Thursday, July 21, 2011

Suzan L. Hyndman M.Ed. 1 (413) 772-1350 ext.134 Email: 1 Lenox Ave., Greenfield MA. 01301

Hi everyone, I am redesigning our class web page for next year. You can check out the draft (under construction) at:

Ms. Hyndman LOVES Frogs!!!



Where we actively plan for:"De Vida La Dolce Vita!"

Translation: To have a passion for living and a clear purpose in life!!!

   The Kids are 


~"Yah Mon"~
We began the year by finishing our study of the oil spill in the Gulf and reading about "The Americas" region beginning our study of environmentalism using Newsweek's new book "100 Places to Remember Before They Disappear!"Click on:
 and enter #236064 under search.
  We have a 3 year subscription to Google EARTH 3-D and will be able to shop the streets of Paris and London and see the Grand Canyon and just about
 WHATEVER else we want. 

Did You Know, Shift Happens!
Ours is a Global, Informational Age!

Amazing technology!
We continued in the fall to include other regions: Africa, Europe, Asia, Oceania, Antarctica and the Arctic. Students were asked to choose two regions to create power points on in English class. For updates on the oil spill check:

We used the new, widely acclaimed "LIFE" series from Discovery as part of the curriculum for Biology this year. Next year our focus will change to
Earth Science
Check out this short clip "Earth....One Hundred Million Years from Now!"  

and we will use Carl Sagan's"The Cosmos" and Morgan Freemon's "Into the Worm Hole" as part of our study of night sky. We continued to capitalize on
new technology for teaching in the 21st Century by using online learning opportunities for collaboration and communication in the digital commons with our NEW SMART BOARD!
This is another version geared to 
teenagers of
"Did You Know 3D???"


 Students created their own profiles on a new web site about life skills and growing up called:

Did you know, life is like a cup of coffee???

 We also used again this year two highly individualized, leveled, interactive online reading programs as part of our instructional strategies to teach reading:


 Science/Nature Interactive websites such as: Interactive Puzzle website:
and Ms. Hyndman's latest adventure called Quizlet!
Check it out by playing the many g
ames I made for you on money math and science at

We ended the year studying Fossils, Evolution and Ecology regarding the consequences of our pollution of Earth and strategies to fix it. We went on a field trip to the Amherst Museum of Natural History to see their awesome collection of fossils and minerals.  
We were there when NASA allowed local schools to upload a link to connect "live" to the Space Station and watched in high definition amazement on our Smart Board as we heard the astronauts answer questions in real time from students around the world.
The Words of Albert Einstein
Whose brilliant mind made today's space travel possible!
We will end the year in language arts by learning to use a new online tool for writing: 
or go to Ms. Hyndman's Dashboard:
Find Ms. Hyndman's Classroom. There you will find your assignments and reading list. Please post a comment on our discussion section about what you think of our stories.
We did a brief introduction to glogging
which is producing very cool multi-media interactive posters:

and movie making with Disney's new web site:

Check out these inspirational Movie clips & Videos:

Don't forget your passwords over the summer because we will continue to use these
sites in the fall!

And last, but not least, log in to our new collaborative
classroom web site!!!
Scroll down to Essential Skills Language Arts. 
You will find a fun assignment there :)


This is a very funny, silly home made video called gumball wars! Check it out!

This fall I'll introduce you to a new movie making web site called where you will also be able to make fun, creative and free animated short films and movies.

Finally, here's a sneak peek of one of the new websites we will be using in September from Scientific Americian:

Our classroom's goal is to teach a broad range of traditional academic subjects in the context of authentic fundamental life skills both in the classroom and the community such as: social skills, general knowledge enrichment including relevant science, history, globalism and current events films and documentaries, the development over the course of grades 8, 9 and 10 of internet research, online learning and continued practice communicating in all the digital commons, basic adult activities of daily living, cooking, housekeeping, money management skills and career-relevant vocational skills.
Activities such as learning to be prepared and able to obtain and maintain part time employment, to manage money, a budget and a household, to learn about our federal government and the law, hospitals, the Court system, town government and state service agencies, to make friends, to be civil to others, to learn how to advocate effectively for yourself, to recognize and respect cultural diversity and to speak up for equal rights, to learn how to have a healthy human body and lifestyle, to learn to work cooperatively with others as part of a TEAM, to constructively problem solve and to successfully intervene in situations to reach a peaceful resolution and, if that's not enough..... continue to develop a strong capability to fluently integrate technology into your lifestyle promoting independence in all aspects of a typical young adult's daily life. In today's world, everyone needs to know how to communicate and collaborate in the digital commons such as sending emails, researching desired information, shopping and making purchases online, paying bills online and learning how to manage a debit card and do online banking.

