April 2020

Hello Glen Meadow Families…As you read this blog, I hope you and your family are safe and healthy as you continue to shelter-in-place during this challenging time. Thank for partnering with us as we all adjust to life at home these past few weeks. I am extremely grateful to our teachers and their positivity and flexibility as they create digital/distance learning lessons and activities for our students. Thank you to Mr. Joseph for producing our Viking Video Postcard from all of us at Glen Meadow that I have placed in this blog.


Our goal with our online learning is to provide continuous educational opportunities and practice for students while our district remains closed but also to eliminate as much stress as possible for students, parents, and teachers. While it is our responsibility to continue to educate our students, we are aware of the variety of difficulties that our families and teachers are enduring during this time. We thank you for staying in touch with your child’s teachers, counselors, and case managers, and me.


Below are some creative lessons that are taking place online…

Mrs. Amato’s students are using their science and engineering skills as they learn about the engineering design process.  Mrs. Amato blended her teaching into online exploration and hands-on learning and experimentation.

Students watched an Edpuzzle video with questions about the engineering process. Students researched two kinds of launchers – ex. slingshots, catapults, aircraft carriers. Next, students submitted their own launcher designs.  Students used items found outside or around the house.  The goal of the launcher is to launch cotton balls, rolled up paper, mini marshmallows, etc. Below are some pictures of students’ projects.  The culminating activity will be to demo their launchers and fill out a lab Google Form to explain how their launcher performed and any adjustments made to make it work better. If you click on the images, you will see the detail of their work. 


Mrs. Franklyn is engaging her students and piquing her students’ curiosity about the natural world by giving a daily poll question for her students to respond to every day.  The next day of the poll, Mrs. Franklyn announces which received the most votes over all of her classes.  Sometimes students “like” a day’s poll question or comment on it (often in an attempt to sway their classmates to vote for whichever thing they voted for).  Students are encouraged to look up information online and learning more about some scientific topics from the poll questions.  Here are some examples of the polls taken:

Scientists often give new species strange and amusing names. Google the ones below (all real animals!) to check out pictures, videos, and descriptions, then mark your favorite species!

Pink Fairy Armadillo

Sarcastic Fringehead

Red-lipped Batfish

Goliath Birdeater


Many sources consider there to be 7 wonders of the natural world.  Check out the website below to click through pictures of the 7 sites and learn a bit about each one. 


Which do you most want to see?  Mark your choice below!

The Northern Lights

The Great Barrier Reef

The Grand Canyon

Mount Everest

Victoria Falls


The Harbor of Rio de Janeiro


Which national park do you most want to visit?  Google images and information for each park to pick where you’d most like to go.

Yellowstone National Park

Arches National Park

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Sequoia National Park

Acadia National Park

Mesa Verde National Park

Denali National Park

Imagine you are making a scary movie set in a lonely cabin in the woods. Which animal sound would you choose to use in the film to enhance the eeriness of this isolated location?  Listen to the sound links below to choose the best sound:

Coyote: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zR_g2cHXzQQ

Great Horned Owl: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7KBNju2d9w

Loon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ib0CxvL8Bp8

Wolves: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IaYm3NjJnM

Fox: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zk1mAd77Hr4

Mountain Lion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxo8X5uIWRE


Mrs. Schmidt’s 7th Grade Accelerated LA students continue their study of the Holocaust after finishing The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.  Mrs. Schmidt created a Prezi for her students of a reading of “The Butterfly” written in 1942 by a concentration camp prisoner.  The students’ assignment was to create and post a butterfly to hang in their homes.  Mrs. Schmidt encouraged her students to do the project with family to add a little brightness to their home-schooled day. Below is an image from Mrs. Schmidt’s Schoology page of the students’ creation. If you click on the image, you can see the butterflies in detail. 


Mr. Manis is teaching the structure and parts of the cell using an interactive model of cells from the University of Utah Genetic Science Learning Center. Click this link to take you to the page that the students are using for learning. Students are exploring different parts of an animal cell and are creating a PowerPoint presentation demonstrating each cell part and its function in the cell.  Students will also be invited to participate in a storyboard activity in which they create a storyboard to express activities they have been doing while at home.  Students will use the online tool called “StoryboardThat”.  Mr. Manis has created a storyboard to demonstrate how to use this tool and to encourage their creativity and participation. Check out his storyboard here. 


