Thursday, April 25, 2013

Who? What? When? Where? Why? Poems

Start with basics- the order doesn't really matter; just be sure it makes sense:
Who? tree
What? stood
When? cold day winter
Where? on the river
Why? to prepare for the coming spring

Then add descriptive language to make your poem "delicious."

The tall, silent, gray maple tree
stood frozen, like a sleeping volcano
on a sunny, bitterly cold day in winter
on the bank of the rushing, boisterous river
to prepare itself for the coming labor of spring
when it will erupt into a glorious, crimson fire
Please share your 5W poem with us! Click on "comments" to share.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Reading Minutes Update!

glitter -

This is our latest total. It looks like this might only be my second class to reach 200,000 reading minutes by the end of the year. Great job folks.

Mr. Pahl

If You Could Design Your Classroom...

We received a terrific question recently from a community member who also happens to be a professor who teaches future teachers. She learned about our blog and asked us this great question:

"If you could design your own learning environment or your own school, what would it look like or be like?"

I don't think we involve children enough in the decision making process, especially when it comes to their education. Of course, not all these students' ideas are realistic or doable, but we can at least dream, can't we? Our world's most innovative products didn't come about by doing the same old thing all the time. They came from pepole who dreamed, people who had what were sometimes considered to be crazy ideas. Well, "Hip, Hip, Hooray!" for crazy ideas. I sure would like to teach in some of the schools you're about to see.

Mr. Pahl



Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Room 12 Hosts Assembly

Each week on Monday mornings, Sunnyland begins the day with an assembly to welcome everyone back to school and get us off to a good start to the week. This Monday, Room 12 was asked to host the assembly. Big thanks to Mr. Heywood for recording it for us!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Reading Minutes Update!

If you have been following the blog, you know that Room 12 has a challenge they are trying to meet. Each year, I challenge my class to read 200,000 minutes outside of class (30 minutes each day, 6 days a week, EVERY week of the school year). None of my previous classes met the goal until last year, and I spent a night on the roof of the school as "reward" for their hard work.

There has been some discussion about what the students would like me to do this year if they meet their goal. Unfortunately (for me) the conversation most recently has shifted away from sleeping on the roof to...Kool Aid Dunk Tank. Not sure how I feel about that one. We'll keep you posted.

Each Monday, we collect the total reading minutes for the previous week. The most recent total of all their reading minutes combined is...

glitter -

Congratulations, Super Readers. You're getting close.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Why Do We Blog?

This video from Mrs. Yollis does a great job explaining the benefits of having a classroom blog. Mrs. Yollis has taught me a great deal about using technology in the classroom and about having a blog.

(used with permission)

I still have a lot to learn and know that we can do an even better job of blogging in Room 12, but I think we've got a pretty good thing started here. Thanks to all the students and families who regularly participate. 

Please comment!

What do you think about what Mrs. Yollis and her students had to say? 
What have you enjoyed about our class blog?
What have you learned about blogging this year? 
What are some things you would like to see us do differently? 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Space Glogs

As part of the ongoing unit on Space Science, I asked students to become experts on one aspect of space. They researched their topics using texts from class and the library and from a long list of web links I provided them at the beginning of the assignment.

Here are a few examples of exceptional work by students. I am learning a lot from viewing them. We hope you do, too. (They make take a few moments to load. Don't worry; it's worth the wait.)

Please comment!
What do you think of our Space Glogs?
What was the most interesting thing you learned while doing this project?
What is something that surprised you about your topic?
What is something you want to learn more about?

Washington State Science Fair!

We were fortunate to have 3 students participate in the Washington State Science and Engineering Fair recently. They all won prizes! Congratulations, girls! Way to go! 

Linnea says:

The WA State Science and Engineering Fair (or WSSEF) is a contest of sorts. If you have/had a school fair then the WSSEF is almost exactly like that except that you don’t need a question for your project and you have to be judged. The other thing is that you have to wait for like, 2 hours! I am not exaggerating, and that was only the first session. The second session was a bit longer. There is a chance that you will get judged multiple times. However there are 1st, 2nd 3rd place prizes for all the grades involved (1st to 12th).
          I did an experiment with the Stroop Effect. I tested 40 different people, 20 kids and 20 adults. The Stroop Effect is the effect when you try to read the color of a color word. Your brain has two parts; one part figures out colors, the other figures out words. As a result, when you try to do the Stroop test your brain hesitates in naming the color word. In my experiment I made averages for; males, females, adults, kids, left handed, right handed, reading colors and reading words.

