Thursday, January 31, 2013

Aesop's Fables -- Part 3 (the last!)

Here are the last of our fables!  We hope you have enjoyed them and would love to hear your thoughts in a comment!

Story #1 -- Angus
Once upon a time, one afternoon on a farm, there lived a cow and a pig.  Flowers grew, fresh trees swayed and bees buzzed all day long.  Furry mice were looking for food.  Scaly snakes were slithering in the grassy field.  Wind whooshed through the grass and the birds chirped from the trees.  The wind rustled the grass.

A pig came to a cow and tricked the cow into playing tag.  The pig hid from the cow so he would not be it and the pig laughed. 

The next day, the cow tricked the pig into playing tag and then hid so he would not be it.  The cow came out and said, “Treat others the way you want to be treated.”

Story #2 -- Ava
One sunny summer day, a cheetah was racing.  A buffalo was nibbling green grass on the savanna.  There was a sweet smell of flowers and the vile smell of poop.  The air and the sandy ground was dry.  Five water holes had sharks in them and if you went in it, you would get eaten alive.

So the buffalo went to get a drink of water and got bitten.  The cheetah won a race against a mouse.  They always attack by punching and kicking.  “You are so inconsiderate!” yelled the buffalo.  But no one could hear him because an elephant was throwing a temper tantrum and stomping.

Birds were tweeting and tigers were roaring.  Only one soul could hear him – the cheetah.  “No, you are,” shouted cheetah.  So they kept arguing.  So they had a race.

“From one end to the other of the savanna!” roared cheetah.  Mouse started the race by waving the flag.  Cheetah was ahead by a mile.  Buffalo was trying his best to catch up.  Cheetah saw that the buffalo was far behind so he decided to take a nap under a tree.  While he was napping very quietly, the buffalo passed the cheetah. 

Snap!  The sound of a stick breaking when the buffalo stepped on it, woke the cheetah up.  Cheetah ran as fast as he could to try to catch up.  But the buffalo won the race anyways.  Cheetah went home sulking and had learned – you may always be fast, but not always win.

Story #3 -- Averill
One summer day in the woods, a mouse was gathering food for winter.  Birds were chirping from the sky.  Whoosh!  The wind was blowing through the clouds.  Trees were swaying in the wind. 

The mouse was grabbing anything he could find.  But a rat was doing the opposite.  He was only grabbing the big crumbs for half of the day.  For the rest of the day, he was having a snooze.  But the mouse kept working all day long.

Finally, the mouse talked to the rat.  “Excuse me, rat.  Sorry to interrupt, but why not pick the small crumbs?”

The rat answered, “Well, I just think that small totally sucks!”

The mouse announced, “OK, well, I’m going to carry on now.”  By the end of the day, the mouse was pooped but the rat was wide awake.  It took a little while until the rat went to sleep.

The next morning, the rat kept picking the small ones.  That winter, the rat ate and ate all of his food in one hour.  His tummy was full and aching.  So he decided to take a nap.

When he woke up, he went to the mouse’s house.  He begged and begged for food.  The mouse finally said yes.  He gave the rat a piece of food.

He said…”Next summer, you will grab when you can find.”  And so he did.

Story #4 -- Brooke
One morning in the ocean waves, there was fish swimming in the salt water.  Blub, blub, blub!  They were swimming through the coral.  There was also a large, might shark.  Beautiful sun waved off the water. 

As the fish passed by, the shark yelled, “I’m the fastest shark in the whole wide world!”

One fish said, “I know someone who can beat you, me!”

“Ha, ha!” laughed the shark, “You can’t beat me, ha ha!”

The fish said back, “Let’s do a race.”  They decided to start that day, in the ocean, of course. 

“Ready, set, go!” said the squid.  The shark saw a big bumpy rock and took a little nap.  He felt dirty sand.  But he felt the white, salt water.  But he also felt someone pass by.  But it wasn’t a joke.  He saw the seaweed swish.  But he also saw the fish go by.

Remember slow and steady wins the race.

