Sunday, September 26, 2010

Brown Bear, Brown Bear

I love Eric Carle and the kids do, too!  We have a Bear unit that we teach-typically about the third week of school.   We start with Brown Bear, Brown Bear for color word recognition and story sequencing. 
Our team has taught this unit for several years but I did get some fresh, new ideas from my friend, Suzan at
Like this one!  We color story cards and usually glue them onto a sentence strip in story order.  Suzan uses a Story Bag so that's what my class tried this year.  You place the story cards in a brown paper bag decorated with a Brown Bear picture.  The children then use their story cards to tell the story. They loved this-we had story cards all over the carpet but they all made sure they had every picture to put back in their bag.  They were serious about it!

We learned the poem, Brown Bear Happy.   Each child gets a copy of this poem to include in their Poetry Journal.  We circle punctuation in orange, rhyming pairs in green and sight words in blue.  I got this idea from who has printable poems all ready to copy.  Jessica has so many wonderful ideas.  I also made Homework Bags for children to check out on a weekly basis based on Jessica's system.  My class loved the homework bags last year and I will begin allowing students to check them out soon for this class.

I bought the Bulletin Board set for Brown Bear, Brown Bear and knew I could use the mini pictures from the package somehow!  I laminated them and velcroed them to a chart.  The kids can practice story sequencing using this chart as a Go-To Activity when they finish their literacy job.  I also printed and laminated word labels for each animal for the kids to practice matching the words to the character. 

I also got this idea from Suzan at  We painted our own Story Map working in teams to paint each color in the order of the story.  We then placed the story characters on the map to match their color.

used this writing activity to help reinforce the story but also to practice name recognition of friends in class.  These writings will go in their Kindergarten Scrapbooks with Bear Art.

Weekly Newsletter #8

September 27-October 1, 2010
From Mrs. Hicks' desk…

Thank you to everyone who has submitted the permission slip and money for Tate Farms this Friday. If you have not sent this in for your child, please let me know so that I can make arrangements for your child to spend the day in a first grade classroom.

This Weeks' Focus
Language Arts
Our Scott Foresman Unit 2 begins this week with the book Life in the Ocean as we begin to study habitats. We will also conclude our unit on apples as we study Johnny Appleseed this week and make our own applesauce!

Sight Words
have is

Amazing Words
ocean fish shell
crab seaweed world

Don't forget to wear brown on Friday!

We will work on ABC patterns, recognizing coins and their amounts, place value and counting by tens. We will also introduce measurement of everyday items.


Important Dates!
October 1st: Tate Farms Field Trip
October 4-8: Fall Break
October 25th: Fifties Day

Star Student
I will begin recognizing a Star Student each week using our number order. We will begin this activity once we return from Fall Break. I will send home a Star Student paper (it is rather large!) on a Friday for you and your child to complete at home. On Friday of the following week, your child may present his paper to the class. You may include photos, drawings, etc. with the paper. Your child may also bring one Show and Tell item from home to show the class. This is meant to provide each child with an opportunity to speak in front of the class and tell something about him/herself that we may not know. It is always fun to hear what they enjoy sharing with us!

All written homework is due on Friday.

1. Practice reading Sight Words.
2. Read Family Times magazine. (This will be sent home on Wednesday).
4. Complete 4 Day Homework Page.
5. Complete Phone Number Page.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Weekly Newsletter #7

September 20-24, 2010

From Mrs. Hicks' desk…

Thank you for the wonderful response to the Tate Farms field trip! I will send home a letter this week letting you know if you are chaperoning this trip. If your name was not chosen (the names were drawn randomly) then your name will be placed on a wait list for the next field trip. Thank you, again, I appreciate so many of you being willing to go!

This Weeks' Focus

Language Arts

Our Scott Foresman unit this week focuses on working machines and how they help us. Our story is Dig, Dig, Digging. Our letter this week is Tt. We will also continue our unit on apples and read Johnny Appleseed.

Sight Words

to a

Amazing Words

scooping, swooshing, squelching,

gobbling, spinning, rumbling

Don't forget to wear purple on Friday!


We will discuss the four seasons this week and focus on the beginning of Fall during our calendar time. We will continue counting coins including the quarter. We are practicing the many ways to make an AB pattern and will introduce the ABC pattern.

Important Info!

September 21st- 6:00-7:30pm Come for the PTA General Meeting and then visit our classroom!

Concessions will open at 5:00pm on the Middle School side.

October 1st-Tate Farms Field Trip

October 25th – 50th Day of School


All written homework is due on Friday!

1. Complete Four Day Homework Page.

2. Read Family Times with your child and complete the skill work listed.

3. Complete the AB pattern Page.

4. Complete Tt Recognition Page.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at 428-7125 or You may also check my website

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Here are the Applesauce Muffins...can you believe that I did not get any photos of the children eating them?! I only saw one get thrown away so I guess they were a hit!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Applesauce Muffins!

