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