Sunday, August 31, 2014

Online practice opportunities
Student logins are:
Username-  firstlast693 (except for Kayla her # is 505). Example- mollygustafson693
Password- math

Student logins are:
Username-  firstinitiallastnamef10.  Example- mgustafsonf10
Password-   missg

They both have iPad/iPhone and android apps.  

I have heard that some of you have accessed AR quizzes while at home, they do not count towards either the classroom rewards nor Mr. Estell's contest. If you have books but are not sure if the AR level is where your child is reading at... then go to and type in the title and it will give you the level of the quiz.

Also, if you need additional copies of the homework sheets, click on the website link and you can download them at 

Saturday, August 30, 2014


This week we start a new fundraiser as we end the PTA's Yankee Candle fundeaiser Tuesday. Please be sure to send your sale sheets in Tuesday. 

T-shirt sales were due Friday. We still have 8 classmates who haven't placed Totes and t-shirt orders. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014


feel like one of the most important parts of my job is to teach the kids how to build lasting relationships. This being said, I want you to know that I already love your kids. All of them. Yes, we are still getting used to each other, but in 5, 10 or 14 years when they experience major life events like graduating from high school or college I want them to think back with happy kind thoughts about their time at Harmony Leland. Not to feel like some people who have memories of hate, fear and oppression. I was at a concert last year when Royal Tailor's lead singer spoke of how his life growing up in a "mixed" family with a low income was hard. Then he had said that he had a teacher he'll never forget! Wow, awesome right? However, I was so saddened to hear him say "that teacher hated me, and we all knew it!"  It would upset me if "my" kids felt that way about me or any of thier teachers.  I want them to KNOW that I want their dreams to come true (that's why I work them so hard) and that they can always count on me! 
1998- Chandler helping me prepare for my 1st year teaching. I had been the nanny/babysitter for her family for 4 1/2 years at this point. The next photo is of her little sister Tasmin, also getting my classroom ready. 

Here I am this May in Auburn. Chandler's graduation. Tasmin is a sophmore also at Auburn. My first babies, I'm so proud of them. 
Camyrn invites me to her recitals every year! She's amazing. You'll probably see her dance again at this year's Talent show. 
Elijah has moved on to another school but still checks in. He even challenged me to the ice bucket challenge this week!
 I loved this group otf kids! Elijah is pictured here with Wm Graham, Zachary's older brother. 
Former students at Cobb County Relay for Life. 
I returned to Joliet for a visit with my friends and 2 of my former kindergarten students came to visit with me at the hotel resturaunt. We're facebook friends now. 
I love sports. Matteo and I enjoying a Braves game. Chandler, Tasmin, my neice Kylie, nephew Bishop, another student Mia and their families all met at Turner field for a fun day at the ballpark. 

Isiah and I went to a couple Chargers games together. Good times! 

Celebrating life celebrations like my birthday, the kids' birthdays, my Master's graduation, and 1st communions makes life even more special...
Celebrating by 38th birthday with lots of fun parents too!

      Sean went swimming for the 1st time at Vyrene's birthday party. Vyrene and I pictured below at Big Chow Grille with his mum Prax and friend.

The day of my graduation!
Andrew's 1st communion. 
My job is so much more than teaching. I hope to make this a great year with you as well! 
Love "G"

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Today was better!

Thanksparents! Please keep yesterday's list a regular reminder. Today was better!

Monday, August 25, 2014

16th Day of School Update

Kids and I had a rough day. No stamps were given. What comments or encouragements can you give in the morning that might help each day?

1. Stay focused on the lesson, no signing or drumming, or humming or rolling around on the rug during the mini-lessons.  This will allow us to get to centers quicker and the lessons will truely be "mini" as opposed to stopped ever 3 minutes.

2. During centers, don't talk during the "quiet zone" centers because Ms G needs to focus on the kids in her group instead of disciplining everyone else. When its you in the group, you don't like being interrupted.

3. During centers, when not at Ms G's group, go potty or blow your nose if you need to. Stopping Ms G's lesson to ask for these things interrupts other students from learning.

4. Ms G is the only boss inthe classroom. Unless you have been hurt by someone else, don't tattle! Tell your friend how their actions made you feel and ask them to stop!  I don't need my friends to tell  on someone for going potty or blowing their noses! (See #3!)

5. Most importantly: 
TRY YOUR BEST! We have many friends who are not even starting to do the center work then they get angry at G because they didn't go to the computer. 
TRY YOUR BEST! When Ms G is doing a mini-lesson or whole group lesson, try to stay focused, do not make silly sounds, drum, roll around or hum the whole time. It distracts Ms G and then the lesson takes longer! 
TRY YOUR BEST! Be responsible for your supplies and Ms G's materials. Put things where they belong when its time to clean up from an activity, not 3 1/2 hours later. 
TRY YOUR BEST! Always put your name on any paper that you work on. 

