Archive for February, 2010

Check out “The Writing Nook”!

Today the children wrote some amazing poems during Writer’s Workshop. Check out some of them on our new blog page, “The Writing Nook”. Leave comments and/or questions for the poets here! 

Posted on February 26th, 2010 by hsawyer  |  15 Comments »

Taxation Project: Day 2

As I greeted the children at the door this morning, as I usually do, I was met with many less than enthusiastic smiles, several disheartened ”Are we doing that tax thing again?” queries and one perfectly stated “No Taxation Without Representation!”  There was a marked decrease in the number of students wearing jeans (Jean Tax-3 pence) and sneakers (sneaker tax-1 pence). The boycott on chairs (chair tax-1 pence) expanded to a larger percentage of the colonists and there was a definite drop in the number of trips to the water fountain (6 pence)! The queen’s  tax collecting cup was filling rapidly as were the cups of our 2 parliament members, while the colonists’ cups dwindled faster and faster even while they tried to find ways to avoid taxation! In the late afternoon we met as a class-no colonists or queen- on the rug and compared our taxation struggles, feelings and experiences to those of the actual colonists. We talked about no representation, the tax collectors’ experience, the colonists’ opinion of parliament and the queen as well as the feelings that the actual colonists would have had toward the guards and soldiers that were sent by the king to enforce the taxation. We finished with the somber story of the Boston Massacre and will discuss tomorrow how events unfolded after that historic event. It was amazing to see how this activity, based on M&Ms and everyday classroom items, really brought home that idea of “No Taxation Without Representation!” to the students. Ask your child about it!

Posted on February 23rd, 2010 by hsawyer  |  8 Comments »

Welcome back!


It was great to see everyone back and ready to learn after vacation. The next eight weeks are going to be very important to us here in Room 202. It is a valuable stretch of time during which we all need to learn as much as we can and work as hard as we can! Are you up to the challenge? I KNOW you are!

Today, as a spring board into our work on the American Revolution, the children arrived and were greeted by “Queen Holly”, the ruler of Colony 202. Each student chose a slip of paper that named his/her job. Jobs included Parliament members, tax collectors, farmers, coopers, blacksmiths and teachers. All colonists were subject to the taxes imposed by Queen Holly to pay for the debt that she incurred during past wars. The tax collectors collected these pre-established taxes and the “pence” were given to Queen Holly who kept most but did give a portion of the taxes to her Parliament. Some new taxes were added at the whim of Queen Holly in the hope of raising even more money to pay off her debts from war! Some colonists opted to try and find a way around some of the taxes (standing or sitting on the floor instead of paying a chair tax!) and all were quietly mutinous as tax after tax were added and their pile of “pence” dwindled. Tomorrow each colonist will receive 20 additional pence for his/her work in the colony but I suspect that Queen Holly may have some additional taxes up her royal sleeve! Check back tomorrow for an update!

Posted on February 22nd, 2010 by hsawyer  |  11 Comments »

Events This Week 2/8-2/12

This week we have several events (school-wide and/or in-class):

Monday & Wednesday: 100th Day Fitness Challenge-Please return your envelope (with or without donations-no worries!) so our class can be entered into the drawing to have gym with Mrs. Noonan! The “Challenge” will take place during our scheduled Physical Education classes. Please be sure that your child is dressed appropriately and has his/her sneakers.

Wednesday-Our class will visit the Family Pod Book Sale to benefit Haiti. Hardcover books will sell for 50 cents and paperback books will be 25 cents. Proceeds will be used for the purchase of a ShelterBox. To find out more about a ShelterBox visit  Please support this worthwhile cause!

Friday-We will have our classroom Friendship Party. Valentine lists went home on Friday, 2/5. My only request is that if your child chooses to bring in valentine cards, he/she must bring one for every member of the class. If you can send in a party donation, please let me know on or before Wednesday by sending in the slip from the bottom of the valentine list notice. Thanks! ~Ms. S

Posted on February 7th, 2010 by hsawyer  |  9 Comments »


test This book, Pizza, Pigs and Poetry, has been visible on a high shelf for about 2 weeks now, but has been wrapped up and inaccessible to pique the curiosity of the children. It has been the subject of quizzical glances, quiet wondering and enthusiastic questions as I slapped note after note to the students onto the cover. All queries have gone unanswered… until now! It was revealed this week that we will use this book, written by Children’s Poet Laureate, Jack Prelutsky, to guide us as we try our hand at poetry. A warning to grown-ups and siblings: Beware..lest your find your actions the subject of a poem!

Posted on February 4th, 2010 by hsawyer  |  10 Comments »

Recorder Practice

They are reading music, playing a variety of songs and preparing for the grade 3 concert in the spring.

Posted on February 3rd, 2010 by hsawyer  |  8 Comments »