Throwback: Former 3-5th Graders

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Images from the Cassini spacecraft have shown something incredible underneath Saturn’s moon, Enceladus, a global ocean of liquid water. Do you know the expression when there is smoke there is fire? Well, it is the same as in space, when there is water there is life. This means that since there is a whole ocean under Enceladus, who knows what might be swimming there! Maybe one day we could send a spacecraft to Enceladus and find out for sure, but for now we can only imagine and wonder.

By: Nico Curreri

Nico Curreri blog photo enceladus-diagram



My awesome third grader, Cruz, created his own short movie recently. Here is his reflection on the experience.

Hey everyone! I would just like to say that today I made my own short movie at this place Y.M.L. (Young Makers Lab) and my own logo! Today was VERY fun at Y.M.L. They have 3D printers, computers, and this website that’s called Scratch. It’s a website that you can help you make your own animated video. And, if you want they have a camp that is called DigiCamp. I love Y.M.L!  By Cruz   Check out his cool logo here Cruz entry


Students were given three prompts to choose from. One of them was to write an essay about having their own cooking channel. Students were asked to give details as to how they came to having their own cooking channel. Below is a creative essay about a cooking channel- Tastes So Good.


My poetic third grader, Milena, used one of the images from our Pinterest writing board to inspire her poem.



Black and white, fluffy

Best dog in the world, love her

Playful and fun, friend.

Milena I.

Here is Milena's inspiration for her poem.

Here is Milena’s inspiration for her poem.

By M.S. (5th Grader)
Hello everyone, I will tell you a story of how I started my cooking channel. When I was little I always watched how my mom cooked soup. I thought…. when I grow up I will make my own cooking channel called
Dunlein Cookies. However, when I turned 15 years old, I thought about something else. Video games and live playing video games. Then, I started cooking again and my mind changed. I cooked all day long everyday.
Finally, I got a job at a restaurant called Clot Monet. After working at Clot Monet for two week, I was fired! Then, I found another job at a restaurant called Smokey Bones. I was grilling smokies, ribs, and collard greens. I also made a BBQ sauce. It was perfectly tasty and not too saucy. At this time, I started my own YouTube channel.
My YouTube channel was called My Chef Tips. I was making videos about how to make the perfect omelette, eggs and steak, and other foods. After one week, I went to my YouTube channel and guess what? 17,861 subscribers! I was so amazed and I thought maybe I would be popular one day.
A month later, I went to the most famous restaurant called Chilis. (Well, I think it isn’t the most famous in the world, but it is famous for me). I started my show called Taste Good. I cooked meals differently and were good. I became famous after this.


By R.G. (4th Grader)

     There was a little boy named Joshua Johnson. He had secret super powers. Not even his mom and dad knew about them. He was three years-old when he realized that his pet turtle, Hidey, could talk to him. Joshua was the only one who could understand her. Hidey told Joshua to keep a secret about them talking to each other.

     One day, Joshua went to preschool and found out about another power where he could slow time down, but no one noticed. He used this power to play with toys and games for as long as he wanted. Now, Joshua is nine and he is still best friends with Hidey. He still has his super powers.

R.G. chose the image below of a little boy from our class Pinterest “Images to Motivate Writing” board to inspire this short story. 



      Charley is a man. He is 35 years-old. He has many special superpowers. He can teleport. Also, he can change his looks. He’s from the future. Charley is from 3027 A.D. He can turn into a 10 year-old boy in a snap. He can go to where he is thinking. He has to whistle in order to change his looks. His last superpower is that he controls the weather. He does that by clapping. It can be lightning, but not raining because of him. In addition, he can make it sunny.

      Charley is unknown. Scientists just discovered him. He speaks Portuguese and said, “Esperemos que ha mais de menna especie ao redor.” (Hopefully, there are more of my kind around). He is very special. Humans have not discovered  anymore people like Charley. will scientists find more of his kind?

By: E.T. (5th Grader)

E.T. chose the image of the older gentleman from our class Pinterest “Images to Motivate Writing” board to inspire this short story.

      During winter break, I was with my best friend, Kayla, on vacation in the Dominican Republic. We brought our moms. We also brought Kayla’s sisters. We had planned it for a long time.

      Finally, we got there. As soon as we did, we went to the hotel. We did not even unpack. We rushed outside and played soccer. Then went to get pizza at Marino’s. We got pepperoni, meat lovers, and cheese.

      Then, we watched the movie, Now You See Me, and  we thought the movie was excellent. Afterwards, we ate a quick snack and went to bed. The next morning, we went on the boat. We caught fish, went swimming, and water skiing. Later, we went swimming with the dolphins. I had so much fun!

      Then Kayla, Claudia, Gabby, and I went on a walk. We all got mint chocolate chip ice-cream. “It’s my favorite,” said Kayla. On our walk, Kayla and I saw something bright. We saw fire and lava on water. It was the most beautiful sight I have ever seen

By: S.C. (5th Grade)

S.C. chose the image of fire on water from our class Pinterest “Images to Motivate Writing” board to inspire this short narrative.

       At least two years ago, I was on vacation with my family at the beach. When I first saw the explosion, I freaked out. I couldn’t believe what I saw through my eyes. I was at least two peaks away from the fire. It was probably the scariest thing I’d ever seen.

       I was wondering if anyone was in the fire and explosion, next to it, or saw it happen. I was with my whole family. It was in Canada, Montreal. Soon after, my whole family called the fire station and the police. They said, “It will take 2 hours to get there”. All the police and firemen were in Boca Raton. (This is were we live).

       Two hours later the fireman and the police were here. “We are so sorry it took so long,” they said. The airplane almost crashed, but they fixed it and we didn’t crash. We were so happy that everything turned out okay. We got back on the plane and went back home to Boca Raton, FL.

By K.A. (5th Grade)

K.A. chose the image of fire on water from our class Pinterest “Images to Motivate Writing” board to inspire this short narrative.

       One day, I was taking my dog for a walk. I needed to get out of the real world. I was sick of the gossip and the crime. I was just taking a stroll and I got to the peak. I was looking at the clouds wondering…. “What is it like up there?” All of a sudden, my dog Biscuit, got up and went to the edge of the peak. When I looked down, it was burning and flames were every where.

       I had no idea what to do. There was water pushing against fire. Is that even possible? My brain was stopped in its tracks. Was this the earth’s doing? Could fire fighters even stop this? It was a war between two natural enemies in a war that was unstoppable.

       I got my phone out and called the fire fighters. Someone picked up, but I lost service. I had to do something. I tied Biscuit to a tree. I tried to throw my water, but I was two peaks high. It had no effect; it was as if I was throwing air. I was terrified. Was it going to spread? I know two peaks high is a stretch, but you never know. I was amazed that I was able to stop it.

By A.G. (5th Grade)

A.G. chose the image of fire on water from our class Pinterest “Images to Motivate Writing” board to inspire this short narrative.

A Virtual Field Trip Adventure

Recently, my 6th grade class went to the San Diego Zoo!  Well, we didn’t actually get on a plane to go there.  Instead, we hopped onto our Google Meeting for our virtual field trip.  We want to thank the San Diego Zoo and their sponsors for providing us with a fun activity while we are stuck at home.  It was our inspiration for a collaborative, silly story.  We hope you enjoy it!

A Wild Day at the Zoo




Books Build Empathy

As we wrap up the 2019-2020 school year, I look back at so many wonderful books that we read in class.  My 6th and 7th graders dove into wonderful stories about real history, protecting the environment, humanity, empathy, friendship, family, and kindness.  Collectively, we read about 9 novels and 19 magazines together in our ELA class.  We also read some wonderful poems by Maya
Angelou, Langston Hughes, Jason Reynolds, Shel Silverstein, and others.  This school year, each of us read about 30 to 40 books independently as part of our daily practice.  I can honestly say that all of my students’ reading and writing skills have improved because of the simple act of reading.  I’m beyond proud of each of them.  But what makes me more delighted is knowing that every piece of text has built empathy.  The evidence is in the honest conversations that we had in class, the Socratic Seminars that allowed for civil discourse, the shift in mindset, the random acts of kindness, and the passion projects that originated from the stories.

