Sunshine Math Rap

Friday, December 12, 2008

Wonderful Words!

Our study of wonderful words continues! We have discovered that our love of words is contagious, as many of our friends and family members are joining us in our search and enthusiasm for new vocabulary! Our latest unit revolves around one chapter from the book, Rats on the Roof. Together as a class we read Chapter 4, Eat Your Vegetables, and could hardly suppress our excitement for learning the new words. There was no grumbling in our classroom!
We are dumbfounded by our ability to learn and use new words! There is much diversity in our classroom community, but we all have one thing in insatiable love of words!

Our new words are:

relocate: to move to a different place
ferocious: wild and mean
collaboration: working together
queasy: feeling sick to your stomach
lumbered: moved slowly or clumsily from one place to another
steadfast: loyal or not changing

Accept the challenge to find and use these words on a regular basis!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Roosechet's Fireside Chat

Hey kids! It's Chet Bear...and I'm just cuddled up by the fire like good old Franklin Roosevelt. He used to give speeches over the radio; the speeches were called Fireside Chats. I'm not sending my message out over the radio waves...I'm blogging on my computer. Well, actually this is Miss Hoffmann and Miss P's computer, but they went home and left me with all these things to trace for the upcoming holiday party, so I thought I'd take a break to surf the web a little and do some blogging.

I heard that this week's newsletter included a section about Calendar Math, with some questions that your parents were supposed to discuss with you to see how everything's coming along. Maybe you could answer them all, but maybe some of them were tricky for you. I pay very close attention during that time, so I'm going to type up the answers so you can check to see if you were right...

1. What is the pattern?
The pattern is different each month. This month it goes like this: blue rectangle, yellow rhombus, orange/red square, yellow rhombus. This is often referred to as an "abcb" pattern.

2. Can a square be a rectangle?
Yes! A square is a rectangle. A rectangle is any four-sided shape with four square corners, and squares meet those requirements. But remember, a square is a special rectangle because all four of its sides are the same length. So, a rectangle is not a square. Confusing, I know! It helps me to draw the shapes.

3. What are different coin combinations to make 75 cents?
Note: I'm a busy bear and I don't have all night, so I'm not listing all the possible combinations. However, I will give you a few to get you started.
75 pennies
7 dimes, 5 pennies
7 dimes, 1 nickel
14 nickels, 5 pennies
15 nickels
2 quarters, 2 dimes, 5 pennies
Can you come up with more? Can you think of a way that uses quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies?

4. How do you know if a number is a multiple of 5?
I know a number is a multiple of 5 if I say it when I'm counting by 5's, starting at the number 5. I also know a number is a multiple of five if it ends in a five or a zero (i.e. a 5 or 0 is in the ones place).

5. How can you use "doubles plus one" or "doubles minus one" to solve a near doubles problem?
First of all, a near doubles problem is any equation that has consecutive numbers in it. Some examples are 7+6 or 4+5. Let's take the first one, 7+6, and use it to talk about the strategies. Here's "doubles plus one." I might not have a clue what 7+6 is, but I know my doubles facts very well, so I can use them to help me. Since I know 6+6 is 12, I can just add one to that sum to solve 7+6 (because 7 is one more than 6).
Here's "doubles minus one." Let's use 7+6 again. I know 7+7 is 14, so I can just subtract one to find the sum for 7+6 (because 6 is one less than 7).
This one takes some practice, but when we start adding and subtracting larger numbers, it's really going to come in handy.

Well, that's all for now everyone. I'm going to head down to the cafeteria and see if they left any corndogs sitting out. I'm sure they wouldn't mind if I ate a few dozen or so, and then I'd better get back to work.

Love ya,

Chet Bear

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Chet's Family Thanksgiving

Hiya kiddies! Chet Bear again. I'm back from the holiday weekend. I wanted to have that garage sale but A. called and asked me to ditch the sale for the time being and spend some time with her family. I've never really enjoyed cleaning (just ask mother bear), so I put on my favorite green shirt and hit the road with A.'s family. As you will see, A introduced me to a new friend on our trip. He was a little taller than me. In fact, he was taller than me, A., and her brother if we stacked ourselves up like a Totem Poll!

