First Grade Bear Cubs: Busy Start to the School Year


Mrs. O’s first grade Bear Cubs have been very busy since the school year began!

22 students are in Mrs. O’s class, and 19 of those students are returning students who were able to loop up with Mrs. O – who was their kindergarten teacher last year.

The six and seven-year old students spent the first two days of school – Champion Days – reacquainting themselves, learning about their new classmates and reviewing the school and classroom expectations.

Mrs. O says the Bear Cubs were real Champions when they asked if they could have 22 classroom jobs this year – one job for every Bear Cub each day. The students have taken ownership of their positions, resulting in an orderly and happy classroom.

Students took oral and written assessments to see what information they could recall from kindergarten. They also looked ahead – checking out all that is to be learned in first grade per the Arizona State Standards.

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The Bear Cubs have already begun Independent Study Projects. All first graders in each of the four classes have time set aside each school day to work on their Independent Study Projects. Students  pick a topic of their choice, conduct research on the topic and work towards a culminating project that will showcase what they have learned. These projects will then be shared with the rest of the
class and perhaps to an even greater audience – such as the rest of the school, parents or even community members. The Bear Cubs have also partnered with Mr. Steve’s fourth grade students – their Study Buddies – to expand on this work. The two classes meet once a week in which they utilize the school library to find resources.

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The Bear Cubs are always thinking and becoming life-long learners. Excitement from finding a dead bug at recess turned into one student suggesting, “I’m going to
research this insect. I wonder how long it lives.”

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Go Bear Cubs! We are proud of you.