Saturday, December 28, 2013

Math. Who needs it?


For a printable of the poster above, click here

Thanks Kim!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

WARNING: This post is an appalling dump heap overflowing with the most disgraceful assortment of rubbish imaginable.


First off, let's talk about metaphors and similes. The excellent explanations below are from Kids on the Net...

A simile is when you say that something - a person or place, animal or thing - is LIKE something else. A simile always uses the word ‘as’ or ‘like’. Here are some examples of similes:

"The spacecraft flew as fast as the wind."
"The ocean glittered like a mirror."

A metaphor makes an even stronger image in the reader's head. When you use a metaphor, you are saying that a person, place, animal or thing IS some thing else (not just LIKE it!). Metaphors are stronger images than similes. They don’t mean exactly what the words say. Here are some examples of metaphors:

"My teacher is a dragon."
"The king glared with eyes of ice."


Enter: The Grinch

My favorite Christmas story of all time is How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss. 

As you may know, "The Grinch" song compares the Grinch to unimaginably nasty wasty rubbish.

Listen to the song below and you'll hear what I mean.

How many metaphors and similes 
can you find in this song?

Click here for the The Grinch, Figuratively Speaking printable.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Winter Break 2013


Monday, December 9, 2013

Weekly Response: Good Job!


"Tell Someone They’re Doing a Good Job Week" is in December.

Who do you think is doing a good job? 
Why do you think he or she deserves this recognition?

Write your responses in the comment box. Then, print this award, fill it out and give to the person you have chosen! Click on the image below to open a printable page.

Your comment will not be seen by others until I approve it. Please respond before Saturday for a chance to win a lollipop!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Weekly Response: Internet Safety


Dearest students,

It is always important to be safe when you are using the internet and interactive games like Minecraft and Clash of Clans. If you are ever concerned or uncomfortable about something you see online, tell an adult immediately. 

Here are a few handy guidelines to keep in mind. You can click on the image to enlarge it.

One more thing.

When a box pops up on the screen...

no matter how awesome it is...

DON'T CLICK ON IT without asking an adult!

For more information on internet safety, check out this video on BrainPop.

For this week's response:

Share an internet safety tip with your 
classmates by leaving a comment below.

- or -

Share something you learned about 
internet safety from this post! 

Be safe, my friends.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Weekly Response: November Lesson Learned!


Hey kids! December is just around the corner! I know you have learned a lot this month.
How do I know? Just check out these cool student assignments and projects!

By Jasper

The Orange
Written by Brandon 

The orange is very round and bumpy,
and has curves that show lots of lumpy.
It's really rough and tuff and buff.

It has an everlasting citrus flavor that is worth the time to savor, 
It's very sour withlots of great power 
because it's sugar makes
it blow like a burst of gun powder

By Cameron

And don't forget about the creative Henry Huggins book reports in the post below!

For this week's response...

Share something you learned, created or accomplished in one of your classes in November.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Book Club: Henry Huggins Final Projects!


Gee whiz! I can't believe we are finished with our first Book Club book... Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary! If you would like your final project posted on this site, please send it to Mrs. Sol by November 27. You can find the instructions by clicking the image below.

For the complete Henry Huggins novel study activities and book reflection pages, visit my TpT store!

Next up... Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH coming your way on December 4!

Check out these awesome Henry Huggins projects! Well done kids!
Please feel free to comment on student work. Click the image to enlarge.
All comments will remain hidden until approved by Mrs. Sol.


By Jillian

By Connor

By Kaylee

By Meagan

Monday, November 18, 2013

Weekly Response: Gratitude


As William Arthur Ward stated above, every day is a great day to give thanks.

What are you thankful for today? 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Diary of a Wimpy Fan


Now that I've gotten to know the kiddos in my class, there is one thing I know for sure...

Many of them enjoy Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid books as much as I do. 

When asked if they've read a good book lately, the answer is usually Wimpy Kid. This is a great series for reluctant readers and definitely a hit with boys. I'm not sure if it's the silly cast of characters, the storyline, or the hilarious illustrations, but these books are hard to put down!

