“*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.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Friday Fun Day!

What a busy week we had!

Did you see your child's autobiography? They were utterly amazing! I loved how proud they were of their accomplishment! We worked on it all week, a page a day! Their writing is becoming stronger and stronger everyday!

We managed to get many apple activities completed and had fun along the way!

The apple was put on the scale, bear counters placed on the other side of the scale, filling the bears to an equal weight with the apple, and then the bears were counted by using tallies. This child was in the middle of counting and tallying their bears!

We also studied the seasons of an apple tree.

Learning about Johnny Appleseed Chapman, parts of an apple, seasons, and friendship rounded out our week!

Buddy reading is a very enjoyable activity. The children choose their buddy and find a spot to read the story of the week together.
Here's a few pictures of them buddy reading.

A video sums it up pretty well! It may sound noisy, but everyone is reading the story aloud and listening to one another!

If you listen closely, one child is helping another. He tells him he is not supposed to read. He responds, I am helping. I love capturing moments of the day when they are in the middle of learning activities!

Friday is always a very exciting day for us. No, I do not think it is because we do our testing on Friday.

Fridays are cause for celebration! Media, Lunch Bunch, Show and Tell(wait-we do that every day), Star Student, and Froggy!

Friday was a smidge more exciting because we had the opportunity to head over to the media center for our first media lesson. Mrs. Brown introduced us the the media center(That's a fancy word for library! (o: ). She went over the rules, showed the children their book area, how to check out, and how to take care of the books. The children are able to check out books every week when we go to the media center. They are allowed to keep the books for two weeks, but are not able to check out a new one each Friday if they have not returned their books.

We also celebrate great behavior by eating lunch in the classroom if their card was not flipped all week. They LOVE this!

Show and Tell was exciting and the clues are sometimes funny, sometimes hilarious, and most times so easy the children always guess! The chance the children have to enrich their vocabulary is excellent! We saw a purple care bear today and an army jet. The other day, a student brought in a real Florida Key conch shell...she even knew how to blow it! Ok, imagine...first grade, little girl, conch shell, and her cheeks puffing out as she pinched her lips together and blew for everything she had...instant hilarity! The children did not miss the opportunity to laugh from the bottom of their bellies!

We started the star student program last Friday. This is an opportunity for us to learn more about one another. The children also created a page for the star student book. I bound the book together and created a Start Student keepsake Haley was able to take home. Each one will have the chance to be the star student! Who knew something so easy could be so powerful?
These are in various states of completeness, I took the photos as they were working.

"Haley skips like a princess." Now, I ask you this...Does it get any more wonderful than this?
They came up with their very own ideas...I simply said, "You all know Haley. I want you to write something nice about her or a special memory you may have of her."

Just when you thought it could not get more exciting, we have a new student coming to our class on Tuesday! Her name is Kaitlyn. Please make sure to share the exciting news with your child. Encourage them to make her feel welcome!

Hope you enjoyed your long weekend!
We spent the weekend in Ocala with my husband's parents.
I took my three children to see the movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. It was a fun movie and full of imagination and creativity! The children swam and played. My husband went fishing in the Gulf with his father. I relaxed and enjoyed the time I had to spend with my family! On Sunday, I wrote out a scavenger hunt of things to find in Ocala and off we went to find them.
Scavenger Hunt List:
-4 unreal horses (Ocala is known for horses! They have large horse statues painted in different themes all across Ocala.))
-1 real horse
-white fence
-1 fall leaf
-a stick that looks like a fork
-a parking meter
-deodorant for Jacob
-Toys for Jay
(His 2nd birthday is October 29th and I wanted some sort of an idea what he would want. He picked out his favorite~and didn't want to leave it behind. He cried and threw a mini fit. I told him, you don't always get what you want and you have to wait until your birthday.)

Yes, it is true. We headed to Ocala's town square and found several of the things on our list. I added the other grocery things because I had to also go to the store!

Don't be afraid to try this sometime with your own children. They loved the whole idea of a scavenger hunt! Plus, they got to explore a little of the town we visit often!

