El dia de los ninos: Connecting Libraries and Making Connections

IMG_0570Over the weekend, an opportunity popped up on Twitter.  Mrs. Crook, elementary librarian in Gastonia NC, tweeted that she wanted to connect with some class in honor of El dia de los ninos.  This day, celebrated on April 30, honors many cultures, children, and books.  It’s a day to celebrate reading, celebrate our uniqueness, and celebrate the joy of reading in many languages.  Mrs. Crook had many great ideas for celebrating the day.

Athens, GA to Gastonia, NC

Athens, GA to Gastonia, NC


IMG_0578We chose to celebrate with her by connecting 2 Kindergarten classes through Skype and doing a shared reading of Book Fiesta by Pat Mora.  Before our Skype, I showed Mrs. Li’s Kindergarten class a Google map of the distance from Athens, GA to Gastonia, NC.  We learned it was about 181 miles away and would take about 2 hours 50 minutes to drive there.  In our connection, I read the English pages of the book, and one of Mrs. Crook’s students read the Spanish pages.  It was so much fun to hear the pages spoken in 2 languages.  Mrs. Crook had several students who spoke Spanish and many of them began sharing their words in a chorus of voices.  Mrs. Li had 2 students who spoke Chinese.  I was so happy when Mrs. Li stepped up to the camera and said hello in Chinese to all of Mrs. Crook’s students.  She even taught them a few words and had them repeat them back.  We said “adios” to one another and disconnected.IMG_0569

After our Skype, we talked about several other books in our library collection that are bilingual.  We also listened to this Dia Day song.

IMG_0576Later in the day, Ms. Spurgeon’s 3rd grade class came to read the book Tomas and the Library Lady.  This book had a wonderful connection with Ms. Spurgeon’s work this year with diverse literature and literature that raises discussions about poverty and still achieving your dreams.  The book also connected with their discussions of Cesar Chavez and migrant workers.  I have my own connection to the book because I am friends with Tomas Rivera’s daughter.  As I read the story, I couldn’t help but think of Ileana on every page and how grateful I was to the library lady in Iowa that gave her dad access to books no matter what the circumstance.  I was also grateful to Tomas Rivera for persevering to bring new stories to his family and becoming such a leader in education.  This story gave many of our students a positive example of someone striving for their dreams in life no matter their background, living conditions, or social status.  We read the book to celebrate Dia and to talk about the importance of summer reading, but I think we left the lesson with many more conversations flowing in our minds that could not have been predicted in advance.

Tomas Rivera's daughter, Ileana Liberatore signed this copy of the book.

Tomas Rivera’s daughter, Ileana Liberatore signed this copy of the book.


Kindergarten Tux Paint Consultants

Today Mrs. Kelly Hocking’s Kindergarten students had so much fun Skyping with Shannon Miller’s Kindergarten and 1st Grade students in Van Meter, IA.  Shannon’s students are planning to embark on a similar project as Kelly’s students by making their own stories in Tux Paint and recording them with a screencasting tool.  The purpose of today’s Skype session was for Shannon’s students to ask Kelly’s students about what they did.

Shannon's students watched our videos in Van Meter, IA before our connection

Shannon’s students watched our videos in Van Meter, IA before our connection

Before our connection, Shannon showed her students our Tux Paint videos made in Screencast-o-matic, including the instructional video.  She let me know on Twitter that they were ready.

When we connected, Shannon’s students applauded Kelly’s students’ great work on their stories.  Then she guided them in asking questions about the process.  They asked questions like:

  • How did you decide what to write about?
  • How did you work together?
  • How did you learn to use Tux Paint?
  • What screencasting tool did you use?
  • How long did your story have to be?
  • and more

Each time a question was asked, Mrs. Kelly called on a student to answer, and sometimes she answered the question or added additional insight.  We had a computer ready with Tux Paint in case we needed it to show something.  The students also had their planning paper, which they showed to answer one of the questions.  I had a USB webcam plugged in so that I could move the camera closer to students as they talked.  Although, my camera skills weren’t great, I think the kids enjoyed seeing themselves closeup on the screen.

