Open House with My First Grade Class

Last night’s Open House was very SUCCESSFUL!!! My classroom was PACKED with nearly 100 people during the hour, and 26 out of 30 students in my first grade class showed up with their families – parents, siblings, and relatives! It takes a lot of time and effort over weeks to get the classroom ready, so I am thankful to see that so many of them made the time and effort to attend Open House. I was so proud to watch my students show off what they have learned in first grade as their families celebrated their accomplishments and hard work with them! Checking off Open House means the end of the school year is just around the corner – 15 days with the students, 16 days including our last teacher day on June 9th! Enjoy a walkthrough of my first grade classroom in photos with the checklist that I make for students and families as a guide! (For the safety of children, I had to blot out as many names and faces as possible.)

Welcome to OPEN HOUSE with My First Grade Class!

360 degrees around my classroom


Back of the Classroom (starting from the door)

Please sign in here and walk around our classroom with the checklist on the clipboard as a guide!IMG_20170516_174555

Class Helpers: See if your child has a job in our classroom for these two weeks. Ask your child what is his/her favorite classroom job and why.

Classroom Photos: These were taken at multiple events over this school year.IMG_20170516_174550

Word Wall: Test your child to read and spell some of the 100 first grade sight words.IMG_20170516_174600

Behavior Chart: Ask your child what color he/she was on today – hopefully green!

First Grade End-of-the-Year Picnic Sign-up SheetIMG_20170516_174605

Back Table: Have your child solve some math problems using the math resources available on the table (place value blocks and 120 chart).IMG_20170516_174613

Writing Wall: Your child typed this poem on Google Classroom!  Students listened to The Important Book and wrote their own versions, following the pattern of the book. Look out for your child’s copy of our class book of poems after Young Author’s Fair on Friday!IMG_20170516_174609_20170517171811185

Large Windows Side of the Classroom

Spring Trees, Plants, and Butterflies: We have art every Friday! Find your child’s art projects. Have your child tell you what a plant needs to grow.IMG_20170516_174619IMG_20170516_174634

Butterflies: Have your child tell you the life cycle of a butterfly and some facts about butterflies. Look at the 4 chrysalises, but please DO NOT touch the butterfly house.IMG_20170516_174627

Front of the Classroom

Pronouns: Ask your child to use the pronouns in the pocket chart in sentences.

Calendar: Ask your child to tell you about today’s date and yesterday/today/tomorrow. Ask your child how many days we have been in school.

Slideshow: These were taken at multiple events over this school year. Enjoy!IMG_20170516_174641

Door Side of the Classroom

Animal Adaptations: Ask your child how animals survive and grow in the 3 habitats.IMG_20170516_174703

120 Chart: See if your child can count and write the numbers from 1 to 120!IMG_20170516_174708

At Your Child’s Desk

All About Me Book: Learn more about your child and take home this book tonight!

Art Vista Portfolio: Take home your child’s collection of Art Vista projects this year.IMG_20170516_174647

FULL HOUSE FOR OPEN HOUSE!!!!!IMG_20170516_182103


Chinese New Year with My Students

Happy Chinese New Year! Maybe for my fifth year since teaching Kindergarten at my previous school and now first grade, I have presented Chinese New Year to my students. Being Chinese-American, I have fun bringing in a little of my culture into the classroom. Here’s what I do!

– Read Celebrating Chinese New Year: Nick’s New Year by Rosa Drew and Heather Phillips (Lakeshore Learning Store, $3.49)wp-image-815104056jpg.jpg

– This is a good excuse to get students to clean up their desks to “get rid of all the bad luck”

– Students make red lanterns to bring homewp-image-1168573130jpg.jpg

– Show some red lanterns made with red envelopes by my mom and decorations from homewp-image-1551644774jpg.jpg

– Present the candy box, and students get to pick out one treat (Students picked all the lucky candy because they wanted to try something new so only Hershey kisses are left in this photo)

– Show students how to crack a black watermelon seed from the candy box, and save time by cracking the seeds at home so students can each try one. They actually like it and want more!

– Show my collection of my favorite red envelopes over the years 

– Give students red envelopes with chocolate gold coinswp-image-1735619106jpg.jpg

– Teach students how to say “Gung Hat Fat Choy” to wish others a Happy Chinese New Year

Wishing you good health and happiness in the year of the rooster! 恭喜發財! 新年快樂! 身體健康!

Staff Bowling Party

Thanks to my principal, our staff enjoyed an evening of bowling, food, and hanging out on Thursday after work at Bowlero in San Jose. It was a fun time with my coworkers! 😀



my new neighbor next door! It’s reassuring to hear someone else on the other side of the wall at work when I’m there in the early morning and after school.


first grade team!


first game – 121 points, my all-time record!


playing with upper grade teachers aka nerds who came up with our bowling names – Framework, Gradual Release, Scope and Sequence, Rigor, and Closure


second game on the right – 105 points. Jessica M&M outscored the whole staff with 144 points and a turkey! X = Strike, XX = Double Strike, XXX = TURKEY?!?!


loner third game – 113 points

Do You Want to Build a Snowman?

First art project in the new year with my first grade students! Teaching them a science unit on weather, I broke the news to them that we won’t get snow at our school in San Jose, but to make up for it, I will read them all my snow books, and we can build snowmen… out of paper haha. This art project brings out their creativity, and these snowmen always turn out cute.

I survived my first week back to work after Winter Break! Despite the rain forecast all week, thankfully the students only stayed in all day on Tuesday. On Wednesday, I overslept 45 minutes past two alarms and woke up 30 minutes before school started, which is when I usually arrive at school. I got ready and left the house in 10 minutes and managed to make it to school 20 minutes away ON TIME. This happened the day before my principal planned to come into my classroom for a full lesson observation first thing in the morning. Thank God I didn’t oversleep that day and I wasn’t late the day before because either way, it would have looked bad in my evaluation. Since then, I haven’t slept well for two nights, waking up multiple times in the middle of the night worried that I might oversleep again and miss my three alarms. I am thankful that I get to sleep in all I want for three days with the long MLK weekend!

My students are so good to me! They really are a sweet bunch. They want to hang out with me when I am on yard duty at recess even though I just saw them in the classroom. They write me notes at home and give them to me in the morning. They are excited, curious, and ready to learn and do their best at school. Even when they need to be reminded, they stop and later apologize. They are gracious and forgiving about my poor drawing skills, mistakes, and forgetful memory. On top of that, I have a regular schedule of ten parent volunteers who help out an hour in the classroom every week or every other week. It makes the world of difference to have parents who support their child’s education and are involved both in the classroom and at home. I came home every day this week thinking about how very thankful I am for this class this year. :)

District’s Employee Recognition Event 2017

Over my six years of teaching, all within the same district, this is the second year in a row that the district has held an Employee Recognition Event on the first day back to work in the new year. It was worth the trek to Downtown San Jose in the rainy weather. It feels nice to be appreciated by the district for all that we do for our students and enjoy an evening with a live band, free food and two drink tickets, a photobooth, validated parking, and a chance to catch up with old colleagues from previous schools.




Melissa left when the photobooth line was ridiculously long, so a selfie this year had to do.img_20170109_164154

But Kaylin and I took one for tradition’s sake and realized 3 seconds is hard to coordinate…img_20170109_184041

Feeling ready to sleep by 10 PM (true grandma status) to get ready for my first week back to work after Winter Break. With the rain all week, the students will likely have indoor recesses, which means extended long days with them inside the classroom. Thankfully both this week and next week with MLK Jr. Day, we have two 4-day weeks back-to-back!