Saturday, December 12, 2009

Run, run, run as fast as you can...

Our class was lucky enough to participate in a Gingerbread Exchange this year. We were to make 35 gingerbread men and somehow incorporate where we live. Well after some thought we decided to "dress" our gingerbread people in bathing suits and outfit them with surfboards. We wrote about our lovely weather and how we enjoy being outside in Port Orange year round. I took some pictures of our gingerbread people that we mailed out. They are too cute! I am getting envelopes in the mail daily and the kids look forward to seeing where we get mail from around the US. Thank you to all the school that helped participate. Enjoy our gingerbreads and maybe bring them to the beach when you come to visit.
Santa made a special appearance this week on his boat and our class was lucky enough to take a quick picture with Santa.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Marine Science Center

It is a favorite day for every school child-the 1st field trip of the year! It was beautiful. We went to Ponce Inlet to visit the Marine Science Center. We learned about turtles and even visited the rehabilitation hospital. We learned about owls and even saw one up close turn its head almost the whole way around. We learned about the pollution that hurts the ocean animals. Please try not to release balloons in the air because we saw one found floating in the ocean that looked like a jellyfish. Turtles and other ocean life are confused and end up eating the balloons and it causes problems for their digestive tracts. It was such an awesome trip and so well organized. After all that learning we enjoyed a picnic lunch and then the best part!!! a walk out on the jetty. The wind was whipping and the waves were crashing on our left but it was so calm on the right side of the jetty. At the very end I was gathering up the class and a huge wave crashed and I was soaked. The class of course loved that part! Lucky for us we had some very awesome chaperones.

A HUGE thank you to Mrs. Taylor, Mrs. Prospect, Mrs. Norman, and Mrs. Lamboglia. I can not say enough about the Marine Science Center and how much the children learned hands on. I can't wait to take my own kids again.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Quick hide from the hunter...

It is time for the annual disguise turkeys. Another year that friends and families did not disappoint with their lack of creativity. Check out the show and see how cute the turkeys are disguised. I don't think the hunter will have any idea where to find the class turkeys which would be too bad because turkey is one of my favorite parts of the Thanksgiving dinner.

Fabulous Read Aloud-Charlie & the Chocolate Factory

Thirty chapters and 155 pages later we finished Charlie and the Chocolate Factory today! Hold on-they clapped when I finished the book. It was priceless and made my eyes flood up. They went on and on about how they loved it! This is one of those occasions we as teachers live for and remember through the tough times. I wanted the kids to draw their favorite parts and when I saw the details and variety (all before watching the movie mind you) I can tell you I got goose bumps. Enjoy the show. Below you will see pictures from Chocolate Day 2009. There was so much chocolate it smelled like Mr. Wonka's factory in our classroom. We had chocolate pudding, milk, brownies, cookies, covered raisins, M&Ms, OREOs, and candy. There was so much a child actually said "I ate too much chocolate, I can't eat any more." It was a great way to end our read aloud and then we watched the movie to look for similarities and differences between the book. The class picked them out with ease.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day

Volusia County released students and teachers today in remberence of Veteran's Day. I want to say a special thank you to all the veterans that sacrificed their lives, time, and loved ones for the freedoms we have today, especially to my favorite veteran, my dad. I talked to my class and Ms. Garver's, across the hall, yesterday about my father and veterans I met at the nursing home and the local VFW. I read The Wall by Eve Bunting and cried again while reading about the young boy that wishes he had his grandfather. We talked about what freedom means to us and what we are most thankful for... living in America. We wrote some letters and Ms. Garver took them to the local VFW. I hope you think of the veterans today and remember all they do to ensure our freedom and way of life here in America. I called my dad first thing this morning and told him thanks. I love you daddy and I am proud of you.

Best Fall Festival EVER!!!

Cypress Creek PTA held the 1st Annual Fall Festival and it was totally fabulous!! It started off with Kindergarten and First Grade singing some of the cutest songs ever! My personal favorite was Shine, Shine, Shine and the 1st graders are letting their light shine in the picture. This wasn't the only performance. There was a tap dance classes, cheerleading, martial arts, and a hip hop routine. Children had an open field of bouncing houses, an obstacle course, a bungee jump/swing, rock climbing, and even horse rides. Our PTA and business partners really put on an event that will be talked about for months. The children enjoyed a fun filled afternoon with Mr. Butler our principal and teachers at every corner. My son Carson especially enjoyed the slot car track as you can see in the picture. As a teacher and parent at Cypress Creek Elementary I can say it was so heartwarming to see families with chairs out talking to one another, children running around having fun, and a faculty and staff working together like a team that had been together for years. This is only our 3rd year since the school opened and we are destined for great things. WAIT did I mention the best news is yet to come...
Our PTA and Principal Mr. Butler, after much digging, are supporting the Promethean Interactive Whiteboard movement by purchasing 34 more boards to completely outfit the entire school with a board in each classroom! It is a dream come true for me. Kaile is in 3rd grade while Carson is in 1st so they will use the boards for years to come (and my husband hears about them all the time. ) I have seen such a growth with students in the past 4 years of using the Promethean ActivBoard and now every child will get to experience the interactivity it provides to increase student learning. I can't wait to train the teachers and watch them work collaboratively to ensure the very best lessons for all students. I'll keep you posted on the progress...

