Krebs' Class Blogs

Constructing, creating, communicating, collaborating, and thinking critically in grade 5.

August 24, 2011
by Denise Krebs
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Fungus and Flat Classrooms

Earlier this summer I found some kind of shelf fungus on the street underneath a tree. We aren’t sure exactly what kind of fungus it is, so we went about trying to figure out what it might be.

First, we made observations about the tree we believe it dropped from. We took photos, drew sketches, made rubbings of leaves and bark, and gathered seeds, leaves, and stems.

Then we found a kid-friendly dichotomous key from Wisconsin DNR page “Environmental Education for Kids” (aka EEK!) It was very simple, and within five minutes we all agreed it must be a basswood. A little further checking on Wikipedia, and we were sure. The basswood is also called linden (thanks, Joey!) in North America, and it is part of the genus Tilia.

Next we are going to find out about the fungus. What kind is it exactly? Was it growing on that basswood tree? Does it harm the host? We may find answers in a book or a dichotomous key or by asking Anna’s dad. However, if we exhaust our classroom resources, we will find answers another way.

We have had the Internet for a long time, but as of today, we also have a Twitter account at @KrebsClass, so we can find help from scientists at universities, high school botany teachers, others interested in fungus, and maybe even a visitor to our blog.

Yes, I am so excited my students and I belong to a global classroom with flattened walls.

August 23, 2011
by Denise Krebs
5 Comments

What is History?

First day of school and I wanted to ask this question of my 8th grade geniuses: “What is History?”

They wrote some deep thoughts, considering it was 80+ degrees in our room and 9:00 a.m. on the first day after a long summer of freedom.

Here are the significant things they had to say:

Then we watched this awesome video by Miss Hamad in New South Wales.

This year in history class, we will work on answering the questions in the video:

  1. What happened?
  2. How can I honor those before me?
  3. How does yesterday affect me?
  4. What dreams do I have?
  5. How can I make sense of today?
  6. What mistakes can I avoid?
  7. How can I change my world?
  8. Who am I?

We are already off to a great start. You can see how much I will enjoy learning and growing with these student geniuses!

August 5, 2011
by Denise Krebs
2 Comments

Miss W and Davo the Tasmanian Devil Come to Iowa

From Tasmania to North America

I was so excited to hear that Miss W is coming to Iowa in the fall! She will be bringing a Tasmanian Devil (I think it’s a toy one, though. Maybe real ones are too wild!)

Traveling around North America

Last spring, during the Student Blogging Challenge, some of my students told Miss W about their home towns and how she might like to come and visit! I think she liked the posts, for she is coming to see us early to mid October. around the end of October or the beginning of November.

We can’t wait! We will introduce Miss W and Davo to our youngest students, the future blogging challenge participants! While we wait, you can visit Mr. Devil’s site and participate in some blogging activities.

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