Summer Reading Program

Don’t forget to take part in the Summer Reading Program at the Public Library. The activities sound great, the prizes and rewards are exciting, but the benefits outweigh all those tangibles.

When I was little, my mother signed all four of us girls up for the library’s summer program every year. We had a limit of 5 books each, so we read each other’s books. Twenty books a week, all summer long. We’d climb trees and read books, taking turns being the one to climb down to make trades.

I’m sure there were activities, maybe even prizes; all I can remember is winning a pin each year. I still know where a few of these are… Right now, sticking in the wooden bookshelves in my library.


The thing I cherish most is a love of reading and the wonderful memories of reading with my sisters. Each one of us was and still is a voracious reader- thanks to our mother and the Ouachita Parish Public Library in West Monroe, LA.

Sign up now! The benefits last a lifetime, even if you don’t remember the prize you won!

Camping Trip

We went camping today during math! Well, at least in our imagination!

We set up tents with sheets over our desks, had math camping stories written by our own selves, and we even had s’mores!

It was great fun and the students were able to ‘break camp’ and clean up the camp site while I rested from our journey.

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More praying mantises!

I found two praying mantis egg cases in early March. I wanted to bring them in so we could observe how praying mantises hatch and how small they are!

We were about to give up – and just release these back outside, when today both egg cases hatched!

Our critter cage was lined with cheese cloth on the top, so no escaping could take place!

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We hooked up the digital microscope and took some close-up pictures.

We can keep them just a few days, then release them into the garden area.

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Writing and Art – a perfect pairing

A talented class of art students are collaborating with Mrs. Wojtera’s Wonderful Ones on a regular basis this year.

Each month, Mrs. Reese brings one of her art classes from Radford High School to visit and mentor these young writers. Our main focus has been personal narrative – or as Lucy Calkins calls it –  a “small moment” story. As our writing fluency improves, the pairs are now able to spend some time collaborating on the artwork, as well.

We work toward telling a small moment story, by taking inspiration from reading and studying stories that model this ‘little slice of time’.  Some of our favorites have been A Chair for My Mother by Vera Williams and The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats.

The relationships that my students are building are priceless. They feel a connection and work to write their best. I hope that the high school students are getting as much out of this as we are!

There are people on couches, floors, sitting at small tables, at desks, on pillows, – all over the classroom! The energy fills the room! Check out these photos from their last visit on Friday.

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Our Favorite Winter Activities

IMG_6264IMG_6265by Luke

I made a snowman with my mom and dad and my sisters. I looked at my snowman and I love it. And then I had a snowball fight. I got hit and I love that day I saw the moon.

IMG_6266by Isaac

I like to play in the snow in winter. My favorite is snowball fight. And I build a snowman. Then we have hot chocolate. I like winter.

IMG_6267by Jenny

My favorite is playing in the snow. I love winter.

IMG_6268by Kade

My outdoor thing is making a snowman. I put on wiggly arms. I put on a hat. I put on a pair of mittens. I put on some buttons. I also put on boots. I put on a nose. I put on a head. I put on a bellybutton. We took a picture together. I like my snowman.



How to Decorate a Christmas Tree

IMG_6259IMG_6260   by Miles

This is how I decorate my Christmas tree. First we put on the lights. Then we put on the ornaments. Then the star. But this year we might not have a star. Then me and my brother eat a candy cane. Then my mom and my dad put the rug under the tree. I love to decorate my tree.

IMG_6258by Kalee

This is how I decorate my Christmas tree. First I put on the lights. Then me and my sister put on the ornaments. And my mommy and daddy helped too. We step back. It looks good.


IMG_6261 by Madeline

This is how I decorate my Christmas tree. First I put on lights. Then I and my mommy and daddy put on the ornaments. Some times it looks messy. Then we put paper soft snow flakes on. Last we put on the angel. I love decorating Christmas trees. Ho ho ho!


IMG_6262by Brenna

This is how I decorate my Christmas tree. First I put the lights. Then I put the ornaments. Then I sit out the milk and the cookies.


IMG_6263by Brealeigh

This is how I decorate my Christmas tree. First my mom puts the star on the tree. I put the ornaments on the tree. My mom puts the lights on the tree. I love my tree.

We love our Veterans!

The Praying Mantis

I found a praying mantis yesterday and brought it to school today. We all were excited to create a habitat for observation of our new friend.


We gave it sticks to climb, moss to stand on, and misted it with water. We learned how to hunt for the best crickets on the playground! Then we watched him eat…

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Click these links for video of our praying mantis eating a cricket and then cleaning his face like a cat!



Observing like scientists

We have been exploring how scientists learn. They use their five senses and we do too!

Yesterday we played a sound guessing game and used our sense of hearing to solve the mystery sounds.

Today, we learned how to use hand magnifiers, then used them to explore 22 different interesting science objects. It was fun and our scientists can’t wait to do it again!



Listening to Reading

IMG_5790 IMG_5789 IMG_5793 IMG_5791One thing we really enjoy is using our iPods for Listening to Reading. We have four folders of great stories on our iPod to listen to every day.

We have learned to wind up and store our ear buds properly to prevent tangles. We have learned how to listen safely, with the volume down. And we have learned how to place our hands on our throats when we’re singing along with our stories to check for vibrations. If our throat is vibrating, we might be disturbing our friends! It’s hard to tell when we’re wearing our ear buds!

Here are some of the 40 stories that we have on our iPods.

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Welcome Wonderful Ones!

Dear Parents,

I am so excited about our first grade adventures together! This year will be a great one – I can just tell from meeting the children on the last day of school in June. 

I want you invite you to join the free service: Remind. It is a way I can text or email you announcements, reminders of school events, photos of special events, and more. 

Sign up now! You can receive messages via text or the free mobile app Remind. Here are the instructions.

I am looking forward to seeing everyone on Monday, August 17th for Open House. Bring your school supplies with you!

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First graders and flags

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Our class was the recipient of a collection of flags from the travels of Dr. J. Norstedt. He very generously donated the flags and these first graders put them to use!

First they used atlases to identify their chosen flags, then used the index to locate the country’s information in the atlas.


They studied the maps to identify the region of the world and the capital.

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They read for interesting facts and developed a greater sense of place value as they worked to understand the population and the area of their countries.


Then they prepared to give their presentation to their classmates – and to be published on the blog. We hope you’ll leave a comment about their accomplishments.

Thank you Dr. Norstedt!