Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Parent Tip - Let's Get Reading!

One of the biggest questions I'm always asked is, "How do I get my child to read at home?" Reading is an essential life-long skill, and we want our kids to love books not just equate reading with filling in bubbles and taking tests!

One of the best ways to get your child reading is to have lots of things for them to read at home. Each time your child picks up a piece of reading material, it gives them an opportunity to practice one of our four CAFE reading skills:

Comprehension - I understand what I read.
Accuracy - I can read the words on the page.
Fluency - I can read the words on the page, at a good pace, and I understand what I'm reading.
Expand Vocabulary - I look for, read and use new and interesting words.

So what should your child be reading? ANYTHING with words. This might include:

picture books
chapter books
comic books
graphic novels (like Diary of a Wimpy Kid)
your shopping lists

You get the picture, right? Anything your child reads is perfect. If they are reading on their own, books or information slightly lower than their reading level is a great way to practice and master skills. If they are reading with you, then you want to use more difficult text and talk with your child about the vocabulary and the meaning of what was read.

There are many, many great resources online that suggest books for kids, but this is one of my favorites. James Patterson, a famous author of both adult and young adult books, has created ReadKiddoRead to give parents and teachers suggestions for kids of all ages. If you're looking to get books of all shapes and sizes for any of your kids, and reading activities you can do with your children, this would be a great place to start.

I'm looking forward to working with all of you and seeing your children grow as readers throughout the year!

Exciting Day!

Hi friends! Miss Coleman and I had a very exciting day because we got to meet several of our friends today! We would like to say thank you to Hanna, Nick, Britney Y., Nathan, Adam, Gabby, Landen, Alyssa H. and Colin for stopping in to see us today. It was amazing to meet everybody, and it made us even more ready for the start of school.

Everybody who stopped in to see us had the chance to share why they thought 4th grade at Bear Creek was going to be awesome by writing on the Smartboard. Here are what some of our friends had to say:

Miss Coleman and I agree that we are happy to be making new friends and to be next door to our old friends! And we also love Bear Creek because it is a beautiful new building.

We're hoping that lots of our other friends will be able to join us tomorrow, but if you can't make it in don't worry. We will be doing lots of activities to get to know the classroom, the lockers, the school and each other the first few weeks of school so you won't miss anything.

Our countdown to school: 6 days! We hope you're as ready as we are for the fun to begin!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Getting to know Miss Coleman :)

Hi Everyone!

My name is Miss Coleman and I will be with Mrs. Bair, and all of you, until December as a student teacher. I am studying to be an elementary school teacher through Temple University. I couldn't be happier that Mrs. Bair is allowing me to join all of you, help out in her class, and get to know all about Bear Creek!

Outside of the classroom, one of my favorite things to do is camp! I love being outdoors, having bonfires, and fishing! I also am a huge animal lover. I have one cat of my own and hope to soon have a dog as well. I have ridden horses my whole life and as I was growing up, participated in 4-H and horse shows. When I'm not camping or riding horses, I also enjoy reading, cooking, and playing tennis!

I am very excited to meet all of you, get to know you, and am looking forward to a fun and educational semester!

See you in the classroom!

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Little Tour of Bear Creek

If you haven't had a chance to watch the Bear Creek welcome videos, I thought it would be fun to give you a little tour of what you'll be seeing when you come to school next Tuesday! Let's take a look at our new school:


This is the main entrance to the school where you'll come in if you ride the bus or if your parents drop you off out front. If you walk to school on the walking path you'll come in the side of the building right next to our classroom!

These are three areas where you will have specials: the Instructional Media Center (IMC), or what we used to call the library, the gym and part of the music room. While the pictures may be a little dark you can see that these are big rooms where lots of learning and fun will take place!

These two pictures show you the stage and the cafeteria. You'll be eating lunch with the rest of the fourth graders, and we'll also come to assemblies with the rest of the fourth grade class. I'm not sure if we'll be having whole school assemblies - we'll have to wait and see about that.

Our hallway is the first classroom hallway that you come to after passing the IMC and gym. Our walls have that amazing blue color, and you can't miss the giant 4! If you take the steps below the 4 they will take you to our hallway in the lower level.

And these pictures show you our classroom! It's not *quite* finished, but that's mostly because you all aren't here to help me out. We have lots to do to make this our home for the year!

I hope you have enjoyed this little tour. I am really looking forward to meeting some of you on Wednesday and Thursday at our Open Houses. If you can't make it, don't worry - we will have plenty of time to talk starting next week!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Our Special Schedule

Our schedule at Bear Creek will be a little bit different than what you are used to at your old school. Instead of having specials on a certain day of the week, we will follow a 6 day cycle. The great part about this is that even if we have a day off or miss school for weather you won't miss a special!

Here is the special schedule for our class:

Day 1 - Phys Ed ~ don't forget to wear your sneakers
Day 2 - Technology
Day 3 - Art
Day 4 - Health
Day 5 - Music
Day 6 - Library ~ don't forget to return your books if you are finished reading them

Instrumental lessons for all students will be held during our BEAR time, 12:10 - 12:40. If you choose to play a band instrument or want to continue playing your string instrument, Mrs. Emery and Mrs. Placeway will be scheduling your lessons once school starts.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Find Us On Twitter!

This year our class will have a Twitter account to keep you updated on homework, important events, special projects and all of the fun things that are going on in the classroom!

If you are part of the Twitter world and would like to follow us you can find us here on our home page! If you're not part of Twitter and would like to be, sign up is very simple and can be done on Twitter's home page.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Welcome to the Bair's Den!

Hi everybody, and welcome to The Bair's Den! I am looking forward to having each of you in my class, and I hope you are just as excited as I am to be starting a new adventure at Bear Creek School!

Please check back here every day, and you will be able to find out a little bit more about our classroom, see some pictures (and maybe even a video!), and find out more about what our days will be like in The Bair's Den!

Here is some important information for all of you! Our first special on Tuesday, September 6 will be Phys Ed, and we go first thing in the morning at 8:55. So plans those amazing first day of school outfits accordingly! You'll want it to look great with your new sneakers!

I'm hoping that all of you will be able to come and join me on either Wednesday, August 31 or Thursday, September 1 from 2:30 - 3:30 for our Open House. Come and see the school, visit the classroom, make your name tag, pick your first book, and meet some new friends.

I cannot wait for our new year together to begin!