McKay's First Grade News

Ms. McKay's Marvelous News

  • January 7, 2019

    Dear Parent(s), 

     Happy New Year!  I hope you all had a great holiday break!  I enjoyed all the wonderful gifts that were sent to the IEA Children's Fund.  Thank you!  Thank you also for your thoughtful gifts.  I appreicate all you do to help our students succeed!

    I encourage you to spending time listening to your student read.  Reading is so very important and is a life skill.  I have several students who are just on the edge of becoming great readers and just need a little more time practicing at home.  We read through out the day at school but my ratio is low when you think that I am 1:21 in time I can spend with each student.  Please help your child to move forward.  All of my students have the potential to be ready for 2nd grade.  Thank you for all you have invested in your child's reading ability. I can't do it alone. Thank you for being my partner in helping your child to become a great reader.

    We are talking about seasons and especially winter and it's characteristics.  We will be talking about the life cycle of Penguins.  We continue to work on our math intervention program: iReady and our reading program iStation.  On January 14th, we will begin assessing our students to see progress for the former IRI in iStation.  

    I have enjoyed returning to my wonderful students.  They are all so happy to be with their friends again!  I love my job and teaching these sweet children.  I am so impressed with the kind and caring people that I have in my class!  Thank you Parents!


    Ms. McKay 













     Dear Parent(s),

    I hope you have received my email to sign up on Sign Up Genius for Parent/Teacher Conferences.  If you have not then please do so.  Please contact me by calling me or email me right away!  Thank you!  Parent/Teacher Conferences will be October 24 and 25, 2018.


    Cindy McKay
















    August 21, 2018

    Dear Parent(s),

    Today at 2:30 -3:30 PM we will have Meet & Greet at Discovery Elementary.  Please come and bring school supplies and fill out important paper work at our classroom, room 3.  This will help your child become familiar with the room and help him/her have a great day to start tomorrow.  Please be sure to get a transportation tag to put on your child's back pack to show the way he/she will go home on a regular school day.  I am looking forward to meeting you and my new students! 


    Ms. McKay












    February 17, 2018

    Dear Parent(s),

    Thank you again for all the contributions to our Valentine Party.  Everyone had a nice time!

    I hope that you noticed that I sent the Homework Packet home on Friday so there would be more time for studying Spelling.  This week's words are long so it will be challenging for some.  We will not do Challenge Words due to the short week.  Please study a bit more so everyone will succeed.

    We are enjoying our NY Math.  The last module was full of rigor and practice.  The class did pretty well on end of Module 2 Assessment.  We are saving Module 3 for the end of the year and tackling Module 4.  The kids have been cruising along with the practice.  They seem to be enjoying showing all the things that they know.  It is so fun to see them grow.  I tell them that I am learning right along with them.  ( I really am! )  

    We talked a little about Chinese New Year on Friday.  It is the year of the dog.  We discussed a lot of things that were invented by the Chinese.  

    We also talked about George Washington and President's Day.  We will talk about Abraham Lincoln this week.  They both accomplished greatness for our country. 

    We have begun a unit on Matter.  We will be talking about Solids, Liquids, and Gases.  We will compare and contrast with these four states of matter.  I have some fun demos for them to be involved with.  They are all excited about learning.

    Our character trait for February is honesty.  Please encourage your child to demonstrate honesty.  Honesty is important.

    I appreciate the great children you have sent me.  They are so fun to be with and to teach!  

    Please keep them reading.  The most important skill First graders will gain is to become good readers.  Learning to read is so important!  Thank you for all your support with reading.  I cannot do it without your home practice.  You are making a difference by having your child read each day for twenty minutes.  Thank you!

    I appreciate the volunteers that give of their time.   You have helped us so much.  We all appreciate your help!

    I try to stay in tune with what is going on with my sweet students but I do miss things at times.  Please feel free to email me or call so I can help solve any problems that may come up with them.  I want the children to love school and I do try to make things fun for them.  I always hope that they are having as much fun as I am.  There is so much to learn and they are all making progress.  Hooray!


    Cindy McKay

















    February 2, 2014

    We had a great popcorn Friday!  We began our day with a book about groundhogs and enjoyed learning about the tradition of Groundhog Day.  It was fun to predict if the groundhog saw his shadow, or not.  Back East, the groundhog did see his shadow.  We thought he would not see his shadow here but the sun came out and he did see his shadow, so according to tradition, we will see six more weeks of winter.  We hope that won't be true because we are enjoying our mild weather.  We started coloring a fun little Groundhog boolet.  Please be sure that your student reads this booklet to you a couple of times.  Thank you!

    We have been learning about Penguins and this morning, Mr. Dudley came in and read a penguin book about Cuddly Dudley.  We enjoyed having our principal come and read to us.  The book was fun and Mr. Dudley let us join in some of the reading.

    Later in the day, we went to a Caught Ya Bein' Great Assembly.  We sang our school song and then Awards were given out. Next, students were chosen to throw a whip cream pie in a number of peoples' faces.  We were very entertained by this activity.  A number of teachers volunteered and so did Mr. Dudley and Mr. Kats.  It was great!

    The January Pizza Hut Reading Logs are now due.  Please sign it and help your student get it back to me for a Personal Pan Pizza coupon.  Please keep reading and I hope many of my students are working on the Roaring Reader One Day Pass.  Please be sure to record the reading material your child is reading and the time.  We still have plenty of time left to accomplish this goal.  I am seeing plenty of improvement in reading.  Thank you for supporting this important life-time skill.

    We work very hard in Math.  I am learning as much as the children are.  Occasionally, they are teaching me.  This new math can be complicated but I have a lot terrific mathematitions.  I am very proud of the progress being made.  When we get bogged down we sing our We Love Math song and it gets us energized to continue. 

    Mr. Kats just completed lessons on Personal Safety.  He did a great job with some singing and dancing to motivate the students to be engaged with this important subject.  I enjoyed listening to the lessons geared to First Grade.  Officer York, our Resource Officer, helped with the "Stranger Danger" part of the the lessons.  That was great to have him come in uniform and talk to the class and answer questions too.  There was some role playing involved too.  The children were very polite and attentive and I am sure they learned a lot.  Mr. Kats talked about the Never, Never list of things.  Ask your child about that.  I feel certain that they remember a lot of the information which will keep them safer.

    Valentine's Day is coming up and we will celebrate with a Valentine's Party.  I will send home on Monday, a list of names of our classmates.  Please be sure to be ready to share Valentines on Feb. 12th, 13th or 14th.  We will decorate a bag for our mail box.  Please plan on one valentine for each of our 19 students.  Thank you!

    Thank you to all volunteers who give of their valuable time to come in and help.  You really make a difference!

    Please call me or email me if you every have any problems or concerns about your student.  Communication is key to a good support system for your child.  I appreciate these wonderful young people.  They are a pleasure to teach.  Thank you! 









     December 16, 2017  

    Our Craft Night was well attended.  I think everyone who attended on Dec. 7th had a good time.  Thank you for your donations and attendance.  It was fun to see students so engaged in completing crafts and having fun with parents!

    The count-down has begun.  The children are gearing up for the most anticipated day of the year.  We are enjoying watching for kind acts being performed by our class members.  It has been fun to see so many students trying to be kind.  Each act of kindness can be written down on a pink heart, provided by Mr. Kats and then he posts it on a bulletin board with the Grinch on it.  We are all making his heart grow larger.

    We will be doing Grinch projects on Dec. 21st.  We will have fun writing about Christmas, creating our own large Grinch We will watch the animated movie of the Grinch.

    Our Christmas Party will be held in our room, Dec. 21,2017 from 2:50-3:50 P.M.  Thank you to Amy Wilson for organizing our party.  Thank you to all of you who are contributing to make this fun for the children.

    This month's character trait is "Generosity" so Discovery is having a food drive for the Salvation Army.  We are also collecting spare change to donate to Christmas Dinner sponsored by Albertson's.  We were in 3rd place a the end of the Thanksgiving Dinner money donations.  Thank you for all the generous donations.  Remember that you can contribute to the IEA Children's Fund if you are able.                                        Thank you!

    There will be no Challenge Spelling due to not having school on Friday, Dec. 22, 2017.

    There is a menu change for Lunch program:  Thursday, Dec. 21st will be #1. Chicken Nuggets and #2. Soft Chicken Taco.

    Please be sure to keep track of your child's reading over the month of Dec. on the Pizza Hut Book It Log to be returned on January 8, 2018 when we return from our break.  I will send home January's Log this week so you can get started.  Mr. Dudley wants all children to read at least 20 minutes each day.  This is part of our homework.  Please help your child do this.  All students need the practice.  I will only give Pizza Hut Book It pizza coupons if your child returns the reading log with the total amount of reading required.  Thank you for helping your student.

    Thank you to our amazing volunteers!  You do so much to help our class and me.  Thank you!!!

