Krebs' Class Blogs

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

November 2, 2020
by Jerome W.
1 Comment

MaKey MaKey Creations

MaKey MaKey Project

One day I had this idea of “goosebumps” ;little bumps which you touch. They were connected to markers wrapped in tinfoil (the goosebumps were made out of  tinfoil as well). Why this is different from just having tinfoil is because there is a specific place which you touch, so you won’t touch the tinfoil.

These were my plans:

I tried this and it actually worked!

Next time I would like to make a MaKey MaKey  project that has very little tinfoil.

Here is a picture of a “goosebump” :

Here is how it works:

Over & Out,

Jerome W.

October 1, 2013
by Denise Krebs

How Much Does it Cost?

I recently returned from a trip to Bahrain. I took a picture at the gas station where we bought gas.

I thought you might be interested in finding out how the price of gas compares to the price where you live. You’ll have to do some research and math to figure it out.

Here are some facts that will help you:

  • BD stands for Bahraini Dinar, which is the currency in Bahrain.
  • The picture below shows the cost for one tank of gas: 5.095 BD for exactly 50.960 liters.

Please let me know if you take my challenge!


March 27, 2013
by Denise Krebs

Geography Surveys

Will you please help us understand how geographic and human characteristics create culture and define regions?


Wait, it’s not as bad as it sounds. We mostly want to know what you call some of these common items. Please take one or more of our surveys. Thank you!

  1. Click here to take survey 1
  2. Click here to take survey 2
  3. Click here to take survey 3

Images are from the iClipart for Iowa schools subscription service.

March 1, 2013
by Denise Krebs

February Genius Hour Projects

We’ve been taking two periods a week, about 85 minutes, to learn what we are passionate about. Students reports on their latest learnings are here.

February 8, 2013
by Denise Krebs

The Evolution of a Series

How long does it take for something to become a series? Three tweets?


Here are three tweets that we think have started a series. We have been seeing some amazing and inspiring videos of creative genius, so we thought a series might be in order.

Check out the first in the series. Have you seen these? All we can say is WOW!

Do you have any WOW videos you’d like us to share?

Just add it to the comments. Or tweet it, mentioning @KrebsClass so we’ll see it. We’ll pass it on and tell everyone we learned about it from you. Thanks!

November 10, 2012
by Denise Krebs
1 Comment

We Used the Bugscope Again

Seventh graders used the Bugscope, an Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope housed at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. We were able to use our laptop computers to control the microscope and chat with the scientists about what we were seeing.

One of the questions a student asked was, what is nanoscale? I should have shown this TED-Ed video called What is Nano? before we used the Bugscope, but we did watch it later. You can watch it here:

We were all intrigued by just how far we could zoom in on the insect parts. We were going deep into nanoscale.

You can view the archive of our session. Scroll down to 10:14 a.m. in the archive and you can actually see what we saw.

Here are the students’ blog posts about their Bugscope experience…






November 9, 2012
by Denise Krebs

What if all 50 States Were NOT Winner-Take-All?

We were curious. And curiosity is a genius thing, so we did something about it.

Maine and Nebraska are the only two states that divide up their electoral votes according to the proportion of votes each candidate receives.

We decided to see how the electoral college of 2012 would have been different if all 50 states used proportional voting.

Here’s how our map came out:

We finished up at the end of class, just about at the bell. We have a few errors to fix on Monday and some questions to find answers to. However, right now it appears that there is a tie in electoral votes with 267 each for Obama and Romney, along with 4 others that we weren’t sure what to do with.

On Monday, we will continue our curiosity and see what answers we can find.

So, here we are on Monday. There were a few mistakes — an extra vote we had to take away from Romney in NJ and Nebraska, and we had to give Romney another electoral vote in Nevada. We also forgot to add in the three electors from Washington, D.C. There was also at least one addition error. So here’s what we have, our official (and incomplete) voting results if the electors voted based on the popular vote.

  • Obama 269
  • Romney 266
  • Undecided – 1 each in Missouri, Illinois, and Pennsylvania

However, if it’s left at that, we still don’t have a president, as a candidate needs at least 270. Since Obama won two of those states and Romney won in one, we could give the delegate to the state winners, as it might be done in Nebraska and Maine. (Here is more information about the electoral college.)

When we add in the undecideds, then our official results look like this, and President Obama would be declared the winner:

  • Obama 271
  • Romney 267

We did learn that in a close election it is extremely important to be completely accurate. We had to check and double-check the proportions of the popular votes when we assigned the electors and the addition of the electors in each of the Obama and Romney columns.

Here is another map, not nearly as close, based on the #KidVote collaborative event we were part of:


This is the official map of the 2012 Electoral College from

What do you think about the way we count the votes in a U.S. presidential election?

Is there a better way to determine who wins the election?

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