Sunday, November 22, 2015

What's Happening in REACH?

It's been a busy first semester! From digital projects to read alouds, we are working on being more creative, team players, leaders, and more accepting of others. Here's a recap of what we've been up to:

1. Digital Passport: Our 2nd-4th graders have been well into their blended learning course on digital citizenship. We have talked about appropriate times to use technology as well as what is okay and not okay to share online. This month our focus is on cyberbullying and looking at ways we can be upstanders rather than bystanders. We are almost through with our course and those who score an 80 or above on each module/lesson will receive certification in the course!
Learning about cybersafety with Digital Passport!
2. Everfi (Ignition): Our 5th graders are challenging themselves with a higher level course offered through Everfi. This course is similar to the Digital Passport course in that it teaches the basics of cybersafety along with a few extra technical details we don't normally learn about at school. Each student is required to take a pre-check (like a pretest) to see how much they know about the module and then a post-check (like a post-test) to check how much they learned. Although this course was tough at first, we seem to be getting the hang of it and are becoming more knowledgeable on all things related to computers and how we learn and share with them. Those students that score an 80 or above on each module will also receive Everfi Certification for this course!

3.  Read Alouds- To put life skills into practice, we have started our Read Alouds. Students in grades 3-5 have enjoyed starting the novel Wonder, while 2nd graders are getting a kick out of Frindle. Both of these stories give use the opportunity to discuss our feelings and how to cope with different situations as well as explore friendships and what makes us special.

We love taking turns to read Wonder. 

As we read, we brainstorm for our projects. 

Check out our "What Makes Us Special Posters."

Our favorite: Friendship Bands! 

Mystery Location Calls

It's Mystery  Location Call Season! Every year, we like to participate in Mystery Calls through either Skype or Google Hangouts to meet new friends all over the USA. These types of calls also give us the chance to practice geography, group dynamics, communication, and deductive thinking skills.  Here are a few snapshots from our adventures with Mystery Location Calls so far.

Throughout our calls we have added some new jobs and learned a few tricks from our new friends. Here's a recap:

1. Jokester: In a call we made to Canada, we learned about the "Entertainer" job, where our partner class sang songs, did a cool dance, or told a funny joke. We enjoyed this so much, that we added our Jokester job for those moments when we needed more time to respond to our partner class. We usually get our jokes from books but recently found websites to help us on the spot.

2.  Class Signs: As we were waiting for our partner class to respond to our question, they held up this neat sign to show us that they were still working/thinking. We thought this was a creative twist to buying some time!

Check out this sign from Ms. Kappas' class!
3. Rock, Paper, Scissors!:  When we start our calls, we usually ask our partner class if they would like go first or vice versa. Recently, we had one of our classes ask if we wanted to try a round of the classic game, Rocks, Papers, Scissors to see who could go first. Awesome sauce!

4. Our School Tour: As we were saying goodbye, one of our classes asked for some pictures of our call and we decided to show them our school. And a huge kudos to our REACH students who took these pictures!

Overall, we have enjoyed our calls and learned some new additions along the way. If you are a gifted/talented elementary class (grades 3-5) in the US that would like to try a Mystery Location Call with us, please leave your teacher's email in the comments below. Mrs. Deyamport will  make sure to get back to you! You can also follow us on Twitter at: @reachrocketeers 

Are you up for a Mystery Location Call? 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Inner Selfies

This year is off to a great start! Our rocketeers have been busy working on inner selfies this term. Every year, we complete interest and learning style inventories to learn more about ourselves. This year, we decided to share our true selves through a selfie. The goal was to showcase our interests, our multiple intelligences (also know as our smarts) and what we value in our life. Not only did we discover some talented photographers in our class (especially since all photos were taken by our students), but we also enjoyed showing who we really are in a creative way!

Enjoy our masterpieces!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Book Reviews

With summer around the corner, it's never too early to start thinking about books! What types of books are you interested in checking out this summer? Is there a series or title you are looking forward to reading? Have a look at some recommendations made by our REACH students and let us know which one was your favorite!

Title: Mick Hart Was Here  

Mick Harte Was Here is a wonderful book. Even though Mick Harte is a fictional character, his accident could happen to anybody. 