    I hope each of you have a wonderful holiday season and enjoy family time over our break.  Break begins on Dec. 22, 2017 and school will resume on Jan. 8, 2018.                  

    Thank you for contacting me with your concerns so we can address them and hopefully solve any problems.  I want all my students to succeed and become great readers.


    Cindy McKay












    December 4, 2017

    Dear Parent(s),

    December is here and the cold weather came too.  Please be sure your child brings his/her coat to school everyday.  It is too chilly to be without a coat. 

    You may have noticed that the Weekly Test over the reading lesson has changed.  It includes some reading, writing some answers and comprehension questions.  I have not taken grades on this yet but I will take grades next week.  We are getting used to the new format and will eventually take this on the computer.  I wanted the children to get used to it first.  I know it will take longer to complete because answers will be written on the keyboard.  However, this activity is to help each child get used to using technology to do an assessment.  In a few years, the children will take ISAT on the computer so this will help prep him/her to be able to do this. 

    Our story this week is about At Home in the Ocean.  I have enjoyed learning more about life in the ocean, from my students.  They have shared some great information about sea life.  It is fun to see how much they know and they love to talk about sharks and whales.   

    Please send in the lavendar Pizza Hut Book-It Reading calendar, colored with the amount read each day.  Please be sure to sign it.  I would love to give out more pizza coupons!

    Please remember our First Grade Craft Night is Thursday, December 7, 2017 from 6:00-7:30 P.M.  Please bring your child and enjoy making a few crafts with friends.  This is a great activity for the children and they love the Holiday items that they make!

    We made a Christmas Count-down today.  Please help your child keep an accurate chain to count down the days until Christmas.  We are discussing families, homes, rules, and individual chores in Social Studies.  Families are unique and special.

    I am enjoying my students so much!  They are so eager to learn.  They have learned a Christmas Song and a Math Song.  I hope they will share both songs with you!

    Please continue to work on adding math facts.  I have sent home more Sight Words today.  The number of words has increased from 6 to 8 words for each reading story.  Learning all these words will help your child to be more successful in reading. 

    Thank you to all the wonderful volunteers that help in our class!  I appreciate your help!  Extra hands make a big difference!  THANK YOU!

    Our character trait this month is Generosity.  If you were planning on giving me a gift I would like to invite you to give to your favorite charity, or give to the IEA Children's Fund instead.  The web address is: .     This is a great way to help the children with needs in our school district.  Thank you!

    Thank you for all the support you give to your children.  It is important to help them all become strong readers.


    Cindy McKay



    November 4, 2017

    Dear Parent(s),

    I have recently learned that some of the email addresses are not in my distribution list.  Please ask your spouse if he or she is receiving this.  It seems like perhaps only one parent's email address was put into the distribution list.  If you are not the one receiving this, please email me your email address so I can fix the situation.  I apologize for this problem.  I did not know that would happen.

    Thank you for your support during Book Fair.  This event was fun and supportive to our library.  Thank you for having your child read 20 minutes per day.  It is amazing to see how much improvement is taking place!  Several students read close to 600 minutes to a parent last month.  If you have not sent in October's Reading Log, please do so.  I would love to give out more Book It Pizza Hut certificates.  Mr. Dudley has the goal for all students reading at least 20 minutes every day.

    Can you believe that we are already in November.  We will be spending time reading and writing about Pilgrims and the First Thanksgiving.  We will also be discussing the changes in the Season that are happening.

    My class is showing good growth in Math.  We are working on fluency which is learning our math facts so we can zoom through addition when timed for 2 minutes.  We have also started subtraction and figuring out the strategy of how to count forward and backwards.  We have a number of strategies to help us solve addition and subtraction including the Abacus type tool called a Rekonrek, counting on fingers, counting forward to add and backwards to subtract, and using the number line.  We have started Moby Max using the math portion of this App to individualize our practices.  

    Please send a warm jacket or coat every day.  Now that winter is around the corner, we need to keep warm.  We have had a number of colds and other illnesses.  Keeping our bodies warm helps us stay healthy.  Please help your child learn to zip his/her coat.  How is the shoe tying coming along?  I know many are achieving this goal.  Hooray!

    Please mark you calendar for Friday, Nov. 10th, from 8:00-9:00 A.M. to enjoy Discovery Donuts with your child in the cafeteria.  This is a fun way for you to come with your son or daughter and enjoy a donut.  If a parent is unable to come, think about another of your child's favorite adults to come, such as a grandparent, aunt, uncle etc.   

