Tuesday, May 29, 2012

TOMORROW!! ~ May 30th, Wednesday

Our students reached their goal and filled up their bucket for a second time!! Tomorrow we will have a beach day in the classroom. Students can bring a beach towel, and wear their swim suits (as long as they are also wearing a shirt). If you would also like to send treats to help celebrate, the kinds would greatly appreciate it.

Also tomorrow, girls will be getting their reward for winning our team points. We will be enjoying pizza in the classroom.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What a year! Students came into the room nervous and unsure of what first grade would be like. Now looking at them, they are more confident, more knowledgeable, and quite a bit taller. It has been a blast teaching them this year. The students have also taught me a great deal about teaching and overcoming challenges. Thank you for all your help and support. I told Mr. welch that I'm not only going to miss the students, but the wonderful parents from this year too. Everyone has been so helpful and supportive. Next week: Monday- no school Tuesday and Wednesday - normal school day.end of year assembly Thursday- early out and last day of school.

Monday, May 7, 2012

 Pence Elementary Art Show (see information Below)
May 12 and 13th from 1 - 4 pm

Pence Spring Music Concert
May 15th at 7:00 pm

You are cordially invited to attend the

2012 Elementary Art Show

Where: Pence Elementary 
Date: Sat. and Sun., May 12 and 13
Time: Open 1 to 4 p.m.
The show features artwork by all K-4 students in the district! 

Bring: your camera! 
You can be in:
Grant Wood’s  “American Gothic”
Leonardo daVinci’s  “Mona Lisa”
Edvard Munch’s “The Scream”
Hope to see you at the Elementary Art Show!

                     Debbie Finney and Alicia Carradus
                       K-4 Art Educators for FCSD

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Theme 9 Week 1 Words

List A - by, my, fly, try, cry, why, pry, deny
List B - Shy, Sly, spy, fly, try, cry why, deny, multiply

Word wall words: around, dance, else, ever,ocean, open, talk, through

ATTENTION::: If you are buying shoes in the next few days or you have extra shoe boxes laying around, please send them our way! We will be creating land form dioramas!

Funny Schedule this week:
Monday - Students will be joining the kdg at 2:30 pm to practice for the spring concert on May 15th
Tuesday - We will finally be taking the DMI assessments.
Wednesday - I will be gone to Ottumwa for our PBIS training
Thursday - Normal day as far as I know :)
Friday - Start working on our land form projects

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The small things are often the big things.

A three year old child is a being who gets almost as much fun out of a fifty-six dollar set of swings as it does out of finding a small green worm.  ~Bill Vaughan

I just read this quote and it made me laugh about a situation today. I found a cute activity and added it to my big elaborate lesson on fractions. (along with some other well thought out projects that we worked on today.) It was simply cutting out different parts of a circle (parts of a hole) and making fish out of them. Aka our Fraction Fish. I thought it would just be an extra project to do during our math rotations if our other projects from the day were done. I couldn't believe how many students loved this and were motivated more to get their other work completed! Even some of our non-artistic students wanted to try it out. Unfortunately there are only so many minutes in our day, so a few of them didn't get finished, but they enjoyed creating these easy fish. 

Moral of the story, sometimes we over look the simple things that make kids happy. Something to think about as summer quickly approaches, is to look for small things to do with your student. These are often the very things they learn the most from. I know I often get into trouble with assuming students know something and carry on my teaching. Then I am pulled back when a student is brave and asks what a word means, or is. I often forget I don't have to "buy the fifty dollar swingset" when I just need to present the student with the "small green worm."

May 7th - DMI's (change of date)
May 15th - Spring Music Concert 7:00pm 
May 28 - No School for Memorial Day
May 30th - Will Not be a Late start - Normal Day 
May 31st - Last day of school

*** Supplies needed for our classroom : Dry Erase Markers, Erasers for pencils (like the kind you stick on) and Wet/Sanitizer wipes.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

April 23 - 28th

As always, we have a busy week ahead of us!

Last week we had quite the adventure to the Iowa Childcare's Museum. The students (and myself!) explored air, crafting, motion, legos, farming, trains, and well much more! It was such a great experience watching the children's eyes light up when they discovered something new. Another big THANK YOU to our parent helpers. We definitely had a surplus of help. Please check out the facebook page to see all the cool pictures of our class!

This week we have Grandparents visiting us on Tuesday and Thursday. They are welcome to visit for breakfast and to check out the classrooms. In our class we have been working very hard on a readers theater piece that we will be performing for our visitors.

