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Singapore Wildlife Exploration

Good afternoon,If your child would like to explore some of the plants and animals found in Singapore, this website has a great collection! http://nathist.science.nus.edu.sg/Thank you for all your well wishes. Mrs. Buesking

Earth Week – Day 4

I love listening to a thunderstorm, but I am so happy for our students that the rain and lightening held off this afternoon. In order to once again defeat the N Bandit who tries to keep us inside, we spent an entire afternoon out of the classroom!The class learned the...

Earth Week – Day 3

Today the class was introduced to The Power Phantom! Students came up with ways that we can defeat this villain and the sneaky ways she gets us to use more electricity. We were thankful to use sunlight throughout the day to light up our classroom instead of...

Earth Week – Day 2

Fort Sheridan Forest PreserveThe students braved the windy and chilly weather out by Lake Michigan today! The class explored several trails as they paid special attention to items on a Fort Sheridan Scavenger Hunt page. We were surprised by several animal sightings...

Earth Week – Day 1

What a beautiful day to kick off Earth Week 2016!As you might have seen from the shirts and other news, our theme this year is Earth Week Superheroes (this was voted on by the Earth Week Committee – how great that it matches our classroom theme!). PCCS staff and...

Update 4/11/2016

Good morning! Here is what we’ve been up to the past couple of weeks.WritingStudents continue to explore nonfiction writing. They did a fantastic job writing their “All About Me” book. Now they are focusing on research-based writing. Students have...

Update 3/18/2016

Although it’s hard to believe it’s now Spring Break, I welcome the chance for students (and teachers!) to have a relaxing week to recharge before coming back to school! The last couple of weeks have been a blast. I’m excited to share some of the...

Update 3/4/2016

I hope this weekend allows for some rest and relaxation for you and our students! As you may have noticed from experience or heard from your child, we’ve been battling some germs. We’re getting some deep cleaning done in our room this weekend and will...

Update 2/22/2016

Welcome to the final week of the 2nd trimester!SpellingStudents will be placed in new groups by the end of this week. We’ll officially start spelling back up next week!WritingStudents have been continuing their work on their narratives. They’ve completed a...

Update 2/5/2016

Two weeks – two field trips! It’s been a fun couple of weeks as we wrap up a unit and prepare for the next one.WritingStudents have been using graphic organizers to break down the structure of a narrative piece. We started by outlining a personal...

Update 1/22/2016

Spelling Spelling is in full swing! Students may be having some review of features, so a few sorts may look familiar. They will continue to meet with me and Ms. Nham for explanations of their sort and further exploration into words with the same patterns (word hunts)....

Update 1-8-2016

Spelling: Spelling groups will start receiving their sorts starting next week (one group per day). This means you may not see spelling homework come home until Friday. The day students receive their homework, they will write so in their assignment notebook (so that...

Composting: Starring our 1st Graders – Now Showing!

Good morning,I was too excited to wait for the end of the week to share the fantastic video project our students completed. They were featured during our morning Green Assembly today!The students learned more about composting, wrote a script based on the information,...

Important Events this Week

Wow! I cannot believe we are in our last week of school before winter break (the weather seems unsure, too!). Our class is using each day to its fullest, though. Students are working hard on Kid Town, preparing items to sell and special setups for their stores. They...

Updates and Spelling Reminders

Welcome back! The Smisking team hopes you had a restful and enjoyable Thanksgiving break! We look forward to seeing smiling faces back in the classroom. (Photos of those smiles from the last couple of weeks coming soon!) As we dive into this trimester, students are...

A Thank You and Updates

The Smisking Team wants to send out another huge thank you to all the parents who came in to see the Halloween parade and help out with the party afterwards. Special thanks to Kellie Ramos for gathering and planning the activities and festivities for our class. We had...

Environmental Exchange Box

Environmental Exchange Box Last school year, I attended a workshop for Project Learning Tree (PLT). The resources I gathered throughout that day gave me some fantastic ideas to incorporate the environment into our daily learning. One activity I was particularly...

Update: Photo Edition

Please enjoy some picture-worthy moments in the Smisking classroom! We have made some memories together in the first few months of school that are better shared through these smiling faces than through words! Click on the photos to seem them full size. Observing...

Trash-Free Lunch Ideas

Would you like some ideas for how to pack a trash-free lunch? Our students watched the following video (made by kids) to see how they are already packing a trash-free lunch and other ways to prevent waste. Click here to see the video about trash-free lunches....

