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A Birthday Surprise … for the BATTALION BLOGGERS?!?

Posted by on June 3, 2014
Ross's blog turned TWO! Instead of RECEIVING gifts ... he offered up a CHALLENGE! Photo used with permission from Ross Mannell

Ross’s blog turned TWO! Instead of RECEIVING gifts … he offered up a CHALLENGE!
Photo used with permission from Ross Mannell

On May 22, Ross’s Extended Comments Blog turned TWO! Instead of receiving gifts for this celebration, Ross gave every class that follows his blog a chance to win a stuffie by trying to name the koala and the kangaroo pictured above! We all had until May 29th at 11:59 pm.

This morning, Mrs. Renton made a funny face … smirking like a cat that had swallowed the canary … because she was hiding a great BIG secret! We were ALL asking what the SMIRK was for … and SHE made us GUESS! It DIDN’T take us very long … and when we discovered that Ross had chosen our suggestion for the kangaroo and it’s baby … we were OVER the MOON!

Ross … we KNEW this was going to be a LONG comment … and we REALLY wanted to add some pictures … so … we have STOLEN a page from YOUR book and we are writing an EXTENDED Comment BLOG Post! Tee hee hee!

We were ECSTATIC when we heard that the Grade Fours helped you pick our names for the kangaroo and its baby … BOXER and ROO! We are SO excited that Boxer and Roo are coming to Canada to live with US and the future Grade Threes. We SURE hope that THEY are excited TOO! We hope they don’t have a bumpy ride!

Our FIRST look at Boxer and Roo! We are SO excited! Photo shared with permission from Ross Mannell.

Our FIRST look at Boxer and Roo! We are SO excited!
Photo used with permission from Ross Mannell.

The other classes had GREAT suggestions for names ALSO! We thought Eucy was great because Koalas eat eucalyptus leaves! Didge was also awesome because it is Australian. About 1/3 of our class had heard of the didgeridoo … so we looked it up on Google! A didgeridoo is much LARGER than we thought … and we LOVED the sound of it. Mrs. Renton has a CD called Outback … it has the didgeridoo on it … so we will spend some time listening to it because we really liked the sound.

Three classes contributed! The third class that gave name suggestions didn’t win the koala or the kangaroo.  We loved their suggestions and we LOVED how you decided to send Pepper Possum along to live with them. You’re right! He would have been VERY lonely without Boxer, Roo and Eucy!

Ross, we have learned SO much with you this past year! We decided to … ADOPT A BILBY for YOU! We RACKED our BRAINS trying to think of something special that WE could do for YOU because you have been our special teacher on the other side of the world! In one of your video links the zoo keeper said that, instead of giving her family chocolates or other presents, she adopts bilbies for them! All the money from the adoption goes toward saving bilbies. Why is THIS important? Because, through you, we have discovered that bilbies are ENDANGERED in Australia! 🙁

The Sydney Zoo, in Australia, has a very special program that allows you to adopt a bilby to help PROTECT them from extinction.

The Sydney Zoo, in Australia, has a very special program that allows you to adopt a bilby to help PROTECT them from extinction.

This makes us VERY sad … but … because of you we have discovered a way to HELP … and a way to do something SPECIAL for YOU … our OTHER teacher! 🙂

Unlike Boxer and Roo, the bilby we have adopted for you DOESN’T get to come and LIVE with you!!! But, you WILL get an Animal pack that will contain:

  • Membership Certificate
  • Animal Fact Sheet
  • Personalised Letter
  • WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo Discount Pass
  • Colour Photo
  • Sticker

And … our gift to you will ALSO help to protect AND restore the bilby population!

June 24, 2014

An AWESOME package arrived for us yesterday! Ross, we had SO much fun opening our package and discovering all the treasures inside! We want you to know that Boxer, Roo and all the other special treasures arrived safely! We promise to take VERY good care of EVERYTHING! We ADORED the photo of the bilby we adopted for you and have our fingers crossed for ALL bilbies! Thank you SO much for being SUCH an inspiration for us this year – you have truly helped to stretch our learning in SO many ways! Here is a little slideshow of us discovering just what was INSIDE our awesome package:

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Thank you for EVERYTHING you have done for us this year, Ross … and for taking GOOD care of the Battalion Bloggers, and their learning, for the past THREE years!

