Archive for October, 2010

Halloween Parade & Pumpkin Science

It was a fabulous day for a parade! We happily marched down Main Street with our first grade buddies and then spent the rest of our day observing, weighing and measuring pumpkins! We also predicted if they would sink or float and then dropped them in a bucket and hoped we were right! We used our hands to dig out the goo and seeds from inside our pumpkins and then counted the seeds. The day was topped off with yummy snacks and great Halloween picture books. Thanks to all who provided goodies, pumpkins and paper goods! A very special thanks to Ms. Powers and Mrs. Wormelle for volunteering their time! Happy Halloween!

Posted on October 29th, 2010 by hsawyer  |  3 Comments »

Halloween Parade Written by: Alyssa

On Friday the 29th of October, we will be having a Halloween parade with the whole school. It will be on Main Street. Parents are invited. Bring a change of clothes for after the parade. Wear sneakers. The Halloween parade is at least 30 minutes. It’s from 9:30 until 10:00. Don’t forget your Halloween Costume!

Article by: Alyssa

Posted on October 26th, 2010 by hsawyer  |  3 Comments »

Do you know about “Fun Friday”?

At the end of the day each Friday, anticipation hangs heavily in the air. The children wait longingly for the song that signals the transition to “Fun Friday Game Time”! What exactly is this “Game Time”, you may ask?

It is a thirty minute reward period that I have built into each week. It allows the children the opportunity to draw, build with Legos, play cards and/or board games such as Monopoly, Life, Checkers and Sorry!. It is a time of great happiness in Room 202, that is for sure! Is it wise, in this time of ever-growing academic demands, to give up this time for play? Absolutely! Not only are the children getting to play, laugh and relax but they are practicing many, many skills. I reflected on the skills needed for most board game play and here is the initial list that I came up with:

  • Turn-taking
  • Patience
  • Conversation skills
  • Negotiating
  • Problem-solving
  • Rule following
  • Strategizing
  • Reading
  • Math (counting, money, addition, subtraction-just to name a few)
  • Concentration
  • Memory building
  • Good sportsmanship

and that was just off the top of my head!

There is a catch, however. In order to earn “Fun Friday Game Time”, each child must have completed all of his/her work from the week. This helps the children learn to manage their time better. They learn to be more productive during our scheduled work blocks such as the Reading Wave and our Math block. They also learn to take advantage of the time that is provided at the beginning of the day and right after recess to catch up on any work that may need to be completed. If by chance, a child is not finished with his/her work when game time rolls around, that child can work on it then. As soon as it is completed, he/she can play! As you can imagine, a student who misses Fun Friday will usually learn a valuable lesson, and make adjustments to his/her work habits in the following weeks. Come play with us some Friday!

Posted on October 26th, 2010 by hsawyer  |  No Comments »

Fun Friday Free Time :)

Posted on October 26th, 2010 by hsawyer  |  1 Comment »

A Visit with Amy!

I frequently visit a blog called Mission Amy K.R.. It is a welcoming and interactive site run by author, Amy Krouse Rosenthal. Amy has written many books for children (and adults) including Duck! Rabbit!, Little Hoot, Little Pea, Spoon and the “Cookie” books. At the beginning of each week, Amy proposes a mission on the blog. Missions have included “GraFEETi” (leaving kind messages in unattended shoes-think yoga class, shoe store etc.-for unsuspecting people to find) and positive pranking (leaving “You are beautiful” post-it notes on public restroom mirrors or lucky pennies with a kind message on the sidewalk). Anyway…this week’s mission was “In terms of connecting, Skype’s the limit!”.  Amy was planning to set aside an hour and a half on Friday morning (10/15/10) to talk about anything with anyone who was interested and anyone who wanted to Skype should send a message. She would choose 18 people to call. I thought it would be really fun and beneficial for the children to chat with an adult author so I sent a request and then didn’t think much about it after that. UNTIL…I arrived home last night and checked my home email. There was an email asking if we (the kids and I) would be available to talk with Amy via Skype between 10:45-11:05 C.S.T. Well, we were not scheduled to be in our room then but with some quick schedule changes (thanks Mrs. Benton, Mrs. Freeman, Ms. Westburg and Mrs. Horton for their flexibility!!) we were in!

Suddenly I was nervous, I had never even used Skype before! In fact, I had just downloaded it and signed up last night, right after I sent the email accepting the chat! Mrs. Hamilton graciously agreed to help us try it out. She called our classroom from HER classroom first thing this morning to let us have a quick practice run! We were ready!