Story #5 -- Hunter
One sunny day, far by a lake, where the ground was dry, lived a cool pig and a fast bird.  Chirp, chirp!  Birds sang a beautiful song by the lake.  The small waves on the lake flowed onto the beach.  All of the animals could smell the stale air.  Lunch was over and the bird and pig were starting to play.

The bird loved to fly and the pig wanted to fly too.  But he enjoyed sleeping.  The pig, who loved to swim, was an amazing swimmer.  The bird was bragging about how fast he was.  The pig did not like that so he asked him to a race.  The bird liked that idea so he did it.

The next day, they started the race.  The bird flew like crazy.  Then he got tired so he had a nap.  But the pig moved slowly.  Soon, he stepped over the bird.  As he moved to the finish line, the bird woke up, but it was too late.  The pig won.

So remember…slow and steady wins the race.

Story #6 -- Kevin
One evening, in the jungle, the sweet smell of the flowers filled the air.  Coconuts fell from the skinny, sticky trees.  Swoosh!  The wind started to whistle.

There was a picky monkey hanging on a tree.  The tree was full of syrup so the monkey was sticky.  So the monkey started wiggling and wobbling.  The tried everything but he did not try screaming.  So he did and a nice old lion pounced out of the long grass below the monkey. 

The monkey was so scared but all the lion wanted to ask is if the monkey wanted to play with him.  The monkey said, “No.” 

So the lion quietly said “OK,” and left.  So the lion went to go find a new friend.  While he was walking, he heard a noise coming from a hole just straight ahead.  So he started to run as fast as he could run.  He finally got there and it was just the monkey and the monkey wanted to say sorry for being so picky.

“I hope you could forgive me,” said the monkey. 

The lion said, “Yes, I will forgive you.”  The monkey realized that he should treat others the way he wanted to be treated.

Story #7 -- Orion
Whish, woosh!  Dragon’s lake is filled with little waves at the big, ferocious dragon’s den, which is a castle.  The vile smell of rotten meat filled the dragon’s den.  Inside, bones covered the ground.  There was not a bare spot on the ground.  A crackling fireplace was in the living room.

So the dragon invited the t-rex to dragon’s den for supper.  But it was winter and it was zero degrees Celsius outside so Mrs. Rex couldn’t go to dragon’s castle.  So dragon had to soar to t-rex’s cave to get her.  But it is too nippy out, so dragon couldn’t get her.  So Mrs. Rex had to come another day.

Five days later, it was snowy out and not zero degrees Celsius.  But this day, it is plus three out.  So Mrs. Rex could come to dragon’s den.  They had lots of food!  It is also summer.  But dragon could hardly stop staring at all of the scrumptious food.

Mrs. Rex noticed that dragon loves rotten meat to eat.  Dragon also loves the smell of it.  When he walked by Mrs. Rex, he spilled water on her and it was on purpose.  So Mrs. Rex left to her cave.

Now she invited dragon to her cave so she could get dragon back for spilling water in her.  This time, there was not much food on the table.  In a while, dragon arrived.  They started to eat.  But this time, Mrs. Rex had food in her hand and got food on dragon.  Then he noticed something so dragon said sorry to apologize to Mrs. Rex.  So she said, “Sorry.”  Then both of them started to be nice.

The moral of the story: Treat others how you want to be treated.

Story #8 -- Summer
In a jungle, there was a small rat and a colossal monkey by a banana tree.  Tweet, tweet!  Birds were singing by a big tree.  Sweet smelling flowers were blooming out of the damp ground.  Vines were swinging between the trees.  By the trees, the monkey was trying to pick some bananas when he got caught in a net.

A little rat came walking along and saw a monkey trapped in a large, thick net.  The monkey started to cry so the rat helped the monkey.  The rat helped him by starting to chew through the thick net.  All day and all night, until the rat’s teeth couldn’t chew any more, he worked at that net.

The monkey was free at last.  The monkey replied, “Thank you for helping me”.

The rat replied back, “You’re welcome, monkey.”

The monkey insisted, “I will help you next time.  If you need any help, any time, just ask.”

