Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Wonderful Winter Solstice!

In the Northern Hemisphere, winter is the coldest season of the year. 
It begins about December 21 and lasts until about March 21. Around December 21 or 22, 
the sun's rays fall directly over the farthest point south of the equator - marking the first day of winter. 

Winter days have fewer hours of daylight because of the path the earth takes as it revolves around the sun. The earth completely revolves around the sun during 365 days. The earth's axis always tips about 23 1/2 degrees from a line perpendicular to its path. 

In the Southern Hemisphere, winter begins in June.
Different regions have longer winters than others. For example, in the polar regions, winter takes up half the year. In the Temperate Zones winter takes up about one quarter of the year. 

In regions where there is cold weather, it causes many changes in the environment. Water may freeze and become ice, snow, sleet or icicles. Most plants and animals become dormant and rest. 
Some animals hibernate. The only plants that grow and remain green are evergreens. 
People protect themselves from the cold climate with winter clothing when they go outdoors. They enjoy a variety of indoor activities or outdoor winter sports such as skiing, skating, or sledding. 


We started off our winter break with a wonderful party where we decorated delicious cookies, crafted super snow globes, and worked our way through word scrambles!

Our Holiday Party 2010 on PhotoPeach


What do you enjoy most about winter?

What activities will you be participating in this winter break?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Special Visitor!

Recently, Natalie, a special friend of Mrs. Welti, came to visit 
Mrs. Ranney's and Mrs. Yollis' classes.

Our new friend, Natalie

Natalie has traveled to and volunteered in Uganda! 
We were so excited to hear all about her journey and her experiences.

Natalie told us about the people she met in Uganda.

Some of the children Natalie worked with

Natalie shared with us about her experiences as a volunteer at an orphanage in Jinja, Uganda.

She also told us about Beads of Hope, an organization that she works with
to raise money for widows and orphans. 

The women make beautiful jewelry from beads that they have fashioned out of paper from magazines. 

Beautiful handmade jewelry

Beads created by rolling colorful strips of magazine pages and dipping them in laquer    


What did you enjoy most about Natalie's visit?

What facts that she shared were most interesting to you?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Superb Sentences!

We recently worked on a lesson about plural nouns. 
We learned that often when a word ends with f or fe
we need to make the f a v and add -es.

For example:

thief becomes thieves 

bookshelf becomes bookshelves

leaf becomes leaves

When completing a worksheet on this skill, 
we not only practiced with plurals, we took very simple sentences
and created high-level


Instead of:  One thief ran away...

Carly wrote: Two monstrous thieves dashed away with the heroic men chasing them to the Houston, Texas, police station.

Kevin wrote: Four thieves in black coats raced away from the police after robbing a rich bank.

Gal wrote: I spied two huge thieves, and they trotted away to the park.

Edo wrote: The ten scary thieves sprinted away into the house, and I spied on them.


Instead of: The bookshelf broke...

Jamie wrote: While my class was reading, the feeble, unique bookshelves collapsed 
in the ancient library!

Jordyn wrote: One afternoon, the tremendous bookshelves fell apart in the colossal library 

Mikayla wrote: Three unusually hollow bookshelves shattered in my pink and cozy room.

Jack wrote: Two ancient bookshelves snapped and dented the floor in the library!

Emily wrote: In the museum, the special hand-made bookshelves crashed right to the ground, and the 100-year-old books all ripped!

Ariel wrote: In the library, the colossal monster crashed the bookshelves, and the heroic boy came to stop the creature!

Shawn wrote: In the library, two colossal bookshelves crashed with a thump.

Justin wrote: In the family room the feeble bookshelves collapsed when someone tried to put an enormous book away.

Aidan wrote: Three tremendous bookshelves collapsed in the ancient library.

Rachel wrote: The one-hundred-year-old bookshelves tumbled over and were demolished!


Instead of: I see a green leaf...

Grace wrote: At 2:00A. M.,  I spied long, green leaves on a scratchy bush at the gigantic park.

Leah wrote: I peeked at a collection of green, glowing leaves in my colossal, grassy backyard.

Philip wrote: I spotted lots of red, orange, and yellow leaves in my precious, white bedroom.

Ella wrote: On Monday, I spotted one hundred bright green leaves in my wide backyard.

Sydney wrote: I spied pretty, green leaves on a maple tree in my own backyard.

Tristan wrote: I checked out smooth, red and green compound leaves in the colossal museum.


How did you like our sentence gems?

Which vocabulary words were you most impressed with?

Do you have another sentence gem to share?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Family Month Blogging Winners Announced!

Custom Glitter Text

On November 1, Mrs. Ranney announced that it would be Family Blogging Month!
 The project generated lots of enthusiasm and family participation!

In fact,  
over 100 comments
  were published over the last four weeks!

And the winner is... 


Aidan, with 20 incredible comments!

Our top four commenters are....
 Carly with 18 terrific comments, and Jamie and Ella with 10 wonderful comments each!

Each student received a certificate, won a free meal a Kings, and was given an opportunity to publish a free-choice post on our classroom blog!

Congratulations to our top bloggers! We will be running another Family Blogging Month in the spring! Thank you to all the parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends for your participation!
We hope you will continue to participate in our learning community!


What did you like most about Family Blogging Month?

Which family members left comments, and 
how did that make you feel?

How did your family enjoy the month?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving from Our Class!

This  week we had a wonderful time measuring and mixing up the ingredients 
for our own loaf of pumpkin bread!

Busy Bakers! on PhotoPeach

In addition to creatively wrapping our bread to look like a turkey, we read a clever Thanksgiving fable this week about Thomas T. Turkey. 
He had quite a dilemma to solve! 

In the story, Thomas was invited to not one, not two, but three Thanksgiving dinners. Benjamin Bobcat, Fanny Fox, and Henry Hawk all told him they wanted to have him for Thanksgiving dinner and that it just wouldn't be the same without him!

In the end, Thomas decided he did not want to hurt anyone's feelings, 
so he declined all the invitations! He ended up staying home alone 
for Thanksgiving dinner.


We learned that it is better to eat alone than to be eaten!

After listening to the story, we created our own invitations for Thomas T. Turkey. He must have been overwhelmed by his sudden popularity this year!


We hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving!


Please leave a comment and share your thoughts about our projects.

Tell us what you will be doing to celebrate Thanksgiving this year!

Most of all, tell us what you're thankful for!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Hip, Hip, Array!

We have been exploring arrays!

Row x Column = Product

When the factors were different digits, 
the arrays were in the shape of a rectangle. 
When the factors were the same digit, 
the array was a square!

First we made arrays in teams.

Team Arrays! on PhotoPeach


Then we explored the room and made our own!

3 rows of 4 crayons

5 rows of 3 book tags

6 rows of 5 rings

4 rows of 6 cubes

5 rows of 5 100's blocks

2 rows of 5 clocks

4 rows 5 letters (Looks like fun!)

3 rows of 3 Boxcar Children books

9 rows of 5 spooky rings!

The biggest array of all - 12 rows of 9 stickers!


Which array is your favorite?
Do you know more factors that will make square arrays?
Do you see any arrays in your home?
Tell us about it in your comments!

Monday, November 1, 2010

November is Family Blogging Month!

Mrs. Ranney and her students love to share what they are learning and experiencing. In an effort to include more family members in our online community, we are proclaiming:

November is Family Blogging Month

We're inviting everyone to comment:
moms, dads, brothers, sisters, grandmas, grandpas, uncles, aunts, and cousins. Even people who are not really relatives are invited. 

Make a list of your family members. Look through the blog archive and select specific posts that might be of interest to each relative.

Students will be inviting their family to participate in a conversation! 
Maybe we'll get some 2-point comments

Are you excited about Family Blogging Month?
Many families will be together with other relatives during Thanksgiving week recess! 

Who will you invite to comment?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Freaky Fun Friday!

We had fabulous fun this Friday 
celebrating Halloween!

Happy Halloween! on PhotoPeach

What did you enjoy most about our Halloween fun?

What are you going to be for Halloween?

Where did you put your ghostly decoration?

What was the best word you made from the letters in Trick or Treat?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Are You an Expert?

The second story in our Celebrating Traditions Unit is called
"Anthony Reynoso, Born to Rope."

 This is a story of a family's tradition of Mexican rodeo roping and riding. Anthony and his family work hard and practice their skills for their exhibitions. Because of their hours of practice, they are now expert performers!

*   *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Please share about a skill you have worked hard to learn. 

What steps did you take to master this skill?  

Was it difficult at first?

Did anyone help you to achieve this goal?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Final Week: Ugandan Global Project!

Mrs. Ranney and her class have joined with several other educational bloggers from around the world to form the

This Friday is our global walk to raise money to purchase the playground for our Ugandan friends!
Donations are welcome from everyone!


 What have you been doing to train for the walk?

Have you been collecting pledges?

What have you enjoyed most about the Ugandan Global Project Blog?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Wild about Waterfalls!

Recently, Mrs. Ranney's class read the story The Waterfall.  

We decided to find out all we could about waterfalls!

A waterfall is the sudden drop in the level of a river or stream that causes water to fall over an edge. 
A small waterfall is called a cascade.  The water from waterfalls eventually flows into the ocean.


Here are some waterfalls from around the world and the interesting facts we found!

Aidan, Jordyn, Philip, Tristan, Mikayla, Carly, and Emily all found out that Angel Falls, located in Venezuela, South America is the tallest/highest waterfall in the world.  
The water of Angel Falls plunges 3, 212 feet to the bottom.
The Falls were discovered by Jimmy Angel, an American pilot, who flew over them in 1935.
Angel Falls


Ella, Carly, and Philip found that Yosemite Falls, located in Yosemite National Park in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California, is the highest falls in North America at 2,425 feet tall. 
This falls does not flow all year long every year, only when there has been enough snow.

Yosemite Falls


Victoria Falls, located in Africa,  was researched by Aidan, Ariel, Michael, and Emily.  Each second, between 300 and 3,000 cubic meters of water goes over the falls.  It is the largest, or widest, waterfall in the entire world and is more than a mile long! The river source for this falls is the Zambezi River. The waterfall is so powerful that people can feel its mist from several kilometers away!
Victoria Falls


When Justin was very young, he and his family visited Rothbachfall Falls in Germany. 
In Germany, where the metric system is used, the waterfall is 470 meters tall, which is 1,540 feet in our standard measurement. Rothbachfall is located in Berchtesgaden National Park, and
 only has running water from May to October. Do you know why?
If you hike up one quarter of the way, it would take about 45 minutes. 
Do you know how long it would take to hike the entire distance?

Rothbachfall Falls


Mikayla found out about Inga Falls, which is located on the Congo River in Africa.
 Inga Falls is the largest waterfall, which means it has the most water. 
In fact, 1,500,000 cubic feet of water flow over this falls every second!

Inga Falls


Aidan learned that Iguazu Falls is located mostly along the border of Brazil and Argentina.
Its river source is the Iguazu River. This waterfall is actually made up of 275 falls.
The water from the lower falls collects in a canyon and drains into the Parana River. 
Iguazu Falls


Carly and Emily researched Tugela Falls, which is in South Africa.
It is the second tallest waterfall in the word at 3,110 feet.

Tugela Falls


Philip and Aidan found out about Niagra Falls, which is located in both Canada and the United States. The Canadian part of the falls is Horseshoe Falls, and the American part is called American Falls, which is in New York. Its river source is the Niagara River. 7,000 cubic meters of water goes over these falls every second of every day!  In fact, Niagara Falls has the most water of any waterfall in North America. Both waterfalls are about 165 feet high.

Horseshoe Falls/Niagra Falls


Which waterfall facts are the most interesting to you? Why?

Which waterfall would you most like to visit? Why?

What other waterfalls have you visited?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Ugandan Global Project 2010

Mrs. Ranney and her class have joined with several other educational bloggers from around the world to form the
Ugandan Global Project! 

Members:   2KM  * 2KJ * Mrs. Yollis * Mrs. Ranney * Mr. Salsich * Team Toa 

This projects brings students together from Australia, North America, Asia, and Africa. 

Here is a movie created by Mrs. Yollis and her students
as an introduction to the project!

Head over to the Ugandan Global Project and sign-up to follow us using email or the RSS feed!

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What do you think of this project? 

What can be learned?

Find some facts about Uganda and share them in your comment!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Blogging Challenge: Avatars!

One of the tasks for Challenge #2 in the Student Blogging Challenge is to create an avatar. 

An avatar
is an image or cartoon that is used to  
represent a person online
An avatar can show a little about the person,  but should not reveal too much personal information. 

For our educational blog, we use avatars to protect a child's true identity.

*     *     *     *     *

Mrs. Ranney has used several avatars in the past.

In the classroom...

As a little girl...

Doing a favorite activity...
*     *     *     *     * 

Here are our new class avatars!

What do you think of our avatars?
Which is your favorite Mrs. Ranney avatar,
and why?
Have you ever used an avatar before? When?