Fun Run Celebrations This Week

Before the Fun Run, our class decided on some fun celebrations/incentives we would earn and since we did such an amazing job receiving pledges, we earned them all! I’ve included a full schedule below and put in bold the things that you as parents might want to contribute to. These are all optional and most of them we will do in class with no effort required on your part, so don’t feel any pressure!

Tuesday – Crazy Hair Day and 15 minutes extra lunch

Wednesday – Either extra recess or free time (depending on weather)

Thursday – Either extra recess or free time (depending on weather)

Friday – Movie in class (children can again bring one soft/cuddly item) along with bring-your-own-snack (children can bring in something to eat during the movie… please not anything sticky as we will be eating in the classroom)

If you have any questions, please let me know and thank you for your contributions to the Fun Run and MMA!

Weekly Recap

The past week was very exciting! Ms. Pat joined our classroom on Monday morning and has been such a help already. We had our Fun Run on Friday and the students LOVED it! Thanks to all of your support, our class earned many of the incentives we set for ourselves at the beginning. Tomorrow (Monday) will be hat day and I will let you know once we schedule other events this week.

We did our first classroom spelling bee on Friday and learned a lot about how to participate in a bee including the importance of repeating the word, taking our time decoding the sounds, needing to keep in our head where we are in the word so that we don’t repeat or skip any letters or get them out of order. We will be practicing two more times before our official class spelling bee where we will select the three members of our class attending the schoolwide bee.

In addition to our fun this week, we have also had many students out sick over the last few weeks. Please, if you notice that your student is not feeling well, let them stay home and rest. I also found out today that another Lower Elementary classroom has a lice outbreak. As far as I know, we do not have any students with lice in our classroom, but be extra aware and cautious if your student mentions any itching.

Fun Run Update and Class Incentives

Our students are loving the activities and learning we are doing in conjunction with our Fun Run! Our class is up to almost $18 per lap and we have earned three class incentives that we decided on together. The first one is crazy sock day, which we will be doing as a class on Thursday (tomorrow). So if your child has a pair of fun socks they would like to wear, please let them do so tomorrow! I will also be joining in with my monkey socks.

Our second class incentive is a read-a-thon, which we will be doing on Friday. Your child may bring in ONE item: pillow, blanket or stuffed animal to use to be comfortable during our read-a-thon. I will be reading out loud to them for part of the time and they will also be able to read on their own during this time.

As we earn other classroom incentives, I will be sure to let you know what they are so that we can all celebrate together! If you have not yet enrolled your child at to enter your pledges, please do so! If you have lost their information, please let me know and I will send it again. We will all be running Friday morning, so please make sure your student is wearing appropriate clothing and shoes to run in the gym.

Thank you and please let me know if you have any questions!

Midweek Update

As you may have heard, our classroom has a new assistant! Ms. Patricia (Ms. Patty to the kids) began working in our classroom on Monday morning and she has been such a help and support to all of us. She has a wonderful background in early childhood education and brings a calming presence to our room.

With another adult in the classroom, some of our procedures will be changing back to what they were at the beginning of the year in order to use our time better. Some of these changes may be difficult or frustrating to the children as they transition into them, but I do feel they are for the best.

One of the challenges we have already had this week is with regard to snack. We have had “group snack” for several months now, which meant that our entire classroom stopped working and sat down to eat snack together. There were some pros to this situation in everyone got to eat and talk together and everyone was guaranteed to have snack, but the downside was that the entire rug had to be cleared of all work, it interrupted our work cycle even for the children who didn’t want to eat and made it difficult to get back into the flow of work afterward. We have now gone back to “self serve” snack in which two children may eat at a time at the snack table and when they are done, two others can join in. Overall, this is a much better system in that lessons and other work can continue without breaking the children’s concentration; however, some of our students have gotten upset that they don’t always get snack early every day. We have talked as a class and I have talked with some children individually about the fact that we don’t all need snack every day and it’s only for when we are truly hungry, but we have still had students “starving” by 10 AM, refusing to work and even crying and throwing fits about not having turn at snack when they have wanted it. When I have talked to them individually, one of the first things that comes up is that they have only eaten a small bowl of cereal for breakfast.

I am not here to criticize food choices and my own children love cereal, but I do strongly recommend making sure that your student has enough to eat for breakfast that they can be functional and happy for several hours, including protein. Cheese sticks, hardboiled eggs or wholegrain toast with peanut butter can be fast and easy breakfast options that will help our students be able to focus and concentrate in the mornings. As we settle into this routine more I’m sure we’ll be able to allow most of our class to eat snack every day, but it’s not a guarantee especially on days with art or library or other special activities.

Thank you so much for your patience and understanding as our classroom navigates these changes!


Weekly Recap and Tidbits

We have seen so many fun, thoughtful and informative home projects this week! If your student has not been able to bring theirs in yet, there is still time. We have only been able to see about half of our class’s projects, so if your student has still not completed theirs, please send it in this week so that we can all learn from it.


