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First Grade Pumpkin Investigations

By Ms. Damron

First graders at Desert View Academy are spending their current unit learning about different life cycles. So far, they have learned about the life cycles of apples, frogs, sunflowers, and how animals grow from babies. This week, first graders had the opportunity to learn about how pumpkins grow from seed, to vine, to fruit! Mrs. Culpepper with the University of Arizona Yuma County Cooperative Extension made visits to all six classrooms to read a story and complete a life cycle activity.

On Thursday, the six first grade classrooms got to participate in pumpkin investigations. With donations from families and help from parents and teachers, students took time to explore the inside and outside of a pumpkin, count the seeds and ribs, measure the circumference and weight, and even carve their own jack-o-lanterns! Arizona first grade life science standards include learning about the life cycles of plants and animals.

I will be brave: A fun Day of the Dead class activity celebrating Hispanic Heritage

By Marissa Will, 3rd Grade Teacher

As Hispanic Heritage Month comes to a close, let’s celebrate and educate with planned activities and assignments for the classroom spotlighting Hispanic Heritage. Living in a border town, this is especially essential in my Arizona community!

One of the activities I recommend comes from the book, “Gustavo, the Shy Ghost,” written by Flavia Z. Drago.

“Gustavo, the Shy Ghost” is a fun read aloud depicting Gustavo as a ghost who is good at many ghostly things, with one thing getting in the way: he is shy. With Day of the Dead approaching, he must find a way to share his love of music and get noticed by his peers. Epic has a read aloud video available to play if you don’t have the book.

The story introduces the concept of Day of the Dead, which some but not all of my students were familiar with. It is a good time for teachers to discuss the holiday with students, and it is an opportunity to branch off into a lesson on Day of the Dead.

In addition, the book brings up the topic of bravery, overcoming fear and grit. Novel Effect is a great resource for writing activities and other projects covering these topics, in addition to providing sound and effects that go along with the read aloud.

For my third grade class, I chose to talk about a fear they had overcome or wish to overcome. This fear would be written down on a template I created with a ghost outline they were able to design and decorate as they wish.

Using vibrant colors seen throughout Hispanic culture, the final products ended up being great school decor.


Students develop and demonstrate the character trait of trustworthiness. They understand that trust is an essential ingredient in meaningful and lasting relationships as well as school and career success and they strive to earn the trust of others by demonstrating the ethical virtues of integrity, honesty, promise-keeping, and loyalty.

Key Beliefs:
  • Trust is essential to all my personal relationships.
  • Honesty is the best policy.
  • It is not worth lying or cheating because it hurts your character.
  • It is important to keep promises and commitments.

Congratulations to all of our Eagles who were nominated to receive the Trustworthiness award for the month of September.

We are very proud of you!

Exploring Solvents

Eagles in Mr. David’s fifth grade class investigated how particles of solid matter dissolve in a solvent. Science is cool!