Wow! I had planned to make apple muffins for the class as a part of our apple unit when I found this recipe in Wednesday's Food Section of The Huntsville Times. I used the recipe to make muffins-particularly since this is "Mm" week. My family "taste-tested" the muffins (because that's just the kind of self-sacrificing people we are J) and wow, they are goooooooooooood! This recipe is amazing so I am sharing it with you all here.
This is the recipe that Martha Scott uses at Scott's Orchard.
1 ½ cups salad oil
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon each: ground cloves, nutmeg, allspice
3 cups chopped apples
I also added 1 ½ cups of applesauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Add dry ingredients; fold in apples. Bake in greased and floured muffin pan for 8 minutes. Take out of oven and add streusel topping (1 tablespoon flour, 2 tablespoons brown sugar and cinnamon) to each muffin. Bake for 4 additional minutes.
Also, don't forget to check out a real-live apple orchard!
Scott's Orchard
2163 Scott Road
Hazel Green
256 828-4563

Steele Orchard
1695 County Road 1141
256 734-5249

Crow Mountain Orchard
6236 County Road 39
256 437-9254

I'll post photos this weekend!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Weekly Newsletter #6

September 13-17, 2010

From Mrs. Hicks' desk…

This Weeks' Focus

Language Arts

We will continue our Scott Foresman unit with the story Julius this week. We will also begin our Letter of the Week with the letter Mm. We will continue our unit on apples and learn more about their life cycle, practice this week's apple poem and hopefully, taste test apple muffins this week!

Amazing Words

Granddaddy, scary, crate,

Protect, sneaked, sharing

Sight Words

to a

Don't forget to wear orange on Friday!


We are counting money using pennies, nickels and dimes and will begin using the quarter this week. We have also begun learning about AB patterns and will practice making this pattern using apples this week.

Important Info!

October 1st-Tate Farms Field Trip- Please make sure that you submit your child's permission slip along with the $10 cost of the trip. Thank you!

October 25th- 50th Day of School

(Fifties Day!) We'll dress like the Fifties, play games and read books from the 50's, have root beer floats and a Sock Hop! Dress up for the fun!


All written homework is due on Friday! J

1. Complete Four Day Homework Page.

2. Read Family Times with your child and practice reading the booklet Little Mouse.

2. Complete Money Recognition Page.

3. Please continue to practice tying shoes-my back hurts!!!

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at 428-7125 or You may also check my website

Monday, September 6, 2010

Naming Syllables

As a part of our Scott Foresman reading program, we are learning how to clap out the syllables in our name. This takes practice but clapping out their names makes it fun. Look at those faces! I love all the ideas I am finding on

She shared a link of a friend who even made a class book with each child's photo, their name and the number of syllables it takes to clap out each name. Cute!


They had fun playing this as a game in small groups. I think I will make a Go-To Activity using laminated pictures of the clapping hands and picture cards for the children to clap out the number of syllables in the picture. I would have to have the word with the correct syllables (clapping hands) on the back of the card for the children to self-check. I will post photos of this when it becomes a reality and not just an idea I had one afternoon! I'll post an example soon-blogger isn't cooperating with me...

Weekly Newsletter #5


September 6-10, 2010

From Mrs. Hicks' desk…

Thank you to everyone who is working hard to make sure that your child is completing their homework and bringing their binder everyday! What a difference that makes!

If you have not been able to send in your child's money for their Scholastic Weekly Reader ($5.00 for the school year), please do so as soon as possible. About a third of the class has submitted their money. We are not able to order the subscription as a grade level until everyone has paid. Thank you for your immediate attention to this matter. J

This Weeks' Focus

Language Arts

We had a good first week of reading rotations last week. We are working on learning to work independently and how to complete our Color Jobs (literacy centers-Listening, Computer, Reading Street, Phonics, Writing, and Comprehension).

We will read Miss Bindergarten Takes a Field Trip for our Scott Foresman unit. We will

also begin learning about apples-their

parts, how they grow and the many

ways we use them.

Amazing Words:

bakery, post office, fire station

Library, park, chaperone

Sight Words:

the little


Our focus this week will be on the color Green and the shape Square. We use Calendar time to recognize the penny, nickel and dime, their amounts and how to add them in our piggy bank. We also learn ones, tens and hundreds place value counting how many days we have been in school.

Important Info!

September 13: Picture Day!

October 1:Tate Farms Field Trip
(more info to come

home later)

October 25:

Fifties Day!

Our 50th Day of School

(more info to come home later)


All written homework is due on Friday!

1. Practice reading Sight Words.

2. Read Family Times with your child and complete the assignments listed on the inside front cover. Practice reading the booklet Am I Little? with your child also. This will come home with them the middle of the week.

3. Practice writing their name on the Handwriting Page.


Don't forget to wear green on Friday!


If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at 428-7125 or You may also check my website