Brian’s Timeline of Abe Lincoln’s Life

Dear Bloggers,
Hi i’m Brian and I want to blog about the timelines we made.The timelines were all about Abe Lincoln the 16th president.Did you know that Abe Lincoln had four sons.I wonder who saw Abe Lincoln die? I like Abe Lincoln’s son Robert because he was his first kid. Did you know that Abe’s was married to Mary Todd?.

Your Friend,

Brian created a dipity timeline of important events that happened in Abraham Lincoln’s life.

A Week of Gettysburg

Dear Readers,

First of all, Ms. Myers is very sorry we’re so behind on our blog posts. She has approximately 10 to type up, so stay tuned to hear what we’ve been doing in class. We’ve had some fantastic experiences!


This week we’ve been learning all about Abraham Lincoln. We’ve been reading from so many different sources to find out all of the information we possibly can! Currently, we are finding important dates in President Lincoln’s life, and we’re going to put them into an online timeline. Some of the things we’re finding out are really interesting! For example, did you know that Abraham Lincoln was kicked by a horse when he was a child, and people thought he was dead? He wasn’t. Come back soon to see our timelines to find out more interesting information.

This week we practiced reciting the Gettysburg Address. Have you ever heard of this famous speech? Do you know why it is an important event in our history? Many of the words in the speech are not words we still use in our conversations. Do you understand what President Lincoln was saying to people. Can you think of a reason we might hear a speech like this today? We practiced the speech in class and drew our own illustrations of things that are relevant to President Lincoln. We split the speech into two groups, so we have two different videos below. Let us know what you think!

Group 1 Gettysburg Address from Shana Myers on Vimeo.

Group 2 Gettysburg from Shana Myers on Vimeo.


Your friends,

Ms. Myers’ Class

Video Conference: A Visit With the Peace Corps

Dear Readers,


As you know, our class has a Peace Corps pen-pal in the Philippines (say that one ten times fast!). We are still patiently waiting to hear back from him. In order to hear more about cultures from around the world, Ms. Myers set up a video conference with another returned Peace Corps volunteer. We were able to visit with him last week and would love to tell you about the experience.

20131015_095730We were able to meet Thomas who is currently in Indiana (some of us thought this meant India but we straightened that out) but spent two years in Niger. We learned that Niger is in Africa and is very different than what we are used to. Thomas told us that he lived in two villages. Before he went to the first village, he learned their language in school. He taught us how to say a few things in that language. 20131015_094606When he went to the second village, they spoke in a completely different language, and he had to teach himself while he lived there! Don’t you think that would be hard? Thomas said the people were nice though, and they would help him learn it by listening to him speak in French and then changing it to the other language for him.

Thomas also told us that when he lived in the villages, they had NO electricity, which means no air conditioning. He told us it gets as hot as it does here in Arizona. We would not like to spend our summer without air conditioning! Can you imagine living without lights, and fans, and air conditioning? Thomas said he found shade whenever he could, and he wore long sleeves to keep himself from getting burned.

We also learned about the type of food the people of Niger eat. Thomas told us that meat is rare there. We think they like meat though. Most days they ate “mush” made from millet. He told us they eat it with different sauces that they put on it, or they dip the mush in. People there also catch fish, because they lived near a river. To catch the fish, they use grasshoppers without legs. We saw a picture of boys hunting for grasshoppers in tall grass because the fish like to eat them.

We also thought it was interesting that there aren’t many places to buy things. Can you imagine not going to the store to get a toy? They had to make the toys themselves. What would you make, if you only could make your own toys?

Thomas was there to help. He said he worked with families and with teaching kids. He also helped at a tree nursery. That’s a place where they grow trees. Why do you think it’s important for them to have a nursery to help grow trees? What does this tell you about the land there?niger

We are glad we were able to meet Thomas. He was very patient with our questions and taught us a lot. How would you feel if you had to learn a new language all by yourself. What would it be like to live somewhere for two whole years that was SO different? What would you miss the most about your life here? Where in the world would you like to go if you could choose anywhere to go help people.

Your friends,

Ms. Myers’ Class

We Made our Way to a Play, You Don’t Say?

Dear Readers,

Last week we were lucky enough to go to the High School to see a play! The field trip was to see Seussical.20131015_100612 It was a very long play but so exciting because the musical had five plays in one! The actors were all kids, from ages 6-15. The scenes were all Dr. Seuss stories, but mostly about the character Horton. When it began, the audience got so excited because the lights were flashing all different colors. When the actors came on stage, I felt proud of our school because everyone became quiet and peaceful. I’m so glad that the audience was so respectful. 20131015_114923We really liked the lesson the play taught us: A person is a person no matter how small they are. We think that means that you need to treat everyone with kindness and respect, no matter who they are, big or small.

Have you ever seen a play? What do you think the message of Seussical means?  What’s another message that people should remember  about how to treat others?

