Thursday, March 12, 2009

After Winter Break

Hi all!

We have been extremely busy after the winter break, especially after those two snow days! Thank you to everyone who offered and donated items for our unit on Land and Water. At this point, we have just about everything we need to get started. If any other needs arise, I’ll let you all know.

One item that we do need for the classroom is blue and black erasable pens. If you can send any in, it will be greatly appreciated.

The information for the March Book Project, which is a Scrapbook Page Report, came home Wednesday of last week. All of the children have met their first mini-goal, which was to choose their book. The next goal, due on Tuesday, is to have finished reading their chosen book. There are a total of 5 mini-goals connected with this project, and the final due date is Wednesday, April 8.

On Wednesday, I also gave the children calendars for March and April to place in their binders. I have included as many important dates as I have at this time for these two months. Please encourage your child to refer to these on a regular basis to keep up to date on upcoming tests and major assignments.

There is no school on Fridays, March 20 and March 27. The end of the third quarter is coming up next Thursday, and that Friday is for completing report cards. The following Friday, is scheduled for Parent/Teacher Conferences. I sent home a sign-up sheet for conference times yesterday. Please try to get these back as soon as possible to increase the chances of receiving your preferred time slot. I already have parents signed up for the 8:00, 8:20, 12:40, and 1:00 time slots.

We will be working on our class auction project over the next few weeks. Each child is painting a small (4 x 4) canvas with acrylic paints. We are following the nautical theme of this year’s auction, and each child will be asked to paint a “sea” themed painting. I’ve talked with them about different ideas for subject matter (beach landscape scene, lighthouse, underwater scene with fish and plants, boats on water, etc.). If you find time this weekend to go on the computer or through pictures with your child to help them visualize what they might include, that would be very helpful. Mrs. Garnett will be coming in Tuesday morning to help us with the painting.

That’s all for right now!
Thank you again for all of your help!
Kim Bushman

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Hi all!

Thank you all so much for your help with Colonial Day and the wonderful gift. We are truly blessed to have such a wonderful group of parents supporting us!

We have begun our study of inventions, inventors and the invention process. Your child should be keeping an Inventor’s Notebook. In it, they should be brainstorming ideas for possible inventions. I do not want anyone to be committed to an idea just yet. Encourage your child to continue thinking creatively. I will send home a form on Monday for your child to write up their invention proposal. These will be due back by Monday, January 19. Please do not allow your child to begin building their invention model until their idea has my approval. More information will be coming home over the next several weeks.

Instructions for the January book project, a Cereal Box Book Report, came home on Monday. If your child has not already shown this to you, it should be inside their binder. Mini-goals and the final due date are all included in the information. We discussed the project at length in class, so your child should be able to explain any vague areas in the written directions. If you have any questions they cannot answer, just let me know.

There is no word study this week. We will begin again on Monday. Our first Wordly Wise test, of the New Year, will be next Thursday, January 15.

We are back at a full work load for homework, so please try to keep an eye your child’s their time management. They have all come such a long way in such a short time, and we are working hard to keep them motivated and progressing.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday, and I’d like to wish you all a very Happy New Year!

That’s all for now!
Kim Bushman

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Before the Holiday Break

Hi all!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Only 7 full days left in the second quarter! AR tests for the second quarter will need to be taken by Monday, Dec. 15.

Our Holiday Party will be a day long celebration to supplement our history unit on the colonial period in Virginia. This will take place on Friday, Dec. 12. The children are encouraged to wear clothing reminiscent of the time period. Boys can wear their pants tucked into white socks to simulate breeches, and the girls can wear a skirt and blouse with a white cap. There is a wealth of information on colonial dress available online on the Colonial Williamsburg website at Be creative, that’s part of the fun. Keep your eyes open for an email from Karen O’Donnell and Chris Repp who are planning the celebration for us.

We will be holding our second Book Swap on Monday, Dec. 15. The children are encouraged to bring in up to five previously read books that they are willing to swap.

Your child should be practicing their recorder each night as part of their homework routine. They will be playing a selection for the Holiday Program on Dec. 16, and some children are not practicing as much as they really should.

Speaking of the Holiday Program, the schedule for that day has changed slightly from previous years. The program will begin at 10:15 and the children will be dismissed from the classroom following its completion. This should be around 11:00. Please make sure your child dresses up for the occasion.

I will be sending home a letter introducing the Invention Convention later next week. This will give the children the Holiday Break to brainstorm numerous ideas for their final invention. The date for our Invention Convention will be Friday, February 20.

Monday Folders will be sent home Tuesday of next week because I will be out both Friday and Monday. The children continue to do very well, but they must continue to focus on their school work until the holiday break begins. We will have tests up until Friday, Dec. 12 that will go towards their second quarter grades. This is our shortest quarter of the year which does not give us any time to waste. Thank you for your help with thisJ.

