Monday, December 14, 2009

Week 17

We are taking a week off from the reading series. We will still be reading but it will be some fun books that go with the holidays. I love this time of year so we will be doing activities that go along with the season.

Our party will be Friday afternoon at 12:15. That will give us time after recess to clean up and leave the room ready to come back to in the new year.

Questions of the Week
Monday - What do you want Santa to bring you for Christmas?
Tuesday - If you could only have one gift, what would it be?
Wednesday - What should Santa bring me for Christmas?
Thursday - What would you like to get your family for Christmas?

We are working hard on money. I am using IXL Math to help us do that. Your kids can do 20 questions for free on their website. I think that is daily. We are using the Kindergarten section right now. The first grade one asks them to identify the dollar coin. That is absurd. The Kindergarten section just deals with the coins we learn. You might check your child at home to see if they know coins and their values. We also got time to the quarter hour. It is introduced. I don't really expect master of this. State standards say that we only have to do time to the hour. . .not even the half hour.

Spelling has been a little slow. I haven't had any help. My aide is on the DIBEL team so she has been testing for the last week. There is just so much to get to.

Thanks for all the support you have given. I think Santa needs to bring your child a new glue bottle, new crayons, and a new glue stick. Our glue bottles and crayons are pretty sad.

I am making a classroom wish list: Crayons, glue bottles, glue sticks, dry erase markers, cheap paper plates in small and large, paper cups, and anything else you think might be useful.

Have a great holiday season and be safe. We are off to the farm in Kansas. It will be great to be there. . .hope it is nice enough to fish. . .and see our son. Our daughter in Ohio won't be able to be there. She is recovering from Gamma Knife Radiosurgery and just doesn't have the time. Don't work in the aviation industry if you want a holiday off!!!


Monday, December 7, 2009

Week 16

The story this week is "On the Way to the Pond." The phonics skill is the /er/ sound made by er, ir, and ur. The new vocabulary words are:

We have been doing money and measurement in math. This will continue this week. Please help your child with money. Several children still don't know the names of the coins or the value of them. We have worked on pennies, nickels, and dimes. The quarter will be introduced soon. We are using IXL math to practice money.

Questions of the Week
Monday - Tell me 5 things you see that let you know that Christmas is coming.
Tuesday - Tell me 5 things you hear that let you know that Christmas is coming.
Wednesday - Tell me 5 things you taste that let you know that Christmas is coming.
Thursday - Tell me 5 things you smell that let you know that Christmas is coming.
Friday - Tell me 5 things you touch that let you know that Christmas is coming.

We have started having lunch detention in first grade. Many children are not coming in from recess in a timely manner and are being disrespectful to the aides on the playground. There is also a lot of hitting and punching. These behaviors will earn you a day in lunch detention. We have only been doing it for one week but we are seeing changes in behavior already. Hopefully they will learn to think before they react.

One of my former students is stationed in Iraq. I would like to send him a box of goodies sometime after the first of the year. Anything you would like to send to contribute to this box would be appreciated. He said that anything that you would take on an extended camping trip would be useful. Also magazines and things that can be given to the children. The preschool is doing Shaymon's dad so I thought this former student could be someone we helped out.

Is there anyone who could make us some tree shaped sugar cookies for our Christmas party??? Please give me a call if you can help.

Have a great week.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving Pictures

Week 15

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. It is always nice to gather with family and friends to enjoy the day.

This week's story is a biography called "Tomas Rivera." Tomas was a young boy who picked crops with his family. He developed a love for reading and writing. He grew up to be an author and a teacher. The phonics sounds we will be working on this week are qu and wh. The wh sound is particularly hard because the kids don't really say wh anymore. They replace it with the sound of just w.

The new vocabulary words are:

In math we will continue with addition and subtraction fact practice. The new skills this week will be measurement. We will be using the foot and inch. I got the new IXL math set up so we will start using that today. This program has 140 skills to practice. It should be a great supplement to our math program. We are going to use the money activities this week. Thanks to those of you who donated toward its purchase.

Questions of the Week:
Monday - Use last week's lined page to tell me about your vacation. Tell me lots!!!
Tuesday - It is a new month. What month is it? How many days in it? Anything special in it?
Wednesday - What did we use to make butter last week? How did we do it?
Thursday - Happy Birthday, Bingo, 1929. What is your favorite game?
Friday - Use the word 'family' in a sentence.

