Thursday, 4 June 2009

Saying Good-by

Today is the last day of the 2008-2009 school year. Today we watch our little TDRs leave our classroom for the summer, to return in the fall as taller, wiser second graders. We could not be prouder of any group of children. We have had some wonderful times together and feel each child is well prepared for the journey ahead. We have so loved your children and we have also loved getting to know each family. You have been so incredibly supportive this year. We have a special thank you to our room moms, Gina Allmond and Donna Powell. We couldn't have asked for more help and support. We just don't have enough superlatives for all they have done for us and for your children. What a blessing! We are thrilled that Gina will joining our Chets Creek family next year as a paraprofessional!

We can't thank you enough for your thoughtful gift certificates yesterday! Look for us at the malls because we will each be shopping in the week to come! We also the love the other gifts and the picture to put on our desks to remind us of this year traveling around the world in 180 days! However, there is no gift that could ever compare to the gift you have given us by trusting us to care for your most precious child this year. We are not sure who has learned the most - the children or the teachers! When we get back to school in August, each of us will be going in a different direction. Mrs. Timmons and Mrs. Ruark will each be going up to their own second grade classroom to teach Reading and Writing. Mrs. Daniels will be in first grade again and Mrs. T will go down to Kindergarten. We hope that you and your children will stop by often and let us know how things are going. We will be looking for your smiling faces because we expect to hear the greatest things! We hope you have a wonderful summer break. We love you dearly!
Go TDRs!
Randi, Cathy, Tracy and dayle

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

TDR's Celebrate Third Nine Weeks

I am the luckiest person in the world as I am experiencing my “firsts” as a teacher this year. Today was one of those “firsts” as the TDR’s celebrated their third nine weeks awards. I’m lucky because I’ve been able to watch as the students have matured from being timid and unsure to self confident amazing young scholars. They all have worked so hard these last nine weeks and have so much to show for it! I have learned just as much from them as they have from me and I will carry that with me forever. So bring on the last nine weeks of the 2008-2009 school year… it’s going to go fast but its going to be a heck of a ride!

Friday, 24 April 2009


Last night a students from our class was honored at Sandalwood High School. She is of Armenian heritage and when she came to Chets Creek last year she was able to take advantage of services for children who are learning English as a second language. She is one of 262 students at our school that speak 21 other languages besides English! It is like having our very own mini-United Nations. She has an opportunity to work with Mrs. Bort, who is a native Spanish speaker, each week. Mrs. Bort chose her to represent all of Chets Creek for her academic achievement this year. Last night she received a medal as the "Chets Creek Second Language Learner of the Year!" We are so proud!

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Poetry...It's About Thinking Outside The Box

Create your own Animation
The TDR’s started a new Reader’s Workshop unit on poetry this week. A lot of deep thought and visualization goes into poetry, but if you were to take the time to stop in and see our kids at work you would soon realize that our 1st graders are deep thinkers. It happened to be very stormy outside when we started the lesson so we read poems on the earth, sea and sky. We were able to get the children to feel what was going on around them and connect with their inner artist. One amazing student wrote the following poem titled The Wind.

The wind is waving the leaves and the vines.
The wind is strong going in days and nights.
The wind is cool and cold.
The wind is straight and wirley and curvy
and uply and downly and pointly and
upsidedownly and rightly and lefty and dently.

He clearly used his schema, his senses and his emotions to immerse the reader in how he was feeling at that particular moment. Wow! Wow! Wow! As a teacher I couldn’t be more proud. Way to go TDR’s!

TDR Spring Egg Hunt A Success!

Chets Creek had their annual egg hunt last week and the TDR’s were hunting and gathering with the best of them! The students participated in arts and crafts which included making bunny bags (for collecting eggs), decorating egg cookies, and creating eatable bird’s nests among other fun activities. Each egg was filled with candy and hidden by our wonderful room moms. (What would we do without our awesome room moms?) Mayhem ensued and the playground mulch went flying as the TDR’s raced to find their eggs. All in all it was a great day and I gained about 20 lbs from eating too many chocolate eggs…but it was soooooo worth it!

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Xtra! Xtra! Persuasive Writing 101

Prior to spring break the TDR’s started our “NEW” persuasive writing unit. The children have been given the task of writing persuasive letters about their own “real-world issues/concerns.” Much to our delight the students came forward with an outpouring of ideas such as field trips once a week (for more in depth learning), a Nintendo DS (for educational purposes of course), a new trampoline because the old one is broken and a safety hazard, a puppy (to teach them responsibility) and many more. I have to say I liked the idea of McDonald’s and Domino’s Pizza being delivered once a week. We created our own TDR Post Office inclusive of stationary, stamps, envelopes, etc. Over the next two weeks we will be addressing and sending these letters out to the principal, moms and dads, teachers among many others. So the next time you go to the mail box beware…persuasion is in the air!

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Exploring Plants and Flowers

We have been talking about plants in science the past few weeks. We have been observing different types of seeds, roots, flowers. Last week, each child got to plant a bean seed and some winter rye seeds. It didn't take long for the winter rye to begin growing in our cups, but the bean seeds took a little longer.
This week, we did a experiments with plants. We put food coloring and water in a few containers and placed some white flowers, and roses in the containers. We also did the same thing with stalks of celery. After just a few hours, the colored water began to travel up tiny tubes in the stem of the white flowers and pink roses, and the petals began to change colors before our eyes. The same thing happened to our stalks of celery. We decided to split one of the celery stalks and put half of it in blue water, and the other half in red water. The colored water traveled up the celery, changing the inside color, as well.
A nearby florist was so kind to donate a variety of spring flowers for our class to observe. We set up different flowers at each table with magnifying glasses, and students were asked to describe the texture, color, smell of each of the flowers. Also, we opened up some of the flowers for them to observe the inside parts of the flowers. I think we are all ready for SPRING now.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Sight Word Song

Once again we are singing sight words to a known tune. Ask your child to sing the following words to the tune of "She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain."

Untitled from dayle timmons on Vimeo.

Wordle And The Big Chickens Project

Wordle: Big Chickens

Teachers are always searching for cool new ways to reach their students. While working on the Big Chickens Project the TDR’s decided (after suggestions from our favorite ESE teacher) to utilize Wordle. Wordle is a great little tool you can use to help create “word clouds”. Words that appear more frequently in your text are greatly pronounced based on how often the word is used. You can create different fonts, color schemes and layouts. This is a great tool for any grade level or project. After reading Big Chickens by Leslie Helakjoski we had our students pick three words each that they thought best described the book. We entered the words into the Wordle website and our “word cloud” was created! I don’t know about you but I see a lot more fun with site words in our future!

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

The leprechauns Visit the TDR's

The TDR's had quite the surprise when they arrived at school this morning. The classroom was turned upside down by some little green visitors. Chairs were flipped over, crayons and papers were thrown all about. The leprechauns even turned our water green! Mrs. Daniels and Mrs. Ruark were very proud of the children as they worked together to clean up the room and get it back to normal again. I must say it was quite a day...I hope those pesky little leprechauns don’t visit again anytime soon!

Saturday, 14 March 2009

A Retelling of our Kevin Henkes Day

What a way to end the Kevin Henkes author study. We couldn't believe our eyes on Friday morning. Instead of being greeted by 31 students, we were greeted by 31 cute little mice. There was Lilly, Chester, Wemberly, Owen, Julius, Mr. Slinger, and many more characters from Kevin Henkes books. We rotated from place to place doing special activities. The first stop was outside fun, where our class got to play tug-of-war, make bubbles, play crochet and play jump rope. These were all activities that occurred in the books that we had read. Second stop was watching a Kevin Henkes video of three of our favorite stories, and eating a yummy snack that mice love soooo much, cheetos. Third stop, we went to the Lightbulb Lab, and decorated either a purple purse or a wallet. Fourth stop, we played Jeaopardy and had to answer all types of questions about the stories we had read. Well, you could imagine all of this spectacular fun made our cute little mice very hungry. Thanks to all of you for being so gracious with your donations to our room mom, we had cheeeeeeesy pizza, strawberries, chips and soda for our lunch. We all can't 'THANK YOU' enough. You know our day is not complete until we eat something sweet. Did you know that mice love cupcakes?? Our mice were all given a cupcake and used toppings to make a mouse on their cupcake. Was your little mouse tired when they got home? Sweet dreams little mice.

Monday, 9 March 2009

Kevin Henkes Puppets

Students were invited to make puppets as a family project last week and today they brought in the results. Popsicle puppets, bag puppets, and sock puppets were all displayed. The puppets will be used this week as the children practice retelling the stories of Kevin Henkes! Thanks to all the families that participated and for all of their creativity!