Now, Shannon’s K and 1st grade students plan to use Tux Paint to make their own stories and use a new screencasting tool to record them.  We ended our time by agreeing to come back together to Skype and share our work with one another before the end of the year.

Shannon, Kelly, and I could have all easily just done the teaching of Tux Paint on our own, but giving the students this ownership of the project and sharing of expertise between schools means so much more.  I think that they now look at themselves as experts with knowledge to share.  Not only do they have the knowledge, they have the support that it is ok to take a leadership role in the classroom and teach alongside the adult teacher.  They also know that they have an authentic audience that their work immediately impacts.  I hope that this idea blossoms into other opportunities for students to demonstrate their knowledge and become leaders in technology and learning for our school and beyond.

World Book Night 2013

In the bag:  A letter about World Book Night, discussion guide, Wimpy Kid bookmark, and Middle School the Worst Years of My Life

In the bag: A letter about World Book Night, discussion guide, Wimpy Kid bookmark, and Middle School the Worst Years of My Life

Today is World Book Night.  This year, our library was chosen to be “a giver” for this special annual celebration.  Our selected book was Middle School the Worst Years of My Life by James Patterson.  My original plan was to target a specific group of our 5th graders who will be transitioning to middle school very soon.  However, after reading the book, I really thought that it was a book that all of our 5th graders should get the chance to enjoy.  With support from PTA and some book fair profits, I was able to buy extra copies of the book to add to the 20 copies given to me by World Book Night.  Our local independent bookstore, Avid Bookshop, was incredibly fast in getting the books to us and they even had them shipped to our school.  Avid was also the pickup spot for our box of books from the World Book Night organization.  Our family engagement specialist, Mimi Elliott-Gower, helped me plan a special time for our 5th graders.  She even made them all a bookworm snack.

Today at 1:45, all 5th graders gathered in the library.  We skyped with Shawn Hinger, media specialist extraordinaire at Clarke Middle School.  She answered a lot of questions that students had about the middle school library.  She had several of her students join her, and many of them answered questions about the library too.  I loved the participatory feel of our Skype.

Next, Tad MacMillan, Clarke Middle School principal, spoke to our 5th graders in person.  He discussed the summer learning slide and how reading could help deter that slide.  He encouraged kids to think beyond reading 15 minutes per day and instead think about how many minutes they actually had in their summer.  Wouldn’t a goal of 45-60 minutes per day be even better?  He ended his time by reading from one of the other World Book Night selections, The House on Mango Street.

IMG_0526Then, it was time for the big reveal.  I told the kids about World Book Night.  Some of the kids had already asked me if I was going to be a giver, so I book talked my book to them and let them guess which book I was giving away.  Once they guessed the title, I told them about how I wanted to give more than just 20 copies of the book away and with the help of PTA and book fair that was exactly what I was going to do right now!  I went over the discussion guide with the kids and urged them to read the book with their families and begin to talk about their goals and worries about middle school.  Then, we passed out bags to all students in 5th grade.  Each bag contained a letter to families about World Book Night, a bookmark, a discussion guide, a bag of bookworms, and the book.  IMG_0504

Even though I deviated from my original plan for World Book Night and even though I didn’t really randomly pass out the books like WBN suggests doing, I feel like this was the right thing to do.  Fifty two copies of the book were distributed, and I feel like there will be at least 52 excited kids who will possibly have some great conversations with their families based in a humorous, yet gripping book.  So many of the kids came up and thanked me for the books, and when I went into their classrooms to check on them, I saw several of them already reading.  What an exciting day!IMG_0547

