What's going on in Room 125?

Horseback Riding TOMORROW!

Yeehaw! Room 125 is going horseback riding tomorrow!  Please remember to send your child in layers and shoes that can get dirty.  Feel free to send extra layers to school….we will be going regardless of weather, so it is important your child has proper attire for whatever the day may bring us. Please also send a packed lunch in a paper or plastic bag.  If your child usually buys lunch at school, the cafeteria can provide a sack lunch if needed, but it will not offer all of the choices of the cafeteria, so I recommend sending something if you have a picky eater. We will be gone from around 9-1.  Let me know if you have any questions!  Tomorrow is going to be a fun day!

These are the dates we will be riding. Expect to send layers and lunch on the following days:

        March 1, 8, 22

        April 12, 19, 26

        May 3,10

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Paperwork Please!

Acres of Opportunity Ranch Field Trip

If you have not turned in your paperwork for our horseback riding trips, please do this by Monday (February 27).  The ranch must have this paperwork for students to attend.  The lady who runs the program will be coming to pick up the paperwork next week, so it is critical that I have it by Monday.  Our first trip will be next Thursday!


Don’t forget to spread the word about our new project!  We have already had $360 donated!  It is my goal that we get this project funded by the end of March so we can really utilize the resources this academic year.  Tell your friends:)

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Weekly Update: LOTS of Exciting and Important Info!

I have a lot of important updates this week, so this update is going to be informational. Please take some time to read through this information, since there’s a lot of exciting stuff going on!


First of all, thank you so much to everyone who took the time to make it out to conferences this week!  As always, it was truly a pleasure to get to meet with and talk with you.  I always enjoy taking time to talk about your amazing children.


Do not miss the post below this one about our new DonorsChoose project!  This has great potential to be a very exciting opportunity for our classroom! http://www.donorschoose.org/donors/proposal.html?id=751383&verify=-652259045&challengeid=202090


Edfest is just around the corner!  On Saturday, February 25 is Edison’s biggest fundraiser.  The money we fundraise makes a huge  difference in our school and classroom.  The funds we raised during fall festival allowed us to buy Chairback Buddies for our classroom, and we still have enough to help fund a trip or get more resources (details to come). This fundraiser is even bigger, so I very much encourage you to come!  There will be a silent auction, and I will be one of the autcion items.  I am pairing up with a 5th grade teacher (Mr. Allen), to offer a hike or a ski trip with a group of students.  It would be very fun if some of the Room 125 kids could join…so come bid on me:) Edfest if a fun way to support our school. I’ll be there! Check it out and purchase tickets here: http://edison.dpsk12.org/tickets-for-sale-edfest-fundraising-auction-saturday-feb-25th/.

Horseback Riding

Starting March 1, we will be going on horseback riding field trips!  Thanks to funding from the DPS A to Z Grant and Edison’s PTA, we will get to attend 8 horseback riding sessions at Acres of Opportunity Ranch (this is where the class went last year).  This is a great opportunity to get out of the school and work on social and communication skills!  Weather depending, we will be visiting the Ranch on the following Thursdays:

March 1, 8, 22

April 12, 19, 26

May 3, 10

Please visit the Ranch’s website, fill out, and turn in the “Release Liability Form” and the “Medical Emergency Authorization” and turn in to me by next Friday, February 24.  If you need a printed copy of these forms, let me know!

Let me know if you have questions about any of this information…I know I’m throwing a lot at you!  Thanks for taking the time to read.  Have a great day!

-Ms. Wales


DonorsChoose #3: Bring Technology to Our Classroom!

I’ve spoken with some of you about my aspirations to bring an iPad into our classroom.  Good news:  our DonorsChoose project has finally posted!!  Please take a moment to check it out, and spread the word to your family and friends.  This is our most exciting project yet, and it will dramatically improve our classroom and bring some really amazing learning and communication opportunities to our students!

When you spread the word, let everyone know to enter the code “ZONKER” upon checkout. This is supposed to allow for a donation match.

Check out and share the project here: http://www.donorschoose.org/donors/proposal.html?id=751383&verify=-652259045&challengeid=202090&more=true

As always, thanks for your support!  I will keep you posted on this exciting opportunity for Room 125!

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Weekly Update: Maps, 100th Day, and PJs!

This Week

What an exciting week!  While we continued our map unit, we also had some other fun celebrations.

Tuesday was our 100th day of school!  We celebrated by making all sorts of collections of 100 things, including a 100 link chain, 100 fingerprints, and a class book of 100 words we know.  We also made 100th day crowns which everyone seemed to enjoy proudly wearing.  Check out some of the pictures on this site!

Today is “PJ day to end homelessness”. Thank you to all of your donations and participation!  Yesterday we talked about homelessness, and how the PJ day dollars are going to help others. We drew pictures about “what home means to us” which are displayed in the hallway.  The school will be sharing student pictures with the mayor.

