Friday, November 30, 2012

November 19-21

To play music with the slideshow, hover over the bottom of the slideshow. Then click on the speaker icon to turn it on. 
November 19-21 - make slideshow

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Harvest Item of the Month: CARROTS!

Moroccan Carrot Salad Recipe
  From the Bellingham School District:

Creating lifelong healthy eaters by connecting the cafeteria to the classroom and the community.

Harvest Item of the Month introduces farm fresh produce or locally preserved foods to thousands of students in Bellingham cafeterias through the school lunch program. This year, students will taste fresh fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, apples, winter squash, brussel sprouts, potatoes, pears, green beans, asparagus, radishes and more. Nutrition Services will continue to make new connections with local farmers and food producers to help expand the selection of local foods.

Here are some ways that you can share the Harvest of the Month experience:
  • Talk about upcoming Harvest Item of the Month foods at home - look up fun facts about each       Harvest Item of the Month on
  • Serve Harvest Item of the Month foods at home - watch for special promotions of these seasonal foods in local stores and get your children involved in shopping, selecting a recipe and preparing the foods at home. Kid-tested recipes are available at
  • Buy lunch on Harvest Item of the Month days. If your children are not regular school lunch participants, buying lunch on the Harvest Item of the Month day sends a message that you support our Farm-to-School efforts to purchase local foods directly from farmers for school meals.
Each month educational materials are provided for students, teachers, and parents. Harvest of the Month provides a great opportunity to try new foods, talk about food choices and think about where our food comes from.

Please comment! 

What do you think of the Farm to School Movement? 

Did you try the carrots? What did you think? Do you prefer cooked carrots or raw carrots? 

Any fun carrot info you have to share with the class?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Making Good Observations - The Tree Project

To get outside.
To improve observation skills.
To improve writing and communication skills.

To learn about trees.
To learn about the park next to our school.
To see and feel and think about the changing seasons.

For these and many other reasons, I started The Tree Project this year. The class heads outside once a week or so and makes observations about a tree they have chosen in Memorial Park, next to Sunnyland.

They have been taught to really sit with their tree. To study it and the area around it. To compare their tree to others in the vicinity. Each trip outside, they take notes about the weather, sights, sounds and smells they observe, and about their tree. They observe the tree's size and shape, it's texture, and any changes since the last observation. When all the trees had leaves, they focused on the size, structure, shape, and texture of a leaf of their tree. The students describe their observations in great detail; they also make sketches and take photographs.

Recently, I asked the students to choose their best observation and type it, so that it could be included on their Google page. Here are a couple of fine samples of their work. You can access each student's observation by visiting their Google page.

Thanks for reading.

Student #1:
Facing south - I see different trees in the background than normal because I normally face west.
It’s chilly with a north easterly breeze. There is a clear sky. There’s no grass around my tree anymore, the soil’s moist. My trees bark is smooth in some places but ruff in others. My tree has multiple small holes in the side of it that look like it was drilled by a wood pecker. There’s a lot of liken on my tree, I wonder if the soil around my tree has silt in it of if it has clay in it. The lump on the bottom of my tree hasn’t changed.  It used to be shrinking.

Student #2:
       I am on the south side of my tree facing north. I’m standing out in the sprinkling droplets of rain with the patch of trees that have lost their colorful leaves. My hands are turning numb and bone white as I write this observation of my tree. Outside I felt like I was in a freezer.
      Leaves are constantly falling down my tree and when just one leaf falls of my tree it deeply changes the completion of my tree. The bark on my tree looks like puzzle pieces slightly separated from each other that are the color of dirt. A majestic moss green bug stands in the crevices of my tree standing there; I think the bug was waiting for the rain to stop.
       Also while I looked on the soaking wet ground I saw dozens of torn leaves on the grass. On my tree I see some dark brown twigs and leaves surrounded part of my tree, sometimes I think it’s an old nest since I don’t see birds around it. Sometimes when I listen closely I hear leaves being knocked of my tree. 

Student #3:
Today, my tree seems boney and frail in this chilly weather. As I write this the rain keeps coming down harder and harder.
To get up close to my tree you have to go through some spiky bushes bouncing up in my wake, not a very good day not to wear socks.
Since Sam (the name I gave my tree) is very near the highway I can hear the constant roaring and growling of the automobiles.
I think Samuel is at least 15 Linnea’s tall.
My tree still has most of its needles left. Its branches seem to stretch upward in hope of warmth and sunlight.

Student #4:
Today my tree has lost a lot of its flame colored leaves and the wind is a soft gust blowing more  leaves off my tree. Even if there is only a soft breeze the wind is freezing cold and it’s getting stronger and stronger every minute making me freeze like an ice cube. My tree's trunk has gotten darker on one side but on the other side it is a light shade of brown and towards the top of the tree it gets lighter and lighter and at the very top of the tree is a round, dark hole. Soon there is a strong gust of wind scattering leaves everywhere. On the road I hear the cars roaring past on the wet cement, their tires making that squashing sound.  I heard a little chirp; "m guessing that it was some sort of bird in the distance. The grass under my feet is soaked in water droplets and it feels all squishy like soaked moss. Around my tree is soaked wood chips and around my tree on the grass is several bronze colored leaves and a few yellow leaves. Some of the yellow leaves have little speckles of eather green or brown and maybe a tad little red. That is what my tree looks like today.

Student #5: 

Today I am facing south. I see a leaf blower machine and a big pile of leaves. The machine has blown all the leaves that were on Twisty’s side of the park to the other side of the park. Some grass is starting to grow around Twisty. The grass is lime green and looks like tons of little hands coming up from the ground. Twistys bark is smooth in some places but rough and jagged in others.  Twisty has small pieces of moss all over him. The weather today is sunny and warm rays of sun hit me but a chilly breeze whips through the air and goes right through my sweat shirt giving me goose bumps.  

Please comment!

What has been the best of The Tree Project?

What is something you have learned since beginning the project?

What are some examples of good observations the students in room 12 are making? 


November 13-16

Please comment! 
What is something you learned this week? 
What will you remember most about the Reptile Man? 
What good book did you read?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

November 5 - 9

Please comment!

Share something you learned this week.

Share something you will remember about this week.