World Refugee Day is Today, June 20, 2016.

World Refugee Day is today, Monday, June 20, 2016. According to the most recent figures from the United Nations, there are more than 65 million refugees in the world. That means that  one of every 113 people on Earth has been forcibly displaced from his or her  homeland. If they were a country,  these 65 million refugees would represent the   21st largest country in the world. Sadly, this is  the largest number of refugees since World War II.

The UN’s Refugee Agency UNHCR reports that more than half (51%) of the world’s refugees are children, the largest number in 10 years. Where are the world’s refugees fleeing from? The majority of refugees come from just three countries: Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia.  One in five displaced persons is from Syria.  Astoundingly, 86% of refugees are  hosted by developing countries, not the world’s leading economies.

It’s easy to ignore the  day-to-day horrors that refugees face when we’re   cocooned in the comfort of our American dream homes.   To better understand the  world in which they’re called to be global citizens, my sixth graders researched four different social issue topics and developed Public Service Announcements for each. Today seems like the right time  to  share a few of those videos with you. Perhaps you’ll be  called to support a nonprofit one of my students identified. At the very least, we hope you’ll want to know more about the refugee crisis that covers the globe. We must ask ourselves, “What can we do?” Then, we must go about doing it. For more info, click here.

Pravallika & Rachel –  Refugee Crisis PSA 

Alexa & Kayce – Refugee Crisis PSA 

Sydney & Nethra – Refugee Crisis PSA

Owen & Eric – Life in a Refugee Camp PSA


Snow Day #12 – March 6, 2015

It’s been another short week! Two days of school this week…crazy!

Since Wayde called with the big snow day announcement, I wonder what you’ve got planned for today. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll check this blog. If you do, take a minute and answer the poll. After that, help me prepare our All About Me page for the 2015 Edublogs Student Blogging Challenge. I need your input…and you know how much I love a little Padlet in my life.

Besides reading–which of course you’ll be doing tomorrow–I invite you to visit a few student bloggers I discovered today. When you visit another blogger, be sure to leave a positive comment (as well as your blog URL), so they can return the visit.

Enjoy your four-day weekend and be ready to rock and roll when we return to class on Monday. I am excited for you to share your research presentation with me and your classmates. Be prepared to shine as you show us what you’ve learned about your social issue.

What’s on your agenda for Snow Day #12?

What is the best snow day activity?

Family time–could be cleaning my room or cleaning up at Monopoly.
Curling up on the sofa and watching movies/Netflix all day.
Playing in the snow…sledding, snowmen, snowboarding, etc.
I’ll be social…YouTube, Instagram, Vine, or texting gets my vote.
Book me a flight to another world…I’m reading all day.

Poll Maker

 Ten student blogs worth visiting:

1. Leave a comment for Shane and while you’re there, notice the poll widget he added to his sidebar using

2. Niall, another student in Mr. Jewell’s class, left comments on many of your blogs. Return the favor by visiting his blog, The Genius Center.

3. Stop by Irene’s blog. You’ll learn a little more about growing up in Taipei, Taiwan (and how similar we all are!).

4. Are you a fan of Disney shows? Or wonder what it’s like to live in Vermont? Check out Marilynn’s Fantastic Blog

5. Sports fan should flock to Aidan’s Sports Blog for updates on all things sports — from baseball teams to deflated footballs.

6.  Interested in connecting with a colorful Australian blogger? Visit Chloe’s Creative Classroom and leave her ideas for future blog posts.

7. Here’s another blog from Down Under…Eden’s Extraordinary Existence. Click on her page of drawings…and be inspired to create your own gallery of artwork.

8. Do luxury vehicles make your heart race? Compare your list of fast-lane favorites on Ian’s Blog of Cars and Education.

9. Mia’s Motivated Blog shares an avatar maker you might want to try. In addition, check out more avatar makers on Mrs. Rombach’s Beyond the Post  – Blog Building Resources page.

10. Closer to home, I’d like to showcase two ERMS student bloggers — Aidan and Namitha. These blogs–like all great blogs–show initiative, creativity, and attention to detail.


What should other classes know about our class–and about our school?

Five-Minute Friday – February 27, 2015

Happy Friday, Sixth Graders!

Now that you’ve signed onto your chrome book, it’s time to follow the directions for today’s activities. Easy peasy…provided you actually read the directions.

You have three steps to complete.

Step One: Five-Minute Friday – Your Next Blog Post!

I was so impressed by your writing on Five-Minute Monday, I decided to call for an encore. This time, instead of words, I’m giving you four quotes to consider. Which one speaks to you?

Does one of these quotes remind you of something you’ve experienced in your own life? Open up a new blog post and write feverishly for five minutes. Write anything that comes to mind. After the five minutes are up, you may add an image that complements your writing. Be sure to give credit where credit is due. 🙂

Choose one of the quotes below and write a blog post. You have just five minutes to write–so get busy! 🙂

piZap on

Step Two: Sign in to

First, log into Newsela using your LCPS Google username and password. Second, open your Newsela binder and read the article I’ve chosen for you (about schools on military bases). I’ll be checking to confirm that you’re using the highlighter and writing features to annotate as you read this current events news story. Next, turn and talk to your neighbor about what you each found interesting in the article. After your pow-wow, complete the four-question quiz on your own.

Step Three: Work on your Research Project and/or Reading Response Choice Board

Your Reading Response Choice Board is due on Monday, March 2. You’ll need to be ready to present your research project on Wednesday, March 4. Use the rest of the class period to be productive and get work done! 🙂

Between now and Monday, check out my previous blog post about March Book Madness! You’ll be voting next week to determine who moves forward to the next set of brackets. 🙂

How Will You Make a Difference?




Hello, my favorite sixth graders!

Next Monday, you’ll start your two-week research projects. You’ll work alongside a small group of classmates to find out more information on a social issue that matters to everyone on the research team. Then, you’ll take the facts you’ve collected and turn it into your own individual project — from an animated slide show to a skit to a public service announcement. You’ll hear more about all of your options next week. For now, think about the local, national, and world issues you care about most. On the Padlet below, add your name and a social issue or two that you feel strongly about. Here are a few ideas…but you may add any issue that’s important to you!

Do you want to know more about a life-threatening disease like childhood cancer, diabetes, or cystic fibrosis and what’s being done to find a cure?

Do you worry about homeless families who lack a roof over their heads or food in their pantries?

Does animal cruelty break your heart?

Want to bring help clean water, electricity, or education to poverty-stricken countries?

Are you concerned about shrinking habitats, animal poaching, or endangered species?

Do you want to educate people about physical, emotional, or cyber bullying?

Is ocean pollution or climate change boggling your mind?

Share the causes you’re passionate about below: