Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Family Banners

Our monthly family project was to create a banner filled with favorite memories and activities of the month.  I love seeing the creativity involved and hearing all the conversation around the explanation.  You sure do learn a lot about the families.  I was touched to hear it wasn't all about opening presents.  Families sing songs, decorate trees, go to church, and even spend some time together.  I can tell you I am enjoying the first of my days off with my family. Make sure to check out the pictures o my friends.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Field trip to Pioneer Art Settlement

We had so much fun learning at the Pioneer Art Settlement in Barberville.  Take a look at our pictures.

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Our class has been so busy there was hardly a moment to catch my breath! Today is Thanksgiving and what a blessing today has been.  I am so thankful for my fabulous 18 students and their families. 

We learned about the pilgrims and the tough life they lived.  We thought about things we have today that pilgrim children did not get to enjoy.  How cute is this little girl pilgrim?  Alyssa was so cute when she wrote about having a Papa John's pizza but a pilgrim did not. Most of the kids thought of their Nintendo DS like the pilgrim boy to the right.  We enjoyed Monday with Mrs. Cindi and Mrs. Suzanne.  We made turkey cookies, pilgrim hat cookies, and a Thanksgiving retelling bracelet with me! Tuesday was our field trip to the Pioneer Art Settlement in Barberville.  We had a great time and I promise to make that video soon.  Once again Tom Turkey was in disguise so the hunter would not get him.  Make sure to see our parade of disguises.  I am so impressed with the thoughtful outfits.
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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thank you to all the many Veterans out there!

I will have to say it was nice to sleep in this morning and spend a fabulous day with my family at the Orlando Science Center.  Throughout the day I thought of my dad and all of the soldiers that gave their lives so we could have our freedom here in America. THANK YOU! Thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you for your love. Thank you for protecting the many things we take for granted each day. Thank you to your families for standing by you and praying for your safe return.

I follow a few blogs and fell in love with Mrs. Jump's class blog. Her students made soldiers and we had to make them too! They are the cutest soldiers you have ever seen right? The Veteran's Nursing Home Employees thought so too when I dropped them off. The class did a great job! They were handed out to Veterans and I am sure they made their day. Special note:  Jackson took an extra day off this week to see his uncle.  His uncle came home safely from Afghanistan.  We are so very happy the family will get to spend some time together.  Have fun and THANK YOU! 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The results are in...

Well you might have heard about the big election in room 218.  I played Rice Krispie commercials (from youtube) like crazy, but didn't tell them why for a few hours.  Then we talked about the ads on TV right now.  Parents are receiving phone calls and letters in the mail advertising their candidate.  What better way to teach them about the election process than to hold an election.  I decided we needed something we could all relate to so Rice Krispies came to mind.  They are my favorite for those of you wanting to make them and send them in to me. :)  I made a platform sheet for each and then let them taste test homemade vs. store bought Rice Krispie treats.  I made voter registration cards, thanks to my hubby-great idea! They had to write up a position and then explain their choice.  They were cute and they used the platform sheets! 
     Today was the big day.  There was a voting booth complete with a pen attached to the desk.  They had to bring in their voter registration card and sign the book to receive their ballot.  After voting they placed their ballot in the bin and received an "I voted!" sticker.  Dr. Newnam and Mr. Butler made a special appearance to vote.  What a great administrative team!  and now for the results...........
HOMEMADE was the WINNER!!!!!!!!!!  Thanks for tuning in and make sure to check out the Smilebox.
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Monday, November 1, 2010

