Thursday, May 24, 2012

Congratulations to Jaelynn

Jaelynn is the first student I have ever had to pass 250 AR tests.  What a great first!!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Week 36

This is an unreal blog for me to write.  The end of so many things are going to happen by the end of this week:  the end of RVPS, the end of my teaching career (42 years is a LONG time) and the end of this school year with my final class.  

This week will be filled with cleaning, packing, and moving.  Please excuse the less than educational things we may do since we will have no desks, etc.  We are scrubbing today and bringing home all our school things.  I will send report cards tomorrow so I don't forget.  Please have your child continue to bring a backpack. We probably will continue to have some great give aways.  

I am going to send home a packet that has some ideas for summer activities.  It was a plan made last year so the dates are wrong but the activities are still good.  Just adjust the timing. 

I am so glad to see that so many accepted the reading challenge.  I hope more than one finish.  Only one did last year.  I hope this bunch costs me a bunch at the end of summer.

A good web site for math skills is IXL Math.  Your child can do 20 questions per item for free.  A family membership is $9.95/month or $79/year.  That would allow all the children in your household to do the game not just the first grader.  It starts at pre-school if I remember correctly.  It might not be a bad family investment, especially if you have more than one child.

Andrea Rhoton threw me a great retirement party on Friday night.  What a surprise.  My children and wonderful friend from Florida flew in for the occasion. . .it was so special.  RVPS has made a great school family of wonderful, and caring teachers.  I have also made so many friends in the parents of students and in students who are now adults.  What a great place this has been!!!

Retirement is going to bring its blessings and it challenges.  It is kind of scary when teaching is the only thing I know.  I'm sure in late July my "get ready to go back to school" clock will kick in.  It will be interesting to see what I chose to do then and how I feel.  That is still a mystery!!!

Thanks you so much for sharing your child with me.  It has been a great ride!!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Catching up on AR

Week 35

It is hard to believe that we are at the last story in our reading series. It is an informational fiction piece called "Baboon". Parts of this story are made up but parts give information about different African animals. The phonics skill is /oo/ making the sound it does in the word cool. The new vocabulary is:
  • against
  • careful
  • fine
  • quietly
  • shook
In math we will be starting double digit addition without regrouping. 

Please try to help your child to get to list 25 in spelling.  That is the goal for the year.

On Friday we will do a Read-a-thon.  Your child may bring a pillow and blanket, etc to be comfy to read.  Hopefully we can finish up some of those AR reading goals.  Please have your child bring a snack to share so they can munch while they read.

Once again the calendar has changed.  Please note these changes.
  • May 16 - Walk to the park.  The kids will need a lunch and to wear their class shirt.  Makes for easy finding of them in a giant group.
  • May 17 - Trip to the new RVES to tour the building. Last AR Lunch in the room.
  • May 18 - Monster Sandwich Day.  Class shirt requested. Read-a-thon.
  • May 22-24 - Early Release for packing and moving.  Notice the addition of Tuesday also.
  • May 25 - Last Day
Have a great week!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Week 34

This week we are reading "Sleep is for Everyone." It is a nonfiction story giving information about why sleep is important, and giving facts and details about sleep. The phonics skill is the short e sound made by the letters /ea/ as in the word head. The New vocabulary is:
  • afternoon
  • bicycle
  • carry
  • hours
  • parents
In math we will be finishing up fractions and starting the last unit in the book.  It is 2 digit addition.  I will be sending home the rest of the book.  It has a section on looking forward to second grade.  The kids love to play school and this will be fun for them for the summer.

Speaking of summer, I am going to offer my summer reading challenge.  I will be sending a letter home.  If you are interested in your child participating, please sign it and return it.  Last year only one child finished the challenge.  I really want kids to read over the summer.  Research shows this is so helpful for remaining a great reader.

Friday is Dome Day.  I'd rather not deal with backpacks so please don't send them on Friday.  Remember they will need a lunch and comfortable clothing.  Please read the notes carefully. They give info on where you are to pick up your child if you normally do that.  FYI. . .The school packed hot lunches are usually not very exciting.  A lot of the fun of going on a trip like this is choosing what you take in your lunch.  YOUR CHILD MUST BE WEARING THEIR CLASS SHIRT!!  This makes it so easy for me or any supervising person to find my kids.  I could still use some more adult helpers if you are available.

