Waikoloa Elementary & Middle School

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Aloha and welcome to Mr. Blackburn's First Grade blog site. This blog will be a place where you can check out some of the things your child has going on in Room E-104. In addition, I will try to include important announcements, helpful tips, and useful links from time to time. Remember to check back occasionally for news and updates.
Mahalo for all that you do for your child,
Mr. Blackburn

Recent Posts

Welcome to First Grade!

I wanted to welcome you all to first grade this year.  If you are following this blog then I am probably your child's first grade teacher this year.  Thank you for sending your child to school and putting your trust in me to help her/him learn and grow as a student this year.  I love being a teacher, and each new year is always very exciting to welcome in a new group of learners. Today was our 9th day of school and I am loving my class.  We have been working hard on establishing and practicing procedures and routines and also getting into a rhythm in our classroom work as well.  It has been an enjoyable first couple weeks.  I look forward to helping these students learn throughout the school year.  I will try to update this blog on a fairly regular basis, but I hope you will also sign up for class dojo (some of you already have, yay!) as I seem to do a better job of communicating and posting with that.  Thank you for your participation and support of your child's education!
Mr. Blackburn

I forgot to send home the Thursday envelopes today.  I will send them home next week. I wanted to give you a heads up that we will be going on a field trip in 2 weeks. This one will be free, but we still need a permission form for each student. We would love some chaperones as well. I attached a picture of the letter and will make sure the physical copy goes home next week.
Here are the new spelling words, plus the high frequency and vocabulary words. We are doing a couple of bonus challenge words at the end of each spelling test. This is an optional, for fun, challenge for students to try if they want to. The challenge words will come from the high frequency word list or the vocabulary word list, but the students won’t know which words I have chosen until the spelling test. Good luck!
A great big mahalo to all of our chaperones this past Friday. You braved the weather and helped the students have fantastic time. Thank you so very much for spending your day with us! (Sorry I didn't get any other pictures because of the rain)

Field Trip

Tomorrow is our field trip to Kalopa State Park. Please be to school on time, bring a lunch and a water bottle from home, and wear close toed shoes. A hat and jacket are a good idea too. If you are chaperoning, thank you! Chaperones will have a meeting in Ms. Johnson's room E-103 at 8:05. When we finish at Kalopa, chaperones are welcome to sign out their child directly from the field trip and bring them home. Just make sure to sign out with me first. Let's hope for nice weather and have a great time tomorrow!

I hope you all have been enjoying your fall break. Is it really almost over? Tomorrow is a big day for my family. Almost a year and a half ago my wife Lydia woke up from a dream where she had been competing in the Ironman world championships. She was so disheartened that it had only been a dream. She told me she was going to someday do Ironman. I completely thought she was joking. After all, she had only ridden a road bike maybe 5 times in her life, jogged no furrther than 2 or 3 miles, and certainly had no idea how to swim (I mean really, really no idea haha). She convinced me she was serious so we started planning a timeline. It was the end of April 2016 and the shorter distance Lavaman triathlon (roughly 1mile swim, 25 mile bike ride, and 6 mile run) had just finished earlier in the month. We thought Lavaman 2017 would be a good starting goal. It would give her a year to train (and learn how to swim haha) before trying her first triathlon at the shorter distance. After that she would perhaps try the 2017 Honu half Ironman in June(1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride, 13 mile run). After a few years of doing these two triathlons, we thought maybe she would enter the big island resident lottery drawing for the full Ironman world championships race (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, 26.2 mile run). I remember coming home from teaching a couple days later and Lydia told me she wants to enter the Honu half Ironman race this year (2016, as in 1 month from having her dream and deciding she's going to learn how to do a triathlon). I told her quite frankly that she was nuts and shouldn't do it. Stick to the original plan. No one prepares for a half Ironman in a month, especially not someone who has never done any of these endurance sports and doesn't even know how to swim. Who do you think won this argument? Lydia immediately bought a book about swimming and read it in its entirety, started running and started cycling. A month later she proved me wrong of course by not only finishing the Honu half Ironman, but beating more than half all the other competitors. 
She then of course did do Lavaman 2017 and then Honu again in 2017 as originally planned and just kept training and improving. Of course instead of repeating these races for a few years before trying to win a slot in the Kona Ironman world championships, as we originally planned, she entered the lottery this year. As luck would have it, she was one of the 20 big island residents to be randomly selected to participate in this prestigious race.
Now it's the day before her 'out of the blue' dream race, less than a year and a half since this crazy yet beautiful dream was born. She tells me she feels embarrassed that she will be out there with the best of the best, as most of the other athletes earned their Kona slot by winning their age group in a full Ironman race previously in the year. She doesn't feel like she's earned her spot because she got here through a luck of the draw lottery. I think she's wrong.  I think she has earned it. She has been so persistent and determined to realize this dream. She has put in so much time and thousands of miles into training since late April 2016. I'm so proud of how hard she has worked and how far she has come in her pursuing this goal, this idea that she just wouldn't let go of. I have no doubt that she can do finish this thing. If any of you happen to be spectating or volunteering in some way tomorrow, please look out for #2141 Lydia Blackburn. If you see her, please shout out "Go Lydia!" to help push her along towards achieving this finish line. 
Here are the spelling words for this week. I made the class a deal that if everyone gets all of the spelling words right, I will throw them an ice cream party. Study hard!
Bring your box tops! We have already seen some box tops arriving in our classroom and are off to a great start.  There is a big push for these this week so cut, snip, or tear yours out and send them to our classroom. One of our classroom jobs is checking the box tops that have been turned in and cutting them out neatly.  We will continue collecting these throughout the year so don't stop after this week.