International Club begins

2nd grade students were excited yesterday with the start of International Club.  21 eager students and 3 teachers will travel the world to learn more about Peru, Australia and England.  Our first project was to learn how we needed a passport.   Then we applied for our passport and got approved to take the 2:45 flight from Charlotte to Peru.   We a flight simulator (YouTube) students boarded the plane (chairs in classroom set in rows) and it appeared that we actually were flying.  Landing in Lima, Peru students exited the plane and had their passport stamped then reviewed information learned during an earlier presentation at our school about Peru.   We learned they speak two languages.  The flag is red and white with the crest showing a Llama, cornucopia and  chichona tree  .   The Llama is important to the Inca’s and Peru people for the wool to make clothing.  We learned about the city of Lima.  We talked about the Incas.    We looked at the city from google earth and saw the street view.   After that we planned our project of making our own Tunic like the Inca wore.  The more colorful the designs are on the cotton tunic the richer the people are.  Next week we will take our plans and design our own with glitter glue, fabric, paint and other items.  Then we will leave Peru in South America for Australia.   How many hours will it take us?   Can we go nonstop?  How will Australia and Peru be alike and how are they different?

Agricultural Around the World

What can we learn about agriculture around the world and food production? If we produce so much of the  top commodities like wheat, corn, sugar cane, rice, why do some people go hungry?     Students will begin exploring and investigating these and other questions in our integrated unit of study.

What are the top foods produced in your location?

Do people face a shortage of food and go hungry where you live?

Students in my classes  (K-5th grade) are coming up with many questions as we begin our unit during the season of harvest festivals around the world and study of The First Thanksgiving in America.

If you can help answer our questions we’d love to have a comment from you.  We want to learn about agriculture around the world.

International Literacy Day

Students at Rocky River Elementary were invited to design a bookmark about their favorite book in support of International Literacy Day on September 8th. This day was created by the United Nations to support the importance of literacy to individuals, communities, and societies around the world. Literacy is a human right, a tool of personal empowerment and a means for social and human development. Educational opportunities depend on literacy. Winners of the contest had the opportunity to pick a book to continue their journey of becoming a lifelong reader.

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Celebrating International Literacy with our favorite books.

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The heart of basic education for all is with literacy, and is essential for reducing poverty, reducing child mortality, curbing population growth, achieving gender equality and ensuring sustainable development, peace and democracy.

Literacy is the basis for lifelong learning.

Education is a basic human right, and one that remains unfilled for many children around the world. Accessing and resourcing schools is most challenging in the developing world. Plan on joining the world wide effort to support literacy with all children and families no matter where they may live.
We encourage each student and family at RYRES to shoot for the stars by building a literacy habit which takes just a little time each day. Take time each and every day to include literacy in your life.
Several students did just that over their summer break when they kept reading in their summer plans by joining the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge. Mrs. Shulman and 30 students who read the most minutes during the summer challenge celebrated their accomplishments with a pizza party on Monday September 22.
What will your goals be each week that include literacy in your life and for others around the world and in our community?

Not enough information?

We did further investigation and can tell you that we didn’t give enough information as to our location.  With so many Rocky River schools we decided you would need to know the county since they all were in different counties.  We are located in Union County.  Warning…… Be careful though there is an Union County, North Carolina and South Carolina.

We  are located in one of the 100 counties in North Carolina.  Virginia is to the north, Tennessee is to the west and South Carolina is to the south.  Georgia is the fourth state that borders us to the southwest.

More about our location..  Locate us on google maps.  Hints…… Look for Monroe, North  Carolina, Union County or Rocky River Elementary School

  •  Did you find us?
  •  What can you tell us about the area we live in from google maps?
  •  Is it rural, suburban or urban?  What do you see nearby?
  • Are we close to the ocean?

There are 3 regions  Mountains, Piedmont and Coastal Plains.  We are learning about the mountain region now.  Can you find the answers to these questions?  If so let us know.

  • How does our mountain region compare to other places in the world?  
  • What can you do there?
  • What places can you see?
  • What are the names of our oldest river, highest mountain, and  highest waterfall? 
  • Why did the early settlers settle in the mountain region?
  • Where did they come from originally?
  • What makes the mountains of NC a tourist destination for world travelers?
  • bridge grandfather mountainsmall-glimps-of-the-fallsgroup canoe tripJuly 2012 170


Where Are You?`

We started our year off learning about where we fit into the world.  Think about your relative location in the world, country or state and tell us how to locate you.   First we started small

This is where we were at the moment….

