Classroom News….

What A Blast We Had At Field Day…..


Classroom News May 20-24….

We are so proud of Sarvesh’s coding project.  He won first place for first grade!!

It’s hard to believe there are only 4 more weeks of school left! Thanks for continuing to support positive behavior.   We will continue to compare life of the past and present.  We are solving story word problems in math.  We will continue to practice reading and spelling words with the igh/y as long i word patterns.  We will have a word study assessment on Friday.

Classroom News May 13-17…..

This week we will begin our study of Virginia’s past/present unit.  We will be focusing on transportation of the past and present. We will learn about the  types of transportation are used within Virginia. We will explore how the geography of Virginia affect how people travel in Virginia.  We will investigate how have better transportation modes made life easier for people of today. In math, our focus will be addition/subtraction strategies to solve math facts.  A daily math facts practice using (access using your Clever login info.) will be a great benefit. Directions and logging on information will be coming home this week.

Classroom News May 6-10…..


In science, we will take care of our seeds we planted.  We hope to see them begin to sprout. We will discuss ways to classify plants, including flowering and nonflowering plants, edible and non-edible plants, and deciduous and evergreen trees.  We will be working on fact fluency in math this week.  A daily review of doubles/near doubles facts (10-5, 10-6 6+6, 6+7) will increase your child’s efficiency.  Flashcards are a great way to review math facts.


We  had a fun day learning and seeing all the animals at the zoo.

Mark your calendars now for our  Family Coding Event !

April 23- 26 News…..

Please complete the HCPS Parent Survey found at Friday, 4/19 (today) is the last day to complete!

Look for a  Zoo Trip Reminder will be sent home on April 23rd.

Our class will eat lunch at 11:40 on the lower playground area on Field Day.  You are welcome to join us.  You may bring a lunch or preorder the school lunch(orders should be returned by April 23rd).

April 15-19 News…..

This week we will finish our study of economics.  We will focus on saving and spending and economic choices. As a culminating activity, we will be having students earn and save money at home. We will then allow students to be consumers and make purchases here at school. Thanks for supporting your children with this activity to help them relate economics to their own life.  In math, we will begin our three week study of measurement.  This week we will explore length.  We will be measuring and comparing the length of objects using non-standard measuring tools(cubes, paperclips) as opposed to using an inch ruler.  


April 8-12 News….

Hi everyone,

On Tuesday the children will be bringing  field trip permission forms home.  Please return both permission form and payment ($7.50) at the same time.  It makes the process much easier.  Also, we will need chaperones  to join us on the trip.  It’s a FUN trip so consider joining us.  Please do not send the chaperone’s payment until you receive a note confirming you will be a chaperone.

Early dismissal information will be coming home tomorrow as well.

On Thursday (April 11) it Spirit Day- Twin Day.  Remind your first grade if s/he doesn’t have a friend to dress alike to wear jeans/pants and any S.P.E.S. shirt( a few of us will be wearing jeans and SPES shirts)

Today Scholastic book orders came home so please order online if interested in purchasing any books.

March 25- 29 News……

We are looking forward to Career Day on Thursday.  Thank you Mrs. Ross, Maddie’s mom, sharing your job responsibilities with us.  Also, our Buzzy Bash will be Friday( we are excited to hear which Stingers from our class will be recognized for displaying the character trait-Consideration during the 3rd quarter of school.

Here’s a snapshot of what our reading rotations look like daily:


March 18- 22 News…..

Reminder- Everyone is wearing green tomorrow at S.P.E.S.  Remember to return School Picture Packages and payment by March 20th.

Thank you Felix, Arjun, and Maddie for supporting the book fair and donating books/Barnes and Noble gift cards to our classroom.

The first grade Ice Cream Scavenger Hunt was cool!  Max and Maddie enjoyed making ice cream sundaes with friends.


March 11-15 News……….

Thanks for all those who have or planning to visit Barnes and Noble  this week. We appreciate your support of our school and your young readers! This week we continue our study of force and motion. Students will describe and classify the motion of objects that they encounter daily in their environment. We will begin our two week study about time.  Our focus will be telling time to the hour/half hour/a.m./pm. We will be reading non-fiction books to help us identify the main idea of a text.

