Friday, January 25, 2013

1st Grade Events!

Dear Parents,

I hope everyone is having a fabulous weekend! Friday was the first day in a long time that we were able to have outside recess. Pretty much the whole month of January has been inside days because of the low temperatures and poor air quality. I know the kids enjoyed finally being able to get out, run around, and get some exercise! Here is to more warmer days and better air in Utah! Cross your fingers. :)

On Friday we had our 4th grade buddies come to our class! The kids always love it when the 4th graders come. It is fun to watch them interact with the older kids. For buddy time, we made a snowman craft. I like to call it, "Snowman in a Blizzard" or "Melting Snowman." They get to build their own snowman by using small bits of all different colors of paper. They created amazing things and really used their imaginations! Some kids had their snowman holding a guitar and others had theirs holding an ice cream cone. We had some snow women with hair coming down from their hat and others with beautiful pink striped scarves. I was amazed at the things that I saw! Here are some pictures from today:

We have a lot of fun things coming up in the next couple of weeks in our class. Everyday the kids work on earning "Hembree High Fives" as a class. When they earn 30 they get to have a class party. They have 8 more to earn before their next party. I am hoping that they can earn 8 this week so that we will be able to have our party this Friday. (Shhhh! Don't tell the kids. I haven't announced it yet until they earn all of their Hembree high fives.) If 8 more are earned, then we will be having an ice cream sundae party with all the ice cream fixings. It should be fun and very memorable for the kids!

On February 7th, we will be celebrating our 100th day of school! This is a big deal for the kids, especially in 1st grade, because 100 is a huge number in their minds. To realize that they have been in 1st grade for 100 days is a huge accomplishment to them so we have a little fun with the number 100 on this day to celebrate. We will be doing tons of math activities with the number 100. We will also be doing some fun literacy writing things like, "Draw a picture of what you will look like when you are 100 years old and write about it," and "If you had $100 what would you buy?" In your homework folders this week, there is a lime green paper to explain what else the kids need to bring. Please read over that and start having them think about what they would like to bring. It is fun for the kids to find 100 of something, count them out all the way to 100, and then to bring them to school to share their 100 items with their classmates.  

There was no spelling test given on Friday, the 25th. Because of the short week with no school on the 21st, our Reading Street lessons were off and I didn't feel like the kids had quite enough exposure to the words in class to be ready for the test. Next week, we will be focusing on the same words and class story from our Reading Street books to really make sure things are set in their brains. The spelling test will be held next Friday the 1st. Thank you for all those that studied this week. Make sure to keep on reviewing the words so that you are ready for the test this Friday. Thanks! 

We will be having our class spelling bee competition on Tuesday the 28th. The top 3 winners will go on to compete in the 1st/ 2nd grade spelling bee which will be held on Thursday, the 31st at 12:30. Parents of the children participating in the grade level spelling bee on Thursday are invited to attend. Thank you for all those who are participating and good luck! 

That's all for now! Thanks for reading!
-Mrs. Hembree :) 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Weekly News

Dear Parents,

I hope everyone is having a great long weekend! This month is passing by so quickly. I can't believe that January is almost over. This school year is going to be over with before we know it.

Our 1st/ 2nd grade spelling bee will be held on January 31st at 12:30PM in the Willow Canyon gym. Parents are welcome to come and support your child if they are participating in the spelling bee. Before this big day, we will be having a small in-class spelling bee, just with my students, to choose our top 3 spellers to participate in the school spelling bee. The top 3 students will get the chance to go against all of the other winners of the other 1st and 2nd grade classes. It is going to be a lot of fun! The kids that will not be participating will be cheering on their classmates and friends while watching. So study hard and good luck!

We have been having indoor recess for pretty much the whole month of January. I know the kids are starting to get bored with it and wish that they could go outside to play for recess. Hopefully the weather starts warming up so we can go outside and get some exercise and fresh air. Cross your fingers!