On Thanksgiving Day, I watched the Macy's parade, before
absolutely stuffing myself on a yummy dinner. One of my favorite floats was one of a big turkey that people were sitting on. For dinner I ate turkey, green beans, turkey, milk, turkey, pumpkin pie, turkey, and of course some honey (Come on! Give me a break! I'm still a bear!).

A.'s uncle had a big truck from his glass company and A thought it would be a good idea for me to drive it around. I drove the BIG truck very well -- they thought about offering me a job but I don't think that would be a good idea because I could barely reach the pedals! The day after Thanksgiving, I joined A's family for their traditional drive trough the
Christmas light display at Saluda Shoals park and loved it. There were lights in the shape of Santa and Christmas trees, even sporting goods, but my absolute favorite was Santa's canon that was shooting presents and candy. Don't panic! It was just presents and candies made of lights. (Note: No bears were hurt in the shooting of the light canon.) The next morning, A.'s mom and dad were surprised to find the family's Elf on the Shelf sitting on my lap!

The Saturday after Thanksgiving, we braved the mall, and
I loved that too. We had hot chocolate at Williams-Sonoma and rode
the carousel and kiddie rides. We wanted to get my picture with
Santa, but Santa was on break, so we got my picture in Santa's chair
instead. First, I had to brush all the crumbs off the chair...that old bowl full of jelly, St. Nick, must have eaten a lot of cookies that morning because there was nearly a whole package of crumbs! :)

Finally, A.'s parents agreed that I could come along with the family and see the Nutcracker. A. and I had to brush our hair (it took me a long time to get all the twigs out) and promise to use our best manners, since we were going to a fancy theater to see the show. I really liked when the Nutcracker came alive. It was pretty great!

We all loved it. After it was over, A. & I got to have our
picture taken with a Dew Drop Fairy named A. We tried to find another Dew Drop Fairy named Chet but there wasn't one! I was a little disappointed but what can you do?!?!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

It's a Chet World After All!

Hi Everyone! I wanted to tell you about all the fun I had with H. this weekend! First she took me home to see her house. Then we played dress up and she put these cute white PJ’s on me and I tried on some fairy wings. Then she read me a story before bed.

Then I got to sleep in her bed with all her stuffed animals. Can you see me way in the back, in the left hand corner? Her stuffed animals were so nice to me and kept me company all night so I wasn’t scared at all!

The day we went to the Magic Kingdom I was so excited! Here we are sitting in front of the castle and with a toy soldier.

We got to ride on so many rides! My favorite rides were The Haunted Mansion, Thunder Mountain, and riding on the Merry Go Round.

Before we went home, H. got the coolest Pirate Princess Minnie hat. She let me wear it too!

I am so glad that I got to experience Disney with H. She took great care of me and we had the best time! Can’t wait until my next adventure with one of you.

Love, Chet

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sorting "Stuff"

Hiya! It's me, Chet Bear. I have been so busy cleaning out my treehouse the past few weeks. I cleaned the cellar, the attic, and every single closet I have. I have found so many things I didn't even know I had. I am thinking of having a garage sale over the long holiday weekend, but I wanted to put the items in categories (groups). Can you help me? Here are the things I have found:

bicycle, basket, basketball, straw hat, tricycle, volleyball, baseball cap, wheel, chef hat, towel, wooden spoon, hammer, softball, wrench, screwdriver, table, lamp, saw, chair, coat rack, blanket, apron, sheet, and a tennis racket.

What things should go together? What could the signs on my tables say (What categories do I have?)?

Help! I have a lot to organize and only a little time to prepare for the sale...Thanks!!!

Love ya,

Monday, November 24, 2008

Valuable Vocabulary!

We have been studying the Text Talk series, working to improve our vocabulary. In the beginning the thought of new words made us cower! We were perplexed by these large words and thought the chances of us being able to use them successfully were bleak. Miss Hoffmann and Miss P tried to reassure us that everything would be alright, but we did not believe them! Now we realize, that was a huge misconception! We were being so melodramatic! With persistence and after removing all distractions, we have begun to rock this new vocabulary! Any doubts we had, have vanished!

Our most recent vocabulary unit focuses on the book, Everybody Cooks Rice, by Norah Dooley. Our new words for this unit are:

boarder: a person who rents a room in a house
community: people with something in common
appetizing: something good to eat
gulped: to drink hurriedly or swallow loudly
grumbling: making complaining noises
diversity: a variety of people or things

Feel free to use these words at home! Look for them each night as your child reads!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Trip to Tennessee!

