Welcome to First Grade Room D-5!

“Writing brings power to societies by making it possible to transmit knowledge with greater accuracy and in far greater quantity and detail, from more distant lands and more remote times.”   Jared Diamond

Welcome to Ms. Collins First Grade in Room D-5 at Palmer Way School in National City, CA.  In D-5 we work hard to meet the California Standards in Language Arts, Writing, Math, ELD, Technology, and Science.  All my lessons and materials are designed to guarantee student learning strategies and mastery.  I use both formal and informal assessments to monitor student learning, and to guide my instruction.

In a global economy where the most valuable skill you can sell is your knowledge, a good education is no longer just a pathway to opportunity- it is a prerequisite.                                                                                                                                                                                         President Obama, Presidential Address to Congress, February 24, 2009

“Good writing does not succeed or fail on the strength of its ability to persuede. It succeeds or fails on the strength of its ability to engage you, to make you think, to give you a glimpse into someone elses head.”   Malcom Gladwell (What the Dog Saw)

Contact me by phone: 619 336-8935, or by e-mail: collinspalmerwayd5@gmail.com


Citizen of the Month!


Congratulations to Erone for being October’s Citizen of the Month!

Congratulations to Aaliyah for being September’s Citizen of the Month!


Congratulations to Kimberly for being April’s Citizen of the Month!

Congratulations to Muhamed for being February’s Citizen of the Month!

Congratulations to Dennie for being January’s Citizen of the Month!

Congratulations to Dayleen for being November’s Citizen of the Month!

Congratulations to Gianna for being October’s Citizen of the Month!

Congratulations to Damian for being September’s Citizen of the Month!



Congratulations to Victor, our October Citizne of the Month!

Congratulations to Gilian, our September Citizen of the Month!


Congratulations to Amir for being our February Citizen of the Month!

Congratulations to Gavin for being our January Citizen of the Month!

Congratulations to Alyssa for being our October Citizen of the Month!



Congratulations to Audrey for being our March Citizen of the Month!

Congratulations to Martin for being our February Citizen of the Month!

Congratulations to Angelo for being our January Citizen of the Month!

Congratulations to Natalie for being our November Citizen of the Month!

Congratulations to Matthew for being our October Citizen of the Month!

This and That




November birthstone: Topaz.  Flower: Chrysanthemum.  Astrological Signs: Scorpio October 24 to November 22, and Sagittarius November 23 to December 21.

Important dates in November 2013:

Veteran’s Day- November 11

Thanksgiving- November 28

Adoption Awareness Month (National)

“National American Indian Heritage Month, Signed into law in 1990 by President Bush has been a source of inspiration for many American Indians and non-Indians and a platform to celebrate the rich and diverse cultures of this great country.”  Source: www.indians.org



December birthstone: Turquoise.  Flower: Narcissus.  Astrological Signs: Sagittarius November 22 to December 21, and Capricorn December 22 to January 19.

Important dates and events in December 2012:

December 6- St. Nicholas Day

December 7- Pearl Harbor Day

December 10- Human Rights Day

December 11- Hanukkah begins

December 14- South Pole was found in 1911

December 15- phonograph patented by Thomas Edison in 1877

December 16- Anniversary of Boston Tea Party in 1773

December 17- First flight at Kitty Hawk in 1903

December 21- Winter solstice

December 25- Christmas Day

December 26- First day of Kwanzaa

December 31- New Year’s Eve



Januarybirthstone: Garnet.  Flower: Carnation.  Astrological Signs: Capricorn to January 19 and Aquarius  to January 20 onwards.

January 1: New Year’s Day

January 21: Martin Luther King Jr. Day

  • National Bath Safety Month
  • National Blood Donor Month
  • National Braille Literacy Month
  • National Hobby Month
  • Hot Tea Month
  • National Oatmeal Month
  • National Soup Month



February birthstone: Amethyst.  Flower: Primrose.  Astrological Signs: Aquarius January 20 to February 18, Pisces February 19 to March 20.
February is Black History Month.  This year’s theme, The quest for black citizenship in the Americas, has unique and special meaning in the wake of Barack Obama being elected as our first Afro-American president and the celebration of the NAACP’s centennial.