Simply stated, our goal is to try to give you the tools you'll need as a young adult to solve your own problems, manage your own life as independently as possible and take advantage of real world career opportunities.
Together we will improve our overall understanding of our diverse global cultures, cutting edge science, current news events as they apply to us. We all need to improve our environmental literacy so we all can leave a smaller carbon footprint!!!
We will practice pre-vocational skills by collecting, transferring and coding informational on weather data using technology in the classroom and online as it applies to a vocation as this is quickly becoming an absolute essential job skill set in today's world and job force.
The strong emphasis on technology is because I feel it's engaging, interactive, multimedia, multi-sensory and collaborative online approach to learning allows us to cover a wide range of coursework and access to in-depth curriculum that otherwise would not be available to us.
The many platforms utilized in today's social media network of technology are powerful learning tools that can be highly individualized for our students who can use them to construct knowledge, engage and share powerful ideas, gather, organize, participate, communicate, collaborate and build information about themselves, their lives, their country and their world thereby enhancing all of our lives.

"Evidence shows that inquiry-based, collaborative approaches benefit

students in learning important twenty-first-century skills, such as the ability

to work in teams, solve complex problems, and apply knowledge from one lesson to

others. The research suggests that inquiry-based lessons and meaningful group

work can be challenging to implement. They require changes in curriculum,

instruction, and assessment practices -- changes that are often new for teachers

and students

"Evidence shows that inquiry-based, collaborative approaches benefit

students in learning important twenty-first-century skills, such as the ability

to work in teams, solve complex problems, and apply knowledge from one lesson to

others. The research suggests that inquiry-based lessons and meaningful group

work can be challenging to implement. They require changes in curriculum,

instruction, and assessment practices -- changes that are often new for teachers

and students..Our themes this year will be:







We will continue to study the many different kinds of climates, biomes and life that Earth supports and her place in the Universe among the other stars and planets. I have purchased and we watched the Discovery dvd sets "LIFE" and "WALKING WITH DINOSAURS" and "PRE_HISTORIC PLANET" and "WALKING WITH CAVEMEN". I will be asking each of you for power points and inspiration diagrams on your selected science interests, recreational, history, current events and vocational interests.
You will also be participating in an online, leveled reading program called Reading A-Z and RAZ KIDS! You will also become a Self Determined Reader and learn to use writing programs such as co-writer, word prediction and read please.

CHANGES are impacting us and the animals, plants and geography of our planet. One area I personally really want to study in our Current Events class is the plight of the Monarch Butterflies and other new endangered species due to global warming.
Did you know that bats and some frogs are suddenly dying and may be extinct in three years?? How many butterflies and fire flies have you see last summer??
Therefore, we will continue a service learning project I started several years ago that uses the innovative educational online learning site and information-sharing technologies the U.S. EPA and NOAA developed as part of it's main SUNWISE web site. We have pre-registered again to be a SUNWISE SCHOOL. This means we will be helping, along with other schools across the United States, to gather information for the U.S. EPA database by measuring and reporting daily measurements of UV radiation intensity values, weather conditions and information for Greenfield, Massachusetts to the official NOAA national web site.

We all need to learn about what we can, should and must do to protect ourselves, our home and our planet.

SOOOOOO... EVERYBODY.........................GO GREEN!!!!!!!!


Many of you are very interested in science, as am I, so we will be doing several "hands-on" inquiry based science experiments. This year I have selected several experiments based the the popular "Myth Busters" television show.

Again, this ability to accurately collect, transfer and record data and other information will be a huge employment skill set as use of technology in the work sector increases. The ability to correctly transfer data or "code" information is already becoming a fast growing industry.

Observation of our environment through hobby and leisure skill activities will include the care of classroom habitats for fish, fire belly toads, clawed water frogs, tree frogs and leopard geckos. By the way, our gecko Gary, really Garyette, has a new friend, Ishmael and a bearded dragon called Cookie Monster...and two new ant farms.

