• Ms. McGibben and MiloHello Future First Graders and Families!

    Please check out the "Meet the Teacher" page to learn a little more about me. I am so excited to be joining the Rattlesnake community. Teachers have been busy getting rooms set up and we are all anxiously awaiting your arrival next week. 

    Parents, please bookmark this page and check it often for updates. Please also be on the lookout for messages delivered to your email via Blackboard Connect - they often end up in Spam.   

    I hope you can attend the Open House on Monday evening. Please bring your school supplies, be wearing your masks, and plan to spend 10-15 minutes in our space for a quick meet and greet. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions. My email is cmcgibben@mcpsmt.org

    See you soon!

    Ms. McGibben


  • Upcoming May dates and more!

    Posted by Clarke McGibben on 4/29/2022 3:30:00 PM

    Hello 1M Families,

    Happy May! I can’t believe we are down to a 1234handful of weeks left of this school year! Please see below for upcoming events and information.


    Special next week: Library (check-out with be Thursday instead of Friday)


    In ELA this week, we have been reviewing compound words and discussing the sounds ie, igh, kn, wr, ue, ew, and ie. We are continuing our space unit and are currently focusing more on the sun. 


    In math, we have begun a chapter for understanding tens and ones. This has been a challenging chapter for many of us so we are going to slow down and take our time with it! If a child has the number 53, for example, they can represent the number with 5 tens and 3 ones. They can also show the number with 4 tens and 13 ones. 


    We were extra kind and helpful community members this week! On Thursday, we delivered Ms. Jenkins and Ms. Erin flowers, coffee gift cards, and a giant poster to celebrate them during Administrative Professionals’ Week. Each child wrote a positive note or memory about each and then we added it to our “garden” on the poster. It is on display in the main entrance. Our dear Ms. Ellison has been under the weather this week (darn colds and losing voices!), and hasn’t been able to run groups. We made “Get Well Soon” cards and they were hand delivered on Thursday afternoon. She was so appreciative and it definitely brightened her day. Finally, it was Ms. Sarah’s birthday on Thursday and we gifted her flowers, a coffee card, and a giant stack of handmade cards. We love Ms. Sarah!


    On Monday, fire officials from the city, county, Forest Service and more came to talk to the first graders about fire safety. We learned how to safely extinguish campfires-drown, stir, and drown again! We also learned about the importance of making a plan and practicing that plan. Hopefully your learner came home and asked about escape routes and a meeting place! Lastly, did you know that smoke detector batteries should be checked once a month and changed once a year. Finally, we know it is super important not to hide if a fire starts. Get out, if it’s safe, or stand next to a window and wait for a firefighter to come rescue you.


    On Friday, we had two special visitors-Mr. Clark and Ms. G (Ms. McGibben’s grandpa and his friend). Ms. G is a retired teacher and had so much fun seeing our class and reading with the children. They led a craft center and even gifted us a puzzle of children from around the world. Such a fun and special treat for all of us!


    Important days for May:

    -Boosterthon kicks off on Monday, May 9th. This will be our fundraising platform for the Fun Run. Our wonderful PTA has a goal of raising $20,000. These funds will support classroom grants, field trips, pay for services to support our children such as FRC and our Paras, and more! 

    -Fun Run is on Friday, May 20th! More info to come! If you can volunteer to help, please contact the PTA. 

    -No School on Monday, May 30th


    Please let me know if you have any questions!


    Ms. McGibben 

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  • "I Love Reading Week" and more!

    Posted by Clarke McGibben on 4/15/2022 3:30:00 PM

    Hello 1M Families,

    This weeks BOOM folder is once again packed with important information such as details on our “I Love Reading” week NEXT WEEK, upcoming math investigations and more. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.

    Happy Birthday Otto on April 20th!

    I Love Reading Week, April 18th-22nd

    Please see the flier in your child's BOOM folder on the upcoming week. There will be dress up days, special author studies, and even a stuffy day. Please note: your child’s stuffy should be able to fit into their cubby (not much bigger than their backpacks). No giant stuffies please. 