I believe giving choice is important when assigning reading.  Especially when trying to encourage reluctant readers.  I feel choosing great novels is extremely important when trying to build empathy.  I do my best to research, or sometimes use student suggestions for group novels.  This school year has been challenging for my young students, and like no other. I feel grateful that we had until early March to read some wonderful novels together which I believe helped to prepare us for everything our world is currently experiencing.

Throughout the year, we used Jr. Scholastic magazines to read up on current and historical events.  We learned about environmental causes through Carl Hiaasen’s novels, Scat and Hoot.  We were inspired by William Kamkwamba’s true story of determination, curiosity, and perseverance against all odds. We learned about humanity and heroism in White Bird by R.J. Palacio, Michael Gruenbaum’s memoir, Somewhere There is a SunThe Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne, and The Magician of Auschwitz by Kathy Kacer.  We were able to meet a survivor of the Holocaust and corresponded with another survivor living in NYC.  And, we learned about anti-bullying, friendship, and family in K.A. Holt’s novels, Rhyme Schemer and Knock Out.  I could go on, but I don’t want to make this post too lengthy.  Please note that I am not a paid sponsor for these novels, I simply want to share great work with other educators and students.

I’d like to wrap this up by sharing a virtual book tasting that one of my classes collaborated in during remote learning.  We hope you take the time to read the reviews and hope you choose to read their suggestions.  Please leave us some feedback and keep on reading!


In Remembrance of Memorial Day

During our virtual sessions, one of my 6th grade ELA classes worked on a collaborative book about Memorial Day.  The students did some research about this special day’s significance and thought about the meaning of patriotism.  The students had a good experience researching, writing, and designing their pages for this book.  We would like to thank all of the people who have served for our country.  We are proud of our work and hope you enjoy reading the book.

Historical Graphic Novels Created on Book Creator

In an earlier post on March 21st, I mentioned having done a unit on The Holocaust with my 6th graders.  After reading R.J. Palacio’s graphic novel, White Bird, we created our own graphic novels using Book Creator.  As promised, here are a few to showcase:

This is How we “Wow” and “Wonder”

We’ve been celebrating Earth Day for the last three weeks in our 6th Grade ELA Class.  This past week, I wanted the kids to do some inquiry-based learning.  I found a TED Ed lesson that related to our previous week’s lesson on nature.  We began by recapping the questions we posed in the previous week’s lesson and came up with some new ones for this week’s topic on chickens and farming.  We viewed the History Through the Eyes of a Chicken and discussed it together.  We worked on the short digital quiz together and moved on to some independent work.  My students had to view four short videos on their own and take notes.  Then, they used Flipgrid to share a “Wow” and “Wondering” for each video and responded to a peer’s recording.  I am happy that the students found the lesson interesting and got them thinking deeper.  And, we covered history, science, reading, and writing all in one lesson!

Listen to some of the great responses here:

Studying Non-fiction Text in a Virtual Classroom

One of my favorite ways to help my students learn about non-fiction elements, current events, and share opinions is by using Scholastic Jr. Magazine  Unfortunately, we aren’t able to physically hold our magazines due to the COVID19 monster.  But, we were able to use the digital version of our subscription.  Yay!

This week we used the article, Is Social Media Ruining Nature?  We read it together, discussed it, and shared our understanding and opinions on a Padlet.  I’m super proud of my 6th graders!  They put forth their best effort and had some great discussions.  Then, they created their own social media post on a location of choice using Canva, Adobe, or good, old paper and pencil. Check the last column to see what they created.  All of them submitted informative paragraphs about their social media post onto our Google Classroom.  I’m thankful for technology right now because I managed to make this lesson work for my students.  Please leave them some feedback!

Made with Padlet


Week 6 of Remote Learning During COVID19

It’s been a month and a half since we transitioned to remote learning due to what I like to refer to as, “COVID19 Monster”.  The first few weeks were rough for me, my students, and their parents.  It’s pretty much how everyone in our country is feeling.  Actually, the whole wide world!  We’re in this together, so hang in there.

My school is on week 6 of the new way to do school.  I think we’re getting used to it, but my students and I agree that being in class together is SO MUCH BETTER!  We focused a lot on how we were feeling during the first few weeks.  Since April was poetry month, I decided to incorporate our feelings into poetry.  We collaborated on a poetry anthology using Book Creator.  Please take a moment to read it and leave us feedback.