Thanks so much to all of you that helped with the feast. It was a great success and fun for the kids. The next three weeks will be busy. We have the usual curriculum to cover but I hope to be able to work in several seasonal activities. I love the holidays and hope to make them fun for the class.

We will be taking the week before Christmas off from the reading series - not off from reading. We will be doing some activities using some of the great seasonal literature.

I hope you have a great week.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Feast Week

This will be a very short and very busy 2 days at school. Today we will make homemade butter. All we do is shake it in jars. It is fun and makes great butter to eat tomorrow.

Tomorrow will be a very busy time. Since we will be cooking posse stew in a roaster, we won't need to put it on until first thing tomorrow morning. We will also be making fruit salad, and pumpkin pudding. If you volunteered to help tomorrow can you come when your child does at 8:20. It will take a few minutes to get started but not many. I like to do the kids in a rotation so each one gets a chance to help with everything.

We will also need help with setting up tables, serving, and cleaning up.

We will probably start to eat at about 11:00. If you are coming to eat with your child you will want to be there by then.

There will be NO HOMEWORK this week. It wouldn't hurt if your child read once or twice over vacation but that is up to you. I have found that books get left at Grandma's etc, so they won't be coming home. Nothing in the agenda either. We will return to normal schedule next week.

Thanks to all of you who help me so much. You are making my life so much easier.

Have a great Thanksgiving! Be safe if you are traveling.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I gave out the first AR award. Shaymon got a zipper pull for passing 25 AR tests. We also had our first AR lunch in the room. Seven children got to attend. They had passed 4 AR tests in the last week.

The problem some are having is that they don't bother to read the book, or don't read it well. They take lots of tests but haven't read well enough to pass the test.

Also if you haven't sent your feast money, I would appreciate it if you could do so. I will be shopping over the weekend. If it is a hardship on your family, don't worry about it.

Just wanted to share the good AR news.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Week 14

This week our story is a fiction story in a play format. It is called " Did You See Chip?" The phonics sound of the week is /ar/ as in park. The vocabulary words are:

The reading difficulty is starting to ramp up. More work is needing to happen on vocabulary words. We are trying to do lots more at school. Anything you can do at home will be extremely helpful. Lots are practicing individual lists on the computer. . .kinda the same thing available on the website. They don't always like it but it is just one of those things that has to be accomplished.

Math this week is going to deal with measurement: the thermometer, the foot, the inch, and nonstandard measures. Should be an interesting time.

AR has become a big item in class. Thursday will be AR day. If you pass 4 tests in a week you will be invited to lunch in the room. I am trying to build some enthusiasm for the AR concept.

Questions of the week:
Monday - It is American Education Week. What do you want to be when you grow up?
Tuesday - Use the word sometimes in a sentence.
Wednesday - List 5 words that have the /ar/ sound in them.
Thursday - It is Mickey Mouse Day. Where would you see him?
Friday - What did you do on your early release day?

I have decided that it would be better to do the money thing for the feast. More seemed to vote that way. I will get the ingredients over the weekend and we will be ready to cook on Monday. We will just put Posse Stew together then. I will send a note with more information. I will need help on Tuesday. We will need to make fruit salad and pumpkin pudding, plus set up the cafeteria and serve and clean. Any and all help will be greatly appreciated on Tuesday. Look for the other note explaining all of it in your child's agenda.

Most children are doing quite well with spelling. I am pleased with the progress.

Remember that Friday is an Early Release Day.

Have a great week.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Week 13

We are starting a new reading book this week. It is called "Here and There". The first story is "I Am a Butterfly." This isn't a great time to study butterflies. We will do some activities with them now but we will do more in the spring when I order butterfly larvae to watch grow and hatch. You will see the difficulty of reading level increase in this book. The sound this week is /ch/ made by the letters ch and tch. The new vocabulary is:

Questions of the Week
Monday - It is Children's Book Week. What are two of your favorite books?
Tuesday - Tomorrow is Veteran's Day. Do you know a veteran?
Wednesday - Holiday
Thursday - It is Child Safety Month. What can you do to stay safe?
Friday - It is Homemade Bread Day. What is your favorite kind of bread?

In math this week we will continue reviewing time and money, addition facts, and testing our latest information. One of the new topics will be attributes.

We will be doing a Thanksgiving Feast on Nov. 24. We have done this for many years and it is great. Would you rather send money and have me do all the shopping or send the ingredients??? Please write me a note to let me know in the agenda. It would probably be about $3 per student.

