Sunday, December 16, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Dear Parents,

Can you believe it is the last week of school before Christmas break?! I can't! Time sure has been flying by and before we know it, it will be January! 

This week we got a chance to hear from our Christmas choir when they performed for our school at an assembly. They did such a great job! We had five kids from our class who participated in the choir. They sang their hearts out and did a wonderful job. They have been practicing twice a week before school for the last couple months now. Great job to Joey, Josie, Parker, Andrew, and Brianna! Way to go you guys!

Here are some pictures of the assembly!  

We have lots of fun things going on this week. We are decorating gingerbread houses on Tuesday at 2:00. If your child hasn't brought in some candy and some frosting for their house, please bring that as soon as you can.

Wednesday, the last day of school before break, the school is having a pajama wearing day. So my class is extra lucky and gets to wear their pajamas twice to school in one month! :) Please have your kids wear pajamas to school that day and again remember to bring warm clothing to wear at recess.

Also on Wednesday, we are having our class party after lunch. Our room moms have been working hard and have planned an awesome party for our class. It is going to be full of fun Christmas activities and festive treats!

There is no assigned homework over the break. However, please encourage your child to continue to read as many days as they can. The kids will have their homework folder over the break in their backpacks so they can have access to their reading log to keep track of their reading minutes. Please bring back the homework folders sometime during the first week back to school in January. (The first week back is a short week- Wed-Fri.) I will stuff them and get them ready for the following week. Homework will start up again on Monday, the 7th of January.

I hope everyone has a safe, fun and exciting break. See you next year!

-Mrs. Hembree :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Pajama Party and Christmas Projects!

 Dear Parents,

Here are some cute pictures from last Friday. We had a fun pajama party! The kids really worked hard and earned their party. They have been working since the beginning of the year to earn "Hembree High Fives." They had to earn 30 before they get a class party. They earn a high five when they are working quietly at their desks, behaving at speciality classes, walking down the hall quietly, going to and from the classroom quietly, etc. I have such a great class this year with the nicest, sweetest kids. I know that they will earn lots of parties this year!

We played some games, read the book, "Arthur's First Sleepover," did a show n' tell with their stuffed animals, and ate some breakfast food. The kids had a blast! They all looked so cute in their PJ's too and their little slippers. What a fun day it was! It was a great way to end a great week.

Christmas break is coming up so quick! Just 6 more days of school until the long break. We have been doing lots of fun things in class this week. We have made some Santa art, done some Christmas writing, and have read lots of Christmas stories. The kids are enjoying the season and all the fun things that go along with it.

Many of you have brought in supplies for gingerbread houses. Thank you! There are still quite a few kids who haven't brought in any anything. If you could get that to me as soon as possible, that would be great. Please bring in some candy and some white frosting. We will provide everything else. Thanks! We will be decorating the houses on the 18th. They will be bringing them home that day, so it would be great if they could be picked up after school so they don't have to carry their house home.

There will be no homework over Christmas break. Homework and spelling tests will start back up again in January. Even though there is no assigned homework, please encourage your kids to continue to read over the break. We don't want them to digress from not being at school for so long. We want them reading and practicing, getting those hard words embedded in their brains so they are ready for when January starts up again. Thanks!

We have had a few problems with getting homework folders turned in on Fridays. Some kids are forgetting to bring them or complete their homework. Please allow your child to become responsible for their homework folder- getting in the habit of doing homework every night, putting it in their backpack on Thursday night, turning it in on time Friday morning. Not only do I hope to see these kids improve academically this year but also in becoming more responsible for themselves. Please encourage them to do this. Thanks!

If there are any moms/ dads/ grandmas/ grandpas that would like to volunteer in my class that haven't already, or if you do occasionally and would be willing to help out more often, please let me know. There are so many behind the scenes things that teachers do that keep me up hours on end that I would love to get some help with. If you would like to help out with grading papers, putting up bulletin boards, cutting out things, stapling homework packets, etc, PLEASE LET ME KNOW. :) We also always need help with centers on Tues-Thurs mornings from 8:50- 10:00. Any help would be great! Let me know and we can schedule a time for you to come in. The kids love it when their parents come in to help!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season! Thanks for all that you do and for sharing your sweet kids with me!

