Our World, Our Numbers: Global Project

In our class, we love to connect and learn with our friends around the world.

Today we are launching a new global project called Our World, Our Numbers.

We have a blog http://ourworldournumbers.edublogs.org where we’ll meet up with our blogging buddies to learn together for the next five weeks.

In late 2011, many of these classes worked on an award winning global project called Our World, Our Stories. This latest project is based on a similar format with a mathematical focus.

Classes involved

The students are all from primary (elementary) classes and are from three different continents and five countries.

  • Mr Avery’s sixth grade class from Massachusetts, USA
  • Mrs Monaghan’s 3/4 class, Room with a View, from England
  • Mrs Morris and Miss Jordan’s grade four class, 4KM and 4KJ, from Victoria, Australia
  • Mrs McKenzie’s 2/3 class, B4, from New Zealand
  • Mrs Yollis’ 2/3 class from California, USA
  • Mr Salsich’s third grade class from Connecticut, USA
  • Mrs Watson’s K/1/2/3 class from Canada

  • How will it work?

    Students from all classes will connect and collaborate by sharing their mathematical lives. This will happen through the blog and involve a variety of media.

    A different class will lead a mathematical topic every four days or so, publishing posts and replying to comments. The other classes will read the posts, possibly publish their own posts, and leave blog comments.

    We will share topics such as currency, seasons, time zones, population data etc.

    The learning

    Through blog posts, the students will teach each other about different aspects of mathematics based on aspects of their own culture.

    The learning will continue in the commenting section where students, teachers and parents will engage in conversations to explore mathematical and cultural topics further.

    Students will gain an understanding of mathematics through the eyes of children in different countries and cultures. They will make comparisons and contrasts between their lives and other studentsí lives.

    If you want to keep up to date with how the fun and learning unfolds, there is a “subscribe via email” box on the right hand side of the Our World, Our Numbers blog.

    Get Involved

    We encourage all members of the community to get involved!

    4KM and 4KJ are leading the first topic by sharing their currency.

    Head over to the Our World, Our Numbers blog now to check out our post and leave a comment.


    What do you think of our new global project?

    The Tale Trail Audio Book

    We recently were fortunate to be able to collaborate with some amazing classes from around the world on a project we called The Tale Trail. Six classes worked together to vote on a topic for a story. Then, Mr. Salsich’s class started the story. Each class added on part on until it was wrapped up by 4KM and 4KJ. You can view more information on the project by clicking here or read the part we wrote by clicking here.

    Since the completion of the story, all classes recorded their part in SlideRocket. You can find the full story narrated by the students from all six classes below. Click the play button to begin. You can move through the slides with the arrows. You can also make it full screen by clicking on the icon in the bottom right hand corner.


    Thank you to all the classes who participated in this project with us!

    Did the story end how you thought it would?


    The Tale Trail – Part 4

    Our collaborative writing project with five other classes, The Tale Trail, continues right here!  

    Several weeks ago, the classes voted on a topic for the story.  The topic with the most votes was “An underground tunnel is found below the school.  It takes you to…”

    Classes have been taking turns adding to the story.  So far, Mr. Salsich’s class, Mrs. Yollis’ class, and B4 have written their parts of the story.  

    We’ll now add our part of the story and then Mrs. Watson’s class will continue it.  

    As they were about to eat the cotton candy, they heard muffled noises that sounded close by.  “Max, what was that?” Tiffany exclaimed.“I don’t know. Let’s go investigate,” Max replied.  As Tiffany was about to say, “No, I don’t think we should,” Max was already walking towards the noise.  When Max took his first step, the stone beneath his foot slowly began to sink into the ground.  The dust and dirt around the stone began to retreat towards the newly formed hole.“Max, what did you do?” Tiffany yelled!  Suddenly, the whole ground started to violently shake.  The torches on the walls began to flicker as the flames danced between life and death.   From the corner of her eye, Tiffany saw a rock suddenly starting to move on the wall.  “Max, what is going on? I don’t like this at all.  Let’s get out of here!”“We can’t leave Tiffany. Don’t you remember that the secret door closed behind us.  The only way for us to get out of here is to keep moving forward.  We need to go see what that is.”By this point, the rock had completely rotated out of the way, revealing a small, wooden chest.  As Max inched forward towards it, Tiffany shoved him out of the way.  “Fine, if this is what we have to do, let’s just get it over with.”  She reached forward, lifting the cover.  The insides of the chest were covered with ruby red felt.  Sitting in the center of the chest was what looked like a piece of paper.  She picked it up gently.  “What does it say?” Max asked excitedly.

