Friday, April 1, 2011

Join Us for Family Blogging Month!


Mrs. Ranney and her students to share what they are 
learning and experiencing.

In an effort to include more family members in our online community, we are proclaiming:

April is Family Blogging Month!

Make a list of your family members. After looking through the archive, select  posts that you think each relative will be especially interested in.

Let's invite everyone to comment: moms, dads, brothers, sisters, grandmas, 
grandpas, uncles, aunts, and cousins. We welcome friends, too!

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

We'll be looking for:
  • Great content: specific details, compliments, connections, and questions
  • Proper format: greeting, closing, topic sentence, conclusion
  • Correct use of conventions: spelling, punctuation, capitalization

What do you think of our idea?
Who have you invited to be a part of our online community?

Please leave a comment and introduce yourself!


  1. I now have your class on my yahoo page. That is unbelievable that we have now added your class to our news page. The advances in technology are amazing. When I was a little girl there was no computer and we had dial phones. We had black and white television and we listened to programs on the radio. Today the computer and technology keeps us all learning and able to have information at our fingertips.
    Love, Aidan's Grammy

  2. Dear Mrs. Ranney,

    I think the idea of having Family Blogging Month again is brilliant! It’s a coincidence that we are having it this month because in November, which was our last Family Blogging Month had Thanksgiving break and this month we have Spring break.

    I’m going to invite my mom, dad, brother, grandma and grandpa, great uncle named Yoni, and my aunt named Michal.

    I can’t wait to hear from other classmates’ relatives!

    Your student,

  3. Dear Mrs. Ranney and class,
    Lily (Aidan's sister) said hello.    She liked the picture of all of you and she found Aidan in it.  Now she keeps repeating his name.    

    I am very glad to see there is another family blogging month.

    @Aidan  - Aidan I am so proud of you.   You have really added great comments and interesting facts to the blog posts.   Additionally, you writing has vastly improved.  What was your favorite blog post this year?

    @the class- Good luck getting all of your family online.

    All the best,
    Aidan's mom ( Sybil Berman)

  4. Dear Mrs. Ranney's class,

    It is so exciting to be writing on my sister's blog!The picture is amazing!I am also excited because my sister is learning new things.

    Omri (Ariel's brother)

  5. Dear Ms. Ranney's Class,
    I recently saw your teacher Ms. Ranney present with Ms. Yollis. They were both excellent and shared the exciting work that your class is creating. I was electrified by the many uses for blogging in the classroom. I am hoping we can find ways to spread this wonderful instructional strategy. Meanwhile keep up the good work. DOI Rose

  6. @Omri,
    Thank you for commenting. I am going to miss you so much. Did you know there is a 5th grade blog?

    Your sister

  7. Dear Mrs. Ranney,

    This is Ryan, Justin's brother. I love family Blogging month because it always excites me when I see a comment from a relative. Commenting is my favorite way of learning and sharing a little about ourselves. "Blog" is a new word for a lot of people around the world. What a fun way of learning blogging is. I could go on and on, but I just want to give you the main idea I think blogging is a wonderful idea.

    #1. Blogging is so much better than writing a story on a piece of paper, and it saves paper. Plus, your hands sometimes hurt when you write.

    #2. It is fascinating to know that anyone around the world can see you quality comments, but we still need to make sure not to put too much information.

    #3. Blogging can help you with so many things. For example, reading, grammar, and so on.


  8. Dear Mrs. Ranney,

    I am so excited for family blogging month! I hope that it is as fun as it was last time in November!

    My family members will all try to find at least one post that they enjoy most. All of the posts are all so intriguing though.

    Last time my cousin commented, and I thought that the expert post was a great choice for him. He wrote about he being an expert at basketball.

    His two brothers will try to comment this family blogging month. I am not that sure which posts they would like to comment on, so I will ask them.


  9. Daphna (Ella's mom)April 5, 2011 at 7:52 AM

    Dear Mrs. Ranney and Class,

    Throughout the year, I have been reading all of the wonderful posts and have been enjoying them all. It is such an incredible experience for me as a parent to see your class in action. Specifically, the posts are giving me an opportunity to explore with you a variety of subject areas including social studies, math, and science, as well as learn about your special projects.