                                                     -Mrs. Hembree

Some of our Recent Christmas Projects.....

 Here are some of my favorite funny ones.
I hope it makes you smile as much as it did for me!
"If Santa was stuck in my chimney I would....."

We also made some regular "not stuck in chimney" Santas.....

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

December Newsletter!

Dear Parents,

I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend! Time is flying by....only 2 and a half more weeks until Christmas break. Here are some things that are coming up these next couple weeks:

-Pajama Party!
This Friday we are having a pajama party! I have set up a reward system called, "Hembree High Fives." When the class as a whole does something good, I will give them a Hembree High Five to put on the wall. When the class has earned 30 High Fives, they get to have a class party. They have been working hard this whole year to earn their High Fives, so we are having our first party!!! Because it is a pajama party, please have your child wear their pajamas to school and bring their favorite stuffed animal to share. Please remember to still have your child bring something warm to wear out to recess. We will be reading some fun books, playing some games, and eating some "breakfast" food. It will be a fun way to celebrate all the great things that your kids have been doing in class. Pictures to come soon! 

-Gingerbread Houses!
On December 18th, we are making Gingerbread houses with our 4th grade buddies. I need about 3-4 parent volunteers to come in and help with this activity. Please let me know if you would be able to help. The activity will start at 2 and finish when school gets out. Please also have your child bring one bag of one type of candy and one jar of white frosting to decorate their house. With everyone bringing in one type of candy, we should have plenty of different kinds to share and make beautiful houses with.  Your child will be bringing home their gingerbread house that afternoon. If at all possible, please pickup your child from school that day so they don't have any accidents carrying home their house. We don't want any sad kids with dropped broken houses. :(

-Reading Comprehension-
Thank you to all the parents who are encouraging their child to read at home for at least 15 minutes a night. You guys are doing great! I have been amazed at some of the books and amount of minutes that my students are reading each night. It is really showing through at school too. Words are coming easier and quicker and they are becoming more fluent readers. 

One thing that is really important to remember to work on with your child is reading comprehension. Make sure that after your child reads a book that they are understanding what they are reading. Ask them questions about what they read. Ask them to tell you what the book is about and what happened on each page. Ask them deep critical thinking questions like, "Why do you think the little boy was sad? Why do you think that happened? What do you think is going to happen next?" It is so important for your child to have good reading fluency but it is also very important for them to have great reading comprehension skills. Encourage them to think about what they are reading. When they understand what they are reading they will enjoy the book more. When they enjoy the book more, they will want to read more! The more they read, the better readers they will become.

These next couple of weeks we will be doing lots of fun Christmas type of activities and I know that kids will enjoy! What a fun time of year this is! Have a happy December everyone!

Mrs. Hembree 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Dear Parents,

Can you believe it is Thanksgiving week already??? Time is flying by so quick. I am excited for Thanksgiving break and especially for the yummy Thanksgiving food. :) I hope you all have some place to go to spend time with family and friends and enjoy the holidays. I love this time of year.

This week is a short week. We only have school Monday and Tuesday. Since Tuesday is a short day, please pick up your child at 1:15. With the short week, I decided that I won't be giving out any homework. I know that everyone will be busy with family and fun traditions so I didn't want to take away from that. We will start up with homework the following Monday. I will be keeping the homework folders over the break. Even though we won't have any assigned homework, please encourage your child to still be reading over the break. I'm sure they will have some down time in between all of the excitement. That would be a great time to have them read. Ask them to read a book to you out loud so they can show off their reading skills to you! They are becoming such great readers!

Happy Turkey Day Everyone!

-Mrs. Hembree :)

Friday, November 9, 2012


Dear Parents,

I hope everyone had a great long weekend especially with the beautiful snow that we got on Friday. Stay safe on the roads out there!

Thanks for coming to our parent teacher conferences last week! I was able to meet with every child's parents during those two days. It was fun sharing the things that your children have been working on since the beginning of school. All of your children are so unique and have their own special strengths. I am so glad that each of them are in my class!

