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Mighty Writers 2011-12
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From the third graders in room 12 at Arbor Heights Elementary

roomtwelve.com

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by Mark Ahlness
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Article posted September 3, 2012 at 01:53 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 48214

Now that this blog is officially closed for new student writing, I thought it would be good to take a look back at an important part of the last five years in the roomtwelve.com classroom: the XO Laptop.



A week ago I sent off the 31 XO Laptops from our classroom Lending Library to the Columbus School for Girls, in Columbus, Ohio. They will be used to help the students there learn about how computers work, specifics on the XO Laptop (like how they run, learning how to take them apart, and so on) - and at the end of the school year, students from the school will take them to St John in the Virgin Islands, where the next chapter of their XO Laptop lives will start.



All of the XOs in our classroom were donated to us by people who wanted their XOs to be used by kids. I've written about our experiences in:

Article posted September 3, 2012 at 01:53 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 48214



Article posted August 18, 2012 at 11:40 PM GMT0 • comment • Reads 90

Hi All, and especially students from roomtwelve.com,



I had a little fun recently, creating an art project in my backyard out of spiral tiles I had made (and saved over the years) from teaching art. Our classroom made clay tiles with spirals on them, based on "Spiral Jetty", and then we hung them together as a quilt, for the school to enjoy for a while.



Anyway, I had several of my tiles saved up from teaching the lesson for so many years, and I decided to do something with them. Click on the picture below to see a larger version:



Installation finished!



You can see the planning process I went through by looking at these pictures. They are cemented to that wall for good! Here's how it looks from the upper deck:



Spiral from a distance 2



I hope you are all having a great summer! - Mr. Ahlness

Article posted August 18, 2012 at 11:40 PM GMT0 • comment • Reads 90



Article posted June 30, 2012 at 06:35 PM GMT0 • comment • Reads 96

There is still a little writing left to do on this blog! Some students have parent permission to continue blogging this summer. Click on the picture below (part of the class creating slideshows of their year in room twelve) to read what's up with roomtwelve.com this summer:


Partner work

Article posted June 30, 2012 at 06:35 PM GMT0 • comment • Reads 96



Article posted June 14, 2012 at 07:00 PM GMT0 • comment • Reads 180

Well, we are finally nearing the end of the school year out here in Seattle. The last day of school is June 22nd. The students at roomtwelve.com know their blogging will end here, too. But it will be different this time, because I am retiring from teaching at the end of the school year.



In the past, students have been able to blog from home over the summer, or even continue from another classroom, with parent permission. But because I will no longer be an employee of the school district, I must close down the blog.



But wait! It's not going away!!



It will stay right here, with the thousands of articles written by the third graders in Room twelve. There just won't be any new writing going up.



One thing I will keep active over the summer though, is commenting. Visitors can leave comments on any student or teacher writing until September 1, 2012.



Many, many thanks to Mr. David Warlick, who designed and maintains classblogmeister for thousands of bloggers! Teachers and students are grateful and forever in your debt, David!



If you'd like to read what some of the current blogging class has to say about having a blog here, click on the picture below, where the kids were tallying up the total blog articles they have posted as a group this year:

411



Mark Ahlness

Article posted June 14, 2012 at 07:00 PM GMT0 • comment • Reads 180



Article posted June 5, 2012 at 06:31 PM GMT0 • comment (1) • Reads 113

Below is what our classroom looks like just before everybody changes desks. Click on the picture to see what the kids in roomtwelve.com have to say about it


Last Moving Day

Article posted June 5, 2012 at 06:31 PM GMT0 • comment (1) • Reads 113



Article posted May 29, 2012 at 12:53 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 81

On May 15, we took a field trip to the International District, often called Chinatown, in Seattle. If you'd like to read about our adventures, click on the picture of the dragon, below:

Dargon

Article posted May 29, 2012 at 12:53 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 81



Article posted May 11, 2012 at 04:33 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 89

We just finished the MSP, Washington State's "Measurements of Student Progress". There were two tests, reading and math, taken two days apart. The picture below shows the sign we put outside our classroom door - and the results of a vote for the part of the test they liked best. Click on the picture to read what the students at roomtwelve.com thought about their first experience with the test.

MSP

Article posted May 11, 2012 at 04:33 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 89



Article posted May 10, 2012 at 08:50 PM GMT0 • comment • Reads 93

Our school just got a new computer lab, and it's pretty exciting up there. Not only is it all cleaned up with new wiring, but it's full of shiny new iMacs! Click on the picture of our class below (during their first visit) to read what they thought about it all.

