Cultivating Minds Without Losing My Own

Join me on my Adventures in Elementary Education

Inspirational People Remind Us to Be Kind To All


Our current read aloud novel is a biography of the amazing Helen Keller.  She has inspired so many by overcoming odds stacked steeply against her to not only live life but live life well.  Helen Keller was born “normal.”  She was born a child with perfect vision and hearing.  Very early in life she became ill and a fever caused brain swelling that took away her sense of sight and hearing.  For a long time she was trapped in a dark, scary, tricky world.  Her parents were able to secure a teacher for her, Annie Sullivan, who unlocked the door to Helen’s world and the rest as they say is history.  Her story has so inspired a few of my students that they wrote the rest of my blog entry for me!  Meet our guest bloggers!

Julianna  is very intrigued by Helen Keller’s story and infact has begun reading her own Helen Keller book at home.

I like the book about Helen Keller because I like learning how she learned how to speak.  I like to see how Annie came up with ways to teach Helen.  I have read about 5 books about Helen Keller.  I have always loved learning about how she learned to do everything she could do.


Tykia shares Julianna’s admiration for Helen Keller and composed the following blog entry:

I like Helen Keller because she’s amazing!  She was deaf and blind.  I feel so bad for her.  Then she learned to speak.  Helen Keller is an awesome girl.  She was blind and deaf and couldn’t talk, but then she learned how to talk.  She is amazing!


Angelita agrees with the other ladies that Helen is simply amazing!

I like Helen Keller because she is interesting to me.  Helen amazes me how she learned to speak.  When she speaks it is not clear, but you can understand her.  She uses her hand to feel what the other person is talking about.  She smiles and makes feelings with her face.  Helen is a great and famous person to learn about. 


We watched the following clip today when we reached the part in her biography where she has learned to speak:


We have had many discussions in class about acceptance of others.  One of my cousins posted a link to an amazing video about the power our words have.  Please take a minute to watch it and speak to your kids about acceptance, bullying, and thoughtful words. 


Weekly Objectives January 7-11


This week is going to be a very exciting one in room 11.  Monday begins our adventure in hedgehog care!  Sophie was picked up this weekend and is all ready to come in and visit Monday morning.  We are going on our field trip to Drumthwacket, the governor’s residence, next Wednesday.  Please remember to turn in permission slips ASAP!  Below are our learning goals for this week:

Reading: This week we will be focusing on comparing and contrasting different view points as well as topics.  Comparing is telling how 2 things are similar.  Contrasting is telling how they are different.  We will be using a variety of different materials for these lessons including texts and physical objects.

Also during reading centers, I will be finishing up our Fountas and Pinnell Benchmarking.  We do this 3 times a year to check your child’s reading level.  It consists of students reading aloud to me (so I can hear where they are making errors), reading quietly to themselves, and then discussing the information or story they read (so I can check for comprehension.  Once everyone is done, I will be sending home a detailed graph of your child’s progress for this year (or the last 2 years for my friends that looped with me) as well as an explanation of what their level means and how you can help me help them at home.

Grammar: We will be picking up where we left off before break this week and reviewing adjectives and adverbs this week as well as working with prepositions that tell where.  There will be an edmodo quiz on Friday.

Vocabulary: This week our words all begin with the prefixes dis-, fore-, sub-, and under-.  We will be working to both understand what these prefixes mean as well as how they change the definition of the root word.  Check out our Powerful Vocabulary page for a list of the words as well as their definitions.  Our test on Friday focuses on using the words in context, not spelling.

Writing: We will be working on editing and publishing our second portfolio piece this week.  Last week we worked on writing a rough draft of a story about a wish a genie granted us that had to benefit someone other than ourselves.  This week we will peer edit, discuss rough draft score with me, and begin the revising/typing process.

Math: We are working with 2 by 2 multiplication this week.  We will begin using tables and charts to help us organize our work, but by the end of the week the work your child will be doing will look very familiar!

Social Studies: Students will be learning about the history of Drumthwacket this week leading up to our trip next week.  We will be creating time-lines, dissecting the state seal, creating calling cards, and learning about what our governor does each day.

Science: This week we will be working on tweaking our hedgehog habitat as needed and monitoring her health and behavior.  Each day a different students will be reporting in our our blog page about Sophie and what she has been up to that day.  Check out our Hedgie Home Page Link!

Halloween and Hurricanes- Guest Bloggers Julianna, Braez’an, and Elias


With all the excitement about the coming weekend in the air, our classroom was abuzz today.  Halloween and Hurricanes was on their minds.  With that in mind we had a class contest to get some guest bloggers up on our site.  Julianna and Elias will be presenting their tips for safe trick-or-treating and Braez’an will make sure you are prepared for the storm.  Enjoy!

 Tips for Safe Trick-or-Treating by Julianna and Elias

1.  Always stay with your parents while trick-or-treating.

2. If someone tells you to come inside to get the candy, don’t.  Leave and go to another house.

3. Do not get into a car if someone offers you a ride home.

4. Don’t walk in the streets.

5.  Don’t go to any houses that you don’t know.

6.  Make sure you have something that glows or wear light clothing so cars can see you.



Be Prepared for Bad Weather by Braez’an

1.  Keep flashlights and batteries around the house.

2.  Make sure you have bottled water.

3.  Make sure you have food in for your family.

4.  Make sure you and your family have underground shelter spots like a basement.

5.  Make sure you know where everyone you live with is at.

Skip to toolbar