Sunday, December 2, 2012

Pioneer Day!

Everyone had a great time on Pioneer Day! Students learned what life was like long ago and how it is different from life today. In our room they made paper dolls, and learned to play marbles. So different from the video games and toys we have today! In other rooms the made candels, saw a covered wagon, made campfire biscuits and churned butter! More pictures to come of those acitivies soon! Thanks so much for checking in. Come back often for more pictures! 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving Fun!!

Our class is so thankful for our wonderful parents!! Thank you to everyone that came to visit today and hear our students preform a Thanksgiving poem and song!! The students had a great time reading their papers to everyone as well. 
Check out this good looking bunch I am super thankful for!!! 

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving! If you travel be safe and I will see your kiddos on Monday!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Our students had a great time today preparing for our Thanksgiving celebration.  
Drew scooping up some crisco!

We measured and poured, shaked and baked! They are so excited to show off on Tuesday!
Thurman adding the pumpkin!

 If you can't come, don't worry, I am going to video tape it and try to post on here! Here's a preview!

A natural cook

Gabriel helped us count and scoop.

I think he's having fun!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Saturday - Pancake Breakfast

Monday - NO SCHOOL - Veteran's Day

Tuesday - Field Trip to West High to see the play The Little Mermaid

Thursday - Thanksgiving lunch in the cafeteria - If you would like to come eat with us please let me know in your child's agenda that morning and meet us at the cafeteria at 11:30.

This week is another short week, November is flying by! I can smell the turkey cooking already! Students will have a home project to work on next week. I am sending it today with them in their BEE books incase you would like to start over the weekend. The project is described in the letter and they also need to write a story to go along with it. These are due on Monday the 19th. This project is always a lot of fun!!

For Letter Land homework please do Monday and Tuesday's homework on Tuesday next week since Monday is a holiday. Students are working onconsonant blends. Remember to hold them accountable for words we have learned so far this year. If it has been a spelling or tricky word, and they use it while writing sentences they should be able to spell it correctly.

Our comprehension lessons are focused on visualizing this week. Visualizing, or imagining what is happening in the story is a great skill for understanding what you read. We want to be sure students are thinking about what is happening in a story and not just reading the words. This also ties in with our How-To writing lessons. Students have to visualize the steps of their stories while writing How-To books. This is a skill you can practice at night while reading with your child.

Math investigations is still focused on combination problems this week. We will also be looking at addition story problems again before moving on to subtraction in the coming weeks. All this time spent on addition stories will pay off as it gives students a foundation for understanding subtraction later. You can practice while shopping at the store or even watching TV. You can count how many commercials and add them up!! Anything can be math!

For writing we are continuing with our How-To stories. Your children are experts on everything! lol They have been teaching us how to make banana pudding, ride a bike and even fix the sink! They love writing about what they know how to do! This week we will edit our spelling and add special non-fiction helpers to our stories. You can find How-To writing on all kinds of things, directions, recipies, ect.

In social studies we are continuing our unit on how things change over time. We have talked about neighborhoods and how our neighborhoods look different from urban ones. We are planning our pioneer days for the last week of November. If you would like to help on that day by coming in to volunteer, or by sending in materials please let me know! We will be making candles (probably) and it should be fun!

Thank you for all of your help and support!!

Mrs. Barr

Friday, October 19, 2012

Important Dates:

Parent conferences begin Tuesday

Thursday FALL FESTIVAL! Come try to dunk Mrs. Barr at the dunking booth!

Friday is the end of 1st quarter. Can you believe it?!

Volunteer Needs:

Items for Halloween Special Snack

Marshmallows for pretend campfire

Brown or white modeling clay from Micheals

Phonics - words are getting harder! Be sure your child is doing their letter land homework each night! I had a few rough spelling tests today:(

Reading - We will be reading a "Reader's Theater" adaptation of The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything. Students will have a part to read, just like a play. We will not preform, just read aloud as a class. Students really get into this fun fall story. It incorporates sound and movement and is a ton of fun!

Math - This week we will be doing some math assessment, so attendance is important. Please come to school unless you are sick. If you ARE sick, please stay home! There have been a few viruses going around and we don't want those!

Writing - My second favorite writing assignment of the year is going on this week! (my favorite will be in November) Students will work on writing "spooky" stories to share around our "campfire" next week. (needless to say, they won't be that spooky and I don't have a real campfire, but we have good imaginations in frist grade!) These stories always come out great and really motivate students to write! It also gives them a sense of audience. Up until now we have only been writing about things that have happened to us. This is a great chance to get the creative juices flowing!

Science - Our last week of the Earth Materials unit, so sad. We will discuss how we use earth materials in our everyday life. Students will hopefully get to make some sort of pottery near the end of the week.