Every Thursday that all the kids have on their AR shirt, there is no homework.  The same is true on Friday when they are wearing their Class Shirt.  Help your child make sure he/she is not the deal breaker!!

Friday, May 18, will be the last Monster Sandwich Day.  You will not need to send a lunch on that day.  

Next week the class shirt schedule will be tight.  They must have them on for the walk to the park and I would like them to wear them again for Monster Sandwich Day.
Sorry!!  Humor me one last time.

I am giving away a lot of STUFF at school.  I will be starting on books soon.  The kids think I am wonderful and I am sure you are not too pleased about all the STUFF coming home.  Once again humor me.  I hate throwing away stuff that makes them so happy.  Everyday they love looking in the give away tub.

Once again here is the schedule for the rest of the year:
  • May 9 - Early Release
  • May 10 - We are going to the HS for the Show Choir.  Pick up children will be returned to the school to be picked up as far as I know.  Watch for a note if things are different.
  • May 11 - Dome Day
  • May 16 - Walk to the park.  The kids will need a lunch and to wear their class shirt.  Makes for easy finding of them in a giant group.
  • May 18 - Monster Sandwich Day.  Class shirt requested.
  • May 23-24 - Early Release for packing and moving
  • May 25 - Last Day
Have a great week!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Week 33

Our story this week is "Poppleton Everyday". The phonics focus this week is long oo sound made by u-e as in tune. The new vocabulary is:
  • boy
  • bought
  • few
  • head
  • ready
In math we will be finishing up place value and starting fractions.  

Here is the calendar again.  Please note that some changes have been made.  Getting this move fine tuned is causing changes all the time.  I will try to keep you updated.
  • May 1 - Early Release
  • May 2-4 - DIBELS Testing
  • May 9 - Early Release
  • May 10 - Show Choir comes to us at 1:15. We may be going to the auditorium so the place is subject to change.
  • May 11 - Dome Day
  • May 16 - Walk to the park.  The kids will need a lunch and to wear their class shirt.  Makes for easy finding of them in a giant group.
  • May 23-24 - Early Release for packing and moving
  • May 25 - Last Day
Once again Thursday is AR day.  The shirt is mandatory on that day.  I'd love it if everyone would show up in their shirt so we could take a class picture. Plus if everyone wears their shirt, I cancel homework.  We are still waiting for that to happen.

Lets also wear class shirts every Friday until the end of the year.  Hopefully in 3 Fridays everyone will have it on for another class picture.  

Have a great week.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Week 32

The thought that we only have 5 weeks of school left is just amazing.  Where in the world did this year go???

Thanks to all of you that accompanied us on our field trip to the Forest Service.  It was a nice walk and I think the kids enjoyed finding the animals in the mural.

This week we will read "The Puddle". The story has a mix of realistic and make-believe parts. The sound for the is that -ge and -dge both make the /j/ sound. The vocabulary is:
  • angry
  • okay
  • nearly
  • sorry
We will start the unit on Place Value in math.  You might keep counting money at home.  The kids seems to be confusing nickels and quarters.  In this day and age there are so many kinds of coins with the new ones out that these coins can look several ways.  Also in the day of swiping my card, I find that I really don't know what money looks like.  

Several have asked.  The Spelling Goal for the year is List 25.  That is the minimum requirement.  I will let your child know what list he/she is on today.  I have some who are nowhere near that goal.

The move is a very time consuming process.  Even though I am retiring, I still have to leave an empty room.  I will try to leave the room intact for the kids until the last moment.  I will be working on the insides of cabinets and drawers for the most part.  That won't effect the kids much.  I will just get things emptied out and cleaned. 

THURSDAY IS AR DAY.  Everyone has one now!  Thanks to Mrs. Burk who helped us get there.  Please have your child in the shirt.  Several did not get to eat in the room last week because they did not have the shirt on.  I'd like to get a class picture with everyone in his/her AR shirt.