    Out of all the wonderful experiences you shared on the blog, the one I find quite exciting is your blogging with other schools including the Uganda Project blogging and the quad blogging. Taking advantage of today’s amazing technology, you are able to create unique relationships with kids around the globe. Unlike the “old days” you can write and receive responses instantaneously, as well as see each other on Skype. Additionally, you are able to carry on conversations with multiple buddies at a time. Before the blogging days, there were “pen pals” rather than “blogging buddies”, and by the time the letters came and the responses were written, the excitement sometimes wore off…

    One other aspect of such global blogging I found exciting is comparing and contrasting your lives with those of your buddies. As expected, you found a plethora of differences between your class and the other classes. After all, you all live in different parts of the country, different countries, or even different continents altogether. But what I found most fascinating is that there are so many similarities in your lives as well. One such similarity is that you are all studying the same subjects, all have a similarly structured school day, and all play very comparable games at recess. Have you noticed these similarities too? Were you too surprised about these similarities?

    I am looking forward to continuing to follow your blog and reading about the rest of the amazing adventures of Mrs. Ranney’s class.

    Daphna (Ella’s mom)

  10. Dear Mrs. Ranney,

    I just wanted to thank you for sharing the Eagle Cam website. What an amazing thing to experience! The whole Aardema family was mesmerized by watching these amazing creatures in their nest. It was so interesting to see how these large, beautiful birds were able to retract their sharp claws when they would slightly move their newborns.

    I heard that over 11 million people, in over 130 countries have watched this remarkable birth!

    I wonder what the rest of the class thought about the birth.

    Mikey's mom

  11. Dear Mrs. Ranney,

    I’m very excited about Family Blogging Month!

    The people I’m going to invite to comment are my mom, my dad, my two sisters, Carly and Danielle, my cousin Brandon, and my friend Skyler, who’s in Mr. Detamore’s class. I’m going to invite my mom to comment on the Spanish post because she took Spanish in high school. I am going to recommend the Are You An Expert post to my dad, my sisters, Brandon, and Skyler. I will recommend that post to my dad because he is excellent with computers and I think he is an expert at that. I am going to invite my sisters to comment on that post because they are both experts at the sports they play. The reason I will recommend Are You An Expert to Brandon because he is very tall and athletic, so he can tell us all about those sports. The reason I’m going to invite Skyler to comment on that post is because she is an art expert.

    I can’t wait to hear from other people’s families and friends!
    Jamie ☺

  12. Dear Mrs. Ranney,

    I personally like family blogging month because
    I like to have my family share about them selves. It is also fun to teach my
    Family members how to type comments, and you get to write back to them.

    I plan on asking: My Mom, Dad, All of grandmas, My grandpa and Ollie.

    I hope to write some more comments.

    All the Best,

  13. Hello Mrs. Ranney's Class

    Greetings from Jamaica!

    We are on vacation on the beautiful island of Jamaica. Did you guys know that the official language of Jamaica is English? Just like United States, Jamaica used to be a colony of Great Britain.

    Jamaica is world famous for its Blue Mountain coffee and it is a producer of bauxite. From bauxite we make aluminum.

    We are excited we are able to post during family month.

    Best Wishes,
    Aidan's Uncle Brett and Aunt Nadia

  14. Dear Mrs. Ranney,

    Jack and I are thrilled that it is Family Blogging
    Month. We think that our families will admire it. We hope our parents and relatives will type a comment. Edo thinks that his parents will love the math post that Carly and Jamie made, and Jack thinks that his mom will like the Pepita Talks Twice post.

    Edo and Jack

  15. Dear Mrs. Ranney,

    I love the idea of having another family blogging month!

    I am going to ask my mom, dad, my four cousins Andrew, Marc, Luc, and Matthew, my grandma, my aunt, and my dad’s friend Esmeralda to the blog! I will probably invite them to the Spanish post.