Julia says:

        The Washington State Science and Engineering Fair is a science fair where kids in grades 1 through 12 can come and present their projects to judges. It takes place in Bremerton, Washington. 

           There are two judging sessions, the first one is before dinner break and the second one is after dinner break. There are Special award judges that judge for special awards that you can get at the award ceremony on the day after the judging. For each grade there is more than one person who gets first place. The grades 1 through 6 were judged on the first day of the science fair. Grades 7 through 12 were judged on the second day of the science fair.  If you did really well than you could get awarded some money and a certificate.
       My experiment was finding the food preference of red wiggler worms. I found out that of the four foods I gave them which were pumpkin, avocado, apple, and banana they liked the pumpkin the best. I made two worm bins and before I put the foods in one of the corners I weighed it on a scale and after the worm bin was done I weighed the food so I could find out how much mass the foods lost. I also checked on the bins every few days to see how many worms were on each food. In both bins the worms ate all the pumpkin flesh and only the super thin pumpkin skins were left. I chose this experiment because I go out to our composter with my dad a lot and in the composter there are tons and tons of red wigglers in there. I thought it was interesting that the worms don’t like to be exposed to light so when we opened the top they dug under the dirt. I hadn’t read much or knew much about the red wigglers and their food preferences so I decided to do an experiment with them.

And Claire says:

       The Washington State Science & Engineering Fair (or WSSEF) is a lot like the Sunnyland Science Fair, except that at the Sunnyland Science Fair you are not present when the judging takes place, while at the WSSEF you do get to present your project to the judges. I liked doing this because my graphs do not explain everything about my project in the way I would like.

       You answer questions and give explanations of the steps that you used to get your conclusion. When the judging has ended they let you know that there’s an award ceremony the next day. I recommend that if you decide to do WSSEF that you get your hotel for 2 nights because the award ceremony runs really late.

       My project was, 'Can Germination Be Increased?' I wanted to know if there was a way to increase the rate at which seeds germinate. To do this I manipulated the seeds. The changes that I made were sun bathing, freezing, water soaking, some I scratched with a file, others I micro-waved. There was also the control group (the group I did nothing to). After doing these manipulations to the seeds I planted them. I found out that the sun bathed seeds, the water soaked seeds and the control, did the best out of the groups. 

Once again, congratulations! 

Who is going to enter the Sunnyland Science Fair next year? What question do you want answered?

Space Science Continued

Check out these 3 videos from NASA!

You have seen other "What's Up?" videos. The other two show marvelous footage from satellites and computer generated images of earth. They are promoting Earth Month 2013.

Don't forget...Earth Day 2013 is April 22.  

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


Mrs. Heywood and Jo were back again recently to work with the students on perspective. We have been studying this concept in science as well, learning about how things farther away in space appear smaller when in actuality, some of those bodies are immense.

Students used this concept to create images of a field of tulips in honor of the arrival of spring. Tulips close up were drawn with careful detail, while tulips in the distance may only appear as a speck.

After some discussion and demonstration, students got to work! 

Oscar, Xavier, and Dyna working carefully.

This student adds detail and more color.

Phoebe, Ludvig, and Hallie thinking about and assessing their designs.

Xavier is proud of his work.

Here are all of the students' works of art. 

To listen to the music with the slide show, hover over the image below. Click on the speaker icon that appears on the bottom left of the screen.

Thanks again to Mrs. Heywood, Jo, and those who have donated the art supplies. We are extremely grateful to have the opportunity to learn about and make art. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Standard Units of Measure

Students made these videos to help everyone study and learn appropriate units of measure under different circumstances.

Do you know if you'd measure a bottle of hand sanitizer with feet, pounds, or ounces? Would an apple weigh ounces, pounds, or inches?

Watch to find out!




More great information can be found at Math Is Fun!

And don't forget our Capacity Brace Map:

Or this Customary Weight Tree Map: 

Metric Measurement

Students made these videos to help everyone study and learn the appropriate units of measure under different circumstances.

Do you know if the mass of a paper clip is measured in grams, liters, or meters? Is a water bottle measured in grams, liters, or meters? 

Watch to find out! 

Metric Volume

Metric Length



milli = one thousandth

centi = one hundredth

deci = one tenth

meter   gram   liter

kilo = 1,000

8 mg = 8/1000 grams and 8 kg = 8,000 grams

5cm = 5/100 m and 5km = 5,000m

More good explanations and pictures can be found at Math Is Fun! 

And this conversion table might also come in handy.