World Book Night is an annual celebration dedicated to spreading the love of reading,
person to person. Each year on April 23, tens of thousands of people go out into their
communities and give half a million free World Book Night paperbacks to light and nonreaders. In 2013, World Book Night will be celebrated in the U.S., the UK, and Ireland.
World Book Night is about giving books and encouraging reading in those who don’t
regularly do so. But it is also about more than that: It’s about people, communities and
connections, about reaching out to others and touching lives in the simplest of ways—
through the sharing of stories.
World Book Night is a nonprofit organization. We exist because of the support of
thousands of book givers, booksellers, librarians, and financial supporters who believe in
our mission. Set for April 23 each year to honor Shakespeare’s birthday, World Book
Night was successfully launched in the U.K. in 2011, and World Book Night was first
celebrated in the U.S. in 2012. Thank you to our U.K. friends for such a wonderful idea!
Why does World Book Night exist? Reading for pleasure improves literacy, actively
engaging emerging readers in their desire to read. Reading changes lives, improves
employability, social interaction, enfranchisement, and can have a positive effect on
mental health and happiness. Book readers of all ages are more likely to participate in
positive activities such as volunteering, attending cultural events, and even physical
Or more simply put, books are fun—and they can be life-changing.

Kindergarten Experts: A Tux Paint Instructional Video

Students gathered around the netbook to plan out what they would share on the screencast.

Students gathered around the netbook to plan out what they would share on the screencast.

I was so impressed by the work that Mrs. Kelly Hocking’s Kindergarten students did on their Tux Paint stories.  You can read more about that adventure here.  We wanted to continue their work in some way so that it might inspire and support other classes in trying Tux Paint.  After some planning, we decided to have the kids make an instructional video.  Mrs. Hocking brought her whole class to the library.  We talked about how instructional videos are a kind of informational text just like they are reading in their classrooms.  We also talked about being a leader and sharing expertise.  I made a screencast to show how to make an Animoto and we watched a part of that.

Along the way, I paused and had students talk about things that they noticed.  They shared things like

  • You clicked on things.
  • You talked about what you were clicking on.
  • You didn’t use a silly voice.  You used a serious voice.

We continued this pattern of watching and sharing for a few minutes.  Mrs. Hocking and I both added our own observations of what to include in an instructional video, too.  I told the students that they had to take themselves all the way back to the beginning and think about what they did first, second, third, etc.  Then they had to think about what they would say and what they would click.

Our Google doc captured what students would talk about on the screencast.

Our Google doc captured what students would talk about on the screencast.

A small group of 5 students stayed behind in the media center while Mrs. Hocking took the rest of the class back to Kindergarten to talk some more.  The small group and I took a netbook and started looking at Tux Paint.  I had them show me things they knew how to do.  As they did that, I started typing their words and expertise into a Google doc.  I also started pushing them to think about order.  What would someone do first? second? third?  I rearranged our doc to have a better sequence and put student names by each piece of tux paint that they would demo.  Then, we practiced.  Each student showed his/her knowledge of a certain aspect of Tux Paint.  Their tendency was to just click without talking.  I had them start again and say what they were doing as they clicked.  They also all wanted to talk while someone was clicking, so we had to discuss one person being allowed to speak without being interrupted.

On a separate day, the small group came back and we recorded their screencast using Screecast-o-matic.  In between each speaker, we paused the screencast and prepared the screen for the next student.  It was a challenge to stay quiet while someone was recording, but they did so much better after our practice in the 1st lesson.  Here’s what they created:

Our next step will be to send this video to Shannon Miller in Van Meter, Iowa so that her students can watch it and learn how to use Tux Paint.  Then, we will Skype with her students for them to ask follow-up questions about using Tux Paint.  The video will also be shared with teachers at our school so that they might consider using Tux Paint with their own classes.

I love the potential of this.  It is empowering for students to be able to share their expertise with the world, become leaders and teachers, and take time to reflect back on what they have actually learned about a particular technology tool.  I want to do more of this in the coming year, especially now that our students have access to Youtube.  Imagine the possibilities of students creating videos about what they have expertise in and sharing that with other students in the school.  The collaboration potential is mind-boggling!

Tux Paint Digital Stories with Kindergarten

A few months ago, Mrs. Kelly Hocking, Kindergarten teacher, emailed me with an idea.  She wanted to modify an idea that she found online that used KidPix.  Since we don’t have KidPix, our first step was to find an alternative.  The one that we liked the best was Tux Paint.

