Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy Holidays

As the Holiday Season is coming to a close I have compiled a few pictures to show some of the fun Holiday activities our class took part in during December. Just to mention a few we weaved Kwanzaa placemats, made our own Christmas wreaths and had fun opening up our Holiday gifts at our party.

Your pictures and fotos in a slideshow on MySpace, eBay, Facebook or your website!view all pictures of this slideshow

I have also included some span shots from my own winter vacation. Enjoy!

Your pictures and fotos in a slideshow on MySpace, eBay, Facebook or your website!view all pictures of this slideshow

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Here Comes December!

Another holiday down and a new month just around the corner. There are only 3 weeks of school left before our winter break and we have a whole lot of fun things to get done.

In Math first graders are now starting their unit on measuring. This week we will be focusing on length. We will measure with nonstandard units such as paper clips and blocks as well as standard inches and centimeters. We will uses these measurements to compare lengths identifying which objects are longest and shortest. In Kindergarten we are continuing to progress through our number identification and writing and hope to reach 100 before the winter break. We will also be measuring some objects with nonstandard units.

This weeks science concept is: Change in Matter. This concept lends itself to a lot of fun activities such as paper folding and clay modeling. We will learn how you can start with one thing (or medium) and manipulate it to create something brand new. We will compare and contrast what we started with and what we were able to create.

In Reading we will continue our compare contrast theme with that being our main focus skill for the week while we continue to practice retelling. Students will be reading Kids Can Help. In this book a boy and a girl each help their parents cook. We will compare and contrast the two characters to see how they are alike and different. First graders will focus their phonics and spelling on words with s-blends. The spelling words for the week are: sled, slip, snap, spill, spin, make, game, people, and water. High frequency words are: girl, boy, together, when, people, care, and water. Kindergarten is still reviewing all of the letters, their names and sounds and we are adding to our sight word reading. This week Kindergarten sight words are: must, new, no, now, and on.

Monday, November 29, 2010

There is a lot to be thankful for...

I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving holiday and had time to spend with family and friends. Here is a look at some of the fun Thanksgiving related things we did over our 2 days last week.

Your pictures and fotos in a slideshow on MySpace, eBay, Facebook or your website!view all pictures of this slideshow

A thank you is given to Hailey's Grandmother for making our class some Thanksgiving treats. We took that idea and made it our own taking some fun snacks and turning them into turkeys. We also used some pinecones to make our own thankful turkeys.

We learned a Thanksgiving song, "Tommy Turkey" and loved to turkey around when we got the chance!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Friends are Great!

Friends are great, and in our classroom we have lots of friends!

This past week was a review week in reading. We review the past 5 weeks of learning and had a spelling bee where not a single student misspelled a word! This week our reading theme is on friends and friendship. Our reading skill for the week will be making predictions where we make a good guess about what will happen next in a story. At the end of the story we always check to see if our prediction was right or wrong. Phonics for the week is based on words with a-e. Spelling words for first grade are: take, make, came, game, and gate. High frequency words are: hello, could, walk, pull, all and oh.

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Kindergarten has been introduced to all letter names and sounds at this point and we are starting our in-depth letter/sound review which will take us all the way to the winter holiday. When we return from break we will start working on word families. For most of our kindergarten students we are on our second book in a bag, working on sight words: good, have, he, into, and like this week.

Writing and Grammar: In Kindergarten we continue to work or producing written words and sentences. We are trying our best to use finger spaces and make sure to have capital letters at the beginning and punctuations at the end. In first grade we are writing, making sure to include a beginning, middle and end. In grammar we are learning about verbs which are the words that show action or what is being done.

In first grade we have started our "Mad Minute Math" where we only have 1 minute to find the sums to 15 addition problems. We are working through our addition facts starting at +1 and moving up. Our regular math class has us working on subtraction skills and the relationship between addition and subtraction. It is important that 1st graders are working and practicing their addition facts and committing them to memory. In kindergarten we are identifying and writing number 1-60 this week. As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches we are also doing holiday math which incorporates a review of many of the math concepts previously covered.

