Krebs' Class Blogs

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

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.

March 13, 2017
by Hamoodi4Muhammad

The Solar System

The Solar System was created 4.6 billion years ago. There were 3 rocky planets, then Jupiter was created. It destroyed them to form Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars.

All the planets rotate counter clockwise except the planets Venus and Uranus.

They sent a space probe to Pluto from 2006 and reached it nine years later, June 2015.

I think everyone should learn about our solar system.

February 7, 2017
by fatoom


Imagination is something that everybody has, even though some people just didn’t show it yet. Imagination also helps your English skills. Some people must discover their imagination. You always use your imagination, for example, for art projects and writing.

Imagination is something you also must control because maybe somebody will say that I will push a ball and hit a bottle under somebody and he calls it imagination. This is not imagination; this is called revenge plans. Remember to use your imagination on something good. Imagination!

Image result for imagination sqaishey

Sqaishey “Imagination” Song

February 18, 2015
by Denise Krebs

These Are My Sight Words

We have a new tune stuck in our heads. We recently found “Singing to Learn” on YouTube, and they have a great sight word song.

In KG2, we are learning this song to go with our sight words. The lyrics go like this:

These are my sight words
I see them all about
These are my sight words
No need to sound out
These are my sight words
They’re the words I need
These are my sight words
They help me read

____ is a sight word (Echo)
____ is a sight word (Echo)
____ is a sight word
It’s a word I need
____ is a sight word
It helps me read.

Click the words below to sing along with our sight words.

I    a    my    the    go    he    like    to    come    here    this    me    for    you    look    do    where    one      two     see    what

Here’s a new video with 44 sight words from Singing to Learn. (There are some extras for your advanced child to learn!)

April 8, 2013
by Denise Krebs
1 Comment

Let’s Scale-Up Genius Hour

Angela Maiers has inspired me lately. She does that quite often. Now it’s about scaling up Genius Hour. It’s taking “You are a genius, and the world needs your contribution” to a new level.

You can read more at the link above and at, and be sure to read the You Matter Manifesto.

Do you believe it? Yes, I hope you do!

Here are some questions to ask yourself as you plan your next Genius Hour project:

What matters to you? What breaks your heart about it?

What matters to God? What breaks God’s heart?

Consider issues like pollution, endangered animals, slavery, drug abuse, suicide, global climate change, poverty, disease, illiteracy, injustice, intolerance, abortion, bullying, what else?

What are you going to do about it?

How can you join God in working to solve that problem?

Are you willing to suffer for it?

Can you build grit, determination, perseverance, stick-to-it-iveness during your Genius Hour project?

I want you to consider some of these questions
for your next Genius Hour!

We have already had good examples of this kind of genius at work. Like when Jade and Kaylee made many scarves and then sold them at the benefit for Laurel.


The world needs your genius!

January 17, 2013
by Denise Krebs

Genius Hour Challenge

Try something new with someone new (or work solo).

Master – Practice some skill. It takes 10,000 hours to get to mastery.

Create – Use your imagination to create something.

Learn – Gain knowledge about something that interests you.

Innovate – Solve a problem. Create a solution.

Produce – Make something.

Serve – Do any of the above for someone else!

December 7, 2012
by Denise Krebs
1 Comment

Add Blogging B.E.A.D.

We do writing differently in the 21st century than we did in the 20th century. When I was a student in the last century, I never had an option to make my writing interactive with URLs because there was no such thing as the Internet. I could add color photos if they were developed and printed from film, cut out from a magazine and glued onto my paper, or colored by my own hand.

Ah, but now it’s a different world. We can add all kinds of cool things to our writings.

Here are four ways you can make your writing a better fit for the 21st century.  It’s a B.E.A.D. for your blog.

B is for Breadth

Add URLs to help your reader learn more beyond the topic about which you are writing. Link to examples, applications, interesting side bars, or related blog posts by you or others.

E is for Ease

Formatting helps your reader get the most out of what you say. Use more paragraphing on blog posts than you would on a regular paper. Otherwise, people might just take a quick look at your long paragraph of text and say “tl;dr.”

Be kind on the eyes of the readers. Besides paragraphing, you can also vary the fonts by using bold, italics, and HEADINGS as needed.

