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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Sunday, May 29, 2016

Flag Day is Coming: Factoids to Share with Kids

Fun Facts about Flags:
1. A vexillologist is someone that studies flags!
2. Most flags have the colors red and white.
3. Only Vatican City and the country of Switzerland have square flags.
4. Most world flags are rectangle in shape. The flag of the country of Nepal is the only one which is not rectangular or square in shape.
5. When Sir Edmond Hillary and his Sherpa guide, Tenzing Norgay, summited Mt. Everest, the Union Jack, the flag of Great Britain, was placed.
6.The idea of a National Flag Day,a day to honor our flag, was started by Bernard J. Cigrand, in 1885.
7. There are currently 6 American flags on the moon.
8. The country of Bhutan has a white dragon on its flag.
9.From Old Saxon,"flaken", meaning "to fly or to float in the air", is where the word FLAG originated.
10.The largest American Flag is called the Superflag. It weighs 3000 pounds and is the size of 2.8 football fields.
11. A WHITE flag is the symbol of a truce or ceasefire.

1. Take this Flag quiz
2. Pretend you are an American flag on the moon or in a town, or on a mountain top. What do you hear, see, feel, etc. as you wave in the air? Remember...on the moon, there is no atmosphere so the flag wouldn't wave!
3. Write a haiku to describe the American flag. A haiku has 3 lines(5-7-5 syllables per line). Use descriptive words. Sentence structure isn't necessary. To check syllables, place your hand under your chin. Each time the chin drops is a syllable. For example: elephant. Three drops = 3 syllables.

Check out my Flag Webquest!

Check out a sample of four webquestions on Flags. Click here:

Note: Illustration from

Thursday, May 26, 2016

End of the School Year Letter to Students. Do You Write One?


Do you write an end of the year letter to your students?
If, so, please share.
Here is the one I used with my 6th graders.

To my students:
The end of the school year has passed so very quickly. It seems like we were just beginning to learn about the world in which we live AND a bit about each other, and, now, it is time for me to say goodbye to you as you continue to progress in school.

I'd like to leave you with some thoughts which I find useful in my life: "Know the true value of time, snatch, seize, and enjoy every minute of it. No idleness, no laziness , no procrastination, never put off till tomorrow what you can do today."(Chesterfield).

"Life is NOT a Spectator Sport."(Dick's Sporting Goods) Use every day to the fullest. Read, try to make someone smile, help someone, say a kind word to someone, dream things you'd like to do and work to make them possible. And, at the end of the day, be able to say, "Yes, I used the day, well."  Remember...YOU make your own HISTORY!

One last quote and it's an important one. "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men(and women) to do nothing." (Burke) It's not always easy to break from the "crowd", but speak up for someone you feel is being mistreated, don't stay silent, for it may be YOU that hopes for someone to speak up for you one day.

I've tried to interest you about the world in which we live during our year together. Think about opening up a bank account for a trip to visit Egypt, China, France, etc., one day. Place a couple of dollars away each month so that one day, you will be able to experience an exciting trip.  And, if you should ever take such a trip, I'd love to get a postcard from you.

Life is an adventure...enjoy the ride. I wish you much happiness as you travel down life's highway and hope you have few bumps along the way, but, perhaps, some interesting detours.

All the best,
Mrs. Hennessey
(The teacher who loved the color purple)

Illustration from

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Visiting a park? Look but Don't Touch!

I read with sadness about the baby bison that recently had to be euthanized at Yellowstone National Park. Seems some visitors to the park picked up the adorable calf, thinking it had been abandoned by its mom. They had first tried to get the baby bison off the road. They were unable to do so and with no cell phone coverage, the newborn calf was placed into their car and transported to the ranger station. Rangers released the calf  back into the wild. Unfortunately, the calf was ostracized by the rest of the herd, I guess because the newborn had human smells on its body. Additional attempts were made to find another herd of buffalo that would adopt the little tyke but were unsuccessful. Since the park has no way of caring for an abandoned calf, the calf was euthanized. It is an illegal act to interfere with the wildlife in a national park. I am sure the people in this situation had good intentions but, if you visit a park, please LEAVE all wildlife alone! 


Photograph from