Krebs' Class Blogs

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

March 15, 2015
by Denise Krebs

A New Sight Word Book

Using images by Hada Litim at #eltpics, I made this sight word book for our new words: one and two.

It’s always best to practice sight words in a meaningful reading experience. Hopefully, this will be a fun way to practice reading one and two. It will also give practice with English names for some fruits and vegetables. Watch the slide show here or read it below.

One and Two

Link to book here.

September 13, 2012
by Denise Krebs

American Cancer Society Fundraisers

Eighth graders are busy planning fundraisers to benefit the American Cancer Society. Last year our junior high raised $1,020. This year students are hoping to top that! Here’s what they have planned so far.

  • A petting zoo and horse racing game at our school on the day of the high school volleyball tournament
  • A Ribbon of Hope to honor those who have fought cancer
  • Two casual days, where students can pay money to be out-of-uniform
  • A bake sale
  • An event to soak a teacher with a super soaker

A culmination of all of these events will be a Relay Recess late in the fall. A Relay Recess is a mini Relay for Life for schools. Students are busy preparing!

August 25, 2012
by Denise Krebs

Rigorous and Relevant: Geniuses at Work

This year, the teachers at our school will be studying Rigor and Relevance in professional development.

I love my students for many reasons–one is that they are problem solvers and they notice real problems that need real solutions.

This week, the first week of school, a few eighth graders saw two problems and worked to fix them. We have a ten foot long and four-inch wide PVC pipe that has been capped and sawed in half lengthwise to make a trough. When we fill the rounded pipe with water to test boats, it’s unstable. We had quite a spill in our classroom on Wednesday. Then when we wanted to remove the water that had not spilled, we had to bail the water out and into a bucket.

Geniuses know how to criticize by creating. And I have those geniuses in my classroom! First, Thomas and Dustin began designing a stand to get it up off the floor and less wobbly. After some discussion with a larger group, Joey is working on a revised design at home. (Update on Monday.)

On Friday morning before school there were eleven people watching the hoopla and contributing to the process of the next step, which was to solve the second problem–emptying the trough. They decided to create a drainage system so when we put water into the soon-to-be sturdy container, we will be able to drain it instead of bail it out.

Look at that hole they are drilling in our trough. Yes, they are risking failure. The problem is challenging, complex, demanding, requires authentic work and “the ability to develop and express ideas and findings through elaborated communication.” (rigor and relevance). (I haven’t done a thing except give them permission because the project is beyond my abilities.)

What kind of learning is better than that? That’s why I’m trying to make school more like genius hour. Real problems, real solutions, real learning.

May 18, 2012
by Denise Krebs

Research Workshop Products

The last two weeks of school, history students were given time to research a topic they wanted to learn. Students were engaged and actively learning about a subject they cared about. Then they created a product to show their learning. Here are a few of their products…

An animap by Jason and Andrew of Sherman’s March to the Sea, Part 1.

Click to see the Animap on the webpage.

Sherman’s March Animap, Part 2.

Vanessa made a simulation board game to show some of the hardships slaves faced when trying to escape.

Another good product was a Fakebook page, which was an excellent way to show learning. Fakebook can be found at Click here to see Shiann’s fictionalized Brett family fakebook page.

Click to visit the Brett Family Fakebook page.

February 22, 2012
by Denise Krebs

Global Climate Change

Working on science research

Right now Mrs. Krebs is taking an online course about Global Climate Change through PBS. Seventh graders are helping her with a short mini unit. First, we did a bit of online research about the chemistry involved in greenhouse gases.

Carbon, for instance, never goes away. It combines with different elements and keeps going through a continuous cycle. When it is taken out of the earth as fossil fuel and then burned, much of the carbon joins with oxygen to become carbon dioxide. It is absorbed into the atmosphere. Even though it is a small fraction of a percent of the gas in our atmosphere, CO2 is a powerful greenhouse gas because it absorbs heat very well. It is also on the rise, up 30% since the Industrial Revolution began.

