Krebs' Class Blogs

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

December 6, 2017
by Denise Krebs

We had a Mystery Skype Session!

Each morning, I try to start my day writing 759 words. This morning, I was writing along and then wrote this:

“So, this morning I am going to try to connect for a Mystery Skype call. I have no idea how I’m going to do it. It will happen in one hour, so I guess I bett”

I got to that place in the writing and closed my computer.

15 hours later, I came back to finish:
er go…

Yes, I am glad I stopped writing when I did. I quickly got ready and went to school, arriving at 6:40 a.m. Two girls greeted me at the door. Others began coming.

It took most all of my attention to mess with hardware. I brought my Chrome book to school so I could have a portable device to hook up to the HDMI cable. I had my phone to tether to for the WiFi. And all of it made me nervous. Then I needed to fix the display and the sound. I needed to find the HDMI cable. I did everything I knew how to do. It was 6:57 a.m.

While I worked on hardware, the children kept coming. They moved chairs. They covered their logos with duct tape, for they didn’t want the students in our Mystery Skype call to get any extra hints. They then started writing some clues about where we were. The Northern Hemisphere, Eastern Hemisphere, Asia. We speak Arabic. It is 7:00 a.m. here.

Then the phone rang. I missed the first call.

They rang again, and we answered it. We could see them, but they couldn’t see us. Another thing to figure out. How to get the video to work. The teacher on the other end of the call, Mr. Benjamin Lannen, (@bjlannen) was very helpful. His school was at the end of a day-long Skype-athon. We were the sixth school they Skyped with today.

Today I learned again a lot I had forgotten about Mystery Skyping. This was my students’ very first experience. First, we went back and forth asking questions. We figured out you had to ask Yes or No questions.

Them: Are you in Asia? Yes.
Us: Are you in Australia? **Open mouths** Yes! How did you know? (One of our boys recognized the accent. Sorry!)
Them: Are you in northern Asia? **Looking at each other, wonderingly. Then…** No
Us: Are you in NW Australia? No.
Them: Are you in Saudi Arabia? No **Someone wanted to say, ‘But we’re really close.’**
Us: Are you in SE Australia? Yes!
Them: Are you on a really small island? **Unanimously** YES!
Them: Are you in Bahrain? YES!

Narrowing down where in Australia our Skypers were from.

A post shared by arsgrade5 (@arsgrade5) on

Then we asked and answered more questions about each other, like what time is it here (7:30 a.m.) and there (3:30 p.m.). We watched two short commercials for their school that the students had created. Then we said good-bye.

Our students were so excited about the opportunity to do this activity.

Now we’re talking about making our own commercials for our school and planning our own Skype-athon!

May 31, 2017
by Denise Krebs

What is Genius Hour?

We are participating in Genius Hour to end our school year. Students will have time to work on a project of their choice. The students are expected to be productive and creative during this time.  

The schedule for genius hour during English class is below:

  • Sunday, 4 June
  • Monday, 5 June
  • Wednesday, 7 June
  • Sunday, 11 June
  • Monday, 12 June
  • Presentations will be the last week of school from 13-15 June.



  1. decide if they want to work by themselves or with one or two others.
  2. formulate a question to answer during Genius Hour.
  3. plan, research and think critically about a topic or their choice
  4. produce something to share with our class and possibly the world

What is it that you love and want to learn more about? 

Just some of our many passions! #geniushour

A post shared by arsgrade5 (@arsgrade5) on

How can we share what we learn with others?

Ideas for genius hour presentations are endless! #geniushour

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May 28, 2017
by Denise Krebs

Summer Resources

Have fun this summer, but don’t forget English!

Our main objective in the English department is TO ACQUIRE ENGLISH–that is to learn to use English in listening, speaking, reading and writing in order to communicate.

You can continue to grown  in acquiring English over the summer.

  • As you travel, you will find English to be a handy language to help you get around in many different countries around the world.
  • If you have a person in your life whose first language (or the only common language with you) is English (like a nanny, housekeeper, tutor, friend), you have a great chance to practice and grow in acquiring English. You can also get to know another human being!
  • Make a goal to add to your vocabulary this summer. Here are some suggestions from an article on Medium called: “How to Expand Your Vocabulary
  1. Look up new words you encounter. Use a dictionary or Google to define it in English.
  2. When you don’t know an English word that one of your friends, family or teachers use, ask them what the new word means.
  3. Read a lot! – The best way to acquire English at a higher level is to READ. Check out 11 Free Reading Websites for Kids)
  4. Get a Kindle to read books. The dictionary is built-in, so you can click on words you don’t know to see the definitions.

In my experience as a teacher of English language learners, the students who do these four things acquire more and more English vocabulary–a key to unlocking the language.

Check out the vocabulary article for 6 more ideas.

More Ideas and Resources

  1. Summer Learning Loss – What you should know

  1. Teach Your Monster to Read
  2. Genius Hour – Encourage your child to continue their Genius Hour project over the summer. Or start a new Genius Hour project!
  3. Continue blogging – I will keep checking and publishing blog posts your child wants to write. If they have their own blog, of course, they are free to publish on their own.
  4. Free Rice vocabulary builder – Practice English synonyms, as well as donate food to the hungry.
  5. Computer Coding – Computer coding is a fun way to practice a brand new language and a bit of English too.
    1. Hour of Code
  6. Do worksheets in your English practice book. Bring 20 or more finished pages (90-100%) to me in September for a prize! NOTE: If you choose to do the Spelling pages only, remember that is a spelling test page. You need to learn the spelling and meaning of these words. (You can show me how well you learned them in September!)
  7. If you need help with high frequency words, here are some spelling words for the summer with practice worksheets.
  8. Here are some stories to help you build reading fluency. Be sure to think about the story–predict, question, clarify and summarize while you read.  Leveled stories:
    1. EFGHI
    2. KLMNO
  9. Write another novel! Did you know the NaNoWriMo site is improving every day. You can actually write a novel on it now all year long! How about if you do a sequel to the novel you wrote last November? Check it out at You’ll need to log in or create an account to use it.

May 24, 2017
by Denise Krebs

Goodbye, Pen Pals

Hello, Mrs. Wieland’s class,

We enjoyed being pen pals with you! Thanks for all the great letters and coloring pages. We like them. We also liked the AirHeads candy. Thank you so much.

Here are a few final letters for you.


Mrs. Denise’s Class

From Ayman to Kyler

From Naeema

From Rayyan

From Fatima H.

From Fatima M.

From Nawaf

From Mohd H.

From Ali Y.

From Salman

From Mohd M. 

From Khadija

From Muhd S.


May 3, 2017
by Denise Krebs

Let’s Write Haiku

Today we’ll write some haiku poems.

For this form of poetry the rule is syllable counting.

It’s a three-line poem. The syllable count is 5, 7, 5.

Like this:

Poetry writing
In today’s computer lab
What treasures we’ll find!


Read Write Think Haiku Poetry Helper
Click here to try out the Read Write Think interactive to write and learn more about haiku poetry. I tried it out, and you can learn a lot more about haiku. They will even help you write one with some added features. Here is what I did when I clicked the link above.

You get a work space to brainstorm and practice before publishing.

You can choose one of the Japanese images that they provide. Or…

You can even add your own image. This is a picture I took from the Bahrain Bay.

April 30, 2017
by Denise Krebs

Tweeted Book Reports

Here are a few of our latest tweeted book reports.



Ali Mirza


Mohd H.

Mohd M.

Click here for more ARS book reports on Twitter.

April 26, 2017
by Denise Krebs

We Are Writing Poetry

Grade 5 has been writing beautiful poetry. Read on to see their latest posts–prepositional phrase poems and other poetry forms, as well!

Poems are more beautiful if you pay attention to every single word choice.

Here are some good ideas to add to your poems:

  1. Rich and meaningful adjectives
  2. Prepositional phrases that have adjectives and strong nouns
  3. Just the right verbs
  4. Similes (comparisons using like or as — “The sun shone like a blazing fire.”)
  5. Metaphors (direct comparisons — “The blazing fire in the sky burned the ground under my feet.”)

