Global Read Aloud

The entire middle school at PDS is taking part in an awesome reading activity called Global Read Aloud. This is organized by a teacher called Pernile Ripp. Students from around the world are reading the same book and have global Edmodo and Twitter chats, Skype calls and other collaborative projects. We are reading a wonderful book called One for The 51syJVwBNwL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt. She has a great website and we will be able to communicate with her over a global hangout when we are finished the book. She is an amazing author and has made videos to answer student questions throughout the reading of the book. Here are our latest blog posts about the book. We would love some comments!


The Day I Fell In love – Free Choice – Fiona

It was a nice summer day and I had been thinking about my 2 sweet old dogs. I decided I wanted the responsibility to raise a puppy and take care of it. I had been asking my mom since I was six but I thought that it was my eleventh birthday soon and I was ready.

I had been researching rescue puppies. My eyes came across one though, a brown and black bloodhound mutt with giant paws the size of my hand. He was 8 weeks old and looked sweet. But the problem was, I did not know where he was. The day had come, I went to the Beacon Rescue Shelter to look for puppies. I looked and looked but I couldn’t find the one my heart desired. It had been 25 minutes of looking and my mom came up to me and said she found him. She found the puppy that I loved so deeply. I rushed over to him and I knew he was perfect for me. The only problem was, he had a sister and they were together their whole lives. We couldn’t just separate them..  As we drove back with brother and sister bloodhounds, I was hugging my dog tight and kissing him all over. We were his new home. I took a while to think of a perfect name, but I did, Ozzie. (But Zooey for short)

Now it has been almost a year and my puppy and his sister are doing great. They have gotten bigger and love us as much as we love them. I love him more than anything in the world and would do anything for that dog.




Ozzie 9 months                                  Ozzie 8 weeks -Pictures by Me

Nature’s Classroom – Eden

In 2016 I went to Becket, Massachusetts with my school for a program called Nature’s Classroom. It was quite a fun trip doing all the different activities and making memories we had made there. I had many favorite parts and some parts I wished I hadn’t experienced.. But for the most part is that it was  a lot of fun. On the day of our leave we had ended up having a snow day. So, we had a delay, we were originally supposed to leave at 8:30am but in the end ending up leaving at 1pm and arrived 4 hours later at 5pm due to snow conditions. After we got there we were greeted and were taken to our activities and the trip began.


One of the things we did was choose classes, I did one specific class called “Feed Your Face” that involved in putting different foods and other things on our face, lips and arms and seeing/learning about how it helped us. Our teacher Ana (Nicknamed Bloodhound) let us experiment and taught us about the different pores we were cleaning and relaxing our facial muscles. We also got to make and eat an edible lip balm with some cocoa powder in it. We tried to keep it on our lips as long as we could, but the temptation was too much for most of us. At the end before we left, out teacher let us have orange slices with some sugar on them, a nice winter treat!


Another class I took was called Squid Dissection, in this class we got to watch a squid being dissected. A group of kids including me sat around our teacher at a table and we watched him dissect a squid and we got to touch some of the parts like the heart, stomach, eye, and brain! As gross as it sounds, we had gloves and luckily, nothing sprayed out at us! We also got diagrams and got to see what parts the squid had and how it all worked together. Lastly but not least we got to pass around small pieces of the squid and see what all the functions did. By accident our teacher cut open the stomach and this weird liquid substance came out, but it was a cool color right?


So, we did do a lot more in Nature’s Classroom but I’m afraid that’s all I can write for now, but it was a great experience and I am excited for my return next year. I am excited to find out what new adventures will overcome me next year and have the memory of 2016 snowy Nature Classroom in my heart forever. See you guys next year!




Trail Cam

Creative Commons License Lisa Zins via Compfight

Nature’s Classroom – Neha

A couple weeks ago the 6th and 7th grade went to Nature’s Classroom. Nature’s Classroom is a place in Becket, Massachusetts. There are teachers there who have different and funny nicknames like Bloodhound or Sassafrass. There was a lunch room and a manor where all the kids stayed. The boys were on the top floor, and the girls were on the bottom floor. At Nature’s Classroom we did different and fun activities and learned about nature (hence the name). Nature’s Classroom is a school trip so some of the teachers at our school went  with us.


