Wednesday, April 30, 2008

ERWIA Visits the Classroom

The Elk River Watershed Initiative Association visited our class today. The showed us the video "After the Storm" produced by the EPA and the Weather Channel. If you would like to order a free copy of this video click here. You can find information from the video here. I have asked for permission to upload the video to the blog. Hopefully, I will receive permission to put it here.

The EPA has a kids site found here you may want to check out.

If you would like to join ERWIA here is the link to the membership page. Dues are five dollars for adults and 2 dollars for students.

KSN sent a reporter, Iris Hermosillo, down to interview some of the students about the lesson. It will be shown on channel 16 tonight at 10:00. Here is the link to the video.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Mystery of Saint Matthew Island

The comprehension skill for this weeks story is main idea and supporting details. The main idea is the most important idea about the topic. The supporting details are "proof" of the main idea. A good way to show main idea and supporting details is with a graphic organizer.

Vocabulary: carcasses, scrawny, suspicions, starvation, parasites, tundra, decay, bleached

Ecosystem and Biome Study

We are studying different biomes/ecosystems. We have already studied the marine ecosystem and the grasslands. Today we are looking at rainforests. Can you compare and contrast the biotic factors, the abiotic factors, and important descriptors of each?

We have used the Venn Diagram to compare and contrast the marine and grassland. What is the best way to do this when we are covering six different types?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Poster Contest Winners

Congratulations to the fifth grade winners of the McDonald County Soil and Water Conservation District Poster Contest. The students were asked to create a poster encouraging soil or water conservation. The winning posters will be displayed at the McDonald County Fair this July.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Blogging Tiger Award for Journey to the Center

Congratulations, Colby on winning the Blogging Tiger Award for Writing for your Journey to the Center of the Earth post. Don't forget to add the name of the story under your Blogging Tiger badge on your site.

Also congratulations to to Kyle and Johnathan for winning the Commenting Tiger Award for their entry on Simple Machines Visited. I really liked your tree house idea. It would keep dangerous animals away from you at night, (and tree houses are the hotness!)

If you want to win a Blogging Tiger Award, then work hard. The winners have won because of outstanding ideas and hard work. They deserve to be recognized for their excellence. If you work hard, you may find your post winning an award.

Understanding How You Learn

I am interested in your learning style. I think it is important for you and me to understand the way you learn best. You can use this information to become a better student, and I can use it to become a better teacher.

Remember to answer each question honestly. There are no wrong answers. When you are finished with I will explain the results.

The online surver was made by North Carolina Sate. Thanks.

Click here to go to survey.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Australian Biomes

Go to WikiAnswers and find out what biomes are in Australia. Can you match any of the animals we saw on the Zoo Life video with the biomes? Write the three main biomes and any animals from the video that would fit in them.

Ghost Towns of McDonald County Revisited

Originally the research on the ghost towns of McDonald County came from a story in our reading series about ghost towns of the west. Through serendipity I found a site that listed two ghost towns in our own county. One thing led to another and we end up here. I hope this is not the last post on this subject.

I received the following email in response to questions posted on my first post about Ghost Towns of McDonald County. It is wonderful to have the excellent resources of our county librarians to help with this.

I looked over the comments and questions that your students posted. I couldn't
find a link to post the answers and my comments, so if you could pass this on
to your students, I would appreciate it.

I am glad that your class was excited about learning about ghost towns.
Hopefully, one of them will be interested enough to explore further, so
that someday they can pass along this history when someone in the
next generation asks about it, just as I did.

