Sunday, October 27, 2013

Harvest Party

It's that time of year again!

Mrs. Kamhout's Class Harvest Party

What: We will be watching Stellaluna, a charming children's video based on a picture book, while enjoying delicious treats.

When: November 1st, 2013

For more information and to sign up to bring treats, please view our page on Sign-Up Genius, here.

Thank you!

Image Source

Friday, October 18, 2013

Fall Festival

BMSA Fall Festival 
Friday, October 18th 5:30-7:00
Bounce House, Games
Sport Challenges, Obstacle Course
Wear your costumes!

Hotdogs, Drinks and Chips
Cotton Candy
Ice cream sandwiches

Sponsored by the BM STEM Academy PTO

Friday, September 20, 2013

Newsletter Week of September 23

We've had a great week in first grade!

Thank you to all the parents who sent in Oreos for our STEM challenge. The children really enjoyed the activity and we learned a lot.

Here are some photos of what we've been up to:

Stacking Oreos for our O.R.E.O. Challenge in Math. How high can we make it?

What pigments and dies go in each color of M&M?

Our first Super Scientist presentation of the year was outstanding!

We've got some great artists in our class!

Go Roaring Rockets!
Have a great weekend, everyone!

Melissa Kamhout

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Back to School Night

Newsletter Week of September 16

Dear Parents,

First off, thank you so much for helping your children and making this first week of regular homework a success. It really does make a difference!

This has been a great week in First Grade! Here's what we've been up to:
  • In STEM we worked in small groups to create a container with handles that will support 3 or more apples while students take at least ten steps. The students were only allowed to use tin foil, tape, waxed paper, yarn, paperclips, popsicle sticks, straws, index cards, styrofoam trays, and paper plates. They did a great job sharing their own ideas and listening to other's suggestions. Additionally, they have devised incredibly creative designs and problem solve extremely well! I am very proud of their team work. 
  • In Art we learned how to draw self-portraits. We focused on how to draw people realistically and how adding details makes a big difference. 
  • In Language Arts we finished our first rotation of reading groups and read Sam in the Bag. This story focuses on the "at" and "ap" sounds as in cat, mat, and cap. The students are very excited to learn to read! To aid comprehension, we've been practicing how to re-tell stories by summarizing the beginning, middle, and end. We have also been learning how to write sentences that start with a capital letter and end with a period. 
  • In Social Studies we have been learning about citizen's rights and responsibilities by discussing why rules are important at home and school as well as why they must be applied fairly. We watched Kelso's Choice, a movie about what to do if there is a problem on the playground. We also read and discussed books about how to make friends, how to be a good friend, and the importance of respect and good manners. 
  • In Math we have been working on recognizing, writing, and counting numbers up to 120.
It's been wonderful getting to know your children better! I'm looking forward to a wonderful rest of the school year filled with lots of fun and learning!


Mrs. Kamhout

Other Information

TOYS: Please remember that all toys need to stay at home. Too many tears are shed over prized possessions that are lost or stolen at recess. Our class has several balls that the children are welcome to play with and our playground is lots of fun!

SHOES & ZIPPERS: If possible, please practice tying shoes and zipping zippers with your child. Here's a video with three great ways to teach children how to tie their shoes.

Fun Ways to Practice Spelling Words

Online Computer Fun:  (Make sure you ask Mom or Dad first.)

Shaving Cream: Spray shaving cream on a table or a cookie sheet and practice writing the spelling words in the shaving cream.

Scratch n' Sniff: Write letters with glue on paper, then sprinkle with Jell-O. Makes a super Scratch n' Sniff when tracing over the letters.

Fishing for Words: On 3" x 5" cards print the students spelling words, fold in half, and fasten each with a paper clip. Place the cards in a large fish bowl. Using a toy fishing pole or a long stick, place a magnet on the string. Your child goes fishing for a spelling word to practice.

Finger Paint Bags: Place a dab of finger paint in a freezer-strength zip-lock bag, tape the bag closed for extra strength. Your child then lays the bag flat on the table and writes the word on the bag with a finger. The word will disappear like magic!

Record a Word: Use a tape recorder to practice spelling words.

Disappearing Act: Help your child perform a real disappearing act. Children write their spelling words with chalk on black construction paper. Then you can spray it with a spray bottle of water and watch their words disappear, and later return when it dries.

Scrabble Spelling: Place the wooden letter squares from a Scrabble game on the Scrabble rail. Students can use the squares to spell the weekly words or to write a sentence of words. Incorporate math practice by having them add the number values printed on the squares to find the week's "most valuable word."

Word Cubes: Use blocks with letters to arrange their weekly words.

Spelling Magic: Try a little magic to teach spelling words! Write words on white construction paper with white crayon (press hard!). Paint over the paper with watered down tempera paint or watercolors. Words appear like magic!

Magnetic Cookie Sheet: Arrange assorted magnet letters on a cookie sheet. Use the letters to form the weekly spelling words.

Paint Your Words: Use small paint brushes to paint words 5 times.

Salt Box Spelling: Pour salt into the lid of a box (approx. 1/4" deep). Practice writing the words in the salt with a finger.

Alpha-Bit Spelling: Use cereal to write spelling words. Don't forget to have a snack with the words you make!

Sandy Words: Write the spelling words in glue, sprinkle sand over the glue. Trace over the words with fingers for practice. They make terrific flash cards!

Rainbow Words: Practice words with felt markers, alternating colors for a rainbow look.

Put It In Print: Cut out letters from a newspaper to spell the weekly spelling words.

Spelling Squares: Practice the words on graph paper. Use 1 box for each letter. Figure out which spelling word is in the shortest, longest, etc.

Sandpaper: Write the words on sheets of sandpaper. The students can really feel their words!

Alphabet Stamps: Find a cheap set of rubber stamps with letters on them and practice stamping the words.
         Play dough: Use cookie cutters that are letters of the alphabet or form the dough into the letters 
         of the words

Helpful Information

Bell Schedule

Regular Day Schedule

8:45 Drop Off (Please do not drop students off prior to 8:45)

9:10 Tardy Bell

11:55 1st Grade Lunch

3:50 Release Time for All Students

Wednesday Late Start Schedule

9:00 Drop Off (Please do not drop students off prior to 9:00)

9:25 Tardy Bell

11:55 1st Grade Lunch

3:50 Release Time for All Students

Block Rotation Schedule for Special Classes

(Library, PE, Computer, Health, Music, and STEM)

Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Welcome to Mrs. Kamhout's classroom website! I am very excited to be your child's teacher! 

This website will be the central means of our parent-teacher communication. On this blog, you will be able to easily find our classroom newsletters, announcements, and other important information. I can also be reached by e-mail at Please be aware that I only check my e-mail before and after school. If you need to reach me immediately, you may call the front office at 
(208) 855-4430. 

Here at Barbara Morgan STEM Academy, we strive to teach in a a way that integrates and promotes science, technology, engineering and math into the daily learning environment.

"STEM is engaging and interactive. The STEM fields are a natural fit for elementary age students who have incredible imagination and natural curiosity about the world and how it works."
This year will be filled with many wonderful learning opportunities for you child. I look forward to working closely with you to ensure a successful year.


Melissa Kamhout