Word of the Month


the work of designing and creating large structures (such as roads and bridges) or new products or systems by using scientific methods


person who has scientific training and who designs and builds complicated products, machines, systems, or structures

a person who specializes in a branch of engineering

a person who runs or is in charge of an engine in an airplane, a ship, etc.

Author spotlight on Frans Vischer

Meet author, illustrator and Disney animator Frans Vischer! Click on his name to read his short biography and learn about some films he's worked on and more. Here he is pictured with his cat and star of his picture books, Fuddles (below). Click here to watch the Fuddles book trailer.

I am excited to announce that we will be Skyping with Frans Vischer in February! Check back for a video of our Skype and for some fun pictures of our time together. (Thank you Mr. Vischer. I can't wait for you to meet our fabulous students!)

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You've heard of Dog with a Blog? Fuddles has a blog!

Fuddles likes to share his adventures with you and adds new posts often. I shared a short video of our kindergarteners enjoying the book's trailer and Fuddles put it on his blog! See if you can find it. (hint: Feb 18th)

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What a treat to have Mr. Vischer read his book to us! He added fun sound effects and was able to tell us stories behind some of his drawings. For example, he shared with us that it was this photograph (above) that inspired this illustration (below).
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What college did Frans Vischer attend?

This was probably one of my favorite questions that the students asked Mr. Vischer. He told us that he attended Cal Arts in Santa Clarita. When I mentioned to the students that I drive past his college every day, they asked me to post a picture (see above) so they could see what it looked like. By their excitement, I think it's safe to say that Mr. Vischer has inspired some of these students to become future animators and illustrators!
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Lego Slideshow!

Click here for a slide show of our 100 Lego piece challenge! As a fun retreat, students were challenged to create something using 100 Lego pieces in honor of our 100th day of school. It was a tough challenge with the time constraints, but a few of them actually did it! It was fun to watch them create and even more fun to be able to watch quite a few kids play with Legos for the very first time. I think we have some new Lego fans at Camp Read Smore!
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Pictured above is Ms. Greenan and some of her 4th grade students showing off their Lego designs from the 100th Day Lego Challenge.

Click on the "To the RESCUE!" button below to watch them tackle a Lego problem that inspired some pretty clever and creative solutions.

To the RESCUE!

President Business left a dangerous fuel cylinder perched on a cliff above a small town. Armed with paper, tape and 10 lego bricks, can our students engineer a ramp to safely move it way? Click on "To the Rescue" above for a video and see below.

Hydrofoil Lego Challenge

To continue with our Lego engineering theme, all students in TK-5th grade were presented with a cooperative challenge. After learning briefly about real hydrofoils, the students were challenged to create a version out of aluminum foil that would support as many Lego pieces as possible while maintaining it's buoyancy. It was amazing to see the different designs (you can see some of them in the pictures below), teamwork and thought processes of the many different groups of students. We had a great time!

Sorting, Patterning and Letter Building Exploration with TK-2 (see pictures below)

Behind the Bricks!

Click here to take a tour of the Lego model shop.

Lego Fun Facts

  • LEGOs were first created in Denmark in the 1940′s.
  • The word Lego comes from the Danish phrase “leg godt” which means “play well”. It is also loosely interpreted in Latin as “I put together”.
  • If all the Lego blocks ever produced were evenly distributed to all the people in the world, each person would have 62 bricks.
  • About 18 bricks out of every million produced fail to meet the standard required.
  • Lego factories recycle all but about 1% of their plastic waste per year.
  • About 36 billion LEGOs are produced every year, or 1140 elements per second.
  • The Lego Learning Institute has developed play sets for a large variety of learning levels, including preschool, elementary, middle school, high school, and university.

7 year old girl writes to Lego and gets a response. Find out more by clicking here.

Click here to see some amazing Lego creations.

Just For Fun

I asked my husband to make Lego robot to accompany Ame Dyckman's Boy + Bot during our Lego month at Camp Read Smore. Here's a picture of how it turned out!
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All this talk about engineering and design reminded me of Caine's Arcade.

If you haven't seen it, click here and be prepared to be amazed and inspired!
Build with Chrome

Mrs. Letford introduced me to this fun website where you can build with digital Legos. Check it out. (You will need to access it through the Google Chrome web browser for it to work.)

Free Lego Club Magazine Offer

Click here to sign up for a free Lego magazine subscription. Please, first ask your parents for permission to do so. The FREE LEGO® Club Magazine is full of comic adventures, games and puzzles, building challenges and Cool Creations built by LEGO fans!