Thursday, April 28, 2011


Well, we survived testing today...BUT, it sure wasn't easy!  We tested for over 3 hours today to make up for what we missed yesterday in all our weather chaos.  Tomorrow, we will FINISH our 3rd grade round of CATS testing, but next week, we begin our other testing areas (KCACS and ITBS), which will not be as extensive!

After testing, we had recess, specials, lunch, and then a lengthy wellness walk in the beautiful sunshine.  We then worked on our Jockey Silks.  The students have come up with some very unique names for their horses and silks for the jockeys to wear!  Unfortunately, we did not get to have our s'mores yet again due to not meeting expectations for behavior.  The s'mores are meant to be treat for all of our effort and energy we've been devoting to our mornings, but I do not feel comfortable giving treats if our behavior is not conducive to our expectations.  We have been redirected not only by me, but other teachers in the hallway and that will just not fly, nor is it acceptable (especially coming from such wonderful students who are mere weeks away from being a 4th grader!). 

Tomorrow will be a WONDERFUL day where we will shine and put the boot to 2011 CATS testing!  HOOOOOORAAAAY!!!

I am ALWAYS proud of each of you and I love you more than words could ever describe!
Mrs. Thomas

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


WHOA....Was the weather CcRrAaZzYy today or what?!?  WOWeeeee!!!!

our testing was blown away today!
The storms started happening about 20 minutes after we had begun testing which was crazy enough...and then the weather on top of that "hectic-ness"?!?  Chaos!  However, the students handled the situation with ease and maturity and I could not have been more proud of them!  I know it was scary and we were left with many worries and questions, but they followed along and waited for instructions.  Given the circumstances, they were GREAT!

Since we had to wait for so long, they cancelled the rest of testing for the day and we will pick up where we left off tomorrow.  During the time of uncertainty, we had the students watch, "the Lion King" so then when they called off the warning, we continued watching it until recess.  After lunch, we spent some time outside in the sunshine before the weather got crazy again!  However, we did not get to have our s'mores today because of poor behavior in the hallway which is incredibly disappointing.  :(

Hopefully you stay safe and dry tonight!
See you tomorrow!
Mrs. Thomas

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Testing round 2...AND...WE SURVIVED!!!  KCCT Reading assessment is now a thing of the past!  So long!  See ya!  Peace out!  BYEEEE!!!  I think we blew the roof off of it!  Rain or shine, I am so proud of our kiddos on all the hardwork and effort they have dedicated to this school year.

After testing, we worked on our studies into the Kentucky Derby.  We learned some racing terms that are synonymous with this unit such as mare, filly, colt, foal, jockey, silks, Derby, Oaks, Paddock, etc.

We had a nice looooong recess and I had a GREAT time playing with was FUN!!!

After lunch, we worked on designing our very own silks for horses as this will be our project and focus of thinking over the next 2 weeks prior to the Kentucky Derby.  Students will be learning about the rich tradition and history that centers around the Derby and will be thinking of they very own horse name and designs for the silks.  Boys will be making jockey hats while girls will be designing their very own elaborate and overzealous ladies' derby hat!  I cannot wait to see how they turn out...I know they will be GREAT!

We have been filled and overjoyed with delicious breakfast, snacks, and treats, so thank you everyone for sending things in for us to have!  We are so grateful for your thoughtfulness and generosity!

I can't wait to see you tomorrow!
Mrs. Thomas

Monday, April 25, 2011


Well...we survived the first day of testing!!!  I have to say, I am so very, very proud of all of our students as you could almost hear their brains churning away!  These students have wonderful perseverance and are handling their first "go" at testing with ease and confidence.  I have no doubt their efforts will prove successful!

Thank you to Tabitha, Caroline, and Ryan for the breakfast, snack, and treat of the day!  We had yogurt from Tabi for breakfast, M&M cookies from Ryan for our treat, and quite possibly THE MOST delicious homemade blueberry muffins from Mrs. Dudek (Caroline's mom).  Honestly, as we were all eating them, we were in absolute, pure heaven; you could hear, "mmmmm...", "oh my goodness..." and "WOW" through the lip smacking and finger licking greatness!  WOWZA, were they fantastic or what?!? 

