Sunday, August 28, 2011

Homework Begins!

        Homework begins this week.  This year your child will move from having weekly homework to nightly homework.  Each night it is expected that your child will read a "just right book" for a minimum of twenty minutes.  He/she will also have a math sheet/activity to complete and return the following day.  The daily at home reading should be recorded in your child's planner/agenda.  Please be on the look out for your child's red reading folder and an independent reading book-both will be needed to complete the nightly reading.  Book responses are due at the end of the book.  (Your child has been shown how to use the questions in his/her red reading folder to complete a response based on the genre of the book that was read.) Thank you in advance for all that you do at home to ensure your child's success!        

Monday, August 22, 2011

First Day Fabulous-ness!

        Today was a fabulous first day!  I was very impressed how well the students adjusted to not only being in third grade but also a new teacher, a new classroom, and even new classmates.  Today was the kind of day that makes me very excited for the rest of the year!  I hope that your child felt the same way.
        I wanted to take just a few minutes to tell you about a couple of things-

*Today your child brought home the first of many classroom newsletters.  The classroom newsletter will go home every Monday (or the first day of the week).  You can always look for it to be in the clear pocket in the back of your child's planner/agenda.  I strongly encourage you to review the newsletter because it is filled with lots of information about the class, school, etc. . .

*If you did not yet return your child's back to school envelope please try to do so by this Friday, August 26.  Please read through all of the forms very carefully as there are several items that must be signed and returned before your child can access many things at school (e.g. library books, the computers, etc. . .)

*Great communication is key to a successful relationship.  Please do not hesitate to write me a note in your child's planner, e-mail me, or call me (the classroom extension is our room number) if you have any questions and/or concerns.  I will do my best to get back to you in 24-hours or less. 

        I am looking forward to a great rest of the year!!!

Friday, August 19, 2011


        Today was orientation.  I am every excited for this year and I hope that you and your child are too. Thank you so much to everyone that was able to take time out of your very busy schedules to stop by the classroom.  This was a very informal "meet and greet;" for those of you who were unable to attend I hope you are able to stop by briefly on Monday morning so that we can meet.
        If you took your back to school envelope home with you complete I would appreciate if it could be returned by next Friday, August 26.  I know that there is a lot of information to be read over and signed so I hope that this deadline is not too demanding.  If you have any trouble meeting this deadline please let me know and I will be happy to work with you.
        I hope that everyone has a fantastic last weekend before school starts!  I look forward to seeing everyone bright and early (by 8:30 a.m.) on Monday morning. Until then :-)

Monday, August 15, 2011

First Day Back (for me)

        Today was my first day back at school and I was very excited to begin getting the classroom ready for the first day of school with students.  I was also able to see the class list and send out my letters to this year's students.  The letters should be arriving in mailboxes within the next couple of days!  It is an exciting time.
        Along with the class assignment letter, you are also receiving a school supply list.  Please remember that the supplies brought in are community supplies and are for the good of the entire class, please do not label the items that are sent to school.  Just in case you need an additional copy of the supplies I will list them here for you now.

(1) 3 Ring Binder 1"- No designs please
(1) Bottle of Glue or Glue Sticks
(1) Bottle of Hand Sanitizer
(1) Composition Book
(1) Large Pink Eraser
(1) Pack of Post-it Notes
(1) Yellow Highlighter
(2) Boxes of Pencils - No mechanical please
(2) Boxes of Tissues
(3) Single Subject Spiral Notebooks
(4) Packs of Notebook Paper (Wide Rule)
(4) Folders with Pockets AND Prongs (1 red, 1 dark blue, 1 yellow, and 1 green)
24 Count Crayola Crayons
Backpack/Book Bag - No wheels please

Liquid Hand Soap

        Don't forget to mark your calendars.  As a reminder, orientation is this Friday, August 19, from 1:15-2:00 p.m. in our room (#154).  I hope to see you there!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Bye Bye Summer & A New (School) Year's Resolution