Have a great week and enjoy the day off on Wednesday.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Week 12

The story this week is a non fiction story called "Fun with Fish." The phonics sound is the digraph /sh/. This is a fun story. The kids usually like the different kinds of fish that the story talks about. The vocabulary words are:

Questions of the Week
Monday - Lincoln was elected president in 1860. Where would you see a picture of Lincoln?
Tuesday - How many door knobs are in your house?
Wednesday - How many windows are in your house?
Thursday - What color is your house?
Friday - Where is your house (Physical address)

In math this week, we will be spending most of our time on money. The dime is introduced and we will practice counting collections of coins containing dimes, nickels, and pennies. We will also do some graphing and addition problems.

Thanks to all of you that contributed to our Halloween party. The kids had a good time. Is there anyone who would like to be in charge of the planning and organization of the Christmas party???

Everyone seems to be moving along in spelling. Thanks for your help at home.

Have a great week.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween party

I am having issues creating slide shows again. Maybe I need someone else to do this. The party was fun and the kids were darling. There may be more than one show. I took more than 50 pix. That is all it will allow me to do at one time.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Week 11

This week's story is a realistic fiction story called "Try Your Best." The new vocabulary words are:

Questions of the Week:
Monday - List 5 things that make noise.
Tuesday - List 5 things that are quiet.
Wednesday - List 5 words that rhyme with need.
Thursday - Use the word right in a sentence.
Friday - Tell me 5 things you can do with a pumpkin.

In math we will continue with frames and arrows and time to the half hour. We are continuing to work on money and counting by 2's and 5's.

Spelling seems to be going well. We had 3 testing times last week. Some are already on list 4. I will provide testing times as often as possible. I will be using my intern, aide, and parent volunteers to do this.

Our Halloween Party will be Friday morning. You child may wear a costume but no mask. Face paint is allowed as long as it isn't too gory. Please no accessories like wands or swords. I will be asking some of you to send items for the party. Each child may bring a treat to share if they would like. We will pass them out during party time.

It sounds like the weather is going to change this week. Please have your child dressed appropriately. They may need gloves and hats. They do go out at recess time. They enjoy it more if they are comfortable.

Have a great week and remember that Friday is an Early Release Day for teacher inservice.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Trying again.

I don't know if everything has arrived. I am trying again.

Field Trip Part 2

Here are the rest of the pix.

Field Trip

We had a great trip the second time. The pictures are wonderful. Thanks Mr. Adair. As you look at them, ask your kids if they can find a witches broom and a cat face.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Clean Up Time

Someone had written on the wall across from the library with a crayon. It looked pretty messy. It hadn't been cleaned up in about three weeks. I asked my class if they would do it so our school would like nicer. They happily agreed. We all went to the library with Magic Erasers and cleaned. I think they had fun (anything involving a squirt bottle is fun)!! The wall looks much better. They received thanks from the janitors, Mr. Bingham, and several teachers and aides. They were pretty proud.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Work Time

A couple weeks ago we did some projects with the book "Rosie's Walk." I took some pictures as the kids were working. They did a great job of listening and following directions. I hope you enjoyed them as you came to conferences.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Week 10

WOW!!! We are going to have a normal week of school. It seems like it has been a while. I am looking forward to getting back to our usual routine.

This week's story is called "Where Do Frogs Come From?" It is a non fiction story about the life cycle of frogs. The kids really seem to enjoy non fictions stories. The new vocabulary words are:

Spelling will change this week. We will start individualized spelling. I expect each child to pass at least one test per week. Everyone will take Test 1 today. If they miss only 1 they can move on to the next list. Each child has a book of spelling lists in their desks to use for practice. Each parent should have a book of lists that were sent home from Parent Night. If you have misplaced yours, please let me know and I will send another. The lists are also available on a link from the blog.

Questions of the Week
Monday - It is Canning Day. List some foods that come in cans
Tuesday - List 5 words that rhyme with rug.
Wednesday - The first movie with sound was shown in 1927. What is your favorite movie?
Thursday - It is Teddy Roosevelt's birthday. What toy is named after him?
Friday - It is Make a Difference Day. What can you do to make a difference?

We have gotten a bit behind in math. This week we will be doing time to the half hour and frames and arrows. Both of these are difficult concepts. I will send a homelink so that you know what frames and arrows are. If you have time to help your child it will be to his/her advantage.

