October 5, 2013
by Mrs. Hamman

Global Cardboard Challenge 2013

On October 4, our class participated in the Global Cardboard Challenge. We started last week by watching the video of Caine’s Arcade. Because we have been studying character traits in our reading class, we talked about some of the traits we thought Caine must have. We brainstormed a list of our Morning Meeting words to describe Caine’s character traits.


Our word of the week was initiative, so we talked a lot about how Caine showed initiative in designing and building his own games. We decided to try to build our own games too. We all agreed that we would not use materials from home except tape, because we wanted to challenge ourselves to use only recyclables that would have been thrown away otherwise.

We had a great time building our creations and playing them with our friends in Mrs. Moore’s class! Here is a video of our afternoon:

At the end of the day, we shared our reflections about the Cardboard Challenge. Here are some of our comments (we learned our “feeling words” in Morning Meeting):

  • I feel jubilant because I had an idea and it worked.
  • I feel proud because I didn’t know I could make a game all by myself.
  • I feel ecstatic because my team is going to share our invention.

Have you ever made something out of a cardboard box?

What other things could we make?

September 19, 2013
by Mrs. Hamman's Class

Book Trailers

Everyone in our class goes to Reading Club every day. We get together in groups to read and learn new skills to help us become better readers. Over the past couple of weeks our groups have been reading different books. All of the books were in the realistic fiction genre, but all the books were very different. As we’ve been reading we’ve been focusing on the characters’ traits and motivations. A trait is a quality that makes one person or thing different from another. Motivation is a force or influence that causes someone to do something. (Source: Merriam-Webster.com. 2013. http://www.merriam-webster.com [19 Sep 2013].)

Three of our groups have finished their books and have created book trailers to teach others about the main characters’ traits and motivations.

Suitcase, by Mildred Pitts Walter

Sophie the Awesome, by Lara Bergen

Our Crazy Class Election, by Timothy Roland

Do you share any traits with these characters?

September 14, 2013
by Mrs. Hamman's Class

Close Reading and Constitution Day

This post was written for Week 2 , Activity 5 of the Student Blogging Challenge.

This year we have been practicing close reading and learning how to annotate text. We are finding that when we read things closely and carefully, we learn a lot more!

It is Constitution Day in our country on September 17, so in social studies this week we did a close reading of an article about the Constitution of the United States. Here are some things we learned:

  • It took a long time for people to agree about what should be in the Constitution. The Constitution was finally signed on September 17, 1787.  
  • The U.S. government has three branches which work together to run the country. There is not just one person who is in charge of everything.
  • In George Washington’s own copy of the Constitution, he wrote the word “President” in the margins next to the sentences that talked about things that were his job. He annotated text as he read, just like we do!
  • The beginning part of the Constitution is called the Preamble.

We read the Preamble and talked about what it means. Here is a video of a group of us reciting the Preamble.

Constitution Day 2013 from S Hamman on Vimeo.

What have you learned from reading a text closely?

April 12, 2013
by Mrs. Hamman's Class

Ice Mummy

A book report by Kaylee

This is the Ice Mummy book. It is by Mark Dubowski. The topic is the discovery of a 5,000 year old man.  He was found by hikers in the Alps. He was a 5,000 year old man.He was 5 feet 2 and 110 pounds. He had an ax and a knife and a bow and arrow. The snow and cold preserved him and turned him into a Mummy.The scientists named him Otzi. He herded sheep,cows and goats. He had several tattoos. He didn’t freeze to death,he was murdered.His last meal was bread,and fruit and deer meat.He was about 45 years old.

February 7, 2013
by Mrs. Hamman

Save Our Rhinos!

by Andrew, Zac and Cameron

Our class and Mrs. Moore’s class are participating in the Travelling Rhinos Project. We are excited to meet “our” rhino, Makulu, as soon as it comes in the mail! To prepare for Makulu’s visit we have been doing research about the rhinoceros. Here are some facts we learned:

  • There are 5 species of the rhino family: white, black, Indian, Sumatran and Javan. The Javan rhino is the most endangered. 
  • Next to the elephant, the white rhino is the second largest land mammal. 
  • Rhinos are found in parts of Africa and Asia. 
  • Rhino habitats can be very different. Some species live in a savanna and others live in forests. 
  • Rhinos have bad eyesight but good hearing. 
  • A rhino is actually related to the horse. 
  • A rhino can turn very quickly and run as fast as 60 km per hour for a short time. 
  • Rhinos are endangered mostly because of poachers. 
  • They are hunted because some people think their horns can be used for medicine. 
  • Rhino horns are made of the same thing as fingernails. They can’t really help with diseases.   

Here is a ThingLink we made. Click on the colored dots to find out more about rhinos!

Here is a Smilebox of the rhino art we made. We learned to draw rhinos from this site, then we painted them with watercolors.

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What is your favorite animal?

What do you think kids can do to help endangered animals?

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