Tomorrow (Monday) we will have a presentation from the Midwest one bank on saving money. Sabrina will visit our room to to give a lesson on the value of saving as part of the American Bankers Association Education Foundation’s annual Teach Children to Save Day.

We will also be wrapping up our research projects. Students have been working hard at learning about one particular animal and then taking what they learned and writing about it. We have used the internet, books and other means to find out everything we can!

Keep sending in those box tops! By now you should have received a very bright pink sheet to help you collect those little rectangles. The classes that collects 500 tops will win a root beer float party and the class that collects the most will earn a pizza party!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Iowa Children's Museum Trip!!

IOWA CHILDREN"S MUSEUM TOMORROW!!  - Wear comfy clothes and good shoes. Don't forget your sack lunch and best behavior!  Bus is leaving at 9:30 am.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Big Stuff in First Grade!!

Get ready for an extra exciting 2 weeks!We have a trip coming up this week, and a day off the following week. There will also be researching, fractions and more more learning in our future.

Important Dates:

April 10th - Day with out shoes to support TOMS and
April 19th FIELD TRIP ~ Please wear comfortable clothes, tennis shoes, and bring a yummy sack lunch.
April 23rd - DMI (district math tests) Be sure to get plenty of rest and eat a healthy breakfast!
April 23 - 26th - Book Fair - In the Library Pence will be hosting a book fair. Come check it out! 
April 24 & 26 Grandparents day - See Pence Papers for details
April 27th - No School 
May 28 - No School for Memorial Day
May 30th - Will Not be a Late start - Normal Day 
May 31st - Last day of school

Last week, and this up coming week we have been working on a research paper. The students have been diligently searching for information on an animal that they chose. Ask your student all about their animal, by now they should be experts! We have looked in books and on the internet.

Here is a great site  and very kid friendly: http://www.worldbookonline.com/kids/home

Spellng words List A:
now, cow, out, pout, shout, down, how, loud

Spelling Words List B:

now, cow, out, down, found, pouch, house, crowded,

Word Wall Words: 
Always arms body eight ready seven warm

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Here is a site about Smokey the bear!


We are learning about helping the earth and being careful with fire is a big way to help! A small spark can start a forest fire. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Iowa Children's Museum Trip!!

We will be attending the Iowa Children's Museum on April 19th. Click on the Link  to see what is happening at the museum.

If you would like to volunteer for the all day trip, please contact me. Volunteers will be chosen on a first come first serve basis. I will also be sending home a letter with more information.

Grandparents Breakfast April 24th and 26th. Check out the Pence Papers (sent home last week) for more details.

Keep following our blog to stay up-to-date!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Theme 8 Word Wall words and spelling

                    April 10th picture day!                        

Spelling: jump, jumping, shopping, run, running, singing, eat, eating
(talking about why the ing is at the end)

Word Wall Words: because, about, part, draw, tiny, teacher, happy

Have a great week!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Spring Fever!

Can you believe we only have 43 days of school left!! I hope no one has caught the Spring Fever. Symptoms include wanting to be outside, laying around in the sunshine, taking long walks on the trails... oh well maybe it would be a good thing if you caught it! 

We have also had a lot of things going on in our room. This week we were introduced to our new student Aspen! She is a very bright girl and interested in reading and dolphins. Our class is also very excited to get to know her. 

TOMORROW! (April 5th) Wear your favorite baseball team gear - minus the cleats. 
( ~ brownie points for the cub fans)

Past events: 

The Friday before Spring break we took a trip to the park. Our goal was to find various shapes in and around the equipment.. And of course to have fun!

 Also before break, we were learning about solids, liquids, and gases. Students should be able to tell you which state of matter different items or things would fit in. Below we did an experiment to show gas. We mixed vinegar and baking soda. The gas that it created filled up the balloon!
 Above: Along with going to the park to learn about shapes. Students created shapes using clay. The student here made a cone! 

Next up: 

Science - Students will need to be able to identify different parts of a plant and what they need to grow. We are growing different fruits and vegetables in our rooms and we will be documenting what we observe. Next time you are in the yard or going for a walk, point out some of the plants around and have your student tell you what the different parts are. Also, discuss what the plants are used for. Some are for people to eat, some are for animals to eat, some are for animal homes, and others are to look pretty! 

Writing - During this quarter we will be working on an animal research project. Students will pick out an animal (other than typical house pets) and research different information for the creature. They will also be using the computers and library to conduct their research. Students haven't picked out their animal yet, but we have talked about the project and I have asked them to think about what they might want to learn more about. 