As I said before, an important vocational skill in today's job market in technology is the ability to accurately collect and record and transfer all kinds of data. One of the ways we will practice this skill is by participating in the state-wide Stock Market Game on line following and recording select stock market values. We have been assigned four Teams this year and will be competing with other schools across the state.


1. Log into "RAZ KIDS" and add it to your favorites. Ms. Hyndman has already selected a level for you to begin at. Read the books, print out the worksheet and take the quiz. I will be monitoring the points you earn for your MCAS ALT Portfolio.

2. ALSO Explore the following web sites for reading some books that interest you. Save them to your favorites. The web sites in green have material for beginning readers.
The ones in blue have material for early and advanced readers.

Online Reading activities://

Some good books for beginning readers:
New Sites!!


Silly Books

Where in World is Barnaby Bear

and some good books for more advanced readers:
The Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose
There are over 150 interactive exhibits. For reading class, click on Kids and then Explore with Zoomer. Under Destinations you will find lots of great stories and games
* * **,1871,2445-184912-2-43247,00.html *
Click on Storybooks.
Click on Stories at the top left of the page

These are NEW ADDITIONS! Check them out:

Practice Your Spelling

3. READING is such an important skill that you MUST select either a hard copy book or a RAZ KIDS BOOK to be reading on line for 30 minutes each day. When you have finished your reading I expect you to either print out the worksheet and take the quiz OR use a reading graphic organizer to help you to explain to me orally or in writing what you have learned.


This is a site for Life Skills instruction and excellent opportunity to study several topics: Child Safety, Personal Safety, Fire Safety, Driving Safety, Recreational Safety,Victims, Offenders and Crime Prevention.

It is called Ask a Cop and it is designed by the police to provide everyone with easy access to numerous child, family and recreational safety topics and ideas. This site provides answers to our questions about what to do if we are the unfortunate victim of a crime and how to keep our family, home and school safe. Also, many of you are interested in pursuing your Learner's Driving Permit this year. This site provides links to many interactive Drivers Education activities. Click on this link and enter the door for either kids or teens. Then, click on Driving Safety or Recreational Safety and scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the interactive game of your choice. Remember, many of these questions will be on the test for your Learners Permit so you need to score a hundred before you move on to the next topic.

BLOGS! BLOGS! BLOGS! You need to explore this site called NetSmartz BEFORE you add material to your blog! A blog is an online journal and NetSmartz is an interactive, educational safety resource that teaches kids and teens how to stay safer on the Internet. Go to this web link and click on Activity Cards. We will begin with the K-2 level and work our way through high school. I'll expect you to do one level each week in class. For example, on the K-2 level you will meet the four web outlaws who represent the main four potential dangers on the Internet. Another good web site is provided by the Department of Justice. It is called NIEHS KIDS' PAGE and it's web address is Remember, I MUST SEE AND APPROVE ANYTHING YOU WANT TO ADD TO YOUR PERSONAL BLOGS.


This year we are also going to learn to practice general contagious disease prevention techniques called UNIVERSAL PRECAUTIONS and what we should do if there is a widespread outbreak of the swine flu.
Some on-line resources we will explore are:
MDPH Influenza Web site:

U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services:

National Institute of Environmental Health Science:

#1 Assignment

Click on the above link and then go to "Pandemic Flu, What should I do?"

Do a brief inspiration diagram or explain to me orally what you learned

about Swine flu and what you should be doing to protect yourself and others.

Our government also has an excellent web site on health and nutrition we will explore called:

Excellent Safety Games:


This year we will design a virual budget based on a minimum wage job, real expenses and maintain a checking account. We will study sections of the state wide project by the Massachusetts State Treasurer's Office called "Savings Makes Cents". It is a comprehensive program addressing all aspects of money management geared to improve students' enconomic literacy as you create a realistic budget and keep a virtual checking account to track your income and pay your bills.
These are some excellent interactive EDUCATIONAL WEB SITES where you can practice your academic skills. Many include all grade levels and subjects.

New Site:
Just click on "GO" under the link you want, some very cool interactive graphics!

New Site:

New Site!!