We tested from about 8:15 - 11:00 today, then enjoying our snack, and went outside until specials where we had Library.

PM activities:
the afternoon went as usual, except instead of Science, we took it easy on our brains (since we'd worked them so hard in the morning!) and began discussing the Kentucky Derby.  Over the next week before the Derby, we will be learning about all the great things surrounding it and why it is so special to not only our state, but the world.

See everyone tomorrow as I cannot wait to see how your blow the lid off the rest of your reading test!
I'm so proud of all of you...I am a lucky teacher, indeed!
Mrs. Thomas

PS, Here are some pics from Friday...
(I'll have the videos uploaded as soon as I can!)

our performers!
(Tabi, Micah, Jazzy, Lo-Lo, Alonna, & Caroline)

Peyton and Ahmad enjoying the pep rally!

Caroline and Micah performing to, "Never say Never"

The 4th grade teachers performing to "Take me out to the Ballgame"

4th grade teachers

5th grade performers, "Dynamite"

they were so great, they were asked to do it twice!

Hannah Tucker from my homeroom last year...she was GREAT!

you're "DYNAMITE" 5th grade!

Micah, Alonna, Tabi, Jazzy, and Lo-Lo singing the GSE fight song THEY made up!  IT WAS GREAT!

5th grade

5th grade: "DYNAMITE"

us in the audience!

our testing buddies...Mrs. Hubers's Kindergartners cheering us on!

look at everyone cheering us on!

we felt so special!  Thank you for your support!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Weekly Happenings: 4.25.11 - 4.29.11

This Week at Garden Springs:

April 25 - Monday:
3rd MAP Testing Window Continues (3/7-5/25)

2:45-3:45p: Performing Arts Club Rehearsal

KCCT Testing (4/18/10-4/29/10)

Kindergarten Registration Window #2 (9am-2pm daily, 4/11/11—4/29/11)

April 26 - TUESDAY:

April 27 - WEDNESDAY:
Spirit Day (wear your GSE t-shirt or sweatshirt)

7:30-8:00a: K-Kids

Principal’s Newsletter


Midterm Reports go home

April 28 - THURSDAY:
2:45-3:45p: Ecology

April 29 - FRIDAY:
2nd Registration Window Closes

2:35-3:45p: 4th & 5th Grade Spanish Club

5:30-7:30p: Spring Carnival (SILENT AUCTION is from 5:30 - 7:00 in the cafeteria)

Don’t forget to work with your Homeroom Parent to gather and turn in items for your classroom Spring Carnival basket.

Baked goods (cakes, cookies, etc.) needed for the spring carnival on April 29.  Please let Heather know if you can help or 859-223-3008.  

           The Surprise Walk Game is a favorite at the Spring Carnival for the children of GSE.  However, to make this a success, donations are needed.  The items will need to fit into a sandwich ziplock bag so think small.

        Examples of items to donate include:
·        Individually wrapped candy
·        Toys from fast-food restaurants
·        Beanie babies
·        Stickers
·        Peal and stick tattoos
·        Small bouncy balls
·        Silly bands

So please take a moment to look around your home and gather those unused items that could be donated for the Surprise Walk Game at the GSE Carnival.

Feel free to contact Rene VandenBerg if you have any questions: 219-9031 or

Friday, April 22, 2011

4.22.11 - what a day!!!!

Funny Bunny :)

WOW!!!  The energy of today was palpable...I mean, I have NEVER (in all my years of teaching), EVER seen kids more excited and pumped up for state testing!!!  WOWZA!!!  It really has been a F-U-N day and students are so ready to take on the "CATS"!!!  I can't wait to see how well we ROCK this thing and blow the lid off of it! 

"Some-bunny" special: Mr. Canizal came to wish us 'GOOD LUCK' on our CATS test :)
Also, today is Miss "Eva Kinevea's" birthday! 

Our BIRTHDAY girl :)

Eva :)
AND, Abby-Lou and I had on VERY similar skirts!  What can I say?  The girl's got some style!

they're almost the same skirt!

matchy matchers :)

here's how our day went down...(it was F-U-N!)
First, we made our signs for the hallway that say, "OWL" do my BEST on the CATS Test!!!

