Global Read Aloud 2015

We are excited to announce that our class will be reading the novel, Fish in a Tree, by Lynda Mullaly Hunt, for the Global Read Aloud 2015.

Fish in a Tree***

This global project has brought many rich learning experiences to my students, and students around the world, each year. The premise of the project is simple. Read aloud from the book selected and deepen your understanding by learning with other classrooms around the world.

Today, we listened to Mullaly Hunt read us the first chapter of, Fish in a Tree. Please listen in and join us in our adventure!

FIAT Button Mullaly Hunt

Strong readers read with POWER. We want to read with POWER by thinking deeply about characters right from the beginning of the story.
After reading chapter 1, tell us what predictions you have about Ally. What do you already think about her?

FIAT Chapter 1 Question

We will be sharing our reflections on chapter 1 with a few of our GRA connected classes.

For new GRA friends visiting us for the first time, please consider the question above and leave us a comment.

We can’t wait to hear from you!

Lab Assistant

After reading chapter 15 of our novel, The Fourteenth Goldfish, we were curious to learn more about real lab assistants. Take a look at the video that we shared together in class. Then, share your ideas with us by adding a sticky note to our LinoIt board.


What do you think was the most interesting part of the Lab Assistant’s work?

What kind of research is interesting to you?

Vote for Books to Africa!

Our friend in Washington, Julia, left us a comment that caught our attention.


Julia is a student at Mrs. Hembree’s school. They have been working very hard on a Books to Africa Project. Check out their links HERE and HERE.

These students have been fundraising and collecting books to send to children in Africa that do not have books. We don’t always think of how incredible it is to be able to get any book we want. This is a wonderful opportunity to be grateful and help make a difference in other children’s lives.

Please join with us in supporting the Bell Bulldog Readers!
Here’s what you can do:
1. Go to

2. Click on the Books to Africa video.


3. Click on the blue button that says, “Vote for this Video!”


4. You can vote 1 time, from each device, each day until May 31st.

Every Child Deserves a Book.


Help make a difference the life of a child!


International Show and Tell

Well, that was fun.

Today, we were able to meet Mrs. Monaghan’s class in England through Skype. During our blogging conversations, we discovered words we didn’t know and items we hadn’t heard before. We found out that we sometimes call the same things by different names. So, we decided to play a game of International Show and Tell.



Middleham started us off, “We think you might not know what a Fat Rascal is.” And, we didn’t. When they showed us what it looked like, we yelled, “It’s a cookie!” They told us it was actually a scone. None of the children in our class eat scones, but adults sometimes have it with coffee.

They continued to challenge us with
Flat Cap
Double Decker
& Freddo

We knew 3 of their terms.

The Techie Kids tried a few of our own terms too. We asked if they knew

They knew or were able to figure out most of these terms. We loved hearing what they called some of the items. We found out that the drink we call pop, they call “fizzy drinks.” They call Band-Aids, “plasters” and barettes, “hair-slides.”


Here’s an Animoto of the excitement.


Only 1 student in Mrs. Monaghan’s class had heard of a S’More before. They told us that they would be going camping soon. We thought it was important that they knew how to make these delicious snacks before they left!

Here’s our Snapguide teaching you how to make a S’More.

Check out How to Make a S'More by Kelly Moore on Snapguide.


There were many more items we wanted to share, but didn’t have time.
Here is a SlideShare game we made for you. See if you can figure it out before clicking to the next slide.

Thanks for a super fun game!

Which items did you know by name?

Which items were new to you?

Did you have any other items you wanted to ask us?


Mail from Mr. Mannell

Today, the Techie Kids had a wonderful surprise! We received a package in the mail from the fabulous, Mr. Mannell (@RossMannell). He has been doing an amazing job of supporting my 3rd through 8th grade bloggers.

Here are the first comments that we shared on our Winter in Michigan post.


Here are the links to additional posts that were kicked off by these comments. Please explore them! I’m sure you will love them as much as we have!


We were thrilled when we opened the Australian package and found a book, Wombat’s Secret, a wombat figurine, and a token from Potoroo Palace, an animal sanctuary where Mr. Mannell took many of his incredible animal photographs.