Chocolate Day

Each year I read Charlie & the Chocolate Factory to my class during the month of October.  They enjoy listening to the adventures of Charlie as he makes his way through Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory.  On the last Friday of the month we celebrate Chocolate Day.  Each child is asked to bring in something chocolate and be creative.  Well this class outdid themselves!  For the 1st time we had chocolate fondue! Make sure to check out the Smilebox with all the lovely pictures of the day.  We mined for chocolate chips, taste tested the Hershey's assortment.  Hershey original beat out the Krackle, Mr. Goodbar, and Hershey's Special Dark by a landslide.  favorites included the chocolate milk, white chocolate dipped pretzel skeleton fingers, chocolate covered marshmallows, and homemade fudge! We even had a Jeopardy game with questions from the book.  Everyone was a winner!  The movie was FABULOUS! It was even more exciting to hear the kids compare the book to the movie and remember the slightest details.  Big thank you to Ms. Cindi, Mrs. Horner, Mr. & Mrs. Creech, and Jordan's grandma for helping out throughout the day.  Thank you to all the families that made the day a success.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ride your bicycle to school week

It is unusually warm here in Port Orange, right below Daytona Beach, FL. This week just happens to be "Ride your bicycle to school week." I rode my bicycle today with my daughter, son, and neighbor friend.  It was awesome!  Yes this is why we live in Florida. :) We left our bicycles on the bike rack so Mr. Steve could check them over.  Mr. Steve owns Plan B Cycling here in Port Orange and he checked over each and every bicycle on the bike rack these past 3 days.  He checked gears, chains, brakes, every part of the bicycle and fixed what he could to make them safe to ride.  He left an inspection notice with each bicycle to let parents know what needed to be done to improve safety.  WOW!  Thank you Mr. Steve and thank you Plan B Cycling for volunteering your time to make it a safer world for us to ride our bicycles to school!  If you get a chance stop by and let Plan B. know you think they are FABULOUS!

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50s day 10-26-10

Yesterday was the 50th day of school.  We celebrated with a sock hop at the end of our day.  Everyone looked so cute all dressed up for the sock hop.  Earlier in the day we worked with patterns, tally marks, and of course our favorite singer, Jack Hartmann.  Make sure to check out our Smilebox with our bubble gum blowing, hula hoops, and the chicken dance.  To end the day Jordan's grandmother talked about life in the 50s when she was just a fresh little chicken herself.  Thank you to all the parents and grandparents who helped make our day extra special!

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

I just love this time of year.  The weather gets a little cooler and the full moon has been spectacular!  On Friday we went to the pumpkin patch.  It was such a fabulous trip.  We enjoyed the playground, story time, craft time, a hayride, parachute time, and of course the pumpkins!  Make sure to check out the Smilebox for all our friends. 

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Friday, October 8, 2010

Pearson Success Net

Hopefully you looked on the back of the weekly newsletter and saw the printed directions for accessing our online math textbook. It has many interactive features and so I thought I would demo the possibilities for you. Hope you enjoy the show. Wonder who will play Hamster Hotel more this weekend, you or your child?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Non-standard measurement playtime

One of the toughest concepts for a child is non-standard measurement.  Maybe because they have a hard time estimating or maybe because we change the measuring instrument from small things to larger. Well, we have been busy in science talking about measuring different things and changing the measuring tool.  We have worked with links, pretzels, and even tile pieces.  Take a look at our scientists at work measuring.  At one point, we had to predict how many pretzel sticks it would take to measure the length of a rake.  Do you have an estimate?  Check back next week and see if your estimate comes close.
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Apples, apples, everywhere

Yummy apples!  We enjoyed our annual apple tasting day with a plate full of apple things.  Surprisingly enough the kids preferred the Apple Jacks over the apple pie!  Not me, I loved the apple pie.  We voted on what color apple was the favorite and red was the winner.  Wonder what the Thanksgiving tasting will bring... 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Open House

Open House is always a wonderful evening to meet the parents and let them see a glimpse of our classroom.  The room was packed!  We had 16 families out of the 18 and the kids were wonderful tour guides.  I started the evening with a quick video featuring the students shouting we are readers, mathematicians, scientists, thinkers, and building our minds. The children led their families around the room on a scavenger hunt.  I ran around and took family pictures.  It was so sweet to see so many grandparents present adoring their grandchild.  Thank you for a fabulous evening and one lucky winner was chosen from all the scavenger hunt entries.  Congratulations to the Tevaga family for winning the book, What Good Brothers/Sisters do Best and popcorn. Just in time for the new baby on the way.  Enjoy the scrapbook show.

