Google Book Search

Monday, December 8, 2008


As part of our "be the change unit" we are working to give back. A simple way to do this is to go to FREE RICE For each answer you get right, FREE RICE will donate 20 grains of rice to the UN Food Program to end world hunger. If vocabulary isn't your thing, FREE RICE has other subjects you can choose from.
Millburn Middle School in NJ is also participating. Here is a map of the schools, hopefully we can add more schools:

View Larger Map

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Be the Change

We are starting a new unit called "BE THE CHANGE" and we are starting to track random acts of kindness. We are going to use a Google Form to track random acts of kindness. Please enter them in the following form"

Sunday, November 23, 2008

American Dreams Final Project

Click here for directions and rubric. We are commandeering the new MAC Lab in the Media Center all week with Mr. Chodkiewicz.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Week of 11/17-11/21

This week we our finishing up our "American Dreams" Unit and starting to gather images and ideas for our Garage Band podcasting project. We are going to make music videos that represent our American Dreams in the new Mac Lab in the Media Center. Mr. Chodkiewicz is coming with us to teach us how to use Garage Band. We studied Asian American Dreams this week by watching interviews of famous Asian Americans and Asian American students. We also learned about Japanese internment camps and Angel Island. Graphing Japanese immigration over the past 20 decades was hard to do at first, but interesting to discuss.
We also published our secret diary entries using Google Docs about growing up in the White House that we wrote last week. Sasha and Malia get to pick out their furniture for their bedrooms and have a bowling alley and movie theater right in their new house at 1600 Pennsyvania Ave.
Plus, Mrs. Hartman went to Google in NYC and now we all want to work there when we grow up! She showed other teachers samples from our Letters to the Next President:

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Who will read our letters? OBAMA

For the past month we have been participating in the National Writing Project's Letter to the Future President Campaign.

We are so excited because our letters have been uploaded to the site, plus we can read letters written by over 2000 students worldwide.

Mr. Obama, we await your response.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

2008 Election Results

Amber Team Connections Results for Mock Election (popular vote):

Actual 2008 Presidential Election Votes:


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Boo! Week of 10/27-10/31

This week we had our first Socratic Seminar on the banning of fast foods in certain cities. We collected data using a Google form and read several articles on fast food bans around the country. We learned about two helpful sites, Writing Fun for help organizing writing and Dance Mat typing for keyboarding skills - what a fun game! Some of us are taking part in AFI's Ghost Story Challenge. The winners could win a FLIP Video Camera(BTW, MOM and DAD, this is a great Christmas or Hanukah present.) Check out the rules here.

Next week we are having a mock election and possibly having another socratic seminar on the end of textbooks in the classroom. We are trying to figure out whether or not it would be cheaper to provide a mini laptop such as an eeePC to every 6th grader, rather than a set of textbooks. These laptops could be used all the way through high school. We are trying to collect information. To prepare, we are starting another survey, to be posted soon.

Monday, October 20, 2008

October 20-24

This week we became Image Detectives.
We also finished our Letters to the Future President using Google Docs and submitted them. We cut and paste our letters into to see the keywords from our letters. Wordle is awesome! We have been talking about the upcoming election and have been planning a mock election. We have been studying Google Elections Maps to check out the campaign trail and the electoral votes.

Please take this survey on fast food. We are using the data for an upcoming Socratic seminar.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Life Maps

At the beginning of the year, we each made Life Maps to get to know each other better. Below are some picture of our maps. For each map we had to share 7 events in our lives in a creative way. We also had to present the maps to our class in an oral presentation.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Week of 10/6 - 10/10

Eventhough we had one day off, this week was busy with the Presidential Debate. Many students watched and analyzed the debate, some students watched the whole thing, and boy were they tired! We researched the use of presidential campaign songs and picked our own campaign songs.
We also read different accounts of the American Dream and took a sample citizenship test
We formed groups and traveled to different stations around the room and hallway to read several different points of view of the American Dream. Next we filled in a graphic organizer. Next week we will share our answers and start a Letter to the Future President Project. Students in Mrs. Hartman's Section 2 class are working with partners with Mr. Spevack's 6th grade class from the Bronx, NY. On Friday, they had a video conference with them using Skype. Mr. Davis used a Flip Video Camera to film the action. Next week we will also be going to the computer lab to work on our letters using Google Docs.