I have heard that there are some questions about the weekly study sheet.....hopefully this will help clear things up. For the spelling test each Friday, (or the last day of the week on short weeks) your child needs to know the high frequency words, and the spelling patterns and associated words. The spelling pattern words are words that work with the particular phonics pattern that we have been learning that week. The high frequency words are words that can't be segmented or sounded out, but just need to be memorized and learned. Please drill all of these words with your kids at home. The oral vocabulary box is full of the amazing words that we learn each week. The students aren't required to spell these words but just know what they mean and use them when they speak. These words are not tested. The story words are words that are used many times in the weekly story that we read in class. These are not tested either. This sheet also includes the question of the week as well as the unit big question. These are good to review with your child as well. This whole paper is very valuable and I would highly encourage you to review it with your child on a nightly basis! Thanks!

The kids are always expected to go outside for recess except for very extreme weather days. Please make sure that your children are coming to school prepared with the right clothing to go outside. Warm coats, warm boots, hats, and gloves are a must on snowy days!

Thanksgiving break is coming up soon! Crazy how fast the school year is flying by.

Have a great week!

-Mrs. Hembree

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Our Class Halloween Party!

Dear Parents,
I wanted to give a huge, huge, huge, thank you to all the parents who donated items for our Halloween party to make it a success! We had a great time watching the parade, wearing our costumes to school, and having a super fun party. Here are some pictures below of the spooky day......

Making a fun Halloween spider craft!
Doing a cake walk on the carpet for fun Halloween prizes!
Playing Halloween Bingo!
Being brave to reach our hands into the spooky holes and feel the mysterious Halloween items!
"Beware! Reach your hand in if you dare!"

What was really hiding behind each hole was household food items.....
Happy Halloween! :)
Now on to the business.....
Remember: Parent teacher conferences are this coming Wednesday and Thursday, the 7th and 8th. I sent home a note with the kids on Friday telling the time and day that you are scheduled to come in. Hopefully you all got that! Each conference lasts only 15 minutes. Please leave your child at home if at all possible. I am excited to see you all and celebrate the amazing things that your children are doing in school! 

This Friday we don't have school. Thursday is an early out day. Please pick up your kids at 1:15. 

Please practice the spelling words with your children each night. The words are getting harder each week and so that extra practice is essential for your children to do well on their test. Reviewing the "Weekly Study Skills" sheet is a great way to reinforce the concepts at home that your child is learning in school. The skills on that sheet are crucial things that your child needs to know for 1st grade. 

In your homework folders, I also included a "Sight Words Speed Drill" sheet. I will continue to include this sheet in the homework folders each week. In our classroom we have a wall called our, "Word Wall." This wall  is where we put words that we are working on in class. Most of these words are words that can't be segmented or sounded out. They are words that just need to be memorized and reviewed over and over for mastery to occur. I will be putting these types of words each week on this speed drill sheet.  Please have your child read each column over and over until they can read all the words at a fast rate. Encourage them to use their finger to point to each word as they read. This practice will help your children memorize these words and recognize them in their reading. It is a great tool for learning high frequency words!

Have a great week! :)

-Mrs. Hembree

Sunday, October 28, 2012

4th Grade Buddies!

Dear Parents,

I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend! I'm glad the weekend came with good weather instead of the yucky cold snow that we had last week!

Last Friday we welcomed our 4th Grade buddies into our classroom! We team up with one of the 4th grade classes twice a month. The kids love it, both the 1st graders and the 4th graders. It is a great way for the older kids to nurture and help the younger kids and for the younger kids to learn from the older kids. This week we did a fun bat craft. We also filled out a graph that said, "Are bats creepy or cute?" The kids had to survey their table to find out what most people thought. We had a great time. Here are some pictures of some of the kids. 

We also had our Magic of the Moment awards assembly on Friday morning. We had five children in our class participate. They all did so well! I was so proud of them and the things that they created. All of their creations are now hanging up in our classroom for everyone to see! Good job you guys!

