Learning Through Leadership

Monthly Archives: September 2013

Today we got together with two of our first grade classes and did some buddy reading! Mrs. Bristle’s class joined Mrs. Boyden’s class and Mrs. Kenney’s class teamed up with Miss Luce’s. We had such a great time reading books to our first grade friends and listening to them read to us. We hope to join them frequently throughout the year. Our goal is to eventually pair up for different subjects like Math and Science. 

I was really impressed with how nicely our fourth graders modeled appropriate behavior. They were proactive by practicing their books ahead of time and modeling good behavior for the first grade students. They also did a great job helping the first graders sound out their words and read their books. 

All in all a great way to end our week! ImageImageImageImage


We will be starting a new behavior management system next week. The reason for the change is because the entire school is moving to a consistent system. This will relay the message to the students that the behavior expectations are the same across the building, and that any adult has the ability to give them rewards or consequences for their behavior. 


The behavior system is a clip chart that has 5 sections. Each day the students will start on green (in the middle) which is Ready to Learn. If they show great behavior during the day they have the opportunity to move up to Role Model (Blue) and Outstanding Leader (purple). If the student makes negative choices during the day they can move down to Think About it (Yellow) or Teacher’s Choice (Red). Teacher’s Choice could include a variety of consequences including loss of recess, behavior reflection sheets, parent contact, or office referral. 


We understand the importance of daily communication with parents, so we will continue to use Class Dojo. At the end of each day we will enter points on Class Dojo based on the color the child is on. Green will earn 1 point, Blue 2 points, Purple 3 points. Yellow will be a loss of one point and Red will be a loss of 2 or more points. (Again, Teacher’s Choice) Students will still have the opportunity to earn a reward at the end of the week based on the class dojo points they earn. Because we are not giving points throughout the day, the target number will most likely be lower. 


Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!

Last week we competed in the “Metric Olympics”. The students took turns throwing 2 different javelins (a straw and an unsharpened pencil) and also completed the standing broad jump and a long jump. They worked in teams and wrote a hypothesis about which object would go farther and which jump would go farther. They then elected one person from the team to complete the events and worked as a team to measure the results. Everyone measured in centimeters initially. After the students completed all activities and measurements they worked to convert the measurements into meters. One student asked if we were doing Math or Science…I love it when they can’t tell! It was a fun afternoon and a great kick off to our measurement unit.

Making predictions

Throwing the javelin



Some different jumps…and some awesome landings!

Measuring our results

Here is a heads up about some upcoming events and activities at school.

Important dates:

Sept 26 Parent/Teacher Conferences – 4:30 pm -8:00 pm

Sept 30 No School – Parent/Teacher Conferences

Oct 2 Parent/Teacher Conferences – 4:30 pm -8:00 pm

If you have not returned your parent teacher conference slip please do so. We would really like to meet with every parent during fall conferences. If you need a time outside of the designated conference dates we will be happy to schedule some tome to meet with you. Just let us know!

This Week in Math:

We will be working on metric measurements and conversions. Practice these at home with your child if you get a chance. Maybe they could measure their room (or the living room, or the back yard…) in centimeters and then convert it to meters,  measure out some water in liters and then convert it to milliliters, or convert their weight from grams to kilograms. All of these activities will  help to reinforce the concepts we are covering at school.  We will also take a multiplication timed test this week so keep practicing those facts! We have been so impressed with the great progress the kids are making so far!

In Language Arts:

We will send home Unit 5 Spelling Words tomorrow. The Spelling test will be Friday as usual.  We will continue working in our Literature Circle groups and most groups will finish their books up this week. We will keep working on the concepts of Cause and Effect, Character Traits, Inferencing and theme. The students will be working on some research to do their first informational report as well.

Leader In Me:

We have been talking about being Proactive, and are now moving onto Habit 2, Begin with the End in Mind. This habit helps the kids realize the importance of setting goals. Habit 2 says:

I plan ahead and set goals. I do things that have meaning and make a difference. I am an important part of my classroom and contribute to my school’s mission and vision. I look for ways to be a good citizen.

Talk with your child about the habits at home, hopefully he or she will start living the habits soon! We already hear the kids talking to one another about being Proactive!


This is going to be a busy week…We are looking forward to it and hope you are too! Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

Happy talk like a pirate day! (Look it up…it’s a real day!) Today in Captain Bristle’s and Captain Kenney’s classes we will be using the THIEVES method to look at informational text, and will be doing some Pirate division too! Have a grrrrreat day!


This is how we greeted all of our Scalleywags this morning!


The THIEVES method for informational text.

Today in science we worked through the steps of the Scientific Method to see how many cups of water a diaper can hold. (For all you new mom’s it was a size 3 Luvs diaper) After the initial moans and groans about using diapers… “Eww gross!” the kids really got into the experiment. They had to make a prediction about how many cups it would hold, write out a procedure, test their hypothesis, analyze their results and then write a conclusion. The students really worked well as a team, and I even heard some Leader in Me language being used! We will be doing some writing about our experiments over the next few days as a way of publishing the results of our investigation.


A sample of one of the science journals.


One group getting ready to begin the experiment.


Carefully pouring the water.


The end result…. 4 cups of water in each diaper!

We had such a great time in Math today, and we continued to work with place value and the concept of “ten times”. The students worked quickly to find partners that held a number card that was ten times more or ten times less than the number card in their hand. Afterwards the students all described why their numbers went together and used mathematical terms to show their knowledge! I was one proud teacher! Ask your child tonight about the activity, and maybe try this at home!


The kids are searching for their partners.


A match!