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Fabulous week!

Some kids wonder what do teachers do on the weekend away from school?  Well anyone that knows me, knows I LOVE FSU football!  My son Carson is playing Pop Warner football for the Port Orange Hawks and this weekend was our only bye week for the season.  Thanks to a friend we scored tickets to the FSU vs BYU game on Saturday.  It was our 1st family game.  Kaile and Carson had a blast!  We were so excited to see the FSU Seminoles beat the BYU Cougars 34 to 10.  Check out the slideshow I put together.GO NOLES!

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Monday, September 13, 2010

How can we move?

We talked about all the ways we can move and the class came up with a pretty lengthy list.  Our weekly reading series had a picture of a sack race and I was somewhat surprised as to how many kids had not been in a sack race.  Well, I jumped at that and we enjoyed some time outside racing one another.  It was fun and I am sure when it gets cooler they will want to sack race one another again.

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Friday, August 27, 2010

Science is so cool!

Everyone loves science because you can ask question after question and think of fun ways to experiment! First you have to know your lab equipment. Make sure to check out the Smilebox for the photos. We had a ball touching and playing around with the lab equipment. A few days later we experimented with Steve Spangler's fizzy colors. Today we played with eggs. I had the children gently shake 2 eggs (1 hard boiled and 1 raw) and ask how they felt different. Then I showed them, me squeezing the egg with all my might, and big muscles! They thought the egg was fake, frozen, dried up, hard boiled, and even empty. Then I told them to hold the whole egg and squeeze-to their surprise the egg did not crack! Believe me they tried to break the egg. We then talked about the hard boiled vs. raw egg. We experimented with the eggs to find any similarities and differences. Make sure to check out the Steve Spangler experiment. They loved every minute of it! I can't wait to plan another experiment.
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Thursday, August 26, 2010

1st day of school

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Make sure to check out our 1st Smilebox of the year. Aren't they the cutest class ever!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

School Year 2010-2011

Let me begin by saying-I am so excited for a FABULOUS year! This week has been so busy I didn't really find time to sit much less post on the blog! My new batch of friends are the cutest ever. We enjoyed learning about one and other and we chased Chester the raccoon from the Kissing Hand all over the school. Along the way we did get to meet a very special person, Dr. Holli Newnam, our new assistant principal. We just love meeting new friends and better yet she LOVES the FSU Seminoles! Chester did leave us a treat and it sure was yummy. We talked about scientists, science equipment, families, played war with cards to practice our numbers to 10, and read stories. We learned about expectations during literacy stations and practiced those stations. I think the class enjoyed the great word race and computers the best but stamping was pretty close.
Our daily journal is our morning starter and we decorated the covers this week. I want to thank Ms. Cindi and Mr. & Mrs. Creech for coming in to help the children cut, glue, and apply contact paper to seal it all up. They are BEAUTIFUL. At the end of the year it is priceless to see the progress each child has made as well as favorite memories from 1st grade. I have so much more in store for this class so I hope you visit and comment often.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Trying something new...

I learn from so many blogs from all over and I just love the sticky note wall. I found it from a wonderful Chet Creek teacher. I was just thinking what can I do next year to make the blog a little more interactive. I think it is great that kids and parents can respond to a question-and the responses look like they are really on sticky notes. I hope you give it a try. I can't wait to hear what you have to say. Let's give it a try.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Am I daydreaming?