Second quarter means the pace picks up and good behavior and safe choices are extra important. When students misbehave it makes it hard to learn all the material and it also makes it harder for other students. The expectations are being raised as well. We will begin to tackle some big concepts such as subtraction and non-fiction writing. Please make sure you talk with your child about the importance of school and your expectations for them.

I hope everyone can come out for FALL FESTIVAL! Last year it was a great experience for everyone and so much fun! All the money from ticket sales goes directly to classroom supplies. In the past the Henderson County budget has provided things like construction paper, writing paper, math manipulatives and teacher resources. In the current ecconomy we don't recieve this funding. We rely on events like Fall Festival to raise this money. Last year we raised over $4,000 and were able to purchase the Letter Land program which helps our students so much with phonics.

Don't miss the chance to put a pie in Mr. Murphy's face!! What could be better?!

Thank you!

Mrs. Barr

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Today we launched our unit on Earth Materials 

and the kids had a blast!

  I didn't tell them what earth materials were, so they set out in pairs to collect things they thought were earth materials around the playground.
We then came back and sorted everything they found. They worked with their partner to classify their finds and label them. Everyone did a great job!
 Don't be surprised if you find them picking up rocks around the yard over the next few weeks. Better start checking pockets before you do the laundry!
We will spend about 3-4 weeks working on this science unit. Students will investigate water, rocks, minerals and soil. We will discuss physical attributes of each and how they can be useful.
 We will also take a look at different soils and what types of plants grow best in each. Thanks to parents who volunteered to send in flowers for us to plant next week. 
 If I didn't ask you to help out with plants this time, don't worry! Much more science and opportunities to volunteer later in the year! I am so lucky to have so much support!!

Friday Update!

Your kids are so AWESOME!

I have never had a class of first graders love to write like these guys do!!

Monday - National Theater Preformance 1pm
Friday - Mrs. Barr absent (be on your best behavior!)

Today alone, they wrote a non-fiction piece on pigs and a fictional story about pigs. They are so funny! I am saving their writing samples to go over with you at our conference in October. In writing next week we will be working on focusing our writing on a small moment and adding details. We are still working on putting capital letters at the start of sentences and periods in the correct place. All these important concepts are on the writing rubic we use to score for report cards!

In math we will finish up combining stories and move on to some geometry. We will begin by looking at shapes. We will work with circle, square, triangle, hexagon, rhombus and rectangle. Students really like working with the pattern blocks. You can help by having your child look for shapes around your home!

During reading we will be working on thinking while we are reading. We will use some short question stems to help us notice things as we read. Students will practice seeing, thinking, wondering and feeling things as they read their stories. We will practice together using some great literature. I am reading Owl Moon, Roller Coaster, A Chair for my Mother, and The Kissing Hand aloud to the class, for those of you who are looking for something good to get from the library!

Letter Land is rolling on with short e words this week. Everyone passed the spelling test and did a great job, although the word "went" is still giving us some trouble! It is a tricky word!! Nightly letter land homework is listed at the bottom of the spelling list each week. Students should be getting in the habit of completing this homework on their own. If they cannot do it mostly on their own please let me know, they should be able to handle it and have you check it afterwards.

We are excited to begin Science this week with a unit on Earth Materials, over the next 3 weeks we will learn about rocks, soil, minerals and water. The students are excited to get to do some hands on science!! I am too!

If you have questions or concerns please let me know! Email has been working out great for most people, but you can always write a short note in the agenda. Thanks so much for all you do with our students!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A New Year in First Grade!

Welcome to a new school year at Mills River! I am so excited to meet all of our incoming first graders. We will have "Meet the Teacher" Friday the 24th from 1:30 to 3:30pm. I hope to see you there! I am located in room 414 at the very end of the red hall. We are fortunate to have Mrs. Liz Turpin with us this year, she loves first grade and is excited to meet everyone!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Leaders are Readers

We are fortunate to have many volunteers come to our classroom to read to us each month. This past month we have had more than usual due to Dr. Seuss's birthday. Who doesn't love Dr. Seuss! Thank you to Brendan's mom and dad for coming to read as well as Amy's Mom. Each leader brought with them a significant book and worldly experience to share with our class. We learned a lot from these guest readers and hope they will return frequently to read to us again! 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Talent Show

This Friday Mills River Elementary will host it's second annual Talent Show featuring over 80 students and 20 teachers! It will be held at the West High School auditorium so everyone can have a seat! Come early to get a good spot and check out the raffle baskets. These baskets, provided by the PTA, can be yours! They are awesome! Just $1 buys you a ticket and a chance to win the basket of your choice! You can even enter your teacher's name to win! (hint hint;-) You won't want to miss the great performances including two students in our class and yours truly! See you there at 6:00pm Friday!