Welcome to the 2013-2014 School Year!

Thank you for visiting our website! Please take some time to familiarize yourself with the blog. I have tried to add many pieces of important information regarding our class. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think. If there is something you would like to me to add, please let me know. This blog is a work in progress:-) I look forward to working with all of you. My contact e-mail is shannon.descamps@fraserk12.org

Weekly Newsletter for the Week of Sept. 15th

Happy Monday! Please click on the link below for our weekly newsletter. I will be sending it via blog every week. For this week, I will also send a paper copy home with the children. Please let me know (by commenting or e-mail) if you would like a paper copy for future newsletters. If I don’t hear from you, I will start sending only digital newsletters next week:-)

Weekly Newsletter_Sept15

Weekly Newsletter 9/8/14

The link below is for our weekly newsletter. Once all of the subscriptions are added to the blog, this post will go out as an e-mail. For this week, I will also e-mail out a copy to those not subscribed.

Spelling: Please check out the link to Spelling City (scroll down/left side) for some extra practice of our words. We are on “Week 1- Short a” words.

Have a great week!

Weekly Newsletter_Sept_8

Video Classroom Tour

I usually like to take new pictures of the classroom every year so I can share and post them on the blog. This year, I was inspired by another 1st grade teacher on Twitter ( @TeachingJake ) to make it into a Welcome Video for the students. I always try to put myself in their shoes and I know I would’ve loved to have a sneak peek before I started in a classroom (or maybe I was just a really curious kid;-))

Here’s the final video. It’s not too fancy, but I think it came out pretty well!

I’m going to e-mail this out to parents so the students can see it before the first day of school.

I will also be including this fun video as well. It is a reading of The Night Before First Grade. The video is created and read by @TeacherJake

Happy New School Year!

Grandparent Memories

We were very lucky to be able to use the Write About This app on our classroom iPads this year. There are so many ways I can think to utilize this app, but the most recent project was connecting to text.

A few weeks ago, our souvenir bit book was Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco. I love this story and I find the students are always able to make connections to it as well. We got into many great discussions about grandparents and some of the special memories we have with them. I had the students use the app to share a memory. Here are some of the final results.

photo-11 photo-10 photo-9 photo-6 photo-4 photo-8 photo-7 photo-5

Video Games? In the classroom?

I wanted to make sure I finished this blog post for the school year because it was such an exciting project. In keeping with our Wonder Wednesday/Genius Hour time, I wanted to start moving toward projects the students could work on and be inspired by. The app Pixel Press Floors was shared with me by another 1st grade teacher. His students were working on creating their own video games during Genius Hour time! I shared the idea with the students and (as you can imagine) they were very excited.

In order to create a video game, the students needed to work together with a partner and use a lot of problem solving. During our first session, I let them explore. We really did play video games:-) The goal was for them to see the end result and understand how the game flowed.


For the second session they once again got together with their partner and they were given a template of a basic game printed directly from Pixel Press. This showed the layout of the different floors their video character would get through. Utilizing a key, they drew in ladders, monkey bars, portals, pits, fireballs and much more.


Floors Playable Sample Floors Key

For the third session, they worked on design. They could change the avatar, pick background, portals, etc. Once they were happy with how the game looked, they had to play it. This is where the problem solving came into play. The students quickly realized the portals, ladders, and monkey bars were cool features, but they needed a beginning and an end. Things had to be connected in order for their avatar to navigate the game. It was definitely a challenge and it was awesome to hear the students work together and seek help from their peers. By the third session,  we had one group who was ready to publish their game. By publishing it puts the game into the “arcade” so any other Pixel Press user can play it. The newly published game was demonstrated to the class and I can’t even begin to describe the pride the other students had with just this one completion! It was a great day in Room 502:-)


I look forward to moving towards more project based Genius Hours next year. It’s amazing how it transformed our classroom this year.


Advice & Memories Video

After spending a lot of time talking about some of our favorite times in 1st grade, we decided to make a video to share with the kindergarteners entering 1st grade next year. The students in the video volunteered to share their wisdom:-)

We hope you enjoy it!

Summer Learning!

Hi Parents!

I’ve been compiling some fun summer learning ideas to share with you. I hope you’re able to take advantage of some of them for your children.

Wonderopolis.org had been my favorite addition to our classroom this year. We check in for our Daily Wonder each morning and have used the site to inspire and guide us on Wonder Wednesdays. They are hosting a Camp Wonderopolis this summer and I am very excited about it! I have already signed my 4 year old up for some Wonder learning. Here is the link if you would like to join us.



Mrs. Gray found a resource with links to a lot of summer learning. Click on the link below to access a list of Free Summer Reading Programs.

Free Summer Reading Programs


**Online accounts will still be available over the summer. I would love to see the students reading and answering questions on RAZ Kids and practicing math on IXL and Dreambox. The accounts will carry over to their teacher for next year. If you need log-in information, please let me know. **


I  know there is lots to do outside over the summer, but there will always be rainy days. I came across this free program to get kids bowling. I have many friends who will be taking advantage of this during the summer months.



Also, we use GoNoodle in the classroom, but you could always set up a parent account to get some dancing steps in! There can never be too many brain breaks:-)



I will add more ideas as I come across them.

Happy Summer Learning!

Weekly Newsletter for the week of June 9th-13th

Please click on the link below for the last newsletter of the 13-14 school year:-)

Weekly Newsletter1314 June9


A House for Hermit Crab- Souvenir Bit

This is the last souvenir bit of the year!
This week’s book is A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle. The students will be bringing home their souvenir bits today. Please click on the link below if you would like to submit online. If you choose to submit the homework via blog, send back the homework sheet and write “blog” on it so I know it was completed. Please make sure the post is submitted by the time school starts on Friday.

Click here for form.





Weekly Newsletter for the week of June 2nd-6th

Please click on the link below for our weekly newsletter.
Weekly Newsletter1314 Jun2
We have our first interactive project hanging in our hallway. Feel free to check it out if you are in the building. You just need a QR code reader app (we like Qrafter in the classroom). The students did a small writing and the QR code is a link to a video of them reading. We’ve been talking a lot about the FISH Philosophy so we decided to share!

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