Monday, December 19, 2011

More AR Stars

Congratulations to Mollie, Skyler, and Kimball. I have done this twice and I can't get Kimball going the right way. SORRY!!! It shows it is right on iPhoto but not translating here.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Week 17

We will be taking a week off from the reading series. We will still be reading but we will be doing literature that fits the season. I love Christmas so we are going to enjoy it. We have worked hard so we are going to lean back and enjoy the time. We will be doing activities that are related to Christmas.

Congratulations to Mollie, Skyler, and Kimball. I gave away 3 more AR shirts this week. It seems that the spirit of reading is getting infectious. Several of these children chose to stay in during recess to read and take tests. I am so proud of them. Every Thursday is AR day. If you have passed 3 tests in the week from Thursday to Wednesday you can have lunch in the room. They like it and so do I. They are working hard and I love rewarding their efforts.

I did hear from the T-Shirt people. I think we are finally going to press. It seems to have been a much longer process than I had hoped. Sorry!!!

On Dec. 19, we will be doing a rotation of Christmas Around the World. The kids will go to all the teachers and learn about customs through out the world. It should be a fun day of activities.

We will have our Christmas Party on the morning of Dec. 20. I have cereal and milk covered. It might be fun to have some hot chocolate (I bought fun marshmallows), doughnuts, and whatever else you can think of for the party. Let me know your thoughts. I have a craft. . .emptying out the boxes for the last time. Since it is an early release day we will be out of school by 11:30.

Please remember if you wish to do the tax credit donation it needs to be done by Dec. 31. It is a great program and helps us tremendously.

Have a great week!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Our First T-Shirt Star

Week 16

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

This group of words is pretty hard because you have 5 words that start with the letter f.

In math we will be finishing up the concentrated work on addition skills. We will learn about doubles and doubles plus 1.

Congratulations to Jaelynn. She has earned the first AR shirt in the room. She has successfully passed 50 AR tests. Congratulations to Mollie, Skyler, Kimball, Tucker, and Torren. They have earned their AR zipper pulls for passing 25 tests and are in hot pursuit of a shirt. By the end of this week I am sure I will have given away some more shirts. We have started having AR lunch in the room on Thursday. If your child passes 3 tests per week they will be allowed to have lunch in the room. If your child has earned a shirt he/she needs to wear it every Thursday. It is his/her ticket to lunch in the room.

Spelling is coming along. Your child should be taking list 7 this week at the very least. If not, we will be doing some extra spelling work. . .probably at recess. I am going to spend some extra time working with those that are having trouble keeping up. Our computers have been terribly slow this last week. It has led to lots of frustrations for ALL of us in spelling and AR. Hope the hiccup there is gone by Monday.

We are entering the holiday season. The kids will be excited and the rest of us will be frazzled trying to get everything done. I hope we can keep the lid on and make this time productive. Thanks for all of your help both at home and in the room.

The book order has been placed. I will notify each of you when it arrives, in case you want to give it for Christmas.

Anyone have time to come play a game with the kids this week or listen to them read??? If so, give me a call or send me an email.

Have a great week.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Week 15

Thank you so much for all the help at the feast. I am just amazed at the number of people that showed up to eat. Sorry if any of you didn't get food or a place to sit. It was our largest turn out ever. We calculate that between 360 and 380 people were there. That is just AMAZING!!!

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 with 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. This story also seems to be the story that takes us into a whole new reading level. It will get way more difficult from here on out. The new vocabulary words are:

In math we will continue to work on addition and introducing several ways to solve the problem besides counting on fingers. By the end of the year we want these facts to come to automaticity. The methods include counting up and using the number line.

Four children have earned the zipper pull in AR. I am so proud of them. One child is really close to a shirt. The kids are working hard and doing their best. I am so happy with every step they take into becoming fluent readers. That is our goal.

I will place a book order at the end of the week. If you are wanting to order for Christmas gifts you can order and I will contact you when the order comes in. You can stop by and pick them up so they will be a surprise. If you order online it gives me free books for the classroom.

Our SMART books aren't looking too smart anymore. I guess you do get what you pay for. If Santa would like to bring your child a new one for Christmas, that would be great.

Thanks so much for all you do to help your child. That in turn helps me. This is a GREAT class. What a way to exit!!! I am so lucky.

