The Superstitions: Home to Many

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Did you know our community once was the home of several Native American tribes?  My name is Peta, and I would like to tell you some information about some Native Americans that lived in our area of Apache Junction.


Some of these tribes were the Apache tribe, the Hohokam tribe, the Salado tribe, and the Pima tribe.  These tribes all lived in our area.  The Apache and Pima are still in our area, but the Salado and the Hohokam are not because they are ancient tribes.  We know they lived in our area because people have found pieces of jewelry, hunting tools, petroglyphs, and pottery.  “The petroglyphs are figures of people and animals,” said Jim Swanson, a local historian who volunteers at Superstition Mountain Museum.  Jim Swanson allowed me to interview him about the history of the Native Americans in our area.  He also said that the Native Americans used petroglyphs to tell stories and remember historical events.  

The Native Americans used petroglyphs to tell their stories.  

Today, what do we use to tell our stories?


Worm is the Word

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Worm, worm…worm is the word!  


Worms are so cool and very important to our world, but these silent creatures don’t get the props they deserve!  Without earthworms, the soil our plants grow in would not be as rich in nutrients.  Our class decided to practice the Scientific method while learning about the worm.

First, what is the scientific method?  steps to follow when you want to ask and answer questions in a science experiment.

Using the scientific method to learn about worms.

Using the scientific method to learn about worms.

Recording our observations

Recording our observations

Next, what we learn about the earthworm?  Earthworms can get up to 14 inches long.  they can’t live where it gets permafrost.  they have segments called annuli.  an earthworms makes our soil better.  they can eat up to a third of its way each day.  Some people didn’t want to touch the worm!  they’re so cute!

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Last, what did we  do with the earthworms when we were done observing them?  Our class has a hummingbird garden.  we released the worms to help the plants grow better.  the plants are important because the hummingbirds drink the nectar from the blooms.

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What do you know about earthworms?

A Flat Friend Farewell

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Before we left for summer vacation, our class finished up a project based from the Flat Stanley books.

Our class on the field trip. This is one of the memories we wrote about with our Flat Friends in Australia.

Have you read one of them?  What did you like about it?

We read the book and then collaborated with teachers in Australia, England, and United States on a project that took many months.

Here is what we did.  First, we read the book.  Then we created Flat Selves and a Flat Friend Journal.  

Here is Flat Stanley. Our Flat Selves looked like us but had the same shape of body...FLAT!

This journal would travel with our Flat Self to another class around the world.  Our Flat Selves started in Point Lonsdale, Australia.  They stayed their for a couple of weeks getting to know the children that lived there.  

Here is a video on what they did:

This was video created by Mrs. Murphy, the teacher in Australia who had our flat selves.  The children there write in our journals about the exciting places and things they did with our Flat Selves.

Meanwhile, we had two different classes sent to us.  We had Mrs. Murphy’s class from Point Lonsdale in Australia for awhile and then  Mrs. Todd’s class from Rocky River, North Carolina.  We wrote in their journals about the adventures they had with us.  It was a fun way to practice our writing!

Have you ever been to Australia or North Carolina?  Tell us what you saw. 

Here is a video we created to show what we did with our Flat Friends.

Just like some stories, this one had a sad ending.  After visiting with Mrs. Murphy’s class, they were sent to another school in Australia-Curl Curl North Public School in Curl Curl, Australia.  We never received our Flat Selves back from this school.  Hopefully, they will arrive so we can find out what amazing adventures we had with others around the world. 

Thank you to everyone for a wonderful time with our Flat Friends.  We will have many fond memories to look back on.  

Australia, North Carolina, and Arizona are so far apart, but we learned that no matter where we live we are all the same when it comes to enjoying life.  We also learned that our differences make us unique and a blast to get to know!

Fishing For Compliments

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Have you ever fished for a compliment?  Maybe hinted around to someone about a new haircut or awesome pair of shoes hoping they would say something about them? Well, if you did you were fishing for a compliment!  

“Fishing for a compliment” is an example of figurative language.  This type of language is different than literal language.

Faye mentions the hat she made in hopes that someone will compliment her on it. She is fishing for a compliment.


When you use literal language you mean what you say.  Read the caption below the picture for an example of literal language:


Nathan is fishing for a rainbow trout at Water Ranch on our field trip.


When I say that Nathan is fishing for rainbow trout I mean exactly that.  This is literal.  Sometimes literal language can be kind of boring.  So, good writers use figurative language to spice up their writing.  Hey, I just used more figurative language…”spice up their writing!”

Figurative language is almost the opposite.  When you use figurative language, you mean something different than what you are saying.  Check out some of the figurative statements below each picture.


Figurative Language While Fishing on PhotoPeach


What type of figurative language could you come up with for this picture?



Mr. Davo Devil Visits from Down Under

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We were fortunate to have Mr. ‘Davo’ Devil  and Miss W visit our class on her tour of the United States.  Mrs. Watanabe brought her to our school and she visited us and other classes who have a blog through Edublog.  Miss W. is one of the bloggers we follow, and it was great to have her share with us.  Our class has a connection to Australia.  Since our ePals live in Port Lincoln, South Australia we are eager to learn about Australia and meet people like Miss W.  This is the way students should learn-through experience!  It looks like Mr. Devil is smiling for the camera!

A Visit from Miss W and Mr. Davo Devil from Gina Fraher on Vimeo.

Our class was so excited to have Miss W. and Mr. Davo Devil stop by during their trip across the United States. We learned a great deal about the Tasmanian Devil and the state of Tasmania. We even saw Vegemite!

Do you have an interesting fact about the Tasmanian Devil to add to what we learned?  Have you had a visit from a special guest in your class that you thought was interesting?  

Share with us!


Never Get an Addition or Subtraction Problem Wrong Again!

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Mrs. Fraher went to a math class by Kim Sutton and learned about the digital root of a number. When she taught us, she gave us a challenge to try to find out the theory of doing it with subtraction on our own.  Three kids found it out- Claire,Lilly, and me, Justin. We found this song on the Internet that was written by Kim Sutton and performed by Ron Brown… this is only part of the song.

By Justin 🙂

Digital Root by Kim Sutton © 2008

performed by Ron Brown

Digital root, digital root, Can you find the digital root?
Digital root, digital root, Can you find the digital root?

The digital root of a number is the sum of all its digits.
Keep adding that sum, Until you’re done,
And a single digit is the final outcome.

That’s the digital root. Digital root, digital root,
Can you find the digital root?

Let’s take a number like 53.  Add the 5 to the 3
The sum is 8. You’re doing great.
The digital root is 8. The digital root is 8.

Our teacher challenged us to use Show Me on an iPad to teach others how to do digital roots for addition and subtraction.  Here are the problems we used digital roots for.   In order to do this, we had to create a problem, write a script so we wouldn’t forget what to do, and then we practiced until each of us knew how to do it without mistakes.  Each of us has a different kind of problem.

by Lillian



Here’s a couple questions by Claire:

Do you think digital roots will help you get better at math?  Will you get more problems correct on your test if you use digital roots?  Let us know!


PAWS 4 Life Visits Room 207

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We read a book called “Rosie, A Visiting Dog’s Story” by Stephanie Calmenson.   Mrs. Fraher wanted us to connect to the story so she invited actual therapy and service dogs for us to see.  Our class had a visit from PAWS 4 Life. An organization that trains dogs to be service dogs or therapy dogs.  Did you know there is a difference?  They brought three dogs to show us what they do.  We were very impressed!


A service dog has an important job. The service dog does jobs like helping their owners walk, get stuff, and open doors for them. A service dog is more serious than a therapy dog. If you ever spot a service dog at work in a store or any other place, don’t pet it.   

by Nicklas and Christian


A Therapy Dog makes kids that are queasy or friendless feel better and make them cackle.  Therapy Dogs can get stroked while working.  They do it also to assist their trainers and other people.  They do it because the trainer might be depressed.  They inspire the society.

by Justin and Nathan



 What did you learn about therapy and service dogs?  Have you ever seen a service dog or therapy dog in the store?



Legend of the Lost Dutchman

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Mysterious events, creatures hidden among cracks and crevices, unforgiving terrain, and the thunder god watching over those who seek the gold.  All of these help describe the mysteries of the Superstition Mountains.  Our school is nestled amongst the foothills of this mysterious mountain and the Peralta Trailhead, and is home of the Legend of the Lost Dutchman.  

The picture below shows us in front of the mountains. They are shrouded in clouds.




We are fortunate to have such a famous location just outside our window.  





Watch our video for more facts and legends about this magnificent mountain.

Do you think their is a lost gold mine in the Superstition Mountains?  Let us know what you think.

Mrs. Fraher’s Class