Friday, April 29, 2011

Parachute Pictures

This week was Istep testing for third grade and up. Our class merged with Ms. Dorsel and Mrs. Merchant's second grade students. We played thinking skill games, read silently, watched a movie from Spanish, and exercised a lot in the gym. Here are some pictures from our parachute games.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Hit the ball in
putting, slicing, driving,
iron, putter, driver, 3 wood,
Fun Sport

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wednesday Whatnots


  • Reading Workshop- this week we are finishing up our fairy tale study. I’m sure you have heard all about our play we are putting on from your child. Next Tuesday our class will be performing “Live: It’s Fairy Tale News!” at 10:30 a.m. in the gym on the stage. I hope you are able to join us. The children have been working hard
    to memorize their lines. If you have any costumes or props at home, your child may be asking to bring them in. I will let you know by Friday of particular outfit needs for Tuesday. You do not need to buy anything.

  • Writing Workshop- We are busy selecting poems to put together in a class poetry book. Soon we will have a writer’s celebration for the students to culminate their poetry unit. Details will follow shortly if you are interested in attending.

  • Spelling- no new words this week. We will have a sentence dictation
    test on Friday

  • Math Workshop- first grade is continuing their study of geometry and working three dimensional shapes this week. We will also be beginning tessellations Thursday.
    Second grade is continuing to use fractions this week, focusing on equivalent fractions and ordering fractions in chapter 25

  • Project- we are in stage two, and students are currently researching their areas of
    interest. Students are looking into diseases from around the world, diseases that have been mostly eradicated, specific disease research, comparison of soap and hand
    sanitizer, vaccinations, dental hygiene, and disease prevention

ISTEP for grades 3
and up began this week. Related
Arts times have been adjusted, and the schedule may
look different in every subject this week.
All 2nd grade students in STRETCH will be joining my class
during testing so that their 3rd grade classmates can focus on
ISTEP. On Tuesday we played some
thinking skill games and watched a movie from Spanish class. Today we had silent reading time and
played in the gym with the parachute. On Thursday, we will again head to
the gym for some extra exercise and reading.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day

Today we read a book called One Child. I met the author many years ago, and his message was that anyone can make small changes to change the world. Today our class worked in the courtyard between pods 1 and 2. We did general cleanup, pulling weeds, throwing trash away, and getting rid of old dead growth from last season. What a difference this short time working, made to brighten it up.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I Forgot My Parachute- a Haiku

Mist encases me
as I plummet through the clouds
then suddenly...SPLAT!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Playground Poem

On the
on the
me feel
like I am
My feet
touch the
I go
the sky.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


On Monday we did a lesson in science using whirlycopters. These paper creations are similar to helicopters and the seeds that fall from the maple trees. Students loved comparing the different copters, and I hope you had fun with the three versions at home.

My goal for this lesson was to not only look at motion, but also for the students to understand variables and that scientists need to perform an experiment more than once.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Weekly Update


Welcome back to another full week of learning. I can’t believe that April is halfway over, and the end of the year is near. Here are some notes for the week:

  • Reading Workshop- continuing our fairy tale genre. This week we’ll be looking more at how authors weave different fairy tales together. We will be working on learning a script for a fairy tale play in the next couple of weeks. By Friday, we will have read through the script and assigned parts so that students can begin learning their lines over the weekend. Your child also should have brought home a paper on Friday which details the activities we are doing in class for guided reading. You will see this every Friday, and I hope it gives you more information about our everyday learning.

  • Writing Workshop-
    today we wrote sensory poems based on emotions. Students will have time to work on
    their free verse poetry for the rest of the month, but we will be focusing
    more on specific types of poems this week such as haikus and concrete
    poems. Soon we will practice reading and recording our poems, as well as famous ones, for you to upload to your favorite mp3 player.

  • Math Workshop- first grade is continuing their study of geometry and working on symmetry with pattern blocks this week. We will also be exploring tangrams after reading Grandfather Tang’s Story on Thursday. Second grade is beginning a review on fractions this week.

  • Science- today we did an experiment on
    motion using whirlycopters. Students will be bringing home three
    different designs to study for homework tonight. This is a very fun activity for the
    whole family, so I hope you will be involved in testing the copters on
    speed and rotation. You may keep the whirycopters at home. All that needs returned for homework is the worksheet with the chart on it.

  • Project- we are in stage two deciding on our areas of focus.