Here are some of the amazing images taken by Mr. Mannell that he shared with us and gave us permission to use.


We found out that it took 14 days to travel from New South Wales, Australia to Michigan, USA. If the package could travel in a straight line, the total distance traveled would be about 9,600 miles.

View A Wombat’s Journey in a larger map


Mrs. Moore is an Indiana Jones fan, so she was excited to share this Google Map, Treasure Map style! 🙂

Since Australian animals were a big focus of many comments and posts, we’d like to share some pictures of animals in our area with you. Click on the book cover below to read our Michigan Animals book.

Michigan Animals


We are so excited that blogging has allowed us to connect with new friends around the world!

Thank you, Mr. Mannell, for all that you’ve shared with us!


Please tell us something that you have learned from Mr. Mannell.

What animals live in your area or are unique to your area?


What animal is most interesting to you and why?


Thank You!

Blogging is simply amazing! Thank you for helping us learn about our world and how technology lets us make connections in ways that weren’t possible before. 


Our Winter in Michigan post received 86 comments. Our readers commented from 15 different locations, 6 different states in the U.S., 6 different countries, on 4 different continents.

Mrs. Yollis shared information about the weather in Southern California with us on her class blog.


Mr. Webb in New Zealand created 2 posts for us, 1 with a photo slideshow and 1 with weather report videos.



Ross Mannell’s excellent comments and replies led to even more shared learning as he posted to his Extended Comments for Students blog.


Here is a Google Map we created showing where each comment was written. We added some highlights about the weather in their area at the time of the post.

View World Wide Weather in a larger map

Our students were amazed at the response and the facts that you shared! They were very excited to reply to you. We searched each state or country noted in the comments on Google Earth. Our classes were delighted to see the Earth spin and “fly to” each location. They loved seeing photographs taken in each area. We took note of landforms and compared and contrasted them to our own. Our classes are buzzing with adventure as they share places they want to visit and learn more about because of your comments.

A bajillion (yes, bajillion=considerably more than a million) thanks to all of you!

We are excited to see what we will learn from you next!

Winter in Michigan

As we have been discovering different blogs around the world, we began to notice a few things about the weather. Some of us were talking about the cold temperatures and all the snow we’ve been getting like, Mr. Avery’s class and Mr. Salsich’s class, and the snow we are hoping to get, Mrs. Watson’s class. But then, we noticed some blogs talking about warm weather, 4KM and 4KJ, and swimming, Mrs. McKenzie’s class.


Our students decided they wanted to share some pictures of what it looks like in our area right now and invite others to compare. Here are some pictures that reflect our cold weather during our current season of Winter.


Click here to see Snow Falling




Will you help us learn about our world by sharing about life in your area?


What season is it where you live and what seasonal activities do you currently enjoy?

Can you tell us what that season looks like where you live?

What are some of the characteristics of different seasons in your community?


Tongue Twisters

One of my favorite Dr. Seuss books is Fox in Socks. I just love the silly tongue twister tales. Let’s have some fun in the style of this awesome author by writing and reading some of our own. Many tongue twisters use alliteration. Alliteration is repeating a particular sound in the first syllables of a series of words or phrases. Try this strategy. Choose a letter to focus on for your alliteration. Brainstorm a list of 10-12 adjectives, nouns, verbs, and other parts of speech that begin with this letter. Try to create a short story using these words in a combination of simple and complex sentences. Share your tongue twister in a comment so we can try out your tricky tale.

Here are 2 that Mrs. Moore tried.


The bright, blue balloon broke loose from boy’s box.
Boy used broom to bring bright, blue balloon back to box.
Silly boy. Bright, blue balloons don’t go back in box.


Skunk skipped to the Slippers and Shiny Shoes Store.
Skunk shouted when she spotted six, slick, slimy shoes.
Should she show the shoes to the shoppers or
Should she stop and sling the shoes into the sink?
She should stop.
Some shoes slipping. Some shoes sliding.
Skunk shook the slimy shoes ’til the strings swung into the sink
Slowly she stood on a stool, scooped up the shoes, and shoved them onto the shelf.
She began to shout and spout , “Now she can show me the shiny shoes!”

Share one of your own tongue twister tales.
What’s a strategy we should use when writing with alliteration?