    Our character trait for the month of November is: COOPERATION.  I am blessed with a very cooperative class.  Thank you for teaching your child to manage him or her self well.  We can have a lot of fun learning when everyone cooperates.

    Another item to mark on your calendar is our Craft Night on Tuesday, December 5, 2017, from 6:00-8.00 P.M. in the Discovery Cafeteria.  Your child, accompanied by an adult, is invited to come and make a few crafts.  This is a very fun event and the children get to go home with something they made.  Just come and drop in when you can, to spend some time together making something fun.

    Thank you for contributing to our Hurricane Victims Drive.  Thank you for sending in pennies for our Thanksgiving Dinner Drive in association with Albertson's.  Thank you for helping with our SAVE-A-ROUND book sales.  If you choose not to buy or sell, please send the envelope with the book back to school.  The deadline is nearing so please be aware and get these back on time.  Thank you so much for all your involvement.

    😊Thank you,  Mrs. Wilson, for organizing such a fun party for the children.  Thank you parents, for your willingness to share and help!  Everyone had a good time!

    Thank you volunteers, for the time you spend helping in the classroom.  We can accomplish so much more with another set of hands.  THANK YOU!


    Cindy McKay
    Discovery Elementary-855-4090
    https/ 1684
    I love teaching and my job!











    October 17, 2016

    This is an important week.  Parent(s), we will be meeting for Parent/Teacher Conferences.  We will be meeting on October 19th and 20th You should have received an email with a link to the Sign Me Up Genius where you can sign up for our meeting.  If you have not seen the email from me, please look in your junk file.  Sometimes, emails can get misdirected.  I will try to call those of you who have not made an appointment yet.  I need to meet with every child's parents to let you know how your student is doing.

    We are learning about Fire Safety this week.  Please help by choosing a designated place to meet if your house was on fire.  Perhaps a neighbor's tree or a neighbor's doorstep.  Let your child be involved with the decision so he/she will remember.  Do a practice fire drill with you family.  We learned about Stop, Drop and Roll if clothing ever catches on fire.  We sang a song about Call 911.  The usual safety ideas were presented such as don't play with matches, fire, candles, stoves, fireplaces, lighters or any other dangerous items.  Having a fire extinguisher is important.  Please talk about safety and inspect your smoke alarm. 

    We have an aide who helps us for an hour each day.  Mrs. Chrysler does an excellent job in our classroom.  We appreciate her!We are reviewing short a and short u.  We are also reviewing adding and subtracting this week. 

    Please help your child read for 20 minutes each day and initial on the Reading Calendar.  Please send it back at the end of the month.  Thank you! 

    Book Fair is coming next week.  A flyer is coming home today with more information. 

    Thank you to all our parent helpers for your time.  You really make a difference. 

    See you soon at Parent/Teacher Conference! 

    Cindy McKay






    September 29, 2016



    We are going to celebrate "Walktober" in October.  This is always fun for everyone.  Read the following:

    Discovery's annual Walk to School Event and Mayor's Walking Challenge will be Oct. 5th! The walk to school will begin promptly at 8:10, so don't be late!!  Students and parents are invited to walk to school with Discovery staff. We will be meeting at two locations:


    Location 1 - Parking lot behind Maverick on McMillan

    Location 2 - Champion Park located in Champion Park Subdivision


    We will be joined by the Meridian Police and Fire Department. Once back at school, ALL students who want to join us on the track to continue walking will receive a card to be stamped for every lap ran or walked. Students who receive two stamps may take their card to our PTA station to receive a smoothie provided by the Dairy Council's Fuel Up to Play. Students must show their stamp card in order to receive a smoothly. ALL laps will go towards the Mayor's Walking Challenge total for the month of October, so make sure your name and teachers name are on that card!

    Join us if you can!!! 


    Dear Parents,

    We are talking about the cycle of seasons in class.  We are exploring the different characteristics of fall or autumn. 

    I am so happy with the way my sweet little students are settling in and working hard.  They have learned the rules and are doing a great job following them.  Thank you parents, for all your support and encouragement.  Our school rules are Be safe.  Be respectful and be responsible.  I have seen so much growth in the past couple of weeks and so enjoy teaching these eager learners!

    Thank you for sending headphones for you child to use with our netbooks and mini iPads each day.  The children love the technolgy and are excited to learn from the fun learning games that we have.

    October begins this week end!  Halloween is coming.  I do not focus on scary, creepy or any violent parts of Halloween.  I want Halloween to be happy and fun.  If you do not want your child to participate in Halloween projects, please let me know.  I have some art projects, writing projects and reading stories the relate to the fun parts of Halloween. 