For those fans out there... Book 8 is here! I just found Hard Luck at Costco for $7.99 (you may have to look through a giant stack of Wimpy's before finding it!). I brought it home and my boys were extremely excited* to add it to our collection (above).

*I actually think they 'squealed with glee' at the sight of it. 

There are also fun games based on the series. My favorite is Don't Scramble the Egg, which is a fun category/brainstorming/coordination game that parents will like too!

I have one more tidbit of information for the Wimpy fans out there... check out the Jeff Kinney and Wimpy Kid Club websites. You can find information about the books, the author, games, and even a place to wimp yourself.

For example, here is a wimpy Mrs. Sol...

If you decide to wimp yourself, be sure to send it to me! I would love to see a wimpy version of my class. Hee hee.

Happy reading 
and (as much as you may want to)...

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Science of Fall


In class today, we learned why leaves change color in the fall...

       Plants need sunlight and warmth to make the green chlorophyll in their leaves. If there is little or no sunlight, new chlorophyll is no longer made by the plant.
      When summer is over and the weather starts to cool off, this affects the trees in Washington and many other places around the world.
       In the fall, the days get shorter and there is less sunlight, Without enough sunlight,  the trees stop using photosynthesis to make food. Then, the green chlorophyll dies away. As the green disappears, the beautiful colors of fall appear!
      Guess what? The vibrant reds, oranges and yellows were hiding under the green chlorophyll the whole time!

So, why are our days shorter in fall and winter?
Here is a cool video which explains why the seasons change on earth. 

November Work Sample:

[click here for the printable version]

I can't wait to see your leaves!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Weekly Response: The Magic Seed


On my walk this morning, a rather small squirrel came up to me. He was holding a strange looking nut in his paw. 

Imagine my surprise when he looked up at me and squeaked, "Behold, the magic seed! Plant it wherever you wish. It will grow into anything you fancy!"

I am passing this magic seed on to you. 

Where will you plant it? 
What would you like it to grow into?

I look forward to your responses!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Weekly Response: Lesson Learned!


What a busy and exciting month! It's hard to believe that October is coming to a close already. I'm sure you are learning a lot in your classes and now it's time to share what you've been up to, such as...

Andy's Bird Sculpture

Kiernan's Self Portrait

 Alex's Science Chart

For this week's response...

Tell us about something you learned in one of your courses in October.

Have a super November!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Weekly Response: Mrs. Sol's Pumpkin Patch


Welcome to our pumpkin patch!

The images below were created by the talented pumpkins in Mrs. Sol's Class,
using only whiteboard tools. Amazing!

I love these little pumpkins. Well done!
In the comment box...

Tell us about the life cycle of a pumpkin. 
What are the stages?

To give you a chance to use your noggin, I won't post your comments until Thursday.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Weekly Response: You do the math.


The answer is 9 pumpkins.
What was the question?

Come up with a math question to go along with this answer and you will be in the running for a lollipop! Be as mathematically creative as you want with this assignment. 

I look forward to your responses!

Friday, October 11, 2013



For more reading fun visit Imagination Soup!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Weekly Response: Norman Rockwell


Norman Rockwell is one of my favorite artists. Every painting tells a story. I especially like the way he captures childhood memories. I'm sure all of you can relate to his paintings. I know I do.

For this week's response, look at the painting and answer the questions below. For a better view, you can click on the painting and enlarge it.

     1) What is happening in this painting by Norman Rockwell?
     2) What season is represented in the image? How do you know?
     3) What should the title of this painting be?

I will publish all comments on Thursday, so you can see what others have written (without spoiling your own creativity). For a chance to win a lollipop, please respond before Saturday, October 12th!

Friday, October 4, 2013

October Book Trailer: Ol' Mama Squirrel


Ol' Mama Squirrel
by David Ezra Stein

Ol’ Mama Squirrel has raised lots of babies, and she knows just how to protect them. Whenever trouble comes nosing around, she springs into action with a determined “Chook, chook, chook!” and scares trouble away. Her bravery is put to the test, however, when a really big threat wanders into town and onto her tree. But no matter what, Mama’s not about to back down!

