• 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


  • 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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  • Friday, 10/8

    Posted by Clarke McGibben on 10/11/2021

    Hello First Grade Families,



    1- Library check-out has changed. We now have our check-out on Friday’s. This is due to a new counselor joining our community and that schedule works closely with the library. Due to their availability, check-out changed. That means your child will bring new books home on Friday and they do not need to be returned until Friday. Thanks for your understanding and flexibility!

    2- Special next week is PE. Please be sure your child has an extra pair of shoes for the gym and a water bottle.

    3- On Wednesday next week, we will have Dacia Greigo, our Native American Education Specialist, join us for a reading!


    This week, we spent time in our ELA and Math block learning about Indian Boarding Schools. Last week, on September 30th, was Orange Shirt Day, a day to remember and honor the indigenous children that were sent away to boarding schools in the US and Canada. We read a range of books including, “When I Was Eight,” and “Not My Girl,” both by Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton, and “Shin-chi’s Canoe,” by Nicola I. Campbell. We collected data on how many schools were in each state and made a giant bar graph in math. We are beginning to discuss the 5 W’s (who, what, when, where, and why) of boarding schools and will be adding facts to our bar graph to educate others in our school. If you are interested in the curriculum, please check out boardingschoolhealing.org and cbc.ca/kids (search Orange Shirt Day). 


    Also in ELA we have been working on our “Time to Sleep” unit. “Time to Sleep” is an informational text and we are working on using text to write facts, find information, and compare and contrast different animals. In writing, we’ve been studying short “o” words such as dog, hop, pot, etc. Our letters this week were w, j, r, and k. 


    In math, we are studying number bonds. For example 5 + 2 = 7 and so does 2 + 5. Using dominos and connecting cubes are great visuals for this! We are also going back to the basics and are continuing to strengthen our number recognition and writing skills!


    Please let me know if you have any questions!

    Have a great weekend,

    Ms. McGibben

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  • Picture Day Monday and Other Announcements

    Posted by Clarke McGibben on 10/1/2021 3:45:00 PM

    Hello First Grade Families,

    What a wonderful and sunny week! Our trip to the PEAS farm was fantastic. As it was my first time, I was so excited to see the children engaged and eager to try new things. What a wonderful community resource! A few reminders and announcements….


    1. Per the student handbook, toys are not allowed at school. They should not be stored in backpacks as they become a major distraction during transition times and can become lost. Toys like slingshots, nerf guns, etc. are especially not allowed. If you have any questions, please reference the student handbook or reach out. 
    2. Picture day is this MONDAY, OCTOBER 4TH. You can find the info in their BOOM folder. Please order online or return the form on Monday. 
    3. Special next week is Art.
    4. “Homework” While not required, please play the Race to the Pond game your child is bringing home today. We are working on letters, letter sounds, and short “o” words. Consistent and supportive practice will allow your reader to become fluent while decoding words. Thanks!
    5. Scholastic Book Orders: New order form in BOOM folder. Due on Monday, 10/4.
    6. On Monday….Happy Birthday Sam!


    In ELA this week, we began a new unit! We are reading “Time to Sleep,” an informational text about the different ways animals sleep. We are using text features such as a table of contents to locate information and learning to ask and answer questions using the text. We are also focusing on the letters Dd, Hh, Ll, and Oo. In addition, we are learning to decode short “o” words such as top, dot, shop, etc. Please play the “Race to the Pond” game with your scholar at least twice this weekend. You will need one die and game pieces (such as coins, or pieces from other games). We are saying the lily pads skip forward one space, not go backwards. 


    In math, we finished up our “doubles” and “near doubles” study. We will spend the next week reviewing our first two units, working on our number writing and recognition, and then moving into our next investigation of number bonds. 


    Have a fabulous weekend,

    Ms. McGibben 

    Beautiful Flowers at PEAS FarmFlowersPetting chickensWaiting to pet the chickenOur new rug!Putting the garden to bedTasty Rainbow Soup!Onion timeWhat a carrot!!Rattlesnake Garden

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  • Happy Autumn!

    Posted by Clarke McGibben on 9/24/2021 4:10:00 PM

    Hello First Grade Families, 

    Happy Autumn! This week, the children created beautiful fall leaves from construction paper. We will be adding them to our branches in the classroom to bring the season inside with us! Below are a few reminders and updates on what we have been learning. 


    1. Field Trip- This upcoming Wednesday, September 29th to the PEAS Farm. We will leave our school, on walking feet, around 9:45am and will return in time for lunch. Please be sure your child is dressed appropriately for the weather and has a mask (and a spare!). 
    2. Picture day is October 4th!
    3. Special next week is Library. As always, please be sure your reader is bringing their library books back at the beginning of every week. 
    4. Happy birthday to Grace on Wednesday!


    In ELA this week we continued our Stellaluna unit. We added new vocabulary words and discussed the differences between informational and literary texts. In addition, we reviewed the elements of a story and learned about the central message of a story, or, what the author is trying to teach us. We have been practicing our “Magic “c” letters” which are those that are all formed by making a c first (a, c, d, g, o, and q). For work on writing, we wrote letters to someone. Children crafted beautiful letters, some in appreciation, some in reflection. We also started our IRLA assessments to determine where each reader is, what we can work on this year, and what books would best fit them! Readers created a “Roll and Read” game with short “a” and short “i” words such as cat, man, tin, fit, etc. Try to play a few times with your child over the next week! Noticing these patterns in words will greatly improve their decoding and fluency skills when reading. 

