Monday, February 25, 2013


These took longer to create than expected, but here are a few versions of student-created slideshows giving you a "window" into what we did and learned in January.

Sophia's Animoto:

 Fiona's Animoto:

And finally, Phoebe's Animoto

You can find more examples of students' January slide shows on their Google sites once they're done or improved to meet expectations. 

Please comment!
What are some things you learned this month in reading, science, technology, math, 
writing, or art?

What is something new you learned this year about Martin Luther King, Jr.?

What was your favorite part of the Pacific Science Center visit and why?

What questions do you have for our learners?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Will They Reach Their Goal?

Each year, I challenge my class to read a combined 200,000 minutes between September and early June. That's a minimum of 30 minutes each night, weekends, holidays, and breaks included. Last year was the first time a class reached that goal. Our wager was that I would spend a night on the roof of the school if they met their goal.


I am a little late getting it on the blog, but so far this year, the students in room 12 have read

Custom Glitter Text

It's looking pretty good for them as we are just passed the half way point in the year. What do you think I should for the class if they meet their goal of reading 200,000 minutes? 

  • Sleep on the roof AGAIN?
  • Shave the hair off my head, arms, and legs?
  • Wear a dress to school?
  • Ride my bike 100 miles through the streets of Bellingham pulling a sign that tells of their amazing feat?  
Or do YOU have a different idea? 

Please comment and share what you think. We'll make a Google Form later in the year and allow you to vote. The crazy (and hopefully not too painful) idea with the most votes is what I will do for my students if they reach the goal of reading 200,000 minutes for the year.

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Students have begun looking for transitions as they read. Paying attention to how our favorite authors use transitions in text helps us do a better job of including them in our own writing.  

In order to help "move" (the prefix "trans" = move) or lead the reader along from one idea or place to the next, authors use transitions. 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 can start numerous ways. Need some help locating or writing your own transitions? Check this out. 

Here is another helpful tool:
View the full document here.

I am following the lead of the innovative teachers who ran the Reading Roundup whose students wrote about transitions they saw in books. Thanks for helping me learn something new Mrs. Yollis and Mr. Salsich!

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 transition in it. Thank you!

Pacific Science Center Visit!

We continue to benefit from a really awesome PTA. In January, they arranged for the Pacific Science Center "Science on Wheels" tour to make a stop at Sunnyland. This year's theme was "Blood and Guts!"

Students learned a lot about the different systems of the body and their functions. 

Physiology: learning how the body works.

The Skeletal System: how the bones support the body.

Circulatory System: the body's delivery system.
Here is an example of how blood is oxygenated.

And this is what happens when the heart REALLY gets pumping!

More on the Circulatory System here.

The Nervous System is the communication network between your brain and the rest of your body.

Here is a little slideshow recap of the Pacific Science Center visit. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

January 28 through February 7

During this 2 week period, we wrapped up first semester and jumped right in to second semester. Thanks to Eli and Gavin for producing this Animoto.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Winter Break Glogster

The class has been using Glogster for a variety of purposes throughout the year. These are their first fully completed glogs about what they did over Winter Break. Glogster is a great way for students to incorporate a variety of literacy, technology, and design skills they have been learning. Oh wait, and IT IS FUN!

Here are a couple of samples. You can find more examples of what students created on their Google pages as they get them completed.

Ella's Winter Break Glog:

Karoline's Winter Break Glog:

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Technology Integration Research Review | Edutopia

Parents and Families,

You may be interested in reading this very informative article about the quality integration of technology in education. How am I doing?

Mr. Pahl

Technology Integration Research Review | Edutopia

Friday, February 1, 2013

Family Blogging Month!

February is 
free glitter text and family website at

Blogging is a terrific way for students to practice authentic, purposeful reading and writing. It is also a great way to involve families more directly in students' learning opportunities at school. 

We are inviting all family members (everyone really: friends, neighbors, family friends, your dog...) to check out our blog a little more and maybe Facebook a little less. We hope you come back often. 

Leave us comments on what you think about our learning, things you liked about the post or project and why, give your own ideas and opinions about what we're studying, ask us questions, or reply to comments we have already made. 

Students are learning to write in proper "friendly letter" format, so they hope you will try to model that for them. On our blog, we appreciate high quality writing, so we do not use text language, emoticons, or "Facebook shorthand." 

Blogs help students improve both the content of their writing as well as writing conventions; please be sure to re-read what you have written and correct any mistakes before you publish your comment. The students have been taught a useful "trick." They type comments in to a Word document or Google Doc first, and then read over them carefully before copying and pasting the comments into the blog.

Welcome to the Be Good Humans Blog. There will be another post about Family Blogging Month next week!

Coast Salish Traditional Art

We continue to be very fortunate to have Mrs. Heywood and Jo visit our classroom. This time they taught us about the Coast Salish art form. We expanded our study of salmon to include its use in the Pacific Northwest Native American culture.

This link gives a rich and detailed explanation of some of the concepts, shapes and symbols our students learned. Scroll down to page 20 to read about salmon.

Below you'll find an Animoto of the students' learning and work process, followed by a Kizoa of their finished products.

Well, what do you think? 

What is something you learned from doing this project with Mrs. Heywood and Jo? 

Has learning about the shapes and symbols used by Pacific Northwest Native Americans affected how you look at their art and cultural artifacts in our community?