Talking about the holiday Samsula will have their Thanksgiving lunch this Thursday. If you would like to join us you are more than welcome! Please send in your RSVP ASAP so we have enough food for everyone!

Your pictures and fotos in a slideshow on MySpace, eBay, Facebook or your website!view all pictures of this slideshow
Kindergarten's Family Project: Turkeys in disguise :)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

H-A-double L-O-W-double E-N spells Halloween!

Happy Halloween to all!

What a fun Halloween centered week we had this past week.  Our K-1 class did a cross-curricular study using our 9 classroom pumpkins.  Our literature piece was "Pumpkin, Pumpkin" which describes the life cycle of pumpkins.  In reading class we used this life cycle to sequence the life cycle and created our very own books.  In math we had fun counting the pumpkin seeds that came out of our classroom pumpkins.  Our 3 large pumpkins had 419, 508 and 516 pumpkin seeds in them.  In science we used our pumpkins to explore hypothesis and predictions.  We predicted whether or not pumpkins would float in water.  It is a whole lot of fun studying many different subjects all centered around one common theme.

Along with pumpkin/Halloween math we finished up our 2nd chapter on subtraction concepts in 1st grade.  Over the next few weeks we will be practicing our addition and subtraction facts making sure we have these committed to memory and know them to mastery.  In K we continue to add numbers to our number sense and count in groups of 2's, 5's and 10's.

In reading we finished our 4th week in our second unit on singing and dancing.  Along with the curricular materials we supplement singing and dancing to some our of favorite Halloween songs.  This upcoming week our theme is all about school, something we are very used to at this point.  Our reading skills we will continue to practice are visualizing and sequencing.  Sequencing  is telling things in the order that they happen.  1st grade spelling and phonics will center around words with /l/ blends.  Spelling words for the week are: black, block, clock, flag, clip and flip.  High frequency words to know are: today, way, school, late, away, and why.  Kindergarten sight words for the week are: did, do, eat, get, and for.

Over the next few weeks in Social Studies we will be studying jobs, working, money, needs and wants.  To be followed by thematic units on the upcoming holidays celebrated here in America and other places around the world.  


Story Book Parade Update!

Friday was such a fun day!  If you were able to make it out to school you saw how wonderful everyone look dressed up for the parade.  Our classroom presented Eric Carle's, "The Very Hungry Caterpillar."  We practiced and had a blast. I would like to continue to thank all of the parents, family members, and friends who made this day possible.  Below are some photographs of our practice.  More photographs  from the actual parade to come soon!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Animal Homes

We have started another week and today is our 50th day of school!  It really goes by quickly when everyone in learning and having fun.

This past week we finished up our reading unit on animal homes.  We brought many books in from the media center that told all about different animal homes.  We read both fiction and nonfiction texts about animals homes.  We really liked reading Stellaluna and discussed what happened when an animal lived in the wrong home with the wrong mom looking after it.  We took this a step further researching and watching videos of real live animals who are being cared for and raised not in their typical homes.  Check out this link to see just one example: animal video

This week our reading theme revolves around making music and dancing.  Our reading skill to study will be retelling what happened in order in our own words as well as sequencing event.  The first grade words to know are: want, put, show, under, three and make.  Spelling for 1st grade will focus on the phonics concept of short /u/.  Spelling words are: bug, rug, cut, run, nut, and fun.  Kindergarten is working its way through the alphabet and is currently studying letter name, sound and manuscript for Xx and Vv this next week.  Our high frequency sight words to know are: be, black, but, brown, and came.

Last week in Science we explored the physical properties of objects around us using thermometers to measure temperature and balances to measure and compare weight.  We experiment with our thermometers placing them around the school to see where we could fin our warmest and coldest locations on campus.  Our prediction for hot places were on a light in the classroom and out in the sun by our sunflower.  Our cold place predictions were in a glass of water and in Mr. Tom's ice cream freezer in the cafeteria.  Our sunflower thermometer reached the highest temperature measuring 99'F and our coldest temperature was Mr. Tom's freezer at -8'F.