March 4-8 News…..

We will be celebrating Dr. Seuss’ birthday all week.  Theses are the special events we have planned for the week:

Monday- “My Many Colored Days” – Wear rainbow colors.  Bring 1 or 2  Dr. Seuss books to read this week during read to self time.

Tuesday-  ‘Fox in Socks”-wear crazy socks.

Wednesday-” I’m not getting up” – wear pajamas.

Thursday- “The Cat in the Hat” – Wear a hat or red, black, and white.  Practice reading and spelling the Sight Words Spotlighted.

Friday- “Hooray for Diffendoofer Day” – Wear SPES spirit wear.

Take a look at our tennis rackets we designed and constructed during our study about Arthur Ashe Jr.


February 25- March 1 News……

We celebrated 100 day s of fun and learning with our classmates.  We dressed how we might look in 100 years.  Our day was filled with activities focusing on 100!

February 18-22 News…..

Friendship and love were in the air as planned, designed, and built our Valentine mailboxes.  The students enjoyed sharing Valentines and treats with one another on that special day.  Next week we will celebrate our 100th day of school on February 21st.  To celebrate the big day, the children will be dressing how they imagine a 100 year old person would look-There should be lots of grannies and grandpas rooming the hallways.  Stay tuned for photos of the big day.


February 11- 15 News…..

This week we will continue our unit on matter. Our focus will be on how
different substances interact with water. We will conduct hands on
experiments to explore what happens when a variety of solids and liquids
are mixed with water. For Valentine’s Day, students will have a chance to
engineer their own holder for their valentines. We will be collecting
recyclable boxes and container for this project.   Also, you child will need to bring craft items to decorate the mailbox.  Craft items can be stickers, foam foam shapes or Valentine theme items. Please send in by TUESDAY.  Thanks for your contributions.

We had a great week sharing KINDNESS with one another!!

We built The 3 Little Pigs’ Village and created  a map of it. t

January 29- Feb. 1 News…..

It’s Kindness Week at S.P.E.S.  Please encourage your first grader to complete the Kindness Challenge.  Look for the Kindness Challenge Menu in your child’s folders on Friday.  Also, there is a letter explaining the special events each day.  Hopefully, your first grader will be spreading some love and kindness this week.  We will wrap up our study of maps.  We will be constructing and making maps.  Our math focus will be place value.  We will compare numbers( least to greatest).  We will begin learning number equality.  Our reading assessments are complete so new reading groups will begin this week.  We have a busy fun-filled week ahead of us.

January 22-25th News…..

This week we will continue to explore number place value.  The children will be counting and grouping objects( beans, cubes, craft sticks) into tens.  We will be comparing numbers from least to greatest as well.  Our study of maps continues as we begin using our map skills.  We will be reading maps and locating our state and country on a map.  You can show your first grader maps as you visit the store or mall.  Let your child practice some map skills to locate places on the map and store.  Please replenish your child’s school supplies (crayons and black Expo markers).

January 14th- 18th News….

Thank you for supporting Bingo Night on Friday. First graders will begin
F&P/PALs testing during the next two weeks to check students’
reading growth. I will share information on the next report
card and during our next conference scheduled in February. This week we will also begin our unit on maps. We will focus on the difference between maps and globes and explore parts of a map.  School supplies need to be replenished-be sure to read the newsletter for more details.


“The Gifted Referral Window for K-2 is open from 1/3/19-1/18/19.  A child must be performing two grade levels above the current grade  year.  If you are interested in referring your child for gifted services please email Rebecca Walker ( and/or Karen Wright (  If you’d like to learn more about Gifted Programs in Henrico County, visit


Please take a moment to complete the school survey for families.  We would love to have your feedback and input.

Please submit by Friday, January 18th.

January 3-11th News…..

