Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I wanted to wish everyone and their families a happy Thanksgiving. The children are a joy to teach, we've had a great year so far and I am thrilled to be their teacher! Everyone is extremely helpful and supportive...I truly feel blessed by all of you! Have a restful week. Sincerely, Mrs. Phillips

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Something to do

I read an article yesterday in the newspaper called Artist Comes Out of Seclusion, into Triviersi. Artist Leandra Di Buelna Jr. hasn't exhinited his work since the 1960's and at age 73, the self-taught artist finally decided to come out of seclusion with "Leandra's World of Fantasy", an exhibit of 62 of his paintings and dozens more of his toylike sculptures. If you are intersted...the exhibit is showing 11am-3pm Tuesday-Saturday at the Canal Street Gallery (2219 Canal) St. (713) 223-2219. Let me know if anyone decided to go!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

art a la carte #3

Thank you to Mrs. Lang for coming to our classroom ALONE and taught the kids a little bit about repetition and patterns. They made beautiful snakes that shows exactly that!

Pennies for Peace DEADLINE

As Thanksgiving approaches we are reminded about all that we are thankful for! Let this be your last opportunity to collect pennies over the break from school when you are out and about with friends and family. I will be taking our collection to the bank when we get back from the Thanksgiving holiday.

A report from Prince...

The above confession was even signed! I concealed it to protect his anonymity...

Along with tattles, stories and grievances...Prince reports now that he is receiving confessions

Monday, November 24, 2008

Turkey Glyphs

The kids love doing glyphs...and I like to sneak in the crafts! Everyone made a turkey but if you look closely, they are all different! The questions this time were all about Thanksgiving preferences...what they like to eat, if they are staying in town or not, etc.

Friday, November 21, 2008

abstract art

Today in computer ancillary, the kids experimented with creating abstract art on the computer!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Keith Haring

Keith Haring always wanted to draw. While attending art school in NYC he started seeing empty black pieces of paper on the subways and knew that this was the perfect place for him to draw. He began his career by making subway drawings every day. He is known for using simple pictures and bold black lines whose pictures left a lot to your imagination. He was known to say,

"It's your job to decide. I only do the drawing!"
Keith didn’t just want his art shown in galleries…he wanted everyone to make art, especially children. He worked with children in schools to paint large murals with them, and he made paintings and sculptures for schools and hospitals in many places.

If you want to know more…go to this amazing website.
Go here to play hangman. I like the animals game!
Go here to send an ecard.
Go here to watch animals, people and things morph into different things…just click away!
Go here to tell what YOU think is happening in each picture…just like we did when we read his book today! (look on the left for the word MORPH)

There's more do to...look around!

I know Keith Haring would LOVE to know how much we enjoyed learning about him and his work. We ran short of time…I challenge you to go further! Have fun!

Piet Mondrian

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

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Do I have a volunteer to wash and fold our field trip bandannas? Thanks in advance!

MFA Rocks!

An actual exciting!
We had a FABULOUS time today at The Museum of fine Arts. The tour was short but we had great docents. They were impressed with our art knowledge! My hope is that this "taste" will encourage your children to want to return to the museum and learn more!

At the end of the day...we were totally exhausted! Thank you to all the chaperones...I couldn't have done it without you. Really.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

MFA Fieldtrip

Please try to wear a WHITE makes it easier for me to spot my own class in the midst of millions! :-)

We are going to the Museum of Fine Arts tomorrow...Wednesday, November 19th. We will leave at 9:00am. So far, I have 6 volunteers...Cathie and Mike Partridge, Allison Levine, Priscilla Kennedy, Suzette Lang and Beryl Mazella. Volunteers may ride the bus, follow in your car or meet us siblings. You will need to pay admission once there unless you have a membership. I am still missing money and/or permission slips for 3 students...YIKES!!! Everyone needs to bring a sack lunchboxes. We expect to arrive back on campus around 1:00pm. Today Mrs. Stryker, Ms. Franco and Ms. Jackson had a wonderful time at the MFA...I know we will, too!

