Friday, May 29, 2009

so empty...

The room is very quiet and somewhat cleaner. I miss the children already...they were such a big part of my day...and heart and it's just sad here without them! Have a fabulous summer and I look forward to hearing all about your summers. Thank you for a great year!

Love, Mrs. Phillips

incentives...

I sent home a 2nd grade handwriting workbook (that is out of adoption) if you'd like some extra handwriting practice over the summer. I also sent home an empty journal for summer writing. Challenge your child to continue writing 3 pages each day...I swear they can do it in 15 minutes or less. Maybe you could throw in an extra incentive for a finished journal. How about this...I will have a treasure (not from the chest!) for every student that finishes all journal pages front AND back...just like in class. I look forward to checking them in August...or sooner if you wish!!

thank you, again

Y'all are so sneaky! I can't believe you accomplished such a wonderful gesture that totally escaped my radar...Maggie didn't even hint that she knew...that's amazing! I love the Wish Book and will treasure it for years to come. Thank you also for the money...it will surely be helpful on our trip! Your generosity and thoughtfulness is appreciated.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Wump World

Today we read the book The Wump World by Bill Peet. The message the book taught us was more than just about pollution (even though the story's villains are called Pollutians) but had more to do with loving nature, taking care of the precious planet we live and the hope of good overcoming evil. It was a gentle reminder to better take care of the earth!

extra workbooks

By now you've probably dug into your child's backpack and discovered the huge bag of notebooks and workbooks. You are probably wondering...what have they been doing all year? It looks like they've done nothing! You are right! All of those workbooks are given to us by the state but Mark Twain isn't much of a workbook kind of school. Feel free to do whatever you think is right for your child concerning the extra books. We've covered all the objectives this year so if you were to give your child summer work, it would be a review...which is not a bad option! The last option falls right in line with our last planner on ecology...recycle them all!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Class Party

We had a GREAT time at our class party at the park! The balls were a great addition. We couldn't have asked for better weather.

The constables made sure we got there safely and we had PLENTY to eat and drink...thank you for all the contributions! FYI...the kids ate dinner at 2:30!!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Fun Friday

Whether they had 15 minutes or the full 30 minutes...the children LOVED Fun Friday! It was a great way to end our last full week of 1st grade. Have a great weekend!

Sea Turtles

We've read quite a few books and have learned a lot about sea turtles. Just so you know...the kids are FASCINATED in them! Do you know about the NOAA hatchery in Galveston? I found out about it last year and took Maggie over the summer. It’s an unprepossessing set up, behind the campus of Texas A&M, but fascinating. You can do a ‘tour’ with one of the scientists, and see all the turtles they have rescued/hatched and hear about the work they do, rescuing eggs, testing shrimp net escape devices etc, as well as a real Turtle Excluder Device (TED) in a fishing net in the yard. Here’s the website for NOAA: with a down loadable brochure in the bottom right corner. They offer free tours on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The kids expressed a huge interest in going...another fun and educational way to spend your summer!

Waste-less Picnic pics


A fun time was had by all! The rest of 1st grade returned to the Mark Twain playground for recess. We stayed and enjoyed the park all by ourselves...it was fabulous!
First, we took our lunches apart and sorted what could be reused or recycled and what was trash and organized them onto paper. I hope that what we learned will become the beginning of a new way of life!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

art a la carte # 6

In our last Art a la Carte lesson, we learned about how different artists create landscapes, seascapes and cityscapes incorporating three elements of art: line, color and shape. Then the children painted their own "scapes" using watercolor. We discovered that we have wonderful "scape" artists in our midst - 22 of them in our classroom!

last minute tips for Friday

I was at Maggie's award ceremony while Cathie, Sarah and Whitney fit one last Art a la Carte lesson into our year! Unfortunately, I did not get to really sit down with the children and remind them of a few things so here goes...
  1. Please return permission slip ASAP for our class party next Tuesday. We didn't realize we needed them so check backpacks!!
  2. Tomorrow is our waste-less picnic. Refer to an earlier post on this blog or the paper sent home in the Tuesday folder concerning your child's lunch tomorrow.
  3. Wear field day shirts tomorrow to the waste-less picnic AND the class party next Tuesday...I didn't even tell the children that!
  4. Tomorrow is not free dress...the last day of school is.
  5. Tomorrow is Fun Friday. Your children know this. At the beginning of the week I gave everyone 30 minutes (30 squares on a paper). I told them about Fun Friday...a time where we could play with toys from home for 30 minutes! Here's the catch...any off-task time had to be paid to me in minutes and snip off a square or two! As the week wore down, some have fewer minutes to play than others. My only rule about the toys...it has to fit in their backpack!

Mrs. Dauber

Every class is making Mrs. Dauber a page in a scrapbook to present to her at her good-bye rally wishing her a happy retirement. The children chose 1 or 2 PYP attitudes they felt they fit. Here is what they chose:

Waste-less Picnic

Just a reminder...tomorrow will be 1st grades waste-less picnic at McGovern Park! We've been learning how to substitute reusable and recyclable items for disposable ones to help create less waste and conserve natural resources. When packing your lunch for tomorrow, choose items that are recyclable in our community and substitute reusable containers for things you would throw away. If unsure, look at the note sent home in the Tuesday red folder with the picture of a picnic basket and ideas written inside. We will be discecting our lunches and reporting what can be reused and recycled! Happy recycling!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Marathon Kids

Coach Jody handed out Marathon Kids t-shirts to all participants today...be on the lookout!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Solar S'mores

First, we put all the ingredients together in aluminum foil:
graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows.


Next, we put them into the sun and let SOLAR ENERGY do its magic!

Last of all, we enjoyed them!This could be another fun summer project!

Awards Day

As I said at the program, thank you parents for the support you've given to me and our class this year...you made my job a lot easier! I also want to say again that I am SO PROUD of the boys and girls...they've worked so hard and grown up so much. I know everyone will shine next year! I already miss everyone! This class will be difficult to replace in my heart.

Friday, May 15, 2009

This is Paris...

Bayliss' dad brought Paris to us by reading the book, This is Paris by Miroslav Sasek. We learned that Paris must be one of the most exciting cities in the world! There are famous buildings, beautiful gardens, caf├ęs, and the Parisians-artists, concierges, flower girls, and even thousands of cats. Take a tour along the banks of the Seine, through the galleries of the Louvre, and to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Bayliss and his dad recently spent a week and Paris...thanks for bringing a little back with you to share!

pencil parts

In science today we learned where on our earth the natural resources needed to make a pencil come from. Did you know the wood comes from cedar trees in California? The graphite is mined in Mexico? The eraser comes from latex found in trees in South America? The aluminum from China?

Acid Rain update

This experiment has been a visual one. The results have been dramatic. They get it. :-(

last favor EVER!!!

Sometimes it is hard to be a parent AND a teacher at the same school. The mommy in me has 2 favors to ask...these will be my last, I promise!!!

1. Maggie's Award day is Thursday, May 21st at 1:30pm. I will need an hour coverage of the class. I will provide lesson plans! update: Quinn's mom will help with this!

2. I never eat lunch with Maggie and have promised I would do so for her 10th birthday. Her lunch is at noon so I will need coverage from 12-12:30 on Wednesday, May 27th. That is EASY because we are at recess. All you need to do is come to the playground (you can eat with your child prior!) at noon and then bring them in for water and then bring them to Spanish class on the stage. I will be done in time to pick them up at 1:05! update: Michaela's mom will help with this!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Good News!!!

It was a long two days. Major problems with the IV. I'm VERY tired. Despite all that, our family rejoices over the news...cancer-free for 2 years in a row!! Thanks for your support while I was gone...it looks like everything went smoothly during my absence!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

dress rehearsal

Thursday will be a dress rehearsal right after journal time at 8:30. It would be helpful to wear your costume to school and then put it in backpacks to go home for the program later that night. Remember...no hats! Sorry to miss the fun!

Super Kids!!!

We decorated our field day t-shirts yesterday. Your child will be taking them home today...so check backpacks if you didn't already take it home this morning!! It's gonna be hot so be sure to wear shorts and plenty of sunscreen on Wednesday. Please come dressed for field day and remember to wear athletic shoes/socks. I know y'all will have a great time!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Acid Rain

In class we learned that acid rain occurs when rain mixes with gases in the atmosphere and that these gases can come from factories, car exhaust, forest fires, and other resources. We also read that they can kill or damage trees, plants, and animals. We have had firsthand experience with our acid rain experiment in class. We started with 2 healthy plants (Spearmint) and will be watering one with unpolluted rain water (bottled water) and the other with acid rain (vinegar/water solution). Sadly, we'll expect the plant to die because most plants cannot survive when the acid level in the water is high. Each week we will record our results and discuss what has happened and what we predict might happen next. I am hoping to have one Spearmint plant for my garden at the end of the year!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Friday, May 8, 2009

Summer Reading

The Millionaire Club is an effort to keep Houston ISD’s students reading over the summer months. If all students read five books this summer, HISD students will have read 1 million books!!