    You will be hearing soon about the results of the Idaho Reading Indicator (IRI) soon. 

    Thank you to the volunteers for helping out in the classroom.  You have helped our class so very much!  Thank you!

    Our first Math Assessment was finished.  We have worked on number order, teen numbers, place value, adding and subtracting. 

    Next week it will be time to turn in September's Reading Log.  Thank you for listening to your child read 20 minutes daily.  You will be so happy with this investment of time.  Reading is like brushing your teeth.  It needs to be done daily to get positive results.  Thank you again for all your help.  I want all my students to be great readers. 


    Cindy McKay




    September 16, 2016

    Dear Parent(s),

    We have had a great time getting to know each other, learning the rules and learning the routine.  We have been able to use the mini iPads and the Netbooks several times this week.  This means we need to use our headphones to use the technology.  Please send your child's headphones to school to use.  We have found that ear buds do not stay on as well as the head phones but we are figuring it out.

    Reading has been about weather and storms.  We also talked about the cycle of the seasons and the kind of weather we have during each of those seasons.  Reading is coming along.  I am learning more each day about the great reading program West Ada purchased for us to use.  We study phonics, vocabulary, reading and spelling using this program.  We love to buddy read our stories.

    We are doing math using teen numbers and learning how teen numbers have one ten and left over ones.  We do a few story problems daily as well.  We will soon be using the app Moby Max to do more math on the computer.  We love our math time.  Every child works very hard.

    Most students are doing their homework and bringing it on or before Friday.  I will start taking Spelling grades next week.  Most students did well on the Spelling Test. Hooray! 

    We have been learning more about the symbols of the United States.  We learned more about our flag, the Pledge of Allegiance, our national bird the Eagle and The Statue of Liberty.  Ask your student to sing the Star Spangled Banner.  You may be pleasantly surprised at the great job your child can do with a little help.  That is a hard song but the class loves to sing it every day!

    Please remember that if your child is going home a different way, send me a note so I know it is okay.  First graders get confused very easily and I want everyone to feel safe.

    Our lockdown was amazing!  The children did such a great job getting quickly to our safe corner.   They sat quietly and I was so proud of the way they did what we practiced. 

    Thank you to the volunteers that came this week.  You made a huge difference.  THANK YOU!

    I think we are off to a great start for a great year.  Please keep reading daily for 20 minutes with your child and fill in the Reading Log.  Thank you for all you do!


    Cindy McKay 








    Dear Parent(s),

    I am excited to say that my little students are learning the rules and the schedule.  They are making friends and feeling a little more comfortable in class.  They love recess and the smokey days were hard.  Hooray for better air!

    We have been reviewing the color words, alphabet writing, and number writing.  We have had fun with color projects, booklets, puzzles, reading books and playing with math manipulatives that I call math tubs.  I feel like the children are enjoying school more. 

    We have talked about why we have rules and why we need to follow them.  We have talked about using our good manners and using kindness with each other.  One of our school rules is that we don't get into other peoples space.  We keep our hands, feet and body in our own space.  Hugging and kissing is for family members. This is hard for First graders to remember because they are just naturally friendly and affectionate. 

    We are enjoying reading Howard B. Wigglebottom books.  These books teach about bullying, good sportsmanship, expressing anger without being violent, and many other topics.  Howard has helped us all do a better job of monitoring ourselves.

    Please remember that our Open House will be on September 8, 2016 from 6-8 p.m. at Discovery Elementary.  This is for parents only.  Lots of information will be shared about procedures and important topics.  Please plan now to come.  Homework will be discussed.

    Thank you for all the support shown.  I am enjoying my little students.  We are able to do more things as they follow the rules and remember to be kind to their peers. 

    Intervention skills began August 31, 2016.  I tested all the students to measure their abilities in reading and they were placed in skills groups where their needs will be taught to.  Kindergarten and First Grade teachers will teach these groups that take place daily in the morning.  I love seeing them become stronger and stronger in reading. 

    I will send home a September Reading Homework Log.  First graders are required to read 20 minutes daily to a parent, grandparent, older sibling, or any adult that can help.  Reading practice is necessary to become proficient in reading, just as practicing any skill requires consistent practice to succeed.  Thank you for supporting your child's reading homework.

    I am excited for this year.  I know it will be a great one.  I love my job!  Thank you for sharing your sweet student with me this year.  I need your help because I want all students to succeed.  I can't do this alone.  THANK YOU!


    Cindy McKay