Monday, January 17, 2011

my news...

My Dearest 1st Grade Class,

My year this year with you started with a bang the minute the doors opened on the first day of school. Your kids are awesome and I've enjoyed the last semester being their teacher! We've spent these last few months working hard to establish our classroom norms to help make working and learning together easier for everyone. The children have worked hard learning how our reading groups operate, play math games fairly, work independently, ask questions when they need help and to be good problem solvers. In just a short time, I've seen everyone's reading and writing skills progress to the next level and a real sense of community established. With that said, I am confident in saying everyone has had a great start to their year, too!

It's with a heavy heart that I inform you that my last few weeks have not been the healthiest for me. I apologize for not being at school but I hope you know by now that I would be there if I any way could. I just finished radiation treatment and will be starting yet another very aggressive chemo treatment at MD Anderson at the end of the month and expect it to continue on through to June. Mrs. Joonmi Hwang has done a great job internalizing my routine the last few weeks and will continue to do the best she can. She has gotten to know the kids and most of all, loves being in our class! She has agreed to be my long-time substitute and will have no problems stepping in at a moment's notice.

I regret not having better news. I want to remain positive and give myself the healthiest chance I can. Please keep in touch. The children make me the happiest!

Mrs. Phillips

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

student-led conferences

Notes went home about student-led conferences. Be sure to sign up for a conference time! The sign-in sheet is posted outside the classroom. If you are unable to do so yourself, shoot me an email with your preference and I would be glad to sign up for you!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Reading Champions

You are already filling out a reading log would be a worthwhile cause to fill this out, too! Reading lists are due November 30th. Medals will come probably in December or January! Have fun!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Henry Matisse

This picture does not do their work justice. You will just have to come see it for yourself! To follow-up on the Matisse art a la carte lesson on positive and negative space, I thought it would be fun to make these lovely pots of black and white flowers. They are located on the big bulletin board between the 1st grade and kindergarten hallways.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Fall muffins

Thank you Mrs. Hanks for baking yummy pumpkin muffins today! They went along great with our pumpkin study today!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

reading groups

Reading groups are plugging along daily. The kids are doing awesome and can see growth in everyone. !Today we used our "witch fingers" to help us track the words when reading...glad I snitched a few from our class party last year!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Picasso self-portraits

FYI...If you are at school you will not be able to hear the YouTube based music!
The students created a self-portrait using oil pastels emulating Picasso’s style. The main objective was to let our imagination run wild with the many possibilities. We looked at Picasso’s painting, Girl Before a Mirror for inspiration.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

High Roller

Always a new game...gotta keep them actively participating. Today we played, High Roller. I can see such a difference in their ability to add numbers at a quicker pace already!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Spooky Spaghetti

Please forgive me if I didn't see you at Spooky Spaghetti! There were so many people...and your costumes were very tricky! It looks like everyone had a spooktacular time! I'll be looking for you on Halloween...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

garden planting

Today we paired up with Mrs. Musters' 3rd grade class and planted kale, fennel and beans in the new garden. The plan is to take turns daily to water the garden and write in our garden logs along the way. Ask your child if they have watered yet!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

National Symbols

Today was as good a day as any to make flags and introduce US national symbols...Statue of Liberty, US flag, bald eagle and the Liberty Bell. The whole lesson about the number of red and white stripes, stars, etc. went over their heads a was evident when we got 22 DIFFERENT looking flags! Some got it. They're cute...all in their own way.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

quotation marks

Today we played around with macaroni to create our own quotes. I'm starting to see quotation marks in their journal writing! :-)

Monday, October 18, 2010


Chemo on Fridays makes a yucky feeling teacher on Mondays. Bear with me...we can do it!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Christopher Columbus

Today we finally got around to finishing the lesson on Christopher Columbus that we started on Monday. I swear we just don't seem to have enough time during our busy days! We read a couple of books and a short video on telling the facts. It turned into a discussion whether Christopher Columbus deserved credit for discovering America or not...since Native Americans were already there when he landed. Something to think about.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Gourds Galore!

During reading groups rotations, the children had 2 days to observe the different properties of a collection of gourds. I think their favorite was using the balance to see how many blocks heavy they were!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

sticker sentences

I think fun stickers would make almost anyone want to write...don't you think?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Parts of a Whole

Today during reading group rotation, we played a new Envision game called "Parts of a Whole" to introduce subtraction.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Rolling for 50

Today we played "rolling for 50." It is a game to better familiarize ourselves with the 100's chart and how to move around the board. It was very much like the game, Chutes and Ladders! We learned that if you go forward 10 or backward will end up directly above or below your starting number! I think playing "Give Your Dog a Bone" (link is on the very bottom of this blog...scroll down) online during reading group rotation helped us to play this game with better ease!

class party

Hi Parents! Just a quick reminder that our class party is this Wednesday, October 13th from 5:30-7:30 outside at the Mark Twain Pavilion. We are having a pot-luck style dinner. This is a GREAT way to meet all your child’s classmates and their families. Think about something yummy to share...there is a sign-up sheet outside the classroom. Thank you to all those that have signed up already for fruit salad, appetizers, dessert and drinks. We still need more volunteers to sign up to bring a main or side dish to share. If you do not go by the classroom in the morning, please let me know what you would like to bring, and I can sign you up! Thanks and I look forward to meeting you all!

Matthew's Dream

Today we read Matthew's Dream by Leo Lionni. After being inspired by Matthew's Dream, we listened to classical music and painted our own "dreams." When I get a chance...I will display them in the hallway. We will write about them, too!

Friday, October 8, 2010

garden dedication

Today was the garden dedication. We had lovely weather! To kick off the event, every child in each class wrote their wish for the garden and they were all buried together to eventually become part of the garden. Very memorable!

Thursday, October 7, 2010


In art ancillary the children learned about Piet Mondrian. They explored straight lines, primary colors, rectangles, squares and grids.