I appreciate your coming to conferences. It is always nice to meet the families of the children I teach and to have the time to sit and visit. If you were unable to attend, give me a call and we can schedule a time to meet.

Have a great week!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Field Trip

The field trip to Greer was great. We had super weather for our hike. Thanks to all the parents who went along to help. Also a big thinks to the Tilford's for having us over to do a picnic in their yard. I will post pictures as soon as the photographers send them to me.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Week 9

This is going to be a crazy week. We really won't have much class time so we will have to make good use of what we have. Remember the Field Trip on Monday, and early release for conferences on Tuesday and Wednesday. If you haven't received your conference note (I sent them last Wednesday) call me to get your appointment time.

Our story this week is "Space Pup". He is a super hero type guy. The sound we will be working on is short u, as in pup. There are several vocabulary words this week. They are:

Spelling words are:

Questions of the week:
Monday - What was an interesting thing you saw today on the field trip?
Tuesday - It is Ready, Set, Relax Day. No Homework.
Wednesday - It is National Pasta Month. What is your favorite pasta?
Thursday - It is Grouch Day. Tell me three things that make you grouchy.
Friday - It is School Lunch Week. What is your favorite school lunch?

This week in math will be spent on the number line. We will be skip counting using it and adding and subtracting using it.

Spelling is still not going well for most. Only 5-6 kids got them all right or only missed one. Please help your child practice every night. I am including they and want again on the spelling list. They are words they use all the time so they really need to be learned.

Thanks to those of you who sent more school supplies. Your child will be set for a few more weeks. Glue sticks really do go fast. If you would prefer to send glue bottles, that is fine.

Thanks for being understanding about the cancellation of the field trip last week. It looked nice here in town but it stayed nasty in Greer most of the morning. I don't think we would have had a good time.

Have a great week and I look forward to seeing you at your conference time.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Week 8

This week our story is "Boots for Beth." It is about a little pig who outgrows her boots. Her friends try to help her solve her problem. The sound this week is the voiced and unvoiced /th/.
Vocabulary words are:

Spelling words are:

Questions of the week:
Monday - How is the weather changing?
Tuesday - It is Alaska Day. What might you see if you went there?
Wednesday - It is Dictionary Day. What things do you find in a dictionary?
Thursday - It is Circus Day. Have you ever been to a circus?
Friday - It is Make a Difference Day. What can you do to make a difference?

In math we will be doing time to the half hour, counting up and back in the frames and arrows format, and trading pennies and nickels for dimes.

Your child should be able to count by 5's and 10's to 100 and by 2's to at least 20. You might want to do a little check at home.

We will be doing vocabulary checks on the words for the book "Guess Who". I will be sending home a list marked with the words your child does not know.

Spelling is not going very well. Last week I had 6 good tests and the rest missed three or more words. We have practice time but it doesn't seem to be working. I am going to try something else this week. Any help you can give me with spelling from home will be greatly appreciated.

Remember the field trip to Greer on Wednesday. Please return the permission slip and $1.00 to help cover the cost of the bus.

You might ask you child how they are for glue sticks and dry erase markers. I have no more markers. We have used up the few that we had at school. We use our white boards constantly so the markers are really important.

I will also be scheduling conferences for the October 13 & 14. The board has given us two early releases to accommodate these. Your child will be dismissed at 11:30 both of those days. Watch for the note that will have your scheduled time. If you get a time that doesn't work for you, please call and we can reschedule.

Thanks for all you do. Thanks for your donations for Jump Rope for Heart.

Have a great week.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Book Writing

I have started publishing books that the children have written. It seems to have really sparked an interest in writing. I still have a few children that are unpublished. I will be encouraging them and maybe you can too at home. You might talk about potential writing topics at home. We will do some brainstorming in class also.

Right now most stories are fiction, but they can also write about things they have done or write an informational book about things they know. Most anything can be turned into an interesting story.

The children are very excited to bring their books home to share. Please return them after they have been read. Other children like to take them out of the book box to read also. We can use these books as a part of our 'Read to Self' time.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Our 'Corny' Week

Last week we read "All That Corn." We had a snack of popcorn and an activity on Thursday. Thanks, Mr. Clayton for popping corn with us. On Friday, we ate lunch in the room and the kids got to have corn on the cob with their lunch. It was a fun week!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Week 7

This week we are reading "Dan's Pet." It is a story about a little boy who get a pet chick. The sound this week is short e. The vocabulary words this week are:

Spelling this week is:

Questions of the week:
Monday - It is the birthday of the White House. Who lives there? Where is it?
Tuesday - It is Family History Month. Tell me something you like to do with your family.
Wednesday - List as many vegetables as you can. How many did you think of?
Thursday - List as many fruits as you can. Which one is your favorite?
Friday - It is Elbows Off the Table Day. Tell me two more things that show good table manners.