Let's wear class shirts on Friday.  Please have them ready for the week.

Remember that Friday is an Early Release and the School Carnival.  Come and enjoy the evening with the kids and our school family.  It is always a fun evening.  There will be lots of games, face painting, a haunted house (which many kids find really scary) and food (that is where I will be).  Come by and say hello.

Have a great week.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Week 31

Our story this week is a non fiction one called "How to Be a Nature Detective." The phonics sound to review is long o. The new vocabulary words are:
  • clues
  • detective
  • floor
  • nature
  • piece
  • pulls
This week we will finish out our unit about 2 & 3 dimensional shapes.  We continue to take timed tests to build automaticity on math facts to 10.

Here are some important dates from now until the end of the year.  Some things may change to facilitate the move to the intermediate school.
  • April 18 - Walk to Forest Service.  CLASS SHIRTS ARE REQUIRED!
  • April 20 - Science Day.  The kids will rotate through all classes doing experiments in each room.
  • April 27 - Ronald McDonald and Early Release
  • May 1 - Early Release
  • May 2-4 - DIBELS Testing
  • May 9 - Early Release
  • May 10 - Show Choir comes to us at 1:15
  • May 11 - Dome Day
  • May 16 or May 23 - Walk to the park.  That date is undecided because of moving.  I will give you a final date at a later time.  The kids will need a lunch and to wear their class shirt.  Makes for easy finding of them in a giant group.
  • May 21-22 - Early Release for packing and moving
  • May 25 - Last Day
You might want to print this schedule and stick it to the fridge!!!

I have lots of parents who have signed up to go on the field trip.  I'd love for all of you to come.  We will leave the school about 8:45.  Please be at the school before then.  If you would rather not go, I have plenty of help.  Just make sure your child knows that you aren't going to come.  

Monday, April 9, 2012

Week 30

It is hard for me to believe that we only have 7 weeks of school left.  The year has flown by.

The kids seem to have settled in well again after Spring Break.  Sometimes that can be a difficult and chaotic time.  This group has done well.

Our story this week is a non-fiction piece called "Fishing Bears." It is an informational story about the Alaskan Brown Bear. The phonics lesson is reviewing the long sound of i, especially in words like kind and wild. The vocabulary list is short, only three words. They are:
  • both
  • during
  • ready
In math we will finish up the unit on money and start working with geometric shapes, both 2 & 3 dimensional.  Some are still having trouble identifying the coins.  The most often mixed up are dime and nickel.  Your child should be able to identify dimes, nickels, quarters, and pennies.  You might do a bit of coin practice at home.

Your child should be on list 20 in spelling this week.  Most are doing quite well, but a few are many lessons behind.  

I have been giving out AR awards like crazy.  Wonder if anyone will make it to 200.  There is still plenty of time for that to happen.  I need to come up with a really good prize for that.  Any suggestions???

Have a great week.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


I think I have made a HUGE mistake on the homework for tonight.  Just ignore it and don't do anything.  I don't keep a copy on my computer this year since I am retiring.  I hate to clean. . .even my computer.  The world isn't going to end over one Senior Moment.  Enjoy the evening and ignore the homework.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Week 29

I hope everyone had a restful Spring Break.  Mine was very busy.  We went to KS to do some planning for my son's wedding in October.  We now have a venue and menu for the rehearsal dinner, a wedding dress, and material for the invitations. On our way out of town Rick hit a jackrabbit.  It broke the bumper on my car!  We had to come back home and take the truck.  CRAZY!!!

Also my Kansas Jayhawks made it to the final game.  I am beyond excited.  I kind think Kentucky will have them for lunch tonight but it has been a great ride!

Our story for this week is "Frog and Toad All Year." It is a fiction piece that has a story within a story. The phonics focus is long a made by ai and ay. The vocabulary words for the week are:
  • caught
  • cold
  • hurried
  • near
  • son
  • sure
In math we will continue counting money.  We get dimes to count this week.  We will be counting collections of coins.

Remember that Friday is a day off since we didn't use any snow days.  