Mick Harte was one of the coolest kids you could ever meet. He dressed as Thomas Crapper for Halloween. His sister constantly wonders, how could something bad happen to someone like him? He always wanted to look cool, not like a doofus! That’s why he refused to wear a bike helmet. And for 12 years and 5 months, he had never fallen off his bike. In this book, Phoebe, his sister, tells his story and the aftermath.

I enjoyed this book because when you read it, you get mixed emotions. This book is sad, funny, and serious at the same time. What happened to Mick could really happen to anyone. If you are a bike rider, then this cautionary story is definitely for you.
-Mason, 5th Grade


Series Title: A Series of Unfortunate Events

Everything was peaceful as the Bauldaire’s played happily in the sunset by the beach. Mr. Poe, a really good friend of their parents, suddenly runs up to them with a worried and panicked expression. “Your mansion burned down in a terrible fire and your parents are...dead.”
The Bauldair orphans, Violet, a 14 year old inventer, Clause, a 12 year old that has read every book in your library, and Sunny, a baby with the teeth of a shark, go through a series of unfortunate events in search of a guardian. Meanwhile, a horrifying man named Count Olaf uses every moment in search of the orphans and the enormous fortune their parents left behind. Will they survive these unfortunate events that have come their way?

This entertaining book series is so addicting that it literally calls out your name. There are 13 chapter books in this series by Lemony Snicket. I love how each book leaves you hanging for more and reveals more in the next. If you are into adventures, you will love this stunning series!
                     -Lisa, 5th Grade

Title: Pegasus: The Flame of Olympus

Pegasus: The Flame of Olympus is full of mysteries and action. A flying horse named Pegasus was in a war fighting for his home. The enemies were dangerous creatures with incredible powers. Pegasus gets injured and falls into another world. It was interesting how things came from the sky and into another world.

The main characters were Emily and Pegasus. When I got to the part they were healing Pegasus, I was amazed when they figured out a cure for him. The next question I had was, will Pegasus be captured?

If you love adventures and mysteries, you will enjoy this book. There are also a lot of missions taking place in this book. I recommend this book for readers that like to read books from the Percy Jackson series.  

-Addam, 6th Grade

Title: Tiger’s Curse

If you love action,adventure,and mystery,then you should read Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck.This is a series of 4 amazing books: Tiger’s Curse,Tiger’s Quest,Tiger’s Voyage, and Tiger’s Destiny.

This book is about about a girl named Kelsey Hayes who happens to get a job at a circus for care taking a cobalt blue eyed, white Bengal tiger named Dhiren. Kelsey realizes that the tiger keeps focusing on her instead of its act in the circus.Then, a man named Mr.Kadam needed the tiger to go with him to India, and Kelsey happens to tag along. Along the way, she meets a girl named Nilima. When they finally arrive to India, Kelsey saw something unusual...Dhiren (or Ren for short) had transformed into a male human being! Kelsey stared in shock while Ren told the whole story. He mentioned a 300-year old Indian curse was put on him. Then in the middle of his story, Ren transformed back in to a white tiger. Ren was controlled by a curse from a wizard named Lokesh and so was his younger brother named Kishan. While on their trip, Ren and Kelsey both find ancient temples, statues, and artifacts. Read the book to discover more!

My favorite part of the book is when Ren transforms into a man for a few minutes, and then back to a tiger. I would recommend this book for 6th to 8th graders who like action, adventure, and mystery.

-Bransen, 6th Grade

Series Title: Dork Diaries: Not-So Happily Ever After

If you love fantasies and fairy tales, Dork Diaries: Not-So Happily Ever After is the book for you! It’s a journal written by the main character, Nikki Maxwell. She writes all about the challenges she faces in middle school.

This was the best book out of the whole Dork Diaries series! I think it’s the best one because it is the most magical book of them all. In this book, Nikki gets knocked out and goes into an Alice in Wonderland world with a twist.

If you are a fan of Alice and Wonderland, I recommend this story to you. If you are goofy and like to laugh, then this book is for you.

-Centirea, 6th Grade

Title: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is extremely interesting. Out of the entire series, this book is the most suspenseful. It is full of action and mystery.

One day the school gets raided. And there is a mysterious person who is trying to kill Dumbledore, but no one knows who it is. While I read this part, I was on the edge of my seat! Will the school survive?

There are so many amazing parts in the book that I can’t pick just one favorite. There is a shocking part, but I’m not going to spoil it. If you want to find out what happens, check out the book. If you like Harry Potter or captivating magical stories, you will love this book!

-Elijah, 6th Grade


For our writing unit, we practiced writing some advice letters with each other. In addition to practicing our writing skills, we were also able to share some issues that have been on our minds as well as find ways on how to solve them or better cope with different situations. Below are some letters with some great advice. If you feel like there is a problem or have a question about something, feel free to write your own letter to our REACH Rocketeers below. We would love to help out!

Issue #1: Can't Stop Laughing 


I am a very goofy person, so most of the time, I am laughing and talking about funny things. This sometimes gets me in trouble. I can’t help it! I need advice!

Can’t stop laughing,

Dear LOL,

Conversations can be hilarious, but you can also see it’s not once you’re in trouble! You might love to laugh, but it is hard to control it. Try not to sit by or talk to your friends when they are talking when they shouldn’t be. This way, there is nothing to fall laughing and howling about. Another tip is to keep your mouth closed under all conditions, but you can  talk if it is absolutely needed. Make sure your eyes are on the prize, and you’re on topic! My best advice is to ignore unnecessary talking and try to control your own talking. If these tips don’t work, then relocate yourself to a no-talking zone. Good luck!


Hansini, 6th Grade

Issue #2: Organize My Life! 


My backpack is always unorganized. Even though I clean it out, it gets messier in a day! Help! What should I do?



Dear Unorganized,

I had the most unorganized backpack ever, but I have some tips for you:

  • Dump everything and set up a new organization system
  • Ask a trusted adult to help you come up with a new system if you need help
  • Label everything in your backpack

I really do wish these tips help you with your backpack situation.


Destiney, 6th Grade

Issue #3: Sleepover Dilemma


I talk way too much and it has been a problem. The actual problem is that I have a sleepover coming up and I don’t want to get in trouble. What should I do?

Ms. Talk-a-Lot

Dear Ms. Talk-a-Lot,

If you sit by your friends, move to a desk by yourself. That way, you focus more on your work. Learn when to talk and when not to. If you really care about your sleepover, you should try these suggestions.


Centirea, 6th Grade

Summer Camps 2015

With summer around the corner, it's a great idea to start finding some camps and enrichment opportunities. Check out our brochure for some exciting learning opportunities here in Hattiesburg. You can download the document below or go to our Class Documents section on the right. A special thanks goes to our very own Ms. Carter for her research and our awesome parent, Colby Sparkman for compiling all of these on her blog!

For a complete list of camps, click here. 

To download the brochure, click here

Friday, February 27, 2015

Career Talks: Science Around Us!

Yesterday, Mr. Yang visited our rocketeers to share his career in science. Mr. Yang works in a lab where he makes different types of composite materials that we use in our everyday lives. Some of the materials he develops are used in airplanes, boats, cars, and other vehicles of transportation. He explained the process of how each material is made and tested in his lab. This was a very informative talk and thank Mr. Yang for sharing his science smarts with us!

Friday, February 13, 2015

TWIMA Project

Last semester our 2nd graders wrote research poems to include in the The World is my Audience ebook project (#TWIMA). This little project started on Twitter and quickly grew into a global ebook of poems about countries and states. Students from the United States along with countries like Australia, Canada, and Slovenia participated. Our 2nd graders were thrilled to see their work being displayed around the world!

To read The World is My Audience, click here. 
(Our section starts on page 11)

Career Talk: Let's Talk Tech!

This week Mr. Rex Bomhold visited our 3rd graders to talk about his job as a Systems Analyst. He shared with us his love of math and science and how that led him to his career. He started as a computer programmer and eventually started helping others solve problems. He enjoys his career because he gets to see patterns, solve problems, but most importantly help others. As he closed his talk, he also shared with us a neat toy that used the first microchip called, Simon! Thanks for the talk, Mr. Rex!

Our rocketeers give Simon a shot!