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First Days of First Grade

September 23, 2020 | Becca Brasser

The first few days in first grade were very full. The students are daily introduced to new procedures, try new activities, and continue to get to know the other students in their classroom community. In just our first 10 days, students have explored water experiments, paper collage, watercolor paint, math games, writing workshop, and much more!


The children have delved into an investigation into the properties of water. How does water move? What happens when you push two drops of water toward each other? What is true about water? These are just some of our questions.

The children have also started to make a plan for a daily work period. They rotate through a variety of activities including Mystery Building (we use a rotation of exciting building materials to prevent the spread of germs), Paint, Collage, Drawing, and Science.


The children spend time in gross-motor play two times each day. Sometimes, we use the gym, and sometimes, we use the play yard outside.


These first few weeks are filled with times for exploring materials and becoming aware of the rules for using them in the best ways. Math supplies, art materials, and science tools are introduced intentionally and children have time to generate rules for their use. Each child has a bin of personal materials to keep organized and ready for each project.

We also started our Field and Forest Friday program last week. We walked to Columbus Park where we ate, played ran, rested, and listened to a story. Some of us even chatted across the sidewalk with friends from the other first grade class. We will layer in other elements of our outdoor playtime on Fridays including observational drawing and nature study. While we will not venture to any actual forests for the time being, we plan to appreciate the natural world as we discover it in Hoboken!

Becca Brasser

Teacher, Grade 1

Becca Brasser has been teaching first grade at Mustard Seed School since 2002. She’s passionate about teaching children to read, write, experiment, and take risks as they explore the world around them. Her own studies (including a Master of Arts degree from New Jersey City University) have given her expertise and experience in the area of literacy education.

Ms. Brasser especially enjoys taking her students on field trips all over the New York Metropolitan area, traveling on foot, subway, bus, commuter train, and ferry. Some favorite trips: the Hudson Hike, the New York Transit Museum, and the Central Park Zoo to study penguins.

Although she lives in the city, Ms. Brasser loves escaping to nature and finding it in her everyday life as well. She loves to explore rivers and lakes, woods and mountains with her husband Matt, their daughter, Annika, and son, Theo.

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