Let's fill a box for our soldier one more time this year.  I know that he enjoys the treats we send.  It is such a small thing to do for someone who is protecting our country.

Have a great week.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Week 28

We survived last week.  I thought the kids did an excellent job at the program.  They were well behaved and performed beautifully.  Tina Slade is a jewel and should be congratulated if you see her.  She works very hard with our children.

We will be starting our last book of the year. Can you believe that??? The first story is called "The Story of a Bluebird." It is a fiction story about a little bird who is afraid to fly. The phonics focus for this story is long i made by igh. The new vocabulary words are:
  • afraid
  • flew
  • join
  • learn
  • nothing
  • thought
  • wonder
We will begin the study of money in math.  I use the touch point method to teach money.  The kids will always count by 5's to count money.  It is too hard for them to change from counting by 1's, 5's, 10's and 25's.  They will learn to do that when they are developmentally ready.  They will draw touch points on each coin, except pennies.  A nickel gets one dot, a dime two dots, and a quarter five dots. Then they just count the dots by 5's.  Then all they have to do is count on the pennies by ones.  I did this last year and everyone was successful in counting money in about 20 minutes.  I now think back on all the  years of fighting the counting money issue!!  Why didn't I think of this!  We will do pennies, nickels, and dimes this week.  Please make sure your child can identify these coins.

There will be a public meeting on the possible closure of a school and the 4 day week at 6:00 in the HS Multi Purpose Room.  If you have feelings on these subjects be sure to go and express your opinion.  The thought of closing the Primary School makes my stomach hurt.  Of course, I am the only teacher left that moved into the school when it was brand new and has taught there continuously since.  I love that place.  Guess it might be fitting that I opened it and I closed it!

Many of the kids have kind of gone on a 'brain break'.  My big time readers have become my big time players, etc.  It seems in the last week a few have returned to their old ways.  Hope more of them return to the work mode.

Congratulations to Kimball for being the first one to earn a Sonic card for passing 150 AR tests.  Several are close.  Hope I can give away another one or two before break.  

Have a great week.  Remember that next week is Spring Break (as if your kids would let you forget).  Enjoy yourselves and be safe.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Week 27

This is going to be a really busy week.  Good luck to us.  Among all the extra things we will try to do some academics.

This week we will be reading 'Busy Buzzy Bee." It is a non fiction story that will give us lots of information about bees. The phonics focus is long o made by o-e. The new vocabulary words are:
  • another
  • change
  • field
  • touch
  • twelve
  • wait
  • wild
We will be relating addition and subtraction this week in math.  Also continuing with timed test for addition and subtraction.  

Now for the busy part of our week.  This is the calendar:

There is a survey on line at  It will give you a chance to express your feeling about school and the district.  There is also one on the 4 day week inside the school. Please come in and express your feelings.

Our program will be this Friday at 1:30.  Please come and look at these cute kiddos doing their thing.  If you want a good seat, come early.  We will be doing a practice for the school on Thursday at 1:30 if you can't make it on Friday.  

Thanks to all who came for conferences.  I still have a few to catch up with.  If you couldn't come would you please contact me about rescheduling.  I really do need to see you.

I think there are many books out that aren't being returned.  I know that I am retiring but my supply will be passed on to another teacher.  Please check your house to see what yo might find.  I seem to lose more every year.  I'd like to send on a good legacy.

Picture day is on Tuesday.  These are the ones that you don't need to prepay for.  They will be sent home and then if you want them, you can purchase.  

Like I said, I hope we have time for school this week.  There will be expectations but probably lots of whole group work rather than small group.

Somewhere in all this we will try to have some fun with St. Patrick's Day!!!

Have a great week!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Week 26

This week we are reading "Little Bear's Friend." It is a fantasy story where animals talk and take on human qualities. The sound for the week is the long i sound made by the letter y at the end of a word as in why. The new vocabulary words are:
  • again
  • blue
  • high
  • love
  • opened
  • hello
Math moves into the addition facts to 18.  We will be doing doubles, doubles +1, and completing to 10 to find the answer.  Math problem solving and timed tests will continue.

We should be on List 17 in Spelling this week.