Reading - We are going to be looking a lot at non-fiction and learning how to gain knowledge from this genre. This will help us to gain information for our selves and for our research projects. Students often get fiction and non-fiction mixed up. It helps to discuss this with your student when you are reading a book or a magazine. Ask your student if it is non-fiction or fiction, as well as "how do you know." This gets them to learn the difference and challenge their thinking.

Students are also learning about suffixes - ing, ed, and s. We are also learning about how the ending can change the meaning of the word. Pick out different words and have your student add the different endings. Explore which words make sense when you change them, and which ones don't. 


Tree, trees, bird, birds, cup, cups, gloves 

Secret word: I will write a secret word somewhere in my blog. Tell your student the word and they will tell me in the room. This will earn them an X on our work chart! 

Secret word for the week is  - Forest

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spelling words and Surprise

Good Evening 1st grade supporters,

Sorry for the delay in getting these words out to you, I must have an early case of Spring fever! This week everyone will have the same words to study due to Spring Break being right around the corner.

zoo, too, soon, room, moose, moon, food, balloon

Surprise on Friday:
On Friday from 2 - 3pm our class will be celebrating. We will have filled our buckets by this time, and rightfully deserve to be rewarded for our efforts. If you would like to join us, please contact me before Thursday evening for more details. This is a surprise for the students, thus the reason I did not write exactly what we are doing :P

Math: We are working with shapes! Students are learning about how shapes are all around us.

Reading: "If you Give a Pig a Pancake" is the story for the week. Students are very excited about this story because it is funny, and many of them have already read it, or heard it read to them before.

Science: This week, and last week we have been focusing on solid, liquid, and gases. We are identifying different things in each catagory.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Khan Academy - Math Website on 60 minutes


Khan Academy is a great and simple math website for kids. It offers video tutorials for how to do math and eliminates a lot of the cartoony extra stuff. It was featured on 60 minutes tonight! '

I started using it with a few kids about a year ago and it really helped them with their basic facts. You need to have a gmail or facebook account (to ensure you are a real person and not just an advertiser).  As a parent you can sign up to be the "coach" and watch your child's progress. You can have multiple students/kids under your name so your whole family can be involved. Check it you and if you have questions let me know and I will answer what I can. Above is the link to the website, below is a link to the 60 minutes excerpt.

And the best part is, it's 100% free!! I also have an account so if you would like your student to add me as the coach my user name is my email: daniell.mcevoy@fairfieldsfuture.org.



Spelling and Word Wall Words Theme 7 week 2

This week we have two lists. Students are in different reading groups and they know what group they are in. Group six will have a different list, all other groups will have the same.

Reminder: Spelling words are words that we are tested on how to spell every week. Students should be able to tell you how to spell them, how to read them, and how to use them in a sentence. Word wall words are words that students need to be able to read and write in a sentence. It is very helpful if they know how to write them as well, but I don't test them on their ability to write these words, just read them. 

Groups 1 - 5 Spelling
look, book, took, good, foot, cook, hoof, crook

 Group 6 Spelling
bloom, shook, brook, bloom, broom, spool, stool, crook, hoof 

 Word Wall Words: afraid, any, bean, follow, idea, most, tall, water

Secret Word: bear

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Website for our reading books

Dear paresnts,

We are sitting at the carpet as I type this. Your students wanted me to post this website since we just visited it and played a game!

Your students and Miss M


Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Wow!! Can you believe third quarter is almost over? I know I can't. With the weather getting nicer out and spring fever breaking out, these next few weeks are going to fly by. Speaking of weather, please try to dress your student in layers. Iowa doesn't like to stay at one consistent temperature so having a jacket at school will be helpful in keeping your child comfortable while learning. Here are are few things that are happening with us...

Last week was Dr. Suess's Birthday and Read Across America. At Pence we all pulled out our books and read in the hallway for 10 minutes!

Saturday at the movies!! Free movie courteous of our Pence Pals Parent group. The movie "Hugo" will be starting at 10:00am Saturday afternoon at the Fairfield Movie Theater. Students, parents/guardians, and siblings will be able to get in free!! (The book is also outstanding if you get a chance to read it)

Math: We have been studying fact families these last few weeks. I sent home a printout of fact family triangles to cut out and practice at home. These are very helpful in understanding addition and subtraction. They are also a good tool to pull out if you have a few minutes of down time.

Science: Over the last few weeks we looked at different animals and their habitats. The students enjoyed learning about the different animals and how they survive in their own habitat. Then we made posters to hang in the hallway to show off our learning.

