February 3, 2020 


Dear Cedar Mountain Family,


This blog will highlight the classes of Mrs. Bicskei, Miss Kusma and Mrs. Rogers.  Future blogs will highlight additional teachers and their students. 


Mrs. Bicskei’s Class



Mrs. Bicskei’s kindergarten class has been working very hard on beginning reading skills.  They are learning to tap out short words and love to read the morning message with their newly acquired reading abilities!  The students are successfully completing Unit 2 of Fundations and will soon begin Unit 3 in which they will continue to sound out words when reading and begin to write them as well.  Team Bicskei is eager to write their own stories and used Cedar Mountain’s Kindness theme as the basis for a class book. Each student wrote their own book page about something that they did to be kind.  The pages were compiled into a class kindness book. Each student brought home a copy of the book so that they could share their acts of kindness with their families. The students are very proud of their books! They are a great example of kindness and of what kindergartners can accomplish when they work together!  The class has made great gains in their math skills also. They have just finished Chapter 6, which covered numbers up to 20. The students learned the importance of ten frames. They are now able to use a ten frame to make counting and adding to 20 easier.

Miss Kusma’s Class

During the month of January, my class was focused on winter themes including, weather appropriate attire, winter activities and arctic animals.  Located below are the activities that we used to demonstrate our theme. We incorporated interactive winter themed books that help to learn counting, identify color and the object/item that we are counting, along with books that help us understand and learn prepositions. We also included activities that help the students build pattern skills, strengthen our fine motor skills and input sensory activities, such as pulling apart cotton, to create a snowman. 

Hello from Mrs. Rogers’ First Grade Classroom!

      January 2020 brings us off to a fresh start with cold winter weather and snowflakes in the air!

          In FUNdations we are learning to read and spell new words using consonant blends, along with digraphs, bonus letters and welded sounds. We tap and blend our words as we build them together using magnetic tile boards and dry erase boards. We play class card games as we drill our trick words, and follow up with dictations to write sentences on lined paper. Our centers provide us with spinner and dice games and activities to reinforce our learning. 

      In Math we are now doing basic addition and subtraction facts to 20, using strategies such as counting on, make a ten, doubles, and doubles plus one. We are using our number bonds to identify fact families. We balance our facts to identify different number names for the same given number. Partner games are a favorite in practicing these skills. 

      Through guided reading and reader’s workshop, we continue to increase our fluency and comprehension skills. We have explored fiction, nonfiction and poetry selections. Through small group instruction, buddy reading, and individual book bins,  our first graders can read leveled books and progress at one’s own rate. Daily interactive read alouds in all subject areas help us to engage in conversation and become good listeners, as we inspire a love of reading! 

      In writer’s workshop, we are working in the unit of realistic fiction, as we explore the story elements of character, setting, problem and solution in order to build our own creative stories. We continue to strengthen our writing skills through given topics in our journals, and making connections in our reader’s response notebooks.  In lieu of a reading log over these past two weeks, we each did a book report project on a favorite fictional animal character, and created a paper bag puppet to share with the class. We have many favorite authors and storybook characters!

      In our content subjects, we began the new year as weather detectives through Mystery Science, learning about the seasons, as well as the months of the year. We celebrated Lunar New Year as we identified our birth years on the Chinese wheel of animals, made red paper lanterns, and enjoyed fortune cookies. We identified animals that migrate, hibernate, and others that search for food during our cold winter months. We learned about the adaptations and life cycles of penguins and polar bears, and how they survive in their polar habitats. 

       We continue to build our classroom community with fun and engaging games and activities through our morning meetings. Through our study of Martin Luther King Jr, we made fair and unfair signs on popsicle sticks, and acted out scenario cards of acts of kindness, consideration, and fairness to others. We practiced social-emotional learning skills through interactions with our classmates as we shared and solved box puzzles, crossword puzzles, word searches, etc. on National Puzzle Day. We also shared our individual Lego creations on National Lego Day!

      Through our daily math calendar activities, we counted our way up to 90 and celebrated Halfway Day!  We are already halfway through First Grade!

I hoped you enjoyed hearing from Mrs. Bicskei, Miss Kusma and Mrs. Rogers.  Next blog will highlight the classes of Mrs. Barone, Miss Lethbridge and Mrs. Thomas!


Ms. Piszczek

Cedar Mountain Principal