Besides becoming better readers, students develop a love for reading, and the entire family can benefit by making reading a family activity. Reading over the summer is the best way to make sure that students enter school in the fall with reading skills at or above the level they were at before leaving for summer break. Students who can least afford to risk the gains made during the school year in the area of reading suffer the most from summer reading loss.

Students should select and read a minimum of 5 books over the summer months. We are suggesting two fiction books, two non-fiction books and one biography. However, any five books will work! They will complete the Reading Log which they will receive in a few days. In the fall, they will return the log in order to be eligible to receive prizes for participating in the Millionaire Club.

Art Cars

Some of the Art Cars came to school today. We were impressed with the amount of stuff people put on their cars that appeared to be reused and recycled items!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

calendar of events

Get your calendar out and make note of our BUSY schedule for the last few days of school:
*** NO HOMEWORK OR GEOGRAPHY NEXT WEEK...out 3 days...not fair to the kids!!! ***
May 12 - PYP day. I will be on campus all day in a meeting with the 1st grade team
May 13 - Field Day. I will be absent. I am sorry...MDA stuff. Tennis Shoes/socks MUST be worn!!! Vi Lewis wants to provide pizza for the kids and pasta for the parents for lunch. If your child would like otherwise, they need to bring a lunch.
May 14 - 1st grade program 7:00pm. I will still be absent. I am really sorry...cannot be avoided.
May 18 - 1st grade awards 8:30am.
May 22 - waste-less picnic at McGovern Park...more information to come later.
May 25 - Memorial Day. No School.
May 26 - 1st grade end of the year party at Karl Young Park.
May 28 - Last day of school...early dismissal

I've got a migraine just thinking about it...

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

our new principal

Today the faculty met our new principal, Mr. John Baker. I think he was well received and let me be the first to tell you...I love him! You be the judge (and I know you will agree)... he will also be introduced to the community this evening at 6:00pm. I hope to see all of y'all there!

Our Class Landfill

Today we talked a bit about what landfills are, how long everyday items take to decompose, made our own class landfill, and started a journal to record what we see in the next few weeks. We added aluminum, paper, plastic, Styrofoam, lemons, material and lettuce to our landfill in class. We will be keeping a log documenting what we see for the rest of the school year. I'm thinking about saving it (that is a horid thought) and digging through it the same time next year with my new class!

The class was SHOCKED and HORRIFIED to find out how long stuff takes to decompose. Did you know it takes 450 years for plastic? 500+ years for glass? 100 years for tin? 350 years for aluminum? 1 year for material? 1 month for paper? Beware...the kids all wanted to make their own landfills for home! Maybe a summer project? :-)

We all wanted to know how long it took Styrofoam to decompose. We looked it up...more than 1 million years! At one point someone made the connection out loud..."OMG, Chick-fil-A uses Styrofoam cups!" SK immediately said, "I will never go there again!" The kids unanimously decided that we needed to take action and write a letter showing our displeasure and concern...

We used part of my coffee cup in our class landfill...apparently, it will be around for the next million years!

Of course, I felt like the biggest earth grinch when the kids pointed out my Styrofaom coffee cup our Junior Achievement volunteer brought me this morning and then the Styrofoam plate and cup from the teacher appreciation lunch PTO provided. Here's a heads up...all the kids said they had important things to discuss with their parents tonight at dinner...just a warning!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Teacher Appreciation

Thank you for making my day so special. I especially enjoyed the individual flowers each child contributed to the bouquet. What teamwork! I am lucky to have such a caring class. Thanks for the photos Cathie!

Monday, May 4, 2009

natural resources

Today we watched a short video on our earth's natural resources and how we use them in our every day lives. Our art today reflects what we've learned and what natural resources are important to us. Enjoy!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Bash Swim Party

Luckily, rain didn't come...what a wonderful way to end our week! The weather was gorgeous, the snacks were yummy and the kids had a fabulous time! I enjoyed visiting with everyone...thanks for supporting Mark Twain!!

buttons

Does anyone have any scrap buttons around the house? If so, bring them by the classroom...we could use them! :-) Please don't go out and buy some...we are looking to recycle!

writers

Today the children were given the assignment to compare a clean environment with a polluted environment. Because they have diligently written in their journals every day all year long... they can easily write what is on their mind! Their thoughts were clearly written and well thought out. Well done! I think I see some 2nd graders in here...