Monthly Green Challenge: Trash-Free Lunch

Last week the class attended this month’s green assembly. To kick off our green challenge for October, two students from each class participated in a “TFL [Trash-Free Lunch] Fashion Show”! Katherine and Sam were our representatives, walking across...

Change of Environment

Although we did get outside this afternoon, we had a change of plans in what surrounded us! Instead of visiting our class tree (we will wait for our 2nd tree to change into some fall color… 🙂 ), students tried their hand at texture words! Students have been...

Class Trees

Good morning! Today we will be visiting two trees we had picked out with Ms. Naomi. We have measured, drawn, and written about these two trees in the summer season, but today we will compare them as they are changing for autumn. I will be posting a few photos this...

Spelling

Students have started, group by group, to bring home their spelling activity page to complete at home. The front page provides students with three activity choices, but they only need to complete 2 of the 3. Choice 1: 2 Sorts with an Adult Helper An important part to...

Discovery with Mealworms

Our students discovered something new with our mealworms yesterday! The class had learned that mealworms go through a life cycle. When students began observing them, all of the mealworms were in the larva stage. Yesterday, one pair of students noticed something a...

Class Dojo

The Smisking class hit the ground running with Class Dojo today! You should have received an email invitation to stay connected with your child’s account. Please let me know if you did not receive one. I hope this post will give helpful information on our...

Class Tree Donations

Thank you so much to those of you who have already sent in items! We are excited to have our students use them and benefit from them. If you were unable to attend curriculum night or wanted to donate an item for the classroom but did not have a chance to pick up a...

Monday Garden Menu

Today, Ms. Nham led students in gathering more tomatillos, bell peppers, and tomatoes from the garden. We now are ready to make Green Tomatillo Salsa! Over the weekend, we will prepare the salsa using ingredients students harvested (along with a couple onions from my...

Insects Have Arrived

No worries…we planned for these wriggly insects to play on the desks this week! Students have been investigating mealworms, making observations about their appearance and behavior, and taking notes. They helped create the habitat to keep our mealworms in when we...

Participate in Spirit Week!

Spirit Week is Coming! Show your PCCS spirit during Lake County Attendance Week next week. Here is the schedule of Spirit Week Activities: Monday, September 14 –  School Spirit Wear!  Wear green or PCCS Shirts Tuesday, September 15 – Character Dress-Up Day...

Insects and Plants Unit

We are beginning our first science unit of the year today! Students will be observing insects and plants inside and outside the classroom. Click here to view a letter about this unit. Have a great day! Mrs. Buesking

Afternoon Update

Be prepared for lots of photos in this post! 🙂     Spelling Our spelling program allows students to discover the patterns that words use, as well as the “oddballs” (the name given for the pattern-breakers) that come up along the way. To prepare the...

Curriculum Night

Thank you for a wonderful Curriculum Night! We appreciated the time we had to discuss some more details of our classroom and address questions you had. Please know that you are always welcome to send any other questions that come up our way. If you were unable to...

Welcome!

Can you believe we are in our 2nd week of school? It’s been packed full as students learn our expectations for the year, practice procedures, and explore the garden. In the afternoon, we’ve already harvested several vegetables from the garden. Students...

Spelling Sorts: May 11th – May 15th

*View all posts here* Below you will find the new names of our five spelling groups Listed underneath each group, you will find a link for the spelling list (in case words didn’t make it home) as well as the “key.” Each week, this key will provide...

Hello, Georgia!

We have exciting news! Our environmental exchange box from a class of 1st graders in Atlanta, Georgia, arrived yesterday! We have just begun exploring the contents as we wrap up our own box. Students took full ownership of this project. From deciding what kind of...

Spelling Sorts: May 4th – May 8th

When students pick the spelling group names, you never know what you’re going to get! This round of names brought the same variety… 🙂 Below you will find the new names of our five spelling groups Listed underneath each group, you will find a link for the...

Spelling Sorts: April 27th – May 1st (*New Group Names*)

When students pick the spelling group names, you never know what you’re going to get! This round of names brought the same variety… 🙂 Below you will find the new names of our five spelling groups (students chose their group names today and should have this...

Spelling this week *

Happy Earth Week! Things will look a little different this week, including spelling time. Although we will still be working on spelling, it will not be connected with our usual program. We will focus in on some environmentally-focused words, so students will not be...

