Thanks to Education World for use of my Mrs. Waffenschmidt illustration.

Thanks to Education World for use of my Mrs. Waffenschmidt illustration.
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Friday, August 22, 2014

The dedication to get an education displayed by these young teens is amazing!

How do you get to school? Do you walk , ride a bike or take a bus? Approximately 60 students in a rural village in India's Gujarat state, walk and WADE across a river each day to get to and from their high school! There isn't any public transportation and there isn't a bridge for them to cross the river. Their village is located across the Heran River from  the Utavali High School. The river is about 50 ft across. After making the river crossing wading across shoulder deep waters, the students still have another three mile walk before they start their school day! The only other way is to walk almost 16 miles to avoid the river crossing.  Students carry their books, homework and dry clothes in plastic bags or containers. After a day at school, the students repeat the journey home.

Think of three words to describe these students.

Do you think you could do this every day? Why or why not?

What do you think is the reason they go through such effort to get to school?

Pretend you are one of these students and write a diary entry about one day you went to school. What do you talk about? What did you see? How did you feel,etc.?


Photograph from:

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Happy 200th Birthday to The Star Spangled Banner! September 14, 2014, is the 200th anniversary of Francis Scott Key's writing of the poem which became our national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner.

Fun Facts:
• Francis Scott Key wrote the words to his poem in pencil!

There was a huge rainstorm the night before the battle. The flag, made of 500 pounds of cotton was taken down and a substitute storm flag raised. After the battle, the larger flag went back up.

• There were 15 stars on the flag at the time of the War of 1812!

The flag was sewn by Mary Young Pickersgill, her daughter Caroline Pickersgill(13) and nieces, Eliza Young(13) and Margaret Young (15). An African American indentured servant, Grace Wisher(13), also helped create the flag.

• About 61% of Americans admit they don’t know all the words to the national anthem(the first verse) and only 39% know the words after, “Whose broad stripes and bright stars”! Do you?

The Star Spangled Banner is one of few national anthems that do not mention the name of the country in its lyrics!

There are only 14 stars(of the 15) left on the flag that flew at Fort McHenry. The missing flag star was given away as a souvenir and its location is not known. 

Use this web quest to learn about Francis Scott Key, the national anthem and the war of 1812. There are nine web questions, 9 comprehension/thought questions, fun facts and extension activities.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Hmmm, What do you Think?

Here is a possible bell-ringing activity:

Albert Einstein once said, "Imagination is more important than knowledge."  What do you think about his quote?  

Is better to have a creative mind that thinks about possibilities or a mind full of information that can make possibilities into reality?


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Who Owns a Monkey Selfie?

YOU be the judge!

Selfies, everyone seems to be taking them these days…even monkeys. And, a big legal fight is going on over just WHO owns a particular monkey selfie.

A wildlife photographer taking pictures of black macaques on the island of Indonesia had his camera swiped by one of the monkeys he was photographing.The monkey took lots and lots of pictures, with its selfie being remarkably clear.  The monkey selfie went viral over the internet and one site, Wikipedia, posted the photograph without the photographer’s permission.  

The website says that the selfie was in the public domain and not owned by the photographer. The reasoning that non-humans have no rights to ownership. The photographer says the black macaque used his camera, so the photograph belongs to him. Perhaps, the photograph is that of the monkey that took the photograph?  If you were the judge deciding this case, how would you rule and why?


NOTE: Photograph from

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Using the News as Bell Ringers: Ice Cream Facts to Share

Perhaps, you may find this of value to share with your students as the new school year approaches:

Using the News in the Classroom: 3D Printer Can Make Ice Cream! Bell Ringer

Need a few minutes to collect homework, do attendance, etc.? Bell ringers are always a great use of time, especially when they involve topics in the news. Students at MIT have created a 3D printer that produces ice cream. Great opportunity to share facts about ice cream and if time, do some of the extension activities. Hope you find the information of value. It is also posted at my website for teachers: … atest.html

If you like ice cream, imagine if you could just "print" some up for yourself! Students at MIT have taken the idea of a 3D printer and made a device that makes soft serve ICE CREAM! And, the ice cream that comes out of the printer can be made into edible treats with specific shapes. While the process is just in the experimental stage at this point, it is hoped that one day soon, we'll be able to go to an ice cream store and have our dessert created right there while we wait, in any shape we'd like to have!

Photograph from

Learn lots of COOL facts about ice cream:

• One scoop of ice cream needs about 50 licks to finish.

• The Chinese were making a type of ice cream with milk, rice and snow in about 2000 BC.

• The average American eats 48 pints of ice cream each year.

• To make one gallon of ice cream, you need 12 pounds of milk. A dairy cow can produce enough milk for about 9,000 gallons of ice cream in its lifetime.

• The USA is the world's leading producer of ice cream.

• Alexander the Great liked nectar and honey-flavored snow.

• National Ice Cream Month is in July.

• Yes...vanilla is the most popular ice cream flavor (followed by chocolate and strawberry).

• An ice cream tester for Dreyer's Ice Cream actually insured his tongue for 1 million dollars!

• Dolly Madison served strawberry ice cream at the second inaugural ball of her husband, President James Madison, in 1812.

• Sunday is the day of the week when the most ice cream is sold in the United States.

• Did you know that one of the main ingredients in ice cream is...AIR (makes it lighter and gives it a smoothness)?

• There was a floating ice cream parlor built by the U.S.Navy in 1945 for its sailors fighting in the Pacific.

• More ice cream is sold in the WINTER months in Canada than in the summer months.

• Strange ice cream flavors? Jalapeno, dill pickle, garlic, bacon, blue cheese and shallots, squid ink and curry carrot might be flavors to include in this list.

• The world's largest ice cream cone weighted 2,204 pounds. It was 13 feet tall. It was made in Gloucester, UK, in 2012.

• The world's largest ice cream sundae was created in Kingston, NY, in 2014. It was 1,606 ft. tall.

• Ever get a brain freeze from eating ice cream? The top of the mouth has lots of nerves. When cold ice cream comes into contact with these nerves, it causes blood vessels in the brain to dilate, giving the short headache also known as an ice cream headache.

• Thomas Jefferson loved ice cream. See his recipe for Vanilla Ice Cream at this link:

Extension Activities:

* Write a haiku poem on ice cream.

* If you had to describe ice cream to an alien from outer space, what would be 3 descriptives you'd use to explain the treat? Write a paragraph about your encounter sharing ice cream with an alien.

* Draw/color a picture of an ice cream sundae. Exchange your drawing with 3 others and have them write descriptive words to describe what they see. When your drawing is returned, write a paragraph using the comments about your ice cream sundae.

* There is a saying "A picture is worth a 1,000 words." Illustrate/color one of the facts about ice cream which conveys the fact.

Additional Links: … cream.html … cream.html

NOTE: Illustration from

Check out my TpT resources at: … mand-more/