Wizard of Oz Day

After reading The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and watching the movie, our class decided to celebrate by holding Wizard of Oz day! A great time was had by all. Mr. Kelly’s class joined us for a full day of festivities. The goal of the day was to earn your Oz badges: Courage, Heart, Brains and There’s No Place Like Home. Wondering what the kids had to do?
To earn a Courage Badge, they had to get up in front of the class and sing a song from the Wizard of Oz.
To earn a Heart Badge, they each had to do a kind deed for a friend or family member.
To earn a Brains Badge, they had to earn 5 points in Wizard of Oz Trivia.
To earn the Home Badge, they had to learn their address and tell why they love their home.

In the afternoon, we followed the Yellow Brick Road (the front sidewalk) and completed 5 stations:
Pin the Heart on the Tinman
Mapping Oz
Tornado in a Jar
We’re Off to Roll the Wizard (math game)
Wizard of Oz Activity Station

The kids were wonderful in their costumes and thoroughly enjoyed the day. Enjoy these pictures from our adventures!

p.s. Can you answer these trivia questions from the book (not the movie)?
What color were Dorothy’s magic slippers? (hint….not the same as the movie!)
What is a Kalidah?
What U.S. state is Dorothy from?
What is the special power of the Golden Cap?
Who are the Hammer Heads and what do they do?

Communities Change

As part of our study of communities, the children have learned about how and why communities change over time. We have learned that communities may grow larger or smaller or that communities may make changes to improve the quality of life for their citizens. Ms. Fisher and I sent the children out into the community with their families to discover for themselves some changes that are happening in our community. The projects that rolled in were simply amazing! Thank you to our wonderful families for supporting this extension of our learning. Please enjoy a few of the projects that the children completed!

Bregon made this video of a new office building being constructed. He noted that this building will bring jobs to our community, which is a good improvement!

Henry illustrates the importance of maintaining safe roads as part of a great community:

Cole learned about renovations being made to the University of Michigan Law School:

Here is a slide show of some other presentations from our class:

Designing a Community

We have been learning quite a bit about communities as of late. The children worked in teams to create their own community. They had to make several decisions as a team. First, they had to make improvements to the existing community, then they had to decide which types of homes and businesses needed to be located in their community. Here are some pictures of some of the groups making their presentations. They were quite excited!


Symbolic Monarch Butterfly Update

In the fall, our class sent a “symbolic” paper monarch butterfly to school children in Mexico. Recently we found out which class received our special ambassador! Sixth grade students at Amado Nervo Elementary School in Ocampo, Michoacan, Mexico are taking care of our paper butterflies for the winter. What an exciting way to share our learning with students in another country! Butterflies from all over the United States and Canada were delivered to various schools in Mexico. Amado Nervo School received butterflies from Ohio, Kentucky, Idaho, Florida, Ontario and more! Check out this link to read more information about our Ambassadorship with the Journey North program.

Journey North Symbolic Monarch

Here are some pictures of our butterfly and the students who received them! Can you find our butterfly in the picture? (I wasn’t able to find it, but I know it’s there. If you see it, please let us know!)


A Special Vistor!

Today we had a very special visitor to our classroom! Former mayor of Ann Arbor, Ingrid Sheldon, stopped by to talk to the students about what it’s like to be a mayor of a community. Mrs. Sheldon is a special friend of our classroom as a Rotarian Reading volunteer. She comes once a week to read with some of the students in our class. Today, however, we were able to learn more about Mrs. Sheldon and what exactly it means to run a special community like Ann Arbor. This tied in nicely with our current social studies unit, My Community. We are learning that a community is a place where people live, work, play and solve problems. Mrs. Sheldon was able to address all of those roles as she talked about what it was like to be a mayor. Thank you for visiting, Mrs. Sheldon!

A visit from former mayor of Ann Arbor, Ingrid Sheldon!


The children asked wonderful questions. Here are some things we learned:


  • Mrs. Sheldon went to school in a one-room schoolhouse through seventh grade, when she started going to Tappan School.
  • Mrs. Sheldon started her political career in Ann Arbor as a 2nd ward council member before being elected mayor.
  • Mrs. Sheldon was mayor of Ann Arbor from 1993-2000. That’s four terms!
  • As mayor, Mrs. Sheldon worked a lot of hours. She approved contracts, presided over meetings and helped the city in many ways.
  • One thing that Mrs. Sheldon really enjoyed doing as mayor was helping different groups of people connect to make life better in the community. Once, she helped some landowners connect with Habitat for Humanity to build the first HFH houses in the city.
  • As mayor, Mrs. Sheldon worked long hours, even though the job is technically a volunteer position. She worked a second job as a bookkeeper during her terms as mayor.
  • Mrs. Sheldon remains very active in the community. She loves to work in the schools with children (lucky us!) as well as being a member of the Rotary Club.

We are Thankful!

Today we created some beautiful turkey artwork to share with our families. They are created with oil pastels and watercolor. Around the frame are listed things the children are thankful for. Please enjoy the slideshow and THANK YOU to all of the wonderful parents that make this community such a great place to learn!!!

The Monarchs are Here!

The monarch excitement continues in our classroom as most of the butterflies have emerged from their chrysalises. The children were able to witness this amazing process many times. The joy and excitement of the children has been nothing short of thrilling for all of us! Ask your children to tell you about the process a monarch goes through upon emerging from it’s pupa form. At first the abdomen of the butterfly is very fat and full of fluid. The wings are tiny and crumpled. Within a short amount of time, however, the butterfly pumps the fluid into its wings and is ready to fly. Sadly, one of our butterflies, Cutie, emerged during the night and fell to the bottom of the cage before her wings were formed. She is unable to fly, but the children are taking very good care of her. We hope you enjoy this slideshow of our experiences!