Friday, September 28, 2012

October Already???

Dear Parents,

I honestly can't believe how fast the year is flying by already! It baffles my mind that we are coming up on the first week of October. Where has all the time gone??? :)

I wanted to start off by saying that I absolutely love my job. I wake up every morning and I just can't wait to go to work and see all of the kids. I love each one of them for different reasons. They make me laugh and make my job so much fun and so rewarding! I love them and I already know that the last day of school I will be bawling my eyes out knowing that my time with them is finished. They are just such great kids. :)

The Fun Run was a HUGE success. All of the grade combined raised around $11,000 for Willow Canyon!!! Great job you guys! All of this money will go towards field trips and other important school events and needs. The kids really enjoyed themselves. They were excited to race and wear their race number on their shirt. It was fun to watch them run and participate in Zumba. What a great way to end the week! I have posted some photos of some of the kids after they completed the race below.....

Along with the Fun Run, we also had our first class store today. The kids sure had a fun Friday! The class store was a huge success. All of the kids had lots of tickets to spend on the items. Thank you for those parents who brought in class store items! I couldn't have done it without you! I appreciate your willingness to help! I hope the kids have a fun weekend playing with their new little treasures that they have earned during the first month of school. Our next class store will be right before Thanksgiving break.

In your homework folder this week, there is a new reading log for October. Please continue to fill in the reading log with the required information. I encourage you to aim for at least 15 minutes of reading time a night, but the more the better. Most of you are doing that at the very least, so keep up the good work and keep on reading! Remember to put the reading log in the homework folder and return it to me every Friday. Thanks! Also, please review the Weekly Study Skills Sheet with your kids throughout the week. These skills are all the things that we are discussing that week during our literacy block. The more review on the items at home the better. The spelling words are also listed on there for you to help them study for their spelling test each Friday.

There is no school for the students on Monday, October 8th. It is a teacher work day. I hope the students enjoy their day off!

We are having our first field trip on Tuesday, October 9th to The George Eccles Dinosaur Park in Ogden. We will leave Willow Canyon at 9:00 and arrive around 2:00. Please drop and pick up your child at normal school times this day. Remember to either bring a sack lunch from home or order a school sack lunch to bring with you. Also, remember a light jacket. If you haven't returned the permission sheet that was handed out on Thursday, please get that handed in as soon as possible. If you can't find it, check your child's backpack! :) We are very excited for this trip!

We had every child bring in their homework again on Friday! Way to go! What an amazing group of students and parents we have! You make my job so much easier.

Fun Run 2012

Mrs. Hembree's Class Store

Have a great weekend everybody!!!
-Mrs. Hembree :)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

September Weekly Newsletter

Dear Parents,

I can't believe that it is the last school week of September already! Wow, how time has flown by. It has been an amazing first month of school and I can already see your children progressing in several areas. 

We have started our speciality classes in school now. The students have the opportunity to go to classes in music, drama, P.E, and art. They are loving it so far. We did a Zumba class on Monday. Zumba is a Latin dance/fitness activity and the kids all had a great time. It was fun to watch them dancing around the room. We also have library on Thursdays. They love going to the library and looking at all the different kinds of books. I hope this instills an excitement in them about reading. It is fun to watch them pick out books about subjects that they are interested in. Last Monday, I put a yellow card in the homework folder that says the class library day. This is a good reminder for you to put on your fridge or something so your child knows when to bring back their library book to school. They are allowed to check out 1 book from the library a week. If they bring back their book on Thursday, they can return it and check out a new book for the next week. If they don't bring their book back, they will have to wait for the next library day to check a new one out. 

Speaking of reading and library books.....thank you for those that are encouraging your children to read at home. This is the best thing you can do for your child's education. The more they read, the better they will get. If they don't know a word while reading a book, please encourage them to segment the tricky word on their arm to figure out the sounds and blend them together. 

This Friday is the PTA School Fun Run! At 8:45 the school will do a Zumba class and then the run starts at 9:00. It should be a fun day for the kids! Last week, I sent home a manila envelope about doing some fundraising for this run. This is a great way for the school to raise money for the PTA. The money goes for school field trips, parties, activities, etc. The class that raises the most money wins a pizza party! So call and ask your neighbors, friends, aunts, uncles, grandmas, grandpas, if they would like to donate and help out Willow Canyon. 

Your children have been doing exceptionally well on their Friday spelling tests. Thank you for those parents who are studying and reviewing the words with your kids. It makes all the difference!

