Saturday, September 30, 2006

A Great Week!

We have had a great week! The best thing that happened is that Ms. Gooden came to work with us. Ms. Gooden was hired last week as a paraprofessional in our classroom. So now we have TWO teachers, Ms. Chandler and Ms. Gooden. We are so happy to have her working in our room!

In our room, we have been learning about the color yellow, the numeral 1, squares and farm animals. We have also been learning about in and out. Next week we will continue learning about squares and the color yellow, and we will also be learning about on and off, the numeral 2 and zoo animals. The reason that we are learning about farm animals and zoo animals is that we are going to be going on a field trip to the Louisiana State Fair on October 27th, and they have both farm animals and zoo animals at the fair.

Out in the garden, we have new tomatoes, more okra, and our pumpkins are growing bigger every day! We have three big pumpkins, one white pumpkin, one tiny pumpkin and two smaller pumpkins that are still growing. They get bigger every day, but we aren't sure what kind of pumpkin they will be when they finish growing. This is because all of the pumpkins run vines all around, and it is hard to figure out which plant the vines are coming from. So we will have to wait until they get a little bigger to find out what kind of pumpkins they are. Also in the garden, we have hummingbirds! We have seen a few of them, and hope to see more! We have also been noticing the house sparrows that live at the school. Ms. Chandler puts birdseed in the feeder and they come to eat the seed.

Our finches in our classroom have six eggs now, but none of them have hatched. We keep watching and waiting, and hopefully one day we will have some little baby finches! We will be sure to let you know when we do!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Fish and Turtles

This is a photograph of our tropical fish tank. We have fish, a newt and a frog in our tank. We really like our aquarium. When we feed them, they all come to the top of the water to eat. The newt is black with a red stomach. He walks around on the bottom of the aquarium, looking for food. He sometimes swims up to the top to get some air, then floats down to the bottom again. The frog does the same thing. They like to live in the water, but they still have to breathe air like we do.

These are our turtles. We have three red eared sliders. These are the turtles that you see most often sunning themselves on logs in the bayous or rivers. These turtles are about 3 years old. They are fully grown, as long as they live in this aquarium, they won't get any bigger. If we moved them to a larger aquarium, they would grow more. Everyone loves the turtles. We watch them eat and swim around. They get out of the water and sun themselves on the flat rock sticking out of the water. They stretch their head and legs out and "bask". They do that to keep their shells hard.

We are studying farm animals now, because we will be going to the State Fair of Louisiana the end of October. We are learning the names of the animals and the sounds that they make. In two weeks, we will be learning about zoo animals, because the State Fair also has zoo animals. We are working on the color yellow and the numeral 1. We will be starting to learn about squares. Our nursery rhyme will be Baa Baa Black Sheep. We will be learning about in and out, and big and little. We are having such a good time learning in our classroom!




Wednesday, September 20, 2006

White Pumpkin



This is a picture of our white pumpkins! Yes, it is a pumpkin, it is just white. We are excited about it. No one in our class has ever seen a white pumpkin. We also have several very nice and very large orange pumpkins. In class we are learning about circles, the color yellow and the numeral 1. We are also learning about farm animals, because we are going to go to the Louisiana State Fair on October 27th and we will see farm animals AND zoo animals there. We will be learning about the farm animals for another week or so, then we will be learning about zoo animals. We have been learning the names of the farm animals, and the sounds they make. We are still talking about Humpty Dumpty, but we also have learned Jack Be Nimble. We are also learning to answer questions. We work on answering yes and no questions and questions that ask who, what, where, when and why. We have been going out to the playground since it has cooled off some. Everyone loves to go out to the playground! Parents, don't forget PTA tomorrow night! It's Back To School Night, so we are looking forward to seeing everyone there. Also, remember that next Monday is School Picture Day. Hope to see you all tomorrow night!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Pumpkins and Eggs!



Look at our HUGE pumpkin! It is getting so big! We also have two other pumpkins that are almost this big. No sign of smaller pumpkins, though. Hopefully they will start appearing soon. Right now I'm having trouble watering them, because of a problem with the water spigot. The gourds are still growing, more okra, more peppers, more flowers. And the tomatoes are blooming, but no tomatoes yet. There will be some soon! Another exciting development is that the birds (zebra finches) have two eggs in their nest now! We are all very excited about that. We will keep everyone posted on the progress of the eggs!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