  1. In global studies in the computer lab/room.lab (1)

But there was a problem with telling that to others.

They wouldn’t be able to find us just from this answer.

So we decided to think a little bigger.  We decided that we were…….

2.   At Rocky River Elementary School           RockyRiverMisc_2011089

Can  you find us yet?

We decided to do a google search for Rocky River Elementary School.

Once again there was a problem.  We found several Rocky River Schools.  3 of them were elementary schools and one high school so were decided to mark the high school one off.  We started looking at addressess of each of the schools.

10505 Clear Creek Commerce Dr
Charlotte, NC

500 N Rocky River Rd
Monroe, NC

5454 Rocky River Rd
Concord, NC


Rocky River Elementary School
483 Rocky River Rd
Mooresville, NC  28115 (Iredell County)

We decided this wouldn’t help you know where we are.

What would help you figure out which one we are?

Independence Day- July 4, 2014

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Fireworks, Sparkle, Boom, Loud Red, White and Blue Stars and Stripes Music/patriotic songs/ loud noises celebrations. parades, speeches,  cookouts hot dogs/hamburgers. potato salad. macaroni salad, chips,picnictreeboys (1) Soda/soft drinks/lemonade/tea watermelons/blueberries, lakes, boats ocean/seas/hurricane Arthur wind and rain/waves crashing over the islands ants/bugs. playing chase fireflies at night. lights in the sky. sparkling in the dark night.

freedom all reminders of a country celebrating! Independence Day!

What other countries celebrate the Fourth of July?     fireworks (400x301)

Denmark, England, Norway, Portugal and Sweden. Denmark  Danes and Norwegians celebrate American Independence Day because thousands emigrated to the U.S. in the early 1900s.  Other European countries, like England, Portugal and Sweden, hold celebrations near American military bases and or spots frequented by American tourists to boost travel during early July.

Mystery Park IS….


Now what you’ve wondered about… the mystery park is located on the border of Tennessee and North Carolina.


The Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park


Clue 4 National Park Mystery

Our park is in two states.

Our park has the most visitors.

Entrance to our park is free.

Our park was home to Native Americans called Cherokee and European Settlers.

Elk were reintroduced to our park a few years ago.

What is the name of our park?  What two states will you find our park in?

Clue 3- National Parks

  • Turtle-hawaii CYou will not find this in our mystery park.  No ocean or sea turtles although this is in the United States.
  • The park may close parts during the winter because of snow and/or ice on the roads especially at night.
  • The leaves change colors in the autumn.
  • The park has four seasons.
  • World renowned for its diversity of plant and animal life and  the beauty of its ancient mountains.
  • From the earliest hepaticas in the late winter to the last asters in the late fall, blooming flowers can be found nearly year-round in the park.
  • Elevations in the park range from approximately 875 feet to 6,643 feet and the topography can drastically affect local weather. Temperatures can vary 10-20 degrees Fahrenheit from mountain base to top, and clear skies lower down do not guarantee equally pleasant weather at higher elevations. Rainfall averages 55 inches per year in the lowlands to 85 inches per year.
  • Nearly 80 historic structures—homes, barns, churches, schools, and mills—are preserved in the park.
  • 1,600 species of flowering plants, including 100 native tree species and over 100 native shrub species.
  • Limited food and lodging inside park.
  •  Protected in the park are some 65 species of mammals, over 200 varieties of birds, 67 native fish species, and more than 80 types of reptiles and amphibians.
  • Temperatures – average 45-84.
  • July is the average warmest month. Average is around 84 high. The highest recorded temperature was 100°F in 1983. January is the average coolest month. Average is around 45 to 50 F. The lowest recorded temperature was -23°F in 1985.
    • The maximum average precipitation occurs in May.


Although there are lots of trees here this is not one of them.

Giant Redwood

Clue 2- National Parks

group canoe trip

Mystery Park Clue 2-

You can go

  • hiking
  • biking
  • see wildlife
  • picnic
  • see waterfalls
  • camping
  • fishing 
  • taking pictures (photography)
  •  view historic buildings
  • view distance mountains
  • horseback riding

All pictures property of B. Todd and can not be used on other websites.

  • Mountain 2010 007 David's camera july 2012 199 picnictreeboys (1)David's camera july 2012 043home May 036old barnshome May 026

National Parks Mysteries

  • Do you enjoy nature?
  •  Do you like to view wildlife?  
  • Do you like scenery?  
  • Do you like hiking?
  •  Do you like photography?September 2008 051
  •  Do you like adventure?
  •  Do you like relaxation?
  •  Do you like unique places?
  •  Do you like historic sites?
  •  Do you like plants like ferns, wildflowers and mosses?

