LOVED CollageLOVE Collage2





Valentines Day Prep 2020 



Math A Muffin 2020


The children have been working hard publishing their fables. From drafting, to revising and editing, to illustrating, a lot of effort and careful details has been put into these stories. We will be presenting our stories and puppets during an upcoming morning meeting. Stay tuned!

Folktale 2020Folktale Puppets 2020



  • What is your fable about? What is the moral of your story? What character did you decide to create a puppet of?
  • What are folktales? How is a fable, tall tale and fairy tale similar and different?
  • What was your favorite foltale that your class has read? Why?
  • Why should we honor MLK? What can we learn from him? What is your dream?
  • What contraption did you design for the Jack and the Beanstalk think tank project?
  • What were you successful with? Did you have to make changes?
  • What is the moral of Anansi the Spider? Anansi and the Tug O' War?
  • What is a tall tale? Do you remember any of the stories we read in class?
  • What makes a fairty tale different than a fable?
  • What was one thing you learned from Miss Hannah's presentation from CMOST? 
  • What is an artifact?
  • What was your favorite artifact?
  • How did children play long ago? What were the toys made from?
  • How is life the same? How is life different from long ago?
  • What was something you learned from "Skip and Marie" (Mrs. Reinisch's mom and dad) during their visit about how life was long ago? How are things different? How are things the same?
  • Ask about making orange juice!
  • During Think Tank, what are some of the challenges with making your own game with your partner? What is going well? What is a challenge? How does it feel when your idea works? How about when it did not work and you had to rethink your plan? Did you have to start over?




Read Aloud Day



We love showing off all our hard work. We had a Rig-Ama-Jig good time!

Open Classroom Jan






As we continue learning about how things were "long ago" we will be focusing on folktales. Children love folktales. They are stories passed by word of mouth from one teller to another. These are great opportunities for read alouds or storytelling as a classroom community. These stories express the wishes, hopes and fears of many people and deal with universal human dilemmas that span differences of age, culture and geography.

These stories not only are fun and entertaining, but they share the values and wisdom of a culture, have a strong sense of right and wrong, and provide us with vivid images that help our imaginations. People everywhere have stories of witches, beasts, magical helpers, heroes and tricksters. 

These tales do more than tell a good story, but they are good stories first and foremost. They often are the first stories where children begin to understand that characters can stand for something else. For example, the tortoise represents the slow and steady succeeding, and the greek gods represent different forces of nature.

In the 1-2 class, we are learning about fables, trickster tales, tall tales, and fairy tales. So far, the children have enjoyed Anansi the Spider, Jack and the Beanstalk,  Paul Bunyan, and  Johnny Appleseed  to name a few.

During our discussions, students will not only be asked to recount the events of the story but they will understand the lessons the characters are learning. The students can undertand the important message the author is teaching through the characters.  It has been fun discussing these classic tales!

Folktale Collage


Tying design and innovation into our folktales unit, the children were given the following scenerio: Imagine if the Giant, from Jack and the Beanstalk, took back the magic hen. The class decided that Jack and the Giant should go into business together and sell the golden eggs and split the profit! Perfect compromise, right? The only catch is that the Giant wants to keep the hen at his home in the sky. So the class was presented this question: Can you design a container to safely deliver a golden egg to the ground without breaking? The children worked through the engineering and design process. They brainstormed some ideas, made a diagram, gathered materials, and created their contraptions to carry the eggs. Next, we tested the designs with plastic eggs. Many students then returned to the design stage to make adjustments after reflecting on what worked well and what may not have worked as well.

Check out our photos below...

Jack Beanstalk DrawJack Beanstalk BuildJack Beanstalk Test

Here we are on our final test day with our improved containers...they were very excited with the results! 

Egg Drop Group Pic

Egg drop Collage


HAPPY 2020!

We kicked off the new year by brainstorming goals and things we'd like to do more of this year. Our goals ranged from getting better at basketball, helping others, being kind, working on writing and mastering tricks on the hoverboard.

New Year Goals 2020


Our social studies unit, Now and Long Ago, introduces students to the concepts of change and continuity over time. Children are learning that many years ago, long before they were born, life was different from today. We read the books When I Was Young in the Mountains and When I Was Built to help illustrate how different life looked for children a long time ago, but those children needed and had many things similar to children today.These books were great examples of compare-contrast text structure.

We had some special visitors in the Bungalow! My parents visited the classroom and shared pictures and stories of their lives from long ago. The children were able to ask questions and "interview" our guests to learn more about how life has changed. Some questions were: "What toys did you play with?" "Did you have dogs back then?" "Was there meat long ago?" and "Did you get homework in school?" "Was there music?"




CMOST (Children's Museum of Science and Technology) also paid a visit the Bungalow to present a program called, "In Days Gone By." We saw lots of artifacts that showed us what life was like long ago. 

CMOST Days Gone By



We are in the home stretch! Game boards are out and finishing touches are being added.




Snow collage

One students was overheard saying, "The snow is so shiny, it's like a million suns shining up at me!"



Thanksgiving Collage




    Taylor School is introducing a school-wide "Game Changing Kids" game design Think Tank project. The 1-2 class will work through the engineering process and will answer the question - Can you design a game where the players have fun learning something new? We will be exploring different games (ie. card games, board games, etc.) to see what we can glean from them. I will keep you posted as this exciting project progresses!

Game Collage



Halloween COLLAGE


We were so excited to get our first letters from our pen pals. The pen pals had a chance to meet earlier this year during our Pen Pal Kick-Off activity with the Sage Campus students. This process is fun but also very educational for our students at both campuses. It not only allows students to improve their handwriting, but writing about their world and reading about someone else’s helps build vocabulary, develops critical thinking and problem solving skills, and helps them feel connected by sharing their stories and reading about another person’s life. It was so great to see them realize that they have a lot in common with each other. 

It’s also a way for students to learn without actually realizing that they’re improving their reading and writing skills. Throughout the year, students will figure out how to develop their own voice and learn how to transfer ideas and thoughts from their mind onto paper.



The 1-2 Class had quite the adventure during our Mystery Room field trip. We needed to use many of the skills we have been working on all year to put all the clues together and solve the Superhero's mystery. Teamwork makes the dream work!

Mystery Room 2019



Literary Pumpkins is an all school activity filled with fun and Taylor School tradition! The 1-2 Class was so excited to continue this annual tradition. Each student and their partner chose a ficitonal literary character, planned out how they could design a pumpkin to resemble that character. We painted and decorated the pumkins with a variety of materials.

Collaborating with students of different ages and from different classrooms allows the students to get to know other students they may not necessarily interact with. It also teaches and encourages students to use skills necessary to collaborate with others. 

Be sure to check out the pumpkin characters on display in the main hallway. Here is a small sample of the great work!

Literary Pumpkin 1 collageLiterary Pumpkin Collage final


We are exploring and observing objects, the classroom environment and the world around us using our 5 senses. We had a great visit from two officers from the Troy Police department. They shared how their 5 senses help them to be aware and solve problems.

Troy police collage

The Students learning about sense of sight and touch in this blindfold activity with clay. You could hear a pin drop with the concentration level in our classroom during this lesson!




Every week, our therapy dog, Humphrey, visits Taylor School to read with the children. Humphrey creates an atmosphere of joy by just being present. He is so excited to greet the students and is nonjudgmental, kind to all and is a great listener. Students visibly relax and open up while reading or playing with Humphrey. Research strongly supports the benefits of therapy dogs. When the students read with him they are relaxed and take more risks in their reading.  Besides helping young readers gain confidence therapy dogs can dramatically increase positive mood and improve both physical and emotional well-being. Humphrey's presence in our school is extremely beneficial to our students and we are so lucky to have him!




Literacy Center Collage



Everybody loves a good mystery and the 1-2 Class is no exception. We are combining mystery and investigation in a highly exciting, engaging and educational experience. Our student detectives are currently figuring out the case of "Who Borrowed Mr. Bear?" We explored a make-believe "crime scene" and examined the evidence. We recorded and organized our observations on a "Clue Board." The classroom was then transformed into a forensic laboratoy to perform tests on the various clues found at the scene of the crime. We did thread comparison test, chromatography, pH tests, and powder tests, to name a few. After all our observations, experiments and discussions, the class will attempt to solve the mystery of Mr. Bear! Stay tuned...

Crime SceneClue BoardMr. Bear

Crime 1Crime 2Crime 3

Crime 4Crime 5Crime 6


Discussion Starters...


  • What happened to Mr. Bear?
  • Here are some of our new vocabulary words from our mystery unit: Clue, suspect, evidence, solve
  • What is so interesting about fingerprints.
  • Who do they think borrowed Mr. Bear without permission? Why? What is the evidence that supports that? 



    Taylor School is introducing a school-wide "Game Changing Kids" game design Think Tank project. The 1-2 class will work through the engineering process and will answer the question - Can you design a game where the players have fun learning something new? We will be exploring different games (ie. card games, board games, etc.) to see what we can glean from them. I will keep you posted as this exciting project progresses!




Growth mindset is something that we are focusing on at Taylor School. In short, growth mindset is when students believe that their talents can be developed through hard work rather than believing their talents are innate gifts. As a result, students worry less about being "smart" and they put more energy into learning. They naturally develop a love of learning and resilience that is essential for great accomplishments. 

We often speak about "hard fun" in our class. Basically hard fun is learning how to develop GRIT. Researchers now realize that grit is as important, if not more, than academic skills! What happens when the math gets a little tricky or when the reading is boring? What keeps students from giving up? Grit!

Here is how to help your child develop grit: Praise the effort, not the product. When you praise the “stick-to-it-ness” of your child’s efforts, they will be more determined to continue working hard, even when failure and adversity present itself. Praising your child’s hard work will encourage them not to give up...hard fun!



  • One of the most frequently asked questions I get as a first and second grade teacher is how to help your child become a better reader. I am a firm believer in a simple rule - the more a child reads, the better they become at reading. Here are a few questions you can ask your child when reading together:

    • What do you predict will happen next?
    • Which character from the story would you choose to be your friend? Why?
    • What was the problem in the story and how was it solved?
    • Go to Scholastic Book Clubs and use our Class Code LZCTL to order books for your child. The website is very user friendly.  It is a great opportunity to look for books that you and your child can read together.  "Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." Emily Buchwald

    • How did it feel collaborating with another student from another class for Literary Pumpkins? Did you and your partner have to compromise? Which was your favorite part? Reading, planning, painting, shopping, or decorating?

    • How do our 5 senses help us solve problems? What did you learn from the Troy Police about 5 senses? How do senses help the police?


First class pic 2019 2020