Saturday, January 24, 2009


We planted an amaryllis bulb this week that one of the students gave me as a Christmas present. It was a great science lesson as we discussed bulbs and plants. Students predicted how long it will take for the flower to bloom, and we recorded our guesses on a chart in the science center. I know the students are anxious to find out what it will look like once it matures. We will also be measuring the stem as it grows and keeping track of its progress.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Writing this Week

We have been working on a couple of things for Writing Workshop this week. We learned the parts of a letter, and students are writing their own letters pretending to be either the Big Bad Wolf or a Little Pig. In Reading Workshop we read a couple of versions of this fairy tale and this is one of many connections we are making. Their letters are so cute and creative. (We haven't talked about where we add commas yet. That's tomorrow's lesson)

We also have talked more about the dictionary this week and how to look up words using the guide words on the top of each page. This is a useful skill to learn, and we will continue to utilize the dictionaries to help use with spelling and learning other features in the dictionary.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


To continue our learning about the number 100, we played a game in math today that helped practice estimation. Students were given a hundred chart and a six sided die. The estimated how many rolls it would take to fill up the chart, as well as the most possible and the least possible. Many of the students were very close to their estimate, and one child guessed exactly right.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

100th Day

Students had a great time celebrating the 100th day of school. I was so sad to have missed it since I had to go to a textbook adoption meeting. I always love to see their t-shirts with the 100 items. I know they still did a lot of fun activities with the substitute teacher though. They read books about the 100th day, made a combined trail mix from 100 food treats they brought in, did math activities. On Wednesday we will be doing some more 100 day lessons too.

Students also were able to watch the inauguration of President Obama today. We will continue learning about him this week as well.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Math Update

We have been working on adding and regrouping in math this week. Students reviewed how to add double digit numbers without regrouping, and practiced their problem solving skills at the same time. On Tuesday they did an introductory practice sheet with manipulatives that gave them a head start for today's assignment. We will be talking more in depth today about how and why we "carry" or regroup numbers. It's important for them to understand the meaning behind it and not just memorize the process. Today's work will include more manipulatives so students can visualize how the numbers combine. On Thursday we will begin the paper and pencil multi-step process that follows a set formula.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


The students have been working on New Year's Resolutions this week. Yesterday we made up our class resolutions that are related to the five Mary Castle expectations. This is what we decided as a class to work on this semester:

Our Classroom Resolutions

~ We resolve to listen when other people are talking. (Be respectful)
~ We resolve to walk in the classroom. (Be safe)
~ We resolve to remember to take our mail, folder, coat, hat, gloves, scarf, backpack, and
lunch box home every day. (Be responsible)
~ We resolve to try to solve our own problems and not tattle. (Be a peaceful problem solver)
~ We resolve to take turns. (Be caring)

Today we wrote personal resolutions. Be sure to ask your child what they want to do better at this year. All will be posted on our classroom door to remind us what we should be working towards every day.

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