**Ashley and Jeffery wrote that they didn't think there was so much history
in McDonald County. Please let them know that I can show them pictures and
tell them stories that would blow their minds. Our county has a tremendous
history- some good and some not.
** Jonathan said it was cool to have a ghost town because if you are tired of
people, you can go to the ghost town and camp. Please tell him not to camp
at Coy. It is situated along Patterson Creek and copperheads already camp
there, and don't like to share their space.
** Kiley asked why the town was called Coy. The answer is speculative but
I believe it was because a farmer by the name of George McCoy was one of
the early settlers and they shortened the name from McCoy to Coy.
That is the way they sometimes named towns. Anderson was named after
Robert Anderson; Noel is named after Willis Bridges Noel, and Goodman was
named after Lowell Goodman.
** Colby and Francisco wanted to know if people are still allowed to go there
and if they give tours. Yes, you can travel the road that leads to Coy but there
are no tours scheduled. Sadly, there is not a single building or landmark that
remains that suggests the town ever existed. It is a beautiful spot, though.
If you would like the location, here it is:
From Anderson, drive west on Hwy 76 West 4 1'2 miles to Coy Road- turn
right (north). Appproximately, one mile down that road, you will come to a
bridge. Before crossing the bridge on the right hand side, there was once a store,
blacksmith shop, and mill. The canning factory was located nearby. As you
cross the bridge, you come to a fork in the road. That road is named Patterson
Creek Road. If you turn right, you will see a group of lakes on the right hand side
that are beautiful. If you take a left at the fork, you will see farmland on the left
along the creek and on the right hand side, you will see the Mitchell Cemetery. My
husband's great-great grandfather settled there in 1850 and his son, Robert Lee,
later deeded the land to be used as a cemetery without charge to those who wish
to be buried there. My husband and I decorate it for Memorial Day and keep it
mowed and neat.
[Cemeteries are special to those who have loved family members buried there.]

Now about Cowskin:
Wade and Trystan want to know how Cowskin got its' name. This is what it
written in one of our history books, Sturgis History of McDonald County:

Beginning in the northwest part of the county, the first stream of note, is Buffalo Creek,
flowing and passing into Indian Territory near Tiff City. It is a beautiful stream of clear,
cold water, fed by various streams, and along its' banks are some of the richest farm
lands in McDonald County. It was named many years before a white man thought of
settling on its' banks. The name, Buffalo, was given this creek by the first Catholic
missionary that ever visited the Indians of this part of America. During his journey,
supposedly, heavy rain fell and the Buffalo Creek, as well as Elk River, rose until it was
past fording, and the camp was obliged to go into camp between the two streams until
the water level came down. While being delayed, a buffalo cow was killed by one of the
parties camping there, and the skin was preserved. From this event, the missionary
gave the name, Cowskin to the river. The exact
The location of Cowskin Prairie starts at Saratoga Springs, just west of Noel edging
southward about two miles to Southwest City,and westward about ten miles, extending
northward to Elk River, southwest of Anderson on Hwy 43 . It extends westward about
five miles into Indian Territory(now known as Oklahoma) in Delaware County.
As I mentioned before, it was the scene of some Civil War encampments during the
years of 1861-1865.

Thank you, class for all your kind words and appreciation for our Library. We try to
make it a fun and worthwhile place to visit. Hope to see you soon.

Retha Mitchell,
Asst. Librarian,
McDonald County Library

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Ghost Towns of McDonald County

Our classes are reading about ghost towns in reading this week. While on the Google looking for anything interesting about ghost towns I found a site that is about ghost towns in Missouri. I lost the link, but I remember that it identified two towns in McDonald County: Coy and Cowskin.

After thinking about these places I decided to email our local library to see if I could find out where these sites were and maybe learn something about them. I emailed Carrie Cline, the Library Director for the McDonald County Library, to ask if she could do some research. She forwarded the email to Retha Mitchell, the Genealogy Assistant for the McDonald County Library. She happens to live near the old site of Coy and is writing a history book. This is what she emailed me back:

Coy Community

Four and a half miles west on Hwy 76 and a
mile north, lies the remains of a community
known as Coy. It was here in the early 1880's
that Sterling Mitchell built a water mill and
platted out a town. Mitchell operated the
water-powered roller mill, producing flour
for awhile, but soon sold out. After that,
it changed hands several times, until Tom
Wimpey and George McCoy bought it.
These two men are reputed to have
operated the mill successfully for several
years. There was also a post office in the
community. Wimpey requested a U.S. post
office be established there, and the request
was granted Feb. 12, 1886, with the name
of it being Coy. Wimpey served as the first
postmaster. Succeeding postmasters were
William T. Cunningham, Lafayette Langley,
Thomas Murray, John D. Meares, Lester Drake,
and again Lafayette Langley. After seventeen
years of service, the post office was closed.
This had been the second post office in the
area, as John A. McMillen had previously
established the Orchard Grove Post Office
July 3, 1878, but it closed two months later,
reason unknown.
Two stores are known to have been at Coy,
perhaps more. The first store was started by
Tom Wimpey. Later storekeepers were Frank
Beeman, Howard Langley, W.G. Smith, and
William Cunningham.
John and Dallas Seabourn were the next
storekeepers followed by John B. Meares.
Meares' daughter, Grace, was young at the
time, but enjoyed working and helping her
father in the store. Many years later, Grace
married James Hutchinson, and they built a
new brick store building. Later, they had five
children. After James died
, Grace ran the store
for about five years. Mae Watson took over the
store next. Lastly, Logan Hatfield was store
operator. By this time, there was a tall gasoline
pump in front, and above the porch roof, was a
sign that read, "Coy, Mo., AG Food Market AG".
In addition to the feed mill, store, and post
office, there was a hotel, barber shop,saw mill,
gas station, canning factory, and a drug store.
There were at one time, two churches in Coy,
both Baptist oriented. One was the Freewill
Baptist organized and built in Coy, and the
Missionary Baptist Church, located about 1 1/2
miles west of town, along Patterson Creek Road.
The location of the town was enhanced both
aesthetically and business-wise, by Patterson
Creek, a well fed spring, which rises from Boil
Spring, east of Coy, and is fed by other springs
along the way in a westerly flow. A large spring
on the Jimmy Dalton place flows into Patterson
Creek. Below his place, on property once owned
by Leonard and Louise Alexander, are some lakes
that are fed by Patterson Creek. It was a conven-
ient water hole for baptisms. All of the churches
in that area used it for that purpose.
The Victory Road Church of God of the Apostolic
Faith was another church that organized in the
area in 1966. Being without a building, Elmer and
Clara Abercrombie allowed them to meet in the
McMillen School and church building which they
owned. After a year, the building burned, and
residents were saddened that an old landmark had
been lost. The Victory Road Church relocated to a
piece of land bordering Hwy. 43, and have a school
there, now.
The McMillen School had been organized many
years earlier, when the county was young. It not
only served as a school, but also as a polling place,
church, and meeting place for community events.
Elin White now owns the land where the building
once stood.
The Mitchell Cemetery is along Patterson Creek
Road in the Coy area, and is well maintained. Ronnie
and Retha Mitchell are the caretakers of the cemetery
now. His great grandfather, Robert Lee Mitchell,
originally donated the land for the cemetery.
During the 1920's or 1930's, Bob Chamberlain
operated a canning factory in Coy, as well as Anderson
and Tiff City.They had contracts with the growers for
all the tomatoes they could grow. Mr. Chamberlain
ended up losing in that venture, and soon closed the
There is very little to left to prove that a thriving
little town once enjoyed success at this location, but
Coy had it's day- a beautiful little community of good
neighbors and busy days of hard work. It is still a
beautiful area and one that I am proud to call home.

We are fortunate to have such knowledgeable and engaging people working out our local library. You are the reason libraries are the useful repositories of knowledge they are. Thank you ladies for your time and effort. My class appreciates your help.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Simple Machines Visited

Here is a link to Edheads page on simple machines. After you check out the activities, tell me which two machines you would want with you if you were stranded on a deserted island. Tell me how you use them. Remember, do not click links off site. Only do the activity on the page.

If you need some extra help, here is an Edhead page with more information, and here is an Mkids page, here is a Museum of Science page.

Here are links to eThemes on simple machines: Beginner, Advanced.