    Tiffany started, “Umm…it says…

    “That’s it,” Tiffany said.  “The rest of it is ripped off.  There’s no name.  I’m not sure that I trust this at all.  I don’t like this one bit.”

    Max glanced over at the chest.  “There are the two buttons that the note talked about.  You heard what it said.  We need to hit the red one.”

    Tiffany responded, “I don’t like that idea.  There’s no name.  We have no idea who wrote this note.  And look at the date.  It was written on April Fools’ Day!  For all we know, they could be trying to trick us!  Besides, the red button is always the bad one!”

    Before Max could say another word, Tiffany was pushing in the green button.  The floor opened beneath her feet and Tiffany disappeared into the darkness.  The floor suddenly closed back up showing no signs that there was ever a trapdoor there.

    Tiffany pushed the wrong button!

    “Nooo!  Tiffany, where’d you go?” Max yelled.  There was no response.
    Max couldn’t believe what he had just seen.  His friend was suddenly gone.  He had no idea where she was.  While the rest of the students were probably sitting in class learning about multiplication, here he was under the school with no idea where Tiffany had gone.  He wanted to find her so badly but he couldn’t take the chance of what could happen to him if he hit the green button too.  He knew he had to follow the note and hit the red button.  “Here goes nothing” Max thought to himself.  He closed his eyes and reached out for the red button.  As his hand reached it, it felt cold.  He could feel it pushing in as he applied more pressure to it.  As he finally pressed it in as far is it could go, he heard a noise coming from near where the floor opened and swallowed Tiffany.  “Oh no,” Max thought as he prepared himself for a fall.  However, his feet were still on solid ground.  He opened his eyes to find that a new door had opened in the floor showing a solid stone staircase.

    Max knew he would have to descend the spiral staircase

    Max knew he had to push forward.  He began to descend down the spiral staircase.  Every step he took was illuminated by the torches on the walls.  He suddenly came to a halt.  That same muffled noise that he heard earlier with Tiffany was now audible again.  For the first time, Max could feel chills running up and down his spine.  The hairs on the back of his neck were standing on end.  He was brave before when he had Tiffany with him.  Now he was all alone.  He didn’t want to continue anymore, but he had to find Tiffany.

    He continued on, this time much more slowly and more cautiously.  When he reached the bottom of the stairs, he encountered a door.  It was old and wooden.  Spiders crawled through their webs in the corners of the door.  One dropped from a single thread down towards the ground.  In the center of the door was a faded rectangle, with a slightly different color than the rest of the door.  It looked like there had once been something there.  Suddenly, Max felt something on his leg.  He looked down to see a spider crawling up it.  He shook his leg and the spider flew off and landed on something golden.  Max noticed that whatever was laying there was the same size as the faded mark on the door.  He carefully reached around the spider to pick it up.  It turned out it was a nameplate.  Max dusted it off and he could see the name Dr. Drakken sprawled across it.  As he reached for the rusty, brass doorknob, he quietly said to himself, “let’s hope Tiffany’s in there.”

    Max came upon an old door with a nameplate on the floor

    Max had to shield his eyes as he had to try to adjust to the sudden bright light of this new room.  All he could smell around him was an awful concoction of must, moth balls, sulfur and gasoline.  As his eyes began to adjust to the light, the room began to come into focus.  He could see machinery all around him, including one giant piece of equipment in the center of the room.  There were cylinders, beakers, and test tubes of liquids of almost every color imaginable scattered throughout the room.  As he continued looking around, that’s when he heard it, the muffled cries that he had heard earlier.  This time it was even louder though.  Max moved towards the sound.  He rounded the machine in the middle of the room.  That’s when he saw her!  Tiffany was there except she was tied up in a chair back-to-back with a man Max had never seen before.  He was mostly bald with only tufts of fluffy white hair coming off the sides of his head.  He wore a dirty, tattered lab coat that made him look like he had been down here for years.

    Tiffany is found tied up with Dr. Drakken

    Max ran over to untie Tiffany.  He pulled the tape off of her mouth.  “Max, I’m so glad you found me!  Benjamin Franklin grabbed me and brought me in here when I fell through the floor.”  He finished untying her.  She stood and stretched out her legs.