Your friends,

Ms. Myers’ Class

Connect the Dots

Have you ever heard Dot Day? What type of dots do you think we could be talking about?

Does everyone dress in polka dots? 

Do we learn about Morse Code?

Were we focused on creating stipple drawings?

Did the class come down with an outbreak of chicken pox?!

We’re missing Mrs. Hamman!


The answer to most of those questions is no. Ms. Myers, Mrs. Moore, Mrs. Avery, and Mrs. Hamman did all have polka dots, but that wasn’t the main idea of the lesson.

Every September 15, people from around the world celebrate creativity, collaboration, and confidence (Ms. Myers will be so happy if you just noticed the alliteration in that sentence.), and they start this celebration by reading The Dot, by Peter H. Reynolds.

dot day explanation

We started out celebration by reading the story. In it, Vashti is stumped and frustrated when asked to draw a picture. Since she wasn’t sure what to draw, she only drew a dot. Her teacher liked the dot and framed it. Vashti knew she could do better and decided to try her best, instead of getting fed up, and she ended up creating masterpieces. When she believed in herself, she saw that she could do great work, and she could  help others to do the same.

Ms. Myers then asked us to create a painting that showed a character believing in himself. She made it hard though! She said we could only paint using dots! This type of art is something called stipple. Ms. Myers created a video that showed all kinds of stipple paintings and drawings. If you are curious, you should image search “stipple paintings” and see what comes up! They are so cool! When our paintings were done, we had to then write a story about the character in our masterpiece, telling how they found courage to believe in themselves, and to not give up. We love Dot Day! Take a look at the video of our art work!

Dot Masterpieces on PhotoPeach

Have you ever read The Dot? Is there something you have trouble with that you think you could find some courage to believe in yourself? Would you like to try doing a stipple painting? What would you paint, if you did?

Have confidence in yourself today!

Your friends,

Ms. Myers’ Class

Philippines…Peace Corps…Positivity (What does this Alliteration Mean?!)

Hello Bloggers,

Or should we say “kumusta”? Are you wondering what that means? It means hello, in Filipino. Are you wondering why we’re telling you that? Let’s fill you in…

Recently, Ms. Myers registered our class with the Peace Corps to match us up to a volunteer helping somewhere around the world. She received an email with our assignment and we were given Ryan, who is currently living and working in Pasay City, in the Philippines. It is up to us to write letters to Ryan first, and then he’ll respond to us. The only problem is that we don’t know anything about the Philippines! What are we supposed to ask him?

Ms. Myers started to help us learn more when she showed us where the Philippines is on the map, and it sure is far away! She also told us that the airplane ride to get there takes about 20 hours!We don’t think we’d like to sit in an airplane that long! 

Attribution Some rights reserved by © Salim Photography/

Attribution Some rights reserved by © Salim Photography/

Also, Ms. Myers found pictures to show us what it looks like there. The city and the country look a lot different! We think it is very beautiful there! She even told us there are some underground rivers there! That would be so awesome to see!

Request to license rapidtravelchai's photos via Getty Images. Some rights reserved. Attribution required.

Request to license rapidtravelchai’s photos via Getty Images. Some rights reserved. Attribution required.




All of this was great, but we wanted to know more. Ms. Myers asked a friend (Thank you Ms. Ramos!) to give us any information she could about what was happening there, and why Ryan might be there to help. She told us that some people living there have a really hard time, and don’t have enough food to eat. Even kids are suffering. She also said that many people live there without having homes to live in. We all felt sad knowing that many people there don’t have the things we are used to, and that we expect. We have so much and we need to remember that. We wish there was something we could do to help.

Learning all of this made us predict what Ryan might be doing there. Is he helping to grow food? To help people find homes? Is he working with kids? We also wondered if he takes any breaks from his work. If he does, we want to know some of the places he’s seen, and the things he’s done.

We wrote him letters asking him all of these questions.We also drew him pictures, just to brighten his day. We are excited to hear back from him.

Letters to Peace Corps Volunteer Pen Pal  - Ryan

Our letters are off!


Have you ever wondered what is happening in far off places? Do you know anything about the Philippines? Have you heard of the Peace Corps, or other organizations that help?

We will fill you in when we hear back from him!

Happy learning,

Ms. Myers’ Class


A Day in a Student’s Life…In 1872! Let’s Go Back in Time!

Dear Readers,

Welcome back to our class blog! We would like to tell you what we did today. We had another video conference! 20130917_131616

A video conference is just like taking a field trip to somewhere interesting, only we do it through the special technology we have for our classroom.


Today’s conference was with Tina Miller. She works for the Homestead National Monument of America. We looked on the map before the conference started to find that the Monument is in Nebraska. That’s far from where we live! We felt like we went back to the 1800’s with Tina! She taught us about a day in the life of a student.



