In the Books: First Grade

Dear Hayden,

This morning we dropped you off for the last day of first grade. This has been such an incredible year of growth for you.

You had THE BEST teacher this year. Mrs. DeStefano is one of the most dedicated, talented and naturally gifted teachers I’ve ever come to know… and I have known a LOT of teachers, both professionally and personally. She knew each of the students in your class individually and completely. She loved you, Hayden. She knew what you needed and she made sure you had it. Although you came into first grade reading above grade level, she made sure that you made progress this year. She encouraged you to speak up for yourself and coached you in some situations, which made you extremely successful. Your second teacher, Miss Coccia was amazing, too. It was her first year of teaching and together, she and Mrs. DeStefano were a fantastic team!

This year, you studied ancient Egypt, Mexico, the solar system and The Boston Tea Party, among many other topics. Mrs. DeStefano “taxed” you to use your cubbie several days to teach you what it must have felt like for the colonists to be taxed without representation. The room moms and I coordinated celebrations for the end of the Egyptian and solar system units. Your teachers arranged for 4 large telescopes to be delivered to the school at night for you to star gaze through one night in January. You dressed up as Charlotte for the read-a-thon. You took a field trip to the theatre to see Frog and Toad (a book that you read this year) performed live. You sang in two all-school concerts and joined the Passport Club, which you loved. You completed your first poster project and presentation (about sea lions) in May. On a random day in February, you cut your own bangs during a pronoun cut and paste activity! 🙂 Overall, you were very happy in school this year.

Outside of school, we had the first grade trunk-or-treat as well as a huge gingerbread party at Jack’s house. We had a Valentine party at the park at the end of the street and a few play dates with school friends! You also got your first set of stitches this year — on your chin. Your Daisy troop formed this year, too, which was such a life-enriching experience for you. You have developed a heart for service, too, as you were specifically impacted by both Project Linus and Feed My Starving Children this year. I say it all the time, and I’ll say it here, too — you are the best big sister in the world… you even decided to write the Spanish words for things all over our house with dry erase markers so that your brothers could learn Spanish, too. You also got your first “real” bible this year and have begun to read it. You were amazed at how specific the directions for the ark were for Noah… you are not one for being told exactly what to do. 😉

I’m most amazed, though, at the maturity that developed in you this year. You are thinking of things in such a dynamic and complex way, Hayden. It makes it easier to be your mom in a lot of ways, and harder to be your mom in other ways — but no matter what, I’m so glad I am. You are so very special and you mean the world to me.

Love you,

PS- You don’t know this, but while you are at school this morning, we are having a GIGANTIC water slide placed in our back yard! We’ve invited some of your friends from school (and Alex!) to come play this afternoon! It’s going to be a blast!!!

Last Day of First Grade:

A Few Pics from the Water Slide Surprise!





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