Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Students use the international instruments to create their own rhythm and beat during Choice Time.

Friday, August 26, 2011

New Manipulatives

Our class has received some new building manipulatives this year. We will be rotating our two sets every six weeks and getting two new sets. the students have really enjoyed making new structures during their Choice Time in the morning.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Students in this math group work on a problem assigned by Ms. Guynn.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Mondays Musings

Monday’s Musings

Welcome back to the second week of school. I have enjoyed getting to know each of the students and many families over the last week. Each Monday I will try to send out a listserve to keep you informed as to what is going on in the classroom each week.

· Homework- please check your child’s blue Monday folder today. It contains important information regarding homework this year. I wanted to get started with spelling, but I was unable to pre-test everyone for this week. Typically the spelling words will be connected to your child’s small group for reading for the week, but we may need to make some adjustments so that all students are appropriately challenged. Please let me know if you feel that the words were extremely easy or very hard this week. I am still getting to know the students’ strengths and weaknesses.

· Assessment- I have begun assessing the children in different areas. All first grade students have had a simple word test for reading, and I am starting to do DRA’s on them to determine appropriate reading levels. Reading groups this week were based upon last spring’s levels, so there will possibly be movement between groups over the next couple of weeks. I gave the 2nd grade students a math assessment today to determine what they need to be working on for our first unit. We will begin with the third grade math textbook, and I will be carefully monitoring any gaps in knowledge so that we can plan for small group instruction.

· Snacks- Mrs. Johnson has determined that we will not be having snacks this year during instructional time. Please do not send in any extra food with your child other than what is needed for lunch. We will not be having a specific time allotted to eat it.

· The Week Ahead

o Reading Workshop- focus on making predictions and answering questions. Small group work will also center on characters and graphic organizers

o Writing Workshop- Launching the workshop and developing ideas.

o Math Workshop-

§ 1st grade- computation strategies for addition and subtraction

§ 2nd grade- numbers and operations, algebra

o Social Studies

§ Second Steps- anger management

§ Community Building

Choice Time

The first activity that the children enjoy in the morning, is Choice Time. This occurs from the time they enter the classroom, until about 8 am. Choice Time is the time when students are free to explore, play, and create whatever they want in the classroom. Some of the more popular activities during this time include:

~playing with the international instruments
~building with dominoes
~using the pentominoes
~playing with the pretend money
and many more!!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

More Getting to Know You

In math this week, students are completing surveys and asking each other questions. This allows them to practice both math skills like graphing, as well as providing a way to get to know their new classmates.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I am good at...

Today the students wrote pieces about what they are good at. This is always a great activity for the children to get to know each other, as well as for me to understand them a little better.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Classroom Paintings

On the first day of school, students worked together to create a painting that will be hung in our classroom. The students were divided into 4 groups, and each group given a blank canvas and paint. Some groups worked together developing a plan before beginning to paint, others dove right in with each child painting something important to him or herself. I hope you can visit our classroom to see the final four art pieces. They are truly beautiful and a part of our clssroom family.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Important Dates

To get our year off to a great start we have our, “Meet Me on a Monday” on August 15th from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Our “Meet Me on Monday,” will give you and your child an opportunity to meet your teacher, visit the classroom, tour the building, find out about your child’s ISTEP scores, order spirit wear and explore the opportunities for volunteering your time, resources and/or talents with our Parent Faculty Organization. We need you as a volunteer to help in our classrooms and work with individual students. While in the classroom be sure to log on and sign up for the school and classroom list serve. List serves allow you to be notified of school events, and other important school and township information. This is a wonderful time to greet and meet other families in our school community. Our first day of school is Tuesday, August 16th 7:35 a.m-2:35 pm Tuesday full day for students (Breakfast begins).

Please join us for our “Back to School Night” on Tuesday, September 20th from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. “Back to School Night all grades” gives our teachers an opportunity to present classroom curriculum and procedures while being able to meet you. While you’re here, we would like to explain to you what to expect this year at Mary Castle. Your child is going to have a fantastic school year. We can do great things for students together.


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