Have a great week.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Week

This week we will take a week off from the reading series. We will do some review and vocabulary work. There will also be no question to answer for homework. There will be a reading assignment on Monday night.

Tuesday will be the feast. If you haven't sent your $3/person for those attending, please do so. We will have posse stew, fruit salad, bread, butter, and milk. In the afternoon, we will have pumpkin dip and cookies in the room. Your child will be involved in preparing most of the things we are serving. They love this project.

You are welcome to come but please let us know so we can have enough food.

I only have 3 parents who have signed up to help. If you could give us some time with preparation, serving, or clean up on Tuesday, please contact me.

This feast has nothing to do with the school cafeteria. Your lunch account will not be charged for this meal, only for the carton of milk they drink.

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Week 14

This week our story is a play called "Did You See Chip?". This is the first time we have hit the play genre. It will be an interesting read. The phonics sound is /ar/ as in the word bark. The new vocabulary words are:

In math we will be finishing up the graphing chapter and starting a new unit on addition. The kids will learn several strategies that will make addition more user friendly, such as counting on and the commutative property of addition.

Remember next Tuesday is the Thanksgiving Feast. Please send $3/person attending. I am not going to send a special note about this. I need to shop next weekend so please let me know how many will be coming. We'd hate to run short on food. The menu will be posse stew, fruit salad, homemade butter, bread and pumpkin pudding with whipped cream. The children will help prepare the meal. I need parents to help with preparation, set up in the cafeteria, and clean up afterwards. I have 3 parents that have offered. If anyone else can help, please let me know.

This will be a busy week getting costumes ready for the feast and learning about the trip to America on the Mayflower.

Have a great week.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Week 13

We are starting a new reading book this week. It is called "Here and There." The difficulty of the reading level will increase in this book. The stories will become much longer and the vocabulary more difficult.

The first story is "I Am a Butterfly." This isn't a great time to study butterflies. We will do some activities now but will save most of them until Spring when I order butterfly larvae to watch grow and hatch.

The sound the week is /ch/ made by the letters ch and tch. The new vocabulary is:

In math we will continue reading and making graphs. Practice on math facts and skip counting by 2's, 5's, and 10's are to your child's benefit.

Spelling is moving along. The kids are getting better at moving thru the program so it is becoming easier.

We will be doing our yearly Thanksgiving feast on Tuesday, Nov. 22. If any of you can come help prepare food, set tables, clean up, or whatever please let me know. The cost will be $3 for each person attending. It is a fun time where we dress up in Native American or Pilgrim costumes and sit to eat with all the first and second grade classes.

Remember that Thursday is an Early Release for Professional Development and Friday is No School in observance of Veteran's Day.

Have a great week.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Party

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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Week 12

I am not sure we are going to know what to do with a full week of school. I am excited. Maybe we can return to a routine and stop feeling so rushed to get everything crammed in. In the past I have slowed down during the weeks of conferences and Fall Break, but this group seems to be quite capable of going on and still learning what they need to. We didn't get to spend as much time on vocabulary practice as we usually do. You might go to the page before each story in the blue book and review all the vocabulary words with your child. This is our last week in this reader. Next week will be a new book and you will start to see a change in the reading difficulty. When we hit the story "Tomas Rivera," you will notice a definite leap. It just keeps getting harder from there on.

The story this week is a non fiction story called "Fun with Fish." The phonics sound is the digraph /sh/. The kids really enjoy this story. They like the different kinds of fish the story talks about. The vocabulary words are"

We are going to be working on increasing reading fluency and blending whole words in phonetically correct words and nonsense words. Our winter testing will happen the first week of December so I would like to have them comfortable with the skills they will be asked to do.

We are studying all kinds of graphs in math. This week we will do picture graphs, bar graphs and tally marks. These are usually pretty easy for most kids. Sometimes tally marks can be tricky. Especially the one that goes across. They usually get it for 5 but then it is hard to remember the one for 10.

Spelling has taken on a new dimension. The kids are having to learn to navigate the program and to type carefully. I think this may make them better at keyboarding and maybe spelling also. We are slow starting but speed will pick up with familiarity of the program. I also have a couple of old, cranky computers that on any given day may choose not to be cooperative. We are going to do the best we can with what we have. . .we have no choice.

Last week was interesting. The kids were quite helpful on the days that I had no or limited voice use. They were quiet and good listeners. I am so grateful for that. It made things much more pleasant for all of us.

