Sunday, December 18, 2011


We will spend the day outdoors, with opportunities for: nature art, debris shelter tours, ropes exploration, bread and apple roasting, and many songs, games and explorations.
We need your help:
1.      Please join us if you are able (even for a part of the time)
2.    Contribute a bag of apples
3.    Send a bag lunch and water bottle( or let us know by Thursday if you need a school bag lunch)
4.    Help your child wear layers:
-        Long underwear layer
-        Heavy Clothing layer
-        Outdoor layer(Jacket, snow pants, hat, mittens)
-        Wool socks and Winter boots

We plan to leave around 9:00 and return by 2:00
Please call me with any ideas or questions….

Friday, December 16, 2011

Some Videos For Sharing Day

Adrianna( mom to Ian and Vincent), sent in this message:
"Ian really wanted to share something funny we found for the holidays and wanted to use it as his share.  It is an elf video and we used everyone in the class so there is a total of 4 videos."
(just click on the link, and wait a few seconds for it to load)

The class loved these and asked that I post them here, so families can see them too. Look for a surprise in the fourth video!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

5th Grade Fundraiser

The fifth grade teachers and students would like to invite each classroom  to visit the fifth grade wing on Friday, December 9.  The fifth grade students will be hosting a craft fair/bake sale.  Items to be sold will include, (but not limited to), baked goods, popsicle stick baskets, t-shirts, earrings, necklaces, pencil holders, rose pens, duct tape wallets, ribbon barrettes, crayon discs, bookmarks and a used book sale.  Some students will even play their instruments as you shop!  Items will range in price from about 25 cents to $3.50.  All proceeds will go to their Boston trip in the spring.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Letter Writing

Our December focus for Writer's Workshop is letter writing. We have discussed the format of a letter, the purpose of a letter, and the ways letters can be used to share information. We have written to our first grade pen pals in East Montpelier, and also have written some letters together. We will continue to read books that feature letters. This week, we looked at "Click, Clack, Moo." The story uses letters to show persuasion and negotiation. Some first graders have decided to work on letters in their writing notebooks. So far I have seen letters to : our class pet Ozzie, Santa, Mr. Bradley, and to classmates. I cannot wait to see what happens next week when we create small mailboxes in the classroom!

If you enjoy letter writing, or have special family letters to share, please let me know.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Quiet Cafe

Beginning Monday all students will be asked to go to Quiet Cafe to eat their lunch and socialize with other first graders when it is their assigned day. Students attend in alphabetical order segments by their last name,
Students whose last names begin with the letters...

Mon: A-C
Tues: D-I
Wed: J-M
Thurs: N-R
Friday: S-Z

 I have  discusses this with our class, and will review again at Morning Meeting on Monday. The change is school-wide and the purpose is to provide an alternative lunch experience for all students in a smaller group setting.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Update on Mr. Whiskers and Lorraine

When we returned to our debris shelter after two weeks, we found that our cardboard friends had remained fairly dry, but had actually curled up from dampness. Most first graders agreed that it would be difficult to stay in a debris shelter for several weeks. In an emergency, a stay in a debris shelter could be lifesaving.!

We also had a surprise outside our shelter. A third cardboard cutout was resting outside the door of our shelter. There was no note or identifying marking on it. We are all wondering where this new  cardboard friend came from!

The mystery visitor to our debris shelter.

Fill- A -Nest

Each class at Union School has reached 500 hoots. This means students have been using CARES all over the school. Cooperation, Assertion, Responsibilty, Empathy and Self Control, are the targeted behaviors that we are all working on!

The Fill-a Nest event was scheduled to recognize this achievement. Classes were able to bring their donated food items to Screetch, get a class phots, and some high fives( or high 2's?) and to give to those who may need some extra help with food this season. All donations will go to the Montpelier Food Pantry.

Union School kids collected over 1,000 food items for the Food Pantry!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Each month we have a birthday breakfast to celebrate those born in that month. Today we had two friends with November birthdays.We enjoyed, Rice Krispees with berries, fresh Manghis rolls, and some muffins, juice and fruit. What a lovely way to celebrate such special people.