Ritter's Night

Our school is blessed to have such awesome business partners. Ritter's Frozen Custard is one such partner. Cypress Creek Elementary teachers and families can be seen eating frozen custard on the first Thursday of each month. It is a fabulous evening filled with laughter, friendship, and most of all the sense of community it brings out of everyone. Kaile, Carson, and I enjoyed our worms and dirt and Italian Ice while Lynn from Party Explosion made balloon animals. You can see our fun monkey palm tree hats and Carson had a balloon sword. Thank you Ritter's Frozen Custard and Party Explosion for being a part of the team at Cypress Creek Elementary.

Monday, November 9, 2009

50s Day!

Well, we made it to the 50th day of school for the 2009-2010 school year. This year the whole 1st grade took part in the festivities! It was great fun. We dressed the part, watched the candy factory episode of I Love Lucy and rotated to 5 different centers. We hula hooped, limbo rocked, took part in a bubble gum blowing contest, painted a poodle with 50 dots, made a Fruit Loop necklace, made a record (What are those?)and enjoyed root beer floats. It was funny because another teacher asked why we were celebrating the 50s day and a child replied "...because we have 50 states." Funny how we count each day, talk about tens and ones, count money and they sometimes forget why. I asked my class and their simple response was because we were on our way to the 100th day. Out of the mouths of babes. We sure did have fun as you can see from the pictures below. Thanks to Ms. Marianne who took them through the centers and to all the parents that donated supplies for our fun filled day. Keep on rocking first grade...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

OREO Project 2009

Well another year with the OREO project and what fun we had! If you don't know about the OREO online project, check out this link:.
We stacked, they fell, we stacked again and turns out our class average was 16 OREOs high. We completed a word search, unscrambled words, talked about ABC order, and even read a bar graph. As if that wasn't enough we took 3 OREOs and created sculptures. Thanks Ms. Marianne for helping us out with this project

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fire Prevention Week

This week was Fire Prevention Week. On Friday the Port Orange Fire Department, led by Firefighter Tonya and students enrolled in the Teaching Academy at Atlantic High School, brought stations to teach the students about fire safety. We enjoyed rotating through the informative stations. Stations included talking about 2 exits from each room, "When smoke goes up, we go down!", learning about tools vs. toys, Stop, Drop and Roll, and smoke detectors. Sparky and the fire truck was a big hit. Check out our picture with Sparky. Friday night was also the night to hand in fire escape plans at Neighbors. Each child that submitted a plan was awarded a free ice cream cone. From all the plans submitted from the school, 1 child will be chosen to ride to school on the fire truck. I hope it is someone from our class! Good Luck and remember all the fire safety tips this week-check those smoke detectors.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Open House

Open House is such a BIG night for everyone! For the kids, it is a chance to share our classroom, our home away from home, to our family. For the parents, it is a night to see what their child does when they trust Cypress Creek with their most prized possession. For teachers, it is a night we showcase our teaching, design, and organization for the world to see. It was a FABULOUS evening! Most of the families toured the classroom completing the scavenger hunt with their child. We showed off our Promethean ActivBoard. We took pictures of families sharing in the joy that is 1st grade. Thank you to the students and parents for making every day like Disney World here at Cypress Creek Elementary. Did you see Connor with Annie? Guess what his name was drawn for the $25 worth of free books from the Book Fair AND I won $25 worth of books too just for being his teacher! Thanks Connor! We heart you! I got a copy of the latest Pigeon book, Fancy Nancy, Ruby Bridges, Fly Guy, and Dirt on My Shirt. We can't wait to read them.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Where is Annie?

I got the most unbelievable gift this week from a great teacher friend! My friend Robert Miller does some consulting and presenting on behalf of Brainpop. He gave me a cardboard Annie! Now for those of you that do not know Annie let me explain. Tim & Moby are THE characters of Brainpop. They answer questions and teach children through 4-5 minute movies about all kinds of topics. Teachers love the quizzes and activities that accompany the movies. Brainpop decided to make a primary user friendly approach with Annie & Moby. That is where my 1st graders have come to know and LOVE Annie. Here is a picture of Annie with my own children Kaile & Carson.
I have decided to do a "Where's Annie?" installment on our class blog. Stay tuned for clues and pictures and see if you can guess what Annie is up to in our classroom, around our school, and in our community.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Wordle anyone?