Next, we had READING where students turned in their packets and took their spelling tests and then we reviewed some details about testing in order to ensure we are fully prepared.
Alonna and Lauren taught us their song they made up for testing (along with Jasmine and Micah) that they will sing at the assembly AND the special area teachers will be singing!  It is to the tune of the UK fight song and is absolutely AMAZING.  I also practiced my rapping of "Score 4, Baby!" which is to the tune of "Ice, Ice Baby".  I think the 3rd graders have the best dance and skit by far!  I LOVE US! Watch our video of us singing, "On, On GSE"...

Next, we separated our desks, and did some other fun preparations for testing while we were waiting on Ms. Borders to arrive.  She presented us with a slide show she made with pictures from all of the 3rd-5th grade classrooms to the song, "Never say Never" by Justin Beiber.  Like, I said...we've been having a GREAT time and feel so encouraged and supported!  Boy, are you kiddos LOVED or what?!?  I sure know I'm absolutely CRAZY about you and head over heels in love with ya (so could you please NOT grow up and stay in 3rd grade with me FOREVER?!?)

After lunch, it was FINALLY time for our CATS assembly and parade.  Each group of teachers presented a dance for the students to get pumped up about testing.  We 3rd grade teachers danced to "Score 4, BABY" while I (!) rapped the lyrics...ahhhhhh....kind of embarrassing, but all in the name of good fun!  I'd do absolutely ANYTHING for my babes!

I'll have videos (and my rapping debut) posted by Monday!

I can't wait to see you MONDAY!  Be SURE to get PLENTY of rest this weekend after you enjoy the Easter Bunny and Easter Sunday with your family! 
I. B-E-L-I-E-V-E. in. Y-O-U.
Mrs. Thomas

PS, we are still in much need of items for our basket for the SPRING CARNIVAL, next Friday (April 29th), so if you can and are willing, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE send in some items that are ART centered to fit the theme of our basket.  WE GREATLY APPRECIATE your contribution!

ALSO, it's not looking too great for our kids to have breakfast each morning or snack and treats each day.  If you are able to this weekend, there is still time to send things in for our students.  This is really in an effort to ensure they are well nourished and have prepared (and not hungy minds or growling tummies) minds, AND to show them that we are behind them every step of the way!  We will be so very, very appreciative of your willingness to send us some goodies.  Thank you SO MUCH for being so supportive and the BEST parents ever!  We love you!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I'm soooooo sorry I've been absent and then tardy from this blog's been a CRAZY past two days!  Today, I left early due to an appointment so I hate that I didn't get to see my babes all day!

This morning, we had a pretty mixed up schedule because Mrs. Ingold's class had MAP testing in the computer lab so we did not switch for reading until 10 and then I left at 11 when Dr. Smith came in to sub for us.  Prior to switching for reading, our UK student taught us her final lesson.  Friday is her last day so we are sad to see her go, but we know she will make one super amazing teacher some day!

I can't wait to see you tomorrow!!  We have MAP testing...since Mrs. Ingold's class blew the roof off of it, I KNOW we can too!  Rock that thing my babes!!
Mrs. Thomas

Monday, April 18, 2011


my niece, Jillian (we call her "Jilli-Bean")
Happy MONDAY, folks!!!  I hope you've had a wonderful weekend!  What has made you smile over the past few days off?  Seeing my dear old friends on Saturday for a wedding shower and then spending time with my gorgeous niece and nephew yesterday has left me smiling from ear to ear!

Spencer makes me smile!  Who makes YOU smile?!?
we finished peer scoring and rewriting our ORQs.  I want us to continue working on using a rubric/ scoring guide to know what a prompt is asking us to do so we can exceed beyond expectations!
I passed out our new spelling packet and as usual, they are due on Friday.  This will be our last packet for a couple of weeks until after testing.
HOMEWORK: complete ONE "Think-tac-toe" activity of your choice to turn in tomorrow.

