Elementary Teacher Contact Email

If families need to contact Michelle, Elizabeth, Lindsey, or Brigid and Tiffany please use the following email.

25 March 2011

Friday is New Release Day!

Each Friday during literacy we have New Release Day. This is a time when students have the opportunity to share their writing with a group of peers. They may choose to share a piece in progress or something they've recently published. It is a great opportunity for peers to give one another compliments, feedback, and ideas.

Here are a few photos from this morning's New Release Day...

A Symbol of Freedom

This week in Social Studies we have been continuing our study of freedom. We've been asking, "What does it mean to be free?" and "What makes our freedom possible?" On Monday we read The Flag We Love by Pam Munoz Ryan and discussed how the American flag is a symbol of many things: patriotism, freedom, individuality, unity, etc. The last line of the book says, "When you see the American flag, remember that it does not represent one cause, but many causes; that it does not represent on person, but many people; and that it does not represent on ideal, but many of America's hopes and dreams."

After our discussion we made our own class flag. Each student drew a design to represent what is important to them as an individual. Then, the class shared ideas for what symbol would best represent our school. Ms. Howle drew a symbol based on several of these ideas: An apple to symbolize knowledge, a book to symbolize learning, children to symbolize students, and stars to symbolize Stephens College. Our school flag represents each student as well as the class as a whole.

Last Week's Gardening...

Here are some great photos from the garden that didn't make it onto the blog last week.

24 March 2011

Important Date Changes for K-1 Showcase and Presentations for Groups 3 & 4

When we return from Spring Break, the junior class of education students will be coming into the classroom to teach. They will begin Thursday, April 7th in the afternoon and continue for two weeks. Therefore, we have some dates changes for Independent Inquiry presentations and K-1 Showcase.

Independent Inquiry Presentations for Group 3 has been moved to Thursday, April 7th

K-1 Showcase has been changed to Tuesday, April 12th

Independent Inquiry Presentations for Group 4 has been moved to Thursday, April 14th

21 March 2011

Tune In....

SCCS Elementary Classroom will be featured on Ron Widbin’s segment at the following times:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 5:00 p.m. ABC and 9:00 p.m. FOX

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 5:50 a.m. ABC

18 March 2011


Kathy Long visits the Elementary Classroom

Today the students had the very unique opportunity to meet a real published author of children's books! Kathy Long is the author of several amazing children's picture books, including Fix it, Grandma, Fix it, A Surprise for Mrs. Dodds, Hallelujah the Clown, and Runaway Shopping Cart (she gave us a signed copy!). Kathy shared with us how she gets ideas for her books, and how she goes through the writing process, from an idea in her head to a published book. She has written over 200 books, and she says she is always going back to her stories to revise them and make them even better. We learned about what it takes to get a book published, and how she has never given up her love for writing, even when she was faced with rejection by publishing companies. Kathy taught the students that no matter what happens, it is important to never give up on your dreams.

Check out Kathy's books here.

Here is a picture of Kathy reading Runaway Shopping Cart to the class:

16 March 2011

What does it mean to be free?

For the past several weeks, students have been learning about slavery to better understand conflict in American History. Because of the gravity of this topic, we wanted to students to dig into texts that portrayed various perspectives of slavery. Students worked in small groups to write reader’s theater scripts based on children’s books. The goal of these scripts was to allow children to process how slavery affected people and our country and work with a group to perform a play. This week, we are using the reader’s theater about slavery as a springboard to discuss the meaning of freedom.

Our objectives in the coming weeks are to engage children in the meaning of freedom and to understand the value of freedom in America and the world today. Here are some examples of what freedom means to some of the children in our class.

“To be free is to not have to let anyone tell you what to do, to choose what job you want, and to not have to work all day. To be free is to have fun and enjoy your job and your life, not to have to be forced to do something you do not want to do. Some slaves were forced to be cooped up inside or work outside and did not have an education or go to school. This is not freedom.”

“Freedom means to be able to do whatever you want and not be controlled. You can do whatever you want, wear whatever you want, eat whatever you want. But even when you are free, you can’t break the law. Slaves didn’t have freedom, but if they escaped from their masters to go north, they could be free.”

“If you are free, you are no longer a slave, you have rights, you are a person, no one owns you, no one physically controls you, you are paid for your work, you can stay with your family, live in your house, own your own property, be your own person, be responsible for yourself. You can learn, you can read, you can communicate, you can meet your old friends and family, meet new friends, not have your children work. You can vote, celebrate birthdays, go to school, no whippings, less worries.”

“Freedom feels good because you get away from your master and get to know what your name is and you don’t have to work all day until sunset. Freedom is a lifetime where you don’t have to work or listen to a master. You listen to yourself.”

14 March 2011

Indoor recess in March...

When will it finally be spring? We have all made the best of being cooped up inside during recess.

Making spinners out of cubes

Miles' spinners

Luigi, Toad, Mario and Peach made of cubes

Holly's block creation

Lilly's block creation

The Grouchy Ladybug

Last week, Mrs. Watson and Ms. Parks' math groups read The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle. This is a story about how a very mean and grouchy ladybug spent his day. Starting at 5:00 a.m., the grouchy ladybug encounters a different animal at each hour of the day and is very unpleasant to them. The story teaches children how time passes throughout the day and how the hands of the clock move. The students each took an hour of the ladybug's day and created an illustration to go with that time. Today the the students put their illustrations in order based on the time of day and shared their drawings.

10 March 2011

Today's K-1 Showcase

Behind the Scenes

Today our class had their final dress rehearsal for tomorrow's performances. Here is a sneak peek at what's to come...

Artists as Writers

This week Ms. Howle's literacy group has been using art to inspire ideas for writing. While examining authors' words and illustrations, we have been learning how literary devices such as simile and personification can be used to write creative descriptions that paint a picture in the reader's mind.

Beth Olshansky, a teacher and author at the University of New Hampshire, describes the relationship between art and writing:

"The relationship between pictures and words can be summarized simply. Although these two languages are both used to make meaning, they function very differently. Yet clearly they serve to complement each other: pictures, a visual medium, can perform the verbal function for telling a story; words, a verbal medium, can perform the visual function of painting a picture. Using both languages expands our capacity to think in new and interesting ways" (The Power of Pictures, 2008).

Prior to writing this week, the students painted landscapes and seascapes using crayon and watercolors. After painting, they brainstormed creative descriptions of elements in their artwork (mountains, stars, clouds, reflections, water, etc.) using the devices we've been talking about. These ideas will later be used to write a story inspired by their piece.

Take a peek at our artists/writers at work...

09 March 2011

Here at the SCCS Theater...

This afternoon our class prepared for their upcoming plays inspired by our study of slavery. For the past couple of weeks, the students have written scripts adapted from books about slavery in the United States. They've brought in costumes, created props, and rehearsed their performances.

Join us this Friday, March 11th at 2:00 for their final performances!

Here are a few snapshots from today's work...