I was once asked, "What do you feel is the most important teaching tool you use?" Without hesitation I answered "My Promethean ActivBoard." Little did I know, that one statement would change and effect education in Volusia County. Ever since then the county as well as schools have purchased the boards and implemented the interactive technology in classrooms. We hold monthly user group meetings, hold staff development, and collaborate across the county to provide resources to teachers of all grade levels. My brother in law gave me a promo CD from Daydream Education and I fell in love. I couldn't wait to show my students the interactive lessons and let them try it out first hand. Last week while studying the Earth was the perfect introduction. The Daydream Education created a lesson on Earth complete with text, animation, teaching chart, quiz, and even a printable worksheet. The kids loved the animation of the Earth lesson where we could start and stop the Earth while it rotated. We could talk about the differences of day and night and what we would see in the sky. After teaching with the teaching chart I used the ActivExpressions to quiz the kids to find out how much they learned. The software worked flawless with my ActivExpressions and the kids enjoyed the ease of seeing their progress. I was so amazed to see the various topics within the Daydream software. Some topics included math, English, music, business studies, IT and science. After looking at the CD I could easily see how the teaching charts and lessons could be used in intermediate (grades 3-5), middle school, and high school classrooms. I loved it and so did my class! To learn more please visit

Saturday, June 5, 2010

UPDATE...Reading Counts rocks!

Well, the points have been counted and the final results are in for the 2009-2010 school year Reading Counts program. Our class read over 1 million words and 8 of the 20 earned more than 100 points a piece to reach the goal of a green reading Counts t-shirt! I was so proud of each and every one of the kids. We celebrated this week with a school-wide wearing of the green shirts. It was quite a scene to gather all the students from 1st-5th grade that earned the green shirt. A HUGE thank you to Mrs. Stevenson and Mrs. Blankenship for their words of encouragement, book choices, and support throughout the year to achieve this goal. Mrs. Stevenson extends an even higher achievement for the children of the school by awarding and announcing the top 3 readers per grade level. I am overjoyed to announce our 1st grade class claimed 2 of the top 3! Congratulations to Yash for earning the top place with 437 points and Carson for earning 377 points for this school year. Together these boys read close to a half a million words. I can only imagine how much they will read this summer and can't wait to hear how they do in second grade.

Friday, June 4, 2010

More on it takes a village...Our fabulous Music Department

Another fabulous program at Cypress Creek Elementary is our Music Department. Our music teachers Mrs. Hood and Mrs. Kidd meet with various enrichment group both before and after school. Some of the groups include Rockin' Recorders, Chorus, Percussion, and even harps. Second semester they started Pup Choir (our mascot is an otter-get it-"pup", little otter, LOVE IT!) We have a few students in pup Choir and their debut performance was fabulous! Parents love the programs and we are convinced that it helps our kids/students in the classroom. You should hear them read with rhythm and prosody. We hear them making beats and they did a fabulous job playing the xylophones. Thank you for all your extra time and effort in helping our children succeed in music and life.

Monday, May 31, 2010

We love the Fishing Tournament!

A school holds so many special people. I am sure you have read time and time again, "It takes a village." Our Coaches sell popcorn and jolly pops each Friday and you might wonder where does the money go? Let me share a few things the coaches don't let many people know about their selflessness. The one day each child looks forward to each year is Field Day. All of the supplies, ribbons, prizes, trophies, and food and water for volunteers are paid for with the profits of the weekly sale. The Coaches host 2 fishing tournaments a year. They supply bait, hot dog lunch, raffle prizes, and trophies for this event.
My husband and I took our son, Carson to his first fishing tournament. We didn't even have a pole but Coach had one ready for us. It was awesome to see his face as his mom baited the hook and then his dad taught him how to cast and release the bait into the water. He was so excited and after 10 minutes he caught his first fish. Can you see him jumping on the dock? It was priceless. Many kids get to spend some quality time with mom or dad or even with the family enjoying some quiet time away from school. It was so nice to see the familiar faces and excitement as Tommy pulled up a 14 1/2 inch Hammerhead shark. WOW! TOO COOL! Another thing most don't know is that the Coaches use the $ to buy shoes for kids that need proper shoes for PE. It really does take a village and we are so blessed at Cypress Creek Elementary to have Coach Glover and Coach McLean to add a smile to a kid's face. So thank you both for your selflessness. We love you both!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Watch our Retell...