Hey guys, it's me Chet! Miss Hoffmann finally uploaded the pictures from our trip to Tennessee and I can't wait to show them to you! It's been a few days since we got back, but I still remember it vividly. Miss Hoffmann and her sisters really wanted to get to Tennessee to see the leaves change. They used to live in Virginia and miss the seasons changing! We all piled into the car really early Friday morning and, after stopping at Starbucks (Miss Hoffmann says it's not a road trip without Starbucks!), we hit the highways! Miss Hoffmann's lovely singing lulled me into a deep, hibernation-like sleep, and before I knew it, we were at our cabin in Tennessee! It was so rustic and cute...a lot nicer than any cave I've ever lived in! You should have seen Miss Hoffmann and her sisters running around like little schoolgirls...needless to say, they were excited to have finally arrived at their weekend destination. We got there kind of late, so we spent the first night settling in and relaxing. Her sisters played Foosball, while I looked on and let me tell you, they are very competitive! Don't be fooled by their innocent smiles! There were moments when Miss Hoffmann and I had to intervene before a sisterly feud broke out! Eventually Miss Hoffmann couldn't take it anymore, she was getting a headache from all the shrieking, so we went to bed!

The next morning we all woke up just as the sun was rising. I know why they call them the "Smoky" Mountains now...there was this beautiful layer of smoky-like fog covering the mountains in the distance. Our first day was about to begin!

Miss Hoffmann's sister really wanted to pet a pig (I'm not sure why, when she had a perfectly adorable bear with her!) so we went on the hunt for a farm. It took us a long time, but we finally stumbled upon Deer Farm just outside of Pigeon Forge. There were lots of animals there! That's me in front of a camel. A a deer farm! It was very hungry so Miss Hoffmann fed it lots of grain. It's nose had little whiskers and it tickled her hands! She fed a lot of other animals too. Miss Hoffmann REALLY loves animals, so she was running around buying all sorts of goodies for the them. She fed a reindeer, zebra, donkey, zonkey (half donkey, half zebra), and goats. I was a little upset...I mean I'm with her all the time and does she run around buying me all sorts of goodies? Nope! But then I started thinking about how those animals don't have a classroom full of kids who love them and take them on fun trips all over the country, and I wasn't so upset anymore. There's Miss Hoffmann holding a baby goat. It was such a snuggle bug! She just scooped it up and it just curled up in her arms. Personally, I prefer baby bears, but that baby goat was kind of cute. Of course Miss Hoffmann and her sisters couldn't leave without finding a pig! Miss Hoffmann was expecting it to be soft and smooth, but boy was it prickly! At least her sister was satisfied so we could hit the road and head off to another adventure!

The girls and I headed off to an ATV center where they decided to go ATVing for the first time! Their mom was not very excited when she heard about their idea, but she came around. When we arrived at the center, the people there got Miss Hoffmann a helmet and goggles that she had to wear on the trip. At first Miss Hoffmann felt really confident, but as the ride got closer she got really nervous and was squeezing me so tight I almost choked! The people that worked at the ATV place weren't too confident in Miss Hoffmann's riding abilities either! She had to drive through a test course before the ride could start, but have no fear...she aced it! After that she was a lean, mean, driving machine! They went up huge hills and over gigantic rocks all the way to the top of this mountain where they stopped to take quick pictures, before jumping back on the ATVs and cruising back down!

We were so tuckered out after that long day that we headed back to the cabin for some rest. Miss Hoffmann was so happy because she was able to fall asleep watching Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets on TV. For some reason we all woke up before the sun rose the next morning.
We just moseyed about the cabin in the morning before heading off to Smoky Mountain National Park. With three girls, it can take some time to get ready...lucky for me my good pal Winnie the Pooh was on TV. I kicked back on the sofa and tried to tune out the girlie chatter in the background.

