Time to Email Your ePal!


Posted by Mrs. Ibrahim | Posted in 4th GATErs, ePals, Global Warming, Uncategorized | Posted on January 19, 2011

Our ePals live in Chicago, Illinois and they have already written to us!!  
View Larger Map
Today you will read their emails and respond with what you’ve learned so far about global warming.  You will need to write at least 2 paragraphs:

  1. Introduce yourself.  Tell them a few details.
  2. Tell them what you have learned about global warming so far.  Answer any questions they asked and ask them a couple of questions.

Click on the picture below to go to ePals. epals_GC

Ethical Issues with Water


Posted by Mrs. Ibrahim | Posted in 6th GATErs, depth and complexity, ePals, Inquiry, Water | Posted on January 18, 2011

ethics-32In all likelihood, you have never struggled to obtain safe, fresh drinking water.  You probably have always considered water a natural, limitless resource, but one BILLION people do not have access to clean water to drink.  This is a huge ethical issue because it is killing many people.  According to the World Water Council,

…the right to water is indispensable for leading a life in human dignity, but often denied in developing as well as developed countries.

Today we will explore the ethical issues having to do with water. Click on the banner below to explore and then return to the blog to comment on what surprised you the most.

Shake it Up


Posted by Mrs. Ibrahim | Posted in Technology | Posted on January 8, 2011

I saw this video and loved the message. 

Back in 1986…


Posted by Mrs. Ibrahim | Posted in Technology | Posted on January 8, 2011

Today as I sit here at Starbucks writing, I am noticing all of the people around me who are typing away on their laptops, cell phones, and iPads. As they twitter, facebook, email, and google away, I am left wondering how different your social and academic lives are from mine. At risk of sounding “old”, I am going to tell you what it was like “when I was your age,” just 25 years ago. Let me take you back to around 1986…

That's me on the right

That's me on the right

First of all, there were no cell phones (at least not in my little world)!! If I wanted to talk to friends it would have to be on a land-line with a long cord attached to it. There was this thing called a “busy signal” if you called a friend and they were already on the phone. No interrupting phone calls, which was good and bad. There was no such thing as caller-id so you never knew who was calling.

Today, with Facebook and Twitter, we are able to know what’s going on in the daily lives of our social circle. This circle of people expands across the world, across ages, and interest groups. When I was in 5th grade, we knew very little about each other. We would get brief updates on families in their yearly Christmas card.

Academically, I remember doing a report on Germany in 5th grade. We had an old set of encyclopedias (probably published in the 1970s) that I used to gather my out-of-date facts. Luckily, I had an aunt living there at the time so I was able to write her a letter to get the current information. Today, we are able to gather all of this information with a few clicks. Now there is almost too much information!



Remember those REALLY old western movies where they would walk 10 paces away from each other and then quickly turn around and shoot one another? These were called duels. Well, I was snickering the other day when my husband and his friend were having a friendly debate about football but came to a disagreement over some fact. “I know I’m right,” they would both boast. Just like in the old west they both clamored for their iPhones, their “guns”, to google the correct information and shoot their partner down first. In 1986 these types of duels probably went uncontested.

In 25 years technology has dramatically changed how we do things. I wonder what students your age will be using in 25 more years!

Tree Octopus??


Posted by Mrs. Ibrahim | Posted in Technology, Thinking Maps | Posted on December 6, 2010

In Technology Focus, we examined a website about the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus.  First we made a circle map to share our IMG_0671prior knowledge about octopi.   This website made us feel very skeptical because our prior knowledge told us that an octopus lived in the ocean.  So we searched for other resources that had information about this tree octopus.  We looked in books, encylopedias, movies, and other websites, but we couldn’t find it anywhere.  IMG_0669

We concluded that this website was fictitious.  What was the author’s purpose?  What have you learned from this lesson?

What Affects the Water I Use?


Posted by Mrs. Ibrahim | Posted in 6th GATErs, ePals, Inquiry, Uncategorized, Water | Posted on November 30, 2010

1. Today we are going to look at the land and water in our community. We are going to learn about our watershed and what affects the water.  What is a watershed?

2. Explore the map of our Otay Watershed. What are the major water-related ecosystems (lakes, wetlands, estuaries, rivers, watersheds, ponds, oceans, streams) in our community?


3. Write down 2 more facts about the Otay Watershed. http://www.sdbay.sdsu.edu/education/otay.php

Top 100!


Posted by Mrs. Ibrahim | Posted in Technology | Posted on November 23, 2010



Guess what?
We recently received a comment from a reader asking if she could put our blog on a list of Top 100 Classroom Blogs!! Our work is being read by people all over the world! Great job scholars!!

The History of Natural Disasters


Posted by Mrs. Ibrahim | Posted in 5th GATErs, ePals, Inquiry, Natural Disasters | Posted on November 18, 2010

Today we are going to explore the history of Natural Disasters in the world. I wonder which countries had the most human casualties from disasters? I wonder which Natural disasters happened more often? I wonder…?
Search for the history of natural disasters and then post a comment on the blog. You will be sharing this information with your ePals in your next email (or on the wiki if you are not doing ePals).

Who Else Wants Water In My Community?


Posted by Mrs. Ibrahim | Posted in ePals, Inquiry, Uncategorized, Water | Posted on November 15, 2010

We have observed and analyzed our own personal water use. The average American person uses 150 gallons per day.

Today we are going to look other groups of people that need water in our community.
-Residential (homes)
-Industry & Commercial (business)
-Agriculture (Farming)

Check out these resources.  What do you notice?  Write down your findings in your notebook so you can share this with your ePals. 



For homework: (Due by 11/30)

Email #2

  • Respond to your ePals’ comments and questions.
  • Ask your ePals questions and make comments about your ePals’ prior emails.
  • Tell your ePals about the community in which we live. Explain what community water needs are most prominent in our community.
  • Wiki (for those not doing ePals):

    Choose a linked word or words on the wiki  to write about.

    4th GATErs: We have ePals from Turkey!


    Posted by Mrs. Ibrahim | Posted in 4th GATErs, ePals, Global Warming, Inquiry | Posted on November 12, 2010

    flagstown-turkey-car-flagI am so thrilled that I finally found a school that will be our Global Warming ePals partners.  They are from the country of Turkey!! Take a look at where they are from on the map below!
    View Larger Map    We will start emailing them on December 1st!!