Here are some great resources students have been studying:

Students playing The Carbon Cycle Game

As we learned about global climate change, we also made a wish list. We brainstormed some of the things we wish we could change:

  • We wish that the polar bears and other creatures wouldn’t have to lose their homes from melting ice.
  • We also wish that people would stop killing themselves and the environment and that instead we use clean energies and not have oil rigs, especially in the water. It will kill more and more animals and marine life.
  • We wish we could make the earth warmer and try to save some animals whose habitats are being destroyed.
  • We wish we could get more windmills and use solar panels to run things.
  • We wish we would be more careful on how much trash we throw away.
  • We wish we would recycle more and save trees.
  • We wish that all cars would run on solar power.
  • We wish we wouldn’t use so much gas.
  • We wish that all of the ice would stop melting  because the animals are dying from no homes or food to eat.
  • We wish people would use more renewable energy.
  • We wish people would use solar panels and wind mills.
  • We wish everyone would take better care of the earth.
  • We wish that they would make a lot more windmills in this world to help our planet.
  • We also wish that we wouldn’t waste as many products as we usually do.
  • We wish that people would stop littering to save our earth.
  • We wish people would stop using gas-powered cars because they put too much carbon into the air. They should use electric cars, solar powered, and water powered cars.
  • We wish we could have more solar powered cars so we don’t waste energy and pollute the air.
  • We wish we could keep garbage out of the ocean, so the animals have a nice home in the water so they can swim all around.
  • We wish that people would stop littering and start recycling, so all of the garbage we throw out won’t pile up and make it a waste pile.
  • We wish the ice would stop melting so the animals could get their home back.
  • We wish people would stop polluting the air with their cars.
  • We wish people would stop littering and use recycling bins.
  • We wish people wouldn’t cut down trees and taking away animals homes.
  • We both wish our grand kids could have snow not frosty the dirt man.
  • We wish that there would be some snow during the winter and super hot in the summer for good harvest and some rain.
  • We wish that the world wouldn’t end because of the trash and that the world will be a better place for other people.
  • We wish that people recycle and there would be electric cars and that we would protect the ozone layer.
  • We wish that people would recycle and use electricity wisely.
  • We wish the ice would stop melting, so the animals that live in the artic have somewhere to live.
  • We wish people wouldn’t use as many plastic bags and water bottles, and that they would reuse the ones they do.
  • We wish that people would do more for the environment which means recycle, pick up trash, stop pollution, use less electricity. If we can do just this little it will help change the world and make it a better place to live and grow.

I Wish...
By mrsdkrebs | View this Toon at ToonDoo | Create your own Toon

Later in the spring we will be working on a larger unit on Ecology and Global Climate Change. We will revisit those wishes, using our genius to make the world a safe and healthy environment for future generations.

Some of the recycling projects already going on at our school.

February 10, 2012
by Denise Krebs


Frindles photo by Madi

Frindle is a genius book by Andrew Clements. It’s about a boy who thought of a new word, and everyone started to say it. Their mean teacher, Mrs. Granger, put a sign on the door that they would get a detention if they say the word.

The students kept saying the word frindle instead of pen, and it spread around the world because it went on the TV and the radio. Mrs. Granger loved the dictionary, so she was mad that he was making up new words. She didn’t think he could make up new words.

In the middle of all the excitement about frindle, Mrs. Granger called him to her classroom and told him to write his name on an envelope.

Ten years later he received a dictionary in the mail and a letter from Mrs. Granger. It was in the envelope that he had written his name on back in fifth grade. In the letter, she told him to go to the F section and find frindle.

It’s a good book and it shows Mrs. Granger learned a lesson. She learned that there can always be something new. It doesn’t have to always stay the same!


By Madi

December 22, 2011
by Denise Krebs

Our U.S. Presidents

Eighth graders are learning about presidents. Fifteen 8th graders and 44 presidents. Collectively we know much about our presidents–who was the first to do something unique, who graduated from college and served in the military, who died in office, and more. Together we are smarter.

The following videos are what we have called our presidential puppet show, featuring facts about each of the presidents. (We tried using a green screen for the first time. It’s not perfect, but we learned a lot, so please bear with us.)

Presidents George Washington through James Buchanan
edited and compiled by Justin

Presidents Abraham Lincoln through Calvin Coolidge
edited and compiled by Chandler

Coming soon – Presidents, Part III


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