February 21

VR Expedition: EGYPT The Wonders of the Great Pyramids & Sphinx

On the road to The Great Pyramids of Giza Khalid Almasoud via Compfight

This week we read a story called the Seeker of Knowledge by James Rumford.  It is a story about a man Jean-Francois Champollion whose dream it was to sail up the Nile river in Egypt and uncover the secrets of the past.  The author James Rumford brings this biography to life by introducing the remarkable man who deciphered the ancient Egyptian script and fulfilled a lifelong dream in the process.

We as a class traveled to Egypt through our use of our  Virtual Reality Google Expedition.  We learned a lot about the Great Pyramid of Giza, how they were built as tombs for the Pharoahs of Egypt.  We learned how the hieroglyphs adorned the walls of the temples and pyramids telling the story of the life and reign of each Pharoah.

My students put together SEE, THINK, WONDER Google Docs to make connections with their VR Google Expedition trip and the story Seeker of Knowledge.  Please take the time to visit their blogs and read their SEE, THINK, WONDER documents.  Leave a comment and they will be more than happy to get back to you.

As Always

Happy Blogging!

February 6

VR Google Expedition: World War II

Last week we learned about the Navajo Code Talkers and how they helped write codes during World War II to help the allied forces win the war against the axis of powers.  We went on a Google Expedition to learn more about World War II.  We visited Pearl Harbor and saw the destruction and chaos that ensued on Dec 7th, 1942 at the hands of the Japanese.  We took a journey to Tuskegee, Alabama to learn about the Tuskegee Airmen the first African American military pilots to fight in World War II.  As a class, we learned about D-Day and how the allies landed at Normandy, France.  We saw the pictures and beaches of Normandy.  The men fighting valiantly to gain control of the land just beyond the beaches. Finally, we ventured to Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan to learn about the atomic bombs that were dropped there to help end the war.

It was quite a journey traveling across the globe last week.  We learned a lot and it made us think about how our decisions can affect a lot of people.  We learned about unity and standing up for what is right.  We looked at ourselves and wondered what we would’ve done in that same position.

We hope you will read our SEE, THINK, WONDER papers and leave us a comment.  You can click on the comment section of this post and find links to my students SEE, THINK, WONDER expeditions.  We look forward to hearing from you.

As Always Happy Blogging!!!!

February 2

WWII Codes: Navajo Code Talkers

The Typex - British Enigma Variant Ivan Lian via Compfight

This week we read about the Navajo Code Talkers.  We learned that during WWII the United States military used the Navajo and their language to create an unbreakable code.  The Japanese were listening in on all of the American radio signals so codes could not be transmitted through regular radio transmissions.  The United States military used wireless radios to send the messages in the Navajo language and the Japanese were not able to break the code.

Our writing assignment this week was to write our own codes.  We have attached keys to our codes to help you figure out what our codes are saying.  Visit my students blogs and read their codes and comment on their blog with the answer.

Challenge:  If you are up to the challenge and figured out my students codes, try writing them a short message using their code.

Thank you again for commenting! As always, Happy Blogging!

January 26

I Have A Dream at the Lincoln Memorial: MLK Day


Audience Ania Mendrek via Compfight

Martin Luther King is one of the most influential people of the civil rights movement.  He championed civil rights for everyone. We watched his famous speech and read about the heroic acts of Rosa Parks and Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1956.  We decided this year to explore why Martin Luther King gave his famous speech at the Lincoln Memorial.  What was the purpose of picking this spot out of all the other great iconic places to give a speech in Washington D.C?  We hope that you will read our thoughts and leave messages on our blogs.  Your thoughts and comments are appreciated.  As Always Happy Blogging!


January 26

Brazilian Culture InfoGraphics

INFOGRAPHIE 2016 - LES FRANCAIS EN VOYAGE Globe Trotting via Compfight

This week we are learning about the culture of Brazil and how it differs from the culture of America.  Our assignment for this week is to create an infographic about Brazil and its culture.  After our virtual trip using Google Expeditions the other week to the Amazon rainforest, we decided that we should learn more about the culture of Brazil.  We learned that Brazil is the largest country in South America.  We also learned that the Amazon river is the longest river in the world.

