on Twitter so I’ve ended up there much more than here!  But here I am!  Happy almost April!  I can’t believe there are less than 50 days left in the school year.  February was a busy month.  Firsties participated in an author study of Mo Willems – creator of The Pigeon, Piggie and Gerald, Knuffle Bunny and so much more!  Mo is definitely a favorite author of all firsties.  Your fabulous first graders drew illustrations like Mo did in Knuffle Bunny – using photographs as settings and drawing in cartoon characters.  They created their own Pigeon story, thinking about something they would not want to let the Pigeon.  There were so many creative titles.  Firsties also used the materials from our Maker Space Cart to create vehicles for the Pigeon.  …and that is just the tip of the iceberg!  One of their favorite Piggie and Gerald books is There is a Bird on Your Head.  Firsties used the green screen to create a picture of an animal somewhere on them.

March brought the arrival of new flexible seating – beanbags, stability balls, and wobble cushions.  Thank you to all who donated to Donors Choose to make it happen.  The firsties LOVE all the new seating options.




We celebrated Dr. Seuss’s birthday with a Seuss Spirit Week.  Firsties wore green for Green Eggs and Ham, fun socks for Fox in Socks, shirts with words for I Can Read With My Eyes Shut, and dressed wacky for Wacky Wednesday.  One of my favorite parts of this week is when firsties realize that they CAN read so many of Dr. Seuss books.   Firsties heard There’s a Wocket in my Pocket, designed their own Wocket-like characters and made videos using the green screen.

St. Patrick’s Day brought some fun STEAM activities in Room 22.  Firsties graphed Lucky Charmes, designed leprechaun traps, and combined their trap ideas to build a class trap. They may have only caught his pants and his shoes, but they sure had fun!

The whole school worked together to fill up the purple heart container and earned a “Comfy Cozy Reading Day.”  With all the blankets that came to school, we had to make a blanket fort…and read underneath it with flashlights.  So much fun!


March also brought us a new Writer’s Workshop unit on writing opinion pieces.  First graders have learned how to state and defend their opinions with details and how to pose a counter-opinion when their opinion differs from someone else. They learned that many times, when we have different opinions, we can just “agree to disagree.”

As we close the door on March 2019, I would like to say thank you to all of you who came to Room 22 to be Mystery Readers.  The firsties were super excited every day to get clues and try to figure out who was coming to read to them.  We had LGN staff members, NPS staff members, moms, dads, aunts, sisters, brothers, grandmothers, friends (and even my parents!) come to read to us!  THANK YOU!  THANK YOU!  THANK YOU!

January 24

Time Flies When You’re Working Hard and Having Fun!

Hello Firstie Followers!

What would happen if you woke up and found yourself trapped inside a snow globe??? That is the question that was posed to the Room 22 firsties this week.  They created their own snow globes and wrote stories about their adventures inside the snow globe.  We pulled out the green screen and each firstie was magically transported into their snow globe!  Have fun watching the slideshow of these amazing firsties and their adventure in their snow globe.

December 18

Merry Grinch-mas!

and just like that it’s been another month.  I feel like I’m much better at tweeting that blogging but today warrants an update.

Today was Grinch Day in Room 22!  Room 22 firsties spent the day doing Grinch-y activities, hearing Dr. Seuss’s original publication of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, singing You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch, playing Kahoot, and so much more!  Firsties did an awesome job dressing in green or dressing like a Who.  They came in ready to celebrate Grinch-mas!

The Whos of Room 22!

Firsties spent the morning working in Grinch centers.  They matched Cindy Lou Who’s rhyming words, made Grinch slime, built Christmas trees out of cups, and “Grinched” themselves and their friends on the iPads.

















Firsties also did a guided drawing of the Grinch.

In the afternoon, firsties made Grinch dust and played Grinch Kahoot.

It was a great day full of fun and learning.  Merry Grinch-mas!


November 14

Full STEAM Ahead

Wow!  Every time I come back to update this blog I realize just how much time has passed (or has seemed to pass) since my last update.  The Room 22 Firsties have been busy.  They have been so busy working, learning, playing, problem solving, and creating that one-third of first grade is now in the past!  

The end of October and beginning of November brought many opportunities for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) challenges.  Firsties were presented with a challenge, given materials, and worked with a small group to come up with a solution to a problem.  Their first challenge was to design a broom for the witch in the story Room on a Broom.  Before the challenge began, firsties compared and contrasted the book with the short film.  They then were given a “broom” and a bucket of legos and they had to design a broom that met the needs of the dog, the cat, the bird, the frog, and the witch.  

Their next challenge was to create a bridge out of “bones.” Firsties worked with pipe cleaners and Q-tips (bones) to build a bridge between two chairs.  They then tested the strength of their bone bridges by seeing how many Halloween critters it could hold.  This STEAM challenge was HARD but the firsties persevered and came up with some pretty interesting bridges.

