First Grade and the Super Star Reader

Juliana starts second grade one week from today so it’s time to wrap-up first grade.

I loved everything about Juliana’s first grade year – her teacher, her classmates, how much she grew this past year. First grade is the first year of school with tests and letter grades and expectations that they will be able to read and do independent work.

For the second year, Juliana had perfect attendance and she says that she is going to have perfect attendance every year – all those years of daycare illnesses are finally paying off.

First day of school and last day of school.

first-grade-first-day   first-grade-last-day

Kindergarten Fun Day compared to First Grade Fun Day (last week of school each year).

kindergarten6 first-grade-fun-day



I watched Juliana become a confident reader this year – she doesn’t love reading yet – but she will sit and read on her own and with the right book she actually enjoys it. Reading time is part of the daily curriculum – 30 minutes is set aside for the students to read – and their reading time is measured in 15-minute steps. With every completed reading chart, a bead was added to their reading string – a physical reminder of their reading progress. Juliana finished the year with the highest number of reading steps in her class. She may not love reading, but she did love being in the lead all year. Adding a bead (and sometimes 2) to her string each week motivated her to increase her reading steps.

reader-award-rev reading-beads

During the last week of school, she filled in a book about first grade and some thoughts about second grade. I pulled two of those pages. The first includes her favorite things about first grade and the second talks about things she hopes for second grade. I hope she learns how to spell insects. :)

loved-about-first looking-ahead-second

Academically she excelled in first grade and her favorite subject was math – I don’t think she missed a single point on a math assignment or test this year.

I loved watching her confidence and creativity grow this year and look forward to continuing to follow her journey into second grade.

Think Outside the Box was a page that was included in their quiet morning work each week. It is a sheet of paper that is blank with the exception of a simple black shape. The goal is to transform that shape into something, anything, and write a sentence. At the first parent teacher conference we talked about this weekly assignment. Juliana was often leaving this page unfinished because she spent so much time thinking of the perfect idea that she didn’t have time to complete the drawing. Or she would never have that perfect idea so she wouldn’t draw anything. Here are some of my favorite pictures from her Think Outside the Box drawings – just another way she grew over the school year.

box1 box2

box3 box4



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