“*Dr. Kenneth Zike has said that at least 50% of the children with learning problems referred to the neurological clinic at his hospital had had no traumas, no birth injuries, and no other physical deviations. Their trouble seemed to come from pressure - pressure to do a task that they did not have the maturity to do.”

~Borrowed from Robert Jackson on the world wide web.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hello all! Coming to you live from my living room couch, just wanted to let you all know I am coming along well. I will be back Friday afternoon. I will be taking the second half of the day shift.
Mrs. Parson has to be out the second half of the day on Friday and this would be the perfect time for me to return.
The surgery has taken its toll on me for sure. I am looking forward to getting back to normal!

Sitting around has given me lots of time to think about things. In particular, all the things I am not getting done for the holidays. Then, it occurred to me that this is a great time to reevaluate what the holidays actually mean to my family and most importantly to me.

I obviously can not get out to the stores to shop, shop, shop. I have come to realize that so often our children associate the holidays with gifts. As a parent myself, I want them to experience the joy. But even more, I want more for them than to just see the holidays as a chance to get presents.

Can you remember what you got your child last year for the holidays, be it Hanukkah or Christmas? I am embarrassed to say I do not. To be honest, the only gift I remember giving my children was the year my children were in 2nd and 4th grade and my husband and I purchased year Disney passes for them. I suppose I remember it because I can not tell you how many times we went to the park that year. We would leave from school and go to the parks for several hours before closing. We had so much fun together that year. The toys and such, I never remember.

During the holidays, we also do the usual bake, decorate, and spend time together. I want to do something more this year...and maybe you do to.

This holiday season, I want to focus on more traditions:
* We are going to draw names secretly of an immediate family member. During the upcoming holiday season, we are going to help one another without being asked.(Chores or with something unexpected) I want them to "give back" starting with the family. I think I am going to write my name 4 times and they all chose me. hahahaha Just kidding
* One evening we are having dinner as a picnic on the living room floor.
* Christmas movie night.
* We will share the Christmas story followed by hot cocoa. (My kids love hot cocoa!)
* One evening we will head out to view all of the lights followed by hot cocoa! :o)
* I will continue my love of holiday music from Thanksgiving through the new year!
* Baking and eating cookies. Mmmmm...
* Write new years resolutions together.
* The usual meals and Christmas tradition.

Be it Hanukkah or Christmas, make the holidays memorable for your family.
Tell me your holiday traditions. I would love to try something new! Email me!


Monday, December 14, 2009


Good Monday morning.
It is with great pain (literally) that I sit here at my computer and type you a brief note! This week will be full of excitement and wonder for our classroom. So many fun filled activities and bits of joy as the holidays are upon us! Unfortunately, due to an emergency hernia surgery on Friday morning, I will not be back to the classroom until Thursday at the earliest.
The substitute is top notch and life will go on as usual in the classroom…minus me.
I will keep you posted.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Native American Presentation!

We had an awesome time the last three weeks working on our Native American Unit! It was a wonderful experience for the students and for me! I learned so much myself as I dove into the history of our great country.

Before we get started, I must let you know that Hunter's dad came in earlier this week and presented some incredible information on Native Americans to the students. We learned how they tan hides. He told us that animals are just smart enough to tan their own hides. The reason being, they used their brains to tan their hides. The children oohed and aahed over that description. They were fascinated with the animal hides, leather bags, turtle bag, medicine bag, peace pipes, deer skulls, antlers, and many other things. He presented the children with a deer antler button and an antler gun powder measure necklace. Very cool presentation by Hunter's dad.

We learned about the Northwest, Southwest, Plains, Southeast, and the Northeast Native Americans. We completed many projects that brought the past to life for the students.

Afterward, the children showed off their work to their parents. We then went on to have lunch together. It was just so nice to bring families together with our school family! Thank you for making this day so special, Parents! You made your child's day! However, rest assured if you were unable to attend due to work or travel...your child understands! I had a conversation with them... if my daughter was having the same thing at her school I wouldn't be able to be there because ...and they always finish my sentence. "Because you are here with us!"
Here are some shots from lunch:


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Week in Review!

