Friday, December 16, 2011

Reading Minutes Update

The fabulous 4th grade readers in room 12 have read...

so far this year.

Great job, good humans. I sure hope you reach your goal of 200,000 minutes by June 1.

Mr. Pahl

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Delicious, Stupendous Descriptive Words

This clever group of 4th grade students is working tirelessly to write pieces and stories that contain more vivid, colorful, descriptive language. They are practicing this feat by breaking sentences first into nouns and verbs. Once they know what they are writing about, the students identify words they can use (adjectives and adverbs) to describe the nouns and verbs in their sentences. Finally, these intelligent, diligent learners create phrases (sometimes called transitions in class) to add just a little more detail to what they have written.

Please share some of your creative ideas in the comments section. Feel free to write someone and tell them something you like about their sentence(s). Sitting here at my computer, I wait anxiously, yearning to read your wonderful words.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Kate Visited The Pacific Science Center!

Hello! Have you ever gone to the Pacific Science Center in Seattle? Well, I was there earlier in November. There were exhibits like finger printing, telekinesis, and displays about different diseases. One of the best parts of the day was getting to touch an actual human brain! I made a Photo Story about my trip. To find out more about the Pacific Science Center, go to

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Lost in Space

The class recently began studying space science with a focus on the Earth, its moon, and our sun. Getting through a lesson was incredibly difficult because the class has so many questions about space. In order to establish some common understandings and point us in a clear direction, we had a science period devoted to some art and question creation. We will revisit the questions throughout the unit to share students' learning and increasing understanding of our planet and the solar system.

Here is what students came up with!

Please comment! What are questions you have about space or what are some things you have learned about space?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Ravenous Readers Reaching Goal?

It's been a while since I updated the total number of reading minutes for our class. The latest total is...

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  • We have been in school 41 days. How many minutes has the class read each day?
  • We have 30 students. Use the total from above to help you figure out how much each student has read per day.
  • Our goal is to read 250,000 minutes altogether. How many more minutes do we need to read in order to reach our goal?
  • Do you think we will reach our goal?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

An Unexpected but Very Enjoyable Detour

Our class is reading Dear America: The Diary of Piper Davis: The Fences Between Us another wonderful book written by Kirby Larson. The story is set in Seattle in 1941, during the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the war that followed. It is written from the perspective of Piper Davis, a middle school girl, whose brother Hank is a sailor fighting in the war and whose father is the pastor of a Japanese American church. She adores her brother and is very concerned about his safety. At the same time, she is deeply troubled by the internment of her friends and neighbors, many of whom are like family.

We are noticing and discussing many similarities between our current reality in the United States and the events that occurred during World War II. This led to several questions from students about the nature of war, the history of war, and about the world. I have to admit, this was the kind of moment I long for as a teacher. It is my hope each day, that students will come through that door with questions, energy, and a desire to learn. I am so thankful that these things were sparked by the well-written book we are reading.

It was the kind of teaching and learning moment that I have rarely experienced. One question led to another question. The answers to a question led to even more questions. I shared that my answers to the questions were not "THE" answers to their questions; they were merely my answers, my perspective. I invited students to share their own thoughts and beliefs as well. We stopped reading the book and moved to the class library. We spent over an hour questionning and discussing. Many students didn't even want to go to recess. It was truly special. Thank you students and thank you, Kirby Larson for your thoughtful book about a very difficult time in our history.

Some of the students' questions:
  • Who started wars?
  • What is the oldest war?
  • Why do we have wars?
  • Why did the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor? 
  • What is the difference between world war and civil war?
  • I thought the Civil War was in the United States?
  • What is a revolutionary war?
  • Who were the Nazis?
  • Why didn't they like Jewish people?
  • What was the worst war?
This is just a small sampling of the students' very thoughtful questions that memorable day. It was WAY more than we could hope to answer in one afternoon. I hope the questions continue to be asked and discussed at home and in the years ahead. I am 40, and I am still looking for the answers to many of these same questions.

Please comment! What was something you learned that day? Is there a question you wanted to know more about? Did you go home and discuss these things with your adults or did you research something we discussed? What questions do you have about war?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Ravenous Readers

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So far, our fourth graders have read a total of 15,728 minutes! I have a little wager going with the students. Inspired by other teachers and administrators around the world who have done wacky things to motivate their students, I have agreed to SLEEP ON THE ROOF OF THE SCHOOL if our students read 250,000 minutes by June 15. We keep a daily tally of our reading minutes and will update the total on our blog regularly.

Please comment! Is there something you read or are reading this year that you REALLY liked? If so, what is it? What do you like about it? Are there any books or series that you anticipate reading?  Please share your thoughts with us!   

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Multiplication Arrays

Students are learning about multiplication and division in the first math unit. To help give them a concrete understanding of the concept, as well as help them learn the factors of numbers, we spend some time on arrays. During one math class this week, students took pictures of arrays they noticed around the school, and some students even took pictures at home! Enjoy the "product" of their labor and use it to help you learn your multiplication facts!

In order to see the captions, hover over the slideshow. In the bottom left, click on the comment "cloud" icon next to the stick figure icon. The captions should appear near the bottom of each picture.

If you have pictures of arrays from your school or home, please e-mail them to Mr. Pahl at and we will post all of the pictures we receive in a later post.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Multiplication Facts

Different people have many different ways of learning their basic math facts. I had to learn my multiplication facts in the 3rd grade. I got grounded because I hadn't learned them yet, and I had to write them all down several times until I had them commited to memory. If there was a fact I didn't know, my dad sent me back to my room to fill yet another piece of paper with 8 x 7 = 56. It took about 4 days without TV or playing with friends, but it sure did the trick.

Now that I'm a teacher, I got to thinking..."THERE HAS TO BE A BETTER WAY."

There are many shortcuts, rhymes you can write, memory tricks, and other good learning strategies you can use to learn these basic facts. We will discuss them in class. It's important that you really understand what 7 x 6 = 42 means, but it's also important just to have the facts memorized in your head. You have to learn letter sounds in order to read words, and you have to learn your basic math facts in order to complete more complex math problems. To help you memorize your basic multiplication facts, my students from last year and I created these Animoto videos. I hope you will watch them often, and I hope you learn your facts very soon. Make it a goal to learn all these facts by the end of October if you don't know them already.

We'll also make them for the 4's and 12's and get them up here soon.









This Is Sunnyland

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Please comment!
What are some things you love about Sunnyland Elementary School? If you are a student at another school, please tell us what is special or unique about your school? What do you love about your school? Is there anything our schools have in common?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Monday Assembly

Each Monday, Sunnyland will begin the day with an all school assembly to kick off the week. This week, we were lucky enough to have members of the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra Woodwind Ensemble play for us and share some intersting facts about their instruments as well as teach us a little about music.

Here is a Tagxedo of what students learned about woodwind instruments and symphonic music.

Please comment!
What is the name of the large instrument in the top picture? What is the name of the small, black instrument in the third picture? Which makes a higher pitch: a smaller or larger instrument? Do you know why?

Before the man played his instrument in the video above, he asked us to listen carefully and think about what color we "heard." There is a special word in music for the "color" of what is being played. Does anyone remember that special word? What colors do you hear when you listen to the snippet in the video?

Welcome Back Everyone!

Room 12 at Sunnyland School is BACK IN ACTION! There are 31 bright, eager 4th graders in our classroom who are ready to learn and support each other. One of our first activities was to discuss what kind of classroom we would like to have. This Wordle exemplifies the views and values of our community members. I hope we can all work together to make room 12 represent what we see here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Sampling of Room 12's Salmon PSA's

The students in room 12 have been working diligently to complete their Salmon Public Service Announcements. We ran into quite a few technical difficulties, but all in all, the students' projects were a success. Students learned so much about teamwork, patience, creativity, and the value of persistence.  Due to some issues we had with technology, a few groups have not quite wrapped up their projects.

The following are some of the projects that have been completed.

Finnigan used a video camera and then compiled and edited his project using Windows Movie Maker. Here is Finnigan's Special Report:

Ava and Lilia gathered photos online and made an Animoto slide show. It played in the background while they videotaped their broadcast highlighting the need for cold, clean, clear, and consistent water for salmon. With some help from Mr. Pahl, they also used Windows Movie Maker to pull all the pieces of their project together.

Many students are greatly enjoying the fun one can have with Blabberize. All of these groups are hoping to embed their "blabbers" into Glogster. This was one of the areas students encountered the most problems. Until we can get Glogster to work for us again, here are the salmon "blabbers" they created.

Bebeck and Rylan:

Sylvia, Alexandria, and Ashley:

Michael, Joshua, and Huver:

Gregory, Julian, and Nik:

Jessica, Jayden, and Skye's broadcast:

Savannah, Jadyn, and Tatum:

Please comment! We love your feedback! Please tell us a few things you learned from our public service announcements, some things you liked about what you saw and heard, and please share some constructive feedback as well. What do you think we could do a little better? Were our messages positive and empowering? Could you hear and understand what was being said? Thank you!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Public Service Announcements

It has been a terrific year of learning about salmon through the Students for Salmon program with Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association. The culminating project for students this year will be to make public service announcements (PSA) using a variety of multimedia tools that encourage people to make choices that positively affect salmon and their habitat.

A good public service announcement is brief, has a clear, positive message, and gives people a resource where they can access more information. We have listened to, analyzed, and watched several PSA's to give students ideas for the ones they will create.

Here are links to some examples:

Here are scripts from the Copper River "Don't Run Off Salmon" campaign. Though I have encouraged students to keep their messages positive ("Tell people what they should - not what they shouldn't"), these radio scripts provide good examples of how to write to a quality radio spot.

Your Public Service Announcement should:
  • Briefly and clearly state some problems faced by salmon.
  • Share specific ideas or ways people can do things to help salmon or salmon habitat.
  • Tell people where they can get more information or how they can get involved.
  • Share where you got your information, facts, and pictures.
This link will take you to a anti-drug campaign site that has good examples of storyboards you can use to plan your PSA.

This website explains how to write a PSA and what to think about as you revise and edit your message.

This site provides a WEALTH of information on planning and perfecting your PSA.

When searching for images or video to use, be as a specific in your search as possible. Here are some suggestions: "pacific salmon," "clean rivers," "salmon habitat," "recycle oil," "plant trees."

Mutlimedia Sites:

PhotoStory is a computer program, not an internet site. All of our school computers have it, and some of your computers at home may have it.

This is a link to a PhotoStory tutorial:

Windows Movie Maker is another computer based program, not a web site. We have it at school, and your computers at home may have it if they are PC's. Go to Start>Programs>WindowsMovieMaker.

Atomic Learning has MANY free Movie Maker tutorials here - you DO NOT need a log in:

Friday, April 29, 2011

Salmon Glogs!

The students in room 12 have been using a great site, Glogster, to synthesize their learning about salmon. Lks to a few examples of students' work is below.

Dominique and Jenny




Please comment! Have you used Glogster before? What do you like about it? What did you think of our Salmon Glogs? Did you learn anything about salmon? Have you studied any creatures that have similar life cycles?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Rylan's Letter From the President

Earlier this year, Rylan watched the State of the Union address made by the President of the United States, Barack Obama. Rylan is really passionate about justice and equality, so he wrote a letter to President Obama imploring him to make some changes in government that would help more people. Not long ago, Rylan received a response from President Obama written on official White House stationery. Needless to say, Rylan was pretty excited, so he brought the President's letter in to share with us.

Please comment! If you wrote a letter to the President of the United States, what would you want to tell him? Is there anything you would ask him for? Are there other famous people you would like to write to? What would you want to tell them, or what would you want to know about them?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Spring Break

This year, my Spring Break was pretty exciting. It wasn't because I went on a special trip or that I did anything particularly fun. It was exciting because my wife and I were anticipating the birth of our second child, and we had no idea when it would arrive. Due to this, we stayed close to home and spent a good amount of time with Luna and getting the house ready for new baby. It's amazing how much stuff a new, little baby needs. She has to have tiny diapers, a small, snuggly place to sleep, comfy hats to keep her little head warm, safe toys for her to play with, books for mom, dad, and Luna to read to her (of course), and many other things. I  enjoyed greatly my time with Luna. While we were away from school, we played outside, worked in the garden, visited the library, and made blueberry pancakes from scratch. I am including a few pictures from the week and a few more pictures of baby Grace. I hope you like them. I also hope you're having fun with Mrs. B. and that you are making excellent learning choices.

Be Good Humans.

Mr. Pahl

These are sand dollar tracks in the water at low tide. Do you see the big "c shape" in the middle of the picture? There is a sand dollar at the top part of the "c." On this day at Semiahmoo Spit, we found sand dollars everywhere.

This is a dead ray that had washed up on shore.

Luna was ecstatic to run and play in the water. She also enjoyed looking for crabs and sand dollars.

Semiahmoo is a fantastic place for bird watching. Today we spotted gulls, bald eagles, cormorants, and many different kinds of ducks.

Luna digs in the garden daily. Here she is on the hunt for worms.

Helping daddy plant basil seeds.

Baby Grace's last check up today before leaving the hospital. The doctor said she looked and sounded great.

Grace was happy to hear the news.

Heading home.

Ahhh. Content to be home finally and resting on mommy.
Please comment! What is something memorable about your Spring Break? What did you do? Who did you see? What do you like about babies? What questions do you have about babies?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Mr. Pahl Has A New Daughter!

Grace Ann was born at 9:58 on Saturday morning. Mom and baby are doing terrific. Mrs. "B" will be with you the next couple of weeks while I am at home helping Lynnelle and spending time getting to know my new baby girl. I will miss you, but I'll see you soon. Here are a few pictures.

Mr. Pahl

Not long after she was born. She is doing what little babies do most: sleep.
Luna was thrilled to meet her new little sister.

Daddy is pretty excited, too.

Luna sang "Mary Had a Little Lamb" and Grace stopped crying. She takes the big sister thing pretty seriously.

Chillin' with dad on Day 2.

"Daddy, stop taking so many pictures!"

Taking a snooze.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Official Results Are In!

Wow, Sunnyland was one of 56,082 schools across the world who participated in World Maths Day in the 48 hours surrounding March 1, 2011. 66 of Sunnyland's students took the challenge, and - do you believe this? - answered 38,876 math questions correctly! Fantastic work everyone.

On a side note, I was just on the site, and it looks like you can still log in and practice with other students around the world if you are interested. Use the same username and password that you used for the event.

Bebeck was also very excited about World Spelling Day. He spelled 879 words correctly! Outstanding work, Bebeck!

Please comment! What was most fun about World Maths Day? Did you learn anything? Should I do this with the students I teach again next year? If so, is there anything we should do differently?

Monday, February 28, 2011

World Maths Day

Today, March 1, is World Maths Day!

Here's what room 12 students have to say about it:

We played math games against other kids from around the world. It felt rushed because you had to answer the questions rapidly and because the whole thing was timed. You could see the timer there in the corner right next to the questions. It was a little bit hard, but it was fun. 

One of the exciting things about it was playing against kids from other countries and just that it was intense trying to answer the questions so quickly. We enjoyed solving math problems against other people. It encouraged us to do math problems and show how fast we are at our math facts. I think it helped us with math. 

Something else that was challenging was when I forgot the answers to really easy problems because I felt stressed out about the time. The kinds of problems we solved so far were single and double digit addition problems. One other cool thing about this was that it helped us get faster at using the numbers on the keyboard.  

Here is some information on the event from the World Math Day Official Blog:

Here is a link to a brief BBC article about the event:

The Guinness World Record site has another article here:

Have a great time everyone!

Room 12 Has Read Over 100,000 Minutes!

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Nice job, class. I am very proud of you. I hope in the time you have been reading, your mind has traveled to far off lands, been filled with amazing facts, and stimulated to think about how you can make the world a better place.

Please comment! What have you been reading lately? Do you have a regular time every day that you read? How did you get yourself into a regular reading routine? Do you have any books you would recommend? 

Sunday, February 27, 2011


While studying angles, dimensions, perimeter, and area, lines that are parallel, intersecting, and perpendicular, and the various types of quadrilaterals, students took some time to create creatures and objects entirely out of polygons. They were also able to identify each of the important properties and attributes of the items mentioned above.   

Saturday, February 12, 2011

We Continue Learning About Salmon

Salmon Facts: Did You Know? on PhotoPeach

Thank you Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association for your Students for Salmon program. Using your terrific curriculum, the students and I have learned a great deal. If you would like to know more about salmon and the numerous things you can do to improve salmon (and our own) habitat, visit the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Ava's New York Animoto

Here is another Technology Club project. Like Finnigan, Ava put several hours into creating this Animoto. She hopes you like it!

Delicious Words

The students are working to include more vivid language in their writing. One of our favorite authors, Grace Lin, wrote beautifully about the food eaten by her Chinese American family in "Year of the Dog." We began to refer to the words she used as "delicious" words because of her extraordinary, mouth-watering descriptions of the family feasts.

Please pay close attention to authors' use of language and share with us any delicious words you come across, unless of course you eat them first.

Today I read "The Dreamer" by Pam Munoz Ryan. I found a delicious word in this sentence: "For a month, the clouds spilled." I loved the way the author used "the clouds spilled" instead of just saying "it rained a lot."

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Results Are In...

At the beginning of January, Mr. Pahl announced that it would be our first ever Family Blogging Month. Thanks to all the students, family members, and friends who have contributed to our site. We hope you have enjoyed it as much as we have. After carefully tallying all the comments, I'm elated to announce our winners!

In a 2-way tie for 3rd place with 10 blog comments each, we have

In 2nd place with 12 blog comments, we have

And in 1st place with 14 blog comments, we have

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Each of the students wins the opportunity to create a post of their choosing! We can't wait to see what you do! Thanks again to everyone who participated. We hope you will continue to visit the blog and comment regularly!  

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Look What We Did!

I have been meeting with a group of students after school each week in an informal Technology Club. They learned how to put their photographs into programs like PhotoStory and Animoto, and then add some text and music in order to create a digital story. Here is one of the Animoto videos that were created. More to come soon!

More From Jack!

Bonjour again, Room 12. I'll try to answer all of your questions and tell you a little bit more about France.

First of all, I don't really speak French very well yet, but my mom can speak French pretty well, so that helps. Secondly, France is not hot, especially at this time of year. Weatherwise, it's a lot like Bellingham. In other ways, it's really different. In France, there are a lot of OLD buildings (like 1000 years old!!). For instance, near our apartment, there's a castle that was build in 1232. We're going to visit it again this afternoon with my mom's college students. Google "Chateau d'Angers" to see some images of it - it's very cool!

I have learned many new French phrases and words that I didn't know before, such as "J'habite à Bellingham aux Etats Unis." (I live in Bellingham in the United States.) "Ça va?" (How's it going?) and "Je ne parle pas bien le français." (I don't speak French very well.)

Yesterday I went to a soccer game (called "football" here) - the Angers team played a team called Claremont Foot. Angers won!

That's all for now! À toute a l'heure!

Friday, February 4, 2011


The class began talking about transitions this week because we noticed that many students' writing was flat. There are many good ideas in their writing, but much of it lacks the flair we expect at this point in third and fourth grade writing.

Transitions are used by authors to help "move" (the prefix "trans" = move) or lead the reader along from one idea or place to the next. They give pieces of writing a clearer sense of time and place. They make stories more detailed and interesting to read.

Transitions begin a sentence or paragraph and usually start with "next, then, after, when, or finally," but may also begin plenty of other words.

I am following the lead of the innovative teachers who run the Reading Roundup and have had their students write about transitions they see in the books they read.

Students and guests! Please write to tell us about a transition you have read in a book or story recently. Start by telling us the name of the book or story and then write the sentence with the tranisition in it. Thank you!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

SchoolTube - Vocabulary Words

The students are learning vocabulary words. Research tells us that they learn these words and their meanings better if they also have visual and kinesthetic clues to help them. Here is a lovely visual example of some of the words and what the students are doing to be sure and remember them.

Students: Please remember that we make these videos and digital products to help make learning fun. They are not created for the sole purpose of entertainment. It's okay to enjoy watching them and to be entertained, but the primary purpose for watching the video should be to help you learn. -Mr. Pahl

SchoolTube - Vocabulary Words

More Vocabulary Words!

Hi everyone!

I am trying to do this quickly so you have the video to help you study tonight. The video isn't embedded in the blog; you have to click on the link and go to SchoolTube to watch it.

SchoolTube - More Vocabulary Words!

I'm really proud of the students. I hope you enjoy the video and are impressed with what they are learning. It is exciting to see them show what they have learned.

-Mr. Pahl

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Jack Is in France!

Hello Room Twelve! Bonjour Chambre Douze! 

This is Jack, a former student in Mr. Pahl's class, and I'm writing from France. I've been here less than a week, and I thought maybe you'd like to hear a little about what it's like here. Since it's still January, it's still Family Blogging Month, so you can also read our family's blog (mostly my dad's) here:

I haven't started school yet here in France, but on Friday we visited the school that my sisters and I will probably go to. It's called College La Madeleine. "College" means "middle school" in French, so I'll be going to sixth grade there so I can be at the same school as my sisters, even though I'm in fifth grade at Sunnyland, and also because I will be able to take French classes there since I hardly know any French. So next week, I can tell you more about school. I'm hoping to be able to play soccer (football) at school too. I might be able to meet some people that way. 

Do you have questions about France? Just ask me! Au revoir! 

From Mr. Pahl: 
Jack's family flew from Washington to Iceland first; then they completed their journey by flying from Iceland to France. Once the plane landed in France, they still had to board a train to travel from Paris to Angers! It's a long trip. 

Be sure to ask questions! Jack will visit once a week or so when he can, and he'll e-mail me his responses. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Reading Minutes Update!

Our latest total of the number of minutes read by room 12 students is...

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Looks like you are going to need to work a little harder if you want me up on that roof. :-)

Favorite Season

The students recently had a writing prompt: "Describe Your Favorite Season." Here are a few samples of their work.

This is a 4th grader's response to the prompt: 

        The most splendid time of the year for me is Winter. Some of the things I enjoy about Winter are snow days, Christmas and New Years.
        I love snowy days during wintertime because I really enjoy building life like snowmen! I like to hunt for accessories that really bring the snowman to life, once I have completed the body. Also I enjoy making beautiful snow angels and to feel white, fluffy snow lightly hit my face while I’m flying down a steep hill covered in snow, feeling like I’m strapped in on a rollercoaster ride that is traveling 100 miles per hour!
        Christmas is another one of my favorite parts of winter. Seeing your family who have come from miles away and make your heart burst like a firework on the 4th of July! While driving home, down our snow covered street, seeing all the shiny lights makes me feel like someone has splattered colorful paints on each house in my neighborhood. Baking Christmas cookies is another thing I enjoy to do during the winter. I love the aroma of the warm kitchen when we take the cookies out of the oven, also I love putting creamy icing on the cookies once they have cooled down. I look forward to waking up on Christmas morning opening neatly wrapped gifts that are placed under the emerald green tree.
        On New years eve I was having a friend spend the night and staying up until midnight to watch the magnificent ball drop. To ring in the new year her and I went to go outside at midnight and bang pots and pans also to celebrate the new year too! I also enjoyed doing sparklers that lit up the dark sky on a cold winters night.
       Those were just a few of the things I enjoy to do and that make winter the best time of year for me!

And here is a 3rd grader's response:

        This summer break I’ll be going to all sorts of places. I’ll be going to places like sun shining California, foggy Oregon and warm Washington.
        When it’s sunny and bright August 6th It’s my birthday. We might have a big party. We’ll have a cake or two. We’ll have lots of games and movies. The best present I’ll have is a new baby brother or sister.
        In my free time I will play outside with my friends for a few hours. I’m going to visit my cousins or they are coming here. I will watch my favorite shows(Star Wars the clone wars and Avatar the last airbender) Later on I’ll watch tv. After that I’m going to play video games. It’ll be amazing.
        I’m going to watch the Fourth of July fireworks. I hope I’ll see them with my whole family. I hope the fireworks will be booming with bright shiny colors as loud as a bomb exploding beautifully in the dark blue moonlit sky. I wonder where were going?
        I hope all that stuff comes alive and comes fast. I hope I’ll have a blast!

Finally, here is another third grader's reponse. I included it on the blog because of his beautiful style and descriptive language. He is working on organization and paragraph structure, but he will have that in no time!   

        I like the cool breeze on my face as I ride my dark blue bike. I watch the sunrise and I watch it set. The red rose it blooms like a forest in summer. Spring break is fantastic. I can sleep in on break, have fun with friends and family and if its hot enough I can cool off in a nice swimming pool. The days get longer and longer as the days go on. The sun gives me more vitamin d. I feel more energized in Spring, it is a wonderful thing. I have a play date with my friends and share some beverages with them. I just feel so good in Spring. Spring is my favorite time of the year. Spring is paradise to me. I love to wake up to the chitter chatter of the swallows in the trees. Spring is a new season! An amazing thing. Spring is stupendous!

Please comment! Will you tell us about your favorite season? Will you leave a comment about our students' samples?

Monday, January 24, 2011


The third AND fourth graders have begun units on Geometry. Here is an Animoto introduction to the third grade unit.

Create your own video slideshow at

Please comment! What are some things you like about Geometry and Measurement? How do you use Geometry or Measurement in your daily life?

Friday, January 14, 2011


The students are learning vocabulary words. Research tells us that they learn these words and their meanings better if they also have visual and kinesthetic clues to help them. Here is a lovely visual example of some of the words and what the students are doing to be sure and remember them.

Students: Please remember that we make these videos and digital products to help make learning fun. They are not created for the sole purpose of entertainment. It's okay to enjoy watching them and to be entertained, but the primary purpose for watching the video should be to help you learn.  -Mr. Pahl

The video was removed. I will have it back online as soon as I can - probably after 7:00PM tonight.
-Mr. Pahl

Please comment! Are there any tough words you have had to learn? What was the word and what did you to do remember it? 

Monday, January 3, 2011

January is Family Blogging Month!

I am following the lead of other amazing teachers around the world in hosting a "Family Blogging Month." The aim of this project is to get family (and friends - everyone is invited to participate) more involved in the kinds of experiences students are having in class. Multiple perspectives and experiences add to the quality of the blogosphere (blog environment) and can really increase student motivation and engagement in reading and writing.

Again, EVERYONE is invited to participate. Just be sure to tell us who you are (first name only) and how you are related to someone in our class.

We hope you will check out the archives in addition to the new posts and that you will add your thoughts and comments in as many places as you possible. Not exactly sure what to say or how to say it? Here are some great suggestions from Mrs. Yollis in California and her students:

Thanks in advance to everyone who helps make January a stupendous

Family Blogging Month!