Important Notes

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Hi everyone,

I know this is a super busy time of year, so I just wanted to send out a few reminders to help everyone plan ahead and get things in order 🙂

  1. The Social Studies Diversity packet that was sent home early last week was due today. This packet is a portion of their social studies test – so if it is not turned back into me, your student will receive a zero for that portion of the test. The first grade teachers decided that it would be more meaningful if that part of the test was done at home so you and your family could have a conversation about the special things you do together. We will be taking the test on Wednesday – after that, I will not be able to accept any of those packets. If you have not already turned them in, please complete them and send them in ASAP. Thanks for your understanding and help to get this done!

    **I will not be sending home a study guide for this test – it is pretty simple and we have done plenty of studying and reviewing in class that I feel confident that your student will do well without a study guide.

  2. Although it’s not official, winter is here! Please make sure your child is coming to school with a hat and gloves. The district policy is 20 degrees for recess, but it is always up in the air. Sometimes it’s colder in the mornings and warms up by lunch time, so the kids are able to go outside. Students cannot go outside without a winter coat and proper winter gear.
  3. SAVE THE DATE! Our holiday party is coming up! All are welcome to attend our holiday party on Friday, December 22nd from 8:45-10:30 🙂
  4. Mondays are library book check out – if your child does not bring their book back from the previous week, they cannot check out a new one.
  5. Unit 3 Math Tests were sent home last week – please review with your child, sign and send back to school. We keep these tests in a data growth folder and it’s nice for the kids to be able to see how they’ve done. If you have not returned the unit 3 test, please do so tomorrow. Thanks!
  6. Our December PBIS party will be the Haigh Movie Theater! We have over 10 movies to choose from and the kids will have a chance to visit a different classroom to see the movie of their choice. Please remind your child of positive behaviors that are encouraged in the classroom, cafeteria, playground, hallways, specials, etc. so they can attend the PBIS party next week 🙂 Students must have less than 5 dojo points deducted in order to attend the PBIS party.

I think that is it for now! Thanks for all of your help and support!

Have a great night and stay warm!

Ms. Otto

Marble Party!

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Hi families!

As part of my classroom management system, we have a marble jar. Whenever I feel the whole group is on task, doing something good, got a good report from a sub, got complimented by another teacher, etc., we get to add a handful of marbles to our jar. Once the jar is filled, the kids earn a small celebration.

We finally filled up our jar last week and will celebrate tomorrow. The kids voted on an electronics day. This means that all students are welcome to bring in any electronic device they’d like (iPads, iPods, DS games, etc.). If any student does not have an electronic device or you’d prefer them not to bring it to school, they are welcome to bring any board game, cards, toys, etc. that they would like to play with. Our celebration will take place during the last hour of the day, so all electronics will be kept inside their backpacks until the end of the way when our celebration begins.

Please let me know if you have any questions!

Thanks for all of your help and support,

Ms. Otto

November PBIS Celebration


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Dear families,

Our November PBIS celebration is almost here and we are celebrating with a few games of TURKEY BOWLING! The party will be celebrated on Wednesday, November 29th. Students will be bowling with a rubber bowling ball to try and knock down three “turkey pins”. They will also be challenged by trying to knock the pins over while bowling backwards, hopping on one foot, blindfolded, and other fun and silly tricks.

Students will participate in this event if they have demonstrated positive behavior throughout the month of November and have less than 5 card flips.

Thanks for your support,

The PBIS team

**In the spirit of the holidays and to keep our turkey theme, 5 turkeys will be donated to the Salvation Army Food Bank in Dearborn Heights funded by the Haigh Spirit committee.


Book Fair

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Just a reminder that our annual book fair begins this Monday, the 13th. We will be “previewing” the book fair on Monday at 9:00. The fair will be open the remainder of the week during school hours as well as in the evening on conference days (Wednesday and Thursday). You are more than welcome to come to school in the evening with your child and shop, or send money with them to school and I will send them down when we have a break in our schedule to do their shopping.

Please remember that tax is charged with every purchase. So if a book is $9.99, sending in $10 will not be enough. Please take into account tax when sending money in with your student.

Because the book fair is located in the library, we will NOT being having library book check out on Monday. Please keep their books at home and we will resume checkout after the book fair.


