Krebs' Class Blogs

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

November 30, 2011
by Denise Krebs
1 Comment

Congratulations, Winner!

What an exciting week! My eighth grade students (and one seventh grader) took on the NaNoWriMo challenge. As of today, a few hours before midnight, 100% of them have become winners as they finished writing their first novels! What fun!

Thanks to the NaNoWriMo staff, especially those working on the Young Writers Program. You guys rock!

November 28, 2011
by Denise Krebs

We Had A Genius Hour

There is no great genius without a mixture of madness. ~ Aristotle

Last Wednesday we had our first Genius Hour. Here are our learnings and creations. Besides the creating and learning going on, many students were also using new programs for them, such as iMovie, Edublogs, and SchoolTube, for reporting their learning. They made their teachers proud! (In addition, here is a link to their self-evaluations.)

Vanessa – Made a Flickr account and uploaded pictures

Christina, Paris, Shiann – Edited photos and made collages.

Cooper and Dustin – Made sports polls and sent them to fellow students to answer.

Joey and Brian – Made an airplane out of cardboard.

Jason and Cesar – Built boats out of cardboard. Cesar’s boat turned into a bed for our classroom Panda. Jason wrote a blog post here.

Justin and Chandler / Jason and Paul / Tyler and Andrew – Each partnership built a birdhouse and made a how-to video.

The finished masterpieces

Becca wanted to practice making movies, so she took video of Genius Hour using the iPad, emailed the files to herself and edited this movie on iMovie.

Jaci, Krayton, and Meghan used their acting talents to make a funny and educational video about Christmas trees.

Lauren and Paige learned new friendship bracelet patterns.

Seventh grader Anna started a novel and signed up for NaNoWriMo, a late start, but she is poised for a win by November 30.

Anna and Kaylee made a basketball presentation.

Jade learned to use Edublogs by making a post and adding photos with captions.  Her first post is a photo guessing game.

Lucas and Thomas – Made a car out of Legos.

Deven and Jared – Used the program Scratch for the first time and made this cool animation all in one hour.
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Madison decorated a towel with an inspirational saying.
Madi at Work

Atze was in California for Genius Hour, but he figured out how to use Edublogs and wrote his first post here.

November 20, 2011
by Denise Krebs

Making a Mosaic with a Flickr Photoset

From eltpics Parties and Celebrations Photoset and

Here’s how you can make a mosaic with your Flickr photoset.

  1. Find your Flickr Photoset and get the URL. It should look something like this:
  2. Go to the Mosaic Maker at and decide the size of the grid you want to make. For instance, 4×6 or 5×5 are good if you have 25 or more pics. You can decide on any size or shape, and you don’t have to use all the pictures.
  3. Choose “Flickr Photoset” for how you would like to select images, and paste the URL in the address bar. Then Create.
  4. Save your Mosaic. 
  5. Copy the HTML code so readers can follow the link back to the original photos.    
  6. Insert your mosaic into your blog.
  7. Be sure to be working in HTML editor and then, under your mosaic, insert the HTML code to link back to the photos. Or, like I did, you can add the code to the end of your blog post.
  8. Optional, add text or shapes to your mosaic using Preview or any other photo editor you like.

    There you have it! If you follow these steps, you can make a mosaic, annotate it, upload it to your blog, and properly cite it. If you have any questions, or need more explanation or images, leave a comment below and I would be glad to help.

    Photos in my mosaic are from #eltpics Parties and Celebration Photoset. Here are links to the individual photos:

    1. cheers, 2. Summer solstice, 3. wedding, 4. birthday, 5. party food, 6. Celebrations, 7. Bonfire night, 8. after the party, 9. 1st birthday party, 10. Birthday cake, 11. Decorations, 12. Tet, 13. Tet Vietnamese New Year, 14. 35 years of independence, 15. Hanoi’s 1000th birthday, 16. Christmas dinner, 17. Independence day Peru, 18. celebrating Medieval crafts, 19. flags and bunting, 20. Medieval street bunting, 21. celebratory flags in Cáceres, 22. celebrating three cultures in Cáceres, 23. celebrating three cultures in Cáceres, 24. Birthday bike!

November 11, 2011
by Denise Krebs

Doing the Stuff

Imagination. I love the new commercial for Canon on creativity, imagination, and contributing. You can view it here. Here’s another inspiring one from Apple–Think Different.

On November 23, we are going to have a “genius hour”–a time for you to imagine and do whatever you want!

Gary Stager shared ten things you can do on a laptop.

  1. Write a Novel
  2. Share Your Knowledge
  3. Answer Tough Questions
  4. Make Sense of Data
  5. Design a Video Game
  6. Build a Killer Robot
  7. Lose Weight
  8. Direct a Blockbuster
  9. Compose a Symphony
  10. Change the World
  11. (Bonus) Be a Scientist, a Mathematician, an Engineer, a Luthier, etc., etc., etc.

What can you do in your own block of time?

Here are some more questions to ask yourself:

  1. What new idea do you want to develop?
  2. What have you been wanting to try?
  3. What skill can you master?
  4. What tool can you learn that will help you work better?
  5. What tool could help you create something beautiful?
  6. What tool could help you communicate better?

More Genius Questions from Angela Maiers

  1. How can we make it better?
  2. How can we make each other better?
  3. How do we know this to be so?
  4. Is this what is needed most?
  5. What is it we hope to accomplish and what’s stopping us?
  6. What are we most proud of?
  7. What is possible?
  8. When can we start?
  9. How will we prevent failure?
  10. How can we make this happen?
  11. Who can make this happen?
  12. What do we regret most?
  13. How can we make the best use of…?
  14. What if we…?

Here is a list of cool tools for school by categories. You can try something here. You can try something that is not on the computer too. It’s up to you.

What will you do for genius hour?

If you still don’t have an idea, here are some possible inspirations…

Serial Story

Public Service Announcement

Create a guessing game, puzzle or creative writing prompt…

This list will continue to grow. For now, I just want you to think about possibilities!

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