We began by taking a timed multiplication test which really did not go so well...boy, were we rusty on our facts!  This timed quiz had 64 problems so I gave the students 3 minutes to finish and most people were in the 20s...eeeek!!  I can't believe a month break from completing these has collected so much "dust" on our brains!  Therefore, we took some time to review our facts and I sent one home to complete for homework.
Next, we talked about decimals.  We learned that decimals are fractions of a whole and the only time we are to ever use the word, 'and' when saying a number is when a decimal is present.  Students learned that it takes 10 TENTHS to equal a whole because each is 1/10 of 1 (like a dime!); while it takes 100 HUNDREDTHS to equal a whole because each is 1/100 of 1 (like a penny!).  They really picked up on this rather quickly and learned that when adding or subtracting numbers with a decimal, nothing is different!
HOMEWORK: complete timed multiplication quiz and have an adult sign off that it was done together (3 minutes), AND complete the KCCT Review packet in its entirety.

PM activities:
she's fast :)
LISA did her reward today for getting all of her stars colored in on her "Earn & Reward" card!  She picked the reward of showcasing her special talent to the class so she jumped rope...she is awesome and very fast!
Jazzy also got to have her reward which was sitting at my desk all day...I had a desk buddy!

Lisa showing us her talent!

Since today is Monday, we did not switch to Social Studies, but had Science where we watched a "Bill Nye the Science Guy" video about Earth's seasons. We learned that the earth has seasons because of its orbit around the sun and its tilt towards it as well.

I hope you have a marvelous Monday evening!
Mrs. Thomas

Please, please, pleeeease look over the KCCT breakfast/ snacks/ rewards sheet that I sent home on Friday.  We have received one response thus far so I'd like to see what all else we can prepare for and expect to get so I can plan out all we need and our schedule pertaining to. 

We need items, items, items for our class basket in the Spring Carnival!  Our basket's theme is "For the Artist" so if you are willing and able, we'd love to have your contribution! 

Yearbook forms were sent home and are due back by the first week of May.  This is a FULL color yearbook!!

The band/ orchestra concert that was scheduled on the evening of April 21st is now canceled.  There will still be a concert at 1:30PM on that day that parents, families, and friends are invited to attend. 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

This Week at Garden Springs

April 18 - Monday:
3rd MAP Testing Window Continues (3/7-5/25)

2:45-3:30p: 3rd Grade Lego Club

2:45-3:45p: Performing Arts Club Rehearsal

KCCT Testing (4/18/10-4/29/10)

Some Bunny Special Egg Sales (4/11-4/21)

Kindergarten Registration Window #2 (9am-2pm daily,4/11/11—4/29/11)

April 19 - Tuesday:

April 20 - Wednesday:
7:30-8:00a: K-Kids

PTA Newsletter Distribution

2:45- 4:00pm GOTR 

April 21 - Thursday:
2:45-4:00p: STLP

2:35-3:45p: 4th & 5th  Grade Spanish Club

2:45- 4:00pm GOTR 

5:00-8:00pm: Bulldog Chow Night @ Chick-Fil-A (Turfland Mall)

April 22 - Friday:
Earth Day

“Bunny” Greets Students

2:45-3:45p: Chess Club

Friday, April 15, 2011


Whew, it's here...THE WEEKEND!!!  Can you believe that CATS testing is only 5 school days away?!?  WOWza...where has the year gone?!?  It's exciting to see things approach, but I certainly do not like the thought of my babes moving up to 4th grade and away from me :(  I'm soooo proud, though!

We came in to see a brand new Alyssa today as she donated her hair to "Beautiful Lengths".  We are so proud of you, Alyssa and you look FANTASTIC!


Doesn't she look GREAT?!?
 Unfortunately, today was our Dunbar student's last day :(  Margaret Henderson, Kenneth's sister, has been here assisting and interning with our class since February and has been absolutely FANTASTIC.  To say she is wonderful, is the understatement of the century!!!  We are so very sad to see her go, but we look forward to seeing countless incredible successes to happen with her in the future!

PLEASE, PLEASE PLEASE don't leave us...

