# Bristle Bots: An Electric Beginning

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So, we all know electricity is everywhere and we would have a hard time living without it, But do you know what electricity is and how it works?  No?  Well, sit back and enjoy!

Electricity is the flow of electrons that have moved out of its path.  The electrons normally just kind of hangout around tightly packed protons and neutrons.  The magic of electricity doesn’t happen until you give it a pathway to flow called a current.

Learn more by visiting Kid’s Corner: Electricity

Unfortunately, our body can be a pathway for electricity to travels.

Our class has been learning about electricity so we can understand how bristle bots work.  Basically, a bristle bot uses a closed electrical circuit to power the motor that causes the bristle bot to work.

Using a pager motor, two wires (the current), and a double A battery (the electrical source) we made an electrical circuit.  We hot glued this to two toothbrushes.  Then we had to put our personal stamp on it and added pipe cleaners and google eyes.  Wah-la!  The birth of a bristle bot.  Take a look:

Ready to see what one looks like?

Ahhh, cute, right?  So, what do we plan on doing with them?  Well, we are going to race them!  Stay tuned for the races…you won’t want to miss them.

What do you think would happen if we didn’t have electricity?

What would be some ways we would have to adapt?

# Lucky the Leprechaun Strikes Again!

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Each year, Mrs. Fraher and her classroom is plagued with the antics of Lucky the Leprechaun.  This year was no different!

 Free greeting card made with Smilebox

Mrs. Fraher had a plan, though.  She asked us to make leprechaun traps so we could catch him.  We also read up on leprechauns so we could use the information to catch him.  Lucky also received letters from us letting him know how we felt about his shenanigans!

When she went into her classroom one morning, he had messed up some of her things on her counter.  He turned our St. Patrick’s Day party cups into leprechaun hats and hid them in our hummingbird garden!

He dumped out a cups of Lucky Charms, banged on our walls while working on his shoes in the walls, and caused the lights to do out in the class!  What a little trickster!

What would you have down to try to catch Lucky?

Here are some of the traps we made.  He escaped them all!  Even left a note with a gold coin.  The note said, “Nice try!  Lucky”  Ohhh, we were annoyed.

# Holiday Card Exchange 2014

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One popular holiday tradition is to send cards to friends and families.  Our class was able to participate in this tradition through Projects by Jen’s Holiday Card Exchange.  We created our own cards with this year’s theme being “Lights” and then sent them to more than 20 different states and provinces in United States and Canada.

Opening a card from Canada.

Once we addressed all of our cards and mailed them, we sat backed and waited for our cards to arrive.  It was so exciting each day to have three or four arrive in the mail.  We eagerly awaited the opening and reading of the cards.  One interesting detail that was included in each card was the average temperature in December for the school the card came from.  Our lowest average temperature was 5 degrees Fahrenheit from a city in North Dakota and the highest average temperature was from a school in Florida with 70 degrees Fahrenheit.  Our average temperature for our city was 67 degrees Fahrenheit.   Mrs. Fraher was so glad we didn’t have the 5 degrees!  Take a look at our process from creating the cards to receiving them.

Holiday Card Exchange

Did you send holiday cards this year?  If so, what type of card was it?  Take our poll below.

# Fairy Tales with a Twist-Part One

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Our class has been studying fairy tales and other folktales.  Take a look at the project Emma has done using Story Jumper.  This project is part of our Fairy Tales with a Twist performance.  We will perform for parents and students during our Family Follies Day.

Stay tuned for more exciting pictures and information on our Fairy Tales With a Twist class performance.

# Community Cares

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Our school, Desert Vista Elementary, is fortunate to have many community members that support the learning in our school by volunteering time and resources.  Below is just a few instances that show how much people in our community care about students and their learning.  Thank you to all of those who show their caring and dedication to our school.

Mayor Insalaco, the Mayor of Apache Junction, came to our class to read to us.  We happened to be digging into folktales and fables, so he read to us Pecos Bill, a tale about a boy who was raised by coyotes.  The mayor often volunteers his time to read to the students that attend an Apache Junction school.

He then spent some time letting us ask questions.  We found out something very interesting.  He was once bit by a rattlesnake.  He even showed us the two fang marks that was left as a scar.

The Rotary Club of superstition mountain

Each year the Rotary Club of superstition mountain provides our school with dictionaries.  Every child in third grade gets one.  They take time out of their busy schedule to spend some time with us talking about the dictionary and doing some fun activities using the dictionary.  Mrs. Fraher is so thankful that we have these.  The cool thing about these dictionaries is that they have other interesting things in the back.  Some of those things are: the world’s longest word, facts about states and countries, math information, and maps.  We can use these dictionaries for more than just looking up words!

Digging into Dictionaries – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Bunny and Nell

There are two very kind women who have donated money to several of the classes at our school.  These women aren’t wealthy, they just care and want to help where they can.  There names are Bunny and Nell.  This year, Bunny and Nell donated \$100 to our class for a project.  Mrs. Fraher was so excited.  She had just the project for us to do.  You will have to stay tuned to this blog to find out what the project is.  The suspense is killing us!

Project Hummer watch

we have a garden outside our classroom that attracts hummingbirds and other birds using feeders and plants that draw hummingbirds.  This garden would not have been possible without the help of so many community members and businesses.  A wonderful parent,  Heather Harter, worked hard to get The plants donated by local nurseries.    below is a list of those businesses.

Target                   Shady Way Nursery                      Home Depot
BEST Hardware     Apache Landscape                         Moon Valley
ACE Hardware

# Thankful Thoughts

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There are so many things in our life to be thankful for.  Most of us are thankful for health, family, our beliefs, and the many blessings this country has to offer.

When thinking of our school and the people we spend time with during school, there is no better group of kids than Mrs. Fraher’s class.  She thinks we are amazing and the smartest bunch of kids a teacher can have.

Take a look at a few ways we celebrated our thankfulness.  Our class is very thankful for books and the freedom to read books we are interested in reading.

The day before Thanksgiving our class and family members joined to spend some time together.

Read this free book made on StoryJumper

# Veteran’s Day Remembrance

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Each year Desert Vista Elementary takes time to honor the veteran’s and those who are currently in the military.  We come together as a school to show our appreciation of their bravery and sacrifice.  This event is very important to all of us, especially Mrs. Smith, our principal.  She has a long history of men in her family that have served in the military.  Mrs. Fraher also has a lot of people in her family that was or will be in the military, including her dad and son.

This year third grade got the honor of focusing on the army.  We learned that the Army has Seven Core Values.  They are Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage.  This kind of reminded our class of the Six Pillars of Character: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, Citizenship.

There’s strong and then there’s Army strong!

It comes down to a way of living your life each and every day.

We also had a visit from soldiers who talked to us about the vehicles they use and what it means to be a soldier in the army.

Do you have family in one of the military branches?

# The Sound of Music

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The halls were filled with the sound of music…violin music, that is!  Our class had a unique privilege this last week to listen to Tricia Park and Taylor Morris play the violin for us.  So, how did we luck out and get to have them come and play for us?  Well, Taylor Morris is really good friends with one of the parents in our class.  Talk about knowing people in the right places!

Our class with the famous violinists, Tricia Park and Taylor Morris.

Their presentation was so entertaining and informative for the students.

Take a look:

Violin Visit from GFraher on Vimeo.

One of the great things about their visit was that we were learning about fables the same week they visited.  Without knowing this, they played Peter and the Wolf written by Sergei Prokofiev.  This provided a great connection between the text and the world for us.  An interesting facts about Sergei Prokofiev is that he also wrote the composition for Cinderella and Romeo and Juliet.

Afterwards, we wrote thank you cards for them.  They enjoyed reading them and even posted a picture of them on Facebook.

# Oreo Project 2014

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There is so more to an Oreo than two cookie wafers and some creamy filling!  Our class learned this first hand as we participated in this year’s Oreo Project through Projects by Jen.     We started with creating a hypothesis, then went on to brainstorming variables affecting stack stability, and then joined our buddy class in Ohio to a stacking challenge.  To get the variables, we had to analyze the Oreo very carefully.  We created a line plot on stack counts and used that data to determine stack average.  Our class also created an Oreo Book containing facts we learned about the Oreo and the line plot containing stack data.

Take a look!

Can you guess the four main variables affecting the stability of an Oreo stack?

Another activity we did with the Oreo was to create our own “I Wonder If I Gave an Oreo” story based on the Oreo commercial with the same title.  Here is the commercial.  Stay tuned for our version of the same.

# Constitution Week 2014

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It is so important for children to understand the sacrifices our ancestors gave toward making our country a free and amazing place to live.  So, each September we learn about the birth of America and some of the important places that symbolize our freedoms.  This year we observed Constitution Day with our family and friends.

Take a look…

 Photo slideshow created with Smilebox