Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Getting into the Swing of Things- Finally!

I want to thank all the students and parents for their patience this year. Phyre classes started later than normal due to fall testing. This is the first year we have screened and tested students in the fall rather than the spring or summer.

We are finally getting into the swing of things and we are off to a great start. I want to welcome all our new students and some that have returned to us after moving away. I am so happy to have you back! Here is a rundown of all the exciting projects happening in the Phyre universe.

Third graders are busy creating storyboards, constructing sets, and sculpting creatures for our claymations. We have four films in progress and I can't wait to see the finished product of all this creativity!

Fourth graders are diving into our engineering units. We are starting with electrical engineering and are chasing those pesky electrons around parallel and series circuits. We will be creating our own "Operation" type game, complete with 3D printed guts for our robot or alien creations.

Fifth graders have been learning about stocks, mutual funds, and bonds are buying and selling stocks in The Stock Market Game. The market has been pretty bearish lately, but we are hoping for a rebound. Fifth graders are also working on making documentary films for the Reel Spirit Festival.

Sixth graders are busy working on scripts, gathering costumes, and scouting locations for our narrative Western film. We have been given permission to shoot the film at Big Iron Town and we can't wait to get on set. Sixth graders are also buying and selling stocks in The Stock Market Game.

Seventh and Eighth graders are currently working on writing cases for our debate unit. We are debating the fate of the penny. I'm seeing great arguments on both sides and I can't wait for the war of the words to begin. We are also participating in The Stock Market Game and are building our year-long portfolios.

I am looking forward to a great year. I always miss the freshman around this time of year. I hope that the transition from middle school to high school has been smooth and that they get involved and study hard. The Humphreys are also going through a new transition this year. We sent our last birds out of the nest. Eric started college at MU this fall and both girls are out adulting with jobs and apartments of their own. It's quiet around our house, but I will stay busy dreaming up new challenges for my students and consoling the cat who misses his humans. I am writing this a few hours before the big Mega-Millions drawing, so if there is a sub tomorrow. . .

Have a great fall! Eat some pumpkin spice things and enjoy the weather.

Mrs. H

Monday, April 9, 2018

Reel Spirit Film Festival

The Reel Spirit Film Festival is Saturday, April 14 at the Cinemark Theaters on the Country Club Plaza. The Phyre program will have 10 films receiving awards. I am so proud of all the filmmakers this year. The films were creative, funny, informative, and well made. I have linked all the films below. Enjoy!

Book in Mind
The Puppy Heroes
The Milkshake Catastrophe
The Skittles Revenge
Online Treasure Hunting: A Geocaching Guide
Microorganisms: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Greek Mythology News
Dance News
Paradox News
Invasion News
The Hairy Potter
The Composer

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Battle of the Brains and More!

How can first quarter be over already? I'm not sure I have unloaded everything from my car from the beginning of the year. Conferences are upon us next week. Here is my schedule for the week:

Monday- 3:30-8:00 - Intermediate School
Tuesday  3:30-8:00 - Elementary School
Wednesday 3:30-8:00 - Middle School

If you would like to have a conference and you have a second grader through sixth grader, please use this link to sign up for a conference time.  I am using to organize our upcoming SignUps.

Here's how it works in 3 easy steps:

1) Click this link to see our SignUp on
2) Review the options listed and choose the spot(s) you like.
3) Sign up! It's Easy - you will NOT need to register an account or keep a password on

Note: does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use your email address, please contact me and I can sign you up manually.

You can attend a conference with me at the Elementary School or the Intermediate School, whatever day works best for you.  The Middle School day is reserved for the Middle School students.

We are staying busy at every school! The second graders are working on writing a book using the amazing Storybird tool. They are very creative!

The third graders have started a business. It is called Game Rehab Inc. They will take a broken down indoor recess game and give it new life. They have been busy building, creating advertising, and making a commercial. Here is the link to the commercial- check it out; it is a lot of fun!

The fourth graders are working on our annual Carboard Arcade. They are each building two arcade games. We are learning a lot about design, structure, and gathering statistics. Check out the video Caine's Arcade; it is our inspiration.

In fifth and sixth grade we are wrapping up our Battle of the Brains submission. This is a contest the engineering firm, Burns & McDonnell sponsors every two years. The kids are designing an exhibit for Science City and the winner will be built in the museum. Two years ago the Middle School students had two entries in the top 10 and the eighth graders took second place! The kids have wonderful ideas and they have really worked hard. We are designing spaces that deal with Magnetism, Microorganisms, and garden bugs. I will post their submissions and videos soon.

In seventh and eighth grade we are also working on Battle of the Brains projects as well as our Language Arts curriculum. We have finished two book clubs already this year as well.

There is never a dull moment in Phyre. We have had a great first quarter. Enjoy the beautiful fall weather!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Good Luck and Good Bye to the Class of 2021!