Science at Home: Liquids

*View all posts here* Students have been investigating 6 mystery liquids the last couple of days and identifying properties that can be used to describe them. These key properties are: Transparent – Clear; light and images pass through; may have color...

Science at Home

Want to try out a game that will further explore our unit in science? Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing with you some activities, experiments, and games you can try with your student that connect with our Solids and Liquids unit! We have just wrapped up our...

Spelling Sorts: April 13th – April 17th

*View all posts here* Below you will find our five spelling groups. Listed underneath each group, you will find a link for the spelling list (in case words didn’t make it home) as well as the “key.” Each week, this key will provide the words sorted into their...

Spelling Sorts: April 6th – April 10th

*View all posts here* Below you will find our five spelling groups. Listed underneath each group, you will find a link for the spelling list (in case words didn’t make it home) as well as the “key.” Each week, this key will provide the words sorted into their...

Smisking Afternoon Update 4.6.15

*View all posts here*   Science We’ve had our first week with our new science unit on solids and liquids. Students have been exploring solids while writing entries about their observations in a science journal. Included in this journal is a list of the key...

Earth Week Shirts

Good morning! April is a great month – mostly because it includes my favorite week of school: Earth Week! Celebrate with us by checking out these great shirts available to order. Orders are due Monday, April 6th. Click here for the order form! Mrs....

Solids and Liquids Unit

*View all posts here* Dear Family, Our class is beginning a scientific study of solids and liquids. We will observe the properties of many solids and liquids, comparing how solids and liquids are alike and how they are different; organize the results of our inquiries;...

Spelling Sorts: March 30th – April 3rd

*View all posts here* Below you will find our five spelling groups. Listed underneath each group, you will find a link for the spelling list (in case words didn’t make it home) as well as the “key.” Each week, this key will provide the words sorted into their...

Spelling Sorts: March 16th – March 20th

*View all posts here* Below you will find our five spelling groups. Listed underneath each group, you will find a link for the spelling list (in case words didn’t make it home) as well as the “key.” Each week, this key will provide the words sorted into their...

Smisking Afternoon Update 3.13.15

*View all posts here* Science We have had such a blast learning about the sun, moon, and stars. With everything from the Star Lab with Naomi to learning the moon phases, we now have some star-gazing students among us. Some of my favorite moments have been the extra...

Family Stargazing Night

*View all posts here*                     We have a wonderful opportunity coming up in April! Please click here to learn about our stargazing night with Naomi and the rest of the 1st and 2nd grade classes. Make sure to send your RSVP for this special event by March...

It’s Field Trip Time!

*View all posts here*   We are excited to share that we will be going to the Adler Planetarium in March. Please click here to see the commitment letter. We will be sending more information soon! Email us with your reply by March 3rd. Mrs. Buesking *View all posts...

Smisking Afternoon Update 2.21.15

Writing As students wrap up their research on their chosen topic, we have moved on to new parts of our nonfiction writing packet. On the “Be a Teacher” page, they are using the notes they have taken to create question and answer based facts on their topic....

Spelling Sorts: February 17th – 20th

*View all posts here* Special Note: Since we did not have school on Monday, students do not need to do the Word Hunt activity. During class, they should have crossed out this Wednesday activity. Homework is still due on Friday and the spelling quiz will still be on...

Environmental Activities this Week

*View all posts here* We have a couple of exciting projects happening that we want to share with you! Environmental Exchange Box Earlier this school year, I attended a workshop for Project Learning Tree (PLT). The resources I gathered throughout that day gave me some...

February Green Challenge

*View all posts here* It’s that time again! February’s green challenge assembly (Tuesday of this week) was all about designing green. The 1/2 grade band team learned about a specific way our school is built to help the environment. This year, our students...

Spelling Sorts: February 2nd – 6th

*View all posts here* Below you will find our five spelling groups. Listed underneath each group, you will find a link for the spelling list (in case words didn’t make it home) as well as the “key.” Each week, this key will provide the words sorted into their...

National School Choice Week

*View all posts here* Good morning! This week we are celebrating National School Choice week. Students attended an assembly yesterday, many wearing their yellow scarves, and saw how PCCS was a great choice to make! We saw a slideshow of images from classes throughout...

Internet Research

*View all posts here* As you know, students are working on nonfiction writing. Something that can be difficult is searching for sources online, but it is a valuable resource (and skill!) for our class. We have been looking through books to learn about chosen topics...