In math we will be working on money combinations and addition and subtraction facts.

Some are having trouble with spelling. Please go over the words with your child at home. They have practice at school, but it doesn't seem to be enough.

There have been questions about the blanket letter that was sent home about reading help. Please sign this letter. It doesn't mean that your child is having trouble with reading. Sometimes a child will have a problem with one reading skill (i.e. rhyming). This will allow the reading specialist or myself to work with your child during scheduled intervention time. Most times a few minutes of remediation can fix the problem right away.

We will be going on a field trip to Greer on Oct. 7. Please watch for a permission slip and a letter with the trip information

Remember that Friday is an Early Release for the Homecoming parade.

Have a great week.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Week 6

This week's story is "All That Corn". We will be learning the short o sound of the letter a as in ball. It is a non fiction story that traces corn from the farm field to your home.

Vocabulary words are:

Spelling words are:

Questions of the week: Answer these on the lines for that day in the agenda.
*Monday - Tell me 5 words that rhyme with ball.
*Tuesday - It is the first day of fall. List 5 words that describe fall.
*Wednesday - Use the word where in a sentence.
*Thursday - What color is your house? Does is have an upstairs?
*Friday - What did you do on your afternoon off?
Please answer in complete sentences. Remember to use capitals and periods.

Math will be spent entirely on money. We will get pennies and nickels. We will be learning to count mixtures of those coins. You might play with money a bit at home.

Remember we have two early releases this week. The buses will load at 11:30. We go to lunch at 10:50. It is a quick day. I will be available Wednesday afternoon for conferences if you wish to call. I will be doing my regular conferences at report card time in October.

We will be going to Greer to the Nature Trail for a field trip in October. I am asking each child to bring $1 to help with busing costs. I will pick up the rest. The kids will need a lunch, etc. that day. I will send more information as the time approaches.

I will also be pledging $25 for our class for Jump Rope for Heart. I will be sending a note with an envelop attached. If you could contribute $1 for this, it would be great.

Some are struggling with the first 25 sight words. You can find the list on the blog or in the green book I passed out at parent night. I am busy recording them so the kids can practice on the computer. I will also get this on the website for you to use at home.

Speaking of the website, have you been able to download the Smarttech software to make it work??? If you have problems let me know. Hopefully I can help you or at least find someone who can.

Have a great week.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Monster Sandwich Day

Here are some pictures from Monster Sandwich Day. We ate well and had a great time.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


The early conference time fits the needs of the high school much more than the needs of the primary school. Most of us are waiting until mid October (our usual time) to do our conferences. If you have an immediate problem I will be available next Wednesday afternoon. Just give me a call and we will set up a time to meet.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Week 5

The story this week is called "Todd's Box". The new sound is short o. We will be reviewing short a and i also. We will continue to blend new words that are easily decodable. The new vocabulary words are:

Spelling for this week is:

Questions of the week:
Monday - It is Hot Air Balloon Day. Would you like to ride in a hot air balloon. What color would you like it to be.
Tuesday - It is National Breakfast Month. What do you like best for breakfast?
Wednesday - It is the birthday of the U.S. Post Office. What do they do for us?
Thursday - Who is your favorite Muppet?
Friday - List 5 words that rhyme with dot.

Please have your child answer the questions. You may help with spelling, punctuation, and capitalization. If your child doesn't know an answer, then help your child with the answer. This is especially true of the rhyming questions. Rhyming is one of the most basic of Phonemic Awareness skills. You might watch these questions to see if your child understands rhyming.

I just graded spelling tests. Almost everyone missed walk and they. I am adding them to the list for next week. These are words that are used a lot so we need to be able to spell them.

In math, we will be starting time and money. They are two of the hardest math concepts we will meet this year. We will do pennies and time to the hour. This might be something you could do at home for extra practice.

If your child has shoes that tie, please practice at home. I can't keep up with all the untied laces. They are too dangerous when not tied.

Friday will be "Monster Sandwich Day". I will bring sandwich stuff and we will eat in the room. This is usually a fun time for all of us. Your child will not need a lunch on Friday.