This will be a crazy week with 2 early release days.  I will be doing conferences on Tuesday.  I am not meeting with everyone this time.  If you didn't get a note don't worry about it.  If you got one please let me know if you can come.  If you are unable to please call me to schedule an alternative time.

Are their any moms or dads who have an extra hour during the week.  I would really like for everyone to earn an AR shirt this year.  I have a few strugglers that need some help.  If you have any extra time, just drop in and I will give you a child and a computer.  Some just need the reassurance of someone sitting with them.  

We have hit the winter blahs.  Our work and behavior have deteriorated noticeably.  Moving your name no longer matters. . .neither does quality work.  Right now we are on a 'zero tolerance' policy.  The rules are:  whisper, do not talk at the computer, and do not be mean to your classmates.  If you are you have to spend a couple minutes with your nose to the wall (they hate that).  I had to find a consequence that worked.  Our room has really calmed down, work is much better, and it is quiet enough that people can think about their or work or what they are reading.  Plus I don't get a headache!!!  I have a mom that is going to bring in a treat one day this week for those who do not have to go to the wall.  

We are RAPIDLY going through glue sticks.  I bought 200 when school started and you all must have sent at least 100.  I am guessing that there are less than 50 left.  You may need to send a couple more with your child.  

We had a great Dr. Seuss Day on Friday.  Everyone liked the green eggs and ham.  The Oobleck made a horrible mess.  I went to school this morning and scrubbed.  I tried to find the vacuum but I don't know where Bob keeps it. . .better make him some cookies.  My floor looks horrid.  It should come up pretty easily.  It is just cornstarch and water.  The Cat in the Hat even showed up to read to us.

Report cards will come home with your child on Wednesday.  Happy weekend to me!!!

Enjoy your week.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Week 25

This week we are reading a non fiction story called "On the Job with Dr. Martha Smith." This story is written in the interview style to gain information about her job at an animal shelter. The phonics focus this week is /ou/(what you would say if I pinched you) made by the letter ou and ow. The new vocabulary words are:
  • any
  • Dr.
  • busy
  • care
  • eight
  • took

We will continue with measurement this week.  We will be comparing weights, capacities, temperatures, and areas.  Timed tests will continue to build automaticity in math facts.

Everyone should be on List 17 in spelling for this week.  If you have a computer at home your child can take tests at home.  I only ask that you monitor so that your child is doing the work without outside help.  Your child knows his/her username and password. I can check the time of day that each test is taken, how many attempts, how many practice games, and words missed. If I suspect that I am not being treated honestly I will not count any tests taken at home.  By not doing their own work it is the child that is losing.  

Friday is Dr. Seuss' birthday.  We will be doing activities surrounding him this week.

I think many are not checking the blog.  Please do that.  Important information will come out on here.  We will do shirts again on Friday.  This is my test to see who is watching!!!

Have a great week.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Week 24

This week we are reading a science fiction story called "My Robot". It is by Eve Bunting. The phonics lesson is c sounding like s as in cent. The new vocabulary words are:

  • almost
  • always
  • does
  • even
  • once
  • pretty
  • say
  • sound

In math, we will be finishing up number patterns and starting measurement.  Skip counting is a part of number patterns.  There are still a few who are struggling with counting by 2's and 5's.  Also another thing I have noticed is that 2 or 3 substitute 12 for 20, 13 for 30, etc.  I am not sure why this is happening but it is the second year that it has shown up.

We will be finishing up our Presidents' Day activities and doing some experiments to show what some of the things we drink do to our teeth.

Spelling is moving along.  Your child should be on List 16 this week.  If you have a computer at home your child can take tests at home.  I only ask that you monitor so that your child is doing the work without outside help.  Your child knows his/her username and password. I can check the time of day that each test is taken, how many attempts, how many practice games, and words missed. If I suspect that I am not being treated honestly I will not count any tests taken at home.  

Remember. . .Thursday is AR Day.  Your child must have his/her shirt on to eat in the room.  Those without shirts need to have passed 3 tests in one week.  The testing week runs from Thursday to the next Wednesday.