Week of 9/29-10/3

This week we started a unit called American Dreams and discussed what the American Dream means to different people, such as Martin Luther King, Jr., our family members, and teachers. James Truslow Adams first used the phrase, "the American Dream" in 1931.Each class created a wordle or word cloud of our collective American Dreams. We also talked about how the financial crisis and the failed bailout will affect the American Dream for many people.
We also made posters with our groups about what the American Dream means to us.
Each class also made a wordle, click here to view one.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Back to School Night 08

Mrs. Hartman is in Chicago at Google learning about new google tools for the classroom and showcasing work from Sparta Middle School students and teachers in a presentation on Google Docs.
Below, is her back to school night presentation.

Google Docs Rocks

This week in Connections, with Mrs.Hartman's we went to the computer lab. We learned how to sign onto Google docs. We also signed
onto Hartman Google docs can be accessed from home!| How cool is that! Then Miss.Blanos, our Language Arts teacher, said that we can save the work that we do in her class (that's on the computer) can be saved to Google docs also! On google docs we took a journal survey, too. The journal survey was to make sure that everyone completed all six of their journal entries. It was also to make sure that everybody had the right dates and the right prompts. Their are so many other things to do on google docs. You can share documents with your other friends! Fifteen people can work on the same document at the same time! That's the coolest of them all! But then why just send your documents to read, send them for people to correct mistakes! Now that's really really cool! This week was pretty exciting in Connections!
by LL

Friday, September 19, 2008


Go to my homepage on and check my animoto video. You may need headphones to hear the sound.
Click on this link to create your own animoto account.
Use images from google images to create your own animoto on what the American Dream means to you.
Go to the this Hartman Hoopla post, using your notebook journal, take the survey. The magic number of entries is 7. Assess yourself and submit the survey only once.
Also, check out voicethread and sliderocket for other presentation ideas.
On, click on "More" then "Even More" and explore Books, News, and Maps. Think about some ways in which we could use these tools in Connections.
Create a new Google document in your google docs called, "The American Dream."
Write about what the American Dream means to you.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Google Apps Day 2

On Day 1 of Google Apps for Education, we learned how to log in to the computers at the middle school and how to access our Google Apps Account at
We watched a video by Common Craft about Google Docs and started typing up our first RAFT - a letter to Mrs. Hartman from the point of view of a 5th grade teacher about us (the student).
On Day 2 we are going to set up folders in Google Docs to keep organized and learn how to collaborate and share with Mrs. Hartman and our friends. We are also going to learn how to insert comments and give feedback on writing.
We are going to view a Google Docs tutorial
and create a spreadsheet in google docs.
We are also going to practice our typing skills or here
and submit our wish for the future at

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Journal Checklist

Students in Mrs. Hartman's connections classes. Please take the survey only once before Monday, September 22.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

First Two Weeks of School

The first 2 weeks of school were exciting. We figured out what Connections is all about by watching short videos and reading a short story by Avi, called "How I Got My English A." It was about a student who was a horrible speller and grammarian, but had great story ideas. ("Not that good spelling and grammar aren't important, but ideas and content are equally important," said Mrs Hartman).
We talked about the possible educational uses of cellphones (good and bad) and met Cha Cha.
Next we created trading cards of ourselves and filled in Who I Am graphic organizers so we could get to know each other better. Finally, we created comics about school and learned about a comic creator website,
We have been sharing our ideas and comics with the FruitPicker. It spins our names and the name that the machine stops on is the person who is shares.
Videos we discussed:

Did You Know?

Nokia's 4th Screen

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Our Google Certified Teacher!

Also, this week in Mrs. Hartman’s class we found out that she would be
attending the Google Teacher Academy. In this program, 50 talented teachers were selected out of many applicants. These 50 teachers are selected based upon their professional experience, their love for teaching and learning, and their use of technology. After attending this program these teachers will become Google Certified Teachers.
She asked all of her classes to make a one minute video showing her using technology in class. Period 7-8 made a video that included a rap and a demonstration of how Mrs. Hartman catches the children’s attention with her nifty technological skills. All classes have viewed the video and came to the conclusion that it ROCKS!!
The video was submitted and, you guessed it, Mrs. Hartman was picked. She is
planning on attending this 12 hour event on June 25th in Mountain View, California. Luckily, this is after the last day of school so we won’t be without our favorite Language Arts teacher!

Don't Call the Principal!

