Sunday, May 25, 2014

Choosing to Remember

Follow my blog with Bloglovin I was inspired this morning by my pastor's sermon entitled, "Choosing to Remember." He was reminding us what Memorial Day is all about and how it can seem forgotten. Often times the traditions of the holiday become more important than the holiday itself. We see this every year during the Christmas season and we are often reminded not to forget the real reason for Christmas. I was glad to have the reminder this morning as to the real meaning of Memorial Day.

Several years ago, my class of about 18 students adopted a soldier serving in Iraq. He also just so happened to be the uncle of one of my students that year. She was very close to her uncle and was really missing him. I decided to send our class bear to Iraq to visit "Uncle David" and report back to us. The plan was, each of my students would write a letter to a service member and David would find someone willing to write back with answers to our questions. The letters were adorable and so real! I was amazed at their questions and their concerns. We ended up compiling all the letters into a hardcover book that each student got a copy of.

Jump ahead several years, and Sergeant DeRienzo is now Chaplain DeReinzo. He is also now married with two little boys. He was deployed last year to Afghanistan and is still there serving as I write this. My class sent him letters about a month ago and I thought it would be appropriate to share them on this particular weekend as my way of choosing to remember.

Here are the letters my students wrote:

Dear Chaplain DeRienzo,

     What do you do in Afghanistan? What weather is it? What food do you eat? What close(clothes) do you wear? My room is good. Do you have a room to? Do you have friends? You are special to me. Are you learning to be a soldier?

Dear Chaplain Derienzo,         

My name is Seth. Is it fun to 
be a chaplain? Is it nice in        
Afghanistan? What is hard to   
be a chaplain? Do you like it?   
I am in first grade.                     
Your friend,      

Dear Chaplain DeRienzo,

Is the weather nice in Afghanistan?
Here it is hot and cold. What is it like there?
Do you stay in a hotel? Do you wear special
clothes in Afghanastan?

Your little friend,

Dear Derienzo,                         

My name is Emma. Is it fun
in Afghanistan? I am in grade 1.
I love it hear in Maine. What       
kind of close(clothes) do you       
wear whene your working?         

      Your Friend,            

Dear Chaplain DeRienzo

   My name is Ellie. I am in first
grade. Do you like your job as a
chaplain. How is it in Afghanistan.
What color is you clothes that you
were(wear) as a chaplain.


Dear Chaplain DeRienzo,  

I live in buxden maine. I love 
the ocean do you? why do you
work at the army. do you like  
to play Uno? do you love God?


Dear Chaplain DeRienzo,

My name is Noelle and i am six
years old. I live in maine. Do you
have any siblings? What do you
do as a chaplain? do you teach
people about God.


Dear Chaplain DeRienzo,        

My name is Sophia. I am kind to  
other. Is Afghanistan fun? Are you
safe at Afghanistan?                      


Dear Chaplain DeRienzo,

  My name is Eliana. I live in the
Northeast Region. Is Afghanistan
very fun? Is it hard to be a chaplain?

             your new friend

Chaplain Derienzo was kind enough to send us a reply. Here it is:

So, as we choose to remember on this Memorial Day Weekend, and as Pastor Phil reminded me...

We choose to remember:

 the faithfulness of God
the patriotic sacrifices of others
to keep our priorities straight
the biggest sacrifice of all-Jesus Christ

Choose to Remember

Monday, May 5, 2014

Teacher Appreciation Giveaway and Blog Hop 2014!!!

I'm so excited to be a part of this Teacher Appreciation Giveaway and Blog Hop! A big thanks to Amy over at Teaching in Blue Jeans for putting this giveaway and blog hop together. Check out my blog below then enter the giveaway. After that, hop on over to Mrs. Plemons' Kindergarten so you can keep on hoppin' and pick up some Freebies along the way!

 Where is Spring?????

I don't know about where you are, but here in Maine it seems Spring will never come! My first grade kiddos have been studying weather while we wait for Spring to arrive.

We have been studying clouds. Each day we take out our cloud and weather charts and look up to the sky and observe the weather. There's just something about going outside with clipboards that motivates my kiddos. They loved it!!

The first thing we did was observe the clouds. Each day we drew what the clouds looked like.

After that, we filled out our weather charts. We checked the clouds. Then we looked at the flag to see if it was blowing in the wind to help us determine whether the wind was blowing or not.

We made the cutest cloud flip chart.

We labeled and completed our water cycles.

They did a great job on these!

We also did  a rain cloud in a jar experiment. They loved it! I got this great idea from over at Growing a Jeweled Rose. If you would like to check out her blog click here:  Rain Cloud in a Jar
First we asked our essential question and gave our hypothesis. We then wrote our step by step procedure. Here are some pictures that we took of our experiment.

After the experiment we drew what happened. Here are how our papers turned out.

One hypothesis: "It's going to explode."
Another hypothesis: "It might rain."

And another one, "It's gonna blow up."  I love this one. He even put the dropper in the picture.

I think the reason some of them said it would explode or blow up was because when we first added the shaving cream, it got bigger and bigger. I love how their little minds work!!! If you would like a copy of my Rain Jar in a Cloud Printable you can:


Well,  today is the first time in a while that we have seen any spring weather.  We still have a lot to do in our weather unit, but I would say we are off to a great start. What do you think??

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Continue on The Best for the Best Teacher Appreciation Blog Hop by clicking the picture below.

Mrs. Plemons' Kindergarten