Last Wednesday we had a very successful paint party after school.  Our costumes for the storybook parade this upcoming Friday look great!  I would like to thank the Slucher and Wood family for heading up the costume team and all of the families that donated time and money to make this years costumes great!  I would like to invite all families and friends to join us at our story book parade Friday the 29th of October at 9:30am.  Please bring your own chairs and blankets to watch at the pavilion.  Afterwards you are invited to come back to the classroom for Halloween crafts and pizza lunch.  Children may be checked out in the classroom after lunch.

I am looking forward to another great week and hope you are too!
Miss Ellis

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Community Helpers

This past Thursday our classroom was visited by the community helpers we see above.  Amongst the students for the day we had a florist, a police officer, two veterinarians, a postal worker, and a fire fighter!  After learning about the different people who help out in our community this was a fun way to share what we learned.  The students each talked about the good things their community helper does during our morning meeting.

In reading we finished week 2 which themed on helping out.  This week our theme is on animal homes.  We have checked out many books from the library and are learning about the different places animals lives and some very different animals that share home.  We continue to study the summarizing skill (where we decided the most important part of the book and retell it in our own words) and main idea details (main idea- what the book is mostly about/ details- tell more about the main idea).  In phonics and spelling we are practicing identifying words with the /th/ /sh/ digraph and spelling words with those digraphs.  First grade words to know are: into, many, live, and out.  First grade spelling words for the week are: fish, ship, shop, thank, thin, and with. Kindergarten words to know this week are: all, am, are, at, and ate.  Kindergarten is currently practicing letters g and w.  

In science we are exploring the physical properties of the non-living things in our environment.  We are classifying things by size, shape, color, texture, weight and length.  W are using nonstandard units of measure, like paper chips and yarn to measure length.  We also got two brand new bucket balances to mesure the weight of items and then compare to different item's weights.  

In writing we continue to move forward and are working on incorporating a beginning, middle and end into each of our writings.  We are using similar sentences for the beginning and end to represents the main idea of our writing, what is is going to be about and then what we wrote about.  This will help keep of focused on the topic and let the reader see exactly what we wanted to share.

Looking forward to an other great week,
Miss Ellis' K-1 class 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Helping Out

While this upcoming week is a short week with a student holiday and teacher work day on Friday there will be plenty of opportunities to lend a helping hand. Our week's reading theme in based on helping out and the story Little Red Hen. First graders will focus on retelling stories to make sure they understand what happened. When retelling we will make sure that the events we share are in chronological order. Spelling words and phonics instruction for the week will center on words with the short e sound like the sound we here in the word ten. Spelling words are: beg, get, hen, leg, let, and men. High frequency words to know and use are: who, some, of, no, and eat. Kindergarten will continue letter work learning and practicing naming letters and sounds, as well as writing the manuscripts for "K" and "U." This weeks Dolch Sight words are: up, we, where, yellow, and you.

Tomorrow is Columbus Day. We will take some time to discuss who Christopher Columbus is and what he did way back when in 1492. In social studies Kindergarten will continue their study of community helpers and are invited to dress up as a community helper they might want to be when they grow up on Thursday October 14th. This means that they can come dressed to school as a teacher, fire fighter, police officer.... and the list goes on and on.

In science both 1st grade and Kindergarten will be classifying the world around them and the objects they come into contact with by their physical features such as size, texture, temperature... We will also review our senses as we use them to classify.

Mad minutes in mathematics. A skill that is all too important to go unnoticed and under taught is our addition facts. This week first grade is going to continue to practice and learn about addition principles as well and practice quick recall of basic addition facts. It is vital that the students learn these facts now so that all other math concepts that use addition facts will be mastered much easier. Kindergarten is continuing to build upon their number sense, counting and identifying numbers on their hundreds chart. This week we will be learning and practicing how to count by 10's, 5's and 2's.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Our World the Earth

Wrapping up another week and moving into a new month. I cannot believe we have made it to October already. Time really does fly when you are having fun! I am enjoying each and every day with your children and would like to take this time to thank you for sending your child to spend their days with me.