The next STEAM challenge was to build a Critter Catcher out of pipe cleaners and yarn.  Firsties had to weave a web that would catch as many Halloween critters as possible without the critters falling through.  Mrs. Sullivan, Norton’s Director of Pupil Personnel, happened to come to read to us that morning and the firsties convinced her to stay and help with this challenge.

Our final STEAM challenge happened by accident.  I had brought in four pumpkins to use for some Halloween math.  After we were done, the firsties asked if they could carve the pumpkins and then erupt them.  Mrs. Falvey had invited us to watch the Kindergarten pumpkin eruption and it sparked an interest in the firsties, but, in true firstie fashion, they wanted the opportunity to “do it themselves.”  Firsties worked in groups to get all the pulp and seeds out of their pumpkin, drew a face (which Miss Carlson carved), and then added the powder, drops of dish soap, and finally the mystery ingredient that causes the pumpkin to erupt.  We had erupting eyes, noses, and mouths and the first graders loved every minute of it!

This past week, firsties learned about Veterans.  They brainstormed characters traits that all Veterans share.  They also learned the song “Thank You Soldiers.”  

I am so fortunate to be able to work with such a great group of firsties.  I just finished day 1 of Parent/Teacher Conferences.  This is one of my favorite times of year.  It is so exciting to share all of the amazing things the firsties are doing with their families.  They are working really hard and I am so proud of them.  🙂  I will leave you with a couple pictures from Halloween!  Have a great night!

🙂 Miss Carlson  (Don’t forget to leave us a comment if you stop by!)

Oh….and just in case you don’t know Koo Koo Kangaroo…for your viewing pleasure…



October 22

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun

The Room 22 firsties have been having just that…fun!  Fun learning, fun working together, fun starting library, and fun at the LGN Fun Run!  Firsties have been learning about the life cycle of pumpkins, good reader strategies, subtraction, “unfreezing” their characters in their small moment stories, and so much more! 

I’ll let the pictures tell the story of what has been going on in Room 22!


Having fun in library!


Firsties worked in 4 groups to show what an apple tree would look like during each season. Then they put the tree together!

Guided Reading using the app Epic!

Augmented Reality pumpkins!

Fun Run!

Firsties made predictions about the life cycle of a pumpkin.  Some firsties though pumpkins grew on trees, others thought they grew underground… This is the song they learned that teaches the life cycle of a pumpkin – they were most surprised that a pumpkin is green before it turns orange!

I’ll leave you with one final photo…a caption isn’t needed…how much fun do you think the firsties had doing this?!?

This week brings a study of bats and some bat STEAM challenges, more reading and writing, new songs to be learned, and much more fun!

As always, if you visit, leave a comment – the firsties love reading them! 🙂 


October 3

Room 22 Starts With Hello

Hello firstie friends!

Last week, the Firsties of Room 22 participated in Start with Hello Week. 

This initiative came from Sandy Hook and is aimed to help children see that a simple hello can promote inclusion and decrease social isolation.  On Monday, everyone at LGN wore “Hello, My Name is…” name tags and were encouraged to say hello.  Often times adults say “Hello!” to kids and kids just walk right by.  We talked about how reciprocating when someone greets you or asks how you are is the right thing to do and a great way to get to know somebody and make them smile.  On Tuesday, it was all about getting to know each other.  Our front table was filled with different adjectives as each child filled in a bubble for the prompt “I am…”  On Wednesday, every person wrote their name on a mural in the main hallway creating a “Hello Wall.”  Thursday was Positivity Day.  We talked about different ways we can use words to encourage other people.  Each person at LGN wrote a positive message on a Post-it and put it up on a “Throw Kindness Around Like Confetti” mural.  

We talked a lot last week about positive affirmations and how they help start the day off “on the right foot.”  Take a look at the positive affirmation video we are using each morning to kick start our day.  We also LOVED singing Go Noodle’s Hello Song.


Last week, the Room 22 Firsties also had their first “Warm and Fuzzy Celebration” for filling up our class Warm and Fuzzy Jar.  They opted for a pajama and playtime celebration!

Last Friday was all about apples.  Firsties learned about the life cycle of an apple tree. 

They read the story Ten Apples Up on Top by Dr. Seuss and were give the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) Challenge to stack ten apples on top of each other.  Using apples, clay, toothpicks, wooden sticks, and popsicle sticks firsties worked together to get their apples stacked.  One group actually got ALL ten apples “up on top.”  Boy does this group of firsties love hands on STEAM activities!

I hope you are having a great week…stay tuned for all the awesomeness happening this week!

🙂 Miss Carlson


September 18

Busy! Busy! Busy!

The Room 22 firsties had a busy second week of school!  Last week we worked on reading color words, practiced with ten frames during math, talked about what scientists do, continued our author study on Kevin Henkes, and celebrated International Dot Day…WOW!

