Sunday, December 9, 2012

December 10, 2012

What a fun week to get in the holiday spirit! From the reports from the kids, shopping at Santa's Secret Shoppe was a success. I also enjoyed the Choir concert. It always helps me get in the spirit of Christmas.

Due to a crazy schedule, we were unable to work on our life cycle unit. I will wrap it up this week for certain, so we can start our Gingerbread and Christmas unit next week.

The year is going by so fast. I can't believe it is almost halfway through. Please keep working with your child at home, it is making a big difference. The kids are becoming more and more confident in their abilities as students. They are a joy each day.

Thank you to those that sent Emergency Kits to school already. They are helping to put my mind at ease.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

December 3, 2012

We will be going to the Santa's Secret Shoppe on Tuesday afternoon. If you would like for your child to purchase Christmas gifts there, please send the envelope I sent home last week filled out with money sealed inside (or a blank one with amounts they can spend on each person) bast to school on TUESDAY. I will be in SLC for some meetings on Tuesday and I will leave instructions for the sub to collect the envelopes in the morning. The PTA will assist your child in making their purchases that afternoon. I have an alternate activity planned for those students who won't be making purchases.

On a side note, I have discovered that our time is becoming short each day and I am having a hard time fitting whole class spelling practice in. They are given time to practice their spelling words during the time when I teach small reading groups. Please make sure that your child is practicing their spelling words each night at home. That will help me and your child a lot.

Monday, November 26, 2012

November 26, 2012

Sorry that our class newsletter is coming home a day late. I just couldn't bring myself to do any school work over the long weekend. I was having a great time with my family and catching up on some personal projects that I decided to just wait until today.

I hope you all had as great of a weekend as I did, but now it is back to work. My goal is to completely wrap up our life cycle by the end of next week so we can concentrate on the Holidays. We have so many fun things to learn and do.

I am also sending home a note explaining my "Emergency Box" idea. Spending another good part of the day with no power really shook me up. I would like to be much better prepared to take care of your child in the event of an emergency. Watch for that note. I will explain more after it comes home in an email. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Also our book orders are due this Wednesday. Getting the order sent in promptly is priority number 1 for that day. Online orders are much easier for me, plus our class earns a lot more books when you do.

Thanks again for letting me teach your children, they are the best!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

November 12, 2012

Last week we spent some time learning about amphibians and their life cycle. We realized that they had some similarities with fish. This week we will learn about reptiles.

Friday was another crazy morning without power. Your kids were great. Our biggest challenge was using the restroom, but thanks to our marvelous PTA volunteers we were provided with some lanters. The schedule was shot, but we managed to get through what I had planned and even squeezed in some extra work. Fingers crossed for no more power outages! (I bought a small lantern for our classroom, just in case.)

Winter has arrived in full force. (I don't think I have felt warm since Thursday.) Please make sure your children are dressed appropriately. We go outside for recess whenever possible, (I have packed my beanie and gloves for recess duty this week) the break in the sunshine does wonders to rejuvenate all of our brains.

Please make sure that your children are practicing their spelling words at home. Our schedule is so packed that sometimes we are unable to practice our spelling during the school day. I am counting on your support to help them learn to spell these words. It helps them to be better readers and writers.

I will be sending home another book order this week. It will be due on November 28. Please try to order online. It makes sending the order to Scholastic so much easier for me. All I have to do is click a few buttons and off it goes. Ordering online also earns our class even more books than if you were to order with a check. I also need to meet a minimum order amount or I will have to pay shipping, unfortunately due to circumstances beyond my control I can no longer pick up the difference or the shipping costs. If our class order does not meet that minimum dollar amount I will cancel the order. I hate to do that, I know that I used the book orders to fill my own children's shelves with books. Sorry.

Thank you for letting me teach your children. They are truly becoming little students and growing. It is fun to watch them grow. Each day I am reminded of how grateful I am to be teaching first grade.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

October 29, 2012

Red Ribbon Week was a blast. We had fun dressing up all week, and the assembly with the drug dogs was informative and fun.

On Wednesday will be our Halloween Party. Thank you to those who are helping with it. I am excited. Students can wear costumes to school, they must follow school dress code and must not interfere with their ability to do school work.

