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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Holidays from Room 111!


Room 111 Holiday Party December 22, 2010 (Click on "Field Trips" menu on the right for more photos of our celebrations.)

A Special Thank You to All of the 
Parents of Children in Room 111
Thank you for all of the very thoughtful and generous classroom and individual gifts!  I appreciate the thought and sentiment that went into each and every gift.  Thank you for entrusting me with your most precious gift -- your child -- each and every day.  The start of the year has been great and although I am looking forward to a nice holiday break, I am excited to start a new year of adventure.

Please click on the right to see more photos of your child participating in the Polar Express, the gingerbread decorating and the holiday party.  Great fun was had by all this week as they also saw the Kindergarden Nutcracker and the school's holiday concert.

Please enjoy a restful, joy-filled and healthy end to the year.  I look forward to the second half of the school year being even more exciting!  Here's to a happy, healthy, abundant 2011.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Special Holiday Happenings for December

Mark Your Calendar
Important dates to remember for December:

December 10th -- the entire first grade rotated to each of the five classrooms to learn about the five different holidays celebrated this season: Hanukkah, Christmas, Divali, and Eid.  Ask your children to share with you what was similiar in how each of the holidays were celebrated when you get the chance.  It was a fun and informative day!

December 21st -- Polar Express/Pajama Day:  Be sure to send your child in wearing their pajamas on this day!  (Please send in a change of clothes for outside recess.)  We will evoke the mood of The Polar Express by reading the story as the kids sip on hot chocolate and nibble on cookies.  If your child has any allergies, please send in a special treat which they can have during this time.

December 22 -- Holiday Party for the Class.  Children will celebrate the holiday season with a Gingerbread Cookie decorating party.  I have purchased the cookies.  Room mothers will be contacting you to send in the decorating materials for the cookies.  If your child has allergies, they will be permitted to decorate the cookies, but instructed to bring them home and give them as a gift to a family member without allergies.  Please feel free to send in a special allergy-free treat for your child to eat at the party.

December 24th - no school.  Enjoy your holiday break!

Say Hello to Fluffy, Our Classroom's Newest Member:
Want to Fluffy to Visit Your Home?
Please welcome the latest addition to Room 111.  The kids are thrilled to have him.  Fluffy will need a home over holiday breaks and weekends.  You will be provided with all of the necessary supplies, food and instructions.  If you are interested in taking Fluffy home, please e-mail me and let me know if you are willing to take Fluffy for a weekend or the following school breaks: Winter Break, February break, April break.  Your name will be put into a rotation and you will be notified prior to the date to confirm that you can or cannot take Fluffy for that particular weekend or week.  Thanks!

Friday, December 3, 2010

An Elf Has Arrived!

A friendly spy has arrived in Room 111.  The Elf on A Shelf (or wherever else it decides to sit) has come to help keep an eye on the class throughout the holiday season.  His name is Jingles and he has all the secrets!  He reports on all of the great behavior of the students throughout this highly charged time of the year.  So far he tells me that the boys and girls are behaving and making wonderful choices.  Who knows maybe he'll swing by your house some time to tell you what goes on in the classroom!

Shedding Lights on the Holidays
Our next unit of study in the classroom will focus on holiday celebrations around the world.  Since many holidays this year are celebrated through the use of light, the children will learn about the significance of light in these various celebrations.  Students will be introduced to the light celebrations of Divali, Los Posados, St. Lucia, Hanukkah and Christmas.  They will also learn about the winter solstice -- the first day of winter and the shortest day of the year due to its lack of sunlight.

Fairy tales, folk tales and fables from around the world will be another area of study.  Many versions of some familiar tales will also be introduced.  If anybody celebrates a unique holiday, you are more than welcome to come in and discuss it with the class.  Just jot me a note or quick e-mail to set up a time.

Solving Story Problems in Math
Our class is starting a new unit in mathematics called Solving Story Problems.  We will be working on mathematical ideas such as adding and subtracting whole numbers, counting to higher numbers, counting sets of objects, and finding multiple combinations of a number.  Throughout this unit, students will be working toward the following goals:
•  Finding at least 5 combinations of 2 addends for a number up to     
•  Combining two small quantities
•  Interpreting and solving addition and subtraction story problems.
•  Subtracting one small quantity from another.
•  Representing numbers by using equivalent expressions.

At home, please encourage your child to explain his/her math thinking to you.  More information will be sent to you as the unit progresses.

Want to Order Scholastic Books For your Child?

Next Deadline Ordering Date:  December 15th
Online Ordering Information
Website Address:
Class Activation Code: HBMDK

Find the perfect books for your child through Scholastic's NEW online Book Club Web site.  Choose from  much wider selection of books than in the printed flyer.  Plus, you can send your orders directly to me online and use your credit/debit card to pay.

Best of all, we earn a FREE book for the classroom library every time a parent places an order online.

Its so simple!  Here's how it works:

SIGN UP at  On the parent page, register by clicking the "Don't have a user name or password?" link.  When prompted, enter the one-time Class Activation Code shown above.  This unique code ensures that your order is sent to me.
Select the books you'd like to order -- choose from thousands of titles -- many more than in our monthly flyers.
Send your order to me online by the due date and your child's books will be delivered directly to my classroom.  Ordering online is fast, easy and secure.

