30 November 2010


The day before Thanksgiving Break, we had our annual Reflections winner's assembly. I was very proud of all our students who entered the contest. The theme this year was "Together We Can". The projects were wonderful. Everyone who entered got a doughnut. This was a BIG hit with the children. I swear they will do anything for a doughnut. (hmmmm....me too, now that I think of it!) That was worth all of the blood, sweat, and tears!

Aurora's mother was one of the PTA mothers who were assigned to making Reflections successful. The teachers and students loved the Powerpoint presentation which featured every single child in the school who entered Reflections. My favorite part was the classes response whenever one of our own appeared on the screen. They cheered and shouted out that child's name. I felt the cohesion of our class. I really believe that the children like each other. You can rest assured as a parent that your child has 19 good friends at school.

That's always good to know, right??

All of the projects for the entire school on display.

Brian, Zoe, Casey, and Chloe
showing off their EXCELLENT assembly behavior.

Miss Tayla contemplating life! :)

Emma, Aurora, and Zoe
with their projects and doughnuts.

Darling Miss Chloe with hers.

Lucas's project is almost as big as he is.
Very cute!

I'm not sure what Casey's project looked like
at least he has his doughnut!

*****Janey and Bailey also entered but were absent on the day of the rewards.***

29 November 2010

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

Snow Suits!
Snow Pants!

24 November 2010

Thanksgiving Recipes Part 2

Happy Thanksgiving!

You may, or may not, want to try these recipes for your Thanksgiving feast. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!

15 November 2010

Meet My Dining Companions

If your child is in my class then you know ALL about tickets. The children earn tickets for good behavior, kind acts, etc. Then each day, I draw out two names and those two get to pick a prize from the prize box.

Have you ever wondered what happens to all those tickets??? Hundreds of them!

Well, they go in a special lunch bucket. At the end of each month I draw five names from the bucket. Then, I get to eat lunch with those five children. Lucky me, eh?? The only thing I insist upon is that I get to pick the day (translation: the school lunch menu of the day). Last Wednesday was our Thanksgiving Dinner, so I picked that one.

Here are my friends who had me giggling the entire time. I love these children.
the dolphin fanatic.

the giggler.

the sharpest dresser around.
Dylan and Lucas
the two crazy fellas.

The menu:
turkey (of course)
gravy (made with thousands of pounds of butter!)
Mashed Potatoes (from a box)
stuffing (very tasty)
roll (whole wheat no less)
cranberries (at least I think that's what they were)
baby carrots (yum...just kidding)
pears (nothing says "Thanksgiving" like "pears")
pumpkin pie (not as good as it looks)

Oh, and chocolate milk.

11 November 2010

Just a Little Reminder...

"So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install, A lovely bookshelf on the wall."

— Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

If you've read aloud to a young child night after night, one of the picture books has probably been by Mem Fox.

You may not recognize the name, though. She's a writer, not an illustrator, and a lot of different artists have illustrated her books. So they often have wildly different looks (unlike, say, books by Eric Carle which are easy to identify).

She has been a university professor for 24 years, she's an expert in early literacy. So she knows that repetition is one of the keys to learning to read.

Here are Fox's 10 "commandments" for reading aloud to children, borrowed from here:

1. Spend at least ten wildly happy minutes every single day reading aloud.

2. Read at least three stories a day: it may be the same story three times. Children need to hear a thousand stories before they can begin to learn to read.

3. Read aloud with animation. Listen to your own voice and don't be dull, or flat, or boring. Hang loose and be loud, have fun and laugh a lot.

4. Read with joy and enjoyment: real enjoyment for yourself and great joy for the listeners.

5. Read the stories that the kids love, over and over and over again, and always read in the same ‘tune' for each book: i.e. with the same intonations on each page, each time.

6. Let children hear lots of language by talking to them constantly about the pictures, or anything else connected to the book; or sing any old song that you can remember; or say nursery rhymes in a bouncy way; or be noisy together doing clapping games.

7. Look for rhyme, rhythm or repetition in books for young children, and make sure the books are really short.

8. Play games with the things that you and the child can see on the page, such as letting kids finish rhymes, and finding the letters that start the child's name and yours, remembering that it's never work, it's always a fabulous game.

9. Never ever teach reading, or get tense around books.

10. Please read aloud every day, mums and dads, because you just love being with your child, not because it's the right thing to do.

I will be presenting a class about this very topic of Read Aloud at the coming Parent Party at Amelia Earhart. I feel very strongly about this topic. I know that the parents of the children in our class are the best parents around! Keep up the great work of reading aloud to your child.

06 November 2010

My Favorite Spot In The Classroom!

A few years ago, I moonlighted at the amazing retail store Bath and Body Works. I was there for three years and even made it to a management position. However, teaching and being at school for 9-10 hours a day and then spending four more at the mall each night really took its toll on this ole body of mine.

One of the perks (if not THE perk) of working at such a store was the opportunity of purchasing the props for dirt cheap. This little number, the bright red bathtub, was worth all the days of sore feet, rude customers, and lost weekends.

Guess how much I bought it for? FIVE DOLLARS! Yup! Just $5.00. It is made of solid plastic that is about two inches thick. It fits a first grader perfectly! I bought a body pillow which also fits perfectly. I rounded up a comfy pillow for the head. A grandmother of one of my last year's students made a blanket with a crocheted edge just for the tub. (Don't worry, I take them home and wash them frequently!) This cute tub was what sparked my love of rubber ducks. It's a whole package you know!

Each week, we have an Aviator of the Week. As part of the "honor", the Aviator gets to read in the tub at any time during the day. The children LOVE it. So do I.

I sometimes secretly wish I were the size of a first grader so that I could read in the tub.

Don't lie...you wish you could try it too don't you?
Chloe reading to Arthur!

Look at the sweet child!
How did I get to be so lucky?

Casey enjoying the book "Dem Bones".