Persuasive Family Adventure Websites

Philbrick-Cricenti Bog

Montshire nature trails

Saunt-Gaudens National Historic Site

Valley Quests

Murdough Experimental Greenhouse at Dartmouth

Brookfield Floating Bridge

covered bridges of NH

covered bridges of VT

251 Club of Vermont

Hood Museum of Art

walking tour of Claremont Village Industrial District (free brochure from Chamber of Commerce on Tremont Square)

Things to do in New Hampshire

30 Great Things to Do in Vermont

Quechee Gorge

Velvet Rocks Trail in Lebanon, NH



Or borrow one my books for a night or two to find many more ideas:

Off the Beaten Path:  Guide to Unique Places in New Hampshire

Insiders’ Guide:  Fun with the Family in Vermont and New Hampshire

Best-Loved Family Adventures in the Connecticut River Valley

–Vt and NH guides

–Valley Quest guides

Persuasive Family Adventure

This is the month to practice our persuasive writing techniques at home.  My prediction is that you will have a blast on this family adventure.  One reason you will enjoy this assignment is that it gets you out in the beautiful New England springtime to enjoy the fresh air with your family BEFORE the black flies hatch.  Also, who doesn’t want to explore something they haven’t seen or learned about before?  You even get to choose whatever type of adventure you wish to experience!  It can be as simple as hiking in the woods or as fancy as a “tourist trap.”  Finally, I think you will enjoy writing persuasively because you will share what you have discovered with a very appreciative audience.  So off you go!

What?  A Family Adventure

Where?  You choose!  The goal is to find something in your neighborhood/town/community that you haven’t seen or tried before.  See the suggestions that follow to get your creative juices flowing.

While you are there?  Come up with a creative way to show what you did.  Take a photograph, film a little video, grab a brochure, draw a picture, make a collage, or come up with your own idea.  We will look forward to seeing a little something visual when you share your writing piece, and perhaps it could be shared on your blog as well.

Then what?  Go on your adventure by Monday, May 1st.  Fill in the graphic organizer online ( or on paper with your opinion about the place you went.  Should we go there too?  Or not?  Think of at least three strong reasons for your opinion, and add smaller details about each reason.  Be sure to discuss your reasons with your family and include their ideas as well.

When?  Bring your graphic organizer/planner to class by Monday, May 1st.  We will discuss the next steps together after giving each other suggestions about the strength of the reasons for our opinion.


Some ideas to consider:

*Is there a place of physical beauty in your neighborhood that you have not yet taken the time to visit?  (A mountain to climb, a river to explore, a historic marker you haven’t taken the time to read and visit, or a forest to hike in?)

*Is there something that you’ve always been curious about that you have never yet stopped to see?  (A strange looking store, a neighboring farm, the Lebanon Pet and Aquarium Center, a bridge with interesting architecture, a cemetery with very old markers?)

*Explore online to find out what might be in your area that is new to you.  (For example, have you heard of the floating bridge in Brookfield, the bog trail in New London, NH, or the Murdough Experimental Greenhouse at Dartmouth College?)

*Splurge over vacation going somewhere your family has wanted to go.  (King Arthur Flour, the aquatic center, a bowling alley, or the sea)

*Perhaps there is an activity your family has always wondered about.  (Just a few years ago, I took training with the Upper Valley and discovered Valley Quest treasure hunting.  Check out the website or borrow one of my questing books.)

*Try something ridiculous (or don’t!).  I just read about having a Maple Massage at the Spa at Stowe Mountain Lodge, a lovely maple syrup and brown sugar scrub treatment, followed by a shower with seven shower heads, for only $150!  Ha ha.

Engineering at Home

It is so exciting when we hear that the young engineers are so inspired by what they are learning that they go home and try various STEM experiments on their own. Here are two that made me smile.  Thank you to the parents for snapping photos for this STEM-crazy teacher!

One of last year’s engineers enjoyed thinking up projects for her younger brother to try. He also loved all of the STEM action in Mrs. Fogg’s class. Here is Farmer Luke’s milking machine design.


Joshua and Micah experimented with their balloons to create a levitating snake.  The class wanted to know how many balloons they thought it would take to float it around the world or up to space!


Superb Student-led Conferences

Second and third grade students carefully selected examples of their best work and samples of strong choices to share with their families. Together we designed their goals for this year. What a delightful time! Mission possible!


Mrs. Scalzilli tried out the reading castle during her room tour.


Mr. and Mrs. Crapser encouraged their young scholar in her diligent work.

Blog Challenge–Week 3

Add a Picture!

This week’s challenge is to add a photo to your blog.  Take a picture of one of your summer adventures, and then tell us all about it!

*Log into your blog.

*Click “Posts”–“Add New.”

*Click the “Add Media” button.

*Choose “Upload Files”, select your picture, then click “Insert Into Post.”

*Now just add your title and write all about your picture!


My family spent this week celebrating a bit of a reunion, so my picture shows my two sisters with me at my parents’ house in Vermont.  The three of us girls have not been together for a whole week in quite awhile, and we are the best of friends, so it was such a treat.  Some of the crazy fun we had included stacking wood (ha ha), singing together, eating roast beef and mashed potatoes, roasting marshmallows, biking, fishing, walking through fields, climbing Vermont hills, sitting in lawn chairs watching the sun set, cooking, weeding the garden, going thrift shopping, celebrating the Fourth of July, holding babies, and much more.  Sometimes the ordinary things are really extraordinary.  My sister Kristi lives in the suburbs of a city in South Carolina, so a lot of the country New England things we might take for granted were extra special to us all this week.  Hooray for sisters!

Student-led Conferences


All of the second and third graders just shared special nuggets about their progress with their parents in student-led conferences. Students prepared their own agendas, full of items to show or things to tell about. Leading their conferences with strong speaking skills and confidence, they shared their great enthusiasm for learning and for following God.  Go, Corps of Discovery!



Student-led Conferences

It was a week of reflection, looking back with satisfaction and looking forward with anticipation, as we prepared for our day of student-led conferences today.  Each child planned an agenda of portfolio items and classroom displays to share with his or her family.  Pondering goals for the rest of the year required some deep thought as well.  The result was a wonderful day of celebrating our accomplishments and setting a course for the future.

We also did some group reflection we thought you might enjoy.

Some moments we smiled together included . . .

*growing the mold!

*building our models of Mount Vernon

*sharing our ideas and listening to each other

*R5 (read, relax, reflect, respond, rap)

*singing praise songs together

*personalizing our blogs

*creating our pennants

*crazy, silly, challenging teambuilding activities

*figuring out what is in the History Mystery Box


Some of our class accomplishments include:

*All of us have read at least one book in the 40 Book Challenge!

*We are nearly perfect at our R5 procedure every day now.

*Every single person has learned all four of our Bible verses so far.

*We have been dedicated to improving our physical fitness as a team.

*We have been getting our work done, but not just done.  WELL done.

*We made the most gigantic mess when we were building our Mount Vernon models, but when cleanup time came, we worked together as a team and made the room beautiful again in less than five minutes.

*We learned about being CyberSmart, wrote a number of pieces of writing, and personalized our blogs.  Then we were able to unveil our blogs this week.

Can’t wait to see what’s next in our journey together . . . .

Student-led Open House

Create your own video slideshow at

What could be more fun than sharing some of your new fourth grade knowledge with your family? Our stations included the first reading of our newly-published mushing stories, making circuits, Fraction/Decimal/Percent Concentration, our iTouch, cooking your own 4-H Microwave Magic snack, blogging, writing poems, Angle Tangle, computer games, and Magnet Hunt. It was a delightful evening!