Welcome to First Grade!

Welcome to first grade!  Chances are if you are reading this then you found out that you are going to be a part of Mrs. Butler’s Barnyard this year.  Yay!  I can’t wait to meet you!  I hope that you have had a wonderful summer and kept up your reading :).  I spent the summer with my baby girl Olivia who turned one at the end of April and moving into a new house.  I can’t wait to share all of my adventures with you and hear about yours!  Meet the Teacher will be Friday, August 5th this year.  Make sure to bring your school supplies with you.  You will go to the gym at 8:00 to do lots of things like sign up for after school care activities, find your bus number (double check even if you rode last year because routes have changed), and put money in your lunch account.  At 8:30 you will come to our classroom.  It is the last room on the left of the 1st grade hall.  As you leave the gym turn left.  We are in room A109.  You will see lots of boxes out in the hallway for your supplies.  Please put them in each box and then come inside to meet me!  First grade is a great year!  We will work really hard, and learn so very much.  The first grade teachers love to have fun and make sure that you do too!  Enjoy your last weeks of summer and I will see you soon!

~Mrs. Butler

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Feeling the LOVE!

We have had a February full of love so far!  We spent the first week of February doing a book study with “Somebody Loves You Mr. Hatch”.  The entire first grade studied this book and did several different comprehension activities with it.  To wrap up our book study we thought it would be fun to have a brownies and lemonade party together outside, just like Mr. Hatch and his neighbors did.  We were surprised that Mr. Hatch found out about it and showed up!

IMG_5952IMG_5959IMG_5960IMG_6022The next week we did lots of fun Valentine’s activities.  We wrote letters to our moms, did tally graphs with candy hearts, read some great stories about showing love, and wrote opinion stories on which candy heart was our favorite!  We ended the week with a fun craft and special snack.  We painted blocks of wood with our thumbprint hearts and then painted over a heart shape.  When the heart was removed we saw the outline we made with our paint!  We then enjoyed ice cream sundaes and being a little silly.  I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine’s day with your family!







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January was Jumping!

We had a great January at MLES!  Lots of learning and lots of fun was had by all.  We started off January working on our polar animal research. The students used ipads to research their chosen polar animal, used chatterpix to create a picture recording of their writing, and created posters of their animals.  The posters are below.  Be sure to ask your child which one they helped to create!

Then we swapped over to our weather unit.  This is always a favorite and it’s because we do several science experiments.  We learned about the water cycle and made a water cycle in a bag.  We learned about how the clouds make rain and used colored water and shaving cream to replicate the process.  Then we made a tornado and watched the debris fly all around!

The end of January brought a special treat…SNOW!  We went outside and ran around for a few minutes and had a blast!  Mrs. Butler and Mrs. Thompson were especially excited that the roads were ok and everyone was able to go home to enjoy the snow!

February is sure to bring more fun!  I can’t believe we only have 4 more months of first grade!

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Christmas Catch-up!

Where did the time go?  I didn’t get around to doing a Christmas post before we left for the holiday…whoops!  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas break with your families and enjoyed some time off and were able to recharge your batteries a little for the last half of the year.  First grade takes off 2nd semester.  We were already working hard, but you will be amazed at what your little ones will learn and be able to do by May!  Here are some pictures of things we did before the break.

We had a wonderful Christmas party planned by our great room mom Lauren Nickles!  There was a beaded wreath craft, pin the nose on Frosty, a photo booth, and decorating sugar cookies.  We also had a book swap Secret Santa style and all the kids were thrilled with what their Secret Santa had chosen for them!

First grade was also part of the Christmas Music Program at Metro Church.  They did a great job singing and Santa even showed up for their special song all about him!

Also, there was a reading challenge over Christmas.  We had 7 students who successfully read 250 minutes or more on Raz-Kids over the break.  They enjoyed a special reward with Mrs. Deem and Mrs. Neighbors.  I hope our next challenge will have even more students participate!

IMG_5668I can’t wait to see what fun we will have in January!  We are working on Polar Animal research and group projects now.  Lots of learning in store for this amazing class!

~Mrs. Butler

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Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope that each of you enjoys a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family!  We had a special feast in our classroom together to celebrate the season of thankfulness.  We are very thankful for our school family!

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On Friday we will do special Thanksgiving rotations in first grade.  Each class will rotate through all of the teachers.  We will play games that the Native Americans and Pilgrims would have played, talk about the different kinds of foods they ate, discuss and create some Native American writing with symbols, and d0 a special craft!  It is going to be a blast!

Of the many things I am thankful for this year, your students are close to the top!  I love spending each day with them learning and laughing.  They make my job so much fun that it doesn’t always feel like work!  Here are some of the many reasons I am thankful this year!

Another reason I am thankful….first graders dancing to gonoodle.com during inside recess=great entertainment!



I hope that you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your families!  Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your children’s lives each day.  I consider it a true blessing and honor!

~Mrs. Butler




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October Fun!