Last month we only had one person with an October birthday!

Please join us for our December birthday breakfast on the 23rd.All families are invited to attend.

Something to ponder

A great article about toys- click here

Monday, November 28, 2011

Publishing Party

Before our Thanksgiving break, students from Ms. Closter's class and our class celebrated the end of their 2nd writing unit.  Students shared their published small moments with peers from the opposite class and enjoyed a snack prepared by our class.  After the publishing party, students had choice time together.  INQUIRE with your child who their partner was and what their published writing piece was about. These are located in our classroom library for all to enjoy!

Our next writing unit is focused on learning how to write letters. We are integrating this with a focus on feeling thankful and will continue to explore small moments within this unit. This month, all students will be thinking of a special person in their community, home, or school that deserve to be thanked. In this letter, students will be encouraged to add a, "small moment" they've experience with the chosen person.

This week, we will be exploring a range of texts that include letters in them and taking notice of what is included in these letters.  We will also be doing some interactive and shared writing as a whole class to help us practice the language used in creating a powerful thank-you!  

Sunday, November 27, 2011

We Welcome a New Friend

Our class welcomes a new student named Maddox. He has spent several days with the class and already has "tons of new friends". The room 7 gang has been extremely kind and helpful to Maddox as he adjusts to his new classroom. We now have a class total of 17 first graders. Woo-hoo!

Giving Thanks at School

We enjoyed a lovely Thanksgiving Dinner together at school. Many families were able to join in too. We practiced good manners, and appropriate types of conversation as we dined in our classroom. The cafeteria
reported serving 495 lunches! Wow! We have so much to be thankful for.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Shelter for Mr. Whiskers and Lorraine

Mr. Whiskers and Lorraine

The message

As we began our NAP lesson on debris shelters, we constructed some "first graders" to sleep in the shelters in Hubbard Park for two weeks. The teams creating these "first graders" decide to name them "Mr. Whiskers" and "Lorraine". The class is hoping to build shelters that are protective enough to keep our first graders dry for a two week period in November. This presents quite a challenge.

All that is left is a stump.
On our way in to the park, we spotted the park caretaker and his crew in the middle of a tree removal project. They invited us to watch as the top of a dead tree is removed. The class is offered some "debris"( branches) to use for shelter building.On our way back from the park we got to see the stump that remains.

The class worked together to build cooperatively. At one point teams formed spontaneously to help load leaves onto partners arms. Aftert the shelter was complete, we did a water test to see if it would be waterproof. We learned that more layers were needed. We also learned that a debris shelter could protect a person who was lost and needed to overnight in the woods.Here are some images and videos of our debris shelter building.

Building the frame

Mr. Whiskers and Lorraine go in to the shelter. We'll check on them in 2 weeks.

Rowan,Mya and Molly made some videos of shelter building!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Walking Trip to Positive Pie 2

Our class will get a  first -hand look at how pizza is made. Max has invited our whole class to Positive Pie 2 for a special visit and morning snack. We would love some parents to join us for this short trip. If you are free on Thursday, November  17th at 10:15, please meet us at our classroom. We will walk over to Positive Pie, and have a tour and a snack.We hope to return back to school by 11:30 at the latest. Thanks so much Max!

Saturday, November 12, 2011


We spent some time on 11/11/11 exploring the number 11. We made combinations of 11, did an 11 workout, read about 11, and wrote sentences with exactly 11 words. Later we had an 11 scavenger hunt(thanks to all of the parents who helped with this) and a special snack. What an excellent date.

A Lego flag with 11 stripes!

A unique 11 project. A person born on Novemebr 11. He was able to appear live for the presentation.


Thanks to Deborah, Tiffany and Jennifer for helping with snacks.
A lucky number!

Veteran's Day 2011


We spent some time making cards to honor Veterans. We learned that each person in the class knew at least one veteran! The cards were handed out at the VFW after the parade.

We also made flags and marched in the parade through downtown Montpelier.Many first graders were excited to spot Veterans in the parade, and along the route. Family and friends along the route were an added surprise.


Some gigantic leaves were found on the way back from the parade!