The 6th and 7th graders went to Nature’s Classroom for 4 days. We went Monday and came back Thursday. I got homesick, so I came back early (Tuesday night). Anyway, on Monday we were supposed to leave at 8 am but because of the snow it got delayed to around 1pm. I think we left on the coach bus around 1:30. We got to Nature’s Classroom around 3:00 or 4:00 because it was a three hour drive. We did one activity and then we went to our bunks and got settled in. Then I think we went to the art room, which is a room where we do activities in. Later, we had dinner at 5:00. The food in Nature’s Classroom is pretty good. After we ate we went back to the bunks and had some free time. After that, we went to back to the art room and did some activities. At night we had a sing along, which was kind of fun. So, that was our first day at Nature’s Classroom.
My favorite thing we did in Nature’s Classroom was an activity called Feed your Face. This class was with Anna, or Blood Hound (her nickname). In this class we learned how to use natural things to cleanse our faces. For example, we made a face scrub using oats and honey. It felt really good on my skin. We put vanilla yogurt on our faces to open our pores and then we used steam and lavender essential oil to close our pores (we put hot water water and a drop of the oil and put the cups close to our faces). This  was my favorite activity I did there because it was really relaxing and we got to learn that most of these creams, lotions, or face cleansers are mostly chemicals, and not natural for our skin. So if we use natural things, we’ll know exactly what it is and it’ll help make our skin smoother. So that’s what my favorite thing at Nature’s Classroom was and what Nature’s Classroom is.






Natures Classroom – Predator vs Prey

Nature’s Classroom is an outdoor sleep away learning classroom in Becket, Massachusetts. At Nature’s Classroom (NC) we get to do different activities, classes, and more. One of the activities that we did was called Predator vs Prey. In the game everyone was in different groups. The lowest groups were the main prey: centipedes and tics. The bugs couldn’t eat anything, but anything could eat them. The next group were the frogs. There were the Canadian frogs and the just plain frogs. They could eat bugs and the next group up could eat them. The next group up (and the final one) were the snakes. The snakes were the best group out of them all. They could eat anything, and nothing could eat them, so they were basically invincible.


I got put in one of the worst groups, the centipedes. But fortunately, I also got put in a group with some of my really good friends. I was with Olive, Olivia, and Eden F.  All together there were eleven centipedes. Throughout the game we had to hide, run and sneak around. But, the simulation was a “walking simulation”. A walking simulation was when you had to walk around everywhere until told to run. Basically, Carrot (group leader) always had to be in the front of all of us. If one of us passed him, he would say “freeze” and the person in front of him had to freeze for twenty seconds. While we were going we couldn’t do anything but walk and speed walk. No running, no jogging, no skipping, just walking. If a predator group was coming behind a prey group, the leader of the predator group blew his or her whistle for meal time. When a predator group leader blows a whistle, everyone starts running. The predator group will chase different people from the prey group and try to tag them. If you got tagged, you would leave your group and join theirs. The main point of the game was to try and survive in your original group for the whole game. This whole tagging thing went on until the group leader blew their whistle again, which meant the tagging time was over.


One by one the predator groups picked off members from out pathetic centipede group. At the ten minute mark, it was only me, Olivia, Eden, and Olive. We were all really happy and surprised that we made it this far. We were really proud of ourselves because we made it farther than some of the really “fast and strong” people in our group. But, we still had to remember that the game was still going and we needed to be careful because the predator groups were getting much bigger. We had two attacks before the game ended. Fortunately, we all survived. Though, I’m not a very strong runner and during one of the attacks I got a really bad running cramp. Luckily just as I got it the attack ended. Finally, we heard the ending whistle and we knew it was over. We had survived as little old centipedes.


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Picture by PDS

Nature’s Classroom – Caidan

It was a cold winter day and we had a five hour delay. Now usually I would be excited about this but today it was just stressful. It was stressful because we were supposed to be going to Nature’s Classroom that day. So instead of leaving at 8:00 we left at 1:00 and got there at 4:00. So that meant I had 5 hours to worry instead of just 1 hour. When I got to school I was very excited. After a while of waiting we all put our bags on the bus and it was time to go.


When I was on the bus I was sitting with Bode and we talked the whole time. As we got closer to Nature’s Classroom me and Bode started to look out the window I thought it was really cool to see the change in weather. There were a lot of times where I would see a place and think that it was Nature’s Classroom and I would think “oh um is that it?”. But it wasn’t, so when we actually got there and I saw what it looked like, I was very relieved that it wasn’t some shack in the middle of the woods. Once we got there we unloaded the bus, played a game, then we  went inside and got our bunk mates  and which numbers they would be. After that we did our first field group, ate, did another field group, ate again, had our sing along, and went to bed.