Another fun book from David Ezra Stein!
(your mom will like it too)

Happy Reading!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Weekly Response: Lesson Learned


Well kids, it's the last week of September! I bet you have learned a ton of cool things since school started. If you would like to share any of the projects you've done, stories you've written or any other school-related activity, please send it to me. I'd love to see what you are working on. I can even share it on this blog or in Class Connect if you want!

For this week's response...

Tell us about something you learned in one of your courses in September.

Have a wonderful October!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Weekly Response: Look What I Did with a Leaf!


Ah, fall. I can smell it in the air! Pretty soon we will notice the leaves changing colors as the days get shorter and shorter. This is my favorite time of year! Why? I love bundling up, going on walks, crunching through the foliage, and finding leaves with amazing color designs on them. 

Then coming home, sipping a cup of apple cider, and admiring our new leaf collection!

Then what?

If you go on a leaf collecting nature adventure, you might get home and decide to cuddle in a blanket and read a fall-themed book, like Look What I Did with a Leaf! by Morteza E. Sohi.

This might inspire you to make a leaf animal...

or perhaps a few leaf critters... 

or a regal crown...

or a fabulous candle holder...

from Red Ted

or a leafy banner of thanks!

Can you see why fall is one of my favorite seasons?

What do you enjoy most about fall?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Weekly Response: Book Recommendations



A big thank you to those students who left a comment on last week's post! To find out who won our first lollipop, ask my robot friend on the left side of this page.

We all love a good book, right? I know you all have a favorite book because you sent me wonderful titles in k-mail last week. Now it's time to share with your classmates...

What book would you recommend to a student who is your age?

Don't forget to grab a copy of Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary before October 2nd!

Who will win a lollipop? I look forward to your responses!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Weekly Respose: Share and Share Alike


Welcome to week two of school! I'm impressed with how you are all progressing and I'm looking forward to meeting you in Class Connect today!

For this week's response... 
Share one important fact about you. 

Remember to use your first name only when leaving a comment. Never type personal information on a blog or website (like phone number or address). Comments will not post live until I approve them.

On the weekend, I will randomly choose one lollipop winner, so reply before Friday for a chance to win!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Why Blog?


I started this blog three years ago as a way to build a classroom community. It's really fun to highilght student work on this blog because it gives kids a chance to share, to give feedback to their peers, and to see what others are doing. If you create something in one of your classes and send it to me, I will post it here!

The video below will help explain my classroom blog philosophy...

...and this is one of my favorite videos on the topic.
I just love the kids' voices and their message!

I look forward to a year of fun and learning! 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

It's the First Day of School!


I don't know about you guys, but this is how I always feel on the first day of school...

It's time for school! It's time for school! Woohoo! Let's get this year started already! 

Mark your calendar for our first Class Meeting on Monday at 11:00 AM.

Follow your lesson plan today and I'll chat with y'all soon!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

20 Years of Learning


20 Years (Wait. What?!)

Check out my first class of first and second graders. 

Back then I was Ms. Brandt.

Seems like yesterday.

I still remember all of their names and their sweet little personalities. 
They were so smart, affectionate and creative! 
I learned a lot from them.

[click photos to enlarge]

Luckily, I had many of those cuties again in fifth grade when I changed grades...

Just look at those happy faces.

The Class of 1993...
and 1996.

Now they have successful careers.
Many are in graduate school.
Others have families of their own.
Firemen, teachers, bankers, nurses, business people and parents.

What an honor to work with children every day!

I love my job.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Give it Some OOMPH!



Hardback, 22 pages
ISBN: 9780761177449 (0761177442)
Published by Workman Publishing

"How do you make the ordinary extraordinary? With a little bit of oomph! An utterly inspiring and playful new book on creativity from Barney Saltzberg. A Little Bit of Oomph! teaches the invaluable lesson of throwing your heart into whatever you’re doing and trying just a little bit harder— because with a little extra effort and a lot of oomph, you can make anything beautiful."

For fans of The Dot, Press Here and Beautiful Oops,
A Little Bit of Oomph! will be another 




back-to-school picture book for grades K-5.

Available in paperback on September 24th!