This week in Mrs. Hartman’s language arts class we experimented with a new type of poll system called Mrs. Hartman suggested that we bring our cell phones to class in order to participate with this website. She submitted a question from the book Freak the Mighty (which we are currently reading) into this polling website. We then texted our response to the number provided. A few seconds later our texts arrived and were submitted into the poll. They were even displayed on screen! We could see other people’s responses as well as our own. This was an interesting and up to date experiment. In our opinion it was definitely worth while!


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Amber Field Day 08

Here are two takes on Amber Field Day -08

Pictures will be up tomorrow!

Take 1:This week has been very interesting. On Friday we had field day. It was very fun. We played many games my favorite was the folding blanket. Mrs. Sawey ran the game. Our group won. It was a lot of fun. A challenging game we played would be the ping pong ball spoon race it was really hard because you had to balance the ball on a spoon and go at a certain speed or you dropped it and then you had to go back. When we played kickball Mr. Miller was the umpire. Our team lost but it was still fun. these were all the games kickball, alphabet game, dress up game, extreme shoe race, three legged race, Frisbee toss, chicken over the head, beach towel ball toss, shoe box relay, hula hoop toss and tug of war. At the end we got ice cream. Mr. Iadarola’s homeroom won field day. This was a very nice end of year party!!

Take 2:Field day was a great day. We did a lot of fun stuff. We played a lot of fun games like the clothes relay, ping pong relay and the shoe box relay. In the ping pong relay you had to balance a ping-pong ball on a small spoon and walk around a cone and back. That game was a lot of fun especially when the other team was 2 people were ahead of us and when won 3!!! We also played a game called the alphabet game which was really fun. In that game you had get all the alphabet pieces and put them together. Our team won that. At the end we had a tug-o-war game and when it was our turn we didn’t know we were starting and Mrs. Hartman’s class beat us!!!! Out of all the games Mr.Iadarola’s class won!!! We were tied for dead last!!!! Oh well, It was the best end of the year party ever!!!!!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Week of Fun

It’s been an awesome week! On Monday there was no school; let’s thank Memorial Day for that! Tuesday was the best! We had an assembly second and third period about knights. It was awesome. We saw the actors fight and they taught us how the life was in the medieval times. Sadly we missed language arts because of the assembly, but that didn’t ruin our week. On Wednesday we had another assembly! Too many assemblies! But this assembly was very special. The sixth grade students were honored at this assembly. The assembly was for the student of the marking period. Two people from sapphire team, two from topaz, and the best of course, two from AMBER TEAM! To make the assembly even better there were two seventh graders. The seventh graders were singing and playing the guitar!!!!!!! They were awesome! We saw HB and AY dancing… lol! On Thursday we started reading Freak the Mighty in language arts. We read the first two chapters. From reading the first two chapters I felt that it was going to be a great book. In lunch there was a mini assembly on the program H2H. It was ok; it was kind of boring but a good entertainment for lunch! Finally on happy Friday we went to the computer lab to finish up our poems. Just a regular day. That was an awesome week and I hope next week is as good as this one!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Sterling Hill Mineral Museum

The Sterling Hill Mineral Museum is a very fun place to go for a field trip or for just any old day that you have nothing to do. It is located in Ogdensburg. You get to go into the mine, get a florescent rock or two and even see a fault line. The guides there are very nice. Inside the museum you get to see 8lbs of gold, even a t-rex skull. They even have very beautiful minerals and gems in the museum too.

After you tour around the museum you either get too got to the rock discovery (where you get to find garnet, slate, sandstone, marble, coal and basalt) or go into the mine. When you go into the mine you get to see a mine shaft, the equipment the miners used to wear, a real fault line, a very deep body of water, stalactites and even an open pit mine. After you come back from your tour you get to go and have lunch. After that you get to go into the gift shop. They sell fossils, shark teeth, fools gold, gemstones (including sapphires, diamonds, rubies and emeralds) and a lot of other neat rocks. Sterling Hill Mineral Museum was a fun field trip. J.D.R