Here are some websites that will give you poetry ideas:

  1. ReadWriteThink has a variety of interactive poems you can write and then print out.
  2. RhymeZone Rhyming Dictionary

Here are some sites that have poems to read:

  1. Giggle Poetry by Bruce Lansky and others
  2. Fun and Games with Shel Silverstein
  3. Poetry4Kids with Kenn Nesbitt

In poetry, it is best to paint pictures with your words, but if you want to illustrate your poems, as well, do one of these:

  1. Draw your own picture on Google Drawings or use another drawing app.
  2. Take your own pictures on your phone or camera.
  3. Use one of the free image sites we know about:

April 25, 2017
by Denise Krebs
1 Comment

Prepositional Phrase Poems by 5B


Out of bed
Into the fast car
To the far airport
Off to cultural Thailand
Beside the wonderful sea and beautiful skies
Past the wonderful days
For all the fun
Time to Leave!

Fatima H.



Toward the opening
Out the portal
Into the magical world
Past the two mountains
Seeing the glowing tower

By Mohd H.



Beside me
On the wooden table
Near the colorful screen
Into the black wires and cables
Until time
I sit watching my favorite channel.

By Ahmed S.


I Love My Family

With my family
Inside my home
Around my room
Before my parents
With my friends

By Maryam M.


Phone Games

On my bed
In my iPad
In the game
On top of the heaven trees
With a sniper
Until the wind
Off the heaven tree
Ten seconds left and we won!

By Salman



Around the football field
Toward the goal
Past the defence
Up past the goalie
Inside the net
From the middle again
Against the other team
Football is always fun

By Ali M.


Best Friends

With my friends
In the school
Around the school
Outside the school
From the home
Between me and them
In the past
Friends are always with me

By S. Mohd



The moving rainbow
Outside my big house
In the sunlight and heavy rain
For a long time
Within the great rainbow
Against the gift
Inside the house
I am home

By Zain



In London
Across the bridge
Near Big Ben clock
Toward the hotel
Under London Bridge


In Paris
On top of the Eiffel Tower
Under the bridge
Through the tunnel
Near the tower
Inside the hotel

Great vacation!

By Mohd M.


Sister’s Life

With my adorable sister
By the soft couch
Toward the big kitchen
Down the creaky stairs
Near the beautiful dolls
To the loud noise
Toward the comfy bed
Snuggling under the soft bedsheets

By Fatima M.


The Lovely Babies

In the king crib
On my warm lap
Between the funny games
Inside the big house
Near the beautiful crib
Past bedtime
With cute, tired eyes
The baby

By Zainab Jassim



Out of sweet home
Into the white car
Off to the huge airport
With my best family
On my warm seat
Beside my one and only mother
Canada, here I come!

By Hawraa


The Spectacular Adventure to Kuwait

Toward the heavy car doors
Beside the crowded airport
Inside the plane
Above the land
Through the clouds
Below the clouds
Hooray! to Kuwait!

By Nawaf



In the glistening water
On the huge tube
Down the slippery slide
Underneath the cold water
Beside the blue pool
Outside the waterpark
I love it!

By Sara


Magic Dog

At my little house
Beside my house door
Toward the big chair
Next to the magic dog
Underneath the kitchen table
Above the house roof
Magic Dog!

By Mariam K.

March 31, 2017
by Denise Krebs

Slice of Life, Day #31

I posted a lot of Grade 5 slices of life today! Congratulations to my young writers!

Thank you to all those who have visited and read our posts. Comments are always welcome!

About Sports

Sara, Salma, Ali Mo, Mariam M., Zainab K., Fatima Hassan, Salman, Abdulla, Mohammed H.

More Mother’s Day Posts

Sayed, Zahraa, and a second one by Zahraa

Other Slices of Our Lives

Lara, Fatima F., Mariam K., Rayyan, Zain, Hawraa, another by Hawraa, and another, Fatima M., Salma, Nawaf, Naeema, Fatima M., Zahraa, Ranad, Angy, Ayman, Zain

Diamante Poems

Angy, Amir, Sarah, Angy and Reem, Khadija, Fatima M., Amr, Mohammed H., Fatima Hu., Nadeen

More Poetry


Book Report

Zahraa, Muhammad

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