The Ashley Bryan School

The Ashley Bryan School
Serving Children in Grades K-8 from the Cranberry Isles

Thursday, February 25, 2010

School on Skype

The sound of a dialing phone echoes throughout the classroom. Jessie answers, “Hi guys!” Behind her we can see Gabe and Dalton walking in and sitting down with their computers. We all say hi, and Isaac shouts, “Dalton!!”   We are calling Monhegan on Skype. It is around 2:00pm. We are calling them to do a writing lesson with them. 

  We start out by answering a question like, “What is the global problem you care most about?” We all think and ponder, then we answer. A lot of us say global warming, Ms. Eysnogle says agriculture. I think these are all good answers, because they are all major problems.

Then Ms. Eysnogle asks Jessie if she wants to explain what we’re doing today. “Sure. Today we’ll be with a partner and reading each other’s work, and having conversations about it. Then we’ll switch partners. Does that make sense?” Jessie responds. 

Nervousness and excitement flood my body.   She tells us who will be our partners. We partner up and read each others stories. We just got Skype on our computers for this purpose, so we can have individual conversations with each other via skype on our own computers.  

The stories were all amazing, I was wowed just by how different they were.    Then we talk about each other’s writing. We Islesford students ask the Monhegan kids to ask us questions about our writing, because we just started and we need a lot of feedback. 

Sadly, we only have about forty-five minutes to talk with them, so Ms. Eysnogle says, “Time to do our debrief.” I’m always so disappointed when she says time is up. Writing and reading with them is so fun.  I sigh. At least we see them again on Friday.

Thanks to the Monhegan School for the pictures! Visit their blog at!

Harry Potter: A View of the Islesford School Version

We sit on the swings, moving in all sorts of ways, as we see our teacher step out onto the playground we yell out: “ Ms.Eyesnogle! What houses would we be in!?!?” So she stepped near us and said, “ Well, based off of the aspects from the book, Isaac would be in Gryffindor, Meg would be in Ravenclaw, and Joe would be in Hufflepuff.” We got excited and we talked about Harry Potter all day, and every day from then on. 

Hogwarts is the school of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Each house is like a dormitory. Each student, or first year goes up and sits in a chair, and a hat is put on them. The hat takes the best things about the person and puts them in a house based off there great aspects. If you go to  you can find the aspects of each house.

According to the Harry Potter wikipedia site found at the houses have the following characteristics:

Gryffindor values courage, bravery, loyalty, nerve and chivalry. Its mascot is the lion, and its colours are scarlet and gold. The Head of this house is the Transfiguration teacher, Minerva McGonagall and the house ghost is Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington, more commonly known as Nearly Headless Nick. The founder of the house is Godric Gryffindor.”  

Hufflepuff values hard work, tolerance, loyalty, and fair play. The house mascot is the badger, and canary yellow and midnight black are its colours. The Head of this house is the Herbology teacher Pomona Sprout, and the house ghost is The Fat Friar. According to Rowling, Hufflepuff corresponds roughly to the element of earth. The founder of this house is Helga Hufflepuff.”

Ravenclaw values intelligence, creativity, learning, and wit. The house mascot is an eagle and the house colors are blue and bronze (blue and grey in the films). The head of this house is the Charms professor, Filius Flitwick. and the house ghost is The Grey Lady. According to Rowling, Ravenclaw corresponds roughly to the element of air. The founder of this house is Rowena Ravenclaw.”

Slytherin house values ambition, cunning, leadership and resourcefulness and most of all pure wizard blood. Slytherins tend to be pure-bloods or half-bloods who believe in the supremacy of pure wizard blood; Muggle-borns, vulgarly known as "Mudbloods," are less commonly found in Slytherin than in other houses. The house mascot of Slytherin is the serpent, and the house colours are green and silver. Salazar Slytherin founded the house. The Head of House is Severus Snape in the first five books and most of the sixth book. At the end of the sixth book and in the seventh book, the old Potions master and previous Head of House who has come out of retirement, Horace Slughorn, reassumes authority of the house. The ghost of Slytherin house is The Bloody Baron. The Slytherin dormitories and common room are reached through a bare stone wall in the dungeons. The Slytherin common room is a long, low, dungeon-style room, located under the Hogwarts Lake, furnished with green lamps and carved armchairs. The room is described in the 2nd book as having a greenish glow.”

So you see that each student was put in there own house because of those aspects. We had so much fun with Harry Potter.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Seasons

Winter is the icicle time of Earth causing it to be colder and less

 enjoyable. Like the feeling of getting a brain freeze or swallowing an ice cube whole. Summer is the warm time of Earth making it feel like you’re bathing in a hot tub. 

Why do we have the seasons? Well, it because of the Earth's tilt. Since it is tilted on a 23.5 degree angle we have seasons. During winter the northern hemisphere is facing away from the sun, making it colder and having less light and contact from the sun's rays. The Earth does not flip over and over during the seasons, it just rotates around the sun. Summer is when the northern hemisphere is facing the sun and is getting more light and heat from the sun's rays.

The brisk cold and the sweltering hot, we experience this because of our tilt. A Mars sized object hit the Earth at the beginning of Earth’s formation causing the tilt, and creating the moon.

Lights, Camera, ACTION!

 The olders of the Islesford School will be performing a play in February! The play will be about the Wabanaki, the Aztecs, and the Incas, as well as the explorers who conquered or “discovered” these tribes: Champlain, Cortez and Pizzaro.  We have been studying these Native Americans for the better part of the year. 

 When we were first discussing how we wanted to go about showing what we had learned, we decided we wanted to perform a play for the community. We sat together at the table as if we were ready to do our monotonous homework. We each took a few minutes to write down our ideas of what we wanted the play to look like: how we wanted the stage to be set up, if we wanted props and scenery, and if we wanted dialogue or a narrator, similar to making a to-do list. We then made a world map to use a background, and painted it. Then we started to write the play. Starting with an introduction to the play, we each wrote a paragraph about what the daily life of the people we studied would be like, including where they lived. Editing and revising came next. When this was done, we began actually putting the play together, and deciding how we wanted the youngers to participate. Reading through the whole thing and we assigned parts to who we thought would sound best reading the part, and what should be going on in the background.

 One day when we were catching up on Simon Isaac’s climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro, we heard the door open. A rush of cold air swept into the room, then it was over and Henry Isaacs and Ashley Bryan walked into the room carrying big rolls of brown paper. I was so surprised to see them there because I had had no idea they were coming. Then I felt just plain excited and happy that we would have them helping out with the artwork. A few days later the sound of the door opening tells me that they are here to help out. Henry carries big snowy white rolls of canvas in plastic wrappers. We cut them open and roll out the canvas, which makes a sort of hissing sound as it rolls. We draw in outlines, scribbling and erasing, turning our fingers black as ebony and smudged. I can’t wait to paint, mixing a glorious rainbow of colors that seem to glow with their radiance. 

grab the reader. The youngers helped with the painting because the backdrops were so big and we wouldn’t be able to do it alone. 

We performed the play on February 5th, on Great Cranberry at 9:30am and on Islesford at 1:30pm. Cameras clicked, flashes flashed, the audience applauded at the end. It all went very well. At the end, people asked questions about the research, "How did you do the research?" "What tools did you use to do the research?" After the performance on Islesford we had the rest of the day off.