This past week our review went very well. All students are making progress with the reading skill of author's purpose. We went over all of the concepts and main selection thus far and know that "Good readers reread!" We had our first oral spelling bee this past week. All of the first graders did so well that we went through the unit's spelling list and moved into high frequency words and even more difficult words that related to the selections we had read. The spelling bee ended in a two-way-tie of McKenzie and Kaley.

I was very proud of our Kindergarten students this past week as well. As a K class we have been exposed to over 30 of our sight words for this year. We can find these words in books and on our word wall to use in our writing. As a Kindergarten we read our first decodable reader together in small group. We read it as a group and then independently aloud. I am so proud of the readers our Kindergarteners are becoming!

Next week we will start our second reading unit in first grade. The theme for the week will revolve around animal families and how animal parents care for their young. Our reading skill will be main idea and detail. The main idea is what the selection is mainly about and the details tell more about the main idea. Spelling and phonics will center on words that all have the short o sound. High frequency words for the week will be one, two, they, her, and does. Spelling words are hog, hot, log, top, hop and lot. In Kindergarten we will continue our review of letter names, sounds, and phonics identification for letters "e," "b," and "l." Our sight words for the week will be see, the, three, to, and two.

In mathematics we our continuing to explore number sense finishing up our chapter on comparing and ordering numbers and moving into addition concepts and how to use addition.

Social studies has brought us to the study of our world which is the Earth. We started the week by introducing the concepts of landforms on Earth through a brainpop jr video in the media center. We continued our exploration with maps and globes of the Earth as well as images of the land forms around us. First grade expanded upon this concept and is currently learning about the continent and oceans found on Earth.

I would like to start the gears turning for our annual Story Book Parade. This parade takes place the Friday before Halloween. I have chosen an Eric Carle book, "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" for our K-1 classroom. In this parade our classroom will dress up to depict the story, characters and events of this book. Students and myself will dress up as the caterpillar, the foods he eats and then finally the butterfly the caterpillar turns into. Along with the whole school we will parade around the campus showing off our literary costumes. I will be sending home further details about this event and specific costume ideas for your children. I look forward to this being a wonderful event for everyone involved.

I would like to apologize for the lateness of this recognition, it was unintentional. I would like to thank the Graham family for donating more pillows to the classroom for our quiet reading time in the afternoon as well as all of the many families who have purchased and made donations from our class wish list. Please remember that donations of monetary value count towards volunteer hours so make sure you get those logged into our volunteer folder found in the classroom.

Miss Ellis


Monday, September 27, 2010

Week 6: We are on a team!

This past week we finished our 5th week in our reading series. The theme was teamwork and our main focus was soccer. Every 6th week we review the previous 5 weeks. This new week we will focus our review on characters, setting and author's purpose. (You might want to review author's purpose with your child. Author's purpose is why the author wrote the story... was it is tell us something real? or to tell a story?) Also during this 6th week we will have our first spelling bee. This will be an oral spelling bee reviewing all of the spelling and high frequency words covered thus far. In Kindergarten we will be moving forward practicing letter name, sound, and manuscript for letters h, r, and d. Sight words for the new week are: one, play, red, run, and said.

Technology and writing combined! This past week K-1 teamed up with Mrs. Riddle our wonderful enrichment teacher and started our digital story books. The students wrote all about how they use their senses. They took their own digital photos to illustrate their digital story books and this next week we will try to finalize our project by adding our recorded stories. Get ready for some very good projects soon!

In math 1st grade finished our place value unit and is now moving on to comparing and ordering numbers. Kindergarten is keeping with the number sense theme moving on to identifying and writing numbers through 20.

I would like to thank everyone who came out and participated in our Fall Fundraiser! What at success it was. I know a lot of people put in hours and hours of time to make it so great. Please remember to come into the classroom to log any volunteer hours you may have completed for this event.

Looking forward to another week of learning!
Miss Ellis

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Week 5: Science is Fun!