    Don’t forget to have your child read each night, for at least 15 minutes (30 is preferred!). This makes a huge difference in their reading success! If you are being met with resistance, consider reading to them instead. 

    Special next week: PE

    Library check-out is Friday, April 22nd.


    Your child finished up unit 2 and took the assessment. Please check their BOOM folder for their score.

    Next, we are studying tens and ones place values and counting to 120. Children are expected to write and count accurately to 120 by the end of first grade. If your child is still struggling with this, please consider practicing at home to support their growth.  

    On Tuesday, we had a special visitor-my sister! She worked with the children on making paper flowers to add to our branches in the classroom. While we took down the snowflakes and said goodbye to winter in the room, of course Montana had different ideas. We are, however, ready for spring in 1M!

    On Friday, we continued with our constellation mini-deep dive and created our own constellations. Ask your child about theirs. They will be returning home in the next few weeks. 

    Thanks to the parents who donated some colored pencils, markers and erasers. Again, not expected but appreciated! We are still in need of some markers as we have zero back-ups and our markers are running very low on ink. If you have some to donate, it’s appreciated. Thank you!

    Available to help out with the Fun Run on May 20th? Please contact the PTA at rattlesnakepta@gmail.com 


    Have a wonderful weekend,

    Ms. McGibben 


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  • Drum Brothers, SPARK Arts, and more!

    Posted by Clarke McGibben on 4/1/2022 3:55:00 PM

    Hello 1M Families,


    The week seemed to blow by so quickly! Please read below for important updates and reminders.


    Next week's special is Library. 


    Happy Birthday to Josh on April 1st!


    Next week we have SPARKS Arts coming. Please check out this website to find out more information about what we will be doing! https://www.sparkartslearning.org/arts-integration-residency-directory/moon-in-motion


    Today, Friday April 1st, we had Drum Brothers come and do a 45 minute drum session with each first grade class. Ask your child all about the fun they had!


    In math, we just finished our session on word problems and will be starting “Collect and Compare Data” next week. We are almost finished with Unit 2!


    In literacy, we are reading texts, both informational and narrative, about the moon and space. We will be continuing this unit for the next couple of weeks. 


    Water: please be sure your child is bringing a filled up water bottle to school each day. Thanks!



    Ms. McGibben Drum Brothers 1Drum Brothers 2Drum Brothers 3

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  • Happy Friday and Welcome March!

    Posted by Clarke McGibben on 2/25/2022 3:30:00 PM

    Hello First Grade Families,

    Please see below for reminders and important upcoming dates!


    • Next weeks special: Library
    • Next Thursday, March 3rd, keep an eye out for SignUp Genius invites for Spring Parent/Teacher Conferences. 
    • This week we learned about contractions. Some children will be coming home with a contraction memory game. Please play this over the weekend and next week as part of “homework”.
    • Our family-inspired cinquain poems are complete! Syllable cinquain (sin-kain) poems have five lines and 22 syllables (2-4-6-8-2). Children wrote poems, and added a watercolor painting, with their own family in mind. Please see some of the work attached to this letter or on our class website. They are currently hanging above cubbies and will be sent home at a later date. 
    • Today, Friday 2/25, we investigated Alma Thomas as a mini artist study. Alma Thomas was a black teacher for 35 years in a segregated school in Washington DC. After retiring, she became an artist, and the first African American woman to have a solo art exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art at the age of 81. Her abstract paintings, mostly watercolor, were inspired by nature and colors in nature. Children completed an inspired painting in the afternoon. She was alive from 1891-1978. Stay tuned for pictures from this fun exploration!
    • In math, we are still conquering making a ten to subtract. We hope to finish this unit next week before taking a mid-unit quiz before report cards. 
    • Next week will be filled with mid-term assessments. Please let me know if your child will be absent ahead of time. 
    • Wash those hands! Help keep our class and your child healthy! Please review the importance of proper hand washing at home. I would greatly appreciate it!