Please remember no school on Monday!


Friday, September 25, 2009

Get out your calendars!

The following are some dates you will want to keep in mind:

Friday, September 25, 2009: Media Lesson and book check out
Monday, September 28, 2009: NO SCHOOL: Teacher Workday
Wednesday, September, 30: Media Lesson and book check out(PLEASE have books returned by this date or they will not be able to check out a new book!)
Thursday, October 1, 2009: 9:00 am Dividend Tea in the Cafeteria
Breuster's Scoop Night 6:00-8:00 pm
Tuesday, October 6, 2009: 30 day Mid Term Mark
Wednesday, October 7, 2009: PICTURE DAY! 10:20-10:50(this is just before lunch)
Friday, October 9, 2009: ART SEE
Progress Reports go home
Wednesday, October 28, 2009: BoosterThon! (This is an activity where your child will walk the track and will collect donations that go towards purchasing materials for the classroom. In lieu of the recent budget cuts, this is a wonderful opportunity for you to support your child, your classroom, and your teachers efforts to bring cutting edge materials to the classroom! More to come on this!)

Thursday, October 29, 2009: Field Trip: How I Became a Pirate, Orlando Rep theater
and Denning Park for picnic and playtime. Paperwork
goes out tuesday after we return next week.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Book Fair!!!

Yesterday, your child should have come home with their wish list from the book fair. We browsed for 20 minutes and the child wrote down the books they wished they could get. That does not mean you have to get them every book they want...or even one of the books that they want. It is also a good opportunity for them to "save their money" in order to get at the next book fair!

This is a nice opportunity for your child to get some wonderful reading material if it is in the budget.
The following schedule is the time we are able to go to the book fair in our class. If your child brings in money, they are welcome to shop at this time. If you would like to accompany your child. I ask that you sign in at the office and meet us there!

Wednesday: 9:55-10:10 am
Thursday: 10:05-10:25 am
Thursday evening, the book fair will be open later to accomdate working parents. However, I think it is planning to close at 5:30 pm. If you are shopping...I do not think they will shut the lights out on you at 5:30! So come as soon as you can and enjoy the book fair with your child. Even if you do not purchase anything, it will give you an opportunity to check out the wonderful literature out there. Then during your next library visit, you can look to check some of them out!


Safety Rules

We have been reading stories about friends this week. After I read the story Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathman,

we completed a follow up activity using yellow stars to come up with our own safety rules!

Keep your shoes tied.

Otherwise, you will fall.

Never stand close to a volcano.

Otherwise, the volcano might go BOOM! Or, it might get lava on you slow.

Never stand on a squiggly chair.

Otherwise, you will fall and break a bone.

Never hide in a fire.

Otherwise, what you are hiding behind might burn up. Or, when people come to find you, you might be dead.
Alex Z.

Never swim in an alligator cage.

Otherwise, you would die.

Never dive in the sea.

Otherwise, you drown and get eaten by a shark.

Never talk to bad guys.

Otherwise, he will steal you.

Never pet a dog without asking your parent.

Otherwise, it will bite you and you might get rabies.

Never pet a dog you do not know.

Otherwise, he will probably get mad and chase you.

Never touch a gun.

Otherwise, somehow you would press the button and could kill someone. It may be your friend or someone in your family.

Never touch bad guys.

Otherwise, they might kill you.
Alexander K.

Never answer the door.

Otherwise, they may steal you.

Never walk to school without a grownup.

Otherwise, someone might drive the car and steal you.

Never feed alligators.

Otherwise, they might think you are bigger food and eat you.

Don’t sit on a tack.
Otherwise, it might hurt you.

Out of the mouths of children! :o) I have posted these in the hall outside of our classroom!


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Fantastic Friday

Friday is probably the most fun day out of the week!
That is, after the testing is over. :o) Spelling tests include the spelling words, bonus word, and the dictation sentence(initial upper case letter, correct spelling, spaces, and punctuation).
It seems Fridays are a big day for absences and we have to go back and complete missed tests. After the tests on Friday, I told the children I would allow them to play if they would do one thing for me...whisper.