What better way to work with color words than doing some super fun S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) color activities!  Room 22 firsties experimented with primary colors and created secondary colors by way of a walking rainbow!

After a class discussion about scientists the firsties did another experiment with colors.  They had so much fun with the walking rainbow that we decided to play with primary colored water to see how many different colors we could make.  Using eyedroppers to create their new colors, firsties really felt like scientists.


Firsties also chose a color and created a “chill out bottle.”  They combined water with clear glue, added their color, and added glitter.  We talked about deep breathing and now they are experts at sitting, flipping their bottle, breathing, and getting themselves ready to learn!  It is pure awesomeness!


Friday we celebrated International Dot Day. 

Peter Reynolds is an author who lives in Dedham.  He owns and operates the bookstore The Blue Bunny (a GREAT place to visit!) and has written many, many best selling children’s books.  His “CREATRILOGY” – The Dot, Ish, and Sky Color are some of his most well known books.  


Peter Reynolds encourages children to see their potential and try, even when something is hard.  He believes that everyone can “make their marks.”   They wore dots, read about dots, drew and painted dots, played a dot game in gym, got into Vashti’s dot in the green screen, played a ten frame dot game during math, sang The Dot Song, and so much more!  Firsties encouraged anyone who came into Room 22 to “make their mark.” 


Firsties LOVED experimenting with the app Quiver on the iPads.  Quiver is an Augmented Reality App that creates 3D images out of 2D drawings.  Each firstie drew a dot and then transformed it using Quiver.  They took screen shots of their dots.  Mrs. Winsper, our director of Technology, came to visit and was super impressed with the firsties’ iPad abilities!  Here are some of their screen shots.


During the summer I made a Donor’s Choose request for a new carpet for Room 22.  With the help of many donors (many LGN families!) my request was fully funded and our new carpet came, appropriately, on Dot Day!  Here are the firsties thanking all the donors that made it happen!

This week we jumped right into our Reader’s Workshop, talking about the good habits good readers build.  The first strategy firsties learned was to take a “sneak peek” through the book before they read – looking about the pictures, making connections, and thinking about what might be happening in the story.  Here they are taking their sneak peeks, sharing their sneak peeks with a buddy, and sharing with the whole class!  🙂 

As you can see, there is lots of learning and fun going on in Room 22!  I am so lucky to have gained such an amazing group of firsties!

🙂 Miss Carlson

*If you stop by our blog, please leave us a comment…the firsties love reading them!

September 9

What An Amazing First Week!


The Firsties of Room 22 had an amazing first week despite the HOT weather!  They met new friends, tried out the new wobble stools, made “Jitter Glitter Slime,” drew Kevin Henkes’s Chrysanthemum, met the new music and gym teachersheard lots of stories, read poems and so much more!

We read the story First Day Jitters. The main character is afraid to go to her first day at a new school. We talked about jitters and all the things we could do to get them to go away. The firsties wanted to know why the illustrator never shows the main characters face. The whole way through the story we think it’s a child who is afraid. At the end of the story we find out that teachers can have first day jitters too!

Making “Jitter Glitter Slime” – they did an amazing job!

During Week 1 we started an author study of Kevin Henkes. 

So far we have read his stories A Weekend with Wendell, Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, Lilly’s Big Day, and Chrysanthemum.  Chyrsanthemum is a mouse who loves her name…until she goes to school and the other mice make fun of her.  This book led to some great firstie discussions about how we should treat each other.  Firsties also participated in a guided drawing of Chrysanthemum, following directions step by step. Then they painted their drawings – so much fun!

The next day, firsties heard the story of a boy who had an even longer (much, much longer) name than Chrysanthemum.

We also read two other books that talked about friendship and treating others with respect.  Firsties read You WILL Be My Friend and Children Make Terrible Pets.  They answered the question “What animal do you think would make a terrible pet?” and wrote and illustrated their answers.

Reading is such an integral part of first grade.  Firsties showed their excitement for reading by learning and performing the poem “Mighty Readers.”  We talked about reading “loud and proud.”  I would definitely say these firsties are proud, mighty readers!

Wow!  After writing all that, it feels like we’ve been together for a lot longer than four days.  Firsties are excited to have their first Monday tomorrow!  I’m sure this week will be just as fun as last week. 

🙂 Miss Carlson 

*As always, if you read our blog, please leave a comment.  The firsties LOVE reading them! 🙂 




September 1

It’s Going to Be a Great Year in Room 22!

Happy September! Are you ready to welcome school year 2018-2019?  I am!

It was so GREAT to meet so many new firstie families at Open House last week!  I am so excited to start a new year full of learning and fun!


It’s going to be a GREAT year!

*Remember: You can sign up on our blog to receive update notifications.