Art Project

Next week will be our last week of our current planner, “How We Express Ourselves.” The central idea is…through art, people express how they think and feel. As we conclude this planner, I thought it would be a good idea for the children to go home and look around for art outside of school and really think about how it makes them think and feel. You may actually visit an art museum on your own, look through art books at the library, go to a bookstore, or even go online to visit museums around the country or even the world to view art!

After choosing a favorite piece of art, I want each child to neatly fill out their “Looking at Art” sheet answering the following questions:

* Title of artwork
* Name of artist
* What colors do you see?
* What shapes do you see?
* What objects do you see?
* What do you like about the artwork…why did you choose it?
* Include a photo, picture, copy, or drawing of your piece of chosen artwork.

The projects are due Friday, November 21st. We will be sharing these in class November 24th and 25th and I’m thinking they would be a nice addition to their portfolio assessment for the art planner.

Our homework load this week will be light (spelling only) to accommodate enough time to do a nice job on the project. I look forward to hearing about what kind of art your children choose to share. Although it is OK to choose an artist we may have already talked about…try to stay away from the pieces of art we already know about. As always, have fun

Monday, November 17, 2008

elephants, elephants

We can't seem to get elephants off of our I read a book about elephants and the kids went wild writing facts they learned! Challenge your child to tell you 10 facts...I bet they could!

I promised (especially to SK) to put some elephant links on the here they are: There is the
Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. They even have a live "EleCam" best seen during the day and stories about each of their elephants that live there. There is Riddles Elephant Sanctuary in Arkansas that has more stories about their elephants and you can even adopt an elephant! ER was especially loved that there are sanctuaries available to old circus and zoo elephants that need a place to retire. Check out this amazing footage of elephants swimming...who knew they could be so graceful? This is on YouTube (this is cannot be seen on HISD computers because it is filtered out) please monitor use! For whatever reason, the class wants to know more about ivory and elephant poachers! I told them all I knew...but they want to know more! Be on the lookout...some were really concerned they might have ivory in the house and will want further clarification from you!


Thank you RS for bringing you new friend, Harry! I've never quite seen a hot dog sized caterpillar. The kids were both grossed out and fascinated all at the same time! Loved it!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Calder mobiles

We had great fun making mobiles...inspired by our favorite artist of the day, Alexander Calder! Come by to admire their beauty...I bet we keep them up all year long!

The Circus is Here!

The projects look great. It sounds like everyone had a great time working together as a family! Mission accomplished. We will share the projects and do a writing assignment in class Monday.

Be sure to double click the mosaic above to see the tiny details!

We've got LICE

The plastic combs that come with the kit do not work. The metal ones are better...sometimes you can find them on the pet isle (flea combs) at the grocery store or pet store. I've heard that if you use a comb to use it every day until all eggs have hatched and are gone. I did not have any luck with this method in the past. The hot straightening iron works!

Look what happens when I am out... :-)


Your child has been exposed to Pediculosis (Head lice) in school. One child in our class was found to have head lice. The eggs will hatch in approximately one week and become fully grown in eighteen (18) days if left to develop. The adult female may live 20-30 days during which time she can produce as many as 100 eggs.

The children who are known to be infested have been sent home and the parents advised to seek treatment and complete Nit removal. In the meantime, you are advised to take the following precautions:

1. Thoroughly shampoo your child’s hair using your regular shampoo.

2. Check the head for lice and nits. Nits are small, silvery eggs attached to the individual hairs. They resemble dandruff but unlike dandruff they are extremely difficult to remove. They are known to congregate at the base of the neck at the hairline.

3. If you locate any lice or nits you can buy lice shampoo or cream rinse without a prescription. Another method to treat head lice is with vegetable oil.

4. You should routinely check your child’s head at least once per week. Head lice can easily pass from one child to another.

5. Check the heads of all other children in your family to be sure they are not infested.

6. After treatment:

a. Wash all clothing, towels and bed linens in very hot water.

b. Dry clean all clothing and hats that are not washable.

c. Vacuum all carpets and upholstered furniture and mattresses.

7. Wash coats and jackets. They hang together when not being worn.

8. After using a over-the-counter product to kill the live lice, I've found that using a hot iron (commonly used to straighten hair) will KILL the eggs! The over-the-counter product does not kill eggs.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


OK...keeping up with bulletin bulletin boards is not one of my strengths. I finally took these "What did you do over the summer?" plates off the wall. WOW is all I have to say! Those where done on the 1st day of the school and I had some very reluctant (if that) writers. I am so proud of the progress I am seeing with their writing! Many of the kids have started on their 2nd journals and I have been sending them home in the red folders. Take a look at them when you get them and check out their writing. They have so much to say! Way to go guys!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Circus Lions

I went to school tonight after my appointments to get substitute plans ready for tomorrow and look what I found...adorable circus lions! I can't wait to see everyone on Friday!

Shining Stars!!!

I was told most of the class did a great job but a few really stood out...M.L., A.A., S.S., N.K.

Reading Champions

If your child chose to participate in the March of Dimes Reading Champions program...the reading logs are due Thursday and I will turn them in on Friday when I return back to school.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

substitute reminder

I will be out Wednesday (tomorrow) and Thursday. I hate to be out but it is unavoidable. Obviously, I will have nothing posted on the blog those days but I have a surprise for you... Blogger has an option where you can post things in the future and schedule posts! I will try out this option and see if it on the lookout for a post on Wednesday and Thursday!
I know my stars will shine all day long! I don't think it will hurt to give them a gentle reminder in the morning! :-)

Baby Mac

Today the children came to school talking about the sad news about baby Mac...the baby elephant at the Houston Zoo. He died Sunday night. I changed my plans for the day to fit in a writing assignment about the news.

Tube request

As you can see...we are short 8 toilet paper tubes. If you have any at home to contribute we could use them! We will use these on Thursday when I am out. If I am not here when you bring them...give them to the sub. She will give you a funny look! (just kidding...I will tell her to keep an eye out for them!).

Monday, November 10, 2008

Claude Monet

Today we learned a little about Claude Monet and Impressionism. He liked painting the outdoors...especially water lilies and bridges. We gave it a try...

Patterns in Nature

Last week in science, Mrs. Daniels asked the children to bring back “a pattern in nature” for her next lab class.

Please know it is a SIMPLE request…a leaf, shell, pinecone, flower, feather, etc.

We will have science lab next on Friday, November 14th. For safe keeping…it might be nice to bring it in an envelope or baggie.

Have fun!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Breaking news...

I'm sure you heard the news...we finally finished Trumpeter of the Swan and watched the movie yesterday. The kids loved it! Be sure to ask your child how the movie was different from the book.

Student-led conferences have been changed to a new date! I will throw away all forms already sent in and start fresh when the new ones are sent out. The new date will be December 3rd.

The substitute reported to me today that everyone had a great day! The kids will be delighted to know everyone can partake in a treat! They know I will be proud of good behavior when I'm not around or looking!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Georgia O'Keefe

Today we learned about Georgia O'Keefe. We found out that her clear, bright paintings show the beauty she found in the simple, natural things around her. We also found out she loved to paint flowers...up real close...and so do we!

Sorry SS...I had a crazy time figuring out who I put in the above mosaic twice and who I left out! It was too much trouble to redo it so you get yours showcased all by itself!

We've got a Winner!

Thank you to the Lewis family...for finding a pencil sharpener that works in our classroom. Bravo!

dimes and pennies

We've totally mastered counting dimes and nickels. Be on the lookout...we will be adding dimes to the mix soon!


I noticed a few errors on the report cards concerning attendance. I turn in ALL absence notes and doctor notes to the registrar labeled with my name and grade. For whatever reason (they are behind, made a mistake, lost the note) some have not been noted on the report card. Here are your the registrar, wait a while to see if she catches up, or write a new note (contact me if you need dates). Sorry for the hassle.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Circus Art

Just a heads week we will learn about Alexander known for his mini circus made from found objects. To go along with our study, I am asking each child to collect boxes, buttons, caps, rubber bands, wire, small boxes, tubes, string, etc...whatever is needed to make something you would find at a circus! This completed (at home) tiny project will be due next Friday, November 14th. The children will share their project with the class as well as use it for a writing assignment. Last year we did this in class and quite honestly, it was tough because 22 kids all at once needed something hot glued all at the same time! The kids really love this project and I know they will have a lot of fun with will, too!

