Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Back Home in Sour Lake, Texas

Flat Stanley is back in Texas and arrived in his envelope in Ms. Doris Long's class. They think he smelled like Holland. While he was away, Mrs. Long taught the 3rd graders about poetry.

In this video, the kids of Sour Lake Elementary read some of their poems about Flat Stanley. Writing poems and finding the right words for different kinds of poems is not easy. Listen to the poems in the video Mrs. Long made.

Ode to Flat Stanley
The poems talked about Flat Stanley being too light, too thin and flying away. Here is a picture you did not see before because we did not want you to worry. Flat Stanley was too light, his scarf was too heavy and he flew off of the fence in Holland.

Oh Sour Lake Elementary
Thank you for the thank yous, little Hawks and Mrs. Long! I LOVE LOVE LOVE your sweet video and your fabulous, creative, silly, funny, wonderful poems. You made me cry. Today is my birthday and your video was a beautiful surprise and gift.

Some day, I hope you get to visit Holland and travel to all the places Flat Stanley has seen around the world. Keep writing.

From Avery's Aunt Tammie

Friday, January 27, 2012

Just One More Song

While I am on the way, my Texas friends have time to learn one more song.
We can sing and dance to this Dutch song. You can practice at home, too.

I love it. Let's try it.

Watch the video in Dutch. Can you understand the song?
Try to guess the words before you use the translator.

In English the words sounds like:
Leaf kline koh-nine-chuh had ain fleegh-juh op zine noose
En high zoom-duh hain en veer

Lyrics in Dutch to Lief klein konijntje

Lief klein konijntje had een vliegje op zijn neus
Lief klein konijntje had een vliegje op zijn neus
Lief klein konijntje had een vliegje op zijn neus
En hij zoemde heen en weer

Oh lief klein konijntje
Oh lief klein konijntje
Oh lief klein konijntje
Had een vliegje op zijn neus

Copy this Dutch song and put it in the translator to find the words in English. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Not Going to Cry, Not Going to Cry

Here is my last run to the big red Dutch mailbox. I couldn't see much. It was cold and raining. It was a crazy bumpy trip because Adam, Joshe and Julius were playing soccer on the way to the mailbox.

When they dropped me inside the mailbox, I tried to yell my loudest "Tot Ziens" or "Doie" (pronounced tot zeens and dewey). I hope they heard me. Good Bye guys and thanks for showing me around.

I waited for the mail person. It was quiet, dark and I felt alone and a little scared. I was so happy that my host family let me take my red scarf back to Texas. My scarf kept me warm the whole trip.

I decided to sleep and dream about my adventures in Holland. I also thought about meeting Avery and my 3rd grade friends at Sour Lake Elementary again.

Good night Holland and see you soon Texas.

Saying Good Bye to Holland

On my last day in Holland, I played with some of my new buddies that I met at school. This is Joshe, Adam and Julius. They were sad to hear it was my last day. 

Joshe asked: 
Will Stanley ride in the airplane tonight? 
How long will it take for him to get to Texas? 
Who does he live with?

Such curious boys. Maybe my new school friends from Holland can send a Flat Stanley like me to Sour Lake Elementary. I will miss these guys. 

Texas Here I Come

Today is Thursday, January 26, 2012. I should be picked up at 5:00pm by the Dutch mail person. 

How long will it take for me to get from Vleuten, the Netherlands to Sour Lake, Texas? 

Mrs. Long's 3rd grade class can give the answer in the comment box below when I arrive.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Learning a Dutch song

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes
One of my favorite songs is Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes. Adam and my host family helped me learn the whole song in Dutch. 

When I get back to Texas, I can help Avery and her 3rd grade class sing this song in Dutch. The words are on the wall behind Adam. Let's practice.

The words sound like:
Hoaft, Shkouders, Kuh Nee en Tain.
Hoaft, Shkouders, Kuh Nee en Tain.
Oar ren, Oh ghun, Pun chuh vun yuh noose.
Hoaft, Shkouders, Kuh Nee en Tain.

Inside the Dutch classroom

From the front of class, I could see all the kids. This was my view all morning at school. 

Juf Neenke put a magnet on my belly so I could see the kids and the school day's schedule. Dutch kids do not go to school on Wednesday and Friday after lunch. We could go home at 12:30.

What did I learn today? It's on the board above my head.

Click on the picture and make it bigger.

No Fighting, No Shouting and No Bullying
The students in this school also get lessons about Respect, Responsibility, and Working Together. They learn how to understand their own feelings and to respect the feelings of their classmates.

Instead of fighting, shouting or bullying, these 2nd graders know how to communicate with each other to solve conflicts. They are taught that they always have a choice. They can decide how to solve things.

I felt very safe with my new friends.

Backpacking to school on the bike

I rode in Adam's backpack to his school. Adam was very careful on his bike with all the traffic, people, bikes and cars. I didn't see how dangerous this was because I was inside the backpack with the school snacks.

Adam is Avery's cousin, he is 8 years old and in Group 4. His school has a really long name: Vleuterweide Openbaar Basisschool or Vleuterweide Public Elementary School.

