Portable 33 Team Blog

We aim to have fun learning new things by making a great team so we can go to a university if we want and have a good life.

March 21, 2013
by Mr. Rodgers

I Don’t Want to Talk About it Right Now. Thank You.

Photo Credit: Rhys Asplundh

Ever felt like this dog? I’m pretty sure we all have. Unfortunately, it is a part of life and sometimes it happens at school when we are around a lot of people. It could be for a million different reasons but the feeling is pretty similar for us all. So what do we do when others notice and we don’t really want to talk about it? That was the topic of our class meeting yesterday.

We learned that sometimes kids just want to be left alone when they feel this way. We also learned that we can easily make things worse if we keep asking, “what’s wrong?” Many of us realized that we make it worse if we start talking about it with others who are not directly involved with the problem. I was very impressed with how our class tied it back to our Code of Cooperation.

We discussed how both the person who is upset and those that are concerned can show respect to each other. Sometimes when we’re upset we just want to shout, “It’s none of your business!” We ended up deciding that saying something like, “I don’t want to talk about it right now, but thank you for your concern,” feels respectful and that the rest of the class should just keep what they know to themselves so we don’t end up grinding the rumor mill. I’m really curious to hear some of your thoughts about our class meeting. Please comment and provide details from our conversation yesterday to help us understand your thinking. Also, be respectful if using a classmate’s name.

March 7, 2013
by Mr. Rodgers


I’m trying to get kids a little more interested in blogging so today I asked them what they’d like me to write about. Among topics like Facebook, the new XBox 720 or the PS4, Art, and a few others, Minecraft came up as the top topic. Since I’ve never played it, I thought I’d do a post with kid interviews.

First I talked to Jareth. Here’s a little bit of our conversation.

Mr. Rodgers: What’s your favorite thing about Minecraft.

Jareth: I love to build things and use my imagination.

Mr. Rodgers: What’s the main objective of the game?

Jareth: You’re trying to build the eye of End. When you do that you fight the Ender Dragon. If you defeat it, you are the best player in the world. It is the strongest creature there is!


Then I talked with Eric. Here’s what he had to say.

Mr. Rodgers: What’s your favorite thing about Minecraft.

Eric: My favorite thing about Minecraft…I think it would be building a huge house because I built a mansion where it takes almost a whole minute to get to the other side even if you are sprinting.

Mr. Rodgers: Is a minute a long time?

Eric: Yes! A minute is a minute in real life.

Mr. Rodgers: What are you trying to accomplish in the game?

Eric: Well, it’s an endless game. You want to survive and create anything and everything you want.

Mr. Rodgers: Why should I download it on my phone.

Eric: (laughs excitedly) Just giving you a warning…Mine craft on the phone is okay. It wouldn’t be that bad. It’s the last updated. It’s late so it doesn’t have witches or charged creepers or bats or anything like that.

Mr. Rodgers: Charged creepers?

Eric: You know, creepers are creatures that explode. Charged creepers get hit by lightning. And if they get hit by lightning their explosion is like 5 times bigger than normal.

Mr. Rodgers: Thanks!

Eric: Regular explosion would be like this whole desk. A regular creeper would be like your whole house.

Mr. Rodgers: So they explode your whole house?

Eric: It will explode the whole house.

Mr. Rodgers: I didn’t know you had so much more to say.

Eric: There’s always more to say about Minecraft.


Well, after all that, I still have so many questions. I’m still not convinced I should download it. What do you guys think? Comment and let me know.

March 7, 2013
by Mr. Rodgers

It Has Begun…

You know it. I know it. We all know it! Blogging has begun. Well, it has for some kids. The purpose of this post is to draw your attention to some cool writing on some pretty cool blogs. Please read them carefully and write them a thoughtful comment!

If you’re interested in a cool new read aloud for our class, check out this post by Mr. Hitchner. Ever wondered what other classes do when it gets a little too loud? Check out Raven’s post here. Want to know which person in Mr. Hitchner’s class loves fast Italian cars? Click this link.

December 14, 2012
by Mr. Rodgers


Photo Credit: Brian Jordan









Mrs. Ramos is working with some of our classmates on making Origami. She shared a video with me that you may want to check out in your free time or over the break. I’m sure our class would love to see examples if you decide to take this on.

October 13, 2012
by Mr. Rodgers

Olympics and Decimals

Alright kids, you asked to watch more swimming videos. I decided to add some track and field as well. My question is, why are numbers and decimals important to the people in this video? Why are they important to you?

Share your thoughts in a comment.

September 27, 2012
by Mr. Rodgers

This Week and Next Week

Photo Credit: .Bala

Can you tell I’m running out of creative titles for my “Review/Preview” posts? Maybe as a class you can help me come up with new ideas for the title of these weekly posts.

This week was a blast. It seemed very busy to me, though. I think the highlight was seeing everyone start to get their learning portfolios organized with evidence. Many of you came up to me and were very proud of it. We also watched part of a video on tsunamis that connected with the theme we’re learning about, Nature’s Fury.

Do you remember the cooperation game we played this week? What did you learn that connects to learning and cooperating in the classroom?

Next week we’ll be learning more about volcanoes and reading and writing decimals. I’ll be gone on Thursday and Friday so have fun with the guest teacher, Mrs. Hall.

Challenge: What does the picture have to do with cooperation?

Here’s the rest of the video if any of you would like to watch on your own time. We stopped at about 6:23.


September 20, 2012
by Mr. Rodgers


Photo Credit: garlandcannon

Alright kids, let’s get to the challenge right away this time. See how many transition words or phrases you can find in my “Review Preview” this week. Just like when we practiced putting the events of a story (literary text) in order, you can do the same with an informational text like this blog post. In fact, there is a learning target for this on your matrix. You could put an X under information and say that you read this blog post for your evidence. Let me know if you actually do that and I’ll highlight it for you!

A few days ago, we practiced putting the main events of a story in order using the text, Earthquake Terror. We did it together so many of you said that you had gained knowledge for this learning target and used it as evidence. Then, on Thursday, we read a short story (literary text) called Rapids Ahead! and put the events in order. Which one was more challenging for you? If you comment, make sure you give some evidence why.

At the beginning of the week, we finished up our first math fact assessments. I’m very excited about how much we willallimprove this year! How do you think improving your math fact fluency will help you this year and in the future? If you answer this question in a comment, be sure to give some specific examples.

Starting on Wednesday, we began to explore more about place value. I won’t say much about this, but you can check out this cool video that reviews a little bit of what we’ve learned.

Next week is going to be great! We’ll be learning about different types of volcanoes, reading and writing decimals, playing some cooperation games, celebrating all of our hard work so far, and learning a little more about the first 3 habits of the 7 Habits.

Double challenge this week:

1. What does the picture have to do with the title?

2. How is the picture related to this Saturday, September 22nd?


September 17, 2012
by Mr. Rodgers
1 Comment

Getting Better and Better

Last week was our first full week! We are really off to a good start this year. One thing I’m very excited about is that students in our class are starting to take the idea of getting better and better very seriously.

Let’s review last week. Students applied for the first round of Leadership Positions. I was so impressed by the number of students that took a risk in applying and interviewing with Mr. Magill, Mr. Hitchner, and me!

We also began our first theme in reading called Nature’s Fury. We watched a cool video about storm chasers and read an exciting story about a group of African Americans that rescued a group of shipwrecked people in the middle of a hurricane! All the students were introduced to the main learning targets they’ll be responsible for learning on their reading capacity matrix. They spent a lot of time thinking about what they already knew and preparing themselves to learn more about each learning target. I think this group of students is going to learn so much this year and make a lot of growth! I can tell they think learning is important.

This next week will bring more practice with our basic math facts routine as well as continue to learn about reading and writing whole numbers into the billions!

So the challenge this week is a little different. We watched this video as a class about a week ago. Can you tell me the important lesson we learned by watching this video? If the video below doesn’t play, try this link.

September 9, 2012
by Mr. Rodgers

Off to a Great Start!

Photo Credit: Pfly

What a fun first couple of days. Getting to know all of the kids in our class this year has been so much fun. Let’s start with a little review

We accomplished a lot in just 3 days. We agreed on a Code of Cooperation, and we came up with a fantastic shared purpose. I really believe that if we continue to follow our Code of Cooperation and work together, our class is going to achieve some great things this year. The kids worked on communicating ideas through glyphs on their nametags and they started writing me a letter introducing themselves to me. My favorite part of the week was when we all introduced someone else to the rest of the class. We worked together to define a quality introduction and every single person in class did it; even me!

At one point, a student didn’t know what to do when it was their turn to introduce their partner. This teammate didn’t give up and eventually asked for help. Fortunately we just talked about how important it is to be honest when you don’t know what to do. I was so proud of this student for willing to make a mistake and not give up. I was also extremely proud of the whole class for treating this student the way they would want to be treated. It was so cool to see the class practice something that they decided should be a part of our Code of Cooperation!

For next week, get ready to learn how to read and write whole numbers into the billions and decimals to the thousandTHS. We’ll also learn how to compare these numbers so we can figure out things like which state has the most people or who runs the fastest in the Olympics.

We’re also going to start learning about Nature’s Fury. We’ll watch an awesome video about storm chasers, learn what happens to a boy and his sister when they get caught in an earthquake on a camping trip, and if two friends make it out alive after getting trapped in their house during a tornado!

For this week’s challenge, what does the picture have to do with Nature’s Fury? Bonus question: Can you name the dormant volcano in the picture? (hint: it’s in our state)

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