Monday, October 17, 2016

The Little Red Robin.

By Kaelyn, Aleea, Shannon, and Rosalie

Aleea, Shannon, Rosalie, and Kaelyn have been working on a play for Readers Theater for our fluency. We have been working on our fluency for weeks.  Aleea was the Lazy Duck, Kaelyn was the lazy Dog, Rosalie was the Little Red Robin, Mrs Smith was the Lazy at, and Shannon was the Narrator.  We had a lot of fun.  

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Trip to the Library

Our class has been working hard to learn about the history of Proctor.  We have found that there is little information on the internet and are doing most of our research using materials that Mrs. Dobart has lent our class.  Yesterday, we decided to walk down to the Proctor Free Library to look at all of the amazing resources there.  Ms. Miser pulled many resources, newspaper articles, and pictures for us to look at.  We had a great time looking through all of the resources and talking to Ms. Miser.  Our Proctor history projects are really coming along and we can't wait to see what they look like finished!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Proctor History Project

What a great start to our year!  We have spent a lot of our year so far learning and practicing expectations and routines for the classroom.  This group of students has caught on quick, which has allowed us to jump right into the curriculum.

We have just started our unit on Proctor history.  I started off the unit with the students sharing what they already know about Proctor’s history and I have to say that they are quite knowledgable already.  We have read about the Abenaki Indians who lived in this area and we compared their lifestyle to our current one.  The students were amazed at the differences and even at some of the similarities.  

Our school has begun a new initiative called Project Based Learning, or PBL for short.  Project based learning allows our students to learn about a subject through the completion of a project.  This type of learning allows the students to be independent, have a lot of say in what they are learning, display their learning in many ways, and move at their own pace.  Often PBL centers around a current hot topic or something that impacts the community and the final products created by the students have local impact.

What does this have to do with Proctor history?  We are learning about Proctor history through Project Based Learning.  I have given the students the question, “What is Proctor’s story?”  The students are being asked to pick a landmark in Proctor that interests them and then partner up with a student who has the same interest as them.  Students will be creating questions to ask about their landmark and then researching to answer those questions.  Once students have become experts on their landmark, they will create a video sharing out their information.  Once our class is finished with their presentations, we will be creating a tour map of Proctor for our community members, future students, and visitors.  The map will include links to the videos students have made.  We are very excited about this project.

So how can you help?  The information we have about some of the landmarks in our town is limited.  The students and I have discussed that our best resources in town are the people who live here. I have encouraged the students to interview you (if you grew up here) and their neighbors.  We have discussed that they should not be interviewing anyone without permission from you!

Students are also encouraged to go out to their landmark to take pictures and/or video.  They will use these in the video presentation they create.  If your student does take pictures and/or video, they can either log into their Google accounts at home and upload them to their Google Drive or they can be emailed to me and I will then forward them to the correct email.  

Thank you for all of your help in advance and we can’t wait to show you our finished product!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Welcome Back!

Welcome to a new school year! We spent our first week getting to know our expectations, getting sorted into our Hogwarts houses, and figuring out how to work as a team.  We laughed a lot!  We are looking forward to a great year together!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Diary of a Beta Fish

Our class has been asked to foster a fish!  Meet Ms. Bluey.

Ms. Bluey usually resides in Mrs. Levy's classroom.  While Mrs. Levy is out, we have offered to house Ms. Bluey, to feed her and to take care of her.  While doing this, we decided to have a little fun and create a blog for Ms. Bluey to keep track of her adventures while with us.  Click on the link below to check it out and to see what Ms. Bluey wrote about our Halloween activities.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

VT State Parks Education Program

Our class, along with Mrs. Dobart's and Mrs. Fagan's classes, have been participating in a new educational outreach program through the Vermont State Parks.  Every Wednesday, we have Cat, a park interpreter from Lake St. Catherine, visit each of the three classrooms to teach us more about science.  Our class has been focusing on the earth and how it has changed over the years.  During the first week, students explored the major fault lines and how this has led to our 7 continents.  Students also learned that these fault lines have resulted in many mountains.  During week 2, students spent time learning how erosion and weather affect and change the land around us as well. The students even tried weathering rocks themselves with sandpaper.  Last week, we learned about the three different types or rocks - sedimentary, igneous, metamorphic - and how each type is formed.  Today, during her last visit with us, Cat taught us about fossils.  She taught us how fossils are made and why they are important.  Fossils give us clues about our past.  After learning about fossils, the students got to use clay and shells to make their own fossils.  This was a fun way to end our program with Cat.  We learned so much and had a great time doing so.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Vermont Author Visits 3rd Grade

Our class has been reading a new middle grade book, Eddie Red Undercover Mystery on Museum Mile, written by Marcia Wells.  This book is about a 6th grade boy, Eddie Red, who has a photographic memory.  After witnessing a fight in an alley, Eddie finds himself working on an art robbery case with the NYC police department.  The book is funny and has a great mystery to solve.
We have greatly enjoyed this book.  Ask any 3rd grader from our class and they will probably tell you that their favorite part of the story was how the science teacher, Mr. Patterson, got the nickname Mr. Pee.  It involves Eddie’s best friend, Jonah, a red sweater, an apple, and a puddle of pee.  This book will have you laughing throughout the entire thing and on the edge of your seat while Eddie gets himself into trouble trying to solve the case.  
It turns out that Ms. Wells lives in Vermont.  We used our connections, wrote her letters pleading with her to come visit, and convinced her that Mrs. Smith’s 3rd grade was where she wanted to be!  We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Ms. Wells to discuss her book.  

How long was the process for writing Eddie Red? (Alanah)

A lot of people think that it is really long to write.  Ms. Wells said that it took a couple of years to write the first book.  But it did not take as long for the other books.  It took only about 6 months for books 2 and 3.  It took 5 years to find a publisher and 2 years to publish once she had a contract.  She also had a lot of help from her friends.   

When did you start writing? (Alanah)

Ms. Wells said that she started when she was older, about 7 years ago.  When she was our age, like 9 and 10, she wrote a book named Sally and the Mermaid.

Are you writing any new books?  Can you tell us anything about them? (Shelby)

Marcia Wells told us that she just wrote an adventure about 2 VT boys and Abenaki Indians.
She also wrote a mystery about a missing bully.

How did you come up with the character, Eddie Red and Detective Bovano? (Brennen)

Ms. Wells said she doesn’t really remember. She said they just sort of showed up.
Detective Bovano’s original name was Benson but someone told her it was already someone's name in a TV show. She tried to think of a really good Italian name and it was Bovano.

Who or what inspired you to write and how did you become writer? (Grace)

Ms.Wells told us she taught 7th grade boys. Her class inspired her to write. Also the books of Harry Potter written by J.K Rowling inspired her to write because of all the mystery and excitement in her books. She said she hadn’t read kids books for a long time and now all she reads are kids books.

What advice can you give us as young writers? (Brookelyn)

Ms. Wells said there 6 things you can do to become a better writer. They are write, write, write, read, read, read. That’s all you need for success. Authors read to get inspired, then write ideas down. She also gave more advice. It was don’t give up. I bet you didn’t know Ms.Wells has written 7 books but only 3 have been published.     

How did you come up with the idea for the book Eddie Red Undercover Mystery on Museum Mile? (Nathan)

We asked Ms. Wells the question on the top. She said the she came up with the idea because she taught 7th grade boys reading and Spanish. They read mystery books so she started to make books. Then she came up with the idea of mystery.

How is the illustrator for your books chosen? (Nathan)

People think that she got to pick her illustrator but that isn’t true at all. The publishing team does.The art director works with the author and illustrator to make the pictures for the book, then puts them in.

You have written 2 books so far. Which one is your favorite and why? (Aidan)

We asked Ms. Wells the question above and this is what she said. She likes them all equally. But if she had to pick one it would be the first book because you get to know Eddie and the idea was more magical.

Who is your favorite character? (Jared)

Eddie and Jonah are both Ms. Wells’ favorite characters.  Ms. Wells mentioned that she wrote so much about Jonah that she had to erase about half because the story is not called Jonah Red, it is called Eddie Red.

Where did you get the idea for Eddie Red to have a photographic memory? (Bryan)

Ms.Wells wanted Eddie to have a realistic human super power. She also made Eddie an artist because she isn’t artistic.

In addition to answering all of our questions, Ms. Wells explained to us how the illustrations in her book came to be.  Originally, Eddie Red was not going to have illustrations but after reading it, the publisher said it needed pictures.  Of course this made sense because Eddie is an artist.  The artist, Marcos Calo, is from Spain and his work is something that many people have seen.  Mr. Calo worked on the animation for “Despicable Me”.
Ms. Wells described the process the book went through to get the illustrations just right.  The creative team first described the book to Marcos Calo and he then got to work.  He submitted several different covers.  The creative team then picked a cover that would grab the reader's’ attention.  It turns out that Ms. Wells’ favorite cover was not the one picked by the creative team.  Ms. Wells mentioned that when you publish a book, it isn’t just yours anymore.  It becomes a team thing.  After the cover was chosen, the art director was responsible for adding the titles.  In the case of Eddie Red, the art director made the lettering look 3-D, added the police tape, and decided where to put the author’s name.
In telling us about the illustration process, Ms. Wells mentioned that because Marcos Calo is from Spain there was a bit of a cultural influence on his illustrations.  Mr. Calo does speak English but some of the meaning of the story would get lost in translation.  Every time Mr. Calo would submit a drawing of Eddie, he would have a satchel instead of a backpack.  Ms. Wells had to continually point this out so that the drawing could be changed to a backpack.  
We would highly recommend Eddie Red Undercover Mystery on Museum Mile.  It is an ├╝ber-cool book!!

For more information on Marcia Wells, go to
For more information on Marcos Calo, go to