Saturday, March 30, 2013

Super Snack!

Our beautiful friend and her family surprised the class with a special treat on Thursday!   This family considered the diet needs of all students and provided alternate goodies for several friends.    Thank you, first grade friend and family for the yummy treats, and for taking great care of all kiddos in our class!

Alternate Snacks:


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Zoo Field Trip

Thanks to our fantastic parent chaperones, and the wonderful behavior of your children, our zoo field trip was outstanding!  

Our students were picked up by the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo bus around 10:45 am.  As soon as we arrived at the zoo, our class ate lunch at The Rainforest Amazon Cafe.  A close family friend of one of our students joined us at the zoo and served as a tour guide.  Thank you, Kelli for your expertise and willingness to lead our groups through both levels of The Rainforest and Zoo! 
As you can see from one of the pictures, the children were eager to learn about the langurs in the Francois’ Langur Exhibit.  Although many of my pictures didn’t turn out, the children really enjoyed learning about the habitats of fruit bats, amphibians and reptiles in The Rainforest. 

We traveled next to the African Elephant Crossing and then, the Primate and Aquatics Exhibits.  Throughout the day, our parent volunteers encouraged the children to use their observation skills and find answers to questions on their own.  Thank you, parents!  First grade teacher, Mrs. French suggested a scavenger hunt for this field trip.  What a great way to add focus and fun at the same time!   

Our first graders will continue their study of  plant and animal needs later in April. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

March 25, 2013 Classroom Newsletter

We have a short, 4-day week before spring break, but it will be packed with activities in our first grade classroom!  The children will write about being "EGG-STRA SPECIAL" and paint a spring frame for their writings.  After listening to The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown, the children will imagine what they would become if they could become something else and then, write a story about their make-believe adventures. :)
Our One-School/One-Book Assembly is Thursday afternoon at the end of the day and all Highland Drive students will participate in the assembly.  Our first grade team is busy organizing the activities for our first grade kiddos, who will spend time this week practicing for their Humphrey skit.
We will spend two weeks reading the next story in our anthology - My Robot.  It's a story the children thoroughly enjoy and the learning opportunities are abundant with this story.  After spring break, the children will create their own robots, hence the reason for the SPECIAL REQUEST!  Every child will need at least two boxes and a few paper towel or toilet paper tubes for this project.  Boxes such as, cereal, rice, noodles, mac & cheese and tissue boxes are needed for the robot's head and body.  We'll use empty paper towel and toilet paper tubes for the robot's arms.  We could use contributions of Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil for this project as well. 
Before the children invent and create their robots, we'll study several inventors and their contributions to the fields of math and science.  Near the end of April, our learning focus will shift to Earth Week so I plan to keep the robot inventions at school for a few extra weeks.  The children will discover how their inventions tie into our Earth Week learning standards and activities. 
I'd like to thank you in advance for your help with this project; without your support, this wonderful learning experience would not be possible. 
Please feel free to send in recycled boxes, tubes, and/or aluminum foil as soon as it's convenient to your family.  I'll store the goodies in the classroom until we're ready for the project.  Thank you!
I hope you and your families enjoy a happy, healthy and peaceful spring break!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Me on the Map

Me on the Map by Joan Sweeney

This is a great book for learning about map reading skills, and fortunately, it's part of our reading series.  In this story, a young girl discovers where she is on a map, and shows readers how to place themselves on various maps. She states, "Everybody has their own special place on the map."

Inspired by a terrific project by clutter-free classroom (, our first graders completed this colorful project to help them discover their homes are part of the larger world.  The children learned about characteristics of maps and globes and were introduced to Google Earth as well. 


Field Trip - March 22, 2013

Dear First Grade Families,

We will be outdoors for this field trip so please be sure your child is dressed in layers for the weather.  Layers can always be removed!  The children need a packed lunch in a disposable bag and a drink.  Also, please pack a snack for your child to eat in the afternoon when we return to school.  The children will be famished!

All field trip permission slips were returned.  

Thank you so much!


Sunday, March 10, 2013

March 11, 2013 Classroom Newsletter

St. Patrick's Day activities arrive on the heels a Seusstacular week of Dr. Seuss!
Math partners will work on strategies for counting gold coin collections and adding two-digit numbers together.  Small-group math centers will work on addition fact fluency by matching addends and sums and then, recording the equations. 
The St. Patrick's Day theme will be part of most language arts activities this week as well.  The lucky little o'ladds and o'lassies will be busy learning about long-vowel sounds, nouns, verbs, compound words, and skills for writing informative and narrative texts.  I look forward to reading the kiddo's creative writings about capturing a crafty, little leprechaun who's willing to exchange his pot of gold for freedom!

We'll add these poems to the children's poetry binders.


Dr. Seuss!

We ended our fun-filled Seusstacular week with a colorful gum ball treat from one of our families. Our gift giver, the one framed by the dazzling star, surprised her friends with a bouquet of gum balls! The treats came with specific directions: "Enjoy at home!" and I know this grateful group followed directions well.

This cutie-pa-tootie treated her friends to a special Dr. Seuss reading as well!


Monday, March 4, 2013

Dr. Seuss Fox in Socks Day!

'Be awesome!  Be a book nut!' ~ Dr. Seuss
Our mystery readers today were two wonderful third grade friends who did a fabulous job reading Fox in Socks to their first grade buddies!
 If you haven't already read this book aloud, and you need a good laugh, try it!  When I get to certain parts in the book, I start tripping up and laugh so hard I can't finish the book.  That wasn't the case for our third grade friends, however; these brave girls managed the fun, rhythmic tongue twisters like pros! 
After listening to the story, the children made Fox in Socks puppets.  We identified tongue twisters and practiced reading them aloud together.   We couldn't help but laugh with one another as we read through parts of the book.
Our class's favorite:
"gooey goo for chewy chewing!
that's what that goo-goose is doing.
do you choose to chew goo, too sir?
If, sir, you, sir choose to chew, sir,
with the goo-goose, chew sir. Do sir."

Birthday Time!

We helped two of our friends celebrate birthdays today!  We had hoped to celebrate three, but our third birthday girl was not feeling well and had to stay home.  We sure hope she's feeling better soon and up to returning to school as soon as possible! 

The creative parents of our beautiful birthday girls provided these colorful, yummy sweet treats for all the lucky kiddos in our class.  Considering it's Seusstacular week in first grade at Highland Drive, all of us Seuss fans got a big kick out of the clever Lorax-themed tree treats:
~Lorax Stache Striped Straws for sipping Seuss Juice (Little Hug Juice)
~Truffala Trees (Marshmallow, white chocolate, sprinkles)


The children were also treated to Truffula pencils.  Most of the kids have the pencils tucked behind their ears for this picture, but they used the pencils all day and have them on their desks ready to use tomorrow!
Thank you, birthday parents for the delightful treats!  And, thank you for providing safe treats for our children with allergies and special diets.  We really appreciate it!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

March 4, 2013 Classroom Newsletter

We have more exciting Seusstacular Activities planned for this week!  Our first graders will rotate amongst all first grade classrooms during part of our language arts block, Tuesday - Friday.
Mrs. French has planned a Green Eggs and Ham Readers Theater; Mr. Wilson will feature the wonderfully silly character Miss Diffendoofer, Mrs. Larsen's literature study will involve Lorax; and, I have a game and writing activity planned for Oh, the Places You'll Go!
Thank you, families for your enthusiasm and interest with our Dr. Seuss Activities! 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Dr. Seuss!

Green Eggs and Ham Treat Bag Provided by Our Room Mother!
First graders in our building enjoyed a fun-filled "Silly Seuss Friday" in honor of Theodor Seuss Geisel.  As the children entered our hallway, they were surprised and thrilled to discover Mrs. French was in Cat in the Hat character!  The children raced to get a look at her.  They admired her tail, nose and girnormous red bow tie!  We had a few adorable Cindy Lou Who characters, students with colorful socks and clothing that did not match or that was worn inside out or backwards, and children who dressed in comfy clothes and slippers. 

We had a One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish snack in the morning and a fabulous Green Eggs and Ham treat in the afternoon, compliments of our classroom room mother.  She also surprised the children and read Green Eggs and Ham with them.  I think she was surprised to discover most of these fantastic readers memorized the entire book! 
Yes, our first graders LOVE Dr. Seuss! 

Thank you, wonderful room mom for the terrific treat and for taking time to read to the kiddos!

This week will be filled with Seuss activities as well! 

Click on the Image Above to View or Download The Writing Activities Packet ~ FREEBIE at TPT

Click on the Image Above to View or Download the Seusstacular Activities Packet ~ FREEBIE at TPT

An excerpt from The Cat in the Hat for poetry binders.