New Bookshelf!

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Thank you to Joaquin’s family for donating a found bookshelf to our classroom library. It’s perfect!


First Visit to the RHS Library

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Today we visited the school library for the first time. Ms. Moullen, our library and a former RHS parent, read the book No David! by David Shannon. Then we played a game modeled after some similar activities we’ve been doing in class wherein the students chose scenarios out of a hat (e.g. “David climbs on the library shelves” or “David says thank you when he checks out his book”) and then say “Yes David!” or “No David!” and place the scenario on the correct side of the board (see picture). Then the students got to choose a book to check out from a handful of book bins. They were very excited to bring home a book. Even one student who at first didn’t want to check out a book ended up excitedly bringing one home. Enjoy reading your child’s new library book with them this weekend!

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Our library day is FRIDAY! Please create a routine at home to support your child in remembering to put his/her book in their backpack Thursday afternoon/evening or Friday morning to bring to school to return. If a child forgets their book, they will be able to look at books but will not be able to check out a new book until they bring their old book back (or pay a replacement fee if it is lost). Please help your child take responsibility for bringing their book back. If they come to school and say “My mom forgot to put it in my back pack” I’m going to tell them that THEY forgot to put it in their backpack 🙂

Happy reading!

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Confusing Lowercase b and d No More!


Clap your hands, then hold your hands with palms facing each other, then stick your pointer fingers into the air by curving your three other fingers down to touch your thumbs. You are now making a lowercase b on your left hand and a lowercase d on your right hand. Now place these hand formations onto the sentence strip your child brought home today to complete the first four letters of the alphabet. Now have your child show you the same thing, and play a game with them. They can make the letters b and d on their hands as described above and hold their hands in their lap. You can say quickly, “Show me b!” and they have to put their left hand in it’s b shape onto the sentence strip. Continue in this manner trying to trick them, and seeing how fast they can do it. “Show me b! Show me d! Show me b! Show me d! Show me d!” From now on, when your child stumbles over b or d while reading or writing, refer back to this hand trick (“Show me on your hands, which one is it?”). Hope this helps!

New Life Science Unit: Animals!

Today we kicked off our new Life Science unit. We will be studying animals around the world!

My mind never really stops teaching: while I was scuba diving in Mexico I was graced with several sea turtle sightings. 60 feet under water, classroom lessons starting forming in my brain. My own ideas, paired with our Science Curriculum, will focus children’s learning on the following big ideas:

1) Different types of animals inhabit the earth. Students will learn how to observe and describe similarities and differences in the appearance and behavior of different animals; learn about the physical attributes of different animals and what they need to survive; and they will learn about animal protection efforts around the world, and the importance of this work.

2) Students will learn that the scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations. Students will develop their own questions and perform investigations. They will closely observe animals and communicate their observations orally and through drawings.

First we will be studying sea turtles! Today we watched a short video about sea turtles. Click here to view! Then we talked about how artists and scientists make and record careful observations. Children then chose one type of sea turtle to observe and create using a combination of drawing and cut and paste. Here are several of their fabulous creations:



Camden, Hawksbill


Kaylee, Hawksbill



Joaquin, Leatherback


Sachi, Leatherback



Elia, Loggerhead


Isabel, Loggerhead


Kate, Loggerhead


Samuel, Loggerhead


April Harvest of the Month: Cucumbers!


Dear Parents,

Just like kids, cucumbers come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. This month we will explore this delicious and nutritious vegetable (fruit?)!

Often when I introduce a topic, I complete a “KWL” chart with the students. They tell what they Know about the topic, and then what they Want to know. After the unit, they share what they’ve Learned. Here is what the students said for our KWL chart on cucumbers today.

What we Know about cucumbers:

“You can make sushi with them. My mom puts them in sushi.”

“You can turn cucumbers into pickles.”

“They are tasty and good for you.”

“Cucumbers are pickles.”

“They are green.”

“The are healthy.”

“They’re juicy.”

“If you squeeze them hard they pop into your mouth.”

“We do Harvest of the Month so we can find out more things we like to eat.”

What we Want to know about cucumbers:

“What do they grow out of?”

“Do they come from seeds? Do they grow above the ground?”

“What culture do they come from?”

“How do they grow?”

“What do they taste like?”

Stay tuned for the last section, “What We’ve Learned…”

The Marshmallow Challenge

On Friday we completed our Science Projects: Each child participated in The Marshmallow Challenge! We progressed through the scientific process, first asking “How high can I build my marshmallow tower?” and “What will make it tall and strong?” Then students made hypotheses, guessing how tall they thought they could build their tower, and what sorts of shapes and structures might allow it to stand tall. Then we completed the experiment, building towers out of only spaghetti, tape, string, and a marshmallow.



Then we measured, recorded our data, and reflected on what worked.



I commended the children for their scientific behavior: persevering to get their tower to stand, and learning from what didn’t work.

We will be displaying our marshmallow towers and small science project posters at the Science Fair tomorrow, and visiting the fair with our 3rd grade buddies. 

See more photos here.



The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

You might have heard about Redwood Heights’ focus on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights this school year. “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948. Compiled after the horrors of World War II, its purpose was to state and protect the rights of all people.”

Last week Ms. Stone came in to read a wonderful children’s book to our class that offers a kid-friendly take on these basic rights, titled We Are All Born Free. Then children wrote and illustrated their own ideas about what everyone should be entitled to have and do. Below are a few highlights for you. Pretty amazing! Everyone’s work is displayed on one of the bulletin boards in the lobby. Check it out next time you’re here!

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Top blue: “Everybody should play outside and be free.” -Molly

Top green: “You should not be picked on or bullied.” -Wes

Middle green: “Everybody should have a valentine on Valentine’s Day.” -Avery

Middle blue: “Feelings should come to everybody.”

Bottom pink: “Everybody should have love and dance class.” -Abigail

Bottom green: “Everybody should have a family. Everybody should have money. And everybody should be free.” -Eli