According to the Library of Congress, Black History Month has its roots in something called Negro History Week. In 1925, Dr. Carter G. Woodson, an African-American historian who founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, proposed Negro History Week as a way to encourage people to learn more about black history. He selected a week in February that included the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and black abolitionist Frederick Douglass.
The first Negro History Week was celebrated in February 1926. “The response was overwhelming,” says the Library of Congress. “Black history clubs sprang up; teachers demanded materials to instruct their pupils; and progressive whites, not simply white scholars and philanthropists, stepped forward to endorse the effort.”
In the early 1970s, Negro History Week was rechristened Black History Week to reflect the changing language used to describe African-Americans. Then, in 1976, as America observed its bicentennial, Black History Week was expanded to the full month we celebrate today.
Every February since 1976, the U.S. president issues a proclamation declaring the second month of the year Black History Month or National African American History Month.



February 1818: Fredrick Douglass birthday

February 2: Ground Hog Day

February 3: Chinese New Year

February 9: Board Meeting

February 10: Day 100 and Friendship Card Exchange

February 11 to 14: President’s Day Week-end

February 12: Abraham Lincoln birthday

February 22: George Washington birthday



March birthstone: aquamarine and bloodstone.  Flower: daffodil.  Astrological Signs: Pisces February 19 to March 20, and Aries March 21 to April 19

March is Women’s History Month, this year’s theme is: Women taking the lead to save our planet- Rachel Carson- the founder of the contemporary environmental movement is this year’s featured woman.

As recently as the 1970’s, women’s history was virtually an unknown topic in education and the general public consciousness.  To address this situation, the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County (CA) Commission on the Status of Women initiated a “Women’s History Week” celebration in 1978.  March 8 was chosen as International Women’s Day.  Within a few years dozens of schools planned special programs for Women History Month.  After many years of favorable response from school and public leaders the National Women History Project, in 1987,  petitioned congress to expand the entire of month of March to celebrate Women’s History.  The National Women History Project is involved in many efforts to promote multicultural women’s history.  The popularity of women’s history has sparked a new interest in uncovering women’s forgotten heritage and contributions to our country.  http://www.nwhp,org/whm/history.php

March is Music in Our Schools Month (Yes, there is such a thing) Public school is where all children should have access to music (and art).  This year’s theme is Music! Just Imagine.  Check out www.menc.org/events/view/music-in-our-schools-month

March is Irish American Heritage Month: March 17, St. Patrick’s Day

March 2: Dr. Seuss’s Birthday

March 7: Telephone Patentn Granted in 1876 to Alexander Graham Bell

March 8: Barbie’s Birthday (1959)  Mardi Gras

March 10: First paper money issued in 1862

March 11- Johnny Appleseed Day   Help the Nature Conservancy plant 1 billion trees in the Amazon.  Donate one dollar per tree at www.plantabillion.org

March 12: Girl Scout Day founded in1912

March 16- Publication of First Black Newspaper in America Freedom’s Journal, 1827, published Samuel Cornish and John B. Russwurm.  All 103 issues are available at www.wisconsinhistory.org/libraryarchives/aanp/freedom

March 17: St. Patrick Day

March 18: First walk in space 1965

March 20: First day of spring

March 29: Passover begins at sundown, Coca-Cola was invented in 1886

March 30: Alaska Purchased in 1867, Pencil with an eraser patented in1858

March 31: Cesar Chavez Day, First Map of the US Published




April Birthstone: diamond.  Flower: sweet pea and daisy.  Astrological Signs: Aries March 3rd to 19th, Taurus April 20th to May 20th.

April is Alcohol Awareness Month

April 1- April Fool’s Day

April 15- Tax Day

April 22- Earth Day  Earth Day is a global holiday celebrated as a day to bring awareness and appreciation for earth and it’s environment.



May Birthstone emerald.  Flower: Lilly of the Valley.  Astrological Signs: Taurus April 19 to May 2o, and Gemini May 20 to June 21.

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Mental Health Awareness Month

National Military Appreciation Month

May 5- celebrate Cinco de Mayo

May 12- Mother’s Day

May 22- First Grade Field Trip to Sea World

May 23- Art Fest

Mother’s Day, May 10- The modern Mother’s Day was created by Anna Jarvis in 1912 as a day for each family to honor its Mother.

Memorial Day, May 27- Commemorates US men and women who died while in the military service to their (our) country.  No school in honor of Memorial Day.



It is hard to believe that it is June already and summer is upon us.  Here are some important dates and events in June.