Room twelve visits the new lab

Article posted May 10, 2012 at 08:50 PM GMT0 • comment • Reads 93



Article posted April 24, 2012 at 04:47 AM GMT0 • comment (5) • Reads 109

I'm very proud of the work my students have posted here this year, and over the past 6 years. They have pushed the envelope, and many have worked on their writing well beyond the school day.



A few weeks ago I was invited to go down to a local TV/Radio station complex in Seattle, to help promote a grant opportunity for teachers - and classrooms interested in doing some cutting edge work with technology. So I went.



Since then, I've been broadcast on the radio, and I have been seen on TV ads for this website: centurylinkteachers.com. Here's the video:



Article posted April 24, 2012 at 04:47 AM GMT0 • comment (5) • Reads 109



Article posted April 15, 2012 at 07:03 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 77

The students at roomtwelve.com have worked very hard coordinating the Earth Day Groceries Project at our school over the last three weeks.



We just delivered the school's decorated bags to Safeway. You can read about the story and see a picture of us on the West Seattle Blog here!.



They wrote down their thoughts about the experience and about Earth Day, and put them on their blogs. Click on the picture of all 369 of our school's Earth Day Grocery bags below to read what they had to say:

Earth Day 2012

Article posted April 15, 2012 at 07:03 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 77



Article posted April 5, 2012 at 03:50 AM GMT0 • comment (1) • Reads 89

The third graders in roomtwelve.com just finished one of the most difficult tasks they will have to do this year - speak in front of another classroom. They were distributing paper grocery bags and information to all the classrooms in our school, which is participating in The Earth Day Groceries Project for the 20th year!



Click on the image from our chalkboard of the complicated delivery schedule we had for two very intense days, and read what they had to say about the experience.



Public Speaking in 3rd Grade

Article posted April 5, 2012 at 03:50 AM GMT0 • comment (1) • Reads 89



Article posted March 24, 2012 at 06:26 AM GMT0 • comment (2) • Reads 87

The mighty third grade writers at roomtwelve.com have spent the last couple of weeks creating books - yes, ink and paper, hold in your hands, actual books! Those books were their contributions to our school's annual Young Author's Conference.



To read what they had to say about that - and to actually read their books - click on the picture of some of them below. They have included links to pdf versions of their books in their writing!


Best of My Blog

Article posted March 24, 2012 at 06:26 AM GMT0 • comment (2) • Reads 87



Article posted January 21, 2012 at 12:11 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 68

I told the kids at roomtwelve.com that if they were able to make enough six sided snowflakes to cover the 3 window shades in our classroom, we would get a snow day. So several took home snowflake paper when they left early (see the clock) because of a snow warning. At that time there were not enough snowflakes to cover the shades. They must have made a ton when they got home, because we just had 3 snow days, one for each shade, I guess!



If you click on the picture below, you can read some of their thoughts on snow, sent in from home, during their unexpected vacation. - Mr. A.



01-17-12 Early Dismissal

Article posted January 21, 2012 at 12:11 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 68



Article posted January 12, 2012 at 05:21 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 70

Most people have taken their holiday lights down by now (January 11). And there are a few who keep them up. We've been talking about it in class this week. We took a few minutes yesterday for the kids to send out their thoughts on their blogs. Click on the picture below to read what they had to say. 01-10-12 Deck Tree


Then we took a vote on whether or not our classroom holiday lights should stay up or come down. The kids decided they should stay up until the end of January! Yay, Season of Lights! - Mr. A.



ps - the picture above is from my back deck. The tree is from our living room, and my wife and I took it down on January 8th, but we couldn't bear to throw it away. So we put it on our deck, wrapped a string of lights around it, and we get to enjoy it for a while longer!

Article posted January 12, 2012 at 05:21 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 70



Article posted January 6, 2012 at 04:18 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 69

As the sun rises on a New Year, the 3rd graders at roomtwelve.com have been thinking about how 2012 can be a better year - for themselves, and for the rest of the world. Their visions range from extremely personal resolutions, to all encompassing wishes for a better world. Click on the sunrise below, and enjoy!


01-04-12 sunrise

Article posted January 6, 2012 at 04:18 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 69



Article posted December 17, 2011 at 05:56 AM GMT0 • comment (1) • Reads 74

With Winter Vacation now upon us, it's time to reflect on events we remember happening at this time of the year. The third graders at roomtwelve.com have been busy working up narratives of memorable events. Click here, or just click on the cat in the tree below.


Hey look at me 1

Article posted December 17, 2011 at 05:56 AM GMT0 • comment (1) • Reads 74



Article posted November 20, 2011 at 02:53 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 68

With Thanksgiving approaching, the third graders at roomtwelve.com have been busy writing stories to try and answer this prompt: (click on the picture to go to their writing)


Turkey Escape



Their teacher thinks they're mostly pretty creative solutions - well, sadly, not all have a happy ending... Anyway, you can read all of their stories (and feel free to leave comments) here.




And just because, one time every year, we play Spin the Turkey. Total chaos, total fun.


Article posted November 20, 2011 at 02:53 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 68



Article posted October 29, 2011 at 07:09 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 77

Boo 2


It's almost Halloween, and the students at roomtwelve.com have been busy creating spooky stories to creep you out. If you think you can handle it, read them all here

Boo!!

Article posted October 29, 2011 at 07:09 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 77



Article posted October 13, 2011 at 04:33 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 75

Room Twelve is home to the Arbor Heights XO Laptop Lending Library. In the next couple of weeks our students will be getting things underway for the year by checking XO laptops out for the weekend. We've been spending more time getting to know the ins and outs of these amazing little computers:


XO laptops in room 12!

Article posted October 13, 2011 at 04:33 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 75



Article posted October 13, 2011 at 02:13 AM GMT0 • comment (1) • Reads 62

On October 6, 2011 we had an Open House at our school. It's a great way to meet new families at the beginning of the school year and chat a little. I usually also do a quick talk for everybody. This year I wanted to make it available online, especially for those who were not able to make it to the Open House. Here's what I had to say:


Article posted October 13, 2011 at 02:13 AM GMT0 • comment (1) • Reads 62



Article posted September 17, 2011 at 06:50 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 75

Dance Chance 2011a

Today all the third graders at Arbor Heights got a look from the staff at Pacific Northwest Ballet, to see if they might qualify for Dance Chance, a really wonderful opportunity. Our school has partnered with PNB for many years in this exciting program. Four students from our third grade classes were invited. One was from Room Twelve!

Article posted September 17, 2011 at 06:50 AM GMT0 • comment • Reads 75



Article posted September 15, 2011 at 06:31 AM GMT0 • comment (1) • Reads 70

roomtwelve.com 2011-12


The 2011-12 school year is finally underway at roomtwelve.com in Seattle! Students are in the process of learning how to log on to their their blogs, customizing the look, giving them names and writing an "About the Blogger" description. New articles from this year's class will start appearing by September 15, 2011...

And it's only six days into the school year! Come back often to check in on what's happening, or sign on to follow the the rss feed of any of the 30 active bloggers here! Or just stroll down the third grade Memory Lane of any of the 144 bloggers on the right from roomtwelve.com - Mr. Ahlness

Article posted September 15, 2011 at 06:31 AM GMT0 • comment (1) • Reads 70



Article posted July 20, 2011 at 09:13 PM GMT0 • comment • Reads 67

Room 12, 2010-11, last day 1


Well, here's everybody on the last day of school, 2010-11, about to head off into summer vacation! This was a wonderful group of third graders, and I will miss them all! I'll also miss their writing. Here's a sample - some short pieces on a variety of their Favorite Things during the school year - written in the last few days of school. Sail on, Room Twelve, and come back to visit next year! - Mr. Ahlness

Article posted July 20, 2011 at 09:13 PM GMT0 • comment • Reads 67



Article posted April 21, 2011 at 05:10 PM GMT0 • comment (9) • Reads 68

Earth Day Grocery Bags decorated by students from Arbor Heights Elementary in Seattle!

These are the bags decorated by the students from roomtwelve.com - on display at our local Safeway. Arbor Heights Elementary has partnered with Safeway in this project for 19 years. This year there were school scheduling conflicts, and Earth Day fell at the end of our Spring Break, so these were the only bags turned in from our school. Great job, kids in Room Twelve! Head over to the Earth Day Groceries Project to find out more about this international effort, and...

Happy Earth Day! (April 22nd, every year) - Mr. A.

Article posted April 21, 2011 at 05:10 PM GMT0 •