See more about Vleuterweide Openbaar Basisschool (in Dutch only)

Adam's teacher is Juf Neenke (YUF Nain Kah) and she was happy to have me in class today. She is a kind and strict teacher. Just what an 8 year old boy needs.

She introduced me to Adam's Group 4 classmates. I think this is like 2nd grade. I felt very proud, special and lucky to be doing this project and spending the day in a real school in Holland.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Where is Flat Stanley?

Can you guess where I am from the pictures? Sometimes I am hard to find, like Waldo.

Look closer at this picture. What kind of soup do Dutch people eat?

I saw all the names in Dutch like: pompoensoep, kippensoep, tomatensoep, mexicaanse maissoep, groentesoep and erwtensoep.

Type in the Dutch soup names to learn the soup names in English.

Click the picture to make it bigger and find Flat Stanley.

For breakfast, Dutch children usually eat bread with cheese or chocolate sprinkles or chocolate spread. They do not eat cereal very often. These are the only cereals to choose from.

Can you see any familiar looking cereal boxes? 

Click the picture to make it bigger and find Flat Stanley.

Did you guess where Flat Stanley is yet? Yes, he is at the supermarket.

This doesn't look like Kroger, H-E-B or B&B in Sour Lake, Texas. Holland has smaller and different kinds of grocery stores with names like Albert Heijn, Super de Boer, Jumbo and this one called Plus.

In this picture I am with the cheese slicers. All those big orange wheels are Dutch cheese. Dutch people eat a lot of cheese, sometimes for both breakfast and lunch on bread.

These two Plus supermarket helpers took a picture with me and helped me cut the cheese. The lady on the right is not sleeping. She is really good at cutting cheese and laughing at my jokes.

Riding the train

My name may be Flat Stanley, but in Holland I also feel like Short and Small Stanley. Here is a picture of me riding in the train to Utrecht. Look at me in this giant chair.

Everybody seems so tall here, both ladies and gentlemen. I have seen the biggest castle, the tallest bridge and perhaps the tallest people in the world.

Help me:
Am I so small or are Dutch people really tall?
Find the answer

Crossing the Erasmus Bridge

The Erasmus Bridge is one of the most famous and beautiful bridges in the Netherlands. "Erasmusbrug" is a draw bridge and allows giant cargo ships to move through the port of Rotterdam. 

Erasmus Bridge is the longest cable-stayed bridge in the world. The bridge is 139 meters tall making it the tallest Dutch bridge. 

Help me:
How tall is 139 meters if we make that into feet? 

Can you think of the animal nickname of the tall, white Erasmus Bridge?

Can you find out when the bridge opened?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Giving the Sunset a High Five

High five to the Dutch sunset. I think I will sleep good tonight. Tomorrow I may go to school and learn a few words. I heard that my name in Dutch is PLATTE Stanley (sounds like PLOT).

Sometimes, well, I wish I wasn't so plat, plot or flat. Today, the wind almost blew me in the canal three times during my photo shoots. I had to hold on tight to my blue wooden shoes. Thankfully, my scarf is sewn on.

It's bed time here. Good night to Avery and my friends in Texas.

Help me:
Texas and Holland do not have the same time? How many hours ahead of Texas is this country?
Find the answer

Searching for a windmill

I searched for a windmill on my first day. I met these three girls on bikes. They thought I was cute and wanted to take a picture with me.

Behind the girls is a windmill, but it does not have any blades. What? It was getting an extreme windmill makeover. We will have to find another windmill. That shouldn't be hard.

Help me:
What are Dutch windmills used for?
Find the answer

Castle de Haar

My first trip was to Castle de Haar (sounds like HARD without the D). Every few months, the castle has special days for kids like me. For fun you can dress up for Elf Day, Knight and Princess Day and Troll Day.

Learn more: Troll Day

Castle de Haar is the biggest castle in the Netherlands. It has more than 200 rooms inside. I didn't go inside or I might have been lost forever.

Learn more: Castle de Haar

Biking in Holland

I heard it was 5 degrees celsius today. That sounds cold to me. I put on some wooden shoes for a bike ride. Happy to have my new scarf, too.

Help me:
How cold is 5 degrees celsius if we change that to fahrenheit like the temperature in Texas?
Find the answer

Lots of people ride bikes here. I saw more bicycles than cars. I saw moms with babies on bikes, people with groceries on bikes, kids riding to school and home on bikes.

Help me:
I wonder how many bikes there are in the Netherlands?
Find the answer

My Name is Flat Stanley

My name is Flat Stanley. I am from Sour Lake, Texas. My friend Avery sent me to Holland for a school project.

I came dressed in my best clothes. But, when I arrived it was colder than Texas. My host family made me put on a red scarf.

Today I started my big adventure visiting another country. I am a little bit nervous to do this all by myself. I miss Avery and hope she can come with me next time.

Arriving in Holland

I am Flat Stanley. I arrived in Holland today. I really needed to stretch my arms and legs. The family dog found me first. He is a dachshund named Gumbo. He likes the way I smell.