We learned that our classroom was about the size of their entire school! The schools had very few kids. In the picture she showed us, one school had only 9 kids, and that was for grades 1-8! We also learned that girls and boys had to sit on different sides of the class. They didn’t have as many things to learn as we do now, and they had a whole hour for lunch, plus another recess! Students in 1872 didn’t write on paper in their class. They used something called a slate, and chalk, to write their assignments. Tina let us ask A LOT of questions. We wanted to know about what books students read, how long their school day was, how they got to school, if they had playgrounds, and what they ate for lunch. It was a great video conference and we learned lots of new things that were great and very fun.


Have you ever wondered what school would be like more than a hundred years ago? What other things do you think would have been different from how we learn today? Would you like to have lived back then, or are you happy living in modern times? Why?

We’re looking forward to reading your comments about our great field trip!


Your friends,

Ms. Myers’ Class

Questioning Characters!

In class this week we started our book clubs. We were able to read different books, and then discuss them with our book club members, and with Ms. Myers. We talked about the character traits of the characters in the stories. Ms. Myers then asked us to think of a question we would ask a character. The tricky part was that we had to ask a question that wasn’t already answered in the book AND we had to think how that person would answer using what we know about their character traits. This project got even more fun after we did that! We got to use a great app on the ipads that used our picture to teleport to a video of us talking about the book and the characters. The app is called Aurasma. Watch as we demonstrate how it works.

Isn’t that great?! The app won’t work on this blog, but we still wanted to show you a couple of examples of the questions we came up with.

Hannah and Zoe were in the same book Photo Sep 12, 3 08 26 PMPhoto Sep 12, 3 12 03 PM

club and read Angel Child, Dragon Child.

“It is about a Chinese girl attending school in the United States. She is lonely for her mother left behind in China. She has difficulty adjusting to her new life, and her classmates do not accept her because she is different. Then she makes a new friend who presents her with a wonderful gift.”.

Take a listen to these girls question the main character in the book.


It was fun to think about the characters as real people! Have you ever stopped to think about the characters in the stories you read as being real? What’s character would you like to be friends with? What question would you ask them if you could?


We Visited the Smithsonian Today (yes, really)!

Dear Readers,


Ms. Myers sets up the special video equipment our school has to connect us to places all over the country!

We would love to tell you about we did today. We went on a field trip through the TV! Ms. Myers connected us to the Smithsonian in Washington DC. We looked on the map and Washington DC is far away from our school in Arizona! We used special video conference equipment to be able to talk to Brian, who works at the Smithsonian.


We learned about symbols, that are important to our country, and what they mean. Some of the symbols he showed us were the US flag, a bald eagle, and the Statue of Liberty. We already knew a lot about the Statue of Liberty, because we read about her in class, so we got to answer a lot of questions that Brian asked us. We knew that Lady Liberty (Ms. Myers told us that’s her nickname) has seven spikes on her crown for the seven continents and the seven seas.  We also knew that she holds a tablet that has the birthday of our country written on it. Another thing we knew is that she holds a torch to light the way for other people to know where to find freedom. Have you heard before of these symbols on her?

Statue of Liberty Photo: Creative Commons/HGM


A lot of the symbols that we have represent freedom. Do you know why that is? What other symbols can you think of that represent our country? Has your class done a video conference? We have another in a couple of weeks where we get to learn about what school was like hundreds of years ago. We will let you know how that goes after we have it!

Happy learning!

Your friends,

Ms. Myers’ Class


Marshmallow With Spaghetti?

Why would we be combining marshmallows and spaghetti? Do you think we’re eating it? Do you think we’re cooking with it? Are we drawing it? Or could it be that we were building with it? If you said yes to the last question, you are correct!

20130903_144642As you can imagine, building with spaghetti is not an easy task! The  pieces are delicate and break easily. In addition to spaghetti, we also used one yard of masking tape and one yard of yarn.

In small groups, we persevered to solve the tricky problem of how could we create a spaghetti tower, with a marshmallow on the top, and have it be the highest in our class.

Groups got together, discussed this difficult task, and set to work! We worked hard for about 20 minutes to create the tallest tower that would stand without any help. It was harder than we expected! After the 20 minutes, our teacher let us choose one more of our supplies: 1 yard of tape, 1 yard of yarn, or 20 more sticks of spaghetti. We then had an additional 5 minutes to revise our creations.

In the end, there could only be one group winner. These girls worked together to create a stable tower of 13 inches tall! 20130903_151915

Do you think you’d like to work on a problem that doesn’t only have one answer? Do you think you’d like to work with a group to find a solution? What other materials could you use that might help to build a stronger spaghetti tower. What would be the hardest part, for you, if you were to try this project?

Marshmallows and Spaghetti for dinner, anyone?

Happy problem solving!

Your friends,

Ms. Myers’ Class

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