Friday, February 29, 2008

Project Mapping

Students are hard at work on their school project. Yesterday and today, small groups have went around the school with volunteers to label their maps. We are creating a large map in the classroom for reference during our project. We also worked on figuring out how many people are in the building. At first the students thought they would just count all the people, but then decided to do a survey to be more accurate. First they listed all the adults, and then today went and asked each teacher how many children were in his or her classroom. We are not done yet. Next week they have to add up all the number to answer their question. See a video a parent took for me of the children below. (Hope this works- it's the first time I've added a video)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


I really need your child to bring a snack every day, or for more people to volunteer to send in snacks. I typically am providing a snack for the same 10 children every day, plus a couple who forget. Some children may be eating their snack for lunch instead of the other things you pack, and then throwing those away. You may want to talk to your child about their lunch habits, and whether or not snacks are eaten early. (I talked to them today about it too) I appreciate those families who have donated to the snack crate lately, but I am running out too frequently. Examples of easy bulk items you can send in:

bag of pretzels
box of crackers
bag of apples
bag of animal crackers

You don't have to send in expensive pre-portioned items. Thank you for your support!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


We are at the end of phase one of our "school" project, and close to researching in phase two. Students seem very interested in the physical building of the school, as well as the people who work here. We will be taking several "study trips" in the next couple of weeks. Places we plan to visit are:

a 4th grade classroom
the cafeteria work area
the boiler room
the attic
the office area
backstage area

Students will be partnering with the IUPUI students to research some of their questions about school. We will be conducting a survey to find out how many people are in the building- both adults and students. We will also be mapping out the school to see where everything is located.

Monday, February 25, 2008


Students started using the dictionary for writing today. They learned that there are lots of uses for a dictionary. We practiced using guide words to look up other words. We will continue working with this skill all week as we become more aquainted with how dictionaries work. We will also be looking at other versions to how they are alike and different.

Of course the children are very excited about these "new" resources, and have resorted to reading them non-stop during recess, study hall, and reading group time. I'm sure they'll come home to tell you about the interesting new fact they learned in the dictionary today.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

IUPUI Interns

We will be having three Block A IUPUI studets in our classroom for the next several weeks. They will be here on Thursday mornings to learn about our school. This is the first field experience for many of them. I am excited to have them here to work with small groups of students and one on one with the children too. Today they read with students, and were very impressed by their abilities.

Students compared and contrasted The Three Little Pigs stories this week. We are also finishing up our I Spy book. Look for more information coming home this weekend. In math we are practicing looking for clues in story problems to tell which operation to use, as well as crossing out extra information not needed to solve the problem. This can be a hard skill to master, so it may take your child a little longer before you start seeing perfect papers coming home on problem solving. I am confident they will all meet this challenge.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Fairy Tales

In reading we are learning about different versions of fairy tales. We have finished reading the Goldilocks books and are currently reading The Three Little Pigs. Stories we will be reading include: the traditional tale, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig, The Three Little Javelinas, Wait No Paint, and a couple other versions. It is interesting for the children to compare and contrast all the versions. They have been using Venn Diagrams in their writing to plan and organize details.

Thursday will be the Science Fair. All projects need to be brought to school in the morning as the judging will take place during school hours. I am anxious to see all the students' projects. I know they have been working hard on them.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Today we read an African American version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. It was called Leola and the Honeybears. The children noticed many differences in the story such as what the bears ate and the ending.

In math we reviewed place value and fractions to give the students a break from double digit addition and subtraction. We also started timed tests again as I have noticed a decrease in automaticity in basic facts. Please practice these at home. I believe there may still be copies of the MathFacts in a Flash cd for sale in the library.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Double Digit Subtraction

We have been learning about double digit subtraction in math. We practiced regrouping (borrowing) with manipulatives first, then moved on to paper and pencil. This is typically a difficult concept for the children to master, so do not be surprised to see lots of practice sheets coming home. It's easy to get it confused when going back and forth between addition and subtraction too.

Students are participating in Jump Rope for Heart this week, and our Friendship Day party will be on Thursday the 14th.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Three Bears

I usually do a unit on fairy tales in February and since we saw the opera last week, we have begun looking at the Goldilocks books. We have read a couple of versions already, and are working on comparing them. A lot of what we do in first grade is comparing and contrasting, and looking for things that are the same and different. One book we read, is about what happens after Goldilocks grows up and goes back to the Bear's house. We also read the Jan Brett version which is a traditional tale. Soon we will begin looking at the Three Little Pig books.

Monday, February 04, 2008


Last week you received information about the schoolwide Pennies for Patients program. We have talked a little about this today in class, and will be discussing the reasons behind the campaign tomorrow in class as well as watching a Charlie Brown movie on leukemia. I have talked to the children about bringing money donations to school, and that asking mom or dad for money everyday is not the best solution. We discussed how moms and dads have bills to pay and that they might not be able to give every time. I suggested that they do extra work to make the money or use their own money for this project. We will be doing this project for most of this month, so you may want to think ahead.

Also, I have another somewhat easier request for donations. The Police Departments (both Lawrence and IPD) are collecting gently used stuffed animals for their Children in Crisis program. If your child is like mine, I'm sure your family has a large collection of stuffed creatures that you might be willing to downsize. I will be talking to the kids about this program as well. I need all stuffed animals brought to school by the 14th so that we can donate them.

Thanks for your support.

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