Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s day in first grade is extra special fun! 

Our class will be exchanging cards on Wednesday, February 14, 2018. Students will need to bring 28 store-bought or homemade cards for classmates. Please have your child sign only their name on each card.  Leave the “to” section blank for easier distribution. Your child may choose to send individually wrapped treats or non-edible items to be shared with classmates. Treats are optional. Students should also bring a decorated mailbox to collect their goodies. See photos below for ideas.  More information about our classroom Valentine’s activities will be shared in backpack mail soon.

CAC Photo Request

Dear Pod 100 families:

After the break, we will be moving into rehearsal for our original production in the Communication Arts Center (CAC), to be performed on the morning of January 26th, 2018. This year we will be performing fables from around the world, and one of the messages of the show is that fables are one way in which elders share their wisdom with our children.

At the beginning of each Disney CAC production, we project a slideshow of your children at work preparing for the show. This year we would like to include some photos of beloved elders that help us mentor our children. If you can, and would like to participate, please email to me a digital photo of a grandparent, or an uncle, or an aunt, or of older siblings for inclusion in this “preshow”. This can be a photo of your child with that person, or just the elders by themselves, but we think this will be a nice addition to the show. Please understand, this is not a requirement – but a nice extra if you choose to participate.

Please send photos before Friday, January 12, 2018.

Email photos to:



And please consider, if your schedule allows, volunteering during the weeks of January 15 – January 26 to help put the show together! We couldn’t create these wonderful original shows each year without our valued parent volunteers!

Hoping you are having a wonderful holiday season!


Arnold April (theater consultant) and Kate Brannigan

Reading 104

Updates for the week of December 18-22

  • Reading MAP Test will be Wednesday morning.
  • There will not be a spelling test this week.
  • We will have a comprehension and vocabulary test on Thursday about the book How Leopard Got His Spots. The text was sent home with children on Monday.
  • Flat Stanley December book projects were sent home Monday. Please email if you have any questions. I look forward to reading your child’s Flat Stanley Journal in January.


Have a wonderful winter break!

Holiday Theme Week


Mistletoe Monday – December 18th

Wear red and green to start off our theme week!

Tinsel Tuesday – December 19th

Wear shiny colors of silver and blue!

Winter Candy Cane Wednesday – December 20th

Wear red and white or stripes!

Holiday Traditions Thursday – December 21st

Wear your holiday shirts & other clothing items!

Fuzzy, Comfy Jammie Friday – December 22nd

Wear your favorite pajamas!  No slippers, please.

MAP Testing




MONDAY, DECEMBER 11th = NWEA MAP MATH TEST (ALL Students in room 104)

NWEA MAP READING TEST will be taken with reading teachers. Please see the calendar sent home on Friday for your child’s test date. (Reading 104 students test December 20th)

Interim assessment happens at select intervals in the school year; its data provide an objective measure of progress toward learning objectives, measure student academic growth, and inform instruction.  The normed assessmet used by Chicago Public Schools is Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) which creates a personalized assessment experience by adapting to each student’s learning level. Each scheduled testing period is one hour.  The test is not timed, but a typical student completes the test in less than 60 minutes per subject area. First grade will participate in  one reading and one math test testing session, administered on different days in one of Disney’s computer labs.

Some ways to help your child be more prepared for the test:

  • Make sure your child is well rested.
  • Practice using a mouse. The assessments are not touch screen adaptive so desk top computers are used.
  • Visit IXL Math/English Language Arts to review skills learned.
  • Preview a sample test with your child:

CAC Songs

Hi Families!

We are preparing for our big show! Here is a video for your little performer to practice at home. Remember our dance moves are different from the video in some places!


I apologize for the homework error last night. I accidentally copied our story of the week incorrectly. Thank you, families, for being understanding. I have sent home a new (and complete!) copy of the book. Our comprehension test will be on Thursday. Your child would benefit from additional practice reading the book, A Cupcake Party, before our assessment. This text is at your child’s independent reading level and should be read without parent assistance.

Thank you!

Room 104 December Calendar


  • The Disney School Spelling Bee has been rescheduled to January 9th. Classroom spelling bees will take place during the week of December 18-22.
  • NWEA MAP Math tests will be taken with homeroom teachers. (104-12/11/17)
  • NWEA MAP Reading tests will be taken with reading teachers.  (104 Reading students will test 12/20/17)


Chaperones Chosen!


Thank you for volunteering to chaperone our field trip. We are very lucky to have so many great parent helpers in room 104! Unfortunately, this trip allows for only three adults. The students and I picked our chaperone names from a bucket this morning.

Congratulations to  Andre, Madeline, and Kamauri’s parents. They will be joining us for a visit to the International Children’s Film Festival Monday morning.
I hope everyone will consider volunteering for future field trips and for our CAC performance preparations. Our CAC unit will be January 16th-26th. Many helping hands are needed to make student costumes and help rehearse for our performance!
Kate Brannigan