For our maps unit we continued to work on our city, state, and country. We also started to work on addresses. (You can practice this at home too!)  We practiced our left and right by shaking hands, doing Simon Says like activities, and dancing the hokey pokey.  I encourage you to practice left and right at home. This is an important skill for many reasons.  This knowledge will help your child do things like follow directions, get dressed independently (e.g. noticing the differences between left and right shoes), communicate about their body (e.g. “my left ear hurts”), read and write (e.g. ID that we do both from left to right), shake hands appropriately, and more.  It is simple to work on this skill… just talk about it all the time!  “I’m going to sit on the LEFT of you”, “high five me with your RIGHT hand”, “you are writing with your RIGHT hand”, “let’s turn RIGHT at the corner” etc.  You can also play the hokey pokey, tickle under the left or right arm, play right and left Simon Says or trace and label left and right hand feet.  We’ve also practiced by moving objects and pretend people left and right on a map.  There are lots of fun ways to practice!

Next Week

Conferences are next week!  I look forward to meeting with you all again! Thank you to the three families that have already signed up for a time.  If you haven’t signed up yet, please do so ASAP so that I can make sure to have everything ready for our meeting!

Notes Home

I am working on some more inclusion and Recess Buddies opportunities. For this reason, there may be a few days coming up where I do not get to write notes as I usually do since I will be meeting with other students.  If you have any questions about your child’s day, do not hesitate to call or e-mail me!  Thanks for your understanding!

Have a great day!

-Ms Wales


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Conference Times Next Week

Hi Families!
It’s conference time again! I love when we have the opportunity to chat about your amazing children, so I am looking forward to meeting next week. I will be holding conferences next Wednesday and Thursday (the 15th and 16th). Please rank your top 3 times below. If none of these times will work for you, please write me a note and we will work something out. I look forward to meeting with all of you next week, and am open to changing times around to make it work for everyone! Please let me know your preferences ASAP:
Wednesday, February 15
Thursday, February 16
Looking forward to meeting with you!
-Ms Wales

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100th Day of School!

Due to the snow day on Friday, our 100th day of school is tomorrow, February 7th!

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Weekly Update: Learning About Maps

Maps Unit

This week marked the start of our unit about maps.  As a introductory week, we started to get a feel for what a map is by looking at a map of our our country and drawing some highly relevant maps (e.g. of our classroom and of a model town).  We started talking about where we live, really focusing on our country, state, and city.  As the month progresses we will hone in more and start to talk about our address as well.  A great book that introduces the idea of maps is “Me On the Map” by Joan Sweeney.  This book gives good perspective of where we live and the different ways to look at a map.  I recommend this book for continuing our unit at home!

You can also work on maps at home by mapping out your house or your child’s bedroom.  You can help them draw, or you can draw and talk about exactly what you are doing and why you are drawing things where you are, modeling how a map represents real objects.  Any activity which has a drawing representing a real object will promote beginning map-reading skills.  If your student does well with this, you can try mapping a path for them to follow.  Maybe a route to get out of the house in a fire drill?  Or a route to a hidden surprise somewhere in your house? Also, talk about where we live!  As we delve deeper into this unit we will start to discuss personal information, especially addresses.  Knowing personal information is an important safety, communication, and life skill, so we will work on answering questions as appropriate per student, such as what is your name, address, city, state, etc.

We worked together to map out our classroom


You may have noticed in your child’s work packet that we have been honing in on some different focuses during literacy.  In addition to the literacy centers and my “Reading Table”, we have two different group read aloud blocks during the day. These blocks are differentiated by grade level.  Here’s what we’re doing:

      First Grade: The first grade group is working on interacting with books.  We are learning that words and books have meaning.  Our main goal is engagement and noticing things about the stories.  We often read interactive books where the story tells about different actions which we do, really showing that words have meaning. Two good books that demonstrate this are “From Head to Toe” by Eric Carle and “Clap Your Hands” by Lorinda Bryan Cauley.  Questions I ask are often answered by pointing to a picture in the book, identifying something in the book, or matching a picture to the book.  Again, we are working on paying attention to the pages and staying engaged and excited about reading!

     Second and Third Grade: This group spends 45 minutes on their read aloud, as we are working on more advanced story comprehension.  This includes the time that is spent in Ms. Freeh’s room.  Students preview the story with me, read through it with Ms. Freeh’s class and then engage in a “Desk Discussion” with Ms. Kalisha and Ms. Lexi back in our room.  We are working on answering comprehension questions about the stories we read and focusing on three things: the title, the character(s), and the setting.  You can help promote these skills by discussing stories at home and asking “what”, “who”, and “where” questions about the stories you read and just throughout the day.

Next Week

There are a couple of exciting things happening next week!

1.  Monday is the 100th day of school!  We are preparing a little bit this week by making 100 charts to hang, but Monday will be the big celebration!  If you want work on this at home, feel free to send in a 100s project for Monday!  You can count any object with your child. We will look at all sorts of 100s projects and ideas to celebrate the big day!

2.  Thursday is our second PJ to End Homelessness day. I will send information about this home in your child’s Thursday Folder tomorrow.  Send your child to school in their PJ’s for $1 to help end homelessness.  The whole school will be rockin’ the PJ party!

It was great seeing a few of you this week.  I look forward to speaking with all of you during conferences, which are coming up later this month (I’ll keep you posted!)

Have a great day,

Ms. Wales

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