And they did!
I am going to be plugging in time like this when I can pull children to catch up on work, or help them with a skill they are struggling with in school. This time for play gives the children a much needed break from the norm and also helps them with important skills reinforced through play!

As if some playtime wasn't exciting enough...Chelsea's name was pulled to take "Froggy" home to hang out and have a sleep over this weekend!

I also started the Star Student tub going home. Your child will bring a tub home with a note inside, a poster will accompany this and must be filled out and you can even add pictures! This will be your poster to keep after it is shared. We will create a class book in honor of our star student that the child will get to keep. I pick a Popsicle stick from my mushroom bag...and Haley will be sharing her world with us on Monday!

The fun doesn't stop there...we are up to chapter 8 in the story, "The Tale of Desperaux". I absolutely love this story...and your children have come to really enjoy my storytelling style. The words written in this story are amazing.

I mean, who wouldn't love the sound of words like perfidy, honey, honor, dreadful, dungeon, despicable, madly, deeply, treacherous. The movie just can not compare to the written word!

We even watched A Bug's Life at the end of the day on Thursday and Friday. They loved all the bugs and insects...especially the ants after reading our story, "Ants", this week.

The highlight of my week was sharing lunch with those children who did not have to flip their card this week. We ate in the classroom and enjoyed the company of each other. It was something so simple for me to do and so very special for your child.
I can not wait to do it all over again next week!

Speaking of next week...we will start a new story next week that focuses on friendship and helping one another. We will enjoy several stories about friends. In phonics, we will discuss -ck words. We will be writing an autobiography. We will learn about Johnny Appleseed, folk tales, and map skills as we discuss his life.

Please send in an apple with your child starting on Monday. We will be doing lots of activities using these apples that will incorporate all areas of the curriculum.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

It happened!

Every teacher lives for the moment when the clouds split, a bright light shines down from above, and amazing music plays in the background because a lesson comes together creating pure teaching perfection! I had a 45 minute chunk of time that was phenomenal. And, I am not afraid to brag about it!
Let me set the stage:
We have been studying animals. We classified animals on Brainpop,jr.com and found out how animals camouflage themselves. We read the second lesson today in Chapter 8 of our science books. It just so happened we were discussing parts of animals and insects. I transitioned from the science book smoothly and passed out a worksheet about insect parts. I drew my own insect on the board and I labeled it with the appropriate parts. We completed the worksheet and set it aside in our take home folder. When I asked the children to take out their writer's workshop journals the magic happened. I made up a funny statement about my insect. I briefly described what I wanted the children to produce(an insect with the appropriate parts, labeled, and given a voice) and it was all I could do to contain the creativity and knowledge that exploded from your children! As a matter of fact, I put no constraints on the creativity other than it could not be violent...other than a little bug juice! :o) The children are beginning to write sentences beautifully, but that is not what I wanted today. I wanted labels, I wanted detail, and I wanted voice. They gave it to me!
There were speech bubbles and
weather controlling insects( ... seriously, click on this picture and see just how this insect controls the weather!) and
super powers and

pop stars and
transformers and
Caley Shayley Bayley bugs and
alien bugs with big feet and
super, swirly, whirly antennas and
a wonder fly and
insects better than it's predators and
bad bees!

Then, we moved on to patterning in math.


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Friday Fun!

Our days are flying by this year! I blink and a day has passed. We are so very busy during the day! Your child surely is exhausted by the time they get home! If they are not, have no fear...I am! :o)

We had a terrific first ARTSEE class lead by Jack's mom, Dylan's dad, and Chelsea's mom! They did an outstanding job and the children had a terrific time expressing themselves artistically!
I had an opportunity to sit back and watch the children interact with our parent helpers and must say I was so impressed by how well your children responded to and performed for our parent helpers!
Here, you check it out for yourself!

The children were taught the primary and tertiary colors and then encouraged to mix their own. They were to create something that was beautiful to them. Their imaginations were in full swing and some fantastic ideas were coming through their paint brushes!