Also, with the weather changing please make sure your child is dressed appropriately for the weather. We try to go outside whenever possible during the winter months for recess. They need a chance to run and play in the fresh air (so do we) during the day, it helps them to focus better when we are in class. If it is cold outside and your child doesn't have a coat, they are cold and miserable outside.

I have also noticed that many students aren't doing very well on their spelling tests. Please make sure that you practice their spelling words at home. We don't have a lot of time to practice them during the day at school. Also, I am going to start watching for no extra capitals in the sentence AND letters formed correctly (not backwards) as part of the legible point on the test.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

October 23, 2012

It was a great to have a break this weekend. I enjoyed the time I had to spend with my family, I hope your weekend was great as well.

This week we are going to start our life cycle unit, and it will last a couple of weeks.

This week is also red ribbon week. We will be doing a lot of activities to remind us to be drug free.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

October 9, 2012

Wow, what a crazy weekend and a busy last couple of days.

Thanks for coming to visit with me during SEP week. I was able to physically meet with each of you. That tells me how committed to your child and their education. Thank you.

Tomorrow is our field trip to the pumpkin patch. Please make sure your child wears tennis shoes. We will be in an actual pumpkin patch. Sandals/flip flops are miserable in a field. We will be back before lunch, so there is no need to send any food with your child. The weather should be great, but check to decide whether to send a jacket with your child or not.

This week we are spending our time during science learning about pumpkins. We have learned about their life cycle and we will investigate them further throughout the week.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

October 2, 2012

I know this is a couple of days late, but having no internet at my house over the weekend really cramped my style. I didn't realize how much I rely on it to help me get my job done.

This week is SEP week. So we will dismiss at 2:30 each day, including Wednesday. I look forward to meeting with you to discuss your child.

On Wedensday we will be finishing up our seasons unit from last week, and we will also have the opportunity to have two college students from SUU spending time in our class. They are working towards their degrees in Elementary Education.

Next week we will be studying pumpkins and visiting the Judd Pumpkin Patch in Paragonah. It is always a fun field trip. Watch for the permission slip to come home soon.

Monday, September 24, 2012

September 24, 2012

DIBELs testing went well. I will discuss your child's score with you at SEP conferences next week. PLEASE make sure to return the SEP note back to school tomorrow, so I can make adjustments to the schedule if necessary. If you have another child attending our school, the appointments have been made back to back (hopefully) so you don't have to spend too much time at the school. Also, please leave small children at home if possible and have older siblings wait outside. They are a distraction and takes away from your first graders conference.

This week we will be learning about the different seasons and why we have them.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

September 16, 2012

Another change in the schedule, our DIBELs testing has been moved to FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21. Please make sure your child is on time to school that day. We use the information from the DIBELs test to help place your child in an appropriate reading group.

This week we started the new Daily 5, Read to Someone. The kids loved it. We will continue to practice it more next week and continue our weather unit.

Here are some pictures from the past couple of weeks!

We certainly had a good day!
Our walking neighborhood scavenger hunt field trip.

First attempt at Read to Someone, everyone is reading to a friend.

Working in our Daily Books.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

September 10, 2012

This past week was a great week. We learned that Cedar City is not a rural community. The kids also started Word Work for Daily 5 and are loving it. I hope to introduce Read to Someone this week (this is really a favorite of the kids!) This week in science we will be starting our Weather unit.

I learned that for some reason, pictures are not uploading through the school's internet system. I meant to load the pictures I took last week and the week before at home, but in my hurry after school on Friday I left the camera at school. :( I hope to get those posted sometime this week.

Please make sure that your child is practicing both their spelling words and correctly writing the sentence each night along with their math and 20 minutes of reading.

Due to a technical glitch, our DIBELs testing has been pushed back a week. Our new date is Monday, September 17. Please make sure to have your child to school that day. We use this information to help place your child in an appropriate reading group that best suits their needs.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

September 4

Last week was a great week. Our first math test went well, and the kids are building stamina for both Read to Self and Work on Writing. They can read for about 15 minutes, and write for almost 10. WOW!

This week they will learn about neighborhoods that are different than ours. They will also start Word Work for Daily 5.

Please don't forget to call the office to excuse your child if they are home sick (586-2860) Thanks!

I had some pictures to share, but for some reason blogger isn't cooperating. Sorry.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

August 25, 2012

We had a great week.

We jumped into school head first. It has been a challenging week, but we finished the week with flying colors.

We started building stamina for Daily 5 Read to Self, the kids can read for 7 minutes at a time. We also learned that there are 3 ways to read a book: 1) Read the pictures, 2) Retell a familiar story, 3) Read the words. This week we are going to start building stamina for Daily 5 Work on Writing this week. I can't wait!

In math we started building number sense, and learning behaviors during our math instruction. Homework comes home nightly and needs to be returned each morning.

Their first spelling test on Friday was an adventure, but we managed to get through it pretty well. After this week, they will be test taking pros.

Friday afternoon, even after a long week at school, so many students were working super hard that we had about 8 students end the day on "Outstanding."

This week we will be learning about neighborhoods in social studies. 

This is going to be a great year!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

August 20, 2012

We had a great couple of days settling in and learning routines and procedures. It was also really hot. I think summer decided to hold off until school started!

This week we will be learning how to be first grade citizens. We will start phonics and Daily 5 instruction. Watch for Spelling homework to come home on Monday (due on Friday), and Math homework to come home daily (due the next day). Don't forget to read each night for 20 minutes each day. Reading calendars will be coming home soon.

We also started to learn how to say the alphabet backwards. It was one thing that I never learned how to do in school, and I thought it would be fun to do. Here is the video we are watching.

We are going to have a great year!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Plants and Other Stuff

This past week we wrapped up our plant unit. We ended our 2 week experiment to decide what a plant needed to grow. The results were quite interesting. Ask your child what we discovered. Our hypothesis was only partially correct.

This week we are starting our rock unit. It should be a lot of fun. Thank you for those that were able to donate to our final unit.

Don't forget that your child's moon observation assignment is due this week. I hope that you were able to make some interesting observations about the moon and its cycle as you completed this assignment.

On Thursday we will be going on our spring field trip. We will be gone all day. Your child will need to wear tennis shoes on that day, NO flip flops or sandals.

Saturday, April 28, 2012


This week we started our plant unit, and we spent quite a bit of our time learning about seeds.

We sorted seeds, learned what was inside of a seed, and what the purpose of a seed was.

We also started an experiment to see what kind of things a plant/seed needs to grow. We are making observations each day, it is pretty exciting.

The kids have even planted their own seeds. Some of them have been overzealous in their watering (without permission), I hope they haven't been loved to death!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Sun and Moon

We have learned a lot about how the sun and moon move, and the cycles of the moon. Yesterday was a pretty yummy day! Ask your child about it. Please continue to help your child fill out their moon observation journal. They will be due May 7th for points.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Sun and Moon

We have had a great week learning about the sun and moon. We tracked a shadow for most of the day. The kids had a great time seeing where the shadow would be when we went out. We have also learned a lot about the moon. We will be working on the phases of the moon the first part of next week, watch for your child's moon observation journal to come home either Monday or Tuesday. This will be a homework assignment worth points, and will be due May 7th.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Looking Forward

Things have calmed down at my house, and my hope is that we have peaceful and boring normal days from here until the end of the school year. Thank you for your patience as I got my feet back under me. This break has been good for me and I am excited for the things we will be learning in class.

For the next week or so we will be learning about the sun and the moon and the cycles they go through. Be watching for some assignments that need to be completed at home (it is hard to record what the moon is doing at school).

Friday, March 30, 2012


 Our caterpillars hatched, so we were able to enjoy them for a day or two, then we released them. I'm glad they hatched before we left for the break.

Don't forget that tomorrow is the last day of March, so your child's reading calendar will be due on Monday.

There will be no school next Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. I hope the weather is great.

There won't be any math or spelling homework next week. We will be reviewing what we have learned.

Monday, March 26, 2012

It's Been a Long Time

So sorry I haven't updated our blog, I have busy attending to personal matters.

The kids have learned a lot about life cycles. Last week we had chicks hatch in our room, and we are now waiting anxiously for our caterpillars to hatch. We will be studying butterflies this week, which should wrap up our life cycle unit.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

100 Book Club

Congratulations to our newest 100 Book Club Member!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

SEP Week

This week is our SEP conferences. I look forward to meeting with you all. Don't forget that school gets out at 2:30 each day this week, including Wednesday. If you forget when our scheduled appointment time is, you can email me or call Mrs. Topham at 586-2860.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


We have learned that all the different places we live on the Earth. There are a whole bunch! We also created our own city maps and wrote directions to get to a store in our city. That was challenging!

This week we are wrapping up maps by learning about the different types of maps, and creating a coordinate plane map.

We will also start our life cycle unit by learning about living vs nonliving.

Friday is our school wide celebration of reading 1,000,000 minutes as a school. It should prove to be "Seusstastical!"

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Symbols and Presidents

We have learned a lot about the first and sixteenth presidents of the United States and US symbols. Your child worked really hard to learn about one of the symbols so they could teach their classmates. It was a challenge, but they did really well.

This week (and probably part of next) we are learning about maps. We found where we were on the Earth thanks to Google Earth. It was really fun to watch it zoom in on our school.

Monday, February 13, 2012


Last week we learned about Presidents Lincoln and Washington. We even wrote a paragraph about what we had learned about each one. It was really hard work.

This week we are learning about US Symbols, but I won't be doing the teaching, your kids will. This will be a great opportunity for your kids to use their reading, writing, and speaking skills. It should be a great learning opportunity.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy

Last week was a busy, busy week. We celebrated our 100th day of school. It was a lot of fun!

Figuring out how to seat 20 students at 6 tables and decorate them with 100 balloons for our celebration.

We had to try to think of 100 animals, books, toys, and foods. (We are still working on it.)

Sorting and graphing smarties.

Deciding what we would look like at 100.

What can you make out of a 1, and two 0's?

We also learned about the different types of force and even did an experiment. Your kids are great scientists! We learned that a crumpled piece of paper will fall to the floor before a regular piece of paper because a regular piece of paper has a harder time moving through the air, and that gravity is pulling on them both.

We even took some time to learn about Ground Hog's day, and watched to see the groundhog see his shadow. I guess that means 6 more weeks of winter!

This week we will start our Presidents, and Symbols and Landmarks unit. It will be a lot of fun.

100 Book Club

Congratulations to our newest 100 Book Club Member!

Keep reading!

Sunday, January 29, 2012


This week we will be celebrating our 100th day of school. This is a really fun day for the kids and we have planned a bunch of fun activities for the kids to participate in. I will try to get some pictures to share.

We will also be looking at force and how it affects the world around us. We are even going to conduct an experiment or two to investigate this.

Valentine's Day is coming up quickly. I will send a list home with the names of the students in our class when it gets closer.

Thank you for letting me teach your kids, the are really great kids.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

100 Book Club Member!

Congratulations to our first 100 book club member!
Great job!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

More Matter

Last week we learned about how matter can change. We learned about chemical and physical changes. Ask your child what we did to show both of those changes. We will be wrapping up matter this week.

We also spent time this week learning how to use the SmartBoard. I am really excited to find more ways for the kids to use it each day!

I am also looking for ways to incorporate the new math core into our curriculum now. Part of that is asking the kids to do a  lot more on their own, with tasks that may seem challenging. I know that each child can be successful with this new way at looking at math, and I am excited to see how they grow as students.

Thanks for allowing me to teach your child, it is a rewarding experience each day!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

How SMART are we?

Here is the completely installed Smart Board! We have used it several times today. The kids are learning how to drag items from one place to another and even wrote their names. It is a little trickier than we expected, but so far it has been wonderful! I can't wait until the kids can start using it independently. We are so lucky. Thank you Fiddler's PTA!

Monday, January 16, 2012


This past week we investigated all sorts of matter: liquids, solids, and gasses. This week we will continue our investigations and learn why each type of matter acts the way it does.

On a side note, I ran into school today to grab something for one of my sons and was greeted by this:

We are sooooo lucky to have a Smartboard in our classroom. It will add another dimension to everything that we do. Mrs. Griffiths and I have worked hard to have some things ready for the day when the boards were installed. That day came a little quicker than we expected, but we aren't complaining! I will take a better picture tomorrow (I just had my cellphone this afternoon) of the completed installation. I am soooooo excited! Thank you Fiddler's PTA!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


For the next couple of weeks we will be studying the different states of matter. Today we learned about liquids by creating a liquid that seems like a solid.

The kids were really intrigued by our experiment, so I told them I would put the instructions here for you to try.

Solution A
1 cup water
1 cup white glue

Solution B
1 1/3 cup warm water
4 TBS borax

Pour solution A into Solution B and knead 4-5 times. When you pull your goo out of the water it will be really slimy. It will become more firm as it sets.

Ask your first grader why this solution is a liquid and not a solid!