Vermont “Gritters”

After Scotland’s gritters (snowplows) went viral last winter with their captivating GPS and their hilarious names (Grit Expectations, Gritty Gritty Bang Bang, Snow Bother, Sprinklebell, . . . . ), even the frostiest hearts melted.  Vermont decided to join in the fun this fall.  Every school in Vermont has the opportunity to name one of the nearby snowplows.

The Vermont Agency of Transportation says, “The new Name a Plow program offers an opportunity for children to put on their thinking caps and come up with creative names for AOT’s snowplows. The fleet has 250 full-size plows, and the Agency will aim to match every participating school with a truck.  The Agency will assign each name to an orange truck at the Maintenance District garage located closest to the school. District plow drivers will visit each school with the truck that it named. A decal or sign displaying the plow name and the school name will be placed on each named truck.”
Our students submitted wonderful ideas such as Thunderbolt, Frosty the Snowplow, and Baby Snowda.  The winner is Darth Blader, submitted by Emily in 5th grade!  We will look forward to meeting Darth Blader and its driver as soon as the snow flies.

Joshua’s Rhino Project

Joshua’s announcement for all who are interested:
Joshua recently had an older student visit his classroom to teach about endangered rhinos. He learned that some species are down in the double digits in numbers. He was so compelled to help that he made some t-shirts to sell so that he can donate money to the Pilanesberg Wildlife Trust (
and The Rhino Orphanage. (
If you want to support a really cool kid and something he is super passionate about let us know. He’s selling the t-shirts (that he’s screen printing himself!) for $10 each and all profits after the cost of the t-shirts will go to the Rhinos. We have sizes Youth small-Adult 3xl.

Taking the Learning Further . . . .

Joshua was so struck by Wesley’s presentation on stewardship of the earth by helping the rhinos that he decided to do something about it.  He planned a screen printing design, bought the supplies, and screen printed t-shirts to sell to raise money for rhino preservation.  Keep your eye on the Monday Monitor for more information about how to order YOUR rhino t-shirt.  Way to make a difference, Joshua!

Forty Book Challenge

(free from readbrightly)

These readers are already off and running!  Our personal reading choice time is one of our favorite times of the day, and the books are flying off the shelves.  We’ve already had a number of Book Talks in morning meeting, where readers share a recommendation.  The reading energy is contagious around here.