McMillan's Masterpieces!

December, 2015

Hour of Code

This week was the hour of code and we went to the Makers Lab on Monday to celebrate! We are coding with our robotics (Bee-Bot and Blue Bot) and with the the program from Our group number is:

The children then select their name and the picture icon that represents them and push the orange sign in button. We are coding in class this week and then if you would like to log in over the Winter break to work with your child, you may! Paula, Bodie's grandmother has been coming to the Makers Lab to help us each Wednesday.... Due to testing in the lab, we were not able to attend a few sessions so we are catching up. Mrs. Sanders, agreed to come on Monday to offer classes on her day off. She is wonderful!

Book Fair

I did not send home scholastic book order because our very own Mr. Thomas hosted a book fair in the Library. It was this week and was terrific! We will walk through the fair Tuesday morning right before lunch. Many of you have been helping and shopping in the book fair! No pressure to buy, I purchased a few things for our classroom. Make sure you read ever night with your child.

Winter Holidays

Please come...

Sharing our Community with others!

Our children have begun a study of community! We are investigating community helpers, neighborhoods, buildings and goods/services found in our community. We are also curious to know what other students (pre-k-2nd grade) classrooms think about communities. So, we entered the Gingerbread Stem to Steam building Project. If you want to view the map of participating schools:

On Tuesday morning, we will be Skyping with a kindergarten/fifth grade partner team from the Ridge Family Center for Learning School in Illinois to compare our communities. Before our Skype call, students will engineer an entire community out of graham crackers, icing, snacks, etc. The students will have to determine what resources need to be included in the community (fire station, school, playground, hospital, grocery store, etc.) so each classroom’s design is unique to student input. Talk to your child more about Austin and our neighborhood. What goods and services are offered in our neighborhood?

We walked to Galaxy, viewed the Tower, and remembered Wildflower Center. As we read more Fairy Tales, we have discovered other buildings.... tower, cottage, village, etc... Then, we began to look at different materials that each building was made and how it was designed. Our children are highly motivated and eager to build! They did a wonderful job. Special thank you to Rad's mom and Taila's mom and Bodie's grandmother for helping in the classroom.

This project will be a great way to add to our study about communities! I know this time of year is very busy; any help is greatly appreciated. We are decorating on Wednesday, Thursday, and Monday. Please view the photographs that the children designed last year at some of the other schools. On Tuesday, we will wear our Pajamas and have hot cocoa! FUN!!!

We want to invite the parents to see our buildings, visit the butterfly habitat, garden and pond area, and show our community project work. The students voted to share two short plays. Please come on Thursday, December 17th at 11:45am. If you would like to bring a food item to share, it would be fine. I will provide juice and cups. On Friday, December 18th, if anyone would like to come in the morning and share about their culture or community I would love to host visitors. Recently, Neela’s mom (Rushmi) came in traditional clothes from India and talked about Diwali. We did an art project and enjoyed hearing about cultural experiences. Friday morning, we will make small snow globes in a jar with your child's photograph! If you want to help me, I need a few extra hands.

Special Dates!

Aiden's birthday November 30th

Minje is going back to South Korea for a vacation-December 10th

Mariam is visiting California

Willem's birthday is December 16th (please send a birthday card)

Aiden's last day is December 18th (please make him a special card)

FRIDAY FUN! Fairy Tale Play & 6th Grade Music Event & Volunteer Breakfast

Friday was a busy day! First at morning assembly, the band & choir performed. At 9:00, there was a play in the cafeteria. The school hosted a breakfast to honor the parents who volunteer....that is you! Teachers brought breakfast to honor all that you do for our children and classrooms. It makes my life brighter to know each of you. If you missed the breakfast, be sure to come next year.


This month we long for Peace for all! We used old colored paper from the Office that was going to be discarded to make new paper. We made paper pulp and formed Earth paper. We talked about Peace and practiced feeling peaceful. Yoga was involved! We created a peace poem.

Learning Centers

Mathematics: We are concentrating on size, measurement, constructing sets, writing and recognizing numerals, addition and subtraction.

Literacy: We continue to enjoy reading daily. The children love to anticipate the problem and solution in the story. We illustrate our favorite part and write our own stories.

Phonemic awareness: rhyme, alliteration, syllables, and compound words.

Science: Gardening, creating monarch habitat, helping in pond area, pet and nature observations, caring for pets, recycling
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I created a shutterfly account over Thanksgiving and have begun to upload photographs. Please add your photographs to the folders. I will continue to transfer photographs from the iPads and my camera cards. Be on the lookout for the invite because I just loaded all the emails. If you do not want to have your email posted, please delete. The site is private, please do not share! You may print pictures.

Field Trip Fun!

Our next field trip is to Thinkery on Jan. 8th in the afternoon. We will leave school at 11:00 after lunch. Our tour is 11:30-1:00 and we will return by 1:30. No rest that day! : - )

February 2nd We will visit the Paramount to view a play based on the Mo Willems books about Piggie and Elephant.

April 10th, we will visit Crowes Nest Farm in Manor, Texas. Diane Crowe is a former Austin ISD Principal at Gullett Elelmentary where my son attended!