        Well, this is it.  This is the last official day of summer - preplanning begins on Monday.  I am excited about starting a new year and getting a new group of students.  I can't wait to get the "official" class list.  This group of third graders coming up is the last group of first graders that I taught at Chaffee before being "asked" to teach third grade.  I am anxious to see some familiar faces-maybe even some of those kiddos from that last year in first grade will be in this year's class.  I will also begin working with my JU intern on Monday as she begins her student teaching.
        As I sit here trying to decide what to do with my last day of summer vacation I look over at my dog and I wonder if she realizes what is about to happen.  She's three and a half and we have had her since she was seven weeks old so she is not new to the back to school routine.  I just hope that she isn't in for a shock on Monday.  My husband, who is off on Fridays is also home.  He's taken part in the back to school routine for seven years now.  He knows the drill and he is very supportive.  Interesting side note:  I actually heard on the radio a couple of weeks ago that people that consider themselves as good jugglers of their time and activities aren't as good as they think.  Yes, they may have a lot of "balls" in the air and they may not drop them, but they can't stay focused on one long enough to enjoy it before it must be tossed away so the next one can be caught.  So that is it.  That will be my new (school) year's resolution.  I will no longer be a juggler.  Instead, I make every effort to achieve better balance in my life.  Wish me luck!  

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Do you like to sing?

       Do you like to sing?  If you do, then you really need to check out this wonderful website that I was introduced to this morning by one of the fabulous blogs that I am following (thank you Third Grade Meanderings).  The website is and it is full of songs that are performed by a first grade teacher, Mr. Smith.  He has a wonderful approach to involving his students so that they are learning very important math skills but not in the boring skill and drill way.  This morning I was already trying to determine which songs that I thought might be beneficial to my third graders this year.  I know that sometimes place value, time, and money can be tricky . . . and the best news is he has songs for all of those concepts and much, much more!  So if you get a minute I would highly recommend that you check out Mr. Smith at You won't be sorry!!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Beat the Heat and Help Others

       This summer has been so hot!  Many states have experienced record highs for multiple days and even weeks.  I have great news.  I have the cure!  This Thursday, August 11, Dairy Queen is having their Miracle Treat Day.  That is right, you can order a blizzard that will help you beat the heat and help others at the same time.  Please click on the link below for more information on this wonderful cause and/or stores near you.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Results Are In!

        First, I must say that I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this year's SSYRA books.  I actually had a really hard time deciding on the order of the books-they were all great but for very different reasons.  I think that there is enough variety that every reader will find something that they will enjoy.  With that said, I will now rank this year's books according to my personal reading preferences from fifteen down to one.

15.  Dragon's Egg

14.  The Secret of Zoom

13.  Extra Credit

12.  The 100-year-old Secret

11.  Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

10.  Out of my Mind

9.  Dying to Meet You:  43 Old Cemetery Road

8.  NERDS: National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society

7.  How Oliver Olson Changed the World 

6.  Flight of the Phoenix (Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist) 

5.  Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, Schools, and Other Scary Stuff

4.  Bobby vs. Girls (Accidentally)

3.  Magic Half

2.  Umbrella Summer

and my all-time favorite book of the year is  . . . drum roll please . . . .

1.  Captain Nobody

        I was able to purchase all but two of this year's books and they are in our classroom library ready to be read (again).  Once we get back to school we will decide on which books we would like to have as class read alouds.  I can't wait to hear/read about your thoughts on the books.  Who knows, maybe you will be able to convince we to change my mind on the order that I have ranked the books.  Happy reading  : )

Monday, August 1, 2011

So what is SSYRA anyway?

        Do you know about SSYRA (Sunshine State Young Readers Awards) books? This is a statewide reading motivation program for students in 3rd-8th grades. Each year there is a list of books chosen to be on this list. This year's list of titles and authors can be found on the right side of this blog.  Since the books on this list range from 3rd-5th grades they may be above your/your child’s independent reading level.  This is one of the many reasons why this summer I made it one of my goals to read all fifteen of the SSYRA books before school started.  I am happy to announce that I was able to meet this goal with a few weeks to spare.  Another reason why I wanted to read all of the books is because Mrs. Miller, our librarian, encourages the CTE students in grades 3rd-5th to read these books and even gives the incentive of ice cream to everyone who reads at least three of the books . . . and let's be honest I love ice cream.  The third and most important reason that I wanted to read all of the books on the list is because I wanted to be able to make recommendations of the books to future readers.
       My next post will include a ranking of this year's SSYRA books-according to my personal reading preferences.  I am excited to hear/read about what you think.  Until then . . .