Hello friends and families!

What exploration we have had here in our K-1 classroom. In science we have learned and used our 5 sense to explore the world around us. We know our senses and their related body parts; sight- we see with our eyes, hearing/sound- we hear with our ears, taste- we taste with our taste buds on our tongues, smell- we smell with our noses, touch- we touch with our skin. We cannot wait to use all of our senses to experiment and explore the world around us for the rest of the year.

Your pictures and fotos in a slideshow on MySpace, eBay, Facebook or your website!view all pictures of this slideshow

We finished our 4th reading unit this past week themed around pets. We had a lot of fun sharing what we already knew and learning more about pet needs, what pests can do and some professions that incorporate pests. Our reading skill was setting and characters. This next week our reading theme will center on sports and more specifically soccer. First grade students will study the reading skill of author's purpose. Our high frequency fluency words for the week are: very, help, use and our. We will continue to review the grammar skill of properly punctuating sentences. Kindergarten will continue to learning and study letter names, sounds, and manuscripts for the letters "F" and "O". High frequency sight words are: look, make, me, my, and not.

Patterns, patterns, patterns... There are patterns all around us in the world and both first grade and kindergarten finished our math unit on patterns. This next week we will start our study of number sense in kindergarten, identifying numbers, counting objects and representing those objects through the numbers we know. First grade will be reviewing numbers and place values through hundreds.

We hope you have enjoyed this brief look into our K-1 window and hope you stop by again to see what is happening and how we are learning and growing!

Miss Ellis' K-1 class

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Wednesday September the 15th

This upcoming Wednesday will be full of events.  During the day our students will take their school pictures. (Students should wear school uniform.)  The day is an ERD so dismissal is at 1:15pm.  In the evening there will be a general PTA meeting followed by our annual open house.  We invite all parents and guardians to attend both of these evening events.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


What a jam-packed short week of school we had!

In social studies we continues our National theme, practicing the Pledge of Allegiance and learning about some of the nation's well known symbols.  We studied the U.S. Flag, Liberty Bell, Statue of Liberty and bald eagle.  After learning about these common U.S. symbols we colored, cut and collaged them for a final visual display of our learning. Our social studies unit was completed with learning and performing "Oh, I Love America" during our special person and spirit day in remembrance of the tragedy of September 11th.  Below is a video of our K-1 students practicing for the big performance.

In math we finished our unit on spatial relationships.  We reviewed following right, left, up, and down directions, learned about and created lines of symmetry in 2-D shapes as well using half a picture to create a symmetrical mirror image.  Kindergarten learned and practiced spatial relationships as well.  We followed directions to find objects to the right and left, above, below, over and under other object.  Next week both kindergarten and first grade will study patterns.  

In reading we completed our 3rd unit centered around how we learn, grow and change.  We continued to study the text structure of beginning, middle, end and first, next, and last when retelling story events in order.  The class practiced this skill in both narrative and nonfiction articles.  Our new reading unit next week will focus on pets.  We will be learning that every story has a setting, which is where a story takes place.  We will also continue to learn and discuss characters within stories.  First grade spelling and phonics will be related to the br, fr, cr, gr, and tr beginning sounds.  The weeks spelling words are: crab, crib, grass, trap, trip and grab.  High frequency words to know are: come, that, on, and good.  In Kindergraten we will continue our study of high frequency sight words of: funny, is, it, jump, and little.  Our letters of the week that we will continue to study are "N" /n/ and "C" /k/.   

Next week is a science week and we will be studying our 5 senses using hands on exposure and experimentation.  We will continue to use scientific skills such as observation, hands on manipulation/ experimentation and recording our learning in our science journals.  

Added on the right hand side of our blog is a classroom wish list that will be updated.  If you would like to purchase or donated any needed items it would be greatly appreciated and go directly back into your child's learning and classroom environment.  Please remember for every 10 dollars of purchases donated that equals one (1) hour of volunteering.  Make sure that your monetary donations make it into the volunteer log kept in the classroom.  