In Our Room

I was ill Tuesday and Wednesday, but made it back today (Thursday), and I am very glad to be back. This is what we have been doing this week. We are still working on the color red and on Humpty Dumpty. We have been talking about our families, (parents, thank you for sending the photographs of your families). The children each have a book about their family and a poster on the bulletin board about their family. We have been learning about all of the things that we can do in our room. Right now, the Housekeeping (Dramatic Play) Center, Block Center, Table Toys and Book Centers are open. We will add the Art Center and Computers soon. We use the computers as a group, but we are not quite ready to work on them by ourselves. We have been watching the garden, and our pumpkins are really getting big! They will be huge by Halloween! We have also been watching the Birdhouse Gourds grow. We hope that we will have enough to make birdhouses this winter. The Dramatic Play (Housekeeping) Center (above) is a favorite place to work. We get to dress up in different clothes, cook, take care of our babies, set the table, wash dishes, pretend to be firefighters and other community helpers. We sit and talk about things and even call people on one of the telephones! The Block Center (below) is always a good place to work. We build houses, drive cars, play with the houses and people. The block Center is a lot of fun!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Learning Rules and Routines

This is a cantaloupe from our garden. Next week, we are going to taste the cantaloupe and a watermelon from our garden. We have several cantaloupes left, more okra, tomato plants (but not tomatos yet), and of course, pumpkins! The pumpkins are getting bigger every day. We will definitely have pumpkins ready for Halloween!

In our classroom, we have been talking about the rules and learning our routines. Some of the things that we are learning are: how to walk on the yellow line, how to line up to go somewhere (enrichment, breakfast, lunch), how to wash our hands in the cafeteria, how to say the pledge and sing "My Country Tis of Thee", how to check the weather and graph it on our Weather Graph, how to say the days of the week, how to count the days in the month. When we use the calendar, we are also learning about patterns. We have been learning about places and people around our school and what they do to help us at school. We have been learning about red, and we even made a book about the color red. We have been learning our new classmate's names. Next week, we will be sorting colors, identifying red, learning the numeral 1, learning about circles, Humpty Dumpty and about families.


Parents, if you have not sent photographs of your family yet, please try to do so soon. We will be putting up a display with each child's family photographs, plus we will make a book for each child to have at school with photos of their families.


Don't forget that students do not come to school next Friday, September 1st. because the teachers have a Professional Development Day. We will be in workshops learning new things to help us teach our students. The next Monday, September 4th, is Labor Day. There will be no school that day for students or teachers.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Welcome Back To School!


Does anyone know what this is a picture of? It's a pumpkin! It's one of the extremely large pumpkins. We went out to look at it today, and we all got to touch it. It doesn't feel like a pumpkin yet. It is very smooth and round. We also looked at the watermelon, cantaloupe and gourds while we were out in the garden. But it's too hot to spend much time outside, so we just took a look and went back into the nice air conditioned classroom! Today we went to music, and we had a very good time. We sang our names, clapped our names, and danced to some music. Right now we are learning about the color red, counting one object and recognizing the numeral 1, and identifying circles. We are also learning the nursery rhyme "Humpty Dumpty". In the classroom, we are all enjoying the zebra finches. They make little noises, talking to each other. The finches take baths, drink water, eat a lot and fly around the cage. They sometimes get IN the seed container to eat! They are making a nest, and there is a little more in the nest every day. When they get finished making their nest, we hope that they will lay some eggs! We also worked on the computer today. We know what a mouse is and what we do with the mouse. In a few weeks, when we learn how to use the mouse a little better, we will be able to get on the computer by ourselves! Parents, don't forget about the Parent Orientation next Tuesday, August 22nd at 6:00 pm. And also mark your calendars for September 19th Back To School Open House and PTA meeting. If you are interested in working with the PTA or being an officer in the PTA, let me know. While you are marking your calendar for the PTA meeting, remember that September 1st is a Professional Inservice Day for the teachers, no students attend. And, September 4th is Labor Day, so no school for students or teachers! And don't forget that PTA dues are $4.00 this year, and Room Fees are $6.00. I will be sending home a snack calendar the first of September. Since we were staggering attendance for testing, and there isn't much of August left, I just bought snacks to finish the month. But be looking for the calendar in a week or so. Parents, please send back the Emergency Information sheet (its the lime green piece of paper). With little children, no matter how closely you watch them, they sometime have accidents, and sometime they feel fine when they leave home, but by 10:00 am they are sick. It is very important that we have working contact numbers. And, if you change your address or telephone number during the year, please let me know about the change. One more thing...don't forget to send photographs for me to copy for the books they are making about their family. I will copy them and get them back to you in a day or two. Thank you so much for all of your support. If you need to contact me, the classroom telephone number is 364-4229, and my email is jhowell@caddo.k12.la.us.