The Great Smoky Mountains were full of beautiful sights! We drove through winding roads, surrounded by beautiful trees with leaves of green, red, and shades of yellow. We kept jumping out of the car to explore areas of the park. One of Miss Hoffmann's sisters really wanted to play in a pile of leaves so we climbed out in a big field and she buried me in leaves. Then she picked up a heaping handful of leaves and dirt and threw it right at Miss Hoffmann. Miss Hoffmann was not very happy and got a little grumpy when she couldn't get the dirt out of her shirt. Fortunately, I was there! After a few jokes and a hug, Miss Hoffmann was happy and ready for more fun! As we got deeper into the mountains it got colder and colder! At one point the temperature was in the 30's! We stopped by a beautiful stream and just had to climb out and take a picture. This is one Miss Hoffmann took which I love because you can see the colorful trees behind me! I did not want to leave, but the girls were freezing. Maybe it's my thick, fur coat, but I think they were being a little melodramatic! Before heading back to the cabin for our last night in Tennessee we drove through the Roaring Fork Trail. Right as we started, we saw a black bear! We were so excited! Miss Hoffmann and her sister jumped out of the car to take a picture, but they forgot to hold the door and it slammed shut, scaring the bear away. I was especially disappointed because I was hoping to have a quick chat with him about life in the mountains of Tennessee. We got back in the car and drove on. This part of the mountain was still very green and lush. There was this one stream that flowed for miles along the road and we just had to get out and take pictures of it. I like this one because it comes pretty close to capturing how breathtakingly beautiful it was. If a bear is going to live in the wild, this would not be a bad place to settle down! It was so neat to see some of the old homes that still stand within the mountains. This is a picture of a home that used to belong to a family with nine children! At first only the part on the left was there, but as time went by, the family was able to add on the second room. Eleven people in one room! No bathroom! It was so crazy! Even in our family cave as cubs, there weren't that many of us! I am very grateful for the creature comforts I enjoy back at home.

Well, the next morning we got up early and headed home to Jacksonville! Miss Hoffmann had a wonderful time, but we were both anxious to get back and see everyone from our class! Now that we're back and settled in, I'm awaiting my next trip. I already have a few scheduled! Let Miss Hoffmann and Miss P know if you would like to take me on a new adventure!

Your friend,

Friday, October 24, 2008

Got Muscles?

Hi everyone! Chet here. I am writing this from Orlando, FL. I am on vacation with Rida. I told her I needed to go to the bathroom inside of a Starbucks, but it is a wireless hotspot, so I whipped out my laptop and am typing this very important message to you. I could barely sleep last night. I can't stop thinking about what Miss Hoffmann and Miss P have been saying about making connections with muscles. I am trying my "beary" best, but I want to be absolutely sure that my connections have muscle (like Arnold Schwarzenegger muscles not like the time Spongebob wanted muscles, so he worked out with Sandy Squirrel for a while but then decided the workouts were too hard, so he just got inflatable fake arms muscles).

I'm reading and I really like it so far. I have a connection to this story. I have a friend, Pooh Bear, who loves honey, as much as John loves chocolate. This helps me to understand the book better because I think John is going to experience something similar to what happened to Pooh a few years back. I already told you that Pooh loves honey, but once he loved it soooooo much that he wouldn't stop eating it. He ate and ate and ate and ATE honey. In fact, he ate so much that when he went to leave his house, he got stuck! His love of honey had gotten out of control and he had to learn to love honey in moderation (this means he had to remind himself not to get carried away).
I think John is about to learn the same lesson. He loves chocolate just as much as Pooh loved honey. I am already noticing clues that John's ability to turn
everything into chocolate is getting old. At first he was excited about his toothpaste and orange juice, but now that he's at school, he is getting sick of chocolate and just wants a drink of water. I think he's going to start realizing that turning everything into chocolate isn't all it's cracked up to be.
That is my connection. What do you think? Does it have muscle or not? What do you like about it? What could I do to make it better?

I gotta go. Rida is going to think I fell in the sink or something.


Chet Bear

P.S. Yasdnil! Congrats on the pumpkin contest win! Shhh! Yasdnil!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Roxie Rocked!

Hey everyone! It's me, Chet! Sorry I haven't written in a while. I have been away on some great trips. First, I got to travel to a military school graduation ceremony with Chloe. Then Michael took me to Daytona, where I played a pretty incredible game of mini golf. I got two holes in one. Around the woods, they are calling me Tiger now. :) But don't worry, I'm still the same old bear. I had a wonderful time on my travels, but I was really happy to be back at Chets Creek. Much to my surprise, Ashley had brought me a little white chair to relax in during the day. It's just my size...I LOVE it!

