Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Next Wednesday, December 21st, the Fairfield School District will not be having a 10 o'clock start like normal.  Instead, the district will be dismissing at 2:30.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Kid vs. Wild

     Do you know what to do if you get lost in the wilderness?  Well 4th graders do!  On a recent trip to Jefferson County Park, students learned skills to help them survive if they get lost in the wilderness.  They learned how to use leaves and pine needles to stay warm, how to build a proper shelter, and what to use to build a fire.

Educational and Messy!

        Can students make a mess and still learn at the same time?  Of course they can!!  IN a fun pumpkin math activity, students did various stations related to math and a pumpkin.  The results, new math skills with a little fun on the side.


Congratulations KR

On a number walk around the neighborhood, Mrs. Ryan's kindergarten class came upon a house that was on fire.  They remained calm, called the fire department, and saved the house from burning down.  Way to go KR!!

Where does it go?

        In science class, students learned that plants and animals are classified based on features that they have.  It is hard to understand that there are many ways to classify until you actually do it.  An attempt to sort beans was had by 5 different groups.  In these 5 groups only 2 groups had the same classifying system for the exact same beans.  This was a great hands-on way to see the many different ways things can be classified.

Great Debate

        Studying the three branches of government isn't an easy task.  So instead of reading about it, students lived the part.  Broken into the the three branches of government, students tried to create a bill for the classroom.  The hard part, getting everyone to agree on what the bill should be about.  There was great debate on what they should write the bill about.  After the senate agreed, they passed it on to the judicial.  The judicial branch then had to deice whether or not it was fair to everyone.  Several times the bill was sent back to the senate to fix.  After a great debate, a bill was finally passed on to the executive branch (teachers), to see if it would get vetoed.  After several vetoes, it finally made it to a bill for the class.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Delicious Lesson

As part of practicing the phases of the moon, students made a model to represent the moon at different times of the cycle. Of course if we are going to use Oreos to practice, then we have to eat them when we are done!

Super Dan

Dan Wardell from Iowa Public Television spent some time with 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders to share some of his story time adventures.  With the help of Mrs. Sobaski and several students, Dan turned the gym into a land of fairy tales!

A Day in the Rainforest

A representative from Wildlife Encounters came to Pence to share his experiences with the students.  Wildlife Encounters is an organization that rehabilitates animals that people have taken as pets and then dumped.  Most of the animals they deal with are from tropical areas of the world and are brought to the Midwest.  People then realize they can't take care of them and dump the animals.  Below are few of the animals that he brought to share.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Off to a Hot Start

The 2011-2012 School year is off to a hot start and the weather is keeping up with the game.  With temperatures pushing up into the high 80's and lower 90's we are taking advantage of the cool weather when it comes around.  For a writing activity, we took advantage of some of that cool weather and did our writing outside. 

Our first major area of study in writing is ideas.  When asked what the toughest part of writing was for them, a majority of the class said that thinking of an idea to write about was the hardest.  Over the first week of school we have been finding out just how easy it is to write about any object. 

We started with a chair.  Not just any chair, a hickory rocking chair.  Students came up with an array of questions about a single, little, wooden chair.  After question we read The Hickory Chair by Lisa Rowe Fraustino.  After finding out that a single object could be so inspiring and so sentimental, the students began to think of objects that meant something to them and began to write.

To test their skills we decided to go outside when the weather cooled down into the 70's to see what they could do.  The students picked and object and began to write "juicy details" about their object.  When they were finished they described these details to a friend, without telling what the object was, and tried to see if the friend could guess the object from the details.  It turned out to be a great activity and even better weather.  The kids came up with some really juicy details!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Water, Mud and Fun!

Even though Mother Nature tried to deter us again, we finally made it out for our second installment of the Wetland field trips.  The rain held off and the wind died down long enough for us to hunt down some animal tracks, find the differences between rushes and sedges, and even had a little time for a pond study.   The students even got to taste a plant from the wetland.
 Therese posing and teaching the class about Duckweed, the smallest flowering plant in the wetland.
 Snipping the end off to see if it a rush or a sedge.  The students learned the rushes are round, and sedge have edges.
 Therese is showing the class what a growing cattail looks like.  They even found out that these plants are edible, they taste like cucumbers. "Wheres the ranch?"
 Students placed plaster in an animal track.  They let the plaster dry and they got to take the casting of the track home.

 Students tried to net wetland life from the pond.

Students netted bugs, tadpoles, craw daddies, and even a small fish.