Mr. Joseph challenged students to create Lego structures while filming themselves as they made their creation. Check out the video Mr. Joseph made of our students working on their Lego creations;  I think you will be most impressed with each student’s work! There’s a great message in the end…even Lego figures wash their hands!!!!



To introduce some basics about DNA, Mrs. Franklyn is using a website run by Arizona State University that lets students decode “monster DNA” to create their own monsters.  Students had to read user-friendly informational text to create their own monsters whose pictures are below. I’m attaching the relevant document and some examples of student monsters here. I enjoyed reading the text, it was a nice refresher on DNA!

Mr. Henry asked his students to write math jokes. Here are a few that his students posted:

From Noah O: Why should you never talk to Pi?

Because he’ll go on and on forever!

Mr. Henry’s response to that: “True, and also Pi can at times be quite crusty to talk to, even heated. Ends up in a crummy conversation. The whole thing becomes irrational!”

From Brianna E: Why do plants hate math?

It gives them square roots!



The National Junior Honor Society is making thank you posters for local businesses that have stayed open and are helping the community. They have also painted rocks that they are tucking in different places around our community. Here are a few pictures of their work:



April is Poetry Month- as you may have seen on the Glen Meadow Schoology page, many of us are reading our favorite poems. Students are reading and writing poetry. Below are two students’ original poems that I think you will enjoy reading.

“Unpredictable – Red/Black”

By Richard Kievit

Like the 4th of July, I light up the sky

Like a fireball of rage because you’re not on my same page

When in anger and my face is flaming red, I may have uttered things I shouldn’t say

Don’t misunderstand my unpredictable displays

Like the calm before the storm, getting ready for the thunder

Like without a cloud in the sky and then you hear the rumble

Without disdain, I live my days and go with the flow

Not predictable nor slow

Don’t misunderstand my unpredictable sways

Like living to the fullest to see what tomorrow brings

Like hating nothing, but disliking what I want anyhow

Everything is thrilling, I’m eagerly awaiting my fulfilling

Don’t misunderstand my unpredictable ways


Color Analysis Poem

By Jason Mills

My color is Brown

cautious, restrained, trusting and calm

I have become very cautious

about being restrained in my house

but I am very trusting and calm

that this will all end real soon


Below are a few of us reading some poetry…enjoy




GMMS Book Clubs: Thanks to Ms. Yost for hosting multiple book clubs while we are at home; join us as we read the fantasy/mystery book entitled The House in Poplar Wood that meets on Monday and Thursday mornings at 10:00 am and the realistic fiction book Offbeat that meets on Wednesday and Friday afternoons at 2:00 pm. We meet on Zoom to read and discuss the books, join us, both are excellent stories! Students can find the link on Schoology.

GMMS Weekly Workout: Don’t forget to join a different Physical Education teacher every Friday at 10:00 am on Zoom to exercise with your friends live! 

As we have all become “primary sources” in history, grab a pen… journal your experiences, what is your story? Students, please send me an email to tell me how you are staying healthy and learning at home, how are you staying connected with your friends and families? Are you learning a new skill now that you have some time on your hands? Tell me about it! I’d love to share your story here on this blog. As always, send me pictures, too. You can send me an email at rgebhardt@vtsd.com or share it with me on Schoology. Maybe you’re like Samantha V., as she records herself singing the National Anthem or you are doing something special for our community like the members of the National Junior Honor Society making posters to thank those who serve in our community. Tell me about the good that is coming out of the COVID-19 Pandemic!


In closing, I hope your families continue to stay healthy, I would like to express a huge debt of gratitude to all of doctors, nurses, hospital employees, first responders, and essential workers for all they are doing to keep us safe and healthy. Thank you for partnering with us, we are very thankful for all that you can do to continue the learning process at home!


Rosemary Gebhardt