Maybe you didn't notice, but today I left my chair and went on a journey. I was pretty sneaky and had to use some of skills from my stint as a member of Barnum & Bailey's traveling circus. I used to be known far and wide for my extreme flexibility and would fold myself up like a pretzel as the crowd "oooohhhhh" and "aaaaahhhhh." Today I used that same skill to fold myself up into a tiny ball, so I could fit inside Miss Hoffmann's purse.

You might be wondering why I hid in her purse. Just imagine that you are sick and trying to relax when a bear walks by your room...that would probably cause you to be pretty alarmed! That's why I hid. I didn't want to scare any of the patients.

Anyway, I had two favorite parts. I loved watching Mr. Darren put the cast on that lady's arm. It was so cool to learn about all the padding that goes underneath. I had never seen anything like that. In the woods, you don't usually get a cast. You just limp around until you feel better. You humans are really lucky!

My other favorite part was when we got to go to the pharmacy and see Roxie the Robot filling all the prescriptions. I always wondered how many people it would take to fill all those prescriptions, and now I know that it just takes one robot. I learned that Roxie works all day and all night! I wonder if she ever gets a break. I need to start saving up for a Roxie for the classroom. It could bring Miss Hoffmann and Miss P lemonade and rub their feet, so I wouldn't have to. All I need is one million dollars. I don't know as much about money as you guys do, but hard can that be?

What was your favorite part of the field trip? Let me know! I can't wait to hear from you.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Cousin Jose

Hi kids! Chet here! Sharing pics and adventures of my cousin, Jose, with you today was awesome. It was a lot of fun discussing the similarities and differences between the things in our neighborhood maps and the things we saw in the photos from my cousin's journeys in Latin America. I especially liked the video footage from the zip line ride through the rain forest, however, Miguel Angel's story about the volcano was fascinating. Can you imagine how scary it must have been for him and his family as the ashes burned through the roof of his family's home?

I remember the first time Jose and I traveled together. We have loved going on adventures, since we were tiny cubs. We are kind of like that book we read in Morning Meeting the other day about those two little traveling pigs, Toot and Puddle.

Let me tell you a little about our first adventure. The first time we traveled together was in a hot air balloon, which we built in our backyard out of old garbage bags and an Easter basket we found at the city dump (Warning: Don't try this at home...stuffed bear cubs weigh must less than human children!). We were the first two bears to circle the world. When we got hungry we would lower our fishing poles (we had REALLY long fishing lines) down into whatever water was below us at the time...rivers...oceans...lakes...and when we got thirsty we would fly close to clouds and scoop up the water droplets that had condensed there. We saw The Leaning Tower of Pisa, The Great Wall, and Machu Picchu, just to name a few. It was an amazing journey, not to mention an incredible news story. I'll have to show you all the medals that the president gave us and the photos from our "Welcome Back" parade.

Anyway, if you want to learn more about my cousin's adventures, here is the address of his blog: . Enjoy reading about his adventures while I relax with Chloe in North Carolina. Geez, I have a rough life...a week in Jamaica and now I'm off again. Write to me and let me know what your favorite thing was from my cousin's blog?

Ciao for now,

:) Chet Bear

Monday, September 29, 2008

Being away is "Jamaican" me miss you!

Hello kids! It's me, Chet, of course. I feel badly that I left in such a rush last Friday, but Mr. Pinchot needed me to go to Jamaica with a member of his class. I will write more on my trip later. I'm still trying to get to know my new fourth grade friend (and figure out when I'll be coming home). Did you know fourth graders know how to do division? I just learned to add! It's crazy!

What I am trying to decide is whether or not I should by this dreadlock wig I saw in a souvenir shop. Many people in Jamaica have their hair styled this way and I want to live like a local, while I am here. This is what the wig looks like. Should I buy it?

While I am resting and relaxing on the beautiful white sandy beaches, I am going to practice some games on my hundreds chart. You have a green one in your homework folder. I learned a new game called "Guess My Number." All you need is a 100's chart and a partner to play this game. Here's how you play:

1. Secretly pick a number on the chart, but don't tell your partner what it is.

2. Your partner asks you questions about the number, but they must be yes or no questions.

3. You answer the questions by saying yes or no. Your partner can keep track of what number they think it might be or the numbers they think it can't be on a separate sheet of paper (if they want to).