Thanks for the outpouring of goodies for our Halloween party. Everyone seemed to have a good time and certainly get enough to eat. Also thanks to those of you who sent things for our soldier. He is going to be well supplied by Room 136.

Have a great week.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I have everything I need for the party. Please send the veggies on Thursday so I can make the monster tray!! It is going to be an interesting few days. I have no voice right now. I hope the kids are helpful. I have found they are either really helpful or really not!! Hope it is the helpful one.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Week 11

This week is another busy week. We will continue on in the reading series and there is an Early Release and the Halloween Party on Friday. There are still lots of things available to send. I forgot to bring the list home so I can't tell you exactly what. No one has signed up for veggies or white frosting. I do remember that and the red gummy life savers. I will take care of whatever can't be sent.

This week's story is a realistic fiction piece called "Try Your Best." The phonics sound is /or/ made by the letters or and ore. The vocabulary words are:

Sorry about the homework goof last week. I have no idea how I put the same stuff on both sides but I did manage to do that. HOLY COW!!! Then I threw the originals away and they were on my home computer. We will try again this week. Thanks to those of you that just rolled with the punches.

In math this week we will be learning to organize and use data. We will start with sorts and then move on to picture graphs and problem solve. It will be a fun time. We already do a lot of this so it should be easy for us to accomplish.

With reminders most of us remembered to take a spelling test this week. It will be easier when we get into the habit. Those are new routines I have to build.

Have a great week!!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


The Halloween Party has been changed to October 28th at 9:00. Only 2 of us wanted it on Monday. We lost. This does change some of the plans. I will need the veggies on Thursday so I can prepare the tray for Friday. Menu and all other plans stay the same.

The children may wear costumes. . .just not masks or really scary or gory things.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Monster Sandwich Day

Can you tell that I am taking this vacation to catch up!

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Ants on a Log

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Meet the Class

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Week 10

There is a lot of information in the blog this week. Please read ALL of it.

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 fiction stories. The new phonics skill is /ng/ as in the word song. 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 start on List 1. 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. The words are also available on the blog. The link is on the side under spelling. Remember we are now linked on the website.

Flu vaccinations will be offered on Oct. 24. The information came home on Thursday in the backpacks.

There will be an information meeting on the bond issue on Oct 19th.

I am ready to order the T-shirts. If you have not sent your money, please do as soon as you can. I am looking forward to getting them.

The uncle of one of the students is serving in the war zone. We are going to adopt him as a pen pal. We will write letters, etc. I'd like for us to collect things for goodie boxes to send once in a while. There will be a box that the kids can put non-parishable items in to send to him.

I have purchased brag tags. They are really fun!!! They will be awarded by different means: some by achieving goals (math timed tests, AR, spelling, writing, etc) and some just happen (Valentines Day, birthday, etc) and some by my judgement call. I am going to visit with each child about some goals I would like for them to achieve. When they have done that, they will receive an award tag. The tags are on a long chain necklace. They will remain at school. They will be allowed to wear them home when they receive a new tag. I want them to celebrate that with you. Please return it the next day. They will be kept on hooks in the room. If grandma comes and you would like your child to share his/her achievements with that special person, write me a note and we will send it home that day. LOST TAGS WILL NOT BE REPLACED.

I am planning the Halloween Party. It will be on Halloween at 12:10. I would like to do these things. Make mummies, make spooky eyeballs, and decorate pumpkin shaped cookies. We can eat 2 of the items and then I would like to make a monster style veggie tray to serve also with some apple cider to drink. This is the item list I need. Let me know what you can provide. If someone has already signed up for it, I will ask you to send something else. I am trying to make this a small cost for everyone. I already have plates, cups and napkins. Each child will need to bring a roll of toilet paper. Needed items are:
30 small powdered doughnuts
30 red gummy lifesavers
4 tubes of red gel frosting
30 pumpkin shaped sugar cookies
2 tubs of white frosting
3 bottles of apple cider
1 bunch leafy lettuce (not iceberg)
1 bunch broccoli
1 head cauliflower
2 English cucumbers
1 bag carrot slices
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
1 can black olive slices
1 bunch radishes
1 large bottle ranch dressing
2 moms to help

I will need the veggies at school on Friday, Oct. 28 so I can use them to make the tray.

