Archive for December 2012

Last week was very exciting! We read five different version of the gingerbread man – The Gingerbread Man, The Gingerbread Boy, The Gingerbread Baby, Gingerbread Friends, and The Gingerbread Cowboy. For the next two weeks at listening center the students will be listening to The Gingerbread Pirates. Out of all the activities we did, I think decorating the cookies was the favorite. Check it out:

Friday afternoon, we noticed that the gingerbread man cookie we had sitting by our calendar was no longer there. He left to look for us while we were at Brain Boost, but luckily he left us a note. We looked for him in the gym, with our art teacher, and finally in the office. The clue he left in the office said he was back in the classroom. After looking, we found him in the book center!

On Tuesday, we completed our gingerbread glyphs. How they turned out depended on their answers to some questions. The gingerbread boys and girls turned out so cute, check them out:

The students did wonderful during math centers today, so wonderful I was actually able to take some pictures on them in actions!

 Zu-Ruei is cutting the story to put the pieces in order.

 Jordan is using a recipe card and counting to make sure he put the gingerbread man together correctly.

 Jiho is counting the dots on the dice before she moves her piece on the game board.

 Sophia and Jamil have already counted their dots and are practicing writing the number they landed on.

This week for math center the students are doing a color by numbers gingerbread man. The first groups did a great job coloring and remembering how to read the color words. Take a look:

For our math lesson today, the students made symmetrical paintings. First, they folded a large piece of paper in half, then unfolded and painted on one side. When done, they refolded and patted down on the top. They loved how their pictures looked when opened back up. Here are a few examples:

Later this week the students will be decorating gingerbread people cookies. If you would like to donate materials please let me know through an email to by Wednesday and have the donations to school on Thursday.

Please consider donating;

  • small pieces of hard candy
  • bottled icing
  • sprinkles
  • small tubes of decorating gel


Thank you in advance!

Remember, Wednesday, December 5th is a half-day at school. Students will be dismissed to the south playground at 12:15 pm. Both breakfast and lunch will be served.

Room 104 Families,

Sight Words: this, said, run
Previous Sight Words: I, like, see, the, is, little, big, a, to, we, can, be, and, look, at, my, you, are, for, am, in,
on, no, it
We are going to use and write these words in sentences.
We have been learning songs for all our sight words, ask your student to share the songs with you!
Letter of the Week: Gg – it makes two sounds (hard and soft)! We will learn about both.
Previous Letters: Kk, Pp, Jj, Hh, Ff, Tt, Ii

Theme: Our theme this week is Gingerbread Man.

  • We will go on a Gingerbread Man hunt throughout Ray School!
  • The students will decorate gingerbread man cookies.
  • Gingerbread Man Glyph – Each student will decorate their gingerbread person based on their answers to the following questions: Are you a boy or girl? Are you 5 or 6? Do you have siblings or are you an only child? Do you like cookies with or without icing? All gingerbread people will be different based on the individual answers.
  • We will read and compare many different versions of The Gingerbread Man.


  • Student will start their December Journals.
  • More writing lines will be added for December as well as a place for students to practice writing the date. We will also be doing book responses.
  • Students will practice writing the letter /g/.
  • I will encourage using our sight words and students writing one or two sentences to describe their picture. We are also now labeling all parts of our pictures.

  • Students are now encouraged to independently chop out and write the words. We do phonemic awareness mini lessons everyday before journaling to help and inspire the students to chop out words on their own.


  • Math Centers this week will be: Gameboard – students will roll a dice, move that many spaces then say and write the numbers on a white board, explore the remaining math centers, sequencing, make a gingerbread person then write how many buttons, objects on their face, and how many pieces of yarn for hair.
  • The students will learn about the word symmetry/symmetrical and make a symmetrical painting.
  • We will list and find things that are symmetrical in nature.
  • We will talk about numbers and our bodies.
  • Students will practice writing numbers and we will continue to skip count by 5’s and 10’s.

Literacy/Literacy Centers:

  • Writing Center: Rainbow write the sight words and letter /g/ phonics activities.
  • Art Center: The students will make gingerbread families based on their own families.
  • Math Center: Color by Number Gingerbread Man.
  • Read Around the Room: Find words beginning with /g/.
  • Listening Center: Students will listen to A Pocket Full of Kisses then draw a picture from the beginning of the book.
  • ABC Center: Wipe off phonics cards.
  • The students will create a class book completing the following sentence: This Gingerbread ___________________ is fast, said ______________.
  • For our Journeys curriculum we will read a story called Move!. Our goals this week are identifying main details and visualizing.

Social Studies:

  • We will continue learning about the United States and learn some symbols that represent the country.
  • We will look at a map of the United States and find Illinois.

Wish List:

  • Glue Sticks
  • Clear Packing Tape


  • Remember to keep checking the Things To Be Working On At Home page to the right.
  • Wednesday, December 5th is a half day. Students are to be picked up at 12:15 pm on the south playground. Breakfast and lunch will be served.
  • Thank you to all the families that orders books from Scholastic. The orders have shipped and should be in shortly.
  • Please consider making a pledge to Ray University:
  • As the weather turns colder, please make sure that your child is mostly independent in putting on all their outside gear; zipping included. It takes away both instruction and outside play time when myself and the “helper students” each have to get numerous students dressed.

Ms. Maltz

Please visit and consider making a pledge for Ray University. Ray U is a wonderful, daily enrichment program that all the students at Ray School get to participate in to make the school day better. Ask your child about Ray University and I am sure they will tell you the amazing things they get to do everyday, they always tell me! We have had some spectacular providers so far that have taught dance, phonics skills, done author studies, and helped them to connect deeper to a book. Each session is three weeks. This is something very special that we are doing at Ray, so please consider making a donation. Thank you to those who have already done so. 

Students will receive homework every week. The homework packet is sent home on Monday and is always due on Friday unless otherwise stated.

Each week, the homework consists (mostly) of:

  • Sight Word work
  • Math
  • Handwriting

Each sight word page consists of some writing using the sight word. It is very important that the students create their own sentences and spell the words (except sight words – which should be spelled correctly) phonetically. In Room 104, I encourage students to chop (stretch) out words when writing. Students say the words to themselves, then the individual sounds while making a chopping motion (left to right)  for each sound. Studies show that when students make a physical movement it helps them to connect more and remember. Students to do not learn how to spell when constantly told how to spell a word. They will also expect words to be spelled for them and may not make the effort on their own. It is important for the students to come up with their own sentences on the homework and in class. Encourage your child to chop out words when writing. Chop out the words with them or start them off. Since spelling in the English language is not consistent, students may spell “of” as “uv.” However, when they do that I know they are making connections to the sounds. It is very important that students create their own sentences and chop out words to help with spelling.

Here are some examples:

2 sounds

at (ă–t)
up (ŭ–p)
it (ĭ–t)
off (ŏ–f)

3 sounds

map (m–ă–p)
night (n–ī–t)
van (v–ă–n)

4 sounds

mint (m–ĭ–n–t)
club (k–l–ŭ–b)
speak (s–p–ē–k)
groan (g–r–ō–n)

5 sounds

stroke (s–t–r–ō–k)
stream (s–t–r–ē–m)
frost (f–r–ŏ–s–t)
plant (p–l–ă–n–t)