PS- We still have some friends that have not  bought their Reading Bags, and T-Shirts. $20 for both, $12 for 1. The reading bag is more important than the t-shirt. I will be ordering the T-shirts Friday before I leave the school. We do not order any extra, so if you are buying 1 for your child,and want 1 for yourself, please get the order in by Friday.

PSS- some of you asked if we need any supplies, and there sre a few things we could use:
            3"x3" sticky note pads. (1 per child- 25 classmates)
            ITunes donations so we can buy audio books for or IPod Listening center.  

            Bean bags, large dorm pillows or child size "soccer" chairs for read to self. 

            Volunteers to make copies on Tuesdays and Thursdays. 

             Volunteers to help kids in Media Center during Literacy Rotations (9:40-11:20) M-F. We can set up a schedule or have people pick 1 day each week. 


Sunday, August 24, 2014

AR is ready for the kids to start!

Starting Monday the kids will have 12 minutes every day during literacy centers to go to the Media Center. Only 4th and 5th graders are allowed to go to the Media Center for check out before 8:00. Also, Mr. Estell will set up class times with the kindergarten and 1st grade classes until 9:30. We don't get to go until after 9:30, please encourage the kids to pick appropriate books so they can take AR quizzes everyday. 

We finally got together with our Book Buddies!

On Friday, we got together with Mrs. (Polinsky) Smith's and Ms. Ervin's kindergarten classes to meet with our partners for this year. Maya, Zion, Janiya, and Reagan were probably the most excited because they got to be the "big kids" this time! The rest of the class and Ms. Ervin was excited because it was thier 1st time! Below are some awfully cute pictures of the kids reading together! 


Unfortunately Hannah was absent and I can't find my picture of Makayla and her book buddy. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Cobb County Safety Village

We had a fun day on our field trip. It started out with a puppet show! We learned alot of safety rules from the songs they sang. 

Our guide was Firefighter Bo! We followed him out to the train crossing, after he taught us how to cross the street. "Look left, right, then left again!" he said. At the train station, we learned about the trafgic and crossing lights. We also learned that train tracks are private property and we should never play on them. 
Next we went to the school bus whee we discussed the dangerous zones around a school bus. If we are in front of the bus and can't see the steering wheel then we are too close! We never cross behind the back of the bus because the driver cannot see us! 

Our favorite part came next! 

Bicycle Safety. 

Our helmets must be worn when we are on anything with wheels! A helmet fits properly when it stops 2 fingers above our eyebrows has a V around our ears and we can open our mouth all the way without the strap choking us. The bikes at the safety village do not have training wheels, they are "safety wheels!" Trainging wheels are small and the safety wheels are bigger and stronger. We all got hair nets and put helmets on so we could ride their bikes! Lots of fun!!!
Once we got our turn on the bikes we sat in the shade while our friends took their turns!
The group got bigger,
and bigger, 
and bigger! 
Until our last 2 friends got their trip on the bikes. 
Once they parked their bikes we were ready for lunch!  
Lunch was speedy quick! 

Then went went to Smokey's house and found fire dangers in his living room and kitchen. Nothing should be placed by the fire place that can catch on fire! Fires need 3 things to grow: heat, oxygen and fuel. 

Blankets should not be set on space heaters. Caps and hats do not go on lamps. 

A screen should be on the mantle because it blocks sparks from jumping out and landing on the floor. 
We should not lie cords under rugs because over time the cords can become frayed and may start a fire. 

Candles should never just be set on tables, they need something that is not flamable under them. 

The kitchen has many danderous things as well. Handles in tge stove should always be facing in. Applicances should not be set on the edge of the counter, and their cords need to be out of reach. Be careful of similar but dangerous items such as windex and blue gatorade, comet and parmisain cheese, or apple juice and mr clean.  

When a fire happens, smoke goes up!
When a fire happens poisonous gasses go up! 
When a fire happens, heat goes up!
So, when a fire happens, we need to get down close to the ground. Find a wall and crawl toward the exits! Most people injured in fires are hurt but smoke inhalation not burnt by the fire. 

We then went into Smokie's bedroom. We discussed that sometimes we are too high up to just get out of the room if there is a fire. When checking the door for a fire, put the back of your hand against it, don't grab the door knob! If it feels hot leave the bedroom a different way. 
Upstairs bedrooms should have a ladder, or rope so you can climb safely down to get out. 
If you don't have a safe way out of an upstairs room, either throw a stuffed animal out the window or place a blanket or pillow onn the open window sill so firemen can find you easier. 
To safely climb down a ladder, karate kuck your leg out the open window.
Then, sit on the sill and make sure your foot gets securely on the top rung of the ladder. 
Finally back down the ladder with your bottom out the window first! 

Then we all tried climbing out the window! 
We have learned so much today! 

For the most part, behavior as a class t was lax in all rooms. Many of us tried our best, but some we had to remind multiple times. 2nd grade teachers are debating wether or not we will go. 
We had a good day.