Ms. Otto

Retelling Ropes

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Today your child brought home a new reading tool in their book bag – their own retelling rope! Their rope consists of 8 colored beads tied onto a shoelace. This tool is used to help students with reading comprehension of a fictional story. Children know that comprehension happens when they understand what they read. I can test their comprehension using their retelling rope. If they can successfully retell a story to me (using their retelling rope) without going back to their book for help, then I can say they comprehended their story.

Retelling ropes are to stay in your child’s book bag and are to go home every night and come back to school every morning. Please listen to your child retell their fictional story using their retelling rope. They are very excited to use them and have been doing a great job with them so far 🙂 Because this is our new focus for the second half of the school year, you will not be seeing as many Reading Response Journal questions. For now, anytime your child brings home a new book, their homework is to read the book three times and then use their retelling rope to retell their story to someone at home.

For your reference, here are the elements of a retelling that the children must use. They start at the top (light blue bead), say the title, and move down the rope as they complete each task.

Retelling Rope

(Light blue) = Title

(Black) = Characters  

(Green) = Setting

(White) = First…

(Blue) = Next…

(Pink) = Then…

(Orange) = Last…

(Yellow) = Favorite Part and Connection

 Happy reading and retelling!

Ms. Otto

**Retelling ropes are not used with non-fiction texts.

Zoo Field Trip :)

Hi everyone! I just wanted to share some photos from our field trip to the zoo last week. It was a bit chilly, but overall, a fantastic trip. The kids had a blast and loved seeing all the animals with their friends!

Thank you to all of the chaperones who were able to share this experience with our kids – these field trips are not possible without you! I truly appreciate you all and want you to know how thankful I am that you were able to come with us!

I have a lot of pictures, so I’m not  going to caption them – but it gives you a good idea of how many awesome animals the kids got to see and how much fun they had with their friends.

Thanks again!

Ms. Otto

Halloween Party Info

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Halloween Party!


It is time for Ms. Otto’s 1st grade Halloween Party! We will begin the festivities on October 31st at 1:00 p.m., and end the party promptly at 2:30 p.m. We will be serving tasty snacks and beverages along with plenty of games to play and crafts to make. Following our party will be the school-wide Halloween Parade from 2:30-3:15.

The children should NOT come to school wearing their Halloween costumes. The homeroom parents and I will be getting the kids dressed after lunch. No pretend knives, guns or weapons of any kind will be allowed. Please no dark or evil themes. Masks are not permitted, but makeup is allowed. Also, please make sure costumes are bathroom friendly. We do not have a bathroom inside of our classroom, so I am unable to leave the room to offer assistance.

If you would like to donate candy for the kids’ treat bags, that would be great, but not necessary.

Thanks for all of your continued support,

Ms. Otto

Field Trip Info

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  • We are asking that all first graders dress appropriately for Thursday’s weather. It is supposed to be in the low 50s, so a warm jacket and a hat is a good idea.
  • All children must pack a snack, lunch and a drink for a picnic lunch at the zoo. All bags and containers MUST be disposable.
  • Children need to arrive at school on time. The bus will leave promptly at 9 a.m.


Please come into the school with your student in the morning (do not just go right to the zoo, we need to take attendance and assign you your group before we get there). We will all leave together. Most parents follow the bus.

As a reminder, you are responsible for your own transportation to and from the zoo, along with driving your child. Parking is $7 per car. Carpooling is a great idea to help save money. Ms. Otto will collect parking money and pay for the number of cars parking before we enter the zoo.

You will be assigned a group of students while at the zoo. If you would like to take your child home right from the zoo, please see your child’s teacher to sign them out.

We also recommend bringing a backpack to carry your group’s lunches and coats.

Thank you! 🙂

Ms. Otto


Money and permission slips for our field trip to the zoo are due TOMORROW (Friday, the 13th). I have to go to the zoo this weekend to purchase the tickets in advance to get the group rate pricing, so I will not be able to accept any money or permission slips after tomorrow. 

Thank you for your help 🙂

Also, if you have already signed up to chaperone, please make sure you have a current background check on file with our front office. Thanks!

Ms. Otto


1st Grade Parent Meeting

I just wanted to remind everyone that our First Grade Parent Meeting will be this Thursday, the 12th, from 3:45-4:30 in the library.

The purpose of the meeting is to inform parents and family members of the first grade expectations, daily curriculum, standardized tests, etc. We also want to familiarize you with our daily routine and practices that we are using the classroom. This is also a great opportunity to ask any questions you may have.

I look forward to seeing you there 🙂

Ms. Otto

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