    “Who is that?” Max asked Tiffany.

    “I have no idea.  He was in here when I was brought in.  Do you think we should untie him?” Tiffany replied.

    “Let’s just take the tape off and see what he has to say,” Max answered.

    As Max slowly peeled the tape away from the man’s mouth, he spoke.  “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!  I’ve been tied up down here for so long.”

    “Who are you?” Tiffany asked.

    “I’m Dr. Drakken.  I’ve been working down here for decades perfecting my time machine.  I’ve been working with the different departments at the school.  I wanted to bring back Benjamin Franklin to give a speech to a history class.  I tried bringing back a prehistoric snake for a science class.  I’ve tried bringing back so many different things.  However, something went terribly wrong.  My machine just doesn’t seem to be right as it’s changed them all in some way!  Benjamin Franklin went from being the nicest man I’ve ever met and when I got him back here he was totally different.  When the snake got back here it had two heads and could talk.  I don’t know what I’ve done!”

    Dr. Drakken's time machine in the center of the room

    “Can we help in any way?” Max asked.

    “I wish you could,” Dr. Drakken replied.  “I just need my special cotton candy I invented.  I misplaced it and now have no idea where it is.”

    Tiffany reached into her pocket and to her amazement, the small bag was still there.  She pulled it out and asked, “You mean this?”


    Continue to the next part of the story.


    What parts of the story could you visualize best?


    What do you think could happen next?

    The Tale Trail

    In the coming weeks, we’ll be taking part in a collaborative project called The Tale Trail. Classes will be joining together to write and illustrate a story through their blogs. It will start with one class writing the first part of the story and posting it to their blog. Then, the next class will read the beginning of the story and add on to it through their blog. We’ll continue until we get to the last class. They’ll put the finishing touches on it and wrap the whole story up!

    Each class will have 3 school days to work on their portion of the story. At the bottom of each post, there will be links to the parts of the story that have already been done as well as the next part of the story once it’s finished. In order to read the whole thing, you’ll be taken on a journey through the blogs of all six classes. Down below you’ll be able to find the dates around when each class should be posting their portion of the story. You can also see a map showing the locations of all the classes.


    Of course one of the most important story elements are plot, characters, and setting. The plot is what takes place in a story. The characters are who is in the story. The setting is when the story takes place. As of right now, all of that is missing from ours! We need your help in voting for what our story will be about. Use the poll below to vote for your favorite story topic. Voting will close on Saturday, May 5th. Then, check Mr. Salsich’s class blog next week to find out what topic was chosen as they kick off the first part of the project!

    What topic did you vote for and why?


    What’s your favorite part about writing a story?

    Story Time

    It’s always fun to write a story. Deciding on a plot, setting, characters, and illustrations can allow you to create a world that can be shared with others. What can be better than that? Well, how about writing stories with friends from Australia?

    We paired up with our buddies from 2KM and 2KJ to write our stories. Now, we were trying to determine what the best way was to work on our stories together. We figured traveling there probably wasn’t an option but we thought we’d check it out in Google Maps anyway.

    We figured a 16,351 mi (26,314 km) trip probably wasn’t our best choice. Not to mention, Google Maps said we’d have to kayak across the ocean! Although that sounds fun, it also sounds exhausting!

    Then we thought maybe we could mail stories back and forth. That definitely wouldn’t work since 2KM and 2KJ finish up their school year at the end of this week. So, instead, Mrs. Morris, Miss Jordan and I decided that we’d use a website called Storybird. This was an idea that we got from two other teachers, Mrs. McKenzie and Mrs. Watson. You can read about their classes using Storybird by clicking here or here.

    Storybird is a site that allows students to choose a set of illustrations. From those pictures, we can start to build a story page by page. Another great aspect of Storybird is that we’re easily able to invite someone else to write a story with us. We put students from the two classes into groups and then began our stories.

    Our class started by choosing the illustrations. We created the title page and wrote the first page, giving 2KM and 2KJ a start to the story. Then, we started taking turns. 2KM and 2KJ wrote the next two pages. We wrote the next two and we continued alternating until our stories were complete.

    We were so impressed by what amazing writers the students in 2KM and 2KJ were. Their use of detail and the way they kept the story flowing was incredible. Everyone did such a great job! Take a look below to read through the finished product!

    You can read the rest of them by clicking here.

    A giant thank you to all the students of 2KM and 2KJ for working so well with us! Enjoy your holidays!

    What was your favorite part about this project?

    Have you ever worked with someone in a different country before?

    Shaking Things Up

    Over the summer, something rare happened. The east coast of the United States had a pretty sizable earthquake! It happened pretty far away from us in Virginia but a few of us felt a little bit of shaking under our feet!

    In certain places in the world, earthquakes happen much more often. I bet if you talked to our good friends in Mrs. Yollis’ class in California, Mrs. Watson’s 2/3s in British Columbia, or B4 in New Zealand, they’d have many more experiences with earthquakes. That’s because most of them live somewhere close to tectonic plate boundaries.

    The world is covered in tectonic plates. They are essentially giant pieces of rock that drift on top of the earth’s mantle. They can move from side to side as well as up and down. Below you can see how the earth is broken up into these plates.

    Sometimes, these tectonic plates get stuck up against one another. Pressure starts to build up and then finally one plate will slip past the other. All that energy that was built up is unleashed and it sends out seismic waves through the earth. Those waves cause a shaking feeling which can be felt on the surface. The more pressure that was built up, the stronger the magnitude, the more shaking you’ll feel!

    Most earthquakes happen where the tectonic plates meet. In the United States, that would be along the west coast in California, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska. They also meet in places with recent major earthquakes such as Chile, Haiti, New Zealand, and Japan. Below you can see where tectonic plates meet and where the majority of earthquakes occur.

    In order to learn a little bit more about earthquakes, we used the United States Geological Survey website to research recent earthquakes. Students had to find the location (latitude and longitude), magnitude, and depth of five recent earthquakes. We then used Google Maps to mark the location and information about each of the earthquakes. You can see some examples of their maps below.

    View Earthquake Map by Moriah and Jenny in a larger map

    View Earthquake Map Alyxandra and Kevin in a larger map

    View Earthquake Map by Ryan and Fiona in a larger map

    If you’d like to see the rest of our maps, you can visit our wiki.

    *Have you ever felt an earthquake before?*

    *What else can be created by tectonic plates?*

    An Australian Surprise

    As we were learning in math class, our principal walked into the room holding a package. He told us that we had something that seemed to travel a pretty long way to get to us. He handed us the package. We took a look and noticed that it was from Australia.

    We had a sneaking suspicion that it might have been our friends from 2KM and 2KJ. When we opened it up, it was a book, and it was from them!

    2KM and 2KJ is a second grade class taught by Mrs. Morris and Miss Jordan. We’ve been blogging with them since last year. There is always such fascinating information on their blog and the students there are amazing commenters. Many even have their own blogs!

    We absolutely loved the book they sent to us. It was a story called Santa’s Blogging Adventure. It was all about Santa’s journey to find the value of Christmas in order to save the world from an internet outage. In order to do so, he has to collect clues from blogging classes all around the globe including Mrs. Yollis, Mr. Salsich, Mrs. Watson, Mrs. McKezine, and us!

    The story was amazing. The illustrations were incredible. There was just no way possible to show 2KM and 2KJ how much we appreciated the thought, so we thought the least we could do was share a video of us enjoying the book. The video below is the story that was written by 2KM and 2KJ read by us!

    Thank you so much to our Australian friends. You did an amazing job!

    *What was your favorite part of the story?*

    *What would be different for you if you had to go a day without internet?*

    A Wacky, Wild, Whimsical, Wonderful Week

    Last week was an amazing week, filled with great events and surprises! On Thursday, the fourth, fifth, and sixth grade put on the annual spring concert. Our class played the recorder and then were followed up by the fifth and sixth grade chorus. They were simply amazing! Our music teacher, Mrs. Cardinal worked so hard to get everyone ready and it showed in the final result!

    After we returned from that astonishing performance, we had two mysterious packages waiting in the room for us. One of them looked just like a coconut and was addressed from Hawaii. The other was wrapped in white packaging and was addressed from Canada. It turns out, the first one was a coconut and came straight from Hawaii! Our great friend Mr. Tracy, just so happens to be on vacation there right now. He decided to send along an authentic coconut! Each student got to shake it to hear the coconut milk still inside! After a little unwrapping, we found out the second package was from our quad blogging buddies, Mrs. Watson’s 2/3s on the west coast of Canada. They send us a book called Loonies and Toonies! It’s a great number book that helps us learn all about Canada. These were both huge surprises!