    In math this week, we learned about doubles and near doubles. For example, 2 + 2 is a double because both addends are the same. 2 + 3 is a near double because one of the addends is one more or one less than the other. We can easily solve a near double because we will memorize the double that is close to it, then add one. We can think of 2 + 3 as 2 + 2 + 1. To help us memorize these math facts we created a flip game! When your child brings these home, please support them in memorizing these math facts. This will help them solve harder problems in the future!


    As always, thank you for sharing your scholar with me!


    Ms. McGibben 

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  • Third Week Check-In

    Posted by Clarke McGibben on 9/17/2021 3:45:00 PM

    Hello First Grade Families,

    Another successful week! A few reminders and announcements...

    • On Wednesday, September 29th, we will be taking a field trip to the PEAS farm. We will be walking and leaving around 9:30am. We will return in time for lunch. Your child should wear comfortable shoes and be dressed appropriately for the weather. If you are interested in joining us or have any questions, please email me at cmcgibben@mcpsmt.org.
    • Library books...please be sure your child is bringing back their book(s) each week. We have a new check out period every week and they will not be able to get new books without returning old ones. 
    • Water bottles. Please be sure your child has a water bottle each day. I encourage them to leave the bottle here and take it home on Friday to be washed. If you would prefer they take it home everyday, I totally understand, and your child can just let me know. We are not using water fountains at the moment due to COVID precautions. Thanks!
    • Picture Day! Picture day is October 4th. Mark your calendars! 


    This week we focused on our Daily 5. We practiced how to select books that fit us and our reading levels, reading to ourselves, word work, listening to reading, and work on writing. We made a collage about the elements of a story, using events, characters, and settings from “Stellaluna” and a “Toad and Frog” book from our current unit for inspiration. For word work, we familiarized ourselves with some of our worksheets and practiced building our words with magnet tiles, word tiles, playdoh, and more! In math we practiced “counting on.” For example, for 5 + 3, we wouldn’t need to put up 5 fingers then 3 fingers and count them all. We could just put up 3, say 5, and count on from there. Please ask your child about this and practice at home! 


    Wanting something more to do at home? If your child is still working on letter recognition, number recognition, or writing letters and numbers, these are great to practice. In addition, baking or cooking, counting dishes you are putting away, matching up socks, sorting shirts and pants and counting them up, and other household chores are great ways to work in math into everyday life! 

    I hope you have a great weekend! 


    Ms. McGibben 


    Brady's "Math Art"Math Art 2Math Art 3Word WorkClass Morphological ChartOur colorful classroom!Word WorkElements of a story

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  • Second Week in the Books!

    Posted by Clarke McGibben on 9/10/2021 3:45:00 PM

    Hello First Grade Families,

     Garden Learning

    Week two in the books! This week we crafted some folding paper math art, visited our garden and tried some yummy fresh vegetables (some of us planted them last spring!), did “show and share” with our “me” items, and continued on with our Stellaluna unit. Towards the end of the week, we started learning about “Word Work” and “Listen to Reading” for our Daily 5 practice. We are continuing to discuss how we move and learn within our community. One of our words this week was “brave.” We connected that to being brave at recess and asking a friend to play with you or asking to join in to play! 


    A quick THANK YOU to our fabulous PTA. I personally really appreciate the beautiful flowers you put in our spaces to begin the school year. In addition, the children brought in wonderful blooms throughout the week that really made our room pop with color! Please take a minute to read the letter in the BOOM folder to learn about the amazing things they are doing and have done for our community. 




    1. Water bottles. Children need water bottles everyday. If you are unable to provide one, please let me know. I encourage them to keep them at school and take them home on Friday.
    2. After some reflection, I will be sending home BOOM folders on Friday only. If you have a note or info to get to me before Thursday (when I probably have the time to look in the folders) please email or call. I cannot guarantee I will see it before the end of the week.
    3. Please return the BOOM folder on Mondays (or the first day of the following week). 
    4. Scholastic Book Orders! When you buy books, our class gets books! Please return the order (in BOOM fodler) by Monday, September 20th if you are interested in purchasing any books.
    5. Next week we have PE. Please have your child bring an extra pair of shoes. They can keep them in their cubby all week. 


    Please let me know if you have any questions! As always, it is a joy to be a part of your scholars' learning!



    Ms. McGibben 

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  • First week...check!

    Posted by Clarke McGibben on 9/3/2021 3:30:00 PM

    Thank You Custodians!Our class wrote letters of appreciation for our custodians who worked tirelessly over the summer to prepare our school for our return! We were able to hand deliver them today and they were so excited. We agreed it felt really good to do something nice for others!


    Dear First Grade Families,

    Whew! First week of first grade is done! I hope your child had a positive and fun week as we worked through the ups and downs of being back in school and adjusting to a new routine! 

    A few reminders…


    1-If your child has a getting home routine that changes often, please send me an email or call to let me know. If it’s easier, an email at the start of the week with all the info is great too!


    2-In lieu of homework, please be sure your child is reading 30 minutes a day. Whether they are being read to, listening to a story, or reading on their own (even just looking at pictures!) that is super beneficial. 


    3-We will begin using our computers soon. Children will need a set of headphones so that they can listen while not interrupting the rest of the class. If you are unable to provide a set, not a problem! Just email or call and I can track a pair down!


    4-Please have your child bring no more than 5 items in their “me bag” included in their Boom folder on Monday. We will keep them throughout the week as a few children share their items each day. 


    It is a joy to be working with your child this year! I am so excited for the fun times to come. Always feel free to reach out if you have any questions. 

    cmcgibben@mcpsmt.org or 728-2400 x4726



    Ms. McGibben (Clarke)


    PS-There is a little card in the Boom folder for your child...please help them open it and read it :) Thanks!



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