So at 10:40 C.S.T, 11:40 our time, we excitedly zipped across the hallway to the computer lab to await our call from Amy! During our window of waiting time, we enjoyed Little Oink and I fretted about whether this Skype “thing” would actually work! A few pages and a computer chime notification later and we were face to face with Amy Krouse Rosenthal! The children waved, smiled and introduced themselves. Amy smiled, waved and told us that she thought it was amazing that we could be talking with each other when we were in a classroom in Falmouth, MA and she was in her home in Chicago, Illinois. She talked to them about collecting story ideas (on the back of her hand!) throughout the course of her day and how little seed ideas could grow into big stories. We asked her questions about her favorite book, how many books she had written, if she was writing anything now, if she had ever written a chapter book and much more. The children had excellent questions. We all also talked about Duck! Rabbit! (“Is it a duck or a rabbit?” Amy’s answer: “Yes!” ) and our other favorite books that she has written. She challenged them to find and examine the more complicated vocabulary words that she had used in Little Oink for kids just like them. Our allotted time clicked by quickly and soon was over. Amy was making 18 Skype calls in that time period and had more calls to make. We signed off with more smiles and waving, feeling tickled pink about our visit with Amy and inspired to have met “a real, live writer”!

Posted on October 15th, 2010 by hsawyer  |  1 Comment »

Art IS Alive in Room 202!

Today the students enjoyed their first Art’s Alive lesson! Mr. Quidley treated them to an up-close and personal viewing of a beautiful painting done by Mr. Stephen Hannock. Mr. Quidley taught the children that Mr. Hannock is famous for his landscapes which often include stories about his family, friends or daily life. He creates his work by applying numerous layers of paint and then polishing it with sandpaper to create a special luminosity. Mr. Quidley also taught the children that Stephen Hannock uses symmetry in his artwork and showed the children how they could include it in their own masterpieces. A great time was had by all! Thanks very much, Mr. Quidley!

Posted on October 12th, 2010 by hsawyer  |  1 Comment »

Dear Blog Visitors,

Our blog is an easy and excellent way to keep up with what we are doing in our classroom. On a regular basis, I will post pictures, newsletters, classroom activities, student writing, homework assignments, special projects, important dates, announcements and much more! While you are here, I would encourage you to leave a comment or question for me or for the children. They really enjoy seeing them!

Another valuable feature of our blog is the “Blogroll”. It can be found on the right-hand side of the screen. The blogroll is a collection of links where the children can play and practice academics skills. For example:

1. Spelling City- Your child can practice his/her spelling words with games, activities and practice tests. They have used this page in the lab.
2. Bourne Public Library-If you go to the bottom right-hand side of this page and click “TumbleBooks”, your child can enjoy a wide variety of animated picture books, chapter books and non-fiction books!
3. Math Fact Practice-This site allows your child to practice addition, subtraction, multiplication or division. You can tailor the games to meet your child’s skill level.
4. Multiplication Practice- This is an Aha!Math game that asks your child to create multiplication sentences and solve them to reunite a stranded student with his classmates!

Check out these sites and more! Enjoy!!

Posted on October 11th, 2010 by hsawyer  |  No Comments »

We are PeaceBuilders!

It was wonderful to meet and talk with so many of you on “Meet the Teacher Night”. Thank you for taking time out of your busy lives to come in and hear about what we are doing in school each day. The children loved reading the “grades” and comments that you left for them on their “What’s in my desk?” sheets.

Here are two more items that I would like to share:

Our school is using the PeaceBuilders program to promote a “safe, positive learning environment” for our students by providing violence prevention and character education lessons. It is our goal to teach children the skills they need to be peaceful, pro-social members of the community.

There are five principles that we will be learning, discussing and using in our class this year. They are:

• Praise People
• Give Up Put-Downs
• Notice Hurts
• Right Wrongs
• Seek Wise People

The whole school also recites the PeaceBuilders’ Pledge each morning as part of our daily announcements. This “common language” among staff and students will help to clarify expectations. Please be on the look-out for more PeaceBuilder information to be sent home periodically.

Finally, on a different note, I would like to put together a Team 202 Classroom Directory so you can contact each other easily. Please fill out the slip on the back of the homework sheet and return it to me as soon as possible.

Posted on October 4th, 2010 by hsawyer  |  No Comments »