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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Celebrity Story Saturday- How Do You Hug a Porcupine?

This year I decided to bring back one of my favorite segments: Celebrity Story Saturday! It seemed fitting since we have so many new faces in the building this year.

The thing I love best about this segment is seeing what book the teachers pick to read. I ask teachers to choose either their favorite book or a book that they love sharing with their students.

To start the year, I bring you Ms. Friedman! Ms. Friedman is a first grade teacher here at the Hills. This is her first year in the classroom and she moved here from Indiana. She chose to read the book How Do You Hug a Porcupine?

Click the link to watch the video {HERE} or watch it below!

Thank you, Ms. Friedman! Way to start the year off right!

New teachers- get ready! Your time is coming!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Enjoying the fruits of our labor

WE HAVE A SQUASH!! And it's gorgeous!!

For those of my followers who were wondering if our school garden would ever "sprout", boy did it ever!! Of the original seeds planted, from my students last year, only the corn survived replanting. The other plants in the garden were planted during our Reads & Seeds summer reading program.

Currently, we have squash, pumpkin, corn, tomatoes, and peppers planted. On the other side of the barn there are 2 planter boxes that are just waiting to be filled with our fall crops. (I'm thinking spinach or cabbage).

At any rate, my students and I have checked on our plants everyday when we go out to recess. Imagine our happiness when we found a perfect squash just waiting to be picked! I told the kids to expect a taste testing the next day.

I went out and bought some squash so we'd have enough for everyone to have some, as well as some for research purposes. For those of you who don't think there's a difference between store bought and "home grown", check out this pic.

The bigger one is the one we grew. I bought 4 squash total. Here are the others next to ours.

Pretty sad actually. I showed my students ours and one of the store bought. I asked them if they could tell which one came from our garden. The class was split between those who thought the smaller one was ours (cause it looked "dirty" like it might have come from a garden), and those who though the bigger one was ours (cause it looked pretty big when we saw it yesterday).

I had chopped up the other squash and gave each student a piece to hold and inspect. We've been working on adjectives in our writing, so we used our 5 senses to describe the squash. We created a chart of our words. The "taste" and "hear- sounds like" sections were filled in after our tasting. We read the book The Ugly Vegetables before making the chart, hence the title. :)

Here's the squash chopped up and ready for tasting. We all found it a little sad when we cut our perfect squash. :(
Everyone had to try it. No exceptions. I told my students to be quiet while eating so they could hear how the squash sounded when chewed. They were as quiet as they could be. :)

Some of my kids really dug into the squash, while others just pretended. However, when I pulled out some salad dressing, everyone decided that squash was the best veggie ever and asked for more.

 I think our first tasting from our garden was a success! My students can't wait until more veggies start to sprout. Everyone has their eye on the corn, but I'm not sure how to tell when corn is "done". Guess I'll have to Google it.

We'll keep everyone posted!

Same Place, New Face!

Welcome to another year at Clifton Hills Elementary! This is my 10th year at the Hills, and my 3rd year in 3rd grade. This past summer, Mrs. Kapp and I ran the Reads & Seeds reading program held at the school. We had a great time seeing our students each week, and our school garden continues to grow!

Technically, school started about 2 weeks ago, but this is the first time I've had to sit down and document how wonderful I anticipate this year being. Currently I have 21 students in my classroom.

We have a plethora of new teachers in the building, but we also have a new Assistant Principal! Mrs. O moved north to be with her family and we will miss her greatly, but Ms. Newson is here and she's already rockin' the Hills! (In a good way)  :)

To start the year, I decided that we needed to get on Ms. Newson's good side. So, the students and I read the books The Emperor's New Clothes and The Principal's New Clothes.

We compared the stories and created a chart. (sorry about the picture quality!)

To go along with the stories, I had my class create a new wardrobe for Ms. Newson.
Now I've had my students do this activity for Mr. Evans, but I don't think he fully appreciates the idea of a new wardrobe. (Unlike the principal in the story.)

Ms. Newson was thrilled to get so many fabulous outfits! In fact, she was so happy that she chose three of her favorites and wrote the students notes explaining what it was about their outfits that she enjoyed so much.

Here's a picture of all the outfits:

Here are the 3 favorites:

Here's a look at the whole board:

Thank you, Ms. Newson for helping us get a great start to the year!