Watch for your child's art work to come home on Monday. It will be accompanied with this years Reflections contest information sponsored by PTA. This years theme is, "Beauty is...".

Next week, we start our story, "Ants". Be watching for all things ants to be coming home. We will cover short/i/ in phonics and spelling. We will dig into our Science book and learn about Animals. I am checking sight word knowledge starting first thing Monday morning. If they do not quite have them mastered, I will be sending home 10 sight words for your child to master. Once they complete this, they will get 10 more. In order for your child to start taking AR tests, they must have the kindergarten sight words mastered in order to read the words on these tests. If your child has missed any tests due to an absence, I am going to ask that they arrive at school about 8:15 am when they return to school in order for me to assist them in taking these tests. I simply do not have one spare minute during the day to accomplish this. I will also be calling on those parents this week who signed up to be dividends in the classroom. I am looking for parents to run a small group and work one on one with the children. I will also need someone who would be interested in helping me listen to students read. I will be sending home readers in envelopes that need to be read and mastered. Once this occurs, they will get a new one. I will be putting children on the computer to take a reading comprehension test that will level their reading so I can meet them exactly where they are at and go from there!

Our first media lesson is this week. The children will meet our media specialist, Mrs. Brown. They will learn the ropes of the library at school. The next lesson will be on September 30th, when they will check out the books for the first time.

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend! I had the privilege of going for a little ride with my husband and toddler Jay on Saturday down to Merritt Island where my daughter is at Girl Scout camp. We traveled on down to Melbourne to a little joint called "Mustard's Last Stand". It is a hot dog shop that has any kind of hot dog you could ever imagine! Jay had a plain dog, which he ended up dropping on the ground. Fell right out of his bun! I had "The Cry Baby" (Diced onions, New York onions, onion rings, brown mustard). Yes, I have this strange love of onions! My husband had the "Yankee Dog" (New York onions, Swiss, brown mustard and a sprinkle of garlic powder). Oh, mercy. I do not eat hot dogs that often, but it was different! If you like a good hot dog you'll have to check out Mustard's Last Stand! If you hate hot dogs...forget I even mentioned it! :o)
Whatever you have done this weekend, I do hope it was relaxing and enjoyable!


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Computer Lab

We had a wonderful day today! The computer lab was on the agenda. Mrs. Etheridge is our computer specialist at the school. We traveled over to her room next to the media center. She went to a sight directly from our school's home page to the lesson she would teach.
Click on "Tech Lab" and your child should be able to direct you from there.

They learned all about the mouse and how to click, scroll, get to home page, and back to where they started. Mrs. Etheridge wanted to get them familiar with the lab and with the rules.

Review these computer lab rules with your child:
Come in single file.
Sit down and face forward in your chair.
Hands in your lap do not touch anything.
Do not twirl around in your seat.
Listen and follow directions.

If your child is not able to follow these rules, they are not able to participate and must sit out. They get three strikes before they are out. I will say we had to give some warnings, but over all it went very well. It is very difficult to not touch the mouse, keyboard, or work ahead. But, they got the hang of it quickly!

Our next visit to the lab will be in two weeks. We will begin with an activity that will have your child writing a sentence and illustrating it all by using the keyboard and mouse. They will be able to print them out in color and bring them home!

Tomorrow is ART SEE from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm. This is an opportunity for several of our parents to teach the children a lesson about a famous artist and then provide an art activity that reflects that artists style. This is a truly enjoyable program for the children.

I had my camera today and missed shots of them in the computer lab...next time, I promise! Tomorrow I will have my camera and share some of the art we create!


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

It's Wednesday!!!

I have been thinking that all day today it was Tuesday due to our shortened week. So much so, I forgot to send home the reading books with the children. Forgive me! It was definitely my fault and not the fault of the children. I will be sending the story home tomorrow night with the children.
Study those sight words!

Yesterday, the children shared with me what they did on their Labor Day weekend. We then wrote in our writer's workshop journal and illustrated our writing.