    Have a wonderful weekend!


    Ms. McGibben 

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  • Valentine's Day and more announcements!

    Posted by Clarke McGibben on 2/11/2022 3:30:00 PM

    Hello First Grade Families,


    We had an exciting week celebrating the 100th day of school! On Tuesday, we created a 100 cup tower as a group. We worked together, rolling a die for each child to determine how many cups they would add, and we managed to not knock it down the whole day! Children had to communicate with each other while taking turns to make sure the tower would keep standing and rise up. Please read below for important information and important dates.


    Monday is Valentine's day! Please have your child bring their valentines (without food or candy!) in the morning. In the afternoon, we will exchange cards before the end of the day. Children will get to open each card at home. The list of names went out on Monday, both in email and through a letter on pink paper put in each backpack. If you have any questions, please let me know.


    Next weeks special is PE! Please provide a separate pair of shoes for your child. Also, waterbottles! 


    Thanks to the families that purchased items from my wish list on Amazon! A few things came without names…if you didn’t receive a thank you from me, that is why. Please reach out if you purchased items and didn’t hear from me. We are all enjoying our new items in class. From books to a new high-frequency word chart, all the purchases are helping our young readers and scholars! 


    In ELA, for those who don’t spend Literacy with Ms. Ellison, we are finishing our unit on “The Family Tree” and “Arbor Day.” To celebrate family, we are studying poetry, cinquain poems to be exact. Syllable cinquain poems have five lines and 22 syllables (2-4-6-8-2). We’ve been working hard on our syllable counting! These poems will be finished next week so stay tuned.


    In math, we are finishing up Lesson 13 and will begin Lesson 14 next week. Look for the family letter coming home on what that unit focuses on. 


    Black History Month news…we finished “The ABC’s on Black History” on Thursday. Over the next week, we will be learning about Harriet Tubman, Jackie Robinson, and more! Soon we will read “Henry’s Freedom Box” a true story, and high-quality children’s picture book, about a slave that escaped to freedom. 


    Have a wonderful weekend!


    Ms. McGibben 

    Rainbow heartsHundred cup tower

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  • Black History Month, Groundhogs Day, and more!

    Posted by Clarke McGibben on 2/4/2022 3:30:00 PM

    Hello First Grade Families,

    This week we had a lot of fun learning about Groundhogs Day! We crafted a bar graph to display our data (votes for yes or no to seeing his shadow). Scholars then organized the data points on their own graph. We watched several videos about Groundhogs Day and learned some very interesting facts about groundhogs. Did you know groundhogs’ teeth never stop growing? That’s why they have to chew on wood-to cut their teeth! We also wrote acrostic poems and made a groundhog peeking out of a “hole”. Ask your children what they learned! 

    On Wednesday, we participated in a creative dramatics workshop with MCT. Young actors learned about what it takes to put on a show (spoiler alert: you can put on a show with very little!), miming, and acting through stories. Thanks to our PTA and The Washington Foundation for sponsoring the workshops! Children are currently finishing thank you notes to both the MCT presenters, our fabulous PTA, and The Washington Foundation. 


    Please read below for further announcements and reminders!


    • Special next week is Art
    • Super Bowl Food Drive: Rattlesnake is competing with Chief Charlo and Lewis and Clark schools to see who can collect the most cans for our local food bank! Collection runs next week, February 7th-11th. 
    • Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. Please stay tuned for information regarding celebrations. 
    • No school on Monday. February 21st for President’s Day
    • February is Black History Month! Throughout the school year, but especially this month, I will be highlighting some books that focus on Black historical figures. We will also be listening to some podcast episodes from “Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls” to learn about people such as Maya Angelou, Mae Jemmison and more! Today, we listened to the episode on Ruby Bridges. Did you know Ruby Bridges was the same age as your child when she went to school with white children for the first time? Did you also know that Ruby Bridges is still alive? She is only 67 years old. I strive to read different picture books throughout the entire year that expose children to unfamiliar people, traditions and history. This week, we started reading The ABC’s of Black History by Rio Cortez. We are reading a few letters each day. We also listened to a book about Louis Armstrong followed by listening to some of his music during quiet work time. 
    • Happy birthday to EB on Tuesday (the 1st!)