Halloween is this Wednesday!!! Yay! Our school Halloween parade starts at 8:30. Make sure your kids wear their costume to school. Parents are allowed to come and watch if you would like and take pictures of your kids. It should last about 30 minutes. During lunch recess the kids will be participating in Halloween activities in the gym. Our class party will be held that afternoon from 1-2:30. If you could like to help with the class party, please contact our room mom, Emilie Wright. If your child has a costume that is uncomfortable to wear for a long period of time, feel free to have them bring extra clothes to change into after the parade. If they would like to wear their costume during the party they can or they can stay in their school clothes. Whatever is more comfortable for them. They can also stay in their costume the entire day if they would like, as long as it isn't too distracting to them and others around them and keeps them from learning during the day. :) Check the Willow Canyon website for rules and regulations on costumes in school. Thanks to all the parents who have donated items for the party! You are great!

Remember.....Thursday and Friday of this week, November 1st and 2nd, are early out days. Please pick up your child at 1:15 on both of these days. Thanks! 

November 7th and 8th, we are having parent teacher conferences. You can sign up online for a 15 minute time period on either day. Please leave your child at home if at all possible. I prefer the conference to be just the parent and the teacher present. Thanks! I hope to meet with all of you and celebrate the things your child has been doing in the classroom as well as set some goals for the future term. Thanks!

Willow Canyon is having a Christmas Choir for all grades. They will be holding practice Tuesday and Thursday morning from 7:30-8:15 before school. This is a great opportunity for your child to learn fun Christmas songs and get a chance to perform for their parents and friends. Please sign the green sheet that was sent home last week and return it to me as soon as possible if your child would like to participate in this great opportunity!

I think that is all for now! Have a great week.
-Mrs. Hembree 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Mrs. Hembree's Weekly Newsletter

Dear Parents,

I hope everyone had a great long fall break! It was nice to have two days off but it will be great to get back to school and start teaching again.

This week we are starting up our second unit of Reading Street! Our first unit was all about animals and people and how they are important to one another and our 2nd unit is about communities. Some of the questions that the children will be learning about and discussing are:

"What does a family do together?"
"How is a school a community?"
"Who works to make our community a nice place?"
"How do animal communities work together to survive?"
"How are plant and animal communities important to each other?"
"How is an insect community like a community of people?" 

We will also be learning about common and proper nouns as well as singular and plural nouns. The sounds we will be focusing on are sh and th and words with long vowels. Some skills we will be working on are sequencing, cause and effect, compare and contrast and the author's purpose. I am excited for this next unit. Please study the weekly study skills sheet on a nightly basis with your child to review and solidify the skills that we are learning in class.

We have a great team of room moms that are getting together to plan our class parties. I am excited for our first party that we are having on Halloween! Our room moms have some great games and crafts planned. It is going to be a lot of fun!

Picture re-take day is on Thursday the 25th if you are not happy with your child's picture. Send the picture packet with the appropriate information filled out and funds. Send your child looking their best and ready to say cheese!

The weather will be getting colder soon so please remember to send a warm coat and other appropriate items with your children so they are not too cold at recess! :)

Have a great week everyone!

-Mrs. Hembree

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Class Newsletter and the Dinosaur Park!

Dear Parents,

We had a great time at the Dinosaur Museum on Tuesday. Besides the hour long drive up to Ogden, the kids seemed to love every minute of it. They got to wander through the dinosaur park and see all the dinosaurs. They got to go through the museum and see all of the gems and dinosaur displays. They got to play on the dinosaur playground, make a dinosaur puppet and dig for dinosaur bones.  We had a great time! Here are some pictures of the kids below.....

The coming week is a short week because of Fall Break. We only have school Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I hope everyone enjoys their long weekend! Because we don't have school on Friday of next week, the homework folders will be due on Wednesday. We will also be having our spelling test on Wednesday. 

I wanted to give a huge THANK YOU to all the moms and grandmas who have helped out in our classroom! We have had lots of volunteers during our morning practice stations, as well as for our field trip. We couldn't do it without you. Thank you for all of your help! 

Have a great week!

-Mrs. Hembree 
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