Family Follies-Happy About Habitats

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Each month our families get together to give us a chance to show off what we have been learning in class.  This month we all got together to learn about habitats around the world in a little different way.  First, we decorated our room with the weather of the habitat.


Then we created dioramas showing what our habitat looked like.  We made our habitat interactive, though.  Instead of just writing information down and having parents read it, we typed up an informational paragraph about the animals and plants in our habitat.  Then we turned the paragraph into a QR code!  The parents who came used the QR Code Reader on their phones and our iPads to find out the facts.  It was kind of like a mystery.

The best part of the whole day was when we played Kahoot with our parents.  All of the questions were from the information we had on our dioramas.  Some of the students played with their parents and some played against their parents.  Conor won.  He had the most points of all.

It was a fun time learning and sharing with our families!  We can’t wait for our next Family Follies!

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?


Glowing Predators Invade!

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As the weather changes in our part of the world, we are noticing changes in the variety of species we see. One species that is more noticeable is the scorpion. There are many different types of scorpions living throughout the world. In the Sonoran Desert, we have several different species.

In the past couple of weeks, we have some close calls in our classroom.  We are lucky to have a space outside our classroom to use as some extended learning spots.  Mrs. Fraher has some bean bags and a couple of desks out there for us to use when we collaborate with others.  Unfortunately, scorpions (and other critters like geckos and spiders) love to hide under those bean bags.  Several times we have been buddy reading and find a scorpion sitting next to us.  Hmmm, maybe he was enjoying the story!

Here is a picture of the curious scorpion: (just a little one, but those are the scariest!)

Scorpion that was listening to our reading. He scurried away when he found out we were onto him.

Here is another scorpion that was crossing the road.  Why did the scorpion cross the road?  It was so big that Mrs. Fraher saw it from far away, stopped her car, and took some pictures with her phone.

This scorpion was six inches from stinger to pincher! Don’t you love the shadow it makes?

Some facts about scorpions:

They eat spiders, insects, and small animals.  There venom paralyzes the prey.

A cool fact is that when they are babies they hitch a ride on their mother’s back.

Their enemies are lizards, roadrunners, and hedgehogs.

They reproduce by laying eggs.

There are 45 species of scorpions found in Arizona and more than 2,000 in the world.

Check out this site for more information:  Scorpions 


Think about the scorpion that was crossing the road.  

Come up with a good joke and share it with us.



Deserts! Not Desserts!

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The Blog Post Authors

Who would have thought that one little “s” would make such a big difference to the meaning of a word!  By taking out an “s” in dessert, you go from sweet, fluffy goodnessOur research is about the desert.  One of the deserts are named Death Valley because this desert is so dry.

Creosote Bush

We also learned about locations of deserts.  A few of the deserts can be found in North America, Turkey, Iran, Africa, and Australia.

Cholla Cactus

A desert is a piece of land that receives a low amount of rain.  Less enough to help support most plants.

Prickly Pear Cactus

We learned that there are many different kinds of deserts.  There are Sand Deserts, Stony Deserts, Rock Deserts, Plateau Deserts, Mountain Deserts, and Trade Wind Deserts.

Saguaro Cactus

Next what we learned about is where the Sonoran Desert is.  It is in Mexico, California, and Arizona.

Palo Verde Tree

Finally we learned about the plants in the Sonoran desert.  Some of them are Barrel Cactus, Brittlebush, Desert Ironwood, and a Chain Fruit Cholla.

By the way…we took all of these pictures in the desert wash behind our class.  Cool, huh?

Mesquite Tree

Sonoran Desert…the Facts!

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Hi, Gabe and I did some research on the Sonoran Desert.  Why, you ask?  Well, let me tell you.  

Here we are fishing on a field trip. Sorry, didn't catch any fish. This manmade lake is in the Sonoran Desert, too.

We live in the Sonoran Desert. Our school is in the Sonoran Desert.  We thought it would be important to know some facts about where we live.  In class, we learned about the different types of writing.  One that we spend a lot of time on is nonfiction text.  Sometimes nonfiction text is called expository or informational text.  It all means the same.  This kind of writing is about real stuff. There won’t be any speaking kangaroos or flying pigs in this kind of writing. There are just facts about a topic.  

by Isaiah

What topic would you like to learn more about?

Hi, this is Gabe.  Here is the information we found.  We put it in a Power Point presentation.  Then Mrs. Fraher used Slide Rocket so we could show it on our blog and at our Tech Fest at the end of the year.  You will also see Christian’s presentation on what collaboration is and who we worked with while doing Project Feeder Watch.  All of the pictures in the presentation are ones that our class and Mrs Fraher took around our school using our class digital cameras and iPads.

Let us know what you learned.

Project Feeder Watch Comes to a Close

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Our class has had a wonderful time this year on our Project Feeder Watch.  Check out what we did and learned during this great birding project!

First, we live in the Sonoran Desert so our goal was to examine and learn about the birds found in the Sonoran Desert.  Here is a Tagul from Justin about the bird species we saw.

Here are the bird species we saw from our class window and some facts about them by Nathan and Cassidy…

Here are some of the species we have seen using Blabberize:

Do you know the different features birders use to identify birds?  Take a look at this Show Me from Elly, Zach, and Cody to find out.

We hoped you enjoyed learning about birds with us.

Please comment and tell us something you learned.

There is another post with more information! Check it out!




Learning from Each Other

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If you have been following our blog, you probably know that we have buddies in Kenya.

Our Kenya friends!

We are very lucky to have them as friends because we learn so much about their life and they learn so much from us.   Our class has become experts on the plant and animal life found in the desert, so we wanted to share some of what we know with them.

Exploring the desert outside our classroom!

We decided to create a poster on the information we learned and send it to our Kenya Buddies.

Here we are researching the species we took pictures of using our class digital camera. See the poster on the wall?

This way they will get to see what our desert looks like and the wildlife we have.  They just received it and are very happy.

Students at Bensesa School with the desert posters we made.


You may be asking what we have learned from them.  Well, let us tell you…

Kenya is a country in the eastern part of Africa.  The coast of Kenya is the Indian Ocean.

The capital of Kenya is Nairobi.  Our Kenya buddies go to a school that is in a rural part of Nairobi.

April is the one of the months that are rainy in Kenya.

They learn to speak English and Kiswahili in school.

A Day in the Life of a Kenyan Child

One of the foods they eat for breakfast is mandazi and chapati.

Mandazi is fried dough shaped like a doughnut.  The picture below was sent to us by our friends at Bensesa School.

They eat mandazi for breakfast.

They also eat chapati, which is fried dough.  They may have this for lunch or ugali.  



Serving ugali and mandazi at school.

Do you know an interesting fact about Kenya that you can share?

Do you know an interesting fact about the Sonoran Desert to share?




The Sonoran Desert: Our Backyard

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During reading class, we read a nonfiction article from Ranger Rick Magazine about a woman who is a photographer and explores her backyard-the Galapagos Islands.  The article was called Wild Shots: They’re My Life.   We are being photographers just like her, but we are taking the photos in our backyard-the Sonoran Desert.  The photos you will see and learn about were taken at our school, in our school habitat,  and around our neighborhoods.

by Claire and Lilly

There are many kinds of deserts.  Some deserts have just sand like the Saharan Desert and some have lots of plants and animals like the Sonoran Desert.  The Sonoran Desert is located in Arizona and other parts of the west.  This desert usually gets less than 10  inches of rain a year.  In the summer, temperatures can get as high as 130 degress!  The Sonoran Desert is sometimes called the “green desert” because of all the plants that grow here. 

Here is a Voicethread our class created.  Check it out!

by Hannah and Dianne

 What did you learn about the Sonoran Desert?  Can you add anymore details to our Voicethread?