One good turn deserves another.

And there you have it...all of our fables! 

If you were to write a fable, what characters would you choose? 
What moral would they learn?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Aesop's Fables -- Part 2

As promised, here is the next installment of our versions of Aesop's fables!

Story #1 -- by Brady
One sunny day, a kangaroo and an ostrich were walking in Australia at 9:30 in the morning.  Cactuses were standing in the middle of nowhere.  Swish!  The wind blew all around making the dust fly everywhere.  The dry land had straight and swervy cracks running all through it.

They saw a person.  They had a race to the person and dust was behind them.  The person ran away. 

One of the animals took a short cut through the cactuses.  Then the kangaroo jumped over the cactus and the ostrich couldn’t go in front of the kangaroo.

Story #2 -- by Dominik
Late, one Monday night, there lived a pink pig and a green dragon in a zoo.  The pig heard people dancing to the radio.  The dragon felt smooth bars.  The pig felt nothing but the pig did smell burnt roasted hot dogs.  But did he hear something?  Yes, he did hear people cheering madly for the pig and the dragon.

Later, the dragon smelled a hot dog and the pig was sleeping peacefully.  The dragon crept to see if the pig was sleeping.  What did he see?  He saw the pig was a balloon pig and he jumped on the dragon.  He learned to treat others the way you want to be treated.

Story #3 -- by Jordin
Deep in the country around Sundre, there was a huge puddle with pink and purple flowers in the green grass.  Swish!  Wind blew the trees.  Trees swayed back and forth.  Tip-toe, tip-toe.  The mouse was shuffling to find good food.

Suddenly, a wolf appeared where the mouse was.  The wolf was hunting for food for tomorrow.  He snapped the mouse with his soft paws.  The mouse cried, “Please, don’t eat me.  I don’t taste that good.”

“Well, I just ate, so I’ll let you go.  But if I catch you again, you will get eaten,” the wolf said.  The wolf and the mouse went back home.

Then the white, shiny moon glowed and the wolf started to howl.  “Sssshhhh,” the mouse said loudly.  But nobody noticed. 

She yelled even louder, “SSSHHH.”  But still nobody noticed.

She said the loudest she could, “SSSHHHH.”  But nobody noticed still.

Clappp!  Ping!  Pow!  The wolf got caught in the thick rope.  The mouse heard a howl asking for help.  Now the mouse raced to where the wolf was and started nibbling.  Finally, he was out of the rope and they lived happily ever after.

One good turn deserves another.

Story #4 -- by Kaiden
One sunny morning, a chocolate lab was just waking up from his nap.  From the porch, the dog saw trees waving, birds flying in the windy sky and kids playing in their backyard tree house.  Chirp, chirp!  Birds were singing from the top of the kids’ tree house.

A cat snuck up on the dog and then the mean cat leapt up high on the dog.  The dog just about had a heart attack.  They raced in the house and starting fighting. 

Their claws were out and they were like a hair ball fighting.  Finally, they raced out the front door and into the forest.

Now, they looked at each other and walked two different ways.  The dog went south and the cat went north.  Soon, the cat started to get too cold and the dog was getting too hot.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Blueberry was just unlocking the door to the house.  They both met right back where they were.  They both walked home and Mrs. Blueberry was very disappointed at the cat and dog.

Don’t fight if you don’t have to.

Story #5 -- by Koby
One breezy winter night in 1936, there was a snow leopard and a monkey pushing through the very deep snow.  The leopard heard a chirp, chirp.  Roar!  The monkey heard a bear and it sounded close.  The leopard smelled the fresh sap running down the rustling trees.  Snow was falling from the sky and covering the ground.  On the mountain, the monkey saw a lot of rustling trees.

The monkey and the snow leopard kept on going.  The leopard said, “Can we have a break?” 

The monkey said, “Yes.  We should get some sleep.”

The next morning, the snow leopard got up and got some food.  When the snow leopard got back, the monkey was up.  He was starving.  The monkey said, “Let’s eat.”

When they were done their breakfast, the snow leopard said, “Let’s go for a walk.”

The monkey said, “All right, let’s go.”  The snow leopard ran off and there was a trap hanging from one rustling tree.  The leopard gave out a big growl.  The monkey heard the big growl.  The monkey rushed to see what was all the fuss.

The snow leopard had a big net on top of him.  The monkey had an idea.  The monkey grabbed his tail and untied the knot.  There was another trap.  It was on another rustling tree.  The monkey walked right into the trap.  Wham!  The monkey was trapped.

The leopard heard the bang.  He ran as fast as he could.  He saw that the monkey was trapped.  He got his claws out and cut the rope clean off.

The moral of the story:  One good turn deserves another.

Story #6 -- by Logan
Once there was a skilled snow leopard and a big grizzly bear on a winter’s chilly day.  On Mount Everest, in a small wooden cabin food is scarce, very scarce.  Close by the cabin, there were maple trees dripping sap.  Snow was falling on the cabin roof, covering it like a blanket.  You would usually hear crickets chirp at night when the snow leopard likes to hunt.

The grizzly bear likes to hunt in the morning.  They are usually pretty competitive against each other.  But when they are done hunting, they are best friends. 

But one cold day, the grizzly bear got very sick and forgot all about the snow leopard and got super mad and yelled, “I am better than you and I can beat you at anything!  I challenge you to a hunting contest.  Whoever catches the fanciest animal wins.”

So they set off, each in their own way.  Right off the start, the snow leopard found a goat.  He thought this should be good enough, caught it, dragged it to the top of the mountain and waited patiently.

But back on the other side of the mountain, the grizzly bear was still searching and was starving and died.

Don’t be too choosy.

Story #7 -- by Quintin
One cold, wintery day, there was a boy and a cat.  Every day, they could smell fresh cookies all through the house.  Tick, tick, tick.  The timer on the oven was counting down until the cookies would be done.  The fluffy cat and small boy could hear the cool breeze swishing through the window. 

Every time the cat could smell the cookies, he fell on the floor.  But after a while, he would wake up.  In the afternoon, they didn’t smell the chocolate cookies so they ran outside to see what was happening. 

The cook had a heart attack so they went to the hospital.  The doctor said sadly, “You have lost a member.” 

The boy cried, “Nooo!”  All the days after that, the boy and the cat couldn’t smell a thing.

Story #8 -- by Trystan
Near the shoreline of the sea, there lived one scary crocodile and a hungry shark.  Waves rumbled and the jungle’s trees swayed.  Birds were chirping to the sound of the waves.

Shark and crocodile swam quickly out to sea.  They looked back and the land was nowhere to be seen.  They swam to find out what they were going to do.

“Let’s swim back the way we came,” said shark.  Crocodile didn’t agree with shark.  Crocodile thought that shark was trying to trick him.  Crocodile decided to trick shark.  Crocodile tricked shark into going the wrong way.

The next day, shark returned home but crocodile didn’t.

Story #9 -- by Zoe
Deep in the jungle, where the breeze whistled and the dirt was damp, there lived a squirrel and a gorilla.  You could smell the fresh nectar dripping from the trees.  The warm grass grew tall.  Thousands of birds peeped nearby.

Not so far away, lived the gorilla who was reading quietly and softly.  Mr. Squirrel lived by the whistling trees, in a hollow, giant tree. 

Mr. Squirrel had no sports.  But gorilla did!  Mr. Squirrel always teased gorilla about him reading.  He did not like it.  Gorilla could not stand anymore of that pesky squirrel.

So he stood up for himself and said to Mr. Squirrel very loudly, “I like reading and you should try it.”

“OK, I will,” said Mr. Squirrel.  So he did and he liked it.  So he apologized to gorilla.  Every Sunday, they read all afternoon.

And that's it for now folks...look for the rest of them to be posted later this week!  Happy reading!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Aesop's Fables -- Part 1

Through December and the first part of January, we learned about Aesop's fables.  They are short stories that teach a lesson (also called a moral) and usually have animals for their main characters.  We had fun reading different versions of Fox and the Stork, Lion and the Mouse and Tortoise and the Hare.  We also got to try acting out the stories, once we knew them well.