We have been learning so many great things this year in 1st grade. It blows my mind how well the students grasp difficult concepts and then remember them. Reading street has really been a push forward with our education and we have been learning 2nd and 3rd grade material. It worried me at first that it was just going to be too much for them, but they are taking it in unbelievably well. Recently we have been learning about compound words, contractions, nouns, verbs and other difficult concepts. Reading street also pushes the kids to learn about 7-9 new big vocabulary words each week. They are called our, "Amazing Words." Some of them are quite tricky. I hope that you have noticed your child's vocabulary expanding in everyday conversation. I notice it at school. This week we learned the word, "attempt." A few days later, a child in my class told me, "Mrs. Hembree, I attempted to cut this but it didn't work."It made me smile that the amazing words are really sticking with them. I also notice kids using contractions in their writing. It is great!

We are starting to get pretty low on school supplies for our class. After five months of using all of them, they are about shot. The items that we need in our class are:

pencils (Don't get Dixon brand. They break very easily.)
white glue
Crayola crayons (24 count)
dry erase markers

If you would like to donate any of these items to our class it would be greatly appreciated. :) I promise they will be put to good use. Thank you so much for your constant support!

I hope everyone is surviving the cold temperatures out there. Personally, I can't wait for the sun again!

-Mrs. Hembree :)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Happy January!

Dear Parents,
January is here and it is cold outside! Please make sure your kids are dressed warmly for the cold temperatures! 

Our 1st/2nd grade spelling bee is coming up the last week of the month. There are so many kids in our class who would do so well is this event. I know that with a little effort, they would greatly succeed and have fun too. Please encourage your children to participate and practice the words at home. It is going to be a fun day! 

We are working hard in class this month. We are on our third unit in Reading Street which is challenging but the kids are grasping the concepts nicely and really "stretching their brains." I have been so proud of them lately. It is fun to see them using the concepts that they learn in class in their writing. I love seeing them write words using all the phonics rules that we have been practicing. It is so rewarding to me as a teacher when things finally "click" for them. I love teaching your kids! 

This Wednesday the 16th is CBM testing. (Curriculum based measurement testing) This test is very important to see how much your child has improved since the beginning of the year. To get the best, most accurate results from your child on testing day, please make sure they eat a good healthy breakfast and get plenty of rest the night before. Thanks!

There is a mix up on the homework packet this week......the last page of homework, the back of the pink page, is a repeat page from last week. I forgot that I had already assigned that page. Sorry! Please have your child do the page again. A little extra practice won't hurt. See if for the 2nd time through, they can do the page more independently, or maybe a little faster. 

With the cold snowy weather, we decided to make some cute little snowmen out of mini marshmallows, paint, glitter, and pretzels. Here are some pictures below. Enjoy!

Have a fabulous week everybody!

-Mrs. Hembree

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Happy New Year!

Dear Parents,

Christmas has come and gone but I thought I would post of the highlights in our class during that merry time of year for all of you to enjoy. Here is what we did....

We wrote letters to Santa and his elves wrote us back!
I have never seen the kids so excited before as I did when they opened and read their letters!

We made gingerbread candy houses with our 4th grade buddies!

Here are some of the finished products!

We had a Christmas party in our PJ's!
 At the party we made ornaments, cards, and a Christmas countdown. 
We also played some games and had yummy hot cocoa!

Alright, now down to business...
January has started and we are almost half way done with the school year. It always seems like the kids excel the most from January-March so I am going to do everything that I can to make that happen! We are going to be working hard in class and covering as much information as we can. Please make sure your kids are completing all of their homework, understanding the concepts, and reading at least 20 minutes a night.

We will be having a spelling bee at the end of January with all of the 1st and 2nd grade. The words are quite challenging but I know that with some practice and determination they can succeed. If your child would like to participate, please encourage them to practice as much as they can. We are going to have a blast routing our classmates on during this fun event!

Please have your children dress very warmly when they come to school. The temperatures are very cold lately and the kids need to be dressed appropriately. When extremely freezing temperatures occur, we mostly stay in for recess and do indoor games. Also on those days, the children are allowed to come into my classroom and just visit quietly with their friends until the bell rings instead of standing out in the cold.

I hope everyone has a great week!
-Mrs. Hembree :)
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