March 27, 2011

Picture Book Potpourri

Beautiful Blue Eyes by Marianne Richmond is a warm smile in verse. Celebrating a child's uniqueness through the sense of sight brings many memorable moments come alive. The water color image create the perfect backdrop sharing the simple curiosities of childhood. One page shows a young child holding a spraying water hose-

"Your beautiful blue eyes tell of your silliness within, 
with their teasing twinkle and mischievous grin."

A read aloud book for any reading moment.

You Are a Gift To the World/The World Is a Gift to You by Laura Duska and illustrated by Dona Turner is a fun flip-sided book that shows just how one fits into this wide world. A perfect read aloud for Earth Day or any day that a little caring reminder is needed. 

"I remember when you asked, What's the best gift in the whole wide world?" 

An amazing starting sentence that allows dreaming and caring for all who hear it.

March 21, 2011

Monday Munchies!

Monday Munchies gave 6th graders the chance to experience the same fried worms that the teachers enjoyed during J&P Voelkel's author visit on 3/16/11.

Many students choose to try a little taste of the rainforest.
Thank you, Jon and Pamela for sharing extra tasty tidbits with us!
Some students asked, "Where can I get some more?"
(really, I can't make things like that up...) Try this site

I came across an article that gives you everything you need to know about mealworm dining-
"Mealworms are technically not worms at all, but the larval stage of the darkling beetle (tenebrio beetle). They are commonly sold as pet food and fishing bait, and not usually thought of as food for humans. However, mealworms and other insects have long been a staple food in Asian and other ethnic cuisines. Mealworms are cheap, low in fat, and high in protein and calcium, making them a healthy addition to common foods, such as this recipe for fried rice."

The worms....

the adventurous...

...the brave!

March 18, 2011

DARE Graduation

DARE Graduation was a time of celebration for the students, officers, teachers, community and families.
Sharing DARE Pledges
Congratulations to all 6th graders that have graduated and are on the right track to a successful, drug free life!
Pictures taken during classes and the ceremony can be viewed at
 Pictures from Oelwein Police

March 16, 2011

Middleworld Magic Author Visit

Jon, Pamula, and 6th graders attending small group Q & A session

 2 terrific authors, amazing publishers, 2 fantastic books, 600 excited students, many adventurous teachers and...fried worms =
a day to remember 4-ever!

The Jaguar Stones series first two books, Middleworld and The End of the World Club set in Central American was the backdrop of the hour long program presented by Jon & Pamela Voelkel. 

Highlights:  rainforest bug videos, electric guitar jamming, teachers eating worms and jungle rain.
Jungle rain -
delivered in double dose.

Yes, it really was Jon playing
with his volunteer band.

Did you say fried worms?

Getting a signed book was a fantastic souvenir!

March 13, 2011

2011 Regional History Day

OMS students participated in the National History Day Competition held at Decorah Middle School on Saturday, March 12, 2011.  The 2011 theme for History Day was “Debate and Diplomacy in History”.  
  6th grade teacher Mrs. Karla Duff and 7th& 8th grade Explore teacher, Miss Melissa Stocks worked with the students on their projects.  Parents have also been a huge support behind the students who completed these projects.
 Most of the Oelwein students chose to communicate their topic through an imaginative exhibit, while others chose a dramatic performance, creative websites, original documentaries, and a written historical paper to share their information. 

Students who made a documentary were Tristan Dittmer, Jacob Kalb and Jacob Larson, Ben Schmith, and Robby McKeeman Competing in the Individual Exhibit category were Alison Kelly, Mason Moeller, Brian Hoffman, John Leo, Jack McDonough, Martina Wilson,Ashley Butchtela, Matthew Dixion, Collin Halligan, Ryann Studebaker and Chyanne Voshell.  Celia da Silva, Adara Studebaker, Skylar Adams, Dakota Nuttall, Tanner Reising, Tony Rex, Nick Stasi, Kaitlyn Stecklein, Marrissa Lammers, and Allison Winters entered in the Group Exhibit category.  Designing a website for the Group Website category were Lilli Duffy, Carlee Glenn, Abby Greco, Ethan Hamblin, Ryan Nolan-Kringlen, Kaylee Becker, Natalie Bradley, Jade Bunn, Brianna Feuerbach-Davis, Hannah Meyer and Ashley Tuecke.  Dakota Clark gave an Individual Performance. Writing historical papers this year were Hunter Smock, Austin Duffy, Selenka Mortenson, Travis McMillan, Marissa Simpson, Hannah Schmidt, Katie Stewart and Alexis Borman.  The historical papers are judged without an interview, so these students did not have to travel to Decorah.

Eighth graders Tristan Dittmer, Jacob Kalb, and Jacob Larson will be going the state level National History Day Competition on May 2 in Des Moines.  Their documentary, Corn, about the ethanol debate, was chosen to advance to the state competition.

March 11, 2011

My Name is Not Alexander

My Name Is Not Alexander is a picture book for boys of all ages. Jennifer Foseberry shares "Just how big can a little boy dream?" through a normal day with extraordinarily men in history. The day starts with Alexander claiming to be  Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Edison, Jackie Robinson and others.
The vivid illustrations by Mike Litwin creates a eye catching journey. 
This book opens the door of discovery and creates a community for boys to achieve. So if your name isn't Alexander who would you like to be known as? How will you make your name a name that anyone would like to claim? What is your name? Read this book to be inspired to make a difference in your own life.
(My Name is not  Isabella reviewed earlier and also shared as a Reader's Theater on World Read Aloud Day) 

March 10, 2011

Read Aloud Day 2011 Memories

World Read Aloud Day 2011 started with a 2 hour late start in Oelwein. Like the US Post Office, snow, ice and fog could not keep us away from our reading and sharing! We even had to put out a reading SOS when our scheduled time was empty
because of our changed schedule. We did miss sharing with Kate Messner and Van Meter students- we will just have to have another read aloud day to make this up! Our goal: read or listen to books all day in Mrs. Duff's room- MISSION COMPLETED!

Read Aloud Day was a
day of unexpected adventures and
stories from around the globe!
Tom, Origami Yoda creator, was our warm-up reader.
Darth Paper origami puppets were created
a few days earlier so we could Skype with a
favorite author on his time.

The Familiars authors Andrew & Adam were
fun and entertaining.

Riley Caney has shared so much w/ our class!
Thank you again and again!

8th Grade Zero author O. R-Perkovich
jumped in when we needed an author-THANKS!

Ellen Potter: Writing and Reading
ideas were shared while we listened
to her read.

Mrs. Miller's students take turns
sharing books with us.

Dee Garretson Shared WildFire Run and
animal side-note stories.

Reader's Theater w/ Mr. Hehr- Speech Coach
My Name is Not Alexander.

Book Commercials w/Mrs. Miller's Class
My Name is Not Isabella Reader's Theater
 was shared with Brook Forest students.

March 5, 2011

World Read Aloud Day: Early Bird Video

Tom Angleberger, author of Origami Yoda, Skyped with our class on March 2nd (3/9 didn't work for him). After sharing his origami folding talents, he shared a short read aloud teaser from his new book:

Horton Halfpott: Or, The Fiendish Mystery of Smugwick Manor; or, 

The Loosening of M'Lady Luggertuck's Corset 

He also shared some of his favorite books.

March 2, 2011

Origami Yoda Visits OMS

BOrigami Yoda Creations and Skype Visit 

Darth Paper directions were shared and then Tom answered questions and shared many laughs with the OMS 6th graders. 

What inspires Tom? 

Directions to create your own Origami Yoda from Tom:

Origami Yoda Home Page:

 Watch Tom introduce his new book and share a few of his will be posted soon.