See for yourself how convenient it is to order online.

100 Sight Words to Practice at Home
At the right, you will find a link to the 100 sight words all first graders must know.  Please click on this link entitled 100 Sight Words for the list of these 100 sight words.  Print out this page and practice 5-10 words a night.

The more sight words children know, the better readers they become.  Sight words are words that frequently appear in print.  The same words are among those used most frequently by children in their writing.  When children build their sight word vocabulary, they become both better readers and spellers.  

Friday, November 5, 2010

November Updates and Halloween Photos

Unique Reader Website:
A Personalized Website for your child's reading needs
You have recently received a letter with a personalized login and Password which will allow you to access a reading instructional program called Unique Reader.  Unique Reader is a reading instruction program that covers material studied in first grade, including Sight Words, Phonics, Vocabulary and Comprehension.  The lessons are sequential and will progressively get more challenging as your child masters the skills.  Students enjoy completing these lessons and will benefit from the targeted instruction the program provides.

Please contact me if you have not received your child's login number.

To access this website log on to
Go to "Student Login"
Enter your child's login number which was sent home to you.
Password: bps1
School: fwes

Tumblebooks Reading Website
This is another great website added to the list of Free Websites. Just click on the page to the right entitled Free Reading Websites to see how to access this and other reading websites for your child.

Halloween Pictures to Enjoy

Halloween was a fun event at Francis Wyman as usual.  The kids had a great time participating in the parade and the teacehrs had even more fun dressing up as the vowel characters found in FUNdations.  Who knows?  Maybe it will help them all remember their short vowel sounds!  Click on the Halloween page to the right to view the fun photos from the day!

Parent Teacher Conferences
A reminder listing the date and time for your conference will be going home on Monday, 11/8.  Please let me know immediately if that time does not work for you and I can try to schedule you for a few of the times that are still available.  Also, please know that we only 15 minutes on the day of the conference, but if you ever need to discuss anything further we can always schedule additional meetings or telephone conferences.

Yoga Resources:
A few parents have requested that I list the yoga resources that I use in the classroom with the children, so I have created a Yoga Resources page to the right.  Just click on this page and access the titles of books, CD's, supplies and articles on the benefit of yoga for children.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Photos of Farm Field Trip

Click on the Field Trip page at the right to view all photos of the farm field trip.  The hay ride, the animals and the great weather made for a terrific day!  We all came back and wrote about our favorite parts in our field trip books.

We began working on consonant diagraphs this week in our reading classes.  A consonant digraph is two consonants together that make one sound such as "s" and "h" together make the sound of /sh?.  Because a consonant digraph makes only one sound, they get only one tap.  We have been working on /sh/ /ch/ /wh/ /th/ and /ck/.

Homework for the next three weeks will include these consonant diagraphs as well as the "qu" which is referred to as the 'chicken letter" because "q" always has his buddy "u" right next to him.

You may have noticed plastic bags with your child's name on it coming home from time to time.  These are books which your child's reading teacher has been reading with your child in class. Please read this book with your child and return the book the following day -- and of course add it to his/her reading log in the homework packet!

The snack sale was a great success with the 3rd grade raising over $900 for Burlington's Food Pantry.  Thank you for your support in this effort!

Next Wednesday, the children will spend an hour with an origami artist-in-residence.  We are looking forward to seeing what the artist will help the children create!

I have changed the web-link and order deadline for any scholastic online book orders.  Scholastic is a great way to order books that are at your child's level.  Check out the site and see if you would like to purchase any books for your child.  It is purely voluntary.

Next week we will begin a math unit called Making Shapes and Designing Quilts.  This geometry unit focuses on two-dimensional shapes and the relationships among them.  Students will observe, describe, compare, classify, represent and build with 2-D shapes.  They will also combine triangles and squares to make quilt patterns.

The Francis Wyman annual Halloween Parade will be next Friday, October 27th at 1:15 pm.  All parents are invited to view the parade from the gym area.  Please send your child in with a costume to change into on that day.

Please feel free to contact me at if you have any questions.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

WELCOME to Room 111's New Blog

This is the place to be for all the latest news and information for Room 111 (Mrs. Tortolini's Class).  Gone are the days of finding old newsletters at the bottom of your child's backpack three weeks later.  Now you can get all the latest classroom news at anytime you like just by logging into this blog.  This blog will take the place of the newsletter which has been sent home (and online) in the recent past.

This blog will provide you with the latest updates on free websites for math and reading, homework tips and updates, field trip reminders and classroom happenings.  You can also refer to past newsletters for reminders and tips.

Notice that there are links on the right hand side of the page set up for field trips, photos, websites and news.  Just click on the link of the information you need (ie. click on Reading Websites, Math Websites, etc.)

Check into this blog weekly for up to the minute Real Time news and events!

Class Pictures are Wednesday, October 13th

Field trip to the farm is Thursday, October 14th

 Please contact me if you have any trouble using this blog to find information.  I can be reached at: