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!