We finished up the busy month of October with an even busier week!  Our week started on Monday with a special surprise from Mrs. Brandy (an instructional aide at our school).  We had finished a unit of geometry with quilts and Mrs. Brandy took our paper designs and made an actual quilt!  It was beautiful and the kids were so excited.  Here is a picture of the quilt and you can read the full story on the Shelby County website! http://podcasts.shelbyed.k12.al.us/scs-news/2015/10/26/mt-laurel-class-designs-quilt-for-math-unit-on-geometry/


On Tuesday we had a special “Buster the Bus” presentation.  Buster is a talking school bus who teaches us all about school bus safety.  Mrs. Butler was chosen to be Buster’s helper.

buster IMG_4681We also finished up our geometry unit and practiced building walls by composing different shapes to make the wall the same height and width as the cube we were given to start with!  They did a great job on their walls!

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On Thursday and Friday the class got to go to PE and do the “Spooky Stations”.  Mrs. Butler even went in for a few minutes to play and it was a blast!


On Friday we did some fun craft stations to celebrate Halloween and all that we had learned in October.  The class made a paper plate pumpkin and turned it into a jack-o-lantern, a paper bag scarecrow, and a crayon resist spider web!

IMG_4734 IMG_4735 IMG_4737 IMG_4738We also had a special visit from Mrs. Holmes’ second grade class who did a special performance of “The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid Of Anything”.  Did a hidden 100 chart picture and had a special snack of bat cookies, baby pumpkins, and snail slime cupcakes :).

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I hope everyone had a Happy Halloween, even if it was rather wet!  I am looking forward to all the learning we will do in November.  Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of year!

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Fall Fun!

We have been hard at work the past two weeks!  In writing we started a unit on Opinion Writing.  We started by brainstorming reasons to support our favorite season.  We had one group who liked fall, one who likes summer, and two groups who liked winter the best.  The pictures below are from the brainstorming session we had during the writing process.

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In our unit time we have been learning about pumpkins, bat and spiders.  Last Friday we had some pumpkin fun.  We did a pumpkin investigation, some pumpkin thinker keys (coming up with all of the required steps to carve a jack-o-lantern), voting and creating a tally graph to show what our pumpkin would look like, naming him (Mr. Scary), and carving him!

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We also completed a unit on bats and spiders.  Here is our bat tree chart and a link to a really neat video we watched showing a spider egg sac hatching.  Talk about creepy crawly!  We can’t wait to finish all our fall fun next week!

bat Spider Video




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Apples and Parenting Day

We have had so much fun the past couple of weeks!  We spent a week learning all about apples including doing a science experiment and having an apple tasting!  For our experiment we made a hypothesis about which liquid would keep our apple pieces from turning brown.  We then graphed our results on the board and started our experiment.  We covered each cup of apples with a different liquid and left one cup with no liquid as our control sample.  After 4 hours we checked on their progress and recorded the results.  The next day we recorded what we saw and drew the conclusion that if you want to cut up apples and leave them on the counter you can use lemon juice to keep them from turning brown! You can also use orange juice, but we found a few dead flies in that cup :).

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On Friday we had an apple tasting!  They got to try apple juice, apple sauce, red and green apples, dehydrated apples, and we made our very own apple pies!  Everyone agreed it was a great treat!

apple 2 apple 3 apple 4 apple1We also went out to recess on Friday which was very cold!  Some of the kids thought it was going to snow!  I laughed at how bundled up they got for a 70 degree day.  This is how you know we live in Alabama!

batman cold recessToday was Literacy Parenting Day!  Thank you to all the parents who were able to attend.  I hope you gained a little bit of insight into what your child is doing during reading centers each day.  Many of you were surprised at the difficulty your child had answering some of the questions at the top of the page.  The large push in 1st grade is reading accuracy, fluency, and comprehension.  I will be sending some things home to work on to help your child improve their comprehension!image1 image2 image3 parent 1 parent 2

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Sweet Rewards and Surprises!

Our class has worked very hard over the past few weeks on building our independent reading stamina!  We had a goal of being able to read independently for 15 minutes and the kids hit that goal!  Every day we will be doing independent reading to build our strength as a reader.  To celebrate our achievement Mrs. Butler got popsicles!  It was a hot day, and we might have ended up a sticky mess :).

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The biggest and best surprise came on Friday.  Our class is getting to pilot a new software for the iPad called Osmo!  It is a great learning tool that can be used with math, reading, science, and even art!  We got to explore a little on Friday with two programs called tangrams (shape puzzles) and words.  The kids had a blast!  We can’t wait to use this more during our reading and math stations each week!

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Fabulous First Graders!

With almost 3.5 weeks under our belt we are off to a terrific start!  This week we are finishing putting all of our reading and writing procedures into place and will begin our first grade instruction next week.  We have been reviewing all of our Kindergarten skills and are ready to learn more!  In math we are working on ordering numbers, counting forwards and backwards, writing numbers and recognizing them to 60 and doing counting collections.  We have been busy mathematicians!  We are working on being bucket fillers with our behavior and becoming a true classroom community.

This week we got to work together on several projects.  The biggest project was our classroom art project (a wooden picture frame) for auction at the Renaissance Faire!  Kate’s mom and grandfather, and Raylee’s mom came to school and worked with the students to screw the wood together.  They worked really hard, followed safety instructions and were really excited to use a screwdriver!  Here are a couple of pictures!  Thank you to those who came to help!

image1 image2 IMG_1336I hope you will all check out our item for auction at the Renaissance Faire and bid on it!  It will be completed with a large black and white picture taken in Mt Laurel that Kate’s grandfather took!  We having so much fun in first grade and the year has only just begun.  I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year has in store!

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