Joanie Smith

november jpeg

Dear Parents,
Thank you all so much for amazing generosity and support for the Bender family and sweet Paige. She is healing and recovering as best as can be expected at this time. You have all been a real life example to our first graders on kindness and caring. They have had the opportunity to write letters and make cards for Paige these last two weeks.

I was able to get to visit her this weekend and present your gift to her family as well as the biggest, cuddliest, cutest unicorn!! Paige LOVED it and made a little thank you video for our class! I wanted to especially thank Kate Kotaska and Lauren Riley for organizing the class gift for the Benders! 

Have you heard the great news??? Our students completed their informational Koala books and were able to read to BOTH kindergarten classes last week! It was such a fun culmination after such hard work during our Writers Workshop. Our first graders are truly engaged and excited to write. I am so very proud of them!

On Thursday the students were able to choose from five unique Australian animals (dingo, wombat, kangaroo, Tasmanian Devil, and platypus) to research and write their next informational book. They have already worked in groups looking at books as resources to their research. Ask you child which animal they chose!

Thank you again for your support!

Mrs. Joanie Smith


announcement img

 NO SCHOOL- On Monday, November 11th, there is no school for students. This is a teacher work day!

THANKSGIVING LUNCHEON- Wednesday, November 20th. First grade is at 11:30.

THANKSGIVING BREAK- Monday, November 25th- Friday November 29th

FRIDAY FOLDERS- At the end of every week your child will bring home their blue Friday folders. This will contain student work, flyers from the office and letters from me. Please be sure to go through it every weekend and send it back to school on Mondays.



8:55-9:10 Arrival

9:10-9:20 Morning Meeting

9:20-9:50 Fundations-Whole Group 

10:05-11:45 Literacy- small group rotations

11:50-12:30 Lunch

12:35-1:30 Math Instruction- Whole Group/Small Group

1:35-2:25 Specials (PE, Tech, Music, Art)

2:30-3:10 Writer's Workshop

3:10-3:25 Afternoon Snack Recess

3:25-3:50 Integrated Learning Block

3:50-4:00 Clean-up and dismissal


 homework jpeg
 Yellow Homework Folders: Homework folders went home last Monday and should have been returned with completed homework Friday. Your child will take home this yellow folder each Monday and keep it at home for the week, returning it on Friday. Their iReady and Zearn online passcodes are stapled into their homework folder. Please be sure they spend some time during the week on iReady reading and math.

Reading Bags: Read the books each night and return the following day. The sight word rings are to stay in the bags so that new words can be added. Please go over these words nightly with your student. 



literacy jpg


Our Upcoming Week At A Glance... 

                                       For the week of Nov. 11-15

Theme: Australia!!
Phonics: making words plural by adding the suffix (s) to base words 
Phonemic Awareness: identifying beginning, middle and end sounds-rhyming-changing the onset sound
Fundations: We completed unit 5, tapping words with glued sounds -am, -all. Please continue to have your child practice writing their letters.

High Frequency Words: were, are, does, who, what, when, where, there, here
Comprehension: non-fiction text features (headings, labels, table of contents), "reading" the pictures, asking questions and finding answers.
Fluency: automaticity of sight words
Grammar: sentence structure-capital, period
Vocabulary: continent, culture, habitat, survive, marsupial, predator, prey, shelter, offspring.
Writing: Squiggle books, Sticker stories, journals, informational writing-Koalas.
Mondays the students will have the opportunity to write in their journals. It can be helpful to discuss with your student what they may want to write about. 


Math jpeg


This week we finished topic H: subtraction word problems. Students are learning about different strategies for solving subtraction math stories. They can separate the parts by part known and part unknown. They can circle the part known and cross out the unknown. They can also cross out the part known to see the part unknown. Students are able to make a number bond and then an addition and subtraction sentence to match the story. Students are starting to see that addition is related to subtraction.

Please have your child practice writing their numbers!

Problem Set- Students practice independently in class. Teacher is there for support and then we go over it. Students explain their thinking and correct as needed.

Exit Tickets- Students complete exit ticket on their own and turn into teacher. Teacher uses this to inform instruction. This is not sent home.
Math homework will be going home in the yellow homework folders Monday and can be turned in on Fridays.


 science/soc jpeg
 Social Studies: Australia!! We will explore this amazing continent, diving into maps and culture. 

Social Studies/Science Vocabulary: continent,
culture, habitat, shelter, marsupial, survive, predator, prey and offspring.
SCIENCE/ SOCIAL STUDIES- We continued to discuss SCE's SOAR like an EAGLE expectations. 


First Grade Froggy
Froggy jpeg

First Grade Froggy spent last weekend with Sawyer! Froggy had a blast with Sawyer and they even went Trick or Treating together!


The Big Cheese

This week Rehan was the Big Cheese! He shared his All About Me poster with the class. Gabe wants to be a doctor when he grows up and his favorite sport is soccer! It was so nice to get to know Rehan better last week!



All About Me

A ONE Paragraph Biography

Education: I am a native Southern California girl! I graduated from California State University Northridge. I completed my masters degree in curriculum and instruction integrating the arts. I have loved watching concepts come alive through drama, dance, visual arts and music! 

Teaching Background: I began my career teaching kindergarten at Moorpark Unified School District in Moorpark, California. I eventually moved to first grade and also served two years as a reading specialist in the Early Reading Intervention Program. This will be my eighteenth year here at Sand Creek Elementary and my twenty-fourth year of teaching!

Teaching Approach / Philosophy: I love to teach! The little ones in kindergarten and first grade are my very favorite! There is nothing as rewarding as watching a child learn to read for the very first time! I believe learning takes place best in a warm, loving and structured environment. Young children need lots of hands-on and engaging activities to learn new concepts best. I also love to sing and have lots of fun in the classroom! 

Other Information: On a personal note, I am so fortunate to have such a supportive family. My husband, Bryan, is so supportive and enjoys visiting my classroom. I love hiking and taking trips to the coast. I am also an avid reader and spend a big part of my summer catching up on favorite books! I have four children, Jordan (29), Shelby (27), Cory (22) and Olivia (20). This last March I became a "nonie" and welcomed my first grandchild, Elsie Joy, into our family!