I met with Mrs. Hocking to talk about the logistics of installing Tux Paint on all of her netbooks and what that might look like in her center time.  She took this and ran with it as usual.  In centers, students explored Tux Paint and developed some expertise with the tool.  They figured out what worked and what didn’t.

Then, she put the students into work groups.  Each group used long rolls of paper to plan out a story and did quick sketches of their illustrations.  They used these planning sheets to draw their digital pictures in Tux Paint and type the text.  Students practiced their stories in class.

Mrs. Rockholt, the paraprofessional, brought small groups of students to the library to use Screencast-o-matic to record their stories.  We saved each screencast on a flash drive and then I uploaed them to Youtube to share with the world.  Enjoy!







Two groups of students also took some time to talk about the process of the project.  Here are there thoughts.


Next, we plan to share these with our friends at Van Meter Elementary in Van Meter, IA.  We are hoping that some of these students can show the students in Iowa how to use Tux Paint.


Poem In Your Pocket Days 2013 (Part 2)

IMG_0498Yesterday, we had a great day celebrating poetry in our poetry cafe.  It is truly amazing that almost every student in the school takes the time to get up in front of their peers (and the world) and read an original or favorite poem.  Also, more amazing things happened today.  Students volunteered to read poems for students who were too nervous to get up.  A group of students logged into our Adobe Connect from their own devices and started leaving encouraging comments for peers.  A student read  a poem from a cell phone.  A student made up a poem on the spot about not having a poem in his pocket.  It was so much fun!

We had guests joining us online from:  Athens GA, Valdosta GA, Randolph OH, Milton FL, Tucson AZ, Indiana, Richmond VA, Lexington KY, Kirkland WA, Belvidere IL, Fremont IA, Lawrenceville GA, Germany, Blue Ridge GA, Jasper GA, New London WI, Tampa FL, Vermont, Baton Rouge LA, New Mexico, and more.

You can enjoy all of the poetry sessions again by viewing the recordings below.

Today’s Recordings:

Cross 5th grade

Carney Kindergarten

Boyle Kindergarten

Li Kindergarten

Doneda PreK

Spurgeon 3rd grade

Olin 4th grade

Vertus Kindergarten

Slongo 5th grade

Clarke PreK

Ramseyer 2nd grade

Griffith 3rd grade

Poem in Your Pocket Days 2013 (Part 1)

IMG_0428 IMG_0431Today, the first classes came to read their poems in our poetry cafe.  We broadcast the poetry readings via Adobe Connect.  The room was setup with paper tablecloths, paper confetti, lanterns, and flowers in vases.  The microphone was surrounded by fabric and lights with a poet step & stool to read from.  Students read their poems and snapped to celebrate each reader.  Each student got a lollipop when they left.  We had online visitors from: Athens GA, Lexington KY, Buffalo NY, Hinsdale IL, UGA, Jasper GA, Cook County IL, Mason City IA, West Central MN, Bogart GA, Dacula GA, Hall County GA, Colbert GA, Gowrie IA, Fremont IA, and more.

As in the past, the comments from an authentic audience fueled the energy of the students.  They loved hearing shout-outs about their poetry.  An interesting thing that happened was that classes within our school were watching and students in those classes sent shout-outs to brothers and sisters.  It was so sweet to hear words of encouragement between siblings.  Thank you teachers for making that happen.  Each year unexpected, wonderful things happen.  This has become a day we all look forward to.

You can enjoy all of the readings again at the following links:

Shealey 3rd grade


Wyatt 1st grade


Watson 1st grade


Hart 1st grade


Selleck 4th grade


Wright 2nd grade


Freeman 4th grade


Stuckey 1st grade


Em 1st grade


Brink 2nd grade


Hocking Kindergarten


Yawn 2nd grade

Join us tomorrow, too.