Social Studies: First graders are focusing on American symbols. You might have noticed the Statue of Liberty hats come home. A few other symbols that we will be learning about and need to know are the bald eagle, White House, American Flag, President of the United States, and the Pledge of Allegiance. Ask  you student if you see any of these symbols while watching television or reading for your 20 minutes at night.

Spelling: OA and OW is our word family focus this week and will continue to go into next week.

Reading: Have you made a prediction lately? We have! We are learning about making predictions based on the knowledge we have, and the clues the author provides. Proper nouns (specific person place or thing) will also be popping up in our learning. Students know a lot about nouns and naming words, now we are starting to identify proper nouns and making then capital in our writing. 

Secret Word: Estimate

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Fun in first grade!!

 We are learning our addition and subtraction facts in a fun way! Above you see students using the ipods to play addition top-it. It is an interactive game for two players to practice their fact families and greater/less than.

In first grade we are learning the importance of inventors, and in third grade students need to be able to identify specific inventors. We decided to come together and share our knowledge! Here the third graders are presenting their posters to the first graders and telling them the cool facts they learned.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Theme 7 Week 1 Spelling (early!!)

I am sending these out very early since I will have a busy weekend :)

Our focus is "oa" and "ow" sounds

We will also be working on learning the American Symbols: Statue of Liberty, bald eagle, American Flag, White House, President of the United States, and Mount Rushmore.

If you have any fun pictures from trips you have taken and would like to share them with the class please do!!

Secret Word of the Week: caterpillar
(Tell your student the secret word and have them tell me at school to get an extra check on their work chart) 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Wear your class color tomorrow!

Pence will be sporting different colors. Each grade has a different color and first grade is orange! Let's show some school spirit.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Theme 6 Week 3 Spelling Words

Hope everyone is enjoying their extra day off this weekend! Here are the spelling words and word wall words for this up coming week. Enjoy :)

Spelling words: Patter ay

day, say, play, may, way, stay
-Have your student also come up with more "ay" words and see how many they can list!!

Word Wall Words:
Been, evening, far, forest, goes, hungry, near, soon.

As a way to get more parents reading our blog and looking over our words, I will have a secret word at the end of my blog. If the student comes in and is able to tell me the secret word, they will get an additional check on their work chart. 

Secret Word for the week: Frogs

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Spelling Words Theme 6 Week 2

Here are your weekly spelling words :)


Please continue to work with your students every day with their spelling words. Encourage your student to write sentences with these words in them, or spell them out loud. You can also make if fun by putting flour or hair gel on a flat surface and letting the student write the word in it. Another fun way is to have them spell the word out with M&M's or chex, then if they get it right they can eat it.

As February moves on into March, we (teachers) often see a slump in students behavior and academics. This has a lot to do with not being outside as much, and not getting a lot of sun light or exercise. Try to encourage students to get outside more and move around. Get some exercise by dancing around together, or look for kids work out dvds. This is both good for the body and the mind.



Monday, February 6, 2012

PBIS at Pence

Things are starting to change a bit around Pence. Last Friday we had a whole school assembly about Trojan Traits (PBIS). Our Trojan Traits are: be respectful, be responsible, and be safe. These are three key concepts that we can apply in any setting in and out of Pence. Our starting focus point is the hallway. The Pence staff will be watching for students who are using the traits and reward them with a positive comment and a Trojan Trait ticket. Check out our class learning about hallway expectations.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Spelling - Theme 5 week 3

Here are your wonderful words for spelling this week:
like, five, ride, mine, time, kite, prize, smile

Word wall words include: (Words we should be able to recognize while reading)
fly, good, her, little, our, try, was, by, and climb


100th Day is Monday, January 30th. Bring in 100 (insert yummy food to add to mix) to mix into our class snack bowl.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Spelling - Theme 5 Week 2

1. Make
2. come
4. name
5. gave
6. game
7. place
8. Skate

Words are also on spellingcity.com!

1. Go to the website
2. Click on "Students"
3. Type in "McEvoy" in the search bar.
4. I am the third or fourth down

Friday, January 20, 2012

Winter Wonderland!

We weren't for sure if winter was here over break, but we know for sure it is here now!! Please watch for late starts and cancellations before sending your child to school.

In order for the students to be able to enjoy the snow, they must come with proper gear (hats, mittens, snow pants, boots, coats). They also must bring a pair of shoes to wear inside the classroom. Our carpets are starting to look a little sad because of the number of boots being warn as shoes. If a student does not have shoes, I will ask them contact a parent to bring them a pair.