Now we have been working on writing our own versions of Aesop's fables.  Some of us chose a moral that Aesop wrote about, while others made up their own moral.  We hope you like our versions of Aesop's fables!

Story #1 by Anthony -- The Monkey and The Bear
 One night in the tall tree woods, it was raining.  Crackle!  Lightning struck by the tree that the monkey lived in.  Trees rustled through the storm.  Huge and tiny puddles were being formed by all of the rain.  Wandering through the forest, the bear was searching for a friend.

When the first lightning struck, a bear popped out.  The cried, “Aaaaa!”  So the monkey hurried.

The monkey was still running.  Bear was almost catching up.  He just caught monkey.  Bear asked monkey if he could be his friend. 

“You are a monster!  No!  I’m not,” he replied.

Story #2 by Colten
One Friday, there was a lion.  In the forest, he found an annoying monkey.  He noticed he was in a jungle by a river.  In the trees, bananas were moving from the wind.  Splish!  Trees rubbed against other trees.

The monkey saw him and limbed over to him.  He asked, “Do you want to explore around the jungle?”

So they did and on the way, he saw a pirate.  After a while, the lion said, “Do you want to see my place?”

So he said, “Yes.”  While he was there, he saw a baby monkey.  She went to get the monkey.  When she got the monkey, she turned around and he was gone.  The lion noticed that she was gone.

Story #3 by Cooper
 Once there was a unicorn and dragon.  They lived in the sky in the summer of 1964.  There were clouds flying and birds going chirp, chirp.  Vroom!  Noisily, the chainsaws were cutting wood.  The nice unicorn was hiding from the vicious dragon.  The sky smelled like candy.  Clouds were soggy because they were holding so much water.

The unicorn gathered any food she could see.  The dragon only gathered an apple that lasted for one day, if not all is lost.  The dragon didn’t like anything else to eat.  If he ate anything else, he yelled…”blath!”

So in the fall, he barely had anything to eat.  In a month, he almost starved.  But the unicorn saw him suffering.  She used her magical horn to save him and let him try a new kind of food.  The unicorn told him, “Don’t be picky.”

Story #4 by Ethan
Once there was a boy and his job was to take care of lambs.  Trees were waving in the woods.  Roar!  Bears were calling other bears because they found food.  Chirping birds were going everywhere to find sticks for their nest.  A warm breeze made every single tree wave.

On a Sunday afternoon, a wolf appeared but the boy saw the wolf!  But before the boy warned the people, the wolf started to talk.  The wolf insisted, “I will watch the lambs for you,” and the boy trusted him.

So the boy zoomed to his town and started to play.  The wolf was sitting on the mountain and started to terrorize the lambs.  He chased them so long, that all of the lambs fell to the ground. 

The wolf dashed away and the boy came up with his boss and got fired.  Don’t trust a wolf, even if you want to.

Story #5 by Kira
One June morning, on unicorn’s 9th birthday, monkey had a surprise for unicorn.  Chirp, chirp!  Birds were singing and soaring in the clouds.  Fresh flowers were in front of their house.  The sun was shining on their house.  They walked through their house on the fluffy floors to get stuffies. 

But unicorn was scared of heights.  So was monkey.  Monkey was going bungee jumping in the clouds.  A whole bunch of kids were coming and monkey was sad.

One day, unicorn went into the clouds and unicorn was floating.  The unicorn called monkey over to play in the clouds.

On unicorn’s birthday, monkey wanted it to be her birthday, but is was in July.  Monkey was crying sadly.  One day, it was monkey’s birthday!  So unicorn bought a statue of monkey.  She was so happy.  It was a playing statue so they could play on it.  So if people want to play on it, it would cost one dollar per person.  A whole lot of people went on it and monkey went on it.  It was time to go to bed.