4. Keep track of the number of questions it takes your partner to guess the secret number. Each question is a point. The player with the fewest points wins. Be sure to play a few rounds and let your partner pick a secret number for you to guess, too.

Let me know if you try this could even type to me and tell me some of the questions you use when trying to guess a secret number. I want to be able to ask questions that will eliminate many numbers at once, so I won't have to ask very many to make my guess.

P.S. If you don't play the game, at least write to me and let me know whether or not you think I should buy the dreadlock wig...I'm having trouble deciding if I would look good with hair that long; I've always been a clean cut bear.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fall into Math Games

Hey kids! It's me Chet! Miss Hoffmann and Miss P are letting me type on the blog again. They say that they are too busy eating cupcakes and complaining about how badly they need pedicures to type to you, so I am helping them out. I like being their little secretary.

First, I want to say thank you to the person who brought me that wonderful hooded sweatshirt with the snowflake on it. I was so warm and cozy today when it was dreary and rainy outside. It was great. I was able to squeeze in a pretty great nap while you were all at Media.

Anyway, Miss Hoffmann and Miss P wanted me to write to you about the math games we've been playing in class. I love "Tens Go Fish," but "Close to 20" is really growing on me. It is challenging because you have to use three numbers to get close to 20, but I am getting better the more I practice. Speaking of practice...this weekend I went over to my bear friend's house. Maybe you've heard of him. His name is Winnie. I call him Pooh Bear. Pooh Bear doesn't go to school. He's too busy eating honey. I try to visit him and teach him things that I'm learning, but sometimes he tries to trick me when we play the math games.

I need your help. We were playing Close to 20. I had the following cards: 3, 10, 5, 5, and 6. I played the 10, 5, and 6. I added the cards on my scoresheet. I know that 5 and 6 make 11 because they are almost doubles and I've been practicing those. Then I added 11 with 10 and got 21. I told Pooh that my score for the round was a 1 because 21 is just 1 jump away from 20 on my 100's chart. BUT he said that I could have gotten a better score. He said that I should have used different cards for my turn, but then he wouldn't tell me which ones would have been better. Can you help me? I was really stumped. Please write me and let me know which cards would have been better...also, if you could help explain how to add them up and get the score, that would be great. Like I said, I'm new at this game and I'm still having a little trouble.

Well, I gotta go. Miss Hoffmann and Miss P want me to ride my bike to Publix and get them some Limited Edition Pumpkin ice cream. They can be very demanding, but I love them.

Good night! I hope to hear from you all soon. :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


We may have finished reading Clementine, but we don't have to forget about her. We are curious about what you thought of the book. Choose one (or more) of the questions below and let us know what you think.

1. Clementine reminds us of young girls like Ramona, Junie B., and Judy Moody. Does she remind you of any of these characters from other stories? What does she have in common with them? What is different about her?

2. Clementine helped her father find a solution to the pigeon problem, by having Mrs. Jacobi feed them Cheerios from a different window. Describe a solution that you came up with to help a friend or family member.

3. On the back of the book, it says "Clementine is having not so good of a week." This is also the first sentence of the book. We had fun laughing about all the things that happened to Clementine, but to her they were very serious (at least at first). Have you ever had a "not so good of a week" that you were able to laugh at later? Describe what happened.

4. Clementine loves to draw, whether it's a picture of a lady eating lentils with a toothbrush, or a picture of her brother wearing bologna glasses. Talk about something you like to do in your spare time.

We hope these questions will be a fun way for you to continue to talk about Clementine, even though we are done reading the book in class. Feel free to come back and comment on the posts left by your classmates, as well.

P.S. If you really loved Clementine, then be sure to look for the two other books in the series: The Talented Clementine and Clementine's Letter. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Chet's NYC Pics

Here I am posing with "Hello Kitty" in an office building courtyard. The city was full of statues and fountains of all different types.

This is where Miss P and I ate cheesecake in Central Park.

I loved this sculpture at made me laugh! It looks like a cartoon!

Ninja Star dessert. I love chocolate!

Ninja Restaurant.

This is the cat I met at Bleecker Street Records when I was shopping for new cd's.

This is me with a giant M&M!

This is me making new friends at the M&M store in Times Square.