The eighth graders had their last day of Phyre today. We have all been dreading it. There were plenty of tears, (mostly me) laughs, and shared memories. It is so difficult to say goodbye to students that I have watched grow up in this program, but I am excited to see them succeed in high school and beyond. They like to tease me and accuse me of having favorites, so today I gave them a list of my favorite students. Here is the list: (It is in Comic Sans because that is the eighth grader's favorite font;-)

Abby is my favorite because she is brave. She takes on new adventures with a positive attitude and tackles every new challenge with grace. She is a gifted storyteller and a good friend to all.

Alaina is my favorite because she is honest. She will tell you how she feels and her strong opinions and beliefs are an asset. She is also a voracious reader and has a kind heart.

Ashton is my favorite because she has faith. Her strong faith guides her and her life is a beautiful example to everyone she meets. She is also an amazing storyteller and her words are like music.

Claire is my favorite because she is fierce. She stands up for what she believes in and tells it like it is. She also has a clever sense of humor and even though she doesn’t put up with any nonsense, she wears her kind heart on her sleeve.

Connor is my favorite because he has a strong voice. Not just a literal strong voice, but his personality shines through in everything he does. He is a fun loving person, but he also works hard at everything he does.

Drake is my favorite because he is loyal. He is loyal to his friends, his family, and his community. I admire him for his service to others and his willingness to take on new challenges.

EJ is my favorite because he is dedicated. Don’t mistake his quiet demeanor for apathy. If he is passionate about something, he puts everything into it and that will serve him well in the future.

Evan is my favorite because he is a leader. His integrity, logic, and dedication make people look up to him and trust him. He may be a liberal in disguise (only time will tell), but no matter what, he leads with compassion and cares about others.

Gabby is favorite because she is clever. She doesn’t need to be the loudest one in the room to get her ideas across. She is a person that others will listen to because what she has to say is well thought and logical. She also has a great sense of humor and is wise beyond her years.

JR is my favorite because he takes risks. He sets high goals for himself and works hard to attain those goals. He has a path in mind for his future and he is well on his way to reaching his goals.

Landon is my favorite because he embraces the struggle. Whether it is running or problem-solving, he wants to succeed on his own and all his successes reflect hard work and perseverance.

Owen is my favorite because he draws people together. His sense of humor and charm create a fun atmosphere and you can’t help but smile when he tells a story. He is also a loyal friend and does what is right because he is confident in himself.

Tobin is my favorite because he strives for greatness. He will pour over a piece of writing one hundred times until he is satisfied with the results. He also sets goals for himself and holds himself to a high standard without making others around him feel inferior.

Tyler is my favorite because he is insightful. He can make a quiet observation that will make everyone around him stop and take notice. He is logical, yet compassionate to others.

Victoria is my favorite because she is creative. She loves good stories, fun artwork, and is an amazing artist herself. She is a friend that will brag about someone else’s successes before her own.

Zion is my favorite because he cares. Even though he says ten times a day that he doesn’t care, he does. He shows care in his writing and although he doesn’t like to admit it, he is kind.

Thank you for raising amazing children and sharing them with me in the Phyre program. They left the clubhouse today, but hopefully, they will carry the principles of life-long learning with them wherever they go. Here is the link to the memory video we watched today.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Katherine Independent Study

Sixth Grade Independent Study Presentations

Today was an amazing day in Phyre. This morning the sixth graders presented their Independent Study projects. This was a passion based learning project to celebrate the end of elementary school Phyre. I wanted the kids to really dig in to a topic that they felt strongly about. To be honest, I was getting a little worried. For the last few weeks, I felt like the kids were losing a little steam, but everyone rallied and I was very pleased with their presentations! Enjoy the presentations and feel free to leave positive comments.

Chase - Chase wrote a book that takes place in ancient Korea. It is about two brothers raised by their grandfather. One of the brothers turns evil and tries to take over the region. In this video, Chase is reading the exposition of his book.
Click here for presentation
The entire book is at the top of the blog.

Taliya and Corina learned American Sign Language and performed signs with a song. 

Madi researched and reported on different types of stars in the universe.
Click here for slides
Click here for presentation

Jake researched and reported on different types of motorcycle engines.
Click here for slides
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Caleb used Flip Pad to create an animation.
Click here for Storyboard  pg 2  pg 3  pg 4
Click here for video
Click here for presentation

Anna researched the elements of a song and composed a beautiful piece for piano. She created the song on Garageband on an ipad. The song is linked at the side of the blog.
Click here for presentation

Madison developed a line of greeting cards using Spirograph.
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Cooper researched and reported on the Northern Lights
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Brenden researched and reported on how to care for Koi fish.
Click here for slides
Click here for presentation

Jolyn learned French online.
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Mason researched and reported on the sport of boxing.
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Katherine wrote Harry Potter from the perspective of Hermione. The entire book is in a Flip Snack above.
Click here for presentation

Lawson researched and reported on unique geographic locations in the world.
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