Monday, April 30, 2007

Firefighter Visit

Today the Lawrence Township Fire Department visited our first grade classes at Mary Castle. Firefighter Joy taught us about smoke detectors and what to do if your house catches on fire. We learned to stay low and get outside to a meeting place. If you can't get outside, you should go to a window and open it to get someone's attention.

Big Joe explained the special clothing he gets to wear. It protects him from the fire and the smoke. Some of it looked a little scary, but we knew that underneath it was still him. We learned we should never hide when there is a fire.

We also got to see the fire truck and sit in the driver's seat. The truck was filled with tools and even had a big "bathtub" inside to hold all the water for fires.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Photo Gallery

In computer lab this week the children have been working on adding captions to the picture on the Photo Gallery. These pictures highlight activities from this school year and are updated frequently. Please visit the site to see what we have been up to lately.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


In Math Workshop we are finishing up our geometry unit by learning about tessellations. The word 'tessera' in latin means a small stone cube. They were used to make up 'tessellata' - the mosaic pictures forming floors and tilings in Roman buildings. One artist we have learned about who used tessellations in his work was M. C. Escher. Our class is working on basic tessellations beginning with a simple square. Some students have also moved on to rotations using a triangle. The artwork they have created is beautiful.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Courtyard Project Update

The students are very excited about the changes that have occurred in the courtyard. Mrs. Han and Mrs. Deno have been helping us with this project. Last week the students examined different plants brought in and planned out where they thought they should be planted outside. We also came up with ideas for items that could be purchased with our money, and learned about a budget. Using this data, students completed a survey that decided that we would make a butterfly garden and try to attract those insects to the courtyard. We will be planting a butterfly bush as well as milkweed.

Other students have brought in items from home such as new plants and decorations. Some students contributed money to help buy items we still need. One student built a birdhouse with his dad to put out in the courtyard.

Monday, April 23, 2007


We have new arrivals in our center courtyard...13 baby ducklings! The mama duck is proud of her little group, and they eagerly follow her around outside. Ms. Shelli, our science teacher, has supplied them with plenty of food and a new swimming pool to play in.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


In Writing Workshop we have been learning about poems. All year we have read poetry and sung songs during read aloud, and now the students have the opportunity to make their own poetry books. So far we have done sensory poems and acrostics. Next week we will be learning about the language of poets and how to create other kinds of poetry.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday Clubs

Friday Clubs are here at Mary Castle. Students voted earlier this week on which club they would like to particpiate in on Fridays. Each student will participate in the same club for the next 4 weeks. Examples include collage, student council, legos, card games, and dance. Clubs take place from 2:50-3:25 so that all students may participate. Students from several classes and grade levels may be combined into one club based on interest. Here is a picture of my club Outdoor Games. Today we did relays.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Computer Lab

Today in computer lab we continued to work on Mathfacts. The students have made a lot of progress this year. My expectation is for students to have completed both addition and subtraction by the end of the year. Many students are very close to being done.

We also worked in Microsoft Word today and learned how to change the color of our font. This went along with learning the color words for spelling this week. We also reviewed automatic numbering and underlining.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Spelling Colors

This week's spelling words are color words. Today we practiced writing the words in pencil and then traced over the letters with the color the word spelled. Students used pastels, crayons, markers, and colored pencils. I've never seen such beautiful writing!

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