Friday April 12, 2013

Time Class
8:00 5th Cross
8:30 K Carney
9:00 K Boyle
9:30 K Li
10:00 PreK Doneda
10:30 3rd Spurgeon
11:00 4th Olin
11:30 K Vertus
12:00 5th Slongo
12:30 PreK Clarke
1:00 2nd Ramseyer
1:30 3rd Griffith

To login to Adobe Connect, follow these instructions:

Crowd-Sourced Poem in My Pocket

IMG_0073 - CopyEach year for our Poem In Your Pocket Celebration I try to write a poem that somehow connects with what I love.  This year, I had an idea.  Since I have talked to the students so much this year about what I hope our library represents and how I want them to take ownership of the space, I thought it would be perfect for them to help me write about that.  Also, I often hear adults telling students that “the library is a quiet place”.  While that is true sometimes, it’s not really the kind of library that I think we have here at Barrow.  Putting these 2 thoughts together, I created a Google form with some various stems about our library not being quiet:  Our library is not a quiet place it’s a…, In our library you can hear…, In our library you can see…., In our library you can feel…

I emailed the form out to students and also sent it to teachers so that they could do it with their whole class.  After lots of submissions, I went through and pulled lines to use in our poem.  I used at least one idea from every entry that was submitted.  The following poem is the one that I will carry in my pocket Thursday and Friday and read into the microphone to start each poetry reading session.

Our Library is NOT a Quiet Place

A Crowd-sourced Poem By Barrow Students


Our library is not a quiet place

It’s an energetic, media place

a chatty and productive place

a sort of noisy place

You can hear

people talking creativity

the beep, beep, beep of the checkout machine

kids discussing books

pages flipping

fingers typing across keyboards

fans whirling

projects connecting with the world


Our library is not a quiet place

It’s a reading place

a cheering place

You can see

shelves lined with well-loved books

happiness for a nook

people reading

smiling faces

kids enjoying, researching

checking out books on their own

children running, shouting, free

imaginations soaring


Our library is not a quiet place

It’s a wild safari

a wonderful, awesome place

you can feel


the hum of energy


warm and safe

complete and overjoyed

calmness, floating




Our library is not a quiet place

It’s a word place

A big, loud punch in the face place

Sometimes a rambunctious place

Even an aggravating place

You can hear


kids laughing

mentors reading

Quiet talks about books

Authors and experts skyping

Students blogging and commenting


Our library is not a quiet place

It’s a living space

Buzzing with awesomeness


Our library is not a quiet place

It’s everybody’s learning base

In Our Desks: A Collaborative List Poem Across the Miles

IMG_0427Shannon Miller and I have been trying to connect our 2nd graders again, but it has been such a challenge to find a time.  Today I had a window of time that might work, and Shannon did her very best to make that time work for her students.  With just an hour to spare, she got confirmation that the time would work.  I quickly called my teachers who were on standby to come.  I love the flexibility that  these two 2nd grade teachers have with their students when it comes to unique, meaningful learning opportunities.  Then, Shannon and I got to work fine tuning what we would do.  We emailed, made a Google doc, and ended by Skyping with one another to fine tune the plan and plan other connections too.

Our planning sounded and looked something like this:

Shannon (at 11:00):  My teachers can connect today at 12:00.  Can yours?

Me (after a quick phone call to 2nd grade):  Sure.  This will be fun.

Shannon:  What should we do during our connection?

Me (after roaming the shelves and thinking):  How about doing a list poem?  We could use “In My Desk” and write a collaborative poem. I’ll make a Google doc for us to type into.

Shannon:  Sounds great.  (Opens Google Doc and makes a colorful title for our poem using spell in Flickr)

10 minute Skype session to confirm plan, plan a K connection, and a future 2nd grade connection.  (Walking to our next class, carrying our laptops, finishing our chat, and disconnecting)

During our Skype, I read the poem “In My Desk” by Jane Yolen, which can be found in the book Falling Down the Page: A Book of List Poems edited by Georgia Heard.  I talked with students in both states about how we’ve probably all cleaned out a backpack, desk, or something else and found something unusual.  We each pulled up the Google doc to show students.

Each of us turned down our sound and started getting ideas from our students and adding them to the doc.  The room at Barrow was filled with energy as numerous hands shot up to give lines for the poem.  The teachers and I helped students think about being more descriptive by adding adjectives and also really thinking about things that might actually make their way into their desks.  As we typed, we also saw Shannon typing.  This proved to be a great way for students to see how a Google doc could be used effectively.  We even stopped to talk about how Shannon and I were not typing in the exact same space and how I did not delete or change any of Shannon’s work (a common problem we’ve seen with students collaborating at our school).  This one skill will carry directly back to a Social Studies project our 2nd graders are working on.

FireShot Screen Capture #019 - 'Shannon Miller (shannonmmiller) on Twitter' - twitter_com_shannonmmillerWhile we were typing, Shannon tweeted the link to our doc so that people could begin seeing our poem as it was written.  In seconds, we had 48 people viewing the doc, and the kids were beyond ecstatic.  Knowing that they were immediately made into published authors with a real audience made them want to keep going.  I think they could have made this the longest list poem ever, but we had to stop.

We ended our time by reading our final poem and laughing together at our shared words.  This was so much fun.  It may have been a lightning-fast collaboration, but it was filled with meaningful, authentic learning experiences for our students that will carry into many other kinds of learning this year and beyond.

By 2nd Grade Students at Barrow Elementary in Athens, GA

and Van Meter Elementary in Van Meter, IA


In our desks you will find…

one big folder

three dirty notebooks

my stuffed puppy

tiny crumbs

unfinished work

an old crumby lunchbox

two broken pencils

one moldy sock

a tree with a happy family

scraps of paper

one bright striped pencil case

two green and red notebooks

a ripped up paper

my art shirt that has a picture of a puppy on it

old, rotten, bruised banana

a piece of crusty meat

an old broken iPod

a rotten, smooshed up goldfish

a dusty box of crayons

a ripped up dictionary

some broken crayons

a sticky, green, watermelon lollipop

an old tooth that never got taken by the tooth fairy

a chewed up yellow pencil

one pair of blue broken glasses

four wiggly worms that eat rotten apples

an old broken math journal

Godzilla finger puppets

a rusty old necklace

a teared up eraser

an old bag of McDonald’s apples

my football I got for Christmas

a couple of old, smelly shoes

a slimy stuffed animal

a stale chocolate bunny

little dots of paper from my paper punch

an old bouquet of flowers from the playground

mom’s old wig.

3rd Annual Barrow Media Center Poetry Contest

IMG_0377 IMG_0378For the past 3 years, the media center has hosted a poetry contest leading up to Poem In Your Pocket Day.  The hope was that this contest would encourage students to carry and read original poetry rather than just a copied poem.  Each year participation grows.  This year, we had over 180 entries from students in grades PreK-5th grade.  It is near impossible to choose just one winner in each age bracket.  This year, we had 7 top winners.  Each of these students earned a certificate, an autographed book or journal, and their poem featured here on our blog.

Over 60 other students earned certificates for poetry in several categories including:  list poetry, science poetry, Where I’m From poetry, concrete poetry, acrostic poetry, feelings poetry, humorous poetry, story poetry, found poetry, and deep thinking poetry.  These students had their names announced on BTV and earned a pencil, pen, bookmark, or other small prize.

I can’t wait to see how this contest grows, and I especially can’t wait to listen to all of the great poems read aloud at our annual Poem In Your Pocket Days this Thursday and Friday.  Please join us!  You can find the schedule here.

Where I’m From

By Natalie

2nd Grade

I am from the Georgia Bulldogs

A cat who scratches

My Mommy, Daddy, Grandmas and Grandpas

I am from a big purple rose bush

I am from Friday Movie Nights

Eating out at the Burger Barn

I am from a family of worry warts

Rise and shines and Goodnights

I am from golf clubs and bridles

And dreaming to own a famous racehorse

I am from a big funny family

That is where I’m from!


By Patricia

3rd Grade


Hummingbird, Hummingbird

They drink nectar from pretty little flowers.


Hummingbird, Hummingbird

They fly around all day.


Hummingbird, Hummingbird

They flap down and snooze in their nests.


Hummingbird, Hummingbird

It is great to meet you!


Hummingbird, Hummingbird

It is sad to leave you!

Dragons Today, Dragons Tomorrow, Dragons Past, Dragons Forever

By Cassie

5th Grade



The air beats around me as I open my eyes to see the beautiful creatures flying above my head,

Their wings beat up and down in a pattern together,


Their wings display colors like you’ve never seen, hypnotizing you, making you see colorful

rabbits hopping in front of your eyes and otters gliding through a river,

I always see wondering dragons all around, wandering, but never this close,

Never this close do I get to hear them,

Roaring and beating their wings, snapping their tails,

Never this close do I get to see them,

Flying above and away,

Never this close do I get to feel them,

The breeze blowing around me at the top of the hill and their breath down my neck,

Never this close do I get to taste them,

The sweet grass I’m chewing and the taste of the freedom and wind,

Never this close do I get to smell them,

The smell of wondering and knowing and curiosity from the young ones,

The young ones fly around, chasing each other and occasionally bumping into elder ones,

while older ones roll their eyes and beat their wings, keeping a steady rhythm through the air,

they don’t notice me on top of the hill watching them,

More dragons sweep through, gathering gusts of air whipping my long hair around,

One glides so close to me, I know if I wanted to reach out and touch it, I would have

touched its scaly skin,

For I am too a young one full of curiosity, living in the world where no man has touched yet,

Where it is peaceful,

The wandering dragons keep sailing through the sky and I don’t notice them growing

smaller as they soar farther away,

As quick as they had come they disappear back into the sky,

I wave goodbye, and as I put my hand down it seems as if a tail sticks out of the sky and

starts waving, as if the dragons are saying good bye to me too,

I take one last look at where the dragons disappeared and then look away, you can’t hope

wandering and wondering dragons to stay forever, because it’s not in their nature,…….

They like to wander and wonder.


By Hank


April is warm

April is baseball season.  Hooray!

April is rain

April is sunlight.  Doesn’t everybody love April?

April makes grass green

April is the Final Four and the championship and go Louiseville!

April is the best season

April is when lots of plants grow

April is when people play outdoors

April is school time

April is when it is dark in the morning and light at night

April is when more sports go on.


by Sadie

1st Grade

Fireworks glisten in the air!

Boom! Crash!

Sizzle!  Everywhere.

The colorful colors of light

But when it goes out

It’s the pitch black dark.


The Soldiers Lying on the Battlefield

By Taylor

5th Grade

For the strong and the powerful, the ones who lie to rest, all soldiers

who gave their lives, all soldiers who risked their lives for our country.


For our country, to be one people and stay one people.


Our one people, lying on that battlefield, never returning to the

country that will still be free, everyone still free, but them lost, them to never

be found, to always be missing.


Yes it’s them on the battlefield that kept our country one people.

Them, that kept us free.  Them, they deserve to be alive more than any of

us.  Them, lying on the battlefield.


This is the power of war, this is the power of one bomb, of one

missle, one gunshot, one person with a knife in the forest, this is what it

does to one people, many people.


Thank you veterans lying at rest for giving your life for this nation.

Thank you veterans wounded for everything you lost.


Thank you veterans here before me for going out to war and fighting

brave, as a reward you come back with scars and bruises that show you’re



Thank you for fighting the fear, for facing the bombs, and missiles,

and one person in the forest with a knife, for keeping us one people, for

keeping us all free.


You deserve the best, you gave me a beautiful nation to live in, and it

was you, you deserve the thanks, you deserve to be one people.


You and soldiers lying on the battlefield.




By Eli

4th Grade

As the fires rain down

as the gunshots are heard

as the trees burn I wonder

I wonder what caused this

why do we turn on each other

what drives us to kill

why does hell rain from heaven

and why does mankind discriminate,

When we love each other

or do we

and when the bomb drops on only ashes,

what have we achieved






what do we achieve

every move brings us down with a weight







what did we gain when we made the bomb

what did we achieve when the cities


human torches


all hell rained down

that day

as the towers fell

as the planes exploded

as the harbor sank

all hell rained down

what do we achieve

do we become godly

or devilish

do we gain power

or lose money

do we become popular

or outcasts







when all hell rains down

Here’s a gallery of our winners from this year: