Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth Day

Room 102 celebrated Earth Day with a recycling craft. Students made organic planting pots. It was an opportunity to recycle old newspapers into biodegradable pots for starting seeds.
The directions read:
“In just a few minutes you can convert a single sheet of newspaper into a plantable container.  .  .”

We discovered it took more than a “few minutes,” but we sure had fun with the folding process of origami.

Mystery seeds were planted.

After the danger of frost has passed, students may plant their seedling pots outdoors.  Simply place the pot in properly prepared soil. The newspaper pot will decompose, allowing the plant’s roots to explore the surrounding soil. Using biodegradable pots reduces transplant shock and the hassle of managing plastic pots. 
Planting flowers on Earth Day is a simple way to celebrate the environment. Several students went home and made even more seedling pots.  Others have asked for the pattern. Click the sprout and it will take you to the pattern for making organic planting pots. 
Happy Planting!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

We are the Mastodons . . .

                                  . . . the mighty, mighty Mastodons!

Please mark your calendar. 
NMS Track and Field Day is scheduled for Friday, May 3.
Students are naturally antsy at the end of the school year, and who wouldn't be? Having a field day allows them to go outside, have some fun, and run off their natural energy. Teams have been chosen, colors assigned, and events planned.
We hope you will be able to join us at the high school track when the WHITE MASTODONS compete in a number of sporting events. It's a fun and entertaining day for everyone!

Friday, April 12, 2013

NeSA Testing

Go Big Red! The Nebraska State Accountability, or NeSA, tests - not a big football game- were the reason for Room 102's excitement this morning. Starting today, fifth graders will fill in hundreds of bubbles as the spring testing season begins.  

To get excited or help others get jazzed about the coming state tests, students were reminded of their hard work throughout the year and encouraged, "You Rock! 
The class had fun with edible rocks!  
Please encourage your child to get plenty of rest and eat a healthy breakfast during April's NeSA testing.

Seriously? Are some rocks edible?

A shout out to the Sweet Blessings Blog for sharing the "You Rock" label.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Earth Day and Kids

Team 2 is gearing up for the Earth Day 2013 celebration on April 22.
Earth Day is the largest, most celebrated environmental event worldwide. Following the example of the Lorax, students in Room 102 were asked to speak up with their ideas to protect the environment.  A bulletin board was created in our hallway that raises awareness for Earth Day.
Earth Day and kids are a natural combination - - with their sense of wonder about the environment, as well as their creativity, Earth Day is the perfect writing topic. I am so proud of these papers. Students continue to meet and exceed my expectations. I am anxious to share, but until the papers are sent home parents are always welcome to stop by and read our wall

Just like the Lorax I speak for the trees.
I speak for the whales, the snails, and puppy dog tails.
I speak for the fleas, the bees, and all things that sneeze.
And, yes, like the Lorax, I speak for the trees.
For the maple, oak, and little apple tree,
Preserve all these things, it will help you and me!


Earth is like a fragile vase.
We have to live with care.
Because if we don't, we will face
The consequential nightmare. 
Earth Day is officially on April twenty-two
But we should recycle resources
The whole year through. 
Why litter, burn, or destroy?
Our Earth is not a playful toy.
Cars and buildings emit clouds of smoke.
An unhealty environment makes us choke.
That affects public health, no joke. 
The chant is loud and clear.
Save our good green Earth, so dear.
From east to west
Our Earth must be kept the very best.

I am a big ball.
I am not very small.
I speak for the trees and the tiny fleas.
I speak for all things.
I am like the Lorax.
But I am not orange.
I am blue and green.
I'm a floating machine.
You may know me.
You may not.
But there is much more than thought.
So come and clean me once in awhile.
Trust me when I say, "It'll bring a smile."

Earth Day is right around the corner, and students are heeding the words of Dr. Seuss' favorite eco-activist -  the Lorax.  This little orange creature has found new friends in Room 102.  They have much in common.

A great big thanks to Chanty at The Teaching Bug for sharing her Lorax craftivity.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Service Learning Project /Happy Tails

 Chew Toys for Puppy Love
Service-learning is a method of teaching and learning that combines academics with meaningful service in the community. 
Puppy Love is the City of Norfolk’s animal shelter as well as Battle Creek, Tilden, Stanton, Madison, Meadow Grove, Neligh, and Oakdale. It has an overwhelming job to house and care for as many stray animals as they can. 
Team 2 students learned you don’t have to be an animal expert to help a community’s shelter. Animal shelters are happy to receive donations. Many pet supplies are needed at the shelter. The list is long and our students were drawn to the idea of pet toy donations. Team 2 stepped outside in the spring sunshine to craft over 30 chew toys for Puppy Love.

Our school librarian, Mrs. Brommer, had a keen interest in Team 2’s project. She and her husband have adopted eight special needs dogs from various rescue leagues.  They brought four of their “kids” to school and shared their story of pet adoption. Mrs. Brommer held everyone’s attention with each dog’s dramatic “before” and “after” story. It was encouraging to see what love can do for a homeless pet. Their story is not one we will soon forget. Thanks, Mr. and Mrs. Brommer, for all the great work you do to give special need dogs a good home and a second chance.

Several students asked for the pattern to make a chew toy for a pet at home. Click here for our pattern and let the nibbling begin!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Genius Hour

Welcome back! I have been so excited for students to return to the classroom. During spring break I researched Google's 80/20 Principle. Learn more by clicking here.   
Google's practices are trickling down to students in classrooms. Educators call it 20 percent time or genius hour. As I read about this genius hour my thoughts turned to my students! How exciting!  Just what could students come up with if given a chance to work on a project that interested them?

So on Tuesday, our first day back from spring break, I introduced genius hour. Genius hour is a time given during the school day to allow students to follow their interests and learn about topics that peek their curiosity.
I showed students the following videos, got them thinking about their interests and curiosities, and finally helped them set up portfolios to store their thoughts and ideas for genius hour.  
It was such a thrill to watch students. They were buzzing. They were excited. They were curious about it, with lots of questions. Room 102 will continue to find their way through this genius hour experiment in learning.  Please take the time to ask your student questions and offer input. Check our blog often as I anticipate many clever projects are about to go viral.

Update 5.15.13     Our projects are completed. Click the lightbulb to view our slideshow.