Upcoming Tests:

Friday, Dec. 5: Word Study Tests
Thursday, Dec. 11: Wordly Wise Test
History Quiz
Friday, Dec. 12: Word Study Tests

I will also be collecting their science folders to assess their electricity lab write-ups we have done so far in class. This will constitute a test grade. We will finish up our study of electrical circuits when we come back from the holiday break.

That’s all for now!
Kim Bushman

Monday, November 17, 2008

Upcoming Thanksgiving Break

Hi all!

Less than two weeks until Thanksgiving. Then when we come back, we have two weeks and two days until the end of the quarter and the Holiday Break! The Wordly Wise test for Lesson 6 will be next Wednesday which is also an early dismissal day for the Thanksgiving Holiday. There will be no word study next week because of the holiday. I will also be giving the children a reading log that will cover the break. They will receive this on Friday, and it will be due on Tuesday, Dec. 2.

I am sending your child’s Wordly Wise and Word Study tests home today in their Communication Folder. Monday Folders will come home tomorrow with the remainder of your child’s work.

Wednesday your child must bring their materials for music, and Thursday will be our last swimming day for the fall. We will swim first, before Mr. Evans’s class, in the spring.

I am sending home book orders for November and December. If you are interested in ordering, please return the form(s) by Wednesday, November 26 with a check made out to Scholastic Book Clubs. This will be the last book order before the holidays.

That’s all for now!
Kim Bushman

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

This Week

Hi all!

November already! Before we know it the Holiday Break will be upon us as well as the end of the second quarter. This is the shortest quarter of the year, and of course, the busiest.

Monday Folders are coming home today. I am not making any comments in them, since many of us just met on Friday. You will notice that the Wordly Wise test was a bit more challenging. Some of the children had some difficulty with the antonym section of the test. We’re going over these today, and I will give them the opportunity to correct their mistakes tonight for additional partial credit.

Word Study words will be coming home today. Due to the shortened week, we will have the spelling test for these words on Monday.

Windsocks are due tomorrow, and the children will begin sharing them on Thursday.

Don’t forget swimming on Thursday!

I have given back the children’s most recent writing assignment which was a spooky story. We used a four square as our pre-write, though many children put too much detail into this graphic organizer. Their four square became like a rough draft. Our current focus, in writing, is organization. The four square really lends itself to developing a beginning, middle, and end of a piece before the actual writing begins. We will be using this device at least one more time as a tool for planning the organization for a writing piece. I am stressing that the four square should contain only words and phrases and not complete sentences.

The spooky stories were graded solely based on the organization components of the piece. I asked the children to complete as much as they possibly could in the classroom, so I could see their writing process first hand. There is a scoring guide attached, and I have made notes concerning any questions that came up while reading their story. The average grade on this writing assignment was 80%, which is very good for their first real attempt at a narrative focusing on organization. I’ve met with each child to discuss their story and areas for improvement. We will be going back to a piece we had begun before our spooky stories to apply what we’ve learned. I’m trying to instill in the children how important thinking ahead and planning is in the writing process. I think we’re getting there!

That’s all for now!
Kim Bushman

Monday, October 27, 2008

Halloween and Swimming

Hi all!

Thank you to all who were able to help make Camp Out Day such a huge success! The children seemed to really enjoy the change of pace.

Thursday morning at 9:00 will be the Lower School Halloween Parade. The children may come to school dressed in their costumes, but they should bring clothes to change into later in the day. We will be going to PE (swimming) right after the parade, so your child also needs to bring their swimming materials. I would like for them to change into their regular clothes after they swim. In order to be able to swim, I must plead that the children wear no makeup, face paint or hair coloring for the parade. I asked the children, and the vast majority said they had no intention of using these products anyway. Anything that is easily removed is fine, and masks may be worn for the parade. Last year my class was only able to swim twice in the fall because our sessions were cancelled for various reasons, and Mrs. Wimble was never able to reschedule us. I would really like to make sure that doesn’t happen again.

We will also have a small “party” in the afternoon on Thursday. We ask parents to bring in precut fruits and vegetable, drinks, and other goodies for Mr. Evans and me to put out around 2:15. I am so sorry that this is the first you are hearing of this from me, but with Camp Out Day and report cards I completely forgot about Halloween. Just drop me a quick note if you can bring anything in for the children to enjoy while they socialize.

Today, our class is browsing the book fair. If your child finds something they would like to purchase, I will allow them to return later this week if they have brought in money for purchases. Also, don’t forget that the children must have their recorders and books for music on Wednesday.

Tomorrow mini-goal #2 is due for the book project. There will be no further mini-goals for this project, and the completed windsock must be turned in by Wednesday, November 5.

Friday there is no school for parent/teacher conferences. I am attaching an updated list. Please let me know if you are unable to make the time we have scheduled. There is also no school on Monday for a teacher work day.

I will not be sending Monday folders home this week because of conferences.

That’s all for now!
Kim Bushman