    Please let me know if you have any questions.


    Ms. McGibben 


    “History is not the past. It is the present. We carry our history with us. We are our history.”

    -James Baldwin


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  • Weekly Update!

    Posted by Clarke McGibben on 1/21/2022 3:30:00 PM

    Hello First Grade Families,


    Next week's special is music!


    This week, we finished up our unit introducing teen numbers in math. We discussed how a teen number has one group of 10 and a certain number of ones. 


    In literacy, we are wrapping up our unit on “Goods and Services,” discussing consumers, producers, and how supermarkets work. There have been several interesting conversations surrounding these topics! In addition, we continue to work on decoding CVCe (consonant-vowel-consonant-e) words such as cake, bike, and mule. Plus, digraphs and blends are a focus, especially for those who are in the 2G reading level. Please look for new work lists coming home next week! Your help and support at home is greatly appreciated and noticed!


    As a reminder-please make sure your child has a water bottle and slippers each day.


    I have created a “wishlist” on Amazon. It can be found by searching “Ms. McGibben’s Wish List 21-22 Rattlesnake Elementary School” or by this link https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/1AG8XRSDRWX8Q?ref_=wl_share

    While I do feel uncomfortable putting this out there, some parents have asked what they could provide or if I needed anything. So if you are curious…there are a few things that would be super helpful! In addition to the list, we could always use Lysol or other wipes to sanitize, markers, and pencils.


    Thanks to the PTA! I have really appreciated their funds, which are raised from families like yours! The funds allowed me to purchase a new area rug for our class back in the fall. In addition, the money supplied dry erase markers (which we use several times a day!), some books, and supplies for different art projects!

    If you are interested in donating to the PTA, please contact rattlesnakepta@gmail.com


    Have a wonderful weekend!


    Ms. McGibben 


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  • Welcome Back!

    Posted by Clarke McGibben on 1/7/2022 3:30:00 PM

    Hello First Grade Families,

    What a busy first week of the new year! We hit the ground running, or perhaps more like skating through all of this snow…

    Please read below for important announcements!


    1. This week we discussed CVCe words (consonant-vowel-consonant-e). This is a change up from what they’ve been used to reading as we start with a lot of CVC words when we begin reading (i.e. cat, dog, mat, hid, sit, etc.). In addition, we talked about how when “c” is paired with an -e or -i, it makes a “ssssss” sound and when “g” is paired with an -e or -i it makes a “j” sound. This weekend, please take time to read the decodable readers in your child’s BOOM folder. These readers practice these new tools for reading. Please return them on Monday.
    2. In math, we are wrapping up our Lesson 10 and completing our Unit 1 test! Soon we will begin Unit 2 which covers addition and subtraction within 20 and representing data. If your child is still struggling to recognize teen numbers, please work with them at home. Tip: when checking, don’t ask them to identify numbers in order as they’ve likely memorized the order but remembering the number out of order is different. 
    3. Extra shoes are super helpful during the wet months. Without them, snow and mud is tracked into our classroom, making our class rug and carpet wet. When we sit on them for whole group activities, it can be uncomfortable. If you are able to provide a pair of slippers (with a hard sole in case of emergencies) or comfortable tennis shoes, that would be much appreciated!
    4. Special next week is Art!


    Homework! Reading for 15 minutes each night with your child is our homework. Both reading to and having them read is great. If you need any recommendations, please reach out to myself or our librarian, Robin Nygren. 


    Happy New Year! 


