Thursday, April 30, 2009

How We Share the Planet

We've started my favorite planner, How We Share the Planet...affectionately known as "The Whole World is in our Hands." The central idea is that we are all connected to the natural world and our actions affect it! We will inquire into the natural resources of our planet and how we share and use them. We will also delve into the significance of protecting our "backyard" as part of our planet.

polluted environment

Today we read Berenstain Bears Don't Pollute. Afterwards, we had a very heartwarming discussion on what happens to our earth when others don't take care of it. We learned 3 new words...ecology (how all creatures, plants and earth work together), conservation (not wasting valuable things on our earth like metal, wood, oil and water), and recycle (finding ways to use things over and over). We all agreed that each of us CAN make a difference! We'll write all about it on the lookout!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Pesky Air Polluters

We learned a bit about pesky air polluters in our world as we started our new planner on ecology...more on that later! They were sad to find out that people are in the "top 10" of polluters of our earth. Sad.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Junior Achievement

Mr. Tran came for our Junior Achievement time today. The kids have totally loved his visits. They really fit in with our career planner! Next week will be his last visit. He has reported to me that he is bringing donuts (and coffee for me!) next week. I didn't have the heart to tell him the kids will go totally wacko after ingesting a yummy glazed delight! He'll never know...he gets to leave! :-)

IMPORTANT information!!!!!

There seems to be a million things going on right are a few important things to know:
  1. Please bring a recycled can to school by Friday. We will be making special projects with questions please. wink, wink.

  2. Pictures went home today. These are not paid for. If you like them, send a check or money. If not, please send the pictures back.

  3. Field day is May 13. Please bring a light blue t-shirt to school by May 8th...we will be decorating these in class.

  4. Our 1st grade program is May 14th. Please help your child find a costume that suggests the job of a worker in our hats.

Our crazy day started with Mrs. Franco's class hanging out in our classroom for a while. It ended with us getting an announcement at2:00 from Mrs.Dauber that all after school activities in HISD had been cancelled and that I should call all extended day parents at work in my free time to make arrangements for the kids to leave early. Oh, my...

Career Walk

We pretended to take a walk around our community and took pictures of different jobs we saw. We added words to our "photos" as we added them to our scrapbooks.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Lorax

We concluded our Earth Day project today. On Earth Day we read The Lorax by Dr. Seuss. Long before saving the earth became a global concern, Dr. Seuss, speaking through his character the Lorax, warned against mindless progress and the danger it posed the earth's natural beauty. Inspired by Dr. Seuss, we created our own Seusslike creatures, named them, and told if they live to save the earth like Lorax or pollute the world like Onceler. The creatures/stories will go home. Enjoy.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Shriner's Hospital field trip

Our first stop was seeing where they made all the casts and braces on site. They showed us different kinds of braces for different parts of the body.

We were curious about the casts and even got to have one made of our fingers!

We didn't go into surgery but we saw where it was. We even got a mask and hat to wear for the rest of the tour. I wonder who will wear these when they grow up?
The Motion Analysis Lab was a pretty cool place. The technology was amazing! We found out filming movies uses the same types of technology. We thought it was great that there was even a Wii...they are looking for ways to use it in their therapies.

We visited one of their physical therapy rooms. It looked like the therapists work hard to make time spent there fun. Everyone tried their hand at one of the exercises.

We went to the boardroom and saw first hand where a lot of important decisions are made. We also found out that Shriner's Hospital is free to everyone and that they don't even have a billing department. Amazing.

We stepped out for a moment onto the outdoor observation deck. The kids were amazed at the view. I heard someone say, "I can see Oklahoma!" Then I heard another say, "Oh, yeah. I can see all the way to Canada!" Well, their geography was correct...just a bit inflated. Priceless.

All 6 1st grade classes were able to eat lunch together. Their facilities were amazing and very accommodating. They even had hand sanitizer waiting for us!

We had a few moments down time and got to play on the outdoor play structure on the balcony! Next time you are driving down Main/ sure to ask your child to point Up where we played! The kids were VERY excited to play that high off the ground. No worries...there was no way down...even for our little monkeys!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Career Project 2

Our 2nd career project was done entirely at school. We first browsed through many books to learn about different types of jobs and then narrowed it down to a few we were most interested in. Based on book availability, a career was chosen. We learned about the services each career provided and how they interact within a community. At the end of their "research paper" the children had to tell why or why not they would consider the career studied when they were adults and why. Their answers were well thought out and wonderful!

Happy Earth Day

Today we listened to a story that I call The Starfish Story. It had no pictures...they just had to close their eyes and use their imagine! The kids did great! Afterwards, we brainstormed all the different ways we could make a difference to make our Earth a cleaner and greener place for our kid's kids! They had some great ideas!

Art a la carte # 5

Today Mrs. Lewis, Mrs. Partridge and Mrs. Lang came in today to teach an Art a la Carte lesson on murals. The children created their own cooperative murals using pastels, depicting scenes about our class... school buses, cafeteria food, Mark Twain, me, Ike the Hermit Crab, flags and maps galore from our map planner. Not quite a Diego Rivera Fresco, but pretty close...he would be proud of us! Every child participated with a smile and artistic flair!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Career Projects

We completed our projects today and took pictures for our portfolios! They turned out great and I think it was a pretty enriching and fun experience. I will try to get them out in the hall after school today.

attribute blocks

Today we experimented with a new kind of block...attribute blocks. They are different because they can be sorted by color (red, yellow, blue), shape (triangle, square, hexagon, circle, rectangle), and size (thick, thin).

Monday, April 20, 2009

career projects

Remember the career dolls that were decorated and facts researched? Well, we FINALLY had time to do something with it! We started our posters today...we will probably finish them tomorrow.

Happy Spring!!

All the right karma existed to make this happen...1st grade aide absent again, 2 rounds of TPRI testing and a broken copy machine!!! The children are thrilled. Enjoy. :-)

Friday, April 17, 2009

simple research

The children have had the opportunity to read about many careers. Today they narrowed it down to 1 career they would like to know more about. We started our research by reading for information.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Today we had a special visitor from the curriculum department here in HISD. Carolyn White observed our classroom during our math rotations and had a fabulous time. The children considered her a "celebrity" because she is one of the characters we've seen on Math-a-letics, a math program seen on HISD Instructional Media Television. She was impressed with our class and how well they worked independently. Well done!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

student-led conferences 2

Our conference day was very successful...almost 100% !!! Thank you for taking the time to come after school and making that happen! The children did a fabulous job. I saw confident leaders being knowledgeable, reflective risk-takers as they went through their agendas with pride and ease! Well done!

Bag Project

Our class participated in the Earth Day Groceries Project. It is an easy, cost-free environmental awareness project that teams up youth and grocers across the United States to spread the message of Earth Day! We borrowed paper grocery bags from a local grocery store and the kids decorated the bags with environmental messages about reuse, recycling, wildlife, etc. We returned the bags to Whole Foods today, and on Earth Day, April 22, customers will receive their groceries— along with the message that kids around Houston created about their wishes for the environment— in the decorated bags! Be sure to visit Whole Foods on Earth Day!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ozone theater

Today we had another exciting visitor...from Ozone Theater. We learned all about air pollution through an interactive theatrical game and hands-on activities. The production was interesting as well as informative...I think they learned a lot about what causes air pollution and how it affects our health. Be forewarned...the kids may ask you to walk to school instead of drive!!!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Boy Scouts

A Boy Scout leader come speak to our class about the joys of Scouting. Be on the lookout for a flier in this weeks red folder telling of a informational meeting on Thursday at 6:30PM.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Where We Live

We built houses and apartments out of milk cartons today to represent where we live. The kids LOVED creating these! Next week we will build a community with these houses and the places from our community we built earlier in the week from paper bags. It will be awesome!

career dolls

Well done! I love the career dolls that came back to school this week! We will be using these next week to make a visual aid to go along with our presentations.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Junior Achievement

Mr. Tran is our assigned Junior Achievement representative this year. He works with computers at Pricewaterhouse downtown and will be volunteering his time in our class once a week for half an hour for 5 weeks. Today he introduced himself and talked about how everyone has a job within their own community. Fits PERFECTLY with our current planner!

boys vs. girls

Sometimes it is painful to see the difference between boys and girls...even at this age!

Can you guess which is the boys and which is the girls? :-)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Community Places

Today we brainstormed different places within our community. We randomly drew a destination and was challenged to create it with only construction paper and a paper bag... each child putting their own twist into their creation. They did an AWESOME job! Tomorrow we will build our houses and apartments!

new planner

If you haven't noticed...we are starting a new planner, "How We Organize Ourselves." It's gonna be a short one! Our central idea is people with different jobs work together to organize a community. We will inquire into different types of jobs, goods and services and the interdependent nature of jobs in a community.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Fact Triangles

Today we cut out a set of 36 "fact triangles" in class to practice and review addition/subtraction facts at home. Fact triangles are a "new and improved" version of the old-fashioned flashcards we all remember from our own childhood days! The 3 numbers on the cards helps your child understand the relationship within their own "fact family."

student-led conferences 2

It's that time of year again...our second student-led conference is scheduled for Wednesday, April 15th. Last week sign-up time slips were sent home in the Tuesday folders. I appreciate getting back so many in a timely manner. If you have misplaced yours, there is also a sign-up sheet outside our classroom. You can also email me your selected time. We have 3-3:30 and 4-4:30 open...I will try to go to my own daughter's conference in between our two scheduled times.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Career Project

If you read this blog regularly, it's your lucky day! Your reward is having a couple of days advance notice on a small project for next week! (They are due Thursday, April 9th). Spread the word...

1. Choose a career - Be specific. (i.e. What kind of doctor?, What kind of teacher, What kind of scientist?)
2. Research - Find your facts by looking on the Internet, reading a book, or by giving an interview.
3. Decorate your “person” according to the career you chose.
4. Write - 5 solid facts (not opinions) telling about your chosen career in complete sentences. I will be looking for sentences that make sense, are capitalized/punctuated and written neatly with no spelling errors.
5. We will use these facts/decorated dolls to make a visual aide next week for our presentations on April 17th. Be prepared…there will be a question & answer session afterwards about your chosen career.


Today we read clues to figure out what is done at different places within our community. Some were tricky and some could fit in multiple places which lead to a very interesting discussion! Many had no idea what really goes on at a bank! Who knew?

Machine Work

The kids had a great time with Mrs. Norris taking apart their machines. Ask your child what they found. They were looking for pulleys, levers, wheels, axles, and inclined planes. BEWARE: they may want to do this at home, too! Look around...chances are that you have something to take apart! :-)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Well Done

It was nice to see so many of you support Science Fair Night.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Arboretum Field Trip

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

A great time was had by all! Thank you for all the help and support!

volunteer anyone?

Would anyone LIKE to wash/fold our field trip bandanas? We will be needing them again in a couple of weeks. They are a huge help to me! Thanks in advance!