Sunday, 8 March 2009

A Visit From Lilly

Friday was not just any other ordinary day. Parker's mom, Mrs. Rossignol came to our class with props and costumes for students to act out the Kevin Henkes story, "Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse." We have been working on retelling in our writing, and what a fun way to be able to remember all the events in a story. As if role playing a story wasn't spectacular enough, Mrs. Rossignol made special arrangements for the main character to make an appearance in our class. That's right, "LILLY" was in the house. Well, if you know anything about Lilly, she didn't just want Mrs. Rossignol to show her around by holding her tail, she wanted to get up close and personal. So, Lilly jumped to the floor, and what a show-off she was, running all around the room. We had it all under control, and I kept my eyes on that cute little mouse, as I was standing on the table. What can I say, it's never dull in first grade. Thank you so Mrs. Rossignol for making our Friday, truly exciting.

Saturday, 28 February 2009

A New Arrival!

Happy Birthday Irelyn Ryan Timmons!
Born Monday, March 2, 2009, 11:59 am

6 lbs, 15 oz. - 20 inches long
Woo hoo!

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Mrs. Timmons Surprise Baby Shower

Did your child tell you about our exciting surprise baby shower for Mrs. Timmons on Friday? You could say that we 'KNOCKED' her socks off. We had to get Mrs. Timmons out of the room for about fifteen minutes to get everything prepared. Once she came in the room, we all yelled, "Surprise!!!!" Then, each child shared some words that described Mrs. Timmons. Of course, we had to sing her a song that we had made up. Then, we SHOWERED her with cards, gifts, and so much love. Finally, we ate some delicious cake.

WE were so amazed at the outpouring of gifts and donations from all of YOU. Also, an extra special 'Thanks' to Donna Powell and Gina Allmond for all of their help in making the shower a huge success.

Here's our song we wrote for Mrs. Timmons.

Mrs. Timmons, We Love You!
(to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)

Mrs. Timmons, we love you,
We will miss you, this is true.
While you're home, make sure you rest,
We all promise to do our best,
Mrs. Timmons, we love you,
We will miss you, this is true.
Baby Irelyn and Kallyn too,
Will keep you busy as we do,
Mrs. Timmons, we love you,
We will miss you, this is true.
Time will pass by oh, so fast,
In a blink, you're back in class,
Mrs. Timmons, we love you,
We will miss you, this is true!

Schema Activated

Our T. D. class is always amazing me. We've been talking about how good readers will make predictions, ask questions, activate schema or use their background knowledge to make connections. I was reading a wonderful book called Jin Woo, by Eve Bunting. It was about a boy whose parents were about to adopt a baby boy from Korea. In this story, the family is eating at a restaurant the night before they are going to go to the airport to pick up their new baby boy from another country. While the students were looking at the picture, Sarah's face lit up, and she began waving her hand for me to call on her. I knew she couldn't wait until I read the page, so when I called on her to share, she exclaimed, "The words on the window in that restaurant are Korean, and it says noodles." She then told us that she can speak and read in Korean. Her schema was activated, and by using her background knowledge she was able to enlighten us, and help us to better understand the text. We all come to school each day with so many different experiences about places we've been, things we've done, and none of us have the same experiences.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Kevin Henkes Author Study

The TD's proudly present the beginning of the Kevin Henkes author study. This particular author study is a read-aloud study filled with delightful and relatable stories written by Mr. Henkes. We will read and reread stories to offer the students an opportunity to get a true sense of the author and his work. We will teach the children how to think and discuss “across” several books. The children will learn the importance of making connections to stories, how to compare and contrast story elements, how to retell a story and how to shape and record a variety of responses to the literature they are read. As our readers master the basics of this genre we will branch off into other creative avenues including timelines, murals, stories written through the eyes of the story character, student altered character adventures and story endings. So ask your child about Kevin Henkes and his world of wondrous mice!

Thursday, 5 February 2009

2nd Nine Weeks Awards

Thank you so much to the parents who came on Thursday to help us celebrate our 2nd Nine Weeks Awards, and... thank you to the parents who came on Friday. Because of a change in dates, both Thursday and Friday went out as dates for our Awards. Thanks to the parents for their patience on Thursday as we got ready when we realized the mistake and to those who came on Friday.

We are so very proud of our students this nine weeks. They are doing hard work and exceeding every goal. Special congratulations to our four Soaring Eagles above and to everyone of our special award winners below!

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Hey Canada, We Have Questions!

The TD’s are so excited about our new blogging friends in Regina, Saskatchewan Canada. With this excitement come lots of questions. Our tenacious 1st graders would like to know what the weather is like this time of year in Regina? Jacksonville’s average for February is 67 degrees Fahrenheit, but we’re thinking it may be a little colder in Regina. On a more urgent note, the TD’s would like to know what Canadians eat. Some of our favorites are spaghetti, macaroni and cheese and chocolate pudding, with the latter getting the most votes. I have to say, I voted for the chocolate pudding too! Our final question for this week is what does Regina look like? We would love to see some pictures to help us get a better idea of where you live. We look forward to hearing from you!