4 Responses to A Birthday Surprise … for the BATTALION BLOGGERS?!?

  1. Ross Mannell

    Hello Battalion Bloggers,

    The last few weeks have been ones full of activity. I now have four filming projects underway with a multi-school music camp DVD to be finished this weekend and a 2 day biological survey, a community choir presenting ‘Olivet to Calvary” at a local church and ANZAC Day (like a veterans’ day) from four towns still to be completed. Add to this my role as President of my local school’s Parents and Citizens Association and my blog’s birthday and you can see so much has to be done yet I wouldn’t have it any other way. Being involved in ways you can help others is far more rewarding than money can be. Smiles and thanks are my salary.

    I’ve always been a little strange about birthdays since I became a teacher. I enjoy giving but never expect anything in return. My gifts come from the enjoyment others find yet your class came up with an idea for a gift I treasure, that is, adoption of a bilby.

    Guess what? As I was preparing the birthday packages for sending, an envelope arrived containing
    • Membership Certificate
    • Animal Fact Sheet
    • Personalised Letter
    • WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo Discount Pass
    • Colour Photo
    • Stickers

    While I will keep the membership certificate and personalised letter to show others the thoughtful gift and hold on to the discount pass in the hope I have a chance to visit the bilbies, I thought you might like a copy of the colour photo I have made, the bilby fact sheet and stickers included in the package. You will find them coming with Boxer and Roo.

    I enjoyed finding you have heard the didgeridoo. Did you know traditional lore tells us it is only to be played by men? I know when someone wanted a new didgeridoo, they searched for tree branches where the centres have been eaten out by termites. After cutting the branch, they clean it up and add beeswax (I think) for the mouthpart. The didgeridoo can then be decorated.

    I find the hardest part is making the sound. You have to “blow raspberries” and learn how to continue blowing while taking a breath. How? You have your mouth full of air and push air out using your cheeks as you breath in. I haven’t been able to do this but, like many things in life, practise is needed.

    You can make sounds with any tube if you wish to try. Not being traditional didgeridoos, boys and girls can try. I remember one student who could play a vacuum cleaner hose. 🙂

    With the blog’s second birthday out of the way, the blog’s next big day will come when I make the 200th post. It will be some time this year but I don’t know when because I never know in advance when a post will be written.

    Learning in life can never stop if we keep our minds and eyes open. There can always be another post to write just around the corner.

    Ross Mannell
    Teacher (retired), N.S.W., Australia

    • Amy

      Hi Ross!

      I`m one of the battalion bloggers! I just want to say you`re awesome happy 2nd birthday to your blog.

      Love Amy

  2. Ross Mannell

    Hello Battalion Bloggers,

    Boxer and Roo look happy to be in their new home. They had the longest journey of the blog friends. Now all have made it and just in time. You will be on summer vacation very soon, Mrs. Yollis’s class has already started their vacation, and 4A/4B from Barwon Heads will start their mid-year winter vacation this weekend.

    I have a small quote to share with you. It comes from a man who was a teacher, academic and politician in U.S.A…

    “I saw as a teacher how, if you take that spark of learning that those children have, and you ignite it, you can take a child from any background to a lifetime of creativity and accomplishment.”
    Paul Wellstone (1944-2002)

    Seeing the wonderful experiences you have shared through blogging, your spark has ignited a bright light of learning and an understanding of people in many lands. We should never lose that light within us for learning is not something we only do in a class or at a school, it’s a lifelong journey of learning, sharing, and teaching. We are all students and teachers if we keep our eyes and minds open to the world around us and share what we learn.

    I hope you have a wonderful summer vacation and, when you return to a new class, you continue to share your experiences and learning adventure with others. A person who knows all there is to know has little value in their knowledge unless they share it and use it to help others.

    Ross Mannell
    Teacher (retired), N.S.W., Australia

  3. Hilary

    Hi Mrs Renton

    It is Hilary!!! Miss me? I miss you!!! ;( It feels forever even thoe it’s only one day!!! But I’ll live!!! Well maybe!!!

    (Hilary)

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