Welcome back from Winter Break.  We will  jump right into number combinations for the numbers 4-10.  The children will be using manipulatives and games to explore combinations for the numbers. We will begin spelling long vowel patterns with the silent e at the end of the word.  Our Science focus will be the learning about the season of Winter.  Hopefully, we will see some winter precipitation in January.  Please encourage and remind your child to complete an activity on Both HomeFUN Menus weekly.  We will continue to share our notebooks every Thursday.  To highlight positive behavior in 2019, we will recognize students who display above and beyond RockStar Green behavior on our Shining Stars Poster.  Be on the lookout for the color code pink on your child’s daily behavior calendar.

December 10-19th News…..

Thank you to Felix Moore’s mom and the other volunteering teaching our class how to code on the ipads.  We are well on our way coding programs.  Hopefully, the children are using the coding program links sent home last week.  We have complete all short vowel, blends, diagraph, and nasal sound patterns.  We will review all patterns studied and begin long vowels after Winter Break.  We will survey, graph, and interpret data during math.  Our science focus will be the Earth’s rotations, day/night, and seasons.  We are looking forward to our Winter Party and Jingle Bell Jam on December 19th.


Planning and constructing our Jamestown forts

December 3-7 News….

This week we will wrap up our unit on the relationship between the Jamestown settlers and Powhatan tribe with an “in-house field trip”.  We are looking forward to our visitors from Jamestown. The Jamestown Settlement in Williamsburg would make a perfect family trip. We will begin learning about the sun and Earth during Science.  We will be surveying, graphing, and analyzing graphs in Math. In Languages Arts, we will be studying story elements:characters, setting, and story sequence.

November 19th- 30th News…..

Everyone is excited to spend the upcoming holday with friends and families.  After holiday break we will begin learing about the Jamestown Settlement and the people associated with its development.  In math we will be exploring number magnitude. We will be estimating reasonable number amounts. Can you eat 3,30, or 300 cookies?  Are there 5,50,500 seats in the lunchroom?  Our reading and spelling continues to grow and we practice our reading and spelling skills daily.

November 12th-16th News….

We are looking forward to seeing everyone at our Veteran’s Day Progam on November 12 at 9:00.  The students should wear red, white, and blue for the performance. We will be learning about animal habitats.  Please send a shoe box(extra is you have any) for our habitats project on Wednesday, Nov. 14th.  Hopefully, you received information about the Square1 artwork in your child’s folder.  Please read the information below from Mrs. Dornik about ordering the artwork.

WOW!! I hope that you have received the amazing brochures and stickers that came home in your children’s backpack this week!!! I was so impressed!!! Please go online to order any keepsakes you want by the deadline next Friday, November 16th. All the ordering information is printed on the brochure. Feel free to contact me with questions! Thanks to the many families who have already ordered, I know you are going to love these one of a kind treasures! All money raised will benefit your child directly in the SPES Art program!

Here’s is the website address:

November 5-9 News…….


Our class had a fun-filled week of learning. We had a first hand look at service vehicles is the our community.  The police, VDOT, Public Works, and Henrico Schools Careers Red Bus job duties with us.  We loved sitting in the vehicles. Our pumpkin package engineering project was the highlight of the week.  The children explored the pumpkins(weighing, measuring, and testing if a pumpkin can float.  Then the teams planned and constructed packages to protect their pumpkins.  We tested the package designs as we lauched them from high above a tree stand.  We are looking forward to the Vetran’s Day Music Program on November 9th.  We hope you are able to join us for the performance. 

October 29-Nov. 2 News…………….


Thank you to the Godwin students who read and donated the book, Maybe Something Beautiful, to our class.  We created our own beautiful birds with the help from the Godwin students.  We are looking forward to the next time they visit our room.  Everyone had a great time at PAWS for reading eviening at the Gayton library.  We are looking forward to our upcoming Pumpkin Package STEM activity  and Touch a Truck program this week.

October 22-26 News…..


We will continue to learn about the state symbols of Virginia.  Perhaps your family could visit the state capitol, locate dogwood trees near your home, and spot a cardinal in the yard. We will be investigating growing patterns during math.   We will continue working on our writing and sharing our journals with one another this week.

Walk at School Event Photos…



October 15-19th News….