There were four birthdays in our class this month! (Vic, Jack, Dylan, and me!)
I celebrated my birthday on Monday and received the nicest gift from the class! A "Star Teacher" book! I also received many nice cards and gifts. Ignore the candle...it is supposed to say 28...really!

Mr. Carter made me an ice cream cake! Look how delicious!!! After a week of celebrating, I am looking forward to dieting and beginning a running regimen!

We decorated our door for American Education Week! Our door was focused on Teamwork! This is our team photo...only I am not in it because I took this photo! Mrs. Shaw took the picture of the class and me. It is hanging on our door and I forgot to take a picture of the door...which won honorable mention, I might add! Your child may be missing...but it is because we had several children out for the holidays.

As part of American Education Week, Vic's Dad came in and talked about his job at the Travel magazine. It was so interesting to learn about how Vic's family was able to go to Jamaica and live in an amazingly fabulous tree house for a week for work. Work??? That seems like more fun than work! :o) Vic is even in a photo shoot from the article that Vic's dad wrote!

The past two weeks have been a flurry of learning and native American studies! I can not show you all the pictures I have been taking of the projects as I want you to be surprised when you arrive for our Native American presentaion on December 4th. Have you marked it off on your calendar yet? Dec. 10, at 10:00 am - 11:30 am. We may be having some very special guests there as well! (My parents.)

On Friday, we had a Thanksgiving Fun Day. We did three rotations.


#2 Pinecone Turkey (If you could have seen me stopping my car in a persons driveway and asking them if I could have pine cones for my first grade class project.......) hahaha

#3 Oreo Cookie Turkey

The children have been SOOO concerned about what was going to happen to Froggy over the Thanksgiving break. I told them he would go home with someone from the class for the week. They thought it was so unfair! They only get him for a weekend. I had pushed Froggy until later in the afternoon...and forgot to pull a name. So, I did the only kind thing I could for Froggy. I brought him home with me! He immediately went for a bath...in the washer and dryer! :o)
Then Jay caught a glimpse of him and it has been love at first sight!

The first thing Jay thought he needed to do was go and use the potty! Do you think Jay will get the idea and use the potty himself??? That is my job this week...potty training!

First thing this morning, Jay was out of bed with Froggy and getting him into his high chair for breakfast!

The two of them played together all morning while I went out and got a Caramel Macchiato at Starbuck's and then headed out to the Art Festival in DeLand, shopping for some new shirts, and lunch with my mother!

Later that afternoon, we were off to the park to play...only when he realized he forgot Froggy...Jay was totally bummed out!

Froggy has been having a ball here at our house and wonders why I hadn't brought him over sooner! Oh well, he is so spoiled from having such great weekends with his classmates that he expects it here! Tomorrow we have some fun things planned so stay tuned and check back soon!


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Shoe boxes

We need shoe boxes!
We are knee deep in our Native American unit and the projects are getting underway!
If you have shoe boxes you can part with, we can use them!
Thank you so much!


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Math Mad Minutes

I am beginning to give math mad minutes to the children. We are working on addition at the moment. Starting with 0, and working on up. Please review addition flash cards with your child through adding to 5.
There are many fun websites that will practice addition with your child. Check out www.funbrain.com. If your child is a more traditional learner, you can use flashcards or paper pencil.
These math mad minutes are NOT for a grade. They have a minute to complete 30 problems. This works on simple addition fluency.


Challenge Words

I will be giving spelling pretests on Monday. If your child passes the pretest, he/she will use the challenge words for all spelling homework during the week.
On Friday, I will be giving two spelling tests. The original list and the challenge list. The children who passed the pretest will take the challenge test.
I will be attaching the note to the pretest. If your child has a 10/10 or 9/10, they will be taking the challenge words on Friday. The pretest grade stands unless challenge word grade is better.


How I Became a Pirate Field Trip