Throughout the year, we spend a lot of time retelling stories. We talk about important story elements(characters, setting, problem/solution, etc.) and the importance of summarizing events in order. We also discuss our connections to the reading we do in our classroom. First graders become experts in retelling stories. A reading group was challenged to work as a group and retell a guided reading story. One group had 3 students and the other 4. Each group was assigned beginning, middle, and end. Students wrote a retell of the assigned part to read while we compiled a Photostory. They also had to illustrate their parts. Please watch the two presentations.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Jack Hartmann 2010

Friday was a highlight for our class. That is me with our favorite singer, Jack Hartmann! We have been singing Jack Hartmann songs throughout the year. We sing about word families, skip counting, making shapes, you name it and Jack has a song for just about every literacy or math skill imaginable. A few months back we emailed Jack to request a few favorites. Our class was thrilled when we heard back from his representatives. We practiced the Hip Hop Tooty Ta, Chicken Count, and One Small Voice and knew them all by heart. He performed PowWow and we were so excited because that was our #1 request! Thank you so much Jack! Take a look at our awesome pictures of the Tooty Ta and the bus ride. One classmate summed it all up, "This is the best day in my whole life!"

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Sunday, May 2, 2010

Earth Day 2010

Isn't everyday Earth Day? We were so lucky to be able to celebrate Earth Day with Mr. Wheeler's 5th graders. We started out by watching a short part of the Lorax on the whiteboard but the magic happened when we were treated to an original production written by the students. It was quite a treat! We took a short quiz on the ActivExpressions. As if that were not enough, we were invited to make Truffula trees, made of Oreo sticks and cotton candy, with our buddies. Our monthly family project was to make a sculpture or invention out of recycable material. They have outdone themselves with these creations. I am amazed at the creativity the families put forth each month. Thank you for sharing.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Reading Counts rocks!

Our media specialist Mrs. Stevenson promotes reading a variety of books including Reading Counts books. Each nine weeks, she and Ms. Becky tally the points from the students and organize prizes according to point levels. It is highly anticipated when she announces the names on the morning news show. The votes are in for the end of the 3rd nine weeks and here are the winners! Every child in our class with the exception of the new student has received a prize this school year. Many have set a goal to achieve by the end of the year. I am so proud of all of you! Keep on reading and let's see how many can make it to 100 points by the end of the school year deadline and win a free Reading Counts t-shirt. Maybe I'll take a special photo to share on the blog. Keep reading...

Egg Hunt

Spring is in the air... We celebrated with Spring festivities before Spring Break. Thank you to the parents and families that sent in filled eggs. Mrs. Prospect and Mrs. Lamboglia had a tough time finding enough hiding spots for over 300 eggs! The class had so much fun finding the eggs and putting them in their hand painted paper baskets. We made sure to do many "Springy" activities including graphing jellybean colors and enjoying cupcakes. Check out our 1st Animoto video...

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Monday, March 22, 2010


Our county uses Macmillan Treasures as the basal reading series. A highlight is Unit 5 week 2 OLIVIA by Ian Falconer. We read all the Olivia books and talked about all our favorite parts. We had so much fun retelling the crazy adventures and rereading the books all week long. We watch a video of Jackson Pollack painting and then practiced painting using red, blue, and black. Olivia likes imaging herself in different professions so we decided to write about ourselves in careers we could imagine in our future. Hope you enjoy our 1st Photostory.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Port Orange Library field trip

What do 1st graders love to do each day? READ of course! First grade went to visit the Port Orange Library for a field trip. It was marvelous! We had so much fun learning about the different types of books in the library. Did you know they even carry graphic novels? When I was a kid they called them comic books. We took a tour, read a few stories, and helped solve a mystery. The highlight was a puppet show where the pig detective was trying to find out where the books disappeared to each night. Good things our 1st graders helped him crack the case. The staff was fabulous especially Mrs. Nancy E. and Mrs. Cindy F. Thank you for helping us become better readers. Since it was bit cool outside we decided to head back to school for a picnic lunch in the classroom. A huge thank you to the moms that helped chaperone our trip. WE LOVE YOU!! Mrs. Lamboglia, Mrs. Prospect, Ms. Persico, and Mrs. Taylor