This is me near a Picasso statue at NYU. Look for me near the bottom. The statue was a little big compared to me!

Here I am waiting to get into the U.S. Open.

The giant dog "balloon" statue at the Met.

The view from my seat at the U.S. Open. It's a good thing I'm not afraid of heights.

This is me posing near a statue in Chinatown.

I Loved New York!

Hi kids! It's me...Chet the traveling adventure bear. I just got back from New York City, where I spent a lovely Labor Day weekend. Boy, did I have a great time! It was much different from my home in Jacksonville. Before I begin, I want to thank Miss Hoffmann and Miss P for letting me use their blog to write to you.
Probably the best thing about my trip was what happened when I first arrived in Manhattan. I was walking around Chinatown, trying to find some food to eat for lunch, when I saw some baby clothes that were just my size. I got a great deal on a little Chet-sized suit. It says, "I love New York" all over it. I slipped it on and continued on my way, looking much more civilized. The first day I walked around Central Park for a while and watched all the people playing there. People were playing football, frisbee, baseball, soccer, and many other games. Then I took a nap on a bench, near two young people playing mandolins. A little girl and her dad were dancing around to the music. It was hilarious! After my nap, I was feeling very refreshed, so I walked to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to look at some sculptures. There was a new exhibit that focused on the clothes that superheroes wear. I got to see the real suit that Christian Bale wore in "Dark Knight." I spent a lot of time on the roof, where they have a rooftop garden. There are huge statues that look like inflated balloons. My favorite one looked like a giant dog! It was fun looking out at the view of the city skyline. All that walking really took it out of me, so I was happy to go out for a big dinner that night. I went to Palapa in the East Village. It serves Mexican food. Delicious! I ate so much homemade guacamole that Miss P and her friends had to carry me home. I couldn't even walk. I also ate beans, rice, and some very spicy chicken. Salsa verde is a little too much for this bear to handle!
The next day I woke up early. Miss P wanted to sleep in, but I squeezed her nose until she woke up. She wasn't very happy with me, but I really wanted to get out and experience the city. We ate breakfast at a small Italian cafe. I ordered banana pancakes and was not disappointed. Yum! Yum! After breakfast, I rode the train all the way through Queens, which is on a whole other island. Miss P had a surprise for me...I was going to the U.S. Open to see Nadal play. During tennis matches, you have to be very quiet during the points. This was hard for me because I like to yell and shout cheers of encouragement. Later in the day, I also got to watch Serena Williams play. It was very exciting. We were quite high up in the stadium but I could still see all the action down below. I have watched tennis on television since I was a cub, so this was a big moment for me. Wow! I still can't believe it; it was so much fun seeing all my favorite players in person! As if that wasn't great enough, I got to have ice cream for dessert after dinner because Miss P was so impressed at how well behaved and quiet I was during the tennis matches. We went to a place called "16 handles" where you get to make your own sundaes. You choose what kinds of different ice cream flavors you want to mix together, and then you get to choose what toppings you would like to have. I was so overwhelmed and excited that perhaps I didn't make the best combination. I chose chocolate, white chocolate, and cheesecake ice cream, and I got to control the handles and put as much in the bowl as I wanted. So far, so good. But there were so many toppings that I accidentally mixed strawberries and Butterfingers together. These toppings were good on their own, but not so good together. Still, it was a lot of fun, and I would love to go back.
On Sunday, I went shopping for some shoes to match my bear suit, in Soho. Most of the stores weren't open yet, so I just walked around and then checked out the neighborhoods around NYU (New York University). There are many interesting shops and cafes. I went into a record store on Bleeker street and met a friendly cat, who lived in the store, when I was browsing for new music to listen to. Next, I rode the train to Times Square to look at the billboards and lights. Yow! What a bustling place! The lights were almost too much for me, so we rode the subway home to take a long nap before dinner. We had special reservations at a place called Ninja. It is a Japanese restaurant where ninjas bring you your food. They also jump out and scare you when you are walking to the bathroom. I did not like this at all! The restaurant is below ground and it is decorated like an ancient Japanese village. We ate in a small room that looked like a jail cell. Miss P's friend ordered a first course called the "clam bombshell." When the ninja brought it to the table, he said it wasn't ready yet. It had a rope sticking out of it, which he lit on fire. There was a huge flame and the clam eventually opened. There were all sorts of pieces of seafood inside! We ate and ate and ate some more...four whole courses. When it was time to pay the bill, I hid in the bathroom...bears don't make much money, you know! I will make it up to Miss P by sharpening some pencils now that we are back at Chets Creek.
Monday was our last day in the city. I begged Miss P to take me to NBC studios, so I could see where the "Today Show" is filmed. I didn't see any of the hosts, but I did see cameras set up for a segment in the plaza outside. There were many people gathered around holding signs, just like you see on television. I was going to wait for the segment to be filmed, but I wanted to keep going so I could get to MOMA (The Museum of Modern Art) before it got crowded. There were many interesting paintings, sculptures, and models to look at. I didn't stay long though; I was pretty tired from walking around. Miss P thought it would be a good idea to recharge ourselves by eating some giant pieces of New York style cheesecake in Central Park, so we had a little picnic. We sat near a pond and listened to a man play the saxophone while we ate. It was very relaxing. Then we watched people riding in horse drawn carriages. Eventually we made it back to where we were staying, to pack our bags and take a nap before dinner. What a day. Miss P let me try some of her artichoke ravioli at dinner. It was much more delicious than the twigs and berries I am accustomed to.
Man, what a trip! I just can't believe all the fun things we did in such a short amount of time. I can't wait to go on another trip soon! Who will be next to take me on an adventure? Will it be you? Where will we go? I just can't wait to start another journey.

