Monday, August 01, 2011


Hi Everyone,

I hope you have been having a fantastic summer like I have! It has certainly gone by very quickly. I just wanted to direct you to my new blog for the 2011-2012 school year, as several of you have asked.

Introducing.... Planet Mensing!

If you tweet, I've recently gotten into Twitter and decided to start a classroom account and am working with Mrs. Minor to get a school account up and running.
Follow me @MsMensing

Stop by and visit at Meet the Teacher Event scheduled for August 10. I always love to see friendly, familiar faces.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Year of The Movie Star

"How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard."
~Winnie the Pooh
What a year it was! 
We went on more field trips than I have ever been on with a class, Mrs. Woodard and I put together a successful proposal which we presented to the district for INCREDIBLE new technology and 21st century learning opportunities, several students received national recognition for academic accomplishments, several more students won local and/or statewide academic contests and we all laughed, made friends, had fun and learned a lot. 
I posted 119 times on my classroom blog, which was something brand new to me this year. I was hesitant to start a website of any sort and I am so glad I did! We now have a permanent record of the amazing 2010-2011 school year. The blog will be archived so you and/or your child can look back at what we did in 1st or 2nd grade. Speaking of which, as I think all of you know, this will be my final year with a multi-grade class. What began as a self-contained Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade class only four years ago, now has enough enrollment to create two separate classes (both already full!), with the many gifted Kindergarten students at Sonoran Sky being serviced in a cluster class. 
The 2010-2011 school year was an incredible one for me, and I will never forget it. Each student played a special role and brought something important to the class. This was a class of eager learners, high achievers and students who were kind, generous, funny and sweet. This was the highest group of math students I have ever worked with and overall the class was incredibly tech savvy. I couldn't have asked for a better bunch! 
Thanks so much to YOU, all the parents who were so unbelievably supportive all year. This is truly a year I will remember forever, with the fondest of memories. As exciting as the idea of summer break always is, I always feel bittersweet at the end of a school year. I cherish the final moments with each student, knowing the next time I will see them they will be older, wiser, taller and just a little bit different. Thank you all for an incredible school year!
"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened."
~Dr. Seuss

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Last Day of School

The Final Moments of The Last Day of School
We finished off the 2010-2011 school year! It was a very busy, bittersweet, emotional day and I am just finishing up so I will update again tomorrow. Our day today was exciting and fun. The kids were bursting with energy and excitement from start to finish.
The students had a fabulous time playing school wide BINGO during "Move-Up Day".  Any 1st graders (now 2nd graders!) came with me to the media center since our new classroom is not quite ready. We met a few new classmates and enjoyed talking about next year. The 2nd graders (now 3rd graders!) stayed in classroom 452, as it will be the 3rd grade self-contained room next year. Mrs. Kakkar took over for a while and the students got to know her a little bit. 
Although we did not win any of the BINGO games we still had a ton of fun! 
I've been packing up the classroom all afternoon but still have a ways to go. I'll be in tomorrow to wrap it up...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Stock Market

What happens when it is the end of the school year and your entire class of 1st and 2nd graders becomes obsessed with learning about the stock market? And being an elementary school teacher with degrees in Communications, Elementary Ed and English, you you know virtually nothing about the stock market?!
Why, it becomes a perfect opportunity for project based learning!
The students completed a webquest in which their rich Uncle Herbert gave them $10,000 to invest. 
They had to choose stocks and follow them for a week. They charted their results in pvlearners using a shared Google Doc spreadsheet and then students worked in small groups creating stock market projects.
This group created an online Jeopardy game about the stock market.
These students wrote a book, complete with illustrations to teach their classmates about the stock market.
Some students created a Keynote presentation which was shared with the class. 
One small group put together a giant stock market board game, which many students in the class enjoyed playing. They created a game board, game pieces and wrote out rules. 
Other projects that resulted from the inquiry based learning were podcasts, research papers, iMovies, graphs made of Legos and a stock market card game. I think it is safe to say everyone, including me, learned something through this project. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Final Days...

The "last day of school" excitement is definitely in the air! Today we had a spelling bee with Mrs. Woodard's class. The top seven spellers from each class competed against each other. Some of the words included, "infectious", "abolitionists" and "palindrome".
Later students glued a class photo to some paper and everyone went around writing positive sentiments. It was a lot of fun and a few students mentioned they still had this project from previous years.

Monday, May 23, 2011

We're #31!

 As I mentioned today during our classroom awards ceremony, I was a little confused when I received a very official looking package in the mail last week announcing our 31st place victory in World Spelling Day. After doing a bit of research I found that 509,500 students and 19,215 schools from 212 countries competed in this worldwide competition. Besides 31st place nationally, we also placed 7th in the United States in the 8 - 10 year old category. 
So yes, I decided that 31st place was something to celebrate after all! Nice job super spellers!