OK I have seen these "wordle" things before and thought how cool. I decided to finally have the website analyze my class blog. It looks at the text and looks at the number of times you say/write particular words. I was so happy to see that school, friends, thanks, reading, learning, classroom, and parents showed up the largest! It was pretty neat and you might want to try it out some day. The gracious people at created the wordle art! Thank you

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Time Flies...

Ok so it is true-time flies when you are having fun. It has been quite some time since my last post and I can honestly say I can't believe how fast the days turn into weeks and then weeks and weeks...
We have been so busy learning about different scientists and various lab equipment so we can do some investigating. Take a look at 2 of our scientists, all ready for the part. In math, we finished up patterns and then moved right into geometry. Did you child show you their 3D shape bag? Did it make it home, unopened, before they could explain the different shapes? Thanks to Mrs. Tyner for the idea :) The carmels were cubes, Starburst-rectangluar prism, gumball-sphere, Hershey's Kiss-cone, and of course Smarties-cylinder. It was so tempting to eat them but I made them promise to eat after they explained it to you. Maybe tonight you could ask them how many faces, edges, and vertices? YES they do know what those are!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

First Grader at last...

Junie B. Jones has been a favorite of mine for quite some time and I love reading her books to students and hear them laugh in all the right places or predict what will happen next. I am sure for the parents of my new friends they are finding it hard to believe their child is officially a first grader, at last! We have had great fun getting to know one another, looking for patterns, reading books, and even thinking about scientists. Our adventure began Monday morning with reading the Kissing Hand and hunting for Chester the Raccoon around the school. We never did catch him but got to see Mr. Butler, our principal, Nurse Rhonda, Mrs. Stevenson, the Media Specialist, and even Ms. Maureen, the Cafeteria Manager. He was nice enough to leave us a snack after our tour of the school. I can tell this is going to be the start of a wonderful year. Some friends were missing from this 1st class photo so I will have to do an official class photo once I have everyone at school. I can't wait for you to see how stinking cute they are!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Tomorrow is the 1st day of school...

I am so excited tonight I can hardly sleep. It has been a very busy week of getting our classroom back in order to prepare for the upcoming school year. On Thursday, I met 18 of the 20 new friends I will see for the next 180 days. The room looks ready except 1 thing is missing... I know my new friends. I can hardly wait to get to know them and their individual personality. Hope they enjoyed the last weekend because I have many adventures ahead A favorite area of mine is the classroom library. I know it will be a favorite of theirs too. I'll let you know how tomorrow goes...

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Where do I begin? I can hardly believe the school year has ended. On one hand, I am looking forward to a wonderful summer with my husband and kids. On the other, I will be sad to not wake up to go to school with all my 1st grade friends. I want to first thank the parents of these friends for an awesome year. You have let me be a part of your family for the year and for that I am grateful. Your kids are unbelievable and I got to see them grow and become independent readers this year. THANK YOU! Of course I would like to thank each one of them for the laughs, the learning, and the overall feeling of joy going to work each day with a smile.
We had some help throughout the year from all of the families with time in the classroom, supplies for projects, or treats/rewards to celebrate successes. I especially want to thank Ashley and Paul who donated 5 iPod Shuffles for the class to use at home listening to stories and practicing their oral reading fluency. My dad for donating the 6th iPod so I could have a set of 6. Chantal and Michelle who gave time every week of the year doing anything and everything I ever asked them to do. Joel and Melissa for sending in "big" items for our learning and enjoyment. Smart Start Tutoring for awarding our class a grant to fund our Reading Counts store-JW Beanies. Walmart for donating the primary journals our friends wrote in each day (Parents love this artifact of the entire year!) Promethean for providing the BEST and most fun way of learning through their Interactive Whiteboard, wand, and ActivExpressions. Dayle Timmons in Jacksonville, FL for being an inspiration and guiding force behind our successful classroom blog. Our principal and staff for making this school like Disney World each and every day of the school year. The biggest thank you goes to my husband who lets me give so much time and energy into being the best teacher I can be and to my kids who give me hugs and kisses everyday!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Father's Day Kickball

Father's Day Kickball was the BEST!! We celebrated in style with the dads playing alongside the kids in the field. It was great watching the dads and grandpas out for the morning challenge. Dads/Grandpas could kick while their kid ran or the reverse. I think I even shocked a few dads with my kicking ability. We were cheering, laughing, and having a great time. We followed the game with our presents for dad. I can not take credit for the gift. I saw it on another blog or class website and thought how great. I had Grandpa Budd cut some wood and the kids painted their "Chip Off the Old Block" paper weight. I glued a school photo and wrote the year. I hope the dads/grandpas enjoy them as much as the kids did making them.