Then tour our National Parks.   See if you can guess where we are as we learn about new places.

Clue One:  This park in in the United States and it  has white-tailed deer, black bears, salamanders and wildflowers.  If you know another clue please add one but don’t tell everyone yet which park.

School’s Out Again!

Snow Falls Softly Throughout the Day

Snow Falls Softly Throughout the Day

IMG_0710Once again we had an early dismissal on Tuesday at 10:30 because of snow coming.  Then on Wednesday and now for Thursday no school.  We are having a very hard time getting our planned projects done.  Our Biome project , our Water project and our National Parks projects are having lots of interruptions with time out of class.  Of course, the kids are excited about the snow.  The weatherman said this is something that happens here every 10-20 years.  We heard that with the Olympics in Russia that they don’t need to wear jackets and yet here in the southern USA we keep getting snow and/or ice and lower temperatures.IMG_0710

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What does proactive mean to you?


  We think it’s choosing our moods, attitudes and how we behave each day.  We will take initiative and be responsible.

We will take care of ourselves at home by cleaning our rooms, packing our book bags on our own, we will dress ourselves and brush our teeth,  do our homework and reading.  At school we will pick the right thing to do even when no one is watching us.  We will be responsible.  We will make good choices and pick important things.   We will use proactive language rather than reactive language.

I’ll do it                                                                                                                                        I’ll try
I can do better than that                                                                                                       That’s just how I am
Let’s look at our options                                                                                                       There’s nothing I can do
I choose to                                                                                                                                  I have to
There has to be a way                                                                                                             I can’t
I’m not going to let your bad mood rub off on me                                                    You ruined my day


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Holidays Around the World

The past few weeks have been busy while the students learned about several Festivals of Light celebrations and holidays celebrated at this time of year around the world.  This is some things they remembered from this unit of study.

  • We watched and learned about Loy Krathong in Thailand.  Getting rid of bad luck and keeping good luck.   The lanterns floating into the sky and the candles in the shells were spectacular.  Awesome boats too.  Some looked like dragons, some had trees and many, many lights.
  • Then went on to India to see Diwali celebrations.  They like to have prosperity.  They shop for gold and things to use in cooking the meal.  The women dress up in silk.   They go shopping at lot.  The fireworks were bright and big.   There were 5 days of festivities.
  • After that it was Sweden for St. Lucia celebrations.  The students thought the girls with the candles on their head looked dangerous if it fell over.  The snow was high in Sweden and it looked cold.
  • We then learned about Las Posadas in Mexico.  This is about the trip Mary and Joseph made to find an inn to stay in.  The children travel from one house to another asking for shelter.  Finally they are allowed into someone’s house.
  • After that we learned about Hanukkah and Kawanza celebrations.  Hanukkah is celebrated by the Jewish people because in Israel they couldn’t celebrate like they wanted then they could.   They light the menorah and play a dreidel game.  With Kawanza they celebrated with family and friends the day after Christmas until the first of January.   They give each other a gift and they like dancing.  They light the kinara .  It has red, green and black candles.  They have 7 habits one for each day with the first one unity.
  • We finished up our study of Holidays with Christmas in Europe, Australia and the United States.  Although some celebrations and traditions were similar others were different.  It’s summer in Australia so their celebrations include beaches, water, surf boards and Santa in a swimsuit with white kangaroos’s driving his ute (truck).  We found this to be different from our Santa and Jingle Bells song with Reindeer and a man in a red suit with black boots.  Some people go to church and celebrate the birth of Jesus.  They sang carols.  Others do special meals and baking and cooking with family and friends.  They have Santa which is sometimes called St. Nick, Santa Claus, Noel in different places.  They decorate trees and put lights outside.  It is a time of giving.

Cards and Packages Arriving Daily from Schools Near and Far

Our project by Jen is well underway and we keep getting cards from many schools.   We are learning about schools near and far away.   Some of them have programs like we do and some are very different.   We are excited everyday to check the mail and see who has sent them today.   Some from California and Canada, Texas, New York, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Florida.




Global Studies – Communicating with Others on PhotoPeach

We also got a wonderful package from friends in Australia.  Our pen pals there sent letters and pictures, a map, a tiny stuffed kangaroo (we think he is cute), cards with animals, a calendar and a DVD.  It took a while to come to us but it held many surprises.  Thank you friends and Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.