This week we are starting to learn about poetry. Students got a poem journal on Monday. Throughout the week I have introduce different kinds of poems, and they have written poems that they found into their journal. Please share a childhood favorite poem with your student. Poetry is a great way to build fluency skills and learn about new things.

100 Day Celebration!!

On January 30th we will be celebrating our 100th day of school!! Please send a snack with your student (100 pieces of course) and we are going to add them all into a big bowl. We will also talk about how over the 100 days we have learned about working together, and how much more we know.

You have probably noticed, for math we are learning about greater and less than. This will be one of those life long skills that will continue to come up in math. Please review this concept with your student so that they can have a sense of confidence when we continue to talk about it.

Our addition skills have been rockin! We had an average of 18 correct on our 3 minute timed test on week one, and then on week two we increased by an average of 7 correct answers (ave. of 25 correct). The timed tests have 50 problems total, and my goal is to have a class average of 40 correct by the time we get out of school. Keep working on those facts!

Thank you for working on students sight words and spelling words. I have not had a chance to thank everyone in person since we didn't have conferences, but I can see a big difference from our pretest on Monday to the post test on Friday. Learning these words now is crucial since they continue to get harder as the year(s) go on.

This past week I sent out report cards, these should have been found in the students orange folders. If you have any questions or concerns please contact me right away and we can set up a time to meet. Overall I have been very impressed with our students grow. I will often point out words that we didn't know how to read at the beginning of the year, but now we are getting so much better! This has been a combined effort of the parent and the students so keep up the great work!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Check out our class :)

 Ask us about butterflies, and we will tell you all about them!!

 We are all hard workers!!
 Mrs. Ledger comes to our room every other Friday for guidance.

We played sight word bingo!!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Spelling Words - No Words

Last week we took more time than I thought to get back into the swing of things so we are still on the same reading theme/week. That means we are still going to be looking at last weeks words. I did give the test Friday, and the majority of the class had a perfect score!! Keep up the practicing at home!

This week we will also be looking at silent letters in words. I am not making a spelling list for this focus area, but words we will be looking at are:  know, write, gnat, knew, when and knot. Silent letters are a tough concept for many first graders because they are taught to sound out unknown words when they come across them. For those students who depend on this strategy, they have an even more difficult time. Help point out these words at home when you are reading, or make up some sentences together with these words in them and have your student pick out the words.

In math we are really looking at addition facts (or as we will call it "fact power.") Help your student by giving them a pop quiz, ask what is 3+4 when you are watching television or riding to the store.  Have your student help you with your grocery list... "If I need a carton of eggs, a gallon of milk, and two peppers how many items should I have in my cart when I am done?" These kinds of questions promote the "real life" aspect in math and helps them to understand where math is important in everyday life.

While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Spelling words for Theme four Week 2


Happy spelling :)

Welcome Back!

Monday, January 3

Welcome Back Pence Families!

I hope everyone had a nice and relaxing break. I was glad to be able to get caught up with housework and a little extra sleep!

We only have about two weeks left for the second quarter, which means this year is almost half over. In the next two weeks the students will be doing a little catching up from break, and reviewing classroom procedures. We will also be taking a few assessments to wrap up the quarter and to see how much we have learned! There are no parent conferences for this quarter, but if you would like to schedule one with me I would be more than glad to!

When third quarter does arrive, we will be learning about the th, ch, and sh digraphs, reading with expression, writing about opinions, estimation, geometric figures, states of matter, and of course much more! If there are any topics that we are discussing and you have a particular passion for or work in that field, feel free to let me know and I would love to have you come in and speak to the class about it.

There are still a few items on our classroom wish list, plus a few more are added as we use our supplies.
·      Dry erase markers
·      socks or old rags (used for erasers)
·      small scissors
·      Lysol wipes (or other brand)
·      Kleenex 

Thank you for all of your help and support! I am very fortunate to not only have a great class to work with everyday, but also awesome families as well. As always, if you have any questions please feel free to call or email me. My email address is daniell.mcevoy@fairfieldsfuture.org and my number is 641-777-3401.

Thanks and Happy New Year!
Miss. McEvoy

Here are our upcoming high-frequency words (aka – must know words) for third quarter.

grow, light, long, more, other, right, room, shall, these, could, give, house, how, over, own, so, world, fly, good, her, little, our, try, was, by, climb, found, morning, out, shout, show, cow, door, horse, now, table, there, through, wall, been, evening, far, forest, goes, hungry, near, soon, again, both, gone, hard, or, turn, want, afraid, any, bear, follow, idea, most, tall, water, build, old, piece, shoe, start, under, very, wear