Spelling Sorts: January 26th – 30th

*View all posts here* Below you will find our five spelling groups. Listed underneath each group, you will find a link for the spelling list (in case words didn’t make it home) as well as the “key.” Each week, this key will provide the words sorted into their correct...

Would you like to take part in our writing class?

*View all posts here* Good afternoon! Our class is currently exploring nonfiction writing, beginning some research on a topic of the student’s choice. Before they begin writing, they will be practicing note-taking as they read about their topic. A way we can...

Thinking Inside the Crayon Box

*View all posts here* This week, in both the morning and the afternoon, our students learned about the courageous and passionate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We wrote to Dr. King, thanking him for standing up for equal rights in a peaceful and loving way. Students...

Light and Sound Unit

*View all posts here* Would you like a sneak peek into our light and sound unit? Take a look at the student journal the class has been working through this trimester! We’ve had some exciting experiments so far. Yesterday we explored how light is created in both...

A quick trip back to 2014…

*View all posts here* Did you happen to miss the Winter Sing? Here’s a short clip from one of the choreographed songs of the performance! The video might need to be paused in order to load before playing all the way through. Enjoy… 🙂 (Recognize the...

No new spelling sort!

*View all posts here* No worries if your student did not bring home words for this week! Since we have a short week, students will be reviewing some previous sorts with a different activity each day in class. Any spelling activities that come home do not need to be...

Smisking Post – Afternoon Updates

*View all posts here* Writing Our class is diving deeply into some nonfiction writing! Students were able to pick their own topic for this project, so we have a wide range of subjects. This week, students were paired up so that they can walk through the research...

Winter Fun Photos

We had an incredible party just before break, thanks to the many parents who came together to help create memorable moments with our class. Between the games, crafts, and treats, students had a delightful day. I am already looking forward to the next party with...

Spelling Sorts: January 12th – 16th

Below you will find our five spelling groups. Listed underneath each group, you will find a link for the spelling list (in case words didn’t make it home) as well as the “key.” Each week, this key will provide the words sorted into their correct categories, the...

January 8th Closing

DUE TO SEVERE WEATHER CONDITIONS, WITH WINDCHILL TEMPERATURES FORECASTED AT – 40 AND THE ADVISORY REMAINING IN EFFECT THOUGH NOON TOMORROW,  ALL CLASSES AND BEFORE/AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS WILL BE CANCELLED ON  JANUARY 8, 2015. Please continue to stay safe during this...

January 7th Closing

DUE TO SEVERE WEATHER CONDITIONS – ALL CLASSES AND BEFORE/AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS WILL BE CANCELLED ON 1/7/2015  

January Green Challenge

Good afternoon! This morning our school held its monthly green challenge assembly. The challenge presented for the month of January is to SAVE ENERGY. Our class brainstormed some ways we could do this in the classroom and at home. The following video shared by Ms....

Spelling Sorts: January 5th – 9th

Below you will find our five spelling groups. Listed underneath each group, you will find a link for the spelling list (in case words didn’t make it home) as well as the “key.” Each week, this key will provide the words sorted into their correct categories, the...

Spelling Sorts: December 15th – 19th

Below you will find our five spelling groups. Listed underneath each group, you will find a link for the spelling list (in case words didn’t make it home) as well as the “key.” Each week, this key will provide the words sorted into their correct...

Spelling Sorts: December 8th-12th

Below you will find the new names of our five spelling groups (students chose their group names today and should have this name written on the homework sheet that went home this afternoon). Listed underneath each group, you will find a link for the spelling list (in...

Smisking Post – Afternoon Updates

Writing Students are transitioning into informational writing this trimester. To get us started, we first looked at opinion writing (leading to a discussion about the difference between fact and opinion). Students used a basic structure to form their writing. It...

No new spelling sort this week

As students transition into new spelling groups, I will be introducing a couple of new activities. This week we will be learning and playing these new spelling games before spelling is in full swing again next week. Be on the lookout for new sorts at that time.

New Science Unit

Please see attached file for some important information regarding our new unit on light and sound! Students will be bringing home a copy of this letter today, but you can get a sneak peek here. 😉   Light and Sound Letter

Attention All Spelling Students…!

Hello, PCCS students and families! I’m very excited for this website to be up and running, especially for the ways it can benefit our students. Here I will be making weekly posts that share the spelling sorts for each spelling group and some extra information...