In the Classroom: “Leader in Me”

A representative from Franklin Covey Education – Leader In Me – visited Tucson Country Day School last week.

One of the stops that was made was in Ms. Adrienne’s second grade classroom. Mrs. Kappler, the school’s Chief Operations Officer, visited the classroom with the representative.

They explored the classroom – searching for Leader In Me language and initiatives.

Ms. Adrienne says that Mrs. Kappler and the representative were very impressed when they discovered Habit Jars, WIGs (Wildly Important Goals), a Dr. Stephen Covey poster, TCDS mission statement, list of Leader Jobs, Synergy Board, Class Commitment and more in the classroom.

The pair reported back to our school’s Lighthouse Team that the 7 Habits is very visible in the classroom and, after interviewing students, that it is obvious the principles of the doctrine have been internalized by these students.

After the visit, a suggestion came for the class to create a class mission statement. The Coyotes ran with the idea and created a list of the 7 Habits, a class mission, and even wrote down examples of how they follow the 7 Habits!

Mrs. Kappler was so impressed! She came to the classroom to congratulate Ms. Adrienne and her students – and she awarded the class with their very own “7 Habits Dress Down Day”!

Way to go, Ms. Adrienne and the Coyotes!

Easter Fun With Tens and Ones!

Ms. Sarah’s kindergarten class had an Easter party – and worked on counting with tens and ones while having a lot of fun!

The students rotated centers involving tens and ones math while using chocolate eggs, painting Easter eggs, and creating some great Spring animal crafts!

Ms. Sarah printed out “10 frames”, and each student received two. With a pile of ten numbers, the kids got to draw a card and make the number with chocolate eggs in their ten frames, and this went along with EngageNY lessons the class was learning.

Ms. Sarah says her students like to learn and explore through activities that keep them engaged.

Learning Doesn’t Stop – Whether In or Out of the Classroom!

Bringing Historic Lessons to Life

Second grade students spent three weeks learning about Westward Expansion in Social Studies. During this unit, the kids were introduced to topics such as the Oregon Trail, the Pony Express and the Wild West.
The second grade teaching team decided to help bring this historic lesson to life – by taking their students on a field trip to Trail Dust Town. The students took a tour of the Museum of the Horse Soldier, participated in a scavenger hunt, rode “horses” on the carousel, panned for gold, explored a ghost town and more.
Students were excited to recognize covered wagons in “real life” from their learning in the classroom.  The kids “pumped explosives” at the mine and took turns in jail.
Thank you very much to the many parent volunteers who accompanied the second grade classes on the field trip.

Dictionaries and Peer Editing

PTSA recently donated 15 dictionaries to Ms. Adrienne’s second grade classroom, and  the students are putting them to use already!
The class has handmade dictionaries as well as the new stack of dictionaries to use when they edit.
While working on writing narratives, students read their stories out loud to their peers. Then, those in the “audience” could offer feedback, if they chose to do so, by writing suggestions and questions on sticky notes. These notes were then given to the author of the narrative.
“Students used this feedback to improve their stories, leaving no reader questions unanswered, adding detail, and making sure their stories made sense. Excellent work Coyotes!” said Ms. Adrienne.

Making Change with Money

Ms. Adrienne’s Coyotes are practicing making change with money while using word problems.
Students had to recognize and understand the values of quarters, dimes, nickles and pennies in order to make change using the least amount of coins possible. To be successful at this practice, students needed to understand the relationships of coins as well, such as a quarter is greater than a dime.
Ms. Adrienne said the students mastered this process and had fun while making a game
of the lesson.


Word Work Wednesday

You’re never too old for a little phonics review!
Ms. Adrienne’s Coyotes searched for letters and words to “build” friendly letters to their Reading Buddies. The students offered to help one another, suggested ideas to their friends, and even shared the cutouts they collected.
Some students comments… “This is so fun!” “My strategy is to cut out a lot of cool words first.” “If I can’t find a K, I can cut out the shape of a K!”

Synergizing to Discover: From Seed to….?

Ms. Sarah’s kindergarten students teamed up with their middle school house to plant seeds to kick off the younger students’ plant unit.

The group had a fun time learning about what plants start off as – seeds – as they worked together to plant grass seeds.

Ms. Sarah says, “We love the first Tuesday of every month where our middle school house joins us for a learning adventure”.

In addition to plants, Ms. Sarah’s class is also focusing on where food comes from. Ms. Sarah says many kids think food comes from a grocery store like Albertsons. So, they are learning about where food really starts off at, as well as which foods are from animals and which are from plants.

Wow! Sounds like great learning is going on in kindergarten!

Independent Animal Research Project Culminates With Exciting Zoo Field Trip

An independent animal research project for kindergarteners culminated in an educational and exciting field trip to the zoo where the kids got to check out the animals they researched!

Students worked on their research by sorting animals based on their habitats.

Then they researched specific animals and created amazing poster boards and projects on them.

The students presented their projects to fellow kindergarteners. Based on these projects, we can tell how much the students learned! Way to go, kindergarten kids!

On to the Reid Park Zoo – the students checked out the animals they researched. 


Ms. Sarah’s kindergarten class had fun rolling down a hill at Reid Park.


Time to head back to school. This little cutie is tuckered out from all the animal excitement!

Incredible work, kindergarten students!