New Site:

and Grocery shopping

New Site: Math Playground

National Library of Virtual Manipulatives For Interactive Math K-12

BBC Schools K-12 has all grades and subjects

General Math K-8:,1871,2445-184912-2-43247,00.html Click on Money or Telling Time

Great sites for educational games on all subjects Click on Kids and then Games, there are 4 great pages to explore! Click on free games



Writing and Computer Application for L.I.F.E. Skills studentsAll of us need to continue to improve our writing skills, whether it is for writing a resume, filling out a job application, emailing friends, writing a letter requesting an job interview, ordering objects online or simply writing a grocery list.

Inspiration is a tool which integrates visual learning into the classroom by having students create a picture of their ideas or concepts in the form of a diagram. It helps to improve understanding of concepts, increase memory retention, organize written documentation, develop organizational skills and tap creativity. It is a tool available on all our computers in the classroom.

Using ideas, concepts and written data students will learn to create diagrams and powerpoints on various subjects from the following list of graphics:


-------Basic Concept Map
-------Supporting Idea Diagram
-------Right Tree

-------Top Down Tree
-------Problem Solution
-------Idea Map

-------Comparsion Diagram

Performance on both your Inspiration Diagrams and Powerpoints will be based on if your:

1. Main concept is easily identified
2. Most sub concepts branch off main idea
3. Most linking lines point in the right direction
4. Most text is easy to read
5. Most concepts are logically arranged

6. Most graphics and colors used appropriately


Assignment #1

How much do you know already about your planet and the biomes she supports?

Click on this web link and it will take you to a short quiz on biomes. Please take the quiz. This will serve as both a pre and post test for performance for us.

Assignment #2

Click on this web link and select and create a habitat of you choice. Make sure you show me your results to receive credit.

Assignment #3
Powerpoints are fun to create and build writing skills and critical thinking skills through problem solving, online research, collaboration and comminication. Part time employment and community skill development are priorities but you will be asked to do powerpoints as time permits. You will be assigned several powerpoint projects: three on a desirable careers/job(s), three on your personal recreational interest(s) or hobbies and three on your selected science, history and current events interests.


For several years we have continued to study the different parts of the Earth and how nature supports many different habitats, each of which has distinct features and distinct plant and animal populations. The Rainforest for Belize City, Belize as an example. Several of you picked ones you liked and you're off. This would definitely count as a powerpoint project on a special interest of yours.

Online Language Arts Activities:

Assignment #4
"Virtual Vacation" All of you have been asked to select one of your personal interests to take a "Virtual Vaction" to. What I am looking for is a powerpoint presentation that tells me what you did on your trip, what did you pack, how much did it cost, how did you get there, what is the climate like, how are you going to protect your hands and skin while on vacation,how do the local people protect their skin or stay cool or warm, what kind of clothes do they wear and what type of houses do they live in and currency do they use. What is there to do for fun?? And, how much do you think it would cost!!

Have fun on your trip! You will discover many things about different people and their countries.

Some web links:



Puerto Rico



Sinai Egypt

Other resources to help you pick a place around the world:

We will continue to do class presentions of your work using the SMART BOARD where each of you can present your own power-points. I expect that this will be a year long project with a grand presentation at the end of the school year.

Assignment #5

Log on to the SunWise site at

Go to the section labeled "Kids" and read the article on "Why Sun Safety". Then, take the challenges. This will serve as a pre and post test for us.

Tell me how well you did. Read the rest of the articles and using the SunWise Action Steps create an inspiration diagram or powerpoint whose main idea will be How to Stay Safe.

Assignment #6

While exploring the internet, I want you to visit the excellent web site "Windows to the Universe" and click on "Myths". Now click on some of the examples, like the "Sun". At the top of the page you can chose a reading level. If you are not sure what reading level to pick OR want to use the text to speech program to have the story read to you, please see me.Chose a myth and use our book report graphic organizer or tell me in writing OR orally about what you learned.

When you have finished, you may want to check out and play some of the games listed on the main page.

Assignment # 7

Go to this web site on Biography and click on Bio4kids. Watch and write three short essays or powerpoints historical figures from the 1800-2000 centuries.
Also check out the "Betch Didn't Know" video clips. Let me know if you find anything interesting that you can share with the class.

Assignment #8

After much discussion, and as a way to increase our general knowledge of the world, the class decided we would focus our attention on learning about evolution leading to the the ancient civilizations of Rome, Greece and Egypt.....3000 years ago as compared to today. This is an activity that we will start later in the year once we have completed our curriculum on the universe.
Should be an interesting project! Maybe we can make
some pen pals 5000 miles away!