As a final note I would like to thank all of the moms, dads, brothers, sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends who came into the classroom this past Friday.  You truly made our special person day a success and your special student was very happy to have you there to share the time with!

I hope you enjoyed this past week and are looking forward to next weeks activities as I am.

Miss Ellis K-1

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Week 3 goes by real fast!

Hello friends!

Another week goes by and it goes by very quickly. In large part the week went by very quickly because both Kindergarten and first grade completed the Stanford 10 testing. We tested for 4 days in the afternoons. I am so proud of all of the testing endurance and positive attitudes of the students. On Saturday I spent 3 hours grading all of the Standford 10 assessments and as we already knew, our class is full of a lot of smart cookies!

In math we finished our 2-D and 3-D shape unit with mastery across the board. A BIG shout out and thank you go to Mrs. Slucher for bringing in and sharing 3-D bubble objects with the class. What a fun mathematical experiment we had during our morning meeting. This upcoming week we are moving into spacial relationships and patterning.

Science was a lot of fun. We read two books, "What is Science?" and "What is a scientist?" As a class we recorded our findings from these books in our science journals and then looked back at our initial "When we learn we grow" long term experiment. On Friday we practiced our scientist skills and predicted, observed, experimented and recorded a simple color and density experiment.

In reading we studied how different animals move. We discussed that an author writes in order or in sequence and we can see things that happen at the beginning, middle and end of a story. We learned about and used labels in nonfiction photographs and practice our oral fluency getting ready for a puppet show oral performance. We made our first trip to our "Learning Center" where we learned about the library and checked out our very first books of the year to take back to the classroom with us for the week.

Take a look at some of the fun and learning that took place below!

Signing out,
Miss Ellis' K-1 class

Your pictures and fotos in a slideshow on MySpace, eBay, Facebook or your website!view all pictures of this slideshow

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Week 2: The old became new!

What a wonderful week we had in our K-1 class.

In social studies we learned all about the meaning behind the Pledge of Allegiance and the symbolism of the flag. We saw how both changed over time and in this process the old became new. We ended up watching a few "film strips" on our flag, the pledge and what we can do for our country and some of our responsibilities as citizens of this great nation. We ended the week by leading the school in the Pledge of Allegiance on the morning announcements. Our class did an amazing job!

In math we have been studying our shapes. We used some hands-on manipulatives of 3-D shapes to explore vertices (corners), faces, and how objects move. We will be creating our own 3-D shapes to solidify this concept.

We finished our very first reading Unit that themed itself around how people are special and unique. We explored how we are alike and different from one another. We read a few books together and practiced creating and sharing how we were unique with words, pictures, and special objects brought in from home. We learned that a few students are athletes ranging from dance to soccer, to football all the way to golf. We also have students who were given very special presents they identify themselves with from a first blanket or toy, to the first wallet their father ever gave them.

This week has been one of excitement and learning about the world around us, why we do some of the things in our daily routine and more about our friends we share the classroom with. I would like to leave a special thank you to the Wood family for donating pillows to our reading corner and to all of the families for the interest in volunteering in the classroom. What would we do with out our amazing Samsula family?

Hoping you have a wonderful week yourself,
Miss Ellis' K-1 class

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Welcome to K-1 at Samsula Academy

Hello Families and Friends,

I am Miss Ellis and I would like to welcome you to Samsula Academy's premiere K-1 multi-aged classroom where we learn and grow!

Our first week of school is coming to an end and what fun, exploration, and learning we have had. We have learned and practiced many classroom procedures and routines. We have taken time for socialization with some really fun name games, had time for singing and movement and reviewed many letters and sound. We are reading and practicing our manuscript writing of letters and numbers daily.

This past Wednesday was an especially fun day when we planted our "learning and growing" sunflowers. Over the next weeks we will tend to and monitor the growth and development of of our flowers in our science notebooks. Look for pictures and updates in the near future.

As the year progresses stop by and see what is new and exciting in the lives of our K-1 family here at Samsula.

Warmest rays heading your way,
Miss Ellis