Thanks for reading all this. Have a great week!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Week 9

Our new story is "Space Pup". He is a super hero type guy. Since this class really does well in the reading aspect for the most part we are going to forge ahead in the 2 short weeks we face. The phonics sound is short u. The vocabulary list is long:

Spelling words are:

In math we will continue to concentrate on subtraction. Some are having trouble with the concept. You might just do a quick check at home to see if your child can tell you the signs, follow their directions, and do the problems correctly.

In writing we are working on using capitals, a punctuation mark, and leaving spaces between words. They are learning to add to existing pictures and stories. We are also starting to reread the story to see if we left out words.

Thanks so much for conference attendance. I will soon have met with every parent. That is such a good feeling. I have enjoyed visiting with you about y our child's strengths and weaknesses. Each of us needs a goal to work on.

I hope to get the T Shirts ordered so please send your money and make sure I have pictures and sizes. I would like to get these here as soon as possible so we can enjoy them to the max!!!

Remember, Thursday is an early release and Friday and Monday are no school for fall break. ENJOY!!! I think I will be ready to just sit around for a few days. This has been a busy few days. Thanks for being patient with my absences.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Week 8

The story for this week 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:

We will be introducing subtraction this week. The series seems to be going pretty fast thru the concepts. I think they are assuming that lots was introduced in K. I think it probably has been but we will be doing lots of extra work on it. Subtraction is a difficult concept. They are using the missing part early and that seems hard for kids. Wish us luck!!!

Thanks you so much for the great turn out and response to conferences. By the end of this week, I will have visited with every parent in my room. That is a really good feeling. I can already see the results of our visits. The kids commented on the positive comments and even on a few of their challenges. Their behavior was awesome. They were really showing me their best!!! Now I know it is possible and will be the goal we work for every day.

This is another busy week at school, These are the important dates:
Oct. 4 - I will have a substitute and "Reading Under the Stars" from 6:00-7:00 at school. They are serving hot dogs, etc. Please come out and enjoy the evening.
Oct. 6 - PICTURE DAY!!! If you want pictures, please send your money. Also our pictures will not be taken until 1:30 in the afternoon. I cannot promise you perfectly groomed children by that time of day. If you want them to be gorgeous, you might want to come at a little before 1:00 to get them groomed. I cannot do 24 hairdo's etc.
Oct. 7 - Please have your child's drawing and info back for the T-shirt by then. I would like to get them ordered.
Oct. 7 - It is Monster Sandwich Day. Your child does not need to bring a lunch. We will just enjoy the day together.

Have a great week!! I am going to. My daughter is coming from Ohio. I haven't seen her since her wedding last September so I am really excited. Thanks for understand that I will be gone a few days.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Week 7

We have finished our first reading book. The new book is called "Catch a Dream." This week we are reading "Dan's Pet." It is a story about a little boy who gets a pet chick. the phonics focus this week is short e as in hen. The vocabulary words are:

Spelling words are:

In math we are going to continue working on addition. This series goes very quickly. We will have to do lots of extra practice. I really want us to learn the facts to 10 to automaticity. We have started doing Math Facts in a Flash on the computer.

Important things for the upcoming weeks. There is NO SCHOOL on Thursday for RVPS ONLY!!! They have given us this time for conferences. Friday is an Early Release. We have math training in the afternoon.

October 4 is "Reading Under the Stars" and Picture Day is October 6.

Have a great week! I hope to see you at conferences. If your time doesn't work for you feel free to call me and we can reschedule.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Warnings and Updates

A student just broke out with foot, hand, and mouth disease. You might want to keep your eyes open for signs of it. I know it has been other places in our room.

Also be watching for a Conference Schedule. Next Thursday the Primary School ONLY will not have school all day. We are allowed to have this day for conferences. Friday is also an Early Release.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

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 anon fiction story that traces corn from the farm field to your home.

Vocabulary words:





Spelling words are:











We will continue to work on the concept of addition. They are introducing things very quickly. We will do hands on activities to help with the material. We are still working on skip counting by 2's, 10's, and 5's.

We are going to have a class T-shirt. I found a great idea and would love to do it my last year. They will be $8 at the most. If you have a problem with it please let me know.

I also have to make a confession. In a senior moment I have misplaced all the permissions for blog posting and email. That is why you all are still getting info in the notebook. I thought they would show up but they haven"t. I am going to make a new document and send it. Sorry for the double work.