Van Gogh's Irises

Today we ended our study on Van Gogh by painting (with popular vote!) our own irises after viewing his. As usual...they turned out beautiful! Don't you love how everyones purple looks different? They did a great job mixing primary colors to make their own shade of purple! A big thank you to Mrs. Musters in 3rd grade...her Cybershot takes vivid pictures!

Report Cards

Report cards are going home sure to check backpacks! Please sign them in the TINY box and return. At that time, I will put a copy in the next Tuesday folder (I know grandparents like to get copies!). Seems weird...Mark Twain procedure in action!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day 2008

Our class election results are in!
President: Barack Obama
favorite artist: Vincent Van Gogh
favorite painting: Starry Night
favorite art medium: watercolors
favorite ancillary class: science
favorite Webkinz: Panda
The kids had a real-world voting experience today...they even had to wait in a long line! They cast their vote for president as well as a vote for a few other items on our ballot!

art a la carte #2

Today we had another fine art a la carte lesson! Thank you to Mrs. Reiner and Mrs. Partridge for leading the lesson. Their topic was color/mood and warm/cool colors. The kids had a fabulous time.

Newsletter tid bits

Picture Make-up Day is Monday, November 10th. Make-ups are for students who have a packet they did not like and will turn it in at the time they are called or for any student who has an envelope with money that missed picture day. Any student that does not have one or the other, will not be photographed.

Save the date...2008 Mark Twain Book Fair will be Monday, December 1st AND Tuesday December 2nd at the Barnes and Noble on W. Holcombe. There will be author readings, signings, magicians, clowns, stories read aloud, violin concerts, raffles, lectures, etc. I hope to see ya'll there!

Yearbooks from last year will be delivered by Thanksgiving. Good grief!

Tomorrow is early dismissal...12:30 pm.

I will be in leadership training all day on Friday. Bingo Night will be that evening at 6:00. It's a fun family event.

Student-Led Conferences are coming up! They will be on Wednesday, November 19th after school. In the red Tuesday folders today you will find time preferences...please choose the one that works best for your family and send it back ASAP. The conference is with your child…not me…and they will have an agenda to follow. This is very important to the kids, and gives you a rare glimpse (not really, if you follow our blog daily!) into their school day! It's the anecdote to "What did you do in school today?" "Nothing". You'll finally see what "nothing" means! We are busy all day long and the kids are proud to show off their “work.”

A quick note about the art planner…the kids are loving it! Be sure to ask them about what artist(s) they are learning about and the artwork they getting to know. I am really stressing to them that ANYTHING can be an influence when we are creating art.

I thought voting would be crazy at our school but I guess there were a lot of early voters! I was concerned about the possibility of a lot of strangers in the was totally not a problem! I was even able to vote during my lunch break...not a single person in line!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Van Gogh's Sunflowers

Absolutely stunning! The colors really turned out vibrant. We had fun with this...even the boys liked painting flowers!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Booger Makes an A

Next week I will be introducing a new game that can be played in class, Booger Makes an A. It is found on Webkinz in the arcade. This game is SO helpful with addition, problem solving and fact families. I love this game...and so will the kids!
Here's a quick lesson on how to play...try it at home. Really. Booger is thinking of a number and it will appear in a bubble above his head. There are rows of numbers in the boxes to the left of him. All you simply need to do is click on the numbered boxes that add up to the number he is thinking of. Any correct combination works. It’s simple! BUT…and there’s always a ‘but’… as Booger is thinking more tiles appear across the top and eventually they will fall down, adding more tiles on the bottom that you can choose from. This means that the rows of tiles start layering on top of each other. Don’t let the tiles hit the top or the game is over. As you play along stickers will appear throughout the tiles. Try and use these stickers as they all have a purpose. The ‘time-out’ sticker pauses the game, the ‘eraser’ sticker clears a row of blocks, and the ‘goal’ sticker removes sums that you need to do.

Give Your Dog a Bone

Here's a game that we've been playing in class. I also have a direct link at the bottom if this blog for those that want to play at home. Hint, hint.
Help the puppy find the bones he buried by clicking on the correct number square. Don't take too long or you will run out of time! This math game is a great way for kids to practice working with a 100's chart.