    I can’t wait to see all of the new comments!
    Your Student,

  16. Dear Mrs. Ranney,

    I am so excited that we can have family blogging month again! My favorite thing about family blogging month is that we can all invite people who we know, you can show them a post that they might like, and they can make a comment if they want to. Also, everyone gets to introduce themselves and if they ask questions you can begin a conversation with them. I know I am going to ask a lot of my friends and relatives to get on the blog and try to leave a comment.


  17. @Mom

    I don't know what's my favorite blog post. I really liked the posts about Africa, Grammar and New Year's.

    What's your favorite blog post?

    Can you help type for Lucas so he can blog too? I think he would like the blog.


  18. Dear Mrs. Ranney,

    Family Blogging Month is so amazing!I am going to ask my mom,dad,and my older sister if they can comment on a post, but not my little sister, because she is only 4 years old.I hope that they are going to comment soon.


  19. Dear Mrs. Ranney and Class,
    I truly enjoy reading all the comments each week on the classroom blog. Thank you for sending the email regarding the Decorah Eagles. Jordyn and I have been watching the eagles and the babies every day online. Today, I was able to see the mother eagle feed the baby eagles. It was fascinating! Has anyone else been watching the Decorah Eagles? Have you seen anything interesting?

    All the best,
    Jordyn's Mom, Julie

  20. Dear Mrs. Ranney,
    My name is Ariana(Mikayla's sister). I was thinking your class can make a spectacular Easter puppet bunny. here are some directions. First, get a packet of brown paper bags for your class. Next, get a packet of flat paper that has a picture of a bunny on it. Then, color the drawing and cut the bunny out. Last, glue the bunny on the bag. This would make a great Easter project!

    Ariana ♥

  21. Hi Aidan

    Your class is working on so many interesting things. I think it is very cool that your class communicates with 3 other classrooms. You know I always love hearing about what you are learning.

    Love, Auntie Lauren

  22. We are so happy to be able to participate in this program. It is amazing how education has changed since we were in school. Technology is so much a part of classroom studies in this changing world.

    Now that Spring is almost here, we will be able to attend more of Emily's sports activities. We look forward to celebrating Passover and Easter with our extended family.

    Mrs. Ranney, we commend you for creating this blog and are amazed at all you, and the class have accomplished.

    Emily's Grandparents

  23. Ricki (Philip's Mom)April 6, 2011 at 3:27 PM

    Mrs. Ranney's Class,
    I enjoy reading your blog every week. My favorite blogs have been when you are writing to the other classes in the different parts of the world.

    You are so lucky to be able to do blog with others. It's hard for me to believe that computers did not come out until I was in college, and even then, there was no such thing as blogging!

    Keep up the good work,
    Philip's Mom

  24. Dear Jordyn,
    We are so excited to be able to blog during family blogging month. We love reading about the great things your class is doing. Sydney and Alexa were so excited to find you in the class picture. Keep up the good work! We are so proud of you. We love you and we miss you.

    Auntie Jen, Uncle Justin, Sydney, Alexa, Jake and Zoey Bella

  25. @Ariana,
    I think you thought of an apt idea, but it would not be fair for the Jewish people.
    If the Christian people made an Easter bunny, and the Jewish people would make something for Passover, than it would be fair.

    Ariel ☺

  26. Dear Mom,

    Thank you for commenting on our blog. It was very nice of you to say that you enjoy what we are learning about. Mrs. Ranney said that you had excellent vocabulary. I also think you used high level vocabulary.

    I also think it is amazing that we are getting to communicate with other students from around the world. My favorite class we comment with is Mr. Avery’s class because I have a blogging buddy in that class, Natalie.

    I noticed that we have many differences with the other classes, but I never noticed that there are some things that are alike about us.

    I have a question. How does the excitement wear off when the letters came and the responses were written?

    Your loving daughter,

  27. Dear Mrs.Ranney,

    I am going to tell my mom, dad, uncle and aunt to comment on family blogging month. I am excited to do family blogging month at this school because I didn’t get to do this at my old school called Ralph Dunlap. If I told my old school about blogging they would think it is amazing.



  28. Dear Auntie Jen, Uncle Justin, Sydney, Alexa, Jake, and Zoey Bella,

    I want to thank you for commenting on the blog!

    If you want to comment again, here are some posts that you might like:

    You might like The Great Kapok Tree. If you look on the side bar, look for the March folder, click on it, and look on the bottom for the post. You guys pick an animal and pretend you are that animal. Pick a name for it starting with the first letter. I did Ally the Anteater.

    Another post that you might like is a post called Puppet Project Presentations. That post is on the February folder. That post is about my class and me doing a book report, then you choose a character from the book, and make them into a puppet. If you look at the video, you will see that a lot of us were very creative. I am the person who did a report on Gooney Bird Green.

    One more post you guys might like is A Landmark Day: Learning With Laptops. Click on the April folder and look for the post that says it. That post is about my class and me using laptops while the 5th graders are away at Out Door E.D.. We use the laptops to make comments on the blog, go on my teacher’s website and go on the links page, and go on IXL a math website.

    I hope you visit the blog again!

    All The Best,

  29. Dear Mrs. Ranney,
    I am happy to participate in Family Blogging Month. Edo enjoys writing his comments and communicating with people all over the world. I especially liked the posts about animal adaptations. The children wrote such creative and clever answers.
    Thanks for including me.

    Galit (Edo's Mom)

  30. Alex (Rachel's Dad)April 7, 2011 at 5:28 PM

    Dear Mrs.Ranney and class,

    I am so glad that you guys are learning so much about computers and blogging etc. Rachel and I look forward to going on the site each day.


    Alex (Rachel's Dad)

  31. Dear Mrs.Ranney,

    I am so excited that it is Family
    Blogging Month! I am going to ask,
    my dad, cousin, mom aunt, and uncle to comment.
    I think my dad is going to comment on the Three Branches Of The Government.


  32. Hello,

    I am Aidan's brother Lucas. I am in Miss. Gourley's class. My mom is typing for me.

    I like reading the blog. I hope I have Mrs. Ranney one day.

    See you later!


  33. Daphna (Ella's Mom)April 8, 2011 at 11:21 AM

    @Ella, thank you for responding to my comment, and for your very thoughtful question about the “pen pals” and the issue of excitement. Corresponding via mailed letters is a long process. Once the letter had been written, you need to put it in an envelope with the correct address, and you need to figure out the right postage stamp. The price of the stamp depends on the destination, so in most cases, you have to plan a trip to the post office, wait in line (there usually is a line at the post office…), and get it settled. Once the letter is finally sent, it could take a long time for it to reach its destination. A letter sent from your class to your buddies in Australia, for example, could take 10-14 days to arrive. Once it arrives, your pen pal needs to go through the same process on his/her end…So it could take four weeks or even more than a month before you hear back from your pal. During that time, so many other things happen in your life that you sometimes even forget what you wrote in the letter, and are less excited about it. In contrast, when you write on the blog, you get a response so quickly and can continue a conversation that is relevant, fun, and exciting. I hope this answers your question. Love, Mom.

    @The class, keep up the good work everyone, have you had a chance to see how many visitors visited your blog? It’s astounding!

    Daphna (Ella's Mom)

  34. @Jack,

    I have a couple of questions for you: How old is your older sister? Why do you think your mom would like the Pepita post?


    I love your idea of making an Easter Bunny puppet! It is very creative. There is a website called It’s, and I thought you might be interested! Did you know that we have a puppet post? Maybe you’d be interested!


  35. @Lucas,

    When I was your age I was in Miss. Gourley’s class!
    You’re lucky to have such a great teacher!

    You should invite her to the blog!


  36. Dear Ryan,
    Hi my name is Gal and I am in Mrs. Ranney’s class.
    Thank you for commenting on our classroom blog. I also like family Blogging month.
    Also you are right about it is better to comment on a blog than writing on a piece of paper, so you won't waste paper and it hurts your hands. Family blogging month helps people know a little more about our selves. It also helps you know more people’s elders. Like their mom and dad, or grandma and grandpa. I just knew Aidan’s grandma and grandpa because they both commented on our classroom blog.

    Your friend,
    (In Mrs. Ranney’s class)

  37. Dear Ariana,

    It is very sweet of you that you said we should do an Easter Bunny Puppet, but we also have another post about puppets that Ella made.

    I hope you can comment on other posts, and once you do that would you comment to me and tell me your favorite post. I can tell you mine. It is The Great Kapok Tree.

    Keep up the commenting
    Your friend,
    Emily ☺

  38. Dear Mrs. Ranney,

    I’m so excited that this months family blogging month!!

    I have only heard from my mom so far. I hope my other family members will write soon.

    I asked my sister if she could comment and she said she would enjoy commenting, so watch out for a blog comment after school today or over the weekend.

    I will also remind my family/relatives.

    I have some questions.

    What family members do you know will be visiting our class blog?

    Have you answered any of your relatives or friend’s relatives?

    Your Friend,

  39. World trivia by Grammy!
    The original London bridge is no longer in London do you know where it is? A hint someplace in the USA?
    Get ready next trivia question will be on South Africa.

  40. London has some landmarks. Can you name them?
    We are in London on our way to Capetown, Africa, and it takes 10 hours by airplane to get to London from Los Angeles.
    One landmark in London is old and tall and has a clock on it. Who knows its name?
    London has a new landmark. Do you know what the London Eye is?
    Aidan's Grammy

  41. Dear Mrs. Ranney and class,

    For our biogrophies I chose Benjamin Franklin! Who did you choose?

    Yours Truly,

  42. Hi Gail:
    I am Emily's Grandma and I know the answer to your trivia question. London Bridge is now a tourist attraction in Lake Havasu, Arizona.The people that bought it and moved it there, thought they were buying Tower Bridge which is a much more famous landmark. Tower Bridge opens up in the middle to let tall ships sail up and down the Thames River.London Bridge is the one in the nursery rhyme which says it is falling down!! But it never did.
    I was born and raised in England and my parents emigrated to Los Angeles when I was fifteen. We sailed over to the USA on the Queen Mary which is now a tourist attraction in Long Beach.
    Thanks for the opportunity to participate.

  43. Hello Emily,
    This is my first time blogging. I am glad I get to blog with you. Our little chat tonight about your fish and Madison's miracle fish brought back a lot of memories. You are a very special girl to us and we love you very much. Keep up the good work in school and you will always succeed in whatever you set your mind to do.
    Love, Aunt Eileen & Uncle John

  44. Hi Grammy,

    How is your trip?

    I know what the London eye is because I have a Monopoly game on my itouch that has it. The London eye is a giant ferris wheel on the River Thames.

    The answer to your trivia question is Big Ben.

    I hope we go visit London one day.

    All the best,

  45. @ Aidan,

    I do not have one favorite blog post. Instead, I have numerous posts that I have enjoyed.

    My favorite posts are the two inviting family members to post and the one about Africa.

    However, I was also very impressed by the fundraising efforts of your class and Mrs. Yollis' and I thoroughly enjoyed following all the Uganda posts.


  46. Capetown is a city by the ocean at the bottom of Africa.
    People here speak English. Do you know the name of a mountain here that looks like a table?
    Also near by is where two oceans come together,
    do you know what the point is called and what are the two oceans?
    Regards from Capetown, Aidan's Grammy

  47. Dear Mrs. Ranney,
    I am Darcy, Justin's aunt. I live in Northern California but visit Calabasas often. I also work at a school; however, I am a counselor at a middle school. This means that students who are around the ages of 12-14 tell me what is difficult in their lives. I love my job!
    I read your class blog. My favorite post was the current one about Beverly Cleary. I read numerous books by her when I was younger. Like Ramona, I am a little sister.
    Like your class, I like to read blogs. They are a wonderful way to get know people far away. I mostly read blogs about home decorating and cooking. I also read one about Cystic Fibrosis because my cousin's grandson has this disease.
    I was wondering how your students find the blogs they read. Also, do they all write blogs at home?
    Please say hi to my nephew, Justin, for me.


  48. Dear Mrs. Ranney and class,

    This is Craig (Aidan's dad). You guys are awesome. I love reading the blog and the great variety of topics on which you blog. I've learned a ton, so I am sure you guys have too. Keep up the good work and have fun blogging!
    All the best, Craig

  49. Dear Mrs. Ranney’s Class,

    I am happy that April is family blogging month. I am interested in learning how much information all of you know about your family members. For example does Aidan know the favorite color, hobby, and food of Lucas? It would be fun to use other relatives such as your parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, and uncles.

    You all can first try to guess and write down your answers. Then, you can personally ask each of your family members and compare their answers with yours. You might be surprised to find similar answers among your relatives. You can use this information to help your family members to know more about each other, and you can also take advantage by remembering, for example, your grandmother's favorite color next time you make a birthday card for her.

    I cannot wait to hear about your experience with this activity. I hope all of you can enjoy it.


    Aidan’s Auntie Nadia

  50. Hello from Namibia, Can you tell me what is interesting about this country. It has a very long desert and in the desert they have some hills. Do you know what the hills are called. They are the tallest in the world and you can take a rubber tube and walk up and slide down.
    Namibia is also called the skeleton coast because many ships ran aground on the rocks off the coast, and now all you see are the skeletons of these ships.
    It never gets rain here and today it was the first time in over 10 years that it rained all day and there was flooding in the streets. Cars got stuck in the water and the people did not know how to drive in the rain.
    What an interesting day.
    Grammy Gail

  51. Today we visited an island that looked like paradise.
    Bom Bom Island is part of the country of Principe and is the second smallest country in Africa. Can you find it on the map? A hint is that it is located off the western coast and located in the Atlantic Ocean.
    The name comes from the fact that the caco plant grows here and it is exported to Europe and used for making delicious chocolates, called bom boms.
    Sweet wishes from Bom Bom Island!!!!!!!
    Grammy Gail

  52. Hello class,
    Today we visited a small African country called Togo. It is pronouced Toe go. Can you name the capital of this small African nation? A hint is that the capital is on the border of this country and another. What are the two countries?
    It was somewhat disturbing that the people in this city just throw their garbage anyplace and there are heaps of garbage all over the city. Many of the people here fish for a living.
    Grammy Gail will give a prize to those who answer all the questions correctly!

  53. Today we visited Ghana. Can you find it on the map? Ghana is famous for gold? Do you know what gold is used for? It is very hot here as it is close to the equator.
    Ghana also has some oil and is also know for the cacao plant. They export the cacao beans for chocolate processing in Europe.
    Regards from Ghana, Aidan's Grampy

  54. @ Grammy,

    Thanks for blogging and the trivia. I had to go online to research the answers for your questions.

    South Africa has a mountain called Table Mountain. The Cape Point has two oceans that meet, the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean.

    Namibia is interesting because it never rains and has 300 days of sunshine a year. The sand dunes are huge hills.

    Ghana trades its gold for salt.

    I miss you!

  55. Hello Aidan,
    We miss you too. Thank you for looking up the answers. I hope you and your classmates will share your knowledge of these facts. Tomorrow is our last stop in Africa. I will post some questions again.
    Have fun and enjoy!
    Love, Grammy

  56. Today we are in Dakar, Senegal. What trade began on the island called Goree Island?
    When we docked we saw a United States missle frigate parked at the dock next to ours. The ship is part of the United States Navy Atlantic Fleet. Does anyone know how we know is was US ship?
    Love to all, Aidan's Grammy

  57. Dear Mrs. Ranney and Class,

    Hi, my name is Maddy, and I am Carly's sister. I think that it's an awesome idea to let your students comment on the blog. I also think that it is a great idea to have family blogging month!

    I hope you guys have an amazing time writing on your blog.

    Your Friend,

  58. Congratulations to Mrs. Ranney and class, you hit 10,000 hits and that is quite an accomplishment and impressive.
    We have posted from some wonderful places in the world, however we use the ship's server so we are not sure what country our server is from.
    Well wishes and great job!
    Grammy Gail


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