1 – This past week we also kicked off our Fun Run Fundraiser that will be happening on Friday, February 1st. The funds raised through this race have been earmarked for field trips, so please reach out to friends or family members who might be willing to donate or, of course, you can also pledge! The average student runs 30-35 laps, so keep this in mind as you pledge amounts. I have been impressed with the brief and effective lessons that we have had about citizenship, enthusiasm and more and the children are excited for the run. It will be held indoors on Friday, so please make sure they have appropriate shoes to be able to run. We will all be running, even if we don’t have pledges.

2 – The school’s Chili Cookoff is happening this Tuesday from 5:30 to 7 pm! All-you-can-eat chili for only $5 per person and children 5 and under eat free! You can sign up to bring chili here:¬† or sign up to help with set up and clean up here:¬†

Thank you for supporting our classroom and your student!

Spelling Lists 1/28-2/22

Because we are prepping for our school-wide spelling bee in February, we won’t be doing our typical spelling lists and tests for the next 4 weeks. Instead, we will be using the spelling lists I sent home last week (titled SCRIPPS National Spelling Bee list) to practice during the week and then do classroom spelling bees each Friday. The classroom bees will be very simple and lowkey and allow three chances to spell each word correctly. I will do my best to make sure they are not stressful and that the children are able to learn and also enjoy the process. I will send out regular spelling lists again after February 22nd.

I sent home a list with each child in the class, but if you have lost yours or would like another copy, please let me know and I’m happy to send another one home. Thank you and please let me know if you have any questions!

Weekly Recap and Tidbits

This past week was STEM week and the children LOVED it! We got to see the 6th and 8th grade science fair projects, learn about caves and rock stratification as well as do hands-on chemistry, but I think the two things they loved most were the pop-up planetarium and the Scales and Tails reptile show. More than anything, we wanted the kids to come away having a new appreciation and excitement for science, technology, engineering and math, and I think we succeeded!

If your child has not yet brought in their STEM-related home project, please complete that and bring it to school this week! Our 3rd graders will be displaying their projects on Wednesday, the 2nd graders on Thursday and the 3rd graders on Friday of this week in the hallways and we have already begun showing our projects in the classroom, which has been a lot of fun! We will continue with that this week.

Upcoming Events:

School-Wide Chili Cookoff on Janaury 29th – see school newsletter for more info!

Fun Run on February 1st – more details coming!

Spelling Lists 1/21-1/25

NOTE: If you are practicing spelling at home and your child is in a group where I have written “beginning sound only,” this doesn’t always mean just the first letter. For example, this week the orange group is learning the sp, sk and sm blends. In order to get credit for a correct answer on their test at the end of the week, they will need to write the first TWO letters of the word. Also, this week I am repeating the yellow group’s word list from last week since no one did well on the test. In all cases, this was because they didn’t understand or write the second letter of the beginning sound. For example, many students wrote “qw” at the beginning of words instead of “qu.” Please let me know if you have any questions!

Pink Group (beginning sound only) – fox, can, hose, deer, fan, horn, cow, dice

Red Group (beginning sound only) – cat, hand, chair, cake, heart, chop, coat, hat, chin

Orange Group (beginning sound only) – spoon, skate, smile, smell, spear, skip, spill, smoke, skunk

Yellow Group (beginning sound only) – wheel, quilt, twin, key, whip, quack, twelve, kite, quite, twenty

Dark Green Group – chop, hole, hot, stove, come, hose, joke, rock, rose, some, broke, spot

Green Group – froze, coal, show, stock, coach, lose, Rome, long, oat, row, blow, globe, close, loaf, know, mow

Blue Group – soon, good, cool, could, groom, foot, roost, noon, hook, tool, proof, wool, fool, brook, stool, should

STEM Week 1/14-1/18

This week is our school-wide STEM week. We have multiple special activities every day this week including hands-on chemistry, a planetarium show and more. It should be a fun and exciting week for the children!

The 6th and 8th grade science fairs will be open for parents to walk through on Wednesday from 2:30-4 in the junior high gym.

Our STEM-related home projects are due this coming Friday, the 18th. As a reminder, 1st graders are researching a scientist, 2nd graders are working with the scientific method (can be a traditional science project) and 3rd graders are looking at laws of motion and forces and/or simple machines. Please feel free to contact me with any questions!

Weekly Recap

This past week, we focused again on reestablishing classroom norms and returning to our full curriculum. Second- and third-graders began using Steck-Vaughn as a reading comprehension curriculum and they will be focusing on the six areas of comprehension (facts, main idea, sequence, context, conclusion and inference) as they read texts throughout the year. We reorganized some of our spelling groups as well as our Dyad Reading partners and also began our second round of Math-U-See assessments. It was a busy week!

Because of all the information I need to pass along about our upcoming STEM week, I’m keeping this short and sweet!