The next few days were filled, and when I say filled, I mean filled with things to do. We got our first classes, ate food, had field groups, talked, and had some simulations like the Oregon trail and Predator vs Prey. I was really having fun and forgot about the rest of the world like school and other things. But then I remembered something that hit me like a rock to the gut I had to leave. To be honest I really enjoyed this and seemed sad to be leaving but I was glad to be going back to my house and seeing my family. My bunk mates and I, Sam, Michael, and Memphis (Bode was there too but had to leave two days ago because of skiing) talked, played some games like never have I ever then went to bed. When we woke up in the morning we had to pack up and leave. It was a big commotion while packing up but once we got on the bus I was sad and happy. I was sitting with Isaac. Once I got off the bus my mom was there and I went home.

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Picture by PDS

Nature is The New Classroom (Natures classroom refection) by Ryanne

I started packing Thursday night, and was awestruck with this adventure. After packing, I got in my PJs and went to my last sleep at home for four days. In the morning, school was canceled because there was a lot of snow. I thought we would not go to the trip. Just then my mom said that we had to be at school at 12:15 to be on the bus. I was so excited! Mostly because we were going on the trip, but also it would be funny to be the only ones at school till’ we leave. Before my mom dropped me off I had lunch with my friend Yasmeen. We decided that we would sit together on the bus ride there.  
day304Philip Ray via Compfight

After lunch my mom dropped me off at school and I saw a huge pile of suitcases, duffle bags, and backpacks. I came in and put my stuff in the pile of bags and said goodbye to my mom before she left. After we loaded the bus with bags, we set off for Nature’s Classroom. It was a three hour drive because the roads were covered in snow. Yasmeen and I both took a nap on the bus. When we got there it was so cold. We played a quick game and we put our stuff in our bunks. I was in a room with Milaura, Cedar, Violet, Bella, Zoё, Zsofi, and Yasmeen. I was happy with everyone in my room because we were all friends. After we got set up in our room we set off for our first activity.

When we got there, we went through all the counselors and they each did a different activity, all involving team work. Then we ended the day with a sing along. We sang a bunch of different songs.  After that we headed back to our bunks to sleep.

The next day we woke up and ate breakfast. After breakfast we went to our field group. This is when we would go hiking, play camouflage, and learn about nature, (as said in the name “Nature’s” Classroom) in smaller groups. You don’t get to decide who is in your field group, so you are assigned with people. My field group was fun so it all worked out. After we would pick classes that the counselors lead.  All the classes I got were really fun. Every night we would end with a sing along as we did the first night. Then we would go back to bed and have breakfast in the morning.

One activity we did was called the Oregon trail. Each group had a certain job and they each had a different amount of money depending on your job. You could buy clothes, oxen, wagons, parts for the wagon, food (rations), etc. During the trail we had to act like it was the real Oregon trail. There would be situations saying you lost food, an ox died, your wagon broke, you earned food, you get money or lose money, etc. It was REALLY fun.  

We also played a game called predator vs prey. There were five groups and each group was either an insect, frog, or snake. Two groups were insects and I was in the centipede group. Everyone was trying to tag us because we were the prey and we could never be the predator. Two groups were frogs and they could tag bugs but they could be tagged by the one snake group. It was fun till’ I got tagged to the snake team. It was fun chasing everyone but it was more fun running away from everyone.

Then it came the time we had to leave. I got everything packed and we loaded the bus.  I sat next to Cedar and off we went. The counselors were waving until they could not see the bus anymore. I was sad to be going home because I had a lot of fun, but I also was happy to be in my own bed.        

Natures Classroom by Tess

Nature’s Classroom is located in Becket Massachusetts. I would describe it as a sleep away camp, but it’s a little different. At Nature’s Classroom, you get to do all sorts of things like hiking, different fun activities and just hanging out with your friends. To get there, my class left at 1:00pm from school. We all fit on a giant bus with many different seats and even a bathroom. We arrived at 5:30pm, everyone was exhausted from the long 4-hour drive! We were all assigned bunks, and later on, we got to set our stuff down. This was pretty much our first day, there was not a lot going on because there wasn’t a lot to do considering it was so dark.