LET'S DO CLASS T-SHIRTS ON FRIDAY.  It will be Monster Sandwich Day.  No need to send lunch that day.  They have really done well and earned it again very quickly.

Have a great week.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Already At Work

This is how my classroom looks most mornings before school even starts.  Many choose to come in and go to work.

Lots of AR testing gets done at this time of day.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Week 23

This week's story is a fiction story called "Tell Me a Story." It is about a little girl who likes to listen to her Abuelita (grandma) tell her stories of times gone by. The phonics sound is long i as in the word time. The new vocabulary is:

We will continue to work on number patterns on the hundreds chart in math and taking timed tests to build automaticity for math facts.  \

The kids decided that Valentines Day was a special day so we should wear our class shirts.  They are so funny about them. I love the fact that they figure out when they want to do this.

I have everything I need for the party.  If your child would like to bring something to share let them do that.

My printer is having a hiccup so I hope all of this makes it out.  I am going to make this short incase I am doing this for nothing!!!

Have a great week!

Thursday, February 9, 2012


I know I told someone that I would send home extra crayons to make those melted heart crayons from Pinterest.  I just can't remember who.  If it was you, let me know.  Our junk box is overflowing.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Another shirt went out the door!!

Way to go, Derek!!!  This is pretty special because I also taught Derek's mom.  Yep!  Time to retire before the grandkids show up!  (Just in case I can't fix this you might get a picture of the dessert for tomorrow)  Sorry I'm not too savvy! I am going to bring dessert for those that get to eat in the room.

Still more AR Stars

These kids are just amazing.  The reading energy is awesome.  Hope my bank account holds out!!  The reading fluency gains are truly wonderful.  Good work Beau, Shaylee, Treyson, Mollie, and Kandalyn!!!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Week 22

This week's story is a non fiction one called "At Home Around the World." The phonics emphasis will be on y making the long e sound as at the end of the word bunny. We will also review the long vowel sounds we have had so far. The reading level of this story is much higher than the one we had last week. The vocabulary words are:

We will continue with number patterns this week.  We will be doing skip counting by 2's, 5's, and 10's and looking at the patterns they make on the hundreds chart.  We will continue timed tests to practice automaticity of the number facts. 

Spelling continues to be a struggle.  This is such a bright group of kids that I'm puzzled by the slowness.  Your child should pass List 14 by the end of next week.  We will continue to work on it.  

AR is going beautifully.  More and more kids are getting the bug and starting to read.  The difference it makes in fluency is amazing.  I am watching halting readers become fluent readers all the time.  I am so pleased. 

The valentine party will be Feb 14 at 12:10.  I will need un-iced heart shaped cookies, pink frosting, ice cream cups, squirt whipped cream, and a pink/red drink.  We will also need paper plates, cups, and napkins.  If you would like to provide any of these things send me a note or an email.  There are 23 kids in the room.  I have tons of sprinkles so we will attempt to use those up.

I am including the valentine list here.  I would like your child to address the cards him/herself.  This is good writing practice. If they do a few a night I shouldn't be a huge chore. I will send home a hard copy of this.  It will be small so watch for it.  (I find lots of notes in desks that never make it home) The children are:

Kimball             Ethan              Kandalyn             Derek               Noah

Torren              Jacob               Bailee                  Beau                 Mollie

Jaelynn             Ellianna            Kinsi                   Allyson             Makenzie

Ricky                Raelie               Charlie               Tucker              Skyler

Shaylee            Siearra              Treyson

I'd like for the cards to come in on Monday if possible.  That will give us a day to get them all passed out.  

Remember that Friday is an Early Release Day.

Have a great week.

Busy AR Day

On Friday, Skyler and Tucker earned DQ cards for passing 100 tests and Charlie earned his shirt for 50.  

Finally, Shaylee!!!

Shaylee earned her shirt 2 weeks ago.  Due to a malfunctioning camera and a forgetful teacher, she isn't appearing until today.  Way to go, Shaylee.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Tucker Got Lost!!!

How did I lose track of this cute kid!!  And he worked so hard.  I am so sorry.

Monday, January 30, 2012