We had so much fun participating in the Walk at School event.  We will wrap up our study of fall.  We will start learning about Virginia symbols and traditions.  We are continuing our study of patterns in math.  We will focus on creating and extending patterns.  Interims will be coming home on Monday, October 15th.  Please sign and return intermins by Wednesday, October 17th.

October 8-11th News….

We will continue learning about the season of fall.  We will take a nature walk to observe the changes in plants.  Also, we will pretend to be squirrels as we gather acorns.  Please have your child bring an apple to school on Thursday, October 12th, to use in science.  After we compare our pumpkins and apples, we will get to eat our apples as a treat.

October 1-5 News….

The students got a first hand experience making contributions to our community by collecting snacks, making cards for our first responders and cleaning up our school grounds. Thank you to Layla’s mom for sharing and explaining the duties as a nurse with us.  We have a better understanding of the important roles the first responders in our community.  We are so grateful to all first responders in our community for keeping us safe and healthy.   We are looking forward to seeing signs of fall as we learn about the season this week.


September 24-28th News……

Thank you to Lisa’s father,Yevhen Khanin, and Mahee’s mother, Mahesh Jain, for sharing their cultures with us.  We enjoyed learning about different customs and  traditions.  It was fun learning to speak words in other languages,too.  This week we will be learning about volunteering and making contributions to our home, school, and  community.  As a service project we are making cards and thank you notes for the first responders in our community. The students may donate prepackaged snacks (chips, gum, snack bars) to go in our treat bags.  Please send donated snacks by September 27th.

September 17-21 News…….

This week we will be studying diversity and different cultures in Social Studies.  We are fortunate to have so many cultures represented in our classroom and school.  We look forward to the many parent volunteers who will be sharing their culture and traditions with us. Our unit of study in math will be shapes in our surroundings.  We will be going on an environment shape hunt around our school.  We will be exploring the shapes that comprise our daily world. During Language Arts we will focus on rhyming words and begin our Reading Learning Stations.  Please continue to review reading and spelling the sight words spotlighted on the newsletter.  I look forward to seeing everyone at Back To School Night on Sept. 20th.  The P.T.A. meeting begins at 6:30 in the gym.  Classroom presentations start promptly following the meeting.

September 10-14 News……

This week we will continue to review and practice our R.O.C.K. behaviors. We will begin using our classroom behavior system.  You will see in your child’s folder the behavior calendar. Please initial and return it daily.  The calendar is a great opportunity for you to reinforce your behavior expectations for your child at school. Refer to the teacher/parent comment section on the back of the calendar for explaination of your child’s daily behavior. I know the Stingers in 207 will “ROCK” good behavior!!!

Reminders – Complete and return your child’s medical update form if you did not during our Open House in August.

First Grade Here I Come……..(September 4- 7 News)

This week we will be getting to know our first grade friends and  learning school rules. Please check your child’s “Take Home Folder” for our weekly newsletter and other important papers.  (A digital copy of our weekly newsletter can found on our the blog under the Latest Buzz page).

In your child’s Take Home Folder, you will also find information regarding our first assignment. Please refer to the instructions page that was sent with the srapbook page. It’s such a fun way for us to learn more about one another! The assignment is due by Monday, Sept. 10th. We are looking forward to learning about our new friends in 207!

 Welcome to First Grade!

Hello everyone-

I would like to introduce myself.  My name is Mary Ann Golding.  I have been teaching first grade for 30 years. Every year is just as exciting and rewarding as my first year.  My husband is a retired educator from Henrico County Schools. We have twin sons that are 22 years old.  One has graduated from Virginia Tech and one is currently a student at VT. GO HOKIES!!!

Our Open House will be held on Thursday, August 30st from 2-4. This is a great time for you to bring your child’s school supplies, introduce ourselves, and see our classroom. Please remove all glue sticks, scissors, and headsets from the packaging. These items need to be labeled with your child’s name.  Also, please be sure to fill out all the necessary back to school forms on ZippSlip.  I look forward to an exciting year filled with lots of learning and laughter.

Mary Ann Golding