Our class store will be opening up this Friday afternoon! The students have been saving up their tickets to spend on prizes for the store and they can't wait. I have purchased some things for the store but am still looking for parents to help donate some store items. Anything cheap, fun, that your child would like would be great. They can be dollar store items. Any type of small game, toy, stickers, pencils, wrapped candy, trinkets, etc. Anything would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

We are starting up our practice stations this Monday! Thank you for those who have volunteered to help out in the classroom on certain days. If you have put your name on the volunteer sheet and I haven't contacted you yet, I will be calling you soon. 

Thank you for all of your support and for raising such amazing children. I honestly can say that I love each one of them. They are adorable. 

Have a great week!
-Mrs. Hembree :) 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Weekly Newsletter

Dear Parents,

Thank you for all of you who came to Back to School Night on Thursday. We had quite a good turn out. It was nice to see you all again. The students were so excited to have you come and see their classroom. They couldn't wait for you to take a look at their "Brown Bear Books" and their "All About Me" people that they have been working so hard on. Thanks again for your support,  your willingness to help, and for having such amazing children. :)

The Willow Canyon PTA Great Artists Program is looking for two parent volunteers to help with the art program. Their message to the parents says this:

"We need one volunteer for each class for 1 and 1/2 hours each month, or two volunteers to switch every other month. We will start in October, teach in November and then teach January through April. You do not have to be an artist! We are looking for enthusiasm and willingness. Please sign up and be a part of a great opportunity for learning, creating, and enjoying art like never before!"

If any of you are interested in volunteering for this art program, please let me know by emailing me at Thanks!

We had a successful spelling test last Friday. All the kids did very well! I was very pleased with all of their scores. Thank you for those who helped study and review the words with your children. On the homepage of this blog is a tab entitled, "Spelling." The weekly spelling words are located there if needed.

Also on the blog homepage is a list of educational website links for kids. I put these on the blog for your child's convenience to use at home. It would be a great way for them to spend their time on the computer. These sites are entertaining for your kids as well as a great way for them to continue their learning outside of the classroom.

I hope you have a great week!

-Mrs. Hembree

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Weekly Newsletter

Dear Parents,

What a great second week of school we had! I am so impressed every day at how eager all of your children are to learn and how excited they get when they learn new things. I love teaching them and seeing their excitement when they understand new concepts.

Don't forget....Back to School Night is this Thursday, the 13th of September at 7:00PM. It will be held at Willow Canyon. This night is for parents only. You will start off in the gym for an opening introduction and then off to your child's classroom. I am excited to see all of you again!

Also, this Thursday during school, "Say Cheese!" because it is school picture day. I put a picture form in each of your child's homework folders. If you would like to purchase pictures of your child, please fill out the form, include a payment, and return it to me as soon as possible.

On Wednesday we will be having CBM testing. Our achievement coach, Mrs. Murray will be giving the test. She will be seeing where your kids are in math and reading so I can direct my teaching in my classroom to meet each kids' educational needs. Make sure they come to school on Wednesday rested and with a good healthful breakfast so they can do their best.

Watermelon day was a success. The kids had fun singing songs about watermelon, reading a book about watermelon, doing a math game with watermelon pictures, and practicing recognizing their number words using watermelon. And of course, they enjoyed eating the watermelon after recess! Thank you to the parent who donated a watermelon to the 1st grade on Friday. The kids loved it!

I have been so impressed every Friday with the homework folders. Both Fridays so far, every single student turned in their homework folder with all of their homework completed! I was amazed. What responsible children you have and what supportive parents you are. Thank you! You make my job much easier. One thing that I need to make clear is the reading logs. If you could put the reading log form in the homework folder and return it to me each Friday, that would be great. I would like to see how the reading is going at home and keep track of who is reading and who isn't. I also need to track how much each child is reading per night for my records. I will be rewarding the children who are reading with a sticker on their reading chart. If you have any questions or concerns about your child's reading, please let me know. I will do whatever I can to help.

I am also very impressed because every day since school has started, we have had perfect attendance in our classroom! Thank you for getting your kids to school and especially for getting them there on time each day. Your support means so much.

I have noticed many times throughout these two weeks that a lot of my students have a hard time putting spaces between their words while writing. They write a word and then write a second word without putting a space in between. This makes their writing look jumbled and messy. I would encourage you as parents when you see this to correct your child and help them with this writing skill. Encourage them to put down 1 or 2 fingers on their paper in between each word to create the correct amount of space. I am doing the same thing in the classroom, so maybe with both the parent and the teacher encouraging them, we can see some improvement.