June Birthstone: Pearl.  Flower: Rose.  Astrological Signs: Gemini May 21 to June 20, and Cancer June 21 to July 22.

International Men’s Month

Latino Health Awareness Month

June 11- Philippine Independence Day

June 14- Flag Day- Flag Day is an American holiday celebrating and showing respect to our flag and the people who designed it.  Our flag represents our independence as Americans and our unity as a nation.  It leads our soldiers in battle and many have died protecting it and all that it stands for.

June 21- Father’s Day- Father’s Day is a day to celebrate our dads.  It was invented by Sonora Smart Dodd, who was raised by her dad.  She thought fathers should be celebrated just as much as mothers.  The first Father’s Day was held on June 10, 1910.  President Calvin Coolidge declared the third Sunday of June as Father’s Day.

June 21- First Day of Summer- remember to wear sunscreen and a hat, drink plenty of fluids.

Swine Flu- the best defense is to make sure your child knows to wash his/her hands after going to the bathroom, blowing his/her nose, and before eating.  Teaching your child to cover his/her month when he/she coughs or sneezes, along with using a tissue instead of his/her sleeve will also reduce the spread of any disease.



August birthstone: Peridot.  Flower: Gladiolus.  Astrological signs: Leo August 1 to August 22, Virgo August 23 to September 22.
Important Dates in August!
August 7 Primary Back to School
August 8 Upper Grade Back to School
August 1- MTV Debuted in 1981
                2- First Licnoln penny issued in 1909
               3- Columbus set sail on his 1st voyage in 1492
               4- President Barack Obama’s birthday
                5- American Family Day
                8- Dollar Day, the US dollar was created in 1785
                11- Hulk Hogan’s birthday
               12- IBM PC announced 1981
                18- Wizard of Oz premiered in 1939
                 19- Bill Clinton’s birthday, Orville Wright’s birthday
                23- First photograph of earth from the moon taken by Lunar Orbiter
                        in 1966
                24- National Peach Pie Day
                25- National Banana Split Day
                 26- Women’s Equality Day, anniversary of woment getting the vote
                 28- Anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr. “I Have a Dream” speech,
                 30- Mary Shelley’s birthday, author of Frankenstein
** First Tuesday of August National Take Back the Night

* Catfish Month
* Eye Exam and Cataract Awareness Month
* Golf Month
* Immunization Awareness Month
* Inventor’s Month
* Water Quality Month



Happy Birthday National City, September 17, 1887!

September birthstone: Sapphire.  Flower: Rose.  Astrological signs: Virgo August 23 to September 22, Libra September 23 to October 22.

No School Monday September 2, 2013- Labor Day

Important dates in September:

Mary had a Little Lamb- published September1

Labor Day- September 5

Labor Day- First Monday in September.  Labor Day was declared a U.S. national holiday in 1894.  It was created by the labor movement and dedicated to the social and economic achievements of the American worker.

Citizenship and Constitution Day- California becomes the 31st state in 1859 September 9

Rosh Hashanah  ( begins at sundown) September 17

Remembrance Day 9-11-01- September 11

National Grandparents Day- September 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mexican Independence Day- September 15   National Hispanic Heritage Month (begins September 15 and ends October 15)

Band-Aid invented (1920), Ice-cream cone invented (1903), First U.S. Post Office opened (1789), First Day of Autumn September 22

Mary Poppins debuted (1964)- September 25

Johnny Appleseed’s birthday September 26

First airport opened (1909), Chinese Mid-Autumn festival September 28

Safety pin invented (1849)- September 30



October birthstone: Opal.  Flower: Marigold.  Astrological Signs: Libra September 24 to October 23, Scorpio October 24 to November 22.

Important dates in October 2012:

  • Breast Cancer Awarness Month- early detection is the key to intervention
  • Celiac Disease Awarness Month
  • Apple Month
  • Fire Prevention Month- have a plan to be safe
  • German Heritage Month
  • Hispanic Heritage Month
  • Filipino Heritage Month
  • First World Series Baseball Game played in 1903
  • Halloween October 31- Be safe!


Guard against Flu by frequent hand washing.  Teach your child the importance and value of using a tissue.

Contact Ms. Collins by phone: 619 336-8935, or by e-mail: collinspalmerwayd5@gmail.com  

Homework is due every Thursday.  We attend the school library every other Monday.  Students will be allowed to take their books home, however, they need to bring them back on Thursday.