Friday, May 16, 2008

Poetry Palooza

Our NJ ASK testing is finally over! This week, we got back to our normal schedules and started some new stuff. We got new vocab words and spelling words that were all poetry words. We even have a new assignment on writing poems in different categories, for example: haiku's, definition, shape/concrete etc. On Monday, we got a poetry packet and we started a poem called "The Sneetches" by Dr. Seuss. We did some questions on the Sneetches and on Tuesday, we went over them. On Wednesday, we did more from our poetry packet. We did three poems. They were called "Ode to Mi Gato", "In a Neighborhood in Los Angeles", and "Hard on the Gas." We answered some more questions in the packet and went over them. On Thursday, we read a great story on John Henry in the poetry packet. We answered all of the questions and went on to watch some videos. We watched The Sneetches and John Henry. We also took our vocab quiz's. On our rainy Friday, we took our spelling test. We got a worksheet on how to read a poem... the right way! After we read a poem called "A Scarcity of Words." We had an assignment afterwards where we had to write down ten words we would say if we could only use ten words. This was a challenging task for some of us. After we did this, we wrote down a definition/list poem. We could choose a person or a place but we couldn't use adjectives to describe them, we had to use nouns. We had to list twenty nouns describing this person or place and then change it down to ten. We then changed it into a poem. This was especially hard because we usually describe people with adjectives but we could only use nouns. We also got a poetry crossword puzzle using our spelling words. We have certainly had a poetry palooza week!

Friday, May 2, 2008

What we did on Spring Break

It was a perfect week of sun and temperature. I interviewed some classmates and here is how some of us spent our Spring Break:
1. Had sleepovers with friends.
2. Made the competition cheerleading team.
3. Went to Disney World.
4. Visited Washington DC and saw the monuments.
5. Stayed up late and slept late.
6. Went to The Great Wolf Lodge in PA.
7. Went shopping with friends.
8. Went to Atlantic City and out to eat.
9. Went to the Jersey Shore.
10. Hung out with friends and played video games.
11. Went on a cruise.
12. Went to Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum in NYC.
13. Went to the Grand Cayman Islands.
14. Went to Boston.
15. Went to Martha's Vineyard.
16. I found out I was moving!
17. My sister came home from college.
18. Went to Cancun!
19. Took long walks on the beach.
20. Shopping at the mall.

Last Chance Workout

This week we practiced for the NJASK and reviewed tips for test taking and preparation. Here are a list of tips from all classes:
1. Go to bed early the night before.
2. Eat your Wheaties! (Eat breakfast)
3. Listen to classical music on your way to school.
4. Don't stress!
5. Write 5 paragraphs for a persuasive letter.
6. Aim for 3 paragraphs for a speculative prompt.
7. Always restate the question in the answer for an open-ended question and answer ALL questions.
8. Neat handwriting!
9. In the Reading section, read the questions first so you know what you are looking for in the passage.
10. If you are writing a letter. make sure to write "Dear_________," and sign your name at the end.
11. If you have extra time go back and make sure you answered all the questions.
12.Be careful not to skip a question completely.
13. Think outside the box.
14. Stay relaxed.
15. It is better to guess than to leave something blank.
16. Try your best.
17. Eat brain food for dinner the night before such as fish or foods high in Omega 3.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Friday, April 17

This week we went to the computer lab. We worked on our photo stories. We went Monday, Tuesday, and some people went Wednesday and Thursday! Monday when we came in we did a Vocab review sheet. Tuesday we did a practice for the NJ ASK testing. Wednesday, we went back to the computer lab for the people who didn’t finish. Thursday, we went to the computer lab for the last time and listened to some Photo Story projects. On Friday, we went to the book fair! Then we went to Vocab Bingo! Today was our last day of school before Spring Break!!!
This week was very exciting. We learned how to do Photo Story and turned our fairy tales into media files. The requirements were 10 images and our fairy tales had to be re-written in modern times from a different point of view. We also learned that a book we read at the beginning of the year (Chasing Vermeer)is being turned into a movie by Brad Pitt! Today we are going to the book fair and playing vocabulary bingo against Mrs. S's class. We also did some NJASK practice and review. We had to tell what it would be like to live in your favorite book, short story, or television show for one day.
In science we celebrated Earth Day by creating a mural of hands on our team wall, "The Future of Our Earth is in Our Hands."

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Fairy Tale Frenzy

This week in Mrs. Hartman's class, we did a lot. On Monday, we read several versions of Rumpelstiltskin. After that, we started to re-wright our fairy tales. On Tuesday, we wrapped up Rumpelstiltskin, and continued our fairy tales. This Wednesday, we read Rumpelstiltskin, but different character's points of view. And once again, we continued our fairy tales.
On Thursday, we took a vocab quiz, did a worksheet, and started to finish the fairy tales. On Friday, we took a spelling quiz, checked the work sheet we completed Thursday, and finished our fair tales. After a fairy tale frenzy, we'll go home and relax on the weekend!