Story #6 by Raegan
One pretty fall day in B.C., in the beautiful forest, flowers bloomed.  In the trees, birds chirped.  A fat, fluffy bear and a cute, sweet deer lived close to a pond.  Crash!  They bumped into each other as they were walking in the forest.  “OW!” they both screamed.  That’s how they became enemies.

The deer ran home.  She was so mad at the bear for purposely bumping into her.  The bear roared as loud as he could.  The enemies were fierce.  They never wanted to see each other ever again. 

After three months, the bear sent a letter to deer because he felt so bad.  “Oh, I think I will go and get my mail,” she said.  So she did.  She opened her mailbox and saw a letter from bear.  She opened it at her house. 

It said, “I’m sorry for bumping into you.  Would you like to come to my house?”  The next day, she went to bear’s house and knocked.  Bear opened the door and they talked for a really long time. 

Finally, it was dinner time.  “Why don’t you come into the kitchen?” asked bear. 

“OK,” deer replied, as bear ate her.

Story #7 by Scott
Once, high up on a mountain full of trees, there were birds signing.  Water splashed at the bottom of the waterfall.  A picky kangaroo was looking for a friend to play with.  While he was walking, he found a beautiful waterfall.  Kangaroo saw a goldfish, who was also looking for someone to play with.

The fish asked if kangaroo wanted to play.  Kangaroo said, “No, you are too wet.”

“OK,” said fish.  Kangaroo hopped to the mud pond where he came upon a pig. 

Pig said, “Do you want to play?”

Kangaroo said, “No, too muddy.”

“OK,” said pig, “but if you are too picky, you will never find any friends.

“I don’t think so,” said kangaroo.  By the next day, he had searched the whole entire forest and did not find one friend.

Kangaroo said, “I guess pig was right.”  So he scurried to the pig and the fish and said sorry.  From then on, kangaroo was not picky at all.

Look for more of our Aesop's fables to be posted soon!

Thursday, January 24, 2013


This week we worked a lot on our estimation skills.  Estimating is taking a thoughtful guess and it should be close to the actual number, but it doesn't have to be exact.  We learned that you can use a referent to help you.  A referent is when you look at what 10 or 100 of the object looks like and then use that to make your estimate. 

Mrs. Braybrook read us a couple of books to help us understand how helpful estimating is and how to make good estimates.

We also watched a short video and used a pretty cool website:  So far, we've tried the activities from day 6, 7, 25, 26 and 27. 

When we estimate, we use our "Estimation Station" poster. 
Once everyone puts their estimate up, we can see who has the highest and lowest estimates and then once we find out the real number, we can see who is close.

It's really hard to make a good estimate, but with practice it will get easier!

We were wondering...
What strategies do you use for estimating?  Have you seen the books or website we showed you?

Happy estimating!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Calendar Calculations

With the beginning of a new calendar year, we've been reviewing calendar skills and practicing how to use calendars.  One of the skills we need to practice is relating units of time to each other. 

As we were discussing the new year, we started writing down how long 2013 is in other units of time.  For example, we knew 2013 was equal to 12 months, 1 year and 365 days.  We didn't know how many weeks were in a year, but with some clues from Mrs. Braybrook and careful guessing, we found out it's 52 weeks. 

Then, one of the us suggested trying to figure out how many hours were in a year!  We knew it would be a lot, and that you would have to multiply 365 (because that's how many days there are in a year) by 24 (because that's how many hours are in a day).  However, no one had any idea how to figure it out...and so the "teachable moment" presented itself!  Mrs. Braybrook showed us how to write the equation and figure it out.  It really wasn't so hard, because we already know how to figure out multiplication basic facts using skip counting and thinking about equal groups.  Doing that big multiplication equation is just putting together a whole bunch of basic facts!  Here you can see how we recorded our thinking...
THEN...someone suggested we find out how many minutes are in the whole year!  Yikes!  That would be a lot!  Mrs. Braybrook said we didn't have time to figure that one out, but she challenged us to try it on our own (or with help from our parents). 

Can you figure out how many minutes there are in a year?  How would you show your thinking?