The Doodlers

Note: This is a re-post from September 2013


Every classroom has a wide variety of students. Some kids have an energy that makes it difficult to sit still. Some kids need to talk constantly. Others like to doodle all over their papers, desks, and textbooks. No matter what kind of student you are, there’s always a way for you to do something positive in this world. It’s pretty cool to see the different ways that people can have an impact in their environment.

This video made me think of my students who are drawn to art. It made me think of my cousin, Joe. Joe’s a great artist. The traditional school setting never appealed to him and he struggled because of that, but his artistic ability was always apparent. Now, as an adult, he’s creating high quality photography and was recently hired as a photographer for a major car company in California.

The video in the link below has a great message about art and the effect it can have on a community. Watch, enjoy, think, and learn. And if you happen to see any of this work around town, make sure you take the time to appreciate the artists who made it happen.

Forest For the Trees, a public mural project

Another Successful Year With the One World Futbol Project


I hope you had a chance to check out the most recent bulletin board outside our classroom that displays the latest happenings with our participation in the One World Futbol Project. Students explained to the school community what we have accomplished this year (and what students from the previous year accomplished as well) through writing and drawings. A map depicts the six countries that we have sent over twenty balls to over the past two years. Thanks to everyone who helped us get these balls to kids around the globe.

Here is a brief video on the One World Futbol that was featured on ABC News last night: 

Math Challenge Party

Students at HR were challenged over the past 31 days to “walk around the world”. A different student in each class wore a pedometer each day to measure the amount of steps they were taking. Totals were tallied and at the end of 31 days, the school had traveled the equivalent of 7,420 miles, getting us from Portland to just off the coast of France.

The fourth grade traveled 1,075 miles, the most of any class in the school. For their efforts, they were rewarded with a root beer float party held this afternoon in the cafeteria.

Special thanks to Mrs. Mcpheeters and Mrs. Harwood for their hard work on this fun project.






A Town Run by Fourth Graders

The students of fourth grade have been busy creating a town they are calling “Portlandia”.  They have created laws, established a government, elected leaders and officials, and started up businesses.  A tax plan was put in place to pay the government officials and pay for basic services like waste management, water, and library services.  And guess what?  Citizens began arguing over how much taxes they should have to pay and where the tax money should be allocated.  We are using this as proof that it is a true to life simulation.

Entrepreneurs have also popped up when needs of the citizens were recognized.  For example, one student recognized that students needed a place to keep their currency (known as “Star Bucks”), so he created a wallet making business.  His business became so popular that he had to create a job and hire an employee to help out.  I can neither confirm nor deny the rumors that this wallet company may be seen on an upcoming episode of Shark Tank.













Peninsula Park

Last week we spent part of our day at Peninsula Park with the second and third graders. A brief picnic was followed by ice cream bars, a few games of capture the flag, soccer, a romp around the rose garden, and playing on the playground. Thanks to all the parents who helped make this trip a success.










Science Labs and a Celebration of Marksmanship

I have a few photos that I have been meaning to share from recent science labs with Mrs. Galati. The first set of photos includes students creating fossils using shells and plaster and the second set of photos includes the shooting of rockets after a lesson on Newton’s Three Laws of Motion.

Towards the end of the rocket shooting, I challenged the students to make it into a small basket they were aiming for and told them I would happily reward them with an extra recess break if any student was able to successfully land their rocket in the basket. After dozens of misses, I told the class that they had one last chance. At the last moment, just as students were beginning to believe it was not going to happen, Jenny’s rocket hit the bulls-eye and the class went bonkers.

Yesterday, the students were given their extra recess for Jenny’s accurate shot at the buzzer, but not before we celebrated Jenny’s birthday with a few popsicles on a beautiful day.