Remember that Friday is Early Release. We will make headbands and flags for the kids to take to the parade. They can show their ELK support.

Have a great week.

Monday, September 12, 2011


Dear Parents

My school email does not seem to be working at school or at home. Please use my home email address. Get ready to either laugh or be offended but my husband came up with it because we are Rick And Tharon SASS. It is It does work!!! The Elks one has been down for ages!!! Nothing seems to fix it.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

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:













In math, we continue working on addition. I have decided to tear the math book apart and send it home daily. It is big and cumbersome. The kids have trouble finding where they are. I am also hoping this helps you see where they are and what we are doing. This week's biggest concept will be the + and + signs.

We are going to fire up the computers. We will start Facts in a Flash this week. It is a program that allows the kids to practice the math facts. They must get 40 problems correct in 4 minutes with no mistakes. It will take some time just to get used to using the program. Don't expect perfection the first few days.

If your child has shoes that tie, please practice at home. I can't keep them all tied. They are too dangerous untied. I have been told that if you teach them to go around the first loop two times, it works like double knotting but will untie easily when you pull one side. You might consider teaching that.

Please send a picture of your family and one of your child. We are going to be making some 'About me' posters.

Remember that Wednesday is an Early Release. Your child will be coming home at 11:25.

Have a great week.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Week 4

This week's story is a fantasy story called "Jack and Rick." It is about a bear and a rabbit that want to play together but are on opposite sides of the stream. By working together they solve their problem. We will be working on the digraph ck. The vocabulary for this week is:

Spelling words are:

In math this week the big new concept is addition. We are also counting to 20 by 2's, to 50 by 5's and by 1's. Some are still struggling with this.

You all have done a great job with SMART books. They are appearing everyday and for the most part homework is done. THANKS for helping and making your child's life so much easier.

Our biggest challenges in the classroom are working quietly and getting work finished. This is a very social class. Many would much rather visit than work. I really want your child to become a happy, quiet, independent, and confident worker. That is my goal for the year. They are great kids with great potential. I hope I can tap all that potential to make them life long learners!!!

Have a great week!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Week 3

This week we are reading a non fiction story called "Ants." The phonics focus sound this week is short i as in the word fin. The vocabulary words are:

Spelling words for this week are:

Math this week consists of finishing number 1-20, testing that concept, and introducing addition. We are also counting to 50 by 1's and 5's. Counting by 5's isn't as automatic as I had hoped it would be. You might check if your child is successful doing that.

I am impressed that nearly everyone is doing homework every night. This puts your child at such an advantage. Things that only take 10-20 minutes make such a difference in his/her success.

In the SMART Book, please remove the letter and focus page weekly. That notebook isn't very big and will get full very quickly. If you do this for one child it keeps me from having to do it for 25. Time is a big thing with very little aide time and so many kids. I'd like you to also remove the homework page that has been filled up. You may want to keep it so you can see the growth of your child over the year. It is pretty amazing the steps they will take.

Remember there is no school on Labor Day. Have a great long weekend.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Week 2

We are entering our second full week of school. We are working on establishing routines and quiet work habits. I am still trying to assess all the children and get them into reading material at their level. I know that "Sam and the Bag" is not challenging for some students. We will be moving into more appropriate reading material this week. The first two reading books are pretty phonetic and pretty easy. The reading difficulty takes a big jump in book 3. Be prepared!

We are still reviewing the 23 sight words from kindergarten and focusing on short a.

This week our new vocabulary words are:

The spelling words for the week are:

In math we will be reviewing the number to 20. The teen numbers seem to be the hardest. I have already seen several children confusing 12 and 20 and 13 and 30. Please take a look at your child's work when it comes home. You may see some problems that you can help remediate.

The air conditioning is on. If your child complains of being cold, please send an old sweatshirt or sweater that they can leave at school. They can keep it in their cubbie and get it when they need to.

If you have not returned your Blog Permission form please do. I really can't post any pictures until I have it. I have some pretty cute ones of Hat Day that I would love to share.

Thanks for keeping up in the SMART Books. Hopefully we are getting better at getting them and their reading material home after school. Routines take a while to learn. We work on those everyday. But once we learn them things will b much freer in the classroom.

Studies show that children that spend more than 2 hours engaged in video media, are 50% more likely to have attention difficulties.

Have a great week!