We have been having a small bathroom issue in the classroom. A lot of students have been coming into class at the beginning of the day and then needing to use the bathroom about 10 minutes after the bell rings. I let my students use the bathroom freely so we don't have any accidents, but if you as parents could help with the problem I think it would help. Try to encourage your students to use the bathroom right before school starts so that they don't need to go until later in the day. I have taught them that using the bathroom at lunch and recess time is the most responsible time to go, unless it is an emergency. With your efforts, I think this will help our mornings go a little smoother. Thank you.

To those parent and grandparents who have asked when they can come and help volunteer in the class, sorry that I haven't had you come in to help yet. With the new Reading Street literacy program and the new math program, Envision, I have had a lot of new material to learn and wrap my head around. I wanted to get both programs going strong in the classroom on a daily basis before I invited parents in to help. I am planning on getting my centers going soon and when I do I will be calling parents right away to come in. Thank you for your patience and especially for your willingness to help.

I hope you all have another fabulous week! Thanks for reading.

-Mrs. Hembree

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Mrs. Hembree's Weekly Newsletter

Dear Parents,

     What an amazing first week we had at school this year! Since the first day of school, I have been so impressed by your children and how wonderful they are. They have such great manners and are so sweet to me and others around them. I love how eager they are to learn and how engaged they are in the learning process. Their questions and answers amaze me! What creative little brains they have. I can already tell that this is going to be an amazing group of kids and I can't wait. 

     I wanted to thank all of you so much for remembering to turn in your child's homework folder last Friday. We had every child bring in their homework folder which is a rare thing! What an amazing group of students and parents I have! Thank you! There were four important documents that needed to  be turned in and mostly everyone turned in all four. The four items that I needed were: The classroom discipline plan (yellow paper), the student strengths and concerns sheet (on green and pink polka-dotted paper with an envelope attached), the Willow Canyon Times worksheet (white paper), and the recess equipment checkout sheet (yellow paper). Everyone turned in the recess equipment checkout sheet so I am not missing any of those. I am missing some of the first three documents that I listed. There are about six of my students who are missing at least one of those sheets. If you happen to see them laying around the house, if you could read and sign them and then put them in your child's homework folder for this week, that would be wonderful! Thanks! 

     Thanks for all those who helped to bring in supplies and items for our classroom! You are all so wonderful to help out. I appreciate everything that was given and I promise that it all will be used. We are still low on items for our class store. Our first class store will be held at the end of September. The class store will have small toys, trinkets, games, candy, pencils, stickers, dollar store items, etc. If any of you would like to donate any of these items for our class store that would be greatly appreciated! 

      This Friday, September 7th, is "Watermelon Day," where we will be having a small get together with the whole 1st Grade and eating watermelon. If any of you would like to donate a watermelon for this activity, please let me know. 

     Make sure to put "Back to School Night" on your calendars! Back to School Night will be held on the evening of Thursday, September 13th at Willow Canyon Elementary. The school has asked that this night be a night just for parents. I am excited to see all of you again and explain more about what we will be learning and what to expect for the year. 

     The Canyons School District has adopted a new literacy program for all of the schools to start using this year. The new program is called, "Reading Street." This program incorporates reading, writing, spelling, phonics, and grammar. It also integrates science and social studies. It is a fabulous program that really challenges the children. I am very excited about it and the results that I know it will bring. We started the program on Thursday and all of the students seemed to really enjoy it. In their homework folders this week, I have included a sheet entitled, "First Grade Weekly Study Skills." On this sheet are the key concepts from Reading Street that we are talking about in class for the week. It also includes a list of the spelling words, story words, oral vocabulary and phonics skills that your children should be practicing at home. I highly encourage you to review the skills on this sheet on a daily basis with your child and to practice these skills with them at home. 

     Don't forget to read over the "Star of the Week" schedule and mark on your calendar when your child is our class star of the week. It is a great opportunity for all the students to get to know each other a little better! 

     Birthdays- If your child has a birthday during the school year and you would like to bring in treats please let me know. Willow Canyon has a policy that the parents drop the birthday treat at the office and the child will come down to the office to pick it up. The birthday student will then hand out the class treat right before school ends for the students to enjoy at home. Please bring in only store bought treats. If your child's birthday is in the summer while school is out, we will be celebrating his/her birthday in class on their half birthday. 

     If your child would like to bring a water bottle to class to sit on their desk, they are more than welcome. It will be pretty hot outside for the next month and the students get very thirsty especially after playing at recess. 

     I am very excited for this year! I love my job and I find joy everyday being with all of your sweet little ones. Thank you for sharing them with me. 

Here is to an even greater second week of school! :)
-Mrs. Hembree 
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