Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Yoga Class in Hog Heaven


The Mall-ard students were very fortunate to have one of our parents teach a children's yoga class this week. Mrs. Leigh CJ teaches yoga and thought it would be fun to have the children learn some techniques. They were so excited and really got into the moment. Yoga is known for building confidence and self-esteem. It can improve concentration and focus. It is excellent for bodies and health and it promotes balance, flexibility, coordination and strength. The students had a wonderful time learning from Mrs. L and we appreciate the experience you gave them...we are now centered!!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Science of Plants


In Science, students have been learning about the parts of a plant and the specific function of each part. We employ the 5 E's when starting a new science unit. First we engage the learner. In other words, getting the student interested in the subject matter. Exploring gives the child the chance to have hands-on experience and to start forming questions. Questions are answered during the "Explain" part of science. Extending and then Evaluating their knowledge are the last of the 5 E's. Children had two different kinds of plants at each table. They listed what was the same and different about each plant. For instance, they both had leaves but they were different in size and shape. They shared their findings and then posed questions. "What do plants need to survive?" and "What are the functions of the leaves, stems, and roots?" were discussed. Our pre-intern Mrs. D.S. was wonderful in explaining the parts of plant. Their knowledge was then evaluated by having them label and list the plants parts and why the plant needs them to survive.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Mystery Reader - Fireman Chris Gets Fired Up About Fire Safety


We had a very special mystery reader this week - it was our old friend Fireman Chris. Fireman Chris shared a slide show stressing fire prevention and safety with the students. He talked about the importance of a safety ladder if you are on the second floor, staying low to the ground to get air, and having a meeting place for the family outside the home if there is a fire. Students learned tips such as touching the door with the back of their hand to feel if it is hot. Of course, he reviewed "Stop, drop and roll" with them. He read the "Magic School Bus Gets All Fired Up" to the children and had a question/answer session afterward. Thank you Fireman Chris for coming to our class during your off time to discuss fire safety with our class. They learned a lot and enjoyed your visit.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day - The Mall-ard's Way


Mother's Day is BIG in the Mall-ard's classroom. On Friday, students invited their mothers to a special "Mother's Day Breakfast". It started with a short video called "What I like best about my mom" where each child mentioned something he/she especially liked about his/her mom. This included her famous chocolate chip cookies, reading and playing games with them. The children sang three songs (one was done in sign language) and then a special slide show was presented (below). Mrs. Holtsman's special project for the last two years has been to take a picture of each child one day a month. The results were great and tear-jerker to many mothers as they watched their child growing before their eyes. We finished with breakfast and coffee punch. At the tables were specially made gifts including a beaded black and white necklace that each child made and a recipe book created by the children of the favorite things their moms make. It was a great way and kick-off off the Mother's Day weekend. Thank you Mall-ard Moms for a wonderful two years with your child...we enjoyed every minute with each of them.

Untitled from Melanie Holtsman on Vimeo.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Letter Writing and America's White Table


A friend asked if we could participate in a special "surprise" for some World War II veterans who will be visiting Europe this month. On the way home in the plane when they think the day is done, the Vets will have a "Mail Call" with letters from students and family members telling them how proud they are of their service and how much it means to all of us. Of course we were very excited to participate in this project. In an effort to explain how brave the men and women of the armed forces are, we read a previous book of the month called, "America's White Table" by Margot Theis Raven. The White Table is set in many mess halls as a symbol for and remembrance to service members fallen, missing, or held captive in the line of duty. Solitary and solemn, it is the table where no one will ever sit. This story is about a little girl's Uncle John and the white table they set for him. Each item placed on the table has a special significance.
Writing these letters couldn't have come at a better time. The students have been writing during our persuasive writing unit and writing to the servicemen came very naturally. Below is a sampling of the student's heartfelt gratitude of the remarkable job the armed forces has done for all of us. I am sure they will enjoy reading these notes from some very special first grade students.

Dear Sir,
How was your trip? My name is Grace. I'm in first grade in the Mall-ard's class. Thank you for serving our country. We just read a book called, "America's White Table." Thank you for letting us have freedom. you were fearless. And thanks for stopping the war. You did a good job! Have a great day sir.
Sincerely,
Grace E.

Dear Army men,
Thank you for risking your life for us. You are so brave and fearless. Thank you for saving our country.Thank you for freeing us.