Huzzah and Godspeed!

Hear ye, Hear ye!

We are about to embark on our annual journey to the Fair!  Join us as we travel back 1000 years to the days of castles, lords, ladies, serfs, and knights.

mcmanus pat

Mummers and jugglers at the fair!

To learn more about the medieval days, travel through history with your guide on this interactive medieval site.

medieval fair 2

Selling our wares

Or take a tour here, with this guide to medieval life.

List three things you learned about life during the middle ages that you did not know before.

Write one thing you want to know.

Let the journey commence!


medieval fair

Playing the age old game of checkers



Student Blogging Challenge: Week 5

Hey Kids,
This week’s challenge focuses on the inherent rights we have as human beings. Included in these rights are specific rights that children have.  The challenge comes from the theme of Blog Action Day.

The Human Rights Document from the United Nations outlines these basic rights in 30 articles.  The rights of the child are contained in this document.

Read through the list.  Do you think all people on our planet are receiving everything they have a right to receive?  Is there anything each one of us can do to promote the rights of all human beings?

Portrait of Pakistani Schoolgirl
Photo Credit: United Nations Photo via Compfight cc

Now, read this article about Malala, a 16-year-old Pakistani girl shot by the Taliban for promoting the right to education for girls.   What are your thoughts about Malala?

Here is another question:  Does our protagonist, Maniac Magee, have everything he is entitled to have under the rights of the child?

Hmmm.  Think about it.

Service Survey

Thanks to everyone who brainstormed ideas on how we can make a difference and help dig a well in South Sudan. We chose Water for South Sudan because the whole middle school read the book A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park as our summer reading book this year.
Here are some of the ideas we collected. We’d like to implement one on Make A Difference Day, celebrated this year on October 26th.  We hope you’ll help us decide what to do by voting for one or more of the ideas below.  Before you vote, watch the video about Water for South Sudan and its remarkable founder, Salva Dut.

What do you do to make a difference in people’s lives? Do you smile at people you greet? Do you volunteer? Help around the house? Let us know how you make a difference.


Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

Serving Others

The Unlucky Twin

Photo Credit: ReSurge International via Compfight cc

Part of our mission statement as a school states that we are “building a caring community that serves others”.  We try to live up to that standard by helping people in our local, national, and global communities.  Every year we send our accumulated 25 cent “lost and found” fines, as well as any other donations, to the Smile Train.  The Smile Train funds operations to fix cleft lip and cleft palate in developing nations.  The surgery costs $250 and takes as little as 45 minutes.  Every year for the last six years we’ve sent our money to The Smile Train.   We began this fundraising because the 7th graders read the novel Crispin: At the Edge of the World  by Avi; one of the characters in the story suffers from an untreated cleft lip.  Last year one of our students donated over $200 herself; it was money she had been saving for new clothes.

On the 10th anniversary of 9/11, we held a fundraising baseball game at our school,     “9 Innings for 9/11.”  Families donated a few dollars to play baseball; we sold hot dogs and popcorn, held a bake sale, and ran a raffle.  We raised a little over $800 that afternoon and donated the proceeds to The Smile Train, St. Jude’s Hospital, Share our Strength, and Our Mother’s House.

This year after reading the book, A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park, we visited the website Water for South Sudan.  We talked about ways to help the people in South Sudan dig and maintain wells for drinking water, but we haven’t yet put any plans into action.  We are glad for this week’s Student Blogging Challenge to remind us about our resolve and brainstorm some ideas so that the children and families in South Sudan can have safe drinking water, something we in America take for granted.

What are some ideas that we can do as a middle school to raise money for Water for South Sudan?

Watch this video from Disney’s Bridget Mendler called We Can Change the World and be inspired to take one step at a time…