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1st & 2nd Grades


Primary 1

Hello Primary One Parents!

My name is Chrissi Ives and I am the Primary One classroom teacher. I work closely with Georgette Mecca educating our first and second grade students. Georgette has been working at the Howard Gardner School for 23 years and has an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts. We work daily to help them grow and become reflective thinkers. We strive to keep our students engaged in all lessons and we use many modalities to achieve optimal learning in the classroom. We believe it is vital to create a positive environment where students feel they are respected and give respect back.

This is my second year teaching the Primary level at Howard Gardner Multiple Intelligence School. It has been such an incredible experience thus far. I was fortunate to find myself student teaching at HGS in the Pre-Primary classroom which led to substitute teaching in all grades at our school. This was an excellent opportunity because I was able to get an authentic understanding of the school and its close knitted community.

I studied Business at Drexel University and earned my B.S. in Exercise Science from the University of Tampa. I lived in Florida for many years working in the fitness industry. I found myself inspired when working with children teaching Kids Fitness Classes. Later, I moved back to PA and continued my studies. I earned my Elementary Education degree from Keystone College in 2009. During the summers I teach lessons at Kings College Kids Camp and spend time with my

The Primary Class:

Currently we have 18 students in the Primary One class. The class consists of 11 first graders and 7 second graders. There are 11 boys and 7 girls. Our class gets along well and every student brings something special to our class.

What’s going on in our classroom -
The primary class is learning about Fire Safety this week. This includes escape routes from home and a meeting destination in case of a fire. The entire weeks work on this topic will go home on Friday October 12, 2012.

The primary class has one chapter of homework in Spelling due every Wednesday. Tests are also on Wednesdays.

Mondays we complete Scholastic News in which we discuss current events. Last week the primary class learned about Christopher Columbus and his travels. We have a daily morning meeting which starts at 8:45. The meeting includes the Pledge of Allegiance and a short good morning chat about our day. The class takes turns helping with the day, date, digital date and we record the weather.

Currently we are practicing skip counting by two’s, counting by fives and even and odd numbers. We are also counting the school days up to 100 by making a train around the classroom adding a train car daily. The students look forward to many fun activities and lessons for the 100th day of school.

All primary students are welcome to work on the math IXL website: www.IXL.com Reports are sent to the teacher and awards are given to students that use this site practicing their math skills. If parents do not know their child’s username and password they can contact me at chrissihgs@gmail.com Math lessons also include fact families, basketball math, time, money and many Montessori Manipulatives.

Language Arts include creative writing and also reading workshop. Each Friday two students are allowed to bring in something special to them and share it with the class. The students alternate turns each Friday. Jade, our guidance counselor is giving weekly lessons on good behavior and how to treat your fellow classmate.

This is going to be a great year and please feel free to contact us with any
questions or concerns regarding your child. 

Primary 2

Welcome to Primary 2! My name is Amy Barbine and I am the classroom teacher, assisted by Ross Patane. I earned a B.A. in Psychology from Christopher Newport University in VA and I graduated from the University of Scranton with an M. S. in Elementary Education. This is my sixth year teaching at Howard Gardner. In previous years, I have taught the Senior Class (3 years) and the Intermediate Class (1 year), and this is my second year embarking on the journey with the Primary Class!

Last year was a lot of fun and also presented great opportunities for learning (on both the students’ and my end)! In considering the diverse needs within the classroom combined with common core expectations and maintaining an MI approach to learning, we have decided to make some structural changes to the layout of our day. This year, students will experience Literacy Blocks and Math Workshops each day so that all students will be engaged in different activities within the same subject area throughout the day. These changes are intended to enhance the learning environment and assist in meeting the individual student needs more efficiently!

Currently, there are 22 students enrolled in the Primary 2 Class, consisting of 12 second graders and 10 first graders. There are 10 boys and 12 girls.

We are looking forward to an awesome school year full of learning and fun! Our first order of business will be establishing and developing a positive classroom community, focusing on routines and procedures, learning all about each other, and completing some pre-assessments to determine specific individual and group needs. Additionally, our students will be exposed to and engaged in various kinds of work, including Montessori works (which will carry over from the Pre-Primary Class), small groups, whole groups, and other independent work and projects.

WE ARE A PEANUT-FREE CLASSROOM! Students are allowed a short time each day for a HEALTHY snack, but please use caution with the snacks you send in with your child as we do have a peanut allergy in our room. THANK YOU!

We look forward to seeing you all at Parent’s Night on September 27th! (This date has changed since the posted newsletter!)

Math Practice

IXL Math Practice

Students, please remember to SIGN IN, using individual user names and passwords in order to get credit for the practice time.

Class Song:

01 Parody of One Direction

(I would like to note a huge thank you to Hope King (http://shenanigansinsecond.blogspot.com/2012/07/new-morning-song.html) for the lyrics and to Pam Kobierecki for providing her vocal talents to make this fun morning tradition possible!)