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Field Trip!

L to R: Ms. Moore, Mrs. Alaniz, Mrs. Ruiz Photo courtesy of Magdalena Aguilar
L to R: Ms. Moore, Mrs. Alaniz, Mrs. Ruiz
Photo courtesy of Magdalena Aguilar

What a day!  Field trips are always a special endeavor, usually filled with excitement.  For me, there is a bit of stress involved, being one of the teachers in charge.  I was thrilled so many parents wanted to attend.  I have never had ELEVEN parents on a field trip.  That is usually because of bus space and cost, but we were fortunate to sign up for a special program from the LA County Fair that allowed all our 3rd graders and parent volunteers to attend for free!  Having so many parents really made the trip a breeze.  I did have plenty to stress about even with such great support.  The first stress of the day came at 8:20am when our buses were 5 minutes late.  That is very unlike our district buses so I thought I had better go check.  Turns out the bus request was not input properly.  My heart sunk hearing this.  I had ninety 3rd graders in our quad ready to go and we had no buses?  This could not be happening.  Our principal got right on it, and while she worked it out, we had to return to our classes and wait.  I did not want to let on to the kids that something was wrong, but how could I not when we were going back to class and not getting on buses?  The kids were great though.  They were happy to watch the Magic School Bus while the adults sorted the matter.  The parent volunteers pooled money together to get the kids extra snacks when they learned we were likely still going, just a bit later and for a longer time than originally anticipated.  So about an hour and a half after we were supposed to leave, buses came for us and we were on our way!

I wish I could post photos here of the kids on the bus and all their fun at the fair.  I really enjoyed seeing all the wonder and awe in their eyes…even over the simplest of things.  I guess that is what being an adult does to you, takes away the thrill of the ‘little things,’ until you see it in a child.  The highlight of the trip had to be the farm animals.  We read a story this week called “Cows in the Parlor” which explained how cows are milked.  At the fair today they had a milking demonstration, and the story came to life for the kids, it was impressive.  There was a petting zoo and all sorts of animals to see.  Our kids don’t live on farms and they rarely get to see these sorts of animals up close. I really enjoyed watching them explore the animals and talk excitedly among themselves about them.

Cows in the Parlor
Cows in the Parlor
The kids marveled over this sow and her piglets a loooong time. It was so cute.

In the end, despite the late start, and the late pick up, the kids had a wonderful time.  That is all that matters right?

Thanks again to the parents who came on the trip, my colleagues Ms. Moore and Mrs. Alaniz, and to our principal Mrs. Cabrales for doing what she could to make sure this happened for us.

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News for the week of August 30th

In case you missed it here is the body of the email I just sent to parents whose email addresses i have.  If I don’t have yours, please email me at  Thanks!

Hello Parents!

We had another great week and I wanted to share a few things with you.

1.  Our fundraiser ends this coming week on September 5th!  Please support PTA and your child by purchasing and selling the items.  It is through PTA’s fundraising that our transportation to the LA County Fair is paid for.  Thank you PTA! 🙂

2.  The Class Dojo website was not cooperating with me this afternoon and I was unable to print the weekly reports.  I had previously sent home your child’s code and perhaps you made a note of it as well off the weekly report.  Please feel free to log into it and check how your child did.  I cannot guarantee I will check my work email over the weekend as I am terrible about remembering when not at work, but I will do my best in case their are any questions.  If you are able to log in a print a report of some kind, please sign it and return it with your child on Tuesday so they can get a parent signature point.

3.  Monday is Labor Day!  There is no school.  No letter was generated by the school for this and I am not sure why, but now you know!

4.  Chapter 2 OARS test report for math was sent home today.  Make sure you check how your child did and sign it so they can earn a parent signature point on Tuesday.

5.  We have begun Accelerated Reader!  Some of you may already be aware of this educational tool and some may not.  I have known about it for years, but I was never fortunate enough to be at a school that had it.  We now have it at Grant and I am one of the site coordinators for it.  It is an excellent tool to aid in reading comprehension.  The class just took their pretest today and I will be sending more home soon about Accelerated Reader that is specific to your child.

6.  The 3rd grade team has been planning our RTI and it will likely begin late this coming week.  There is a chance you may have to pick up an additional notebook or composition book for your child, but more will come on that next week.

7.  The Harvest Festival is coming soon!  We will need parents to help with games and make donations for prizes.  If you are interested in helping with this, please let me know.

8.  Your child has a list of their user names and passwords for all the websites we are using at school presently.  Ask them about this paper and have them show you the sites we use.  On Discovery Education they can even show you how they did on their last comprehension and vocabulary test!

Well that list turned out to be much longer than I thought it would!  Guess I had a lot to say after all.  This year is continuing to be off to a strong start and I am enjoying this class of students very much.  Thank you all for your support!


Melanie Ruiz
National Board Certified Teacher
Dorothy Grant Elementary, 3rd Grade
Fontana Unified School District
Class website:
St. Bernard
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Back to School Night

School has started and here we are at Back to School Night!  I have updated the blog with the supply list as well as a page for families interested in making donations to the class.  I look forward to meeting as many of you as can make it.  If you cannot make it and would like to meet with me, contact me to schedule an appointment.

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In My Classroom

My son (Xavier, who just so happens to be a 3rd grader next year…though he won’t be in my class per my request ;)) has a pool play date with his daycare friends today so I decided to take advantage of being near the school to come in and do a bit of cleaning as the school will only be open to staff another day or so.  I knew we would have some cleaning crews coming through and I remember how I left my room…mainly everything off the floor and things on desks (which I left placed as I had when school was in session). I come in to find most of the furniture moved to the back of the room, and quite neatly so, it is rather impressive.  I am glad my principal did not ask me to do that.  As my husband knows I am not one for strategically stacking things in an effective way.  So here I am in my cleared out classroom and at loss for what to do.  I won’t be disturbing the very neat wall o’ my things the custodial crew has created in preparation for carpet cleaning, so that leaves my desk and bookshelves that aren’t blocked and perhaps my filing cabinet.  As with each summer break, clutter clearing is at the top of my list for home and work.  After a bit of blogging and some lunch, I think I have a plan on how to use the valuable Xavier-less hours to get some work done in my classroom.  Perhaps later I will post a photo of the custodial crew’s mad talent for stacking things… 😉

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My website was primarily a collection of links needed for class.  The links can now be located at the top of the home page.  Click one of the page titles above this post and you will find the links you are looking for!

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A New Look!

I have long wanted my class blog to have a more polished look, one I could never manage myself.  While I enjoyed my class website with the publisher I was using, I always wanted a bit more.  I recently saw a post from WordPress about their classroom feature.  I have had a couple of WordPress accounts and I own my class website domain, so it finally dawned on me that I could use a WordPress account to publish to my domain and have a much more polished looking website!  So here it is!  I will be updating it over the next several days, so stay tuned!  Some of my former students may be using this site still so I will try not to have it down too long. 😉  Happy Summer!