    Then, just when we thought the rest of the week would be uneventful, we got our school pictures back. These weren’t just any normal school pictures though. For some reason, the students seemed to have odd-shaped sunglasses, strangely colored hair, and even mustaches and beards! I certainly have no idea how that could’ve happened. I guess it will just always be a mystery!

    *What emotions were you feeling during the concert?*

    *What’s the greatest surprise you’ve ever had?*

    *How did you dye your hair, grow facial hair, or put on sunglasses without me noticing right before pictures?*

    Our Quad-Blogging Buddies – Meet Mrs. Watson’s Class!

    Through our blog, we have made great connections with so many classes from around the world. We’ve talked to classes from our neighbors to the north, Canada. We’ve talked to classes from other continents such as Europe and Australia. It’s been a wonderful experience getting to learn about different cultures.

    A few teachers wanted to find a way to team up with other blogs in order to learn even more about classes in different parts of the world. With that, Quad Blogging was born. Quad Blogging is where four class blogs team up. Each week, the focus is on one of those blogs. Everyone from the other three blogs will visit that blog to learn more about that class, their school, and their community.

    We will be teaming up with three other classes, starting on Monday, March 7th. Here is the schedule for our Quad Blogging:



    This week, we’ll be leaving comments for Mrs. Watson’s class. Make sure to leave quality comments. Proofread for proper capitalization, punctuation, and spelling. Don’t forget to let them know you’re from Mr. Avery’s class!

    Head on over to visit Mrs. Watson’s 2/3 Class!

    Here are a few posts that you may be interested in:

    We can’t wait to learn more about our Quad-Blogging buddies from Sointula in British Columbia, Canada!

    Skyping with our Quad Blogging Buddies

    Through blogging, we’ve been able to connect to so many other wonderful classes. We’ve conversed with teachers from Europe, Australia, and many right here in North America. One such class that we’ve been fortunate enough to get to know better has been Mrs. Watson and her 2/3 class. Mrs. Watson’s class is in Sointula, British Columbia. It’s on a small island, Malcolm Island, on the west coast of North America.

    View Larger Map

    Sointula is about 3,500 miles (5632 km) from us here in Plympton, Massachusetts. That didn’t stop us from finding a way to connect with them and learn about the similarities and differences between our schools and our communities! Through the wonders of technology, we were able to Skype with them and share all sorts of interesting facts about our state of Massachusetts!

    Thanks to our recorders, Ariel, Natalie, Kaylee and Rebecca, as well as the wonderful students of Mrs. Watson’s class, we were able to have great discussions about similarities and differences between the two classes.

    Here are just a few things that we learned during our Skype chat:

    • British Columbia has an area of about 586,500 miles (944,000 kilometers), while Massachusetts has an area of about 10,555 miles (16,986 kilometers).
    • Even though British Columbia is much larger than Massachusetts, it has a smaller population.  Massachusetts has about 6,500,000 people while BC has about 4,400,000 people.  That means that Massachusetts has a greater population density than BC.
    • Sointula has a population of 800.  Plympton has a population of about 2,600.
    • Our school has about 230 students in grades K-6.  Their school has 45 students in grades K-7.
    • Our principal is usually always at our school.  Their principal visits their school 3 times a month.
    • We live near the Atlantic Ocean.  They live near the Pacific Ocean.
    • Our state mammal is the right whale. They don’t have right whales but they do have orcas and humpback whales.
    • Our state bird is the black-capped chickadee. Theirs is the Steller’s jay.
    • Our state dog is the Boston terrier. They didn’t have a provincial dog.
    • Our state tree is the American elm.  Theirs is western red cedar.

    While researching for our call. We also discovered other interesting facts about Massachusetts. We learned that our state muffin is the corn muffin. Our state beverage is cranberry juice. The state dessert is Boston creme pie. Our state cookie is the chocolate chip cookie. Mrs. Watson’s class realized that they didn’t have some of these symbols for their province. They created polls to help figure out what would make the best symbols for British Columbia. Click here to visit and vote for the symbol you think best fits their province!

    Thank you so much to Mrs. Watson and her class for sharing so much great information with us. We hope to “see” them again soon!

    *What was the largest difference between British Columbia and Massachusetts?*

    *How were British Columbia and Massachusetts similar?*

    *If we Skyped with Mrs. Watson’s class again, what other information about Massachusetts would you want to share?*