Dog Pile search engine:

Ask Jeeves for Kids:

Awesome Library:


The Reference Desk:

Index to the Internet:

Online Scholastic activities: Click on online activities and you will see the Activity Index listing topics


Fact Monster:

The New York Times: Click on Video for news you can watch

News: Click on MSN Video for news you can watch


Phone numbers and addresses:

Greenfield's local newspaper:

Health Questions:

Health Questions:


This year we will thankfully, I hope, to continue to be sponsored by The Recorder and participate in the national "Newspapers in Education" program which offers outstanding curriculum material and newspapers for free.

There are many ways you can get news from the internet. In addition to logging on to MSN or The Recorder, you can also access the web sites of your favorite local television stations. I've listed the top three for the Greenfield area below. Channel 4o Channel 22 PBS

1. Your assignment is to log onto each of these sites and use the information you find there to tell me about a news story of the day.

2. You can also listen to radio news bulletins from the station of your choice in the country of your choice. Your assignment is to log onto three of these sites. Some local favorites are Rock 102 Classic Rock and WAAF Tell me orally about what you learned. Also check out and create your own, personal music channel!!

Or, you could try to pick stations that are geographically far apart and not to close to us here in North America. Go to: Click the link "tuning in" and then pick a country. is a radio station about weather that you could check out too.

3. You can also find out what happened on this day in history. Log onto the following web site and click Teacher Resources. Then click on Marcopolo Calendar and today's date. Tell me what historical event happened today.

Another good site is

Excellent Social Studies/History Games:

4. All of us need to learn more about geography and the different 50 states and their capitals. I want you to log onto the web link below U.S. States and Capitals and World Map Puzzles and play until you can locate ALL 50 states, the different oceans and countries on each continent. I know this is a LOT but it's important that you know about the different places, people and cultures on our planet. Please ask me before you print out your results and performance time as we will be using these as pre and post tests for


Log onto one of the following web sites. Click on a Virtual Field Trip or Web Quest of your choice and tell me what you learned. type in Travel Virtual Field Trips and click on Directory. Select a web quest from the list.,1871,2445-184912-2-43247,00.html Click on Web Quests Click on New Adventures such as PestWorld for Kids, Shedd Educational Adventures, the Dakota Experience or explore many other adventures under Grade Level or Subject. Ghosts and hauntings

href=""> Click on Aerial Photography and then click on Begin Search. Go to the Zoom to box and click on the drop down arrow. Then click on zipcode. A box will pop up for you to enter any zipcode you want. Greenfield is 01301. Then choose color or black and white pictures and you will be able to zoom in and out on your location from 5 miles up. Click on Historical Tours and For Kids Birdwatching or Online Shows

Go to and type in: National Aeronautics and Space
Administration (NASA). Click on the first link Welcome to NASA.
Choose one of the many field trips you will find there by clicking on the pictures. Check out the story and take a trip to Darvin IV Type in any keyword into the search engine and explore. Click on Spaceviews and then Universal viewer. You will find over 150 famous locations around the world that you can visit and see a 360 degree panoranic view. Very Cool! Click on Start Exploring and find Peregrine Falcons on the world map. Enter any Expedition and see real scientists doing live research on lots of topics.

Excellent Science Games:

New Site:


We have a small weather station set up in our classroom where we can record the daily local temperature, precipitation amount and type (rain, snow, hail, sleet), wind speed and humidity. This year we will once again be collecting and reporting daily measurements of UV radiation values for Greenfield Massachusetts. You can use the following sites to research the same weather conditions (minus UV values) by clicking on three other selected cities inside the United States or Internationally.

www (my favorite)

and realtime weather pictures:

Once you have found three cities that interest you for gathering weather information MAKE SURE YOU SAVE THEM TO YOUR FAVORITES.

YOU will be collecting weather data (temperature, humidity, wind speed and precipitation) from locations YOU PICK and can use that information for your powerpoints on biomes and cultures/vacations should you decide to select one to study as a personal interest. Some biomes are:

Desert, Grassland, Rainforest, Tundra, Taiga, Temperate, Polar and Tropical

Some ideas could be:

1. Greenfield, Massachusetts

2. Jeno, Alaska

3. Naussa, Bahamas

4. Cairio, Egypt

5. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil





Ms. Hyndman