Wednesday is an early release day. Students will be released from school at 3 pm.

Please be sure to return spring picture orders if you are interested in purchasing them.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Germ Experiment

Last week our expert, Mrs. Randle, left us some agar plates to conduct our own experiments. The students picked three places in the school to swab and see if anything grew on their plates. Here are their results.
This is the plate from the bathroom urinal handles.

This is what grew from the floor swabbing.
Here is the swabbing from the walls around the building.

The fuzzy growth is fungi, and the others are unknown at this time.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Weekly Update

Monday’s Musings

q I hope everyone enjoyed our beautiful weather this weekend. It sure was nice to get outside and play in the sunshine. Here are some notes about the week ahead.

1. Reading Workshop: Focusing on more specific fairy tales and how authors merge multiple tales into one story. (For example, today we read the original story Shrek and compared it to the movies.) finishing up summarizing stories in paragraph form.

· guided reading groups this week include: Double Fudge, Freckle Juice, Henry and Mudge, Magic Tree House, and Animal Ark.

2. Writing Workshop: continue with poetry, focusing on rhythm and feelings

3. Spelling: first grade: shape words, second grade: vocabulary

4. Math Workshop- first grade: plane shapes in geometry, second grade: solid shapes and vocabulary.

5. Project: more phase two experiments, narrowing focus of inquiry for individuals and groups

q Planners are coming home today for all students. There will no longer be a weekly separate homework sheet for writing books read. Please record the books your child reads in the planner on each day under the section of reading. You should check the planner each night and initial it.

q Library books are due tomorrow (Tuesday)

q Celebration: we have reached 10 passports (compliments) and will be having a celebration tomorrow in which the children do not have to wear their shoes. Congratulations!!!

q Please check the blog if you have not done so recently, for news and photographs.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Germ Expert

Today Mrs. Randle came to speak to our class about germs and her job. She works in a lab at Wishard Hospital which analyzes medicines to see how effective they are against strains of germs and also tests the cultures that are sent in from your doctor's office for things like strep, etc.

She brought in some agar plates that she had set up for us yesterday. On one, she had rubbed her hand on the bottom of her shoe and then placed her dirty hand on the agar. Then she washed her hands thoroughly and placed her clean hand on the other plate. Here are the results:

This is the agar plate that had the dirty handprint. It grew lots of germs: staph, fungi, and bacteria. The thumbprint was where all of the fuzzy growth is.

This is the agar plate with the handprint after washing her hands. It did not grow anything.

Students also made observational drawings of the agar plates and also of the microscope that she brought in. It had all the same pieces and parts as the microscopes we use here in the classroom, except it was biocular and an oil immerison microscope.

Students enjoyed looking at the prepared slides that our guest speaker brought to share. She also showed us a website that had animated characters that looked like real germs. The children really enjoyed seeing them come alive.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011


First grade students are currently learning about plane shapes. These are the 2-D shapes like circles, squares, rectangles, pentagons, etc. Today we did an activity called Hold and Fold that challenged the students to make as many shapes as they could out of a square piece of paper. We talked about congruency and symmetry, as well as the root words in the shapes like penta, hexa, etc.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Weekly Update

Monday’s Musings

I am so glad to welcome everyone back from their vacation. I hope each of you enjoyed spending time with your children and families over the break. We have two months left of school, and so much to accomplish. April is sure to be one of my favorite months this year for teaching. Three of my favorite units will appear in April: geometry, poetry, and fairy tales. This week we will focus on:

1. Reading Workshop: The Three Little Pigs, summarizing stories in paragraph form.

2. Writing Workshop: begin poetry and looking at things through a poet’s eyes- not through a scientist’s eyes.

3. Spelling: more homonyms and self-selected words.

4. Math Workshop- first grade: plane shapes in geometry, second grade: solid shapes and vocabulary.

5. Project: phase two experiments, expert speaker on Wednesday.

q Scholastic book orders are due on Friday, April 8th.

q Library books are due tomorrow (Tuesday)

q Toys…many of the students have been bringing in toys to play with, especially during indoor recess. Now that the weather is getting nicer, we will be going outside most days unless it is raining. Please have your child keep all toys and stuffed animals at home from now on unless it is a special celebration day.

q Shoes- Page 12 of the Student Handbook…For safety reasons students should wear shoes that will stay on their feet. Flip flops, things, backless shoes and platform shoes are unsafe and should not be worn at school.

Have a great week!


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