Photo by Tess

Every day we would wake up at 7:00am. Everyone would get dressed, then go out for breakfast. Some people who needed to take meds or people who were Waitrons would leave a little early. After breakfast, we would have a break time to get ready for field groups. Most of the time my field group was out hiking, so we would be walking in ankle deep snow. Every day I would wear 3 pairs of socks, two pairs of pants and two shirts. It was that cold! We also played a game in field groups called camouflage. The leader of my group (Kelly) would scream Camouflage and she would count down from 10. Everyone had to hide and over time, she would find people.

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Picture by PDS

I think my favorite moment at nature’s classroom was a class I took called Hucking stuff. I arrived in the class thinking we would just be throwing things, but once we got there, it was so much more. It was a meditation class. I felt my body melt away into nothingness as my counsellor Kelly told us a story that made me go the deepest into my mind I’ve ever been. The story went a bit like this…


You walk into the dark forest. Everything is silent, the only sounds you can hear are the crunching of snow beneath your feet. You walk passed the water, and the trees. You soon come into an open field. You feel an emptiness inside you eating away at your courage. In the middle of the field, you see a black stone. It’s the heaviest thing ever and no one could ever lift it. You walk over to the stone and you lift it with no problem at all. Your feet carry you back to the river and you stand looking off into the distance. You throw the stone into the water. It shatters into a million pieces. You start to walk out of the forest, that spot in your stomach fades away.


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Picture by PDS


After doing the meditation we went outside into the dark cold woods and took an object we found. That object represented something bothering us in our lives. After finding the object we went to a high up deck and threw the object off. This was representing throwing away our fears, insecurities etc. A friend in my group’s item was a rock. He said something that will change my life. He told us about how his object was a rock and how it would never break, but somehow he could try. I don’t exactly remember what he said, but I know it really made me think. I hope you visit Nature’s Classroom sometime because it’s so much fun and I know you’ll like it!

Zsofi’s Natures Classroom

I loved Nature’s Classroom! It was so much fun, but my favorite part was at the end of the day when we all did a sing-along in the amphitheater (my favorite song was the one about the worm). The food we got was great; it had amazing gluten-free options (I’m  gluten free), and really good tasting gluten-free bread. I really liked my counselor Sassafras (all the counselors had nicknames, I still do not know my counselor’s actual name). The only problem was that whenever I came back to my bunk, I would find weird grains of sand in it that I had to sweep off my bed. Also, I think it would have been a lot easier to get to the top bunk with a ladder and not by climbing on the bed frame.

I really enjoyed the simulations we did there, and my favorite was the Oregon Trail one. In the Oregon Trail, my group were farmers and we had the least amount of money, but for some reason the person who was in charge of buying the wagon we would be using decided to buy the Mercedes of wagons (it was a lot of money). In a nutshell we all froze to death in the end in the simulation. Nevertheless I had an amazing time at Nature’s Classroom.   

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Picture by PDS.



Nature’s Classroom Zoë

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Photo by PDS

Our class went to Nature’s Classroom in Massachusetts for four days.

At Nature’s Classroom we were sorted into field groups. In our field groups, we took hikes, did activities, and performed our skit for Wednesday Night Live. (Won’t go into too much detail about that).

You could choose which classes you got to be in. You didn’t always get your first choice, but all of the choices were good ones. I got into a class where we got to make smoothies, a class where I got to set a tiny, man made forest on fire, a class where we learned about triboluminescence, and a class where I got to manage a country’s finances.

The meals were delicious and there was a rotating cast of ‘waitrons’ who set the tables. There was always some sort of activity during dinner, and loads of options for people with food sensitivities or other dietary differences.

I particularly enjoyed the sing-alongs at the end of the day, where we sang such favourites as the Crepe song and Riptide by Vance Joy. Overall, Nature’s Classroom was loads of fun, despite the snow. I can’t wait to go next year.

Kittens By Aidan

IMG_1235On May 7th, I will be getting two kittens. One of the kittens is a tuxedo cat. They call the breed tuxedo because they look like they are wearing a tuxedo. The other kitten is mixed. He is a domestic long hair. The tuxedo is a domestic short hair. They are both brothers.


Tuxedo cats look like they are wearing a tuxedo because they are black with white paws, white nose, and white chest area. The other cat is white with dark grey spots and dark grey tail. Their mom is white with black spots.
Once I get these cats I will have 5 cats. They will be the 7th and 8th cats I have had. I have still not decided on names but for right now I call them “Tuxedo Cat” and “White Cat With Spots”. The mother’s name is CJ. The kittens have three sisters.