We used the website CultureGrams to learn more about the people and culture of Brazil.  If you have never been to CultureGrams we highly recommend that you check it out.  We listened to interviews of a 6-year-old girl and a 32-year-old male from Brazil.  They talked about their life in Brazil and how the culture of Brazil plays a huge role in their everyday lives.

We also read some interesting information about gestures and how certain gestures in America mean completely different things in Brazil. Finally, we read about the language, religion and general attitudes of the people of Brazil.

What is an infographic?  An infographic is  ” a visual presentation of information in the form of a chart, graph, or other image accompanied by minimal text, intended to give an easily understood overview, often of a complex subject:Dictionary.com

Please make sure you visit our infographics we are creating about Brazil.  Leave us a comment and let us know what you think.

As always Happy Blogging.

January 11


Unbounded Classroom has been launched!

What is Unbounded  Classroom you may ask?  Well, it is an idea that Mr. Arena and myself had this summer.  We wanted to make learning come alive and take our students around the globe.  The problem wasvr2vr3vr4 how do we make this happen?  Traveling is expensive and the paperwork to have students travel around the globe with two teachers is epically large.

We decided to write a grant to the Spartan Foundation for Best Buy’s Google Expedition VR Kit.  The Spartan Foundation is a “non-profit community-based organization dedicated to enriching the educational experiences of the students and faculty of the ELANCO public schools.”  The title of our grant was Unbounded Classroom!  We wanted our students to know that the walls in this classroom do not confine our work to just the fourth-grade hallways of Blue Ball Elementary.  It is important that our students understand that they live in a globally connected world and it is full of different cultures, people, and places.  For many of our students, they will not have the opportunity to travel around the world.  Through the use of VR, we can take our students to every continent without leaving the comfort of our classroom.

Mr. Arena and I wanted to connect our students globally through the use of our class and student blogs.  Our students are currently connected with 21 different countries from around the world.  We can now visit these countries virtually and gain a deeper understanding of our global friends and the cultures they live in.  We are very thankful for the Spartan Foundation and the Eastern Lancaster County School District for providing us with the funds to globally connect our students.

We hope you come along on the VR journey with us.  We would love it if you would visit our student blog pages and leave us a comment about our experiences traveling globally.


January 3

Three Little Pigs…Or Are They????

This week we will be writing stories from a different point of view.  We chose to write from the wolf’s point of view in the classic tale “The Three Little Pigs”.  We are also working on using more descriptive WOW words in our stories.

3 little pigsCreative Commons License liz west via Compfight

Please make sure you come and visit our stories and leave us comments.  You can find links in the comment section of this post to each individual students stories.  Let us know what you think.  As always, Happy Blogging!

January 2

!!!!!!!Flipboard Magazine Shout Outs!!!!!!

These students had their stories featured on the #16STUBC Student Blog Challenge Flipboard magazine.  We have been working hard to become better writers and bloggers the first half of the year.  We are now excited to develop our “voice” in our writing and become even better bloggers in the second half of the year.  Congratulations to those students who were featured!!!! Let’s keep up the good work and as always please visit and leave us a comment.  Happy Blogging!


Maggie’s Blog


Courtney’s Blog                                   Elise’s Blog


Kane’s Blog

Flipboard Shout Outs

Emily’s Blog

December 21


This week I posed a question to my students:  “Is Deforestation and Issue Kids should Worry About?”  We learned very many interesting and important facts about deforestation and the causes and effects of the destruction of the rain forests.

What is Deforestation?

(Watch the video below)

Time Lapse of the Deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest!

Sustainable Forest Management!

Deforestation is a complex issue that can not simply be solved with one single answer.  My students have been researching, and building prior knowledge about rainforest and deforestation to create an opinioned based writing that is supported by facts.  We hope you enjoy reading them and will come visit their blogs and leave a comment.

December 14



Billet-DouxCreative Commons License Daniel Mckay via Compfight

This week we practiced writing an invitation to awesome made up parties!!!!! Please come and check out our fake invitations.  Let us know what you think about our invitations.  Tell us if these are parties that you would like to come to.  If you have your own idea for an invitation please feel free to create your own and share them with us.  We appreciate every comment and enjoy connecting with you all from around the world.