Monday, 2 February 2009

Happy 100th Day!

Happy 100th Day of school! With 180 school days in a year, we are over half way! Can you believe it? Make sure to ask your child about Zero, the Hero who was at school today celebrating with us.
Today is also Ground Hog Day! We know because Micayla told us that the ground hog saw his shadow this morning so that means 6 more weeks of Christmas! Well, Micayla almost got it right. It does mean 6 more weeks of winter so button up!

Saturday, 31 January 2009

New Friends from Canada!

We are so excited! We are going to have some new friends reading our blog and commenting on it. They are going to be teachers and they are taking a class in Canada! We wanted to introduce our class to them - the TDs (that stands for Mrs. Timmons and Mrs. Daniels, although Mrs. Timmons is going out on maternity leave later this month and Mrs. Ruarke, who has already started in our class, will be taking her place!) We got to film our introduction on a very important day in our life. It was our traditional first grade sleepover and some our parents got to watch as we filmed! So.... introducing the AMAZING, the FANTASTIC, the BEST in the whole wide world... THE TDs!

First Grade Mentor Video from Melanie Holtsman on Vimeo.

Friday, 30 January 2009


What a great day! We started with a parade through the darkened hallways carrying our teddy bears and flashlights as everyone sang "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star." Then it was a pancake breakfast in the Dining Room, furnished by Denny's. After eating, Principal Phillips had us all up and dancing, including our teachers!

Soon we were ready for "centers" led by our fearless Resource Team. We learned the "Bear Polka" where we even got to R-O-A-R like a lion and then partnered up for Square Dancing. In art we got to design our own book covers. Outside we had to "defend our bears" and then it was "Sleepover Bingo."

We had lunch in the room and then in the afternoon we went to "KK's Sleepover Party!" With our pillows and teddy bears, we watched a shadow play of Ira Sleeps Over and a winnie Pooh movie with drinks and popcorn (what's a movie without popcorn!) and then rounded it off with some Sleepover dancing!

The teachers are exhausted from so much sleepover fun but the kids had a WONDERFUL time!

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Guess Who Was on TV?

Guess who was on WCCE this morning? We were! Two students from our class were on the morning television program with their bears, to remind everyone at school that tomorrow is the BIG event - our sleepover! and guess who the anchor was this morning? Mrs. Daniel's fifth grade daughter (she's the one on the left in the pretty pink!) They were all FANTASTIC!

Wednesday, 28 January 2009


This is First Grade Sleepover Week at Chets Creek. On Tuesday night all parents were invited to join their child in our classroom to make a pillowcase. Children came with their families to enjoy the night. Of course, I'm not sure who worked harder on the pillowcases - the child or the adults?! But we turned out masterpieces! Thank you so much to those familes who were able to join us for this fun event!

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Lookout Hollywood!

Did your students come home today and tell you that we had video cameras in our room all morning? Well, they were right! Today our class was videotaped during a longer-than-usual Skills Block and you would have been so proud! The children responded like stars, showing off all of the things that they have learned this year. The tape was for Pearson, a professional educational company. An edited version of the tape will eventually be used to train teachers from all over the country. Afterwards Dr. Eagen from the University of North Florida taped a follow-up session about assessment with four of our students. They made us all so proud! There is nothing more satisfying to a teacher than to see students show how much they have learned - and today was very satisfying indeed! Hollywood, here we come!

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Bully Buster Week

January 12-15 is "Bully Buster Week" at Chets Creek. Even though Chets Creek is a very safe environment for our children we recognize the bullying starts very young and gets worse as children get older. Research tells us the devastating effects that bullying has on three groups of children: those that are bullied, those that bully and those that watch bullying take place and do nothing. All week on our in-house morning television program, WCCE, the children will see little vignettes about what to do when they see one child bullying another.

On Monday each child will receive a paper brick and will write about a time when they felt uncomfortable. Every child in the building will contribute a brick to a wall that will go up in the Dining Room.

Monday night, January 12, is Chik-fil-A night and part of the proceeds from 6-8:00 will be given back to Chets Creek to be used for bully prevention. If any child goes up to the counter and says he is a Bully Buster from Chets Creek, he will receive free ice cream!

On Thursday every child in the school is encouraged to wear blue to fight the "Billy Blues". The children will have an assembly in the Dining Room when they will tear the wall down of negative feelings that they built on Monday.

Visit the linked website with your child to learn more about bullying. Or try this website. Let us know what you think!