We held our class award assembly where the kids voted on one another for various awards. I shared the class end of the year video and we enjoyed our "Dog with Dad" lunch. THANK YOU to Mrs. Chatal, Mrs. Maria, Ms. Jen, Ms. Michelle, and all the families that helped with our awesome hot dog lunch.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day 2009

We celebrated our mothers to let them know how very special they are to us. Each child completed sentences about their mom. They included: I know my mom loves me when..., A special day with my mom would be ..., The best part of my mom is her ..., etc. We wrote them into books and then illustrated the pages. We added a dedication and an About the Author section. The books were wrapped and then we drew portraits of our mothers using fabric crayons. The portraits were ironed onto white handkerchiefs and used as bows for the presents. Secretly, the children brought me in favorite pictures of mom. I scanned them and made a movie of all the kids and their moms. There wasn't a dry eye in the room. It was a beautiful day for everyone. Just look at all our smiling faces. :)

cinco de mayo

Last week was a blur so I will need to catch everyone up to date. Tuesday was cinco de mayo and we had the fiesta of all fiestas! Thank you to the following kid's and their awesome parents: Connor, Nicholas, Vincent, David, Morgyn, and Gabi for the taco bar, homemade Spanish rice, lemonade, and the pinata! We learned the history of cinco de mayo and even the Mexican Hat dance. Check out the slide show.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day 2009

Reduce, reuse, and recycle was the focus of our day. Thanks to Mrs. McGowan and her website, our class read a reader's theater to celebrate the occasion. Watch the movie and learn some ways you too can help the Earth. We enjoyed some dirt cups with our friends in Ms. Garver and Mrs. Patenaude's class. The April family homework project was to make a sculpture or invention out of recycled materials and we had the coolest creations come in the room! We had an elephant made from plastic bottles and duct tape and the perfect pet dog that you can even wag the tail. We had a painted SpongeBob and even a snake from aluminum cans and an Easter egg. A HUGE thank you to all the familes that participated. You are really using your smarts and just think you recycled!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Spring Fling 2009

It is hard to believe Spring Break 2009. We enjoyed a wonderful day together last Friday. We read a great story in our reading series titled A Fruit is a Suitcase For Seeds. Children brought in fruit and we made a friendship fruit salad to eat with our Easter cookies. We looked at fruit with pits like the plum and peach brought in, fruit with many seeds like the cantaloupe, strawberries, and kiwi. I loved the variety and so did the class. A HUGE thanks to our wonderful helpers Ms. Jen, Mr. Woods, and Grandma Patterson we hunted for eggs and filled our hand painted paper baskets. It was a lovely Spring afternoon and such a nice way to start the Spring Break. Thank you to all the parents for the donated filled eggs and the fruit.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Our message to Ruby Bridges...

Gabi's grandma, Cheryl Rich, is a director of the Children's Museum of Indianapolis. It houses a very special exhibit, The Power of Children: Make a Difference. One of those children is Ruby Bridges. Ruby was a young girl in the 1960's that was integrated into an all white school. She overcame great adversity and helped change the world for education today. She is one of several children integrated at the time and remains humble to this day about the effects of her determination and the compassion she gave the crowds she walked through daily. We read books about Ruby Bridges and talked about all of the hardships she endured through those difficult times. We even watched the Disney movie. Each of us learned something about how a child at 6 could change the world. We wrote and read our stories in the Voicethread below. We are so fortunate that Mrs. Rich will show our presentation to Ruby Bridges today while she is visiting the Children's Museum of Indianapolis. Thank you for taking the time to view our presentation.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patrick's Day 2009

WOW! What a fabulous day we had today. We participated in St. Patrick's Day 2009. It was an online project to calculate the number of the famous marshmallows within a 14 oz. box of Lucky Charms. Our pictures are below and the results are in!!! We had 60 rainbows in the box and that far exceeded the others. Gold-42, clovers-23, horseshoes-29, stars-22, moons-20, hearts-35, and balloons-36. We had so much fun with the unscramble and word search from the Technospud Projects by Jen site. THANK YOU to all the teachers that help with this worldwide project!! We read Leprechaun on the Loose and shared our family projects. I was so impressed by the rainbows some families decorated and the ingenious traps! You all are so clever. We set those traps before lunch and do you know what happened? Our room was turned upside down by that wee little guy. Chairs were turned over, glitter was sprinkled throughout the room, and there were even chairs up on tables. We didn't catch that Lucky Leprechaun but he left notes in all the traps and told us he was too clever to be caught! He was nice enough to leave us some yummy cookies. A HUGE thank you to Mrs. Weir for helping us all day today. We love ya! Can't wait to see what the next adventure bring us...