P.S. Pictures of my trip are coming soon! :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Finally, the storm has "Fay"ded away!

It's certainly nice to be back at school. We were intrigued by everyone's storm stories and ever so thankful that we all weathered the storm alright. Today we had the opportunity to continue our introduction to South America. During science, we tested different foods from the Amazon (bananas, chocolate, and pineapple) to see if we would enjoy them or not. We used all of our five senses throughout the experiment, saving taste for last. Many of us were shocked to find that we did not enjoy the chocolate as much as we thought we would. Perhaps one young scientist described it best when she said, "I should have known it would taste like throw up, when it smelled like throw up." :) We then revealed our little secret: it was 100% cocao (a.k.a. unsweetened baking chocolate). We learned to trust our senses and abilities to observe, rather than getting too wrapped up in things we assume. We also learned how to make a hypothesis and that because it's just a guess or prediction, it's okay to be wrong.
Later in the day, we finally got our student planners. The students were very excited to be using "big people" planners, rather than the folders they were accustomed to in first grade. They learned that they should copy messages and notes carefully into their planners because it is an essential communication tool between school and home. We practiced writing a message today in our very best handwriting. Please look for it and sign (Parents are asked to read and sign the planner each night!).
In closing, some thanks are in order. First, we would like to thank you for entrusting us with your most treasured possessions: your children. As we get to know them better each day, we are absolutely amazed at their gifts and delighted by their kindness and generosity to one another. They are a wonderful group. Secondly, we would like to thank all the parents who have donated items on our wish list. The outpouring of support (glue sticks, notebooks, labels, a pencil sharpener, etc.) has been much appreciated.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Class Schedule

9:00-9:10 Morning Meeting
9:10-9:30 Calendar Math
9:30-10:30 Math Workshop
10:30-11:10 Science or Social Studies
11:10-11:40 Lunch
11:40-12:00 Skills Block
12:00-12:45 Resource
12:45-1:05 Recess
1:05-2:05 Readers’ Workshop
2:05-3:05 Writers’ Workshop
3:05-3:15 Clean up & Read Aloud
3:15-3:30 Dismissal

Orientation Update

It was so nice to meet everyone this morning! Meeting all of you made us even more excited to be back in second grade. Please be sure to look over the ABC's of Second Grade and let us know if you have any questions. We can hardly wait for Monday; be prepared for plenty of fun and surprises as we begin our virtual journey around the world in 180 days.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Let the Adventure Begin!

We are so excited to begin our adventure around the world in 180 days! We are currently working to prepare our home base for the journey. Our classroom is transforming into The Copacabana Palace Hotel, which is located in wonderful Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We are diving right in to all things South American and are learning many things about the language and culture. Right now we are brainstorming ways that we can incorporate these things into our classroom using technology...virtual visits, google map journeys, blogpals, etc. We are daring to dream of what could be possible in the year of school 2.0...Bom Dia!