Students turned in their spelling packets and took their tests per usual.  Upon completion, we peer scored our "cause & effect" ORQs from yesterday and then it was time to go!  Fridays go by soooo fast since we're only in reading class for an hour.

Eva showing her reward for filling up her stars for her goal on her "Earn & Reward" card...writing in ink pen for an entire day!

Alyssa has already earned her second reward: today she was my desk buddy!
a.m. activities:
our birthday boy!
Since it is our first year taking the KCCT assessment, we took a review assessment and practiced with a testing environment.  Students got a feel for how the procedure of testing time goes by me constantly walking around, and them not allowed to get up or move from their seats for any reason.

We reviewed our homework from last night and students did a great job.  We just need to remember, though, that we must read ALL directions as some problems said to measure to the nearest half-inch, while others said to simply estimate a length or distance.  Since we measured the hallway yesterday, today we learned about perimeter and found the perimeter of the cafeteria in the same process of finding the length of the hallway.  We learned that perimeter means RIM or around the outside. 

PM activities:
atfer lunch bunch, we were able to have a wellness walk outside and then came inside to enjoy cupcakes for Peyton's birthday.
Next, we had book buddies with Mrs. Hubers's Kindergarteners which is always such a wonderful time!

Ahmad and his buddy

Tabitha and her buddy

Sweet Elise and her buddy

Oliver reading to TJ and their buddy

Griffey and his buddy

Micah and her buddy, Isa (Eva's sister!)

Daniel and his buddy

Cayden, Peyton, and their buddy

Alyssa reading to her buddy

TJ's turn to read!

Aiden and his buddy

Eva and her buddy
Have a fun-filled weekend and stay dry!  Happy Birthday to you on Sunday, Mr. Peyton!  We LOVE you!
Mrs. Thomas

Micah, Caroline, and Skyla just celebrated their birthdays too (as well and Cameron on the same day as Caroline)!
We have A LOT of April birthdays!!!

PS, BE SURE to check out the letter I sent home today in planners about breakfast, snacks, and treats during our testing window!  It is extremely important that students are at school EVERY day and ON TIME during this testing window (April 25th - 29th, the next week: May 2nd - 6th, and the following week through May 10th to complete the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills).  Proper rest and nutrition is also strongly encouraged as a healthy rested body means a healthy and prepared mind!  The letter I sent home breaks down the testing schedule for your awareness, but on the back is where I need help from parents!

The back is a place to sign up to send in breakfast/ snacks/ treats during the window.  Ideally, we'll have one of each for every single day we test.  It CAN be done because my students last year were able to have all three EVERY day of testing... AND... since you parents are SO fantastic, I believe it'll be that way again this year...especially with how supportive everyone is!
Like I mentioned, adequate focus begins with a proper and nutritious breakfast.  With this in mind, I would like to get together a schedule or a list of donation capabilities (or you can simply send things in) for our students as they begin to demonstrate their vast intelligences.  This will continue to encourage them and left them know that we believe in them and are behind them all the way!

Here are some ideas of what to send in...
(we have 26 students)

muffins, power/cereal bars, individual cereal portions, donut sticks, fruit trays, bananas, apples, Pop-Tarts, granola and/ or fruit bars, bagels, juice pouches, individual yogurts, etc.

(with testing being so jam-packed into the two weeks, our students will certainly be exercising their minds and working their fingers diligently!  All that work is sure to leave them famished, so I was hoping we could collect snacks to give them at the halfway point of each day.  These can give them an added boost and pump them up!).
individually wrapped bags of chips, pretzels, or popcorn
100 calorie packs
apples/ bananas/ fruit portions
veggies and dip
fruit/ granola/ power bards
trail mix

(after allllll their hardwork and focus, I believe the students need to have a treat for their efforts.  Thus, every afternoon, I would like to have a treat to celebrate the day/s work as a way of encouraging the students, and reiterating once again that we are behind them and fully believe in their outstanding capabilities and potential for success!).
freezer pops (need not be frozen)
individual ice cream cups
ice cream sandwiches
Drumstick ice cream cones
fruit pizza
soft drinks
candy bars
cotton candy

Thank you for your contribution and willingness to help!  We have the absolute BEST parents ever!!!