A is for Aesthetics

Create a beautiful blog post. Add interest with photos, clipart, illustrated quotes and other graphic images. This not only makes it beautiful, but it also helps visual learners better understand your post. Of course, always remember to use only original, Creative Commons, and subscription clipart for your graphics.

D is for Depth

Add URLs to help your reader go deeper into the topic you are writing about. Give background information, definitions, and link to your sources. People who care about your topic will appreciate the links that will help them get to know more about your topic. If you want to go deeper into advanced blogging skills, don’t miss the Student Blogging Challenge every March and September.


Take advantage of the 21st century and your ability to make your blog post much more than just the words. Add value to your blog posts with meaningful links and images. Make it interactive, wide, deep, easy-to-read, and beautiful.

I tried to illustrate what I meant in this blog post.

Do you see evidence of B.E.A.D. in this post?

April 22, 2012
by Denise Krebs

Conquering the Comma

When do you use a comma? We all make mistakes at times, like Senator Grassley did in his correspondence cited in number 3 below.

I just finished reading a set of essays, and I was pleased at the quality of my students’ work. For the most part and with occasional reminders, the students are learning how to use commas in all these ways.

  1. Direct address. Come here, boys, and get lunch. Tyler, do you have time to do it?
  2. Set off year in a date. March 29, 2012, was a very good day.
  3. Set off state or country. My trip to Barcelona, Spain, was a success.

    Letter to the Director of the Secret Service by Senator Charles Grassley, April 2012

  4. Series of three or more. I enjoy eating pizza, carrots, potatoes, and peas.
  5. After a dependent clause in a complex sentence. As soon as we finish the game, we will eat.
  6. After other introductory words and phrases at the beginning of a sentence. Having eaten all the cookies, Matilda got sick. At the beginning of the trial, the judge called a meeting. Well, I don’t like that.
  7. Before one of the FANBOYS conjunctions (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so) in a compound sentence. I will be here for the game, but I will be a few minutes late.
  8. Between the tag and the quotation. Becca said, “Booggity, booggity, booggity.”

Don’t use a comma:

  1. No comma between the two verbs in a compound predicate. She gave the girls pizza and washed the dishes after they ate.
  2. No comma in any list of two things. I like going to the playground on Saturday and the mall on Friday.

January 6, 2012
by Denise Krebs
1 Comment

Many Ways to Share A Book

No more reading response logs for us. Instead, we are going to share a book a month. You can share in any way you like, but here is a list of genius ideas to get you started.

  1. Produce a book trailer.
  2. Write a book review and post it on your blog.
  3. Create a Glog.
  4. Record a podcast book talk.
  5. Carve a symbol (out of soap or wood or ?) representing the theme of the book.
  6. Design a Scratch animation or game.
  7. Build a Lego or balsa wood setting of the novel.
  8. Edit a newspaper with articles, ads, comics, etc. about your book.
  9. Make a ToonDoo showing the conflict and resolution.
  10. Write a Storybird summarizing your book.

I considered making a list of 50 items, like my fifth grade teacher gave to our class back in the day. Mr. Franksten’s list was on paper, and I treasured it. We had to do something different for each book, and I enjoyed the challenge.

Today, though, I realized I didn’t need to write “50 ways to share a book” because so many others have already done it. Here are links to some great lists: 50 Ways and 75 Ways and 9l Ways.

Anything goes!

Be creative!

Share your genius!

December 19, 2011
by Denise Krebs

7th Grade Genius Hour

Seventh graders have a three-hour block where they will participate in Genius Hour and share their creative productions. We will start after lunch and finish by dismissal time.

The rules are simple:

  1. Be a genius! That is, be creative and productive.
  2. Record your learning in a way that it can be shared digitally (video, photos, blog post, or something else)
  3. Check the rubric, for you will be asked to honestly evaluate your own work.
  4. Be ready at 2:10 p.m. to present to the class what you have created and produced.

Students, as you prepare, consider these possibilities for Genius Hour:

  1. Ask a question you care about and find the answer.
  2. Check out what’s been happening in current affairs and how can you add to the conversation.
  3. Have you been learning anything in some class that sparked an interest?
  4. Continue what you were learning for genius hour last time. Step it up a notch.
  5. Keep your ideas small enough for a two-hour time slot. (For instance, don’t think of World War II for your topic, but perhaps you want to learn about the KA-BAR knife adopted by the Marines in November 1942.)

Here are some websites that you may consider for presenting:

Good luck, everyone!

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