    Ms. McGibben 


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  • Human Rights Day and more!

    Posted by Clarke McGibben on 12/10/2021

    Hello First Grade Families,

    I hope you are having a wonderful December. It’s crazy to think we have one week left until winter break! Please read below for important reminders and announcements.


    Special next week: music

    Library check-out on Friday


    Hat and Sock Day on Tuesday

    -As a Rattlesnake Staff Winter Challenge, we have a festive hat and crazy sock day on Tuesday. We are inviting the children to join us for this event. Your child is welcome to wear their most festive winter hat and craziest socks on Tuesday!


    Snow Gear, Extra Shoes/Slippers, etc.

    -Please send your child with proper outerwear for the wintery days. We have extra in the FCC for anyone who needs them, please just let me know! In addition, having a spare pair of socks and shoes or slippers (with a hard sole incase of emergency!), is incredibly helpful. Not only are the boots loud in the room, they track snow and mud in to our sitting areas. Your help is so appreciated. Finally, please label your child’s snow gear. With 38 hands and 18 heads, it’s pretty tricky to keep track of gloves and hats when they inevitably get a bit mixed up. Thank you!


    Winter Break Celebration

    -Next Friday, 12/17, we will have a fun day celebrating the winter break! If you are interested in providing a snack or activity for the class, please let me know. Unfortunately, we are unable to have parent helpers in the classroom at this time. Some activities already include a school-wide (in our classroom) sing-along, a preview of the Garden City Ballet’s Nutcracker performance, and more!


    PTA Fundraiser

    -Please consider donating to the PTA’s Direct Donate fundraiser. This money is critical to help support our students and school events. Thanks to the PTA’s help, we are able to have our reading specialist who works with almost every child in our class. Thank you!


    To celebrate Human Rights Day today, we listened to/watched the story "For Every Child, A Better World" by Kermit the Frog. Afterwards, each child cut out a dove feather and wrote a wish for the world. Ask your child what their wish was!

    Our class dovePlease check out your child's BOOM folder (or backpack) for a newsletter about upcoming events. As a reminder, these come home each Friday and should be returned the following Monday.

    Have a wonderful weekend!


    Ms. McGibben 

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  • Happy Halloween! (and other announcements)

    Posted by Clarke McGibben on 10/29/2021 4:00:00 PM

    Hello First Grade Families,


    What a week! What a month! It seemed to have flown by so quickly!

    Please see below for reminders and announcements.


    • Please be sure you have signed up for a conference. If you did not get the email, let me know and I can resend the link to Sign-up Genius. 
    • Next week we will be doing some assessment for report cards. If your child is going to be absent, please let me know as soon as possible. 
    • Special next week is art. We will have a library check-out on Friday. Have your child return their books by Thursday. 
    • This week we studied digraphs! Specifically: sh, ch, th, wh, and ph. A game will be coming home today. Please play it at least twice over the weekend. Directions are included!
    • Check out the November calendar in this BOOM folder. Many important dates are coming up! 
    • After Halloween, it may be tempting for your child to sneak a bunch of candy into their backpack. Please make sure that stays at home (other than one or two in the lunchbox...I get it). There can be no candy swapping and having candy in the backpacks may lead to sugar overdoses. Please...no thank you. :) 


    I hope you all have a fun and safe Halloween weekend! 


    Happy Haunting!


    Ms. McGibben

    Festivities today included: pin the bowtie on the skeleton, halloween math games and a coloring sheet, build a "spider," "monster," or "pumpkin" and write about your creation, spooky word bingo, drawing tutorial, and more!


    Elise writing about her "Build a Pumpkin"Flint building his spiderJosh cutting pipe cleaners to add to his spider!Lily's pumpkin!Hudson building his monster!Pin the bowtie on the skeleton!Grace and Olivia working together to solve math problems on our coloring sheets.Pin the bowtie on the skeleton!Pin the bowtie on the skeleton!

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