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Sunday, October 23, 2011

SCHOOL OF ROCK on Black Out Friday!

Stay tuned for our second Black Out Friday theme- School of Rock! Fourth grade is finishing up a science unit on sound and our next unit is on the rock cycle, so we thought it would be very fitting to go with the theme of "School of Rock"! Our focus this Friday will be reviewing our sound unit by sharing some homemade instruments created by students, and we will visit our outdoor classroom to observe rocks in different stages of the rock cycle. We will be using our science notebooks to document our observations. We will also use our findings to inspire a piece of personal writing! (There is a great article and useful rubrics about this in the Science and Children magazine, November 2011, Volume 49, Number 3 issue) Check back to see what we've learned- we can't wait to share!

Student Visitor from Last Year!

Last week, Madison, a student who was in my homeroom last year, paid me a visit this week. She shared with our class what she recieved from President Obama! She had written the President during school last year and just this week, she received an official letter and picture from the White House, along with a picture of his dog, Bo! It was very exciting to see her response from the White House and I was so glad she brought it in to share with our class!

Our First Student of the Week- Elijah

Elijah is our first student of the week from Studio 214! This picture was taken of all three fourth grade students who earned student of the week this past Friday. Stay tuned each week for a picture of the fourth grade students who achieve this honor!

Did you notice the girl and boy's bike in the background? That is another behavior incentive to reward students "Caught Being Good". If students are seen doing random acts of kindness for others, their name is written on a ticket and placed into a drawing that will take place right before Christmas break. There is not a limit to how many times their names can be added to the drawing!

September Student of the Month

This past month's student of the month went to Hannah! Way to go, Hannah, and keep up the great work! Starting the third week of October, we will be participating in Student of the Week, as a school wide behavior incentive!

Students who earn Student of the Week will get to choose a prize from our class treasure chest and will be recognized at our morning assembly on Friday of each week. Parents and Guardians- you are welcome to join us during the morning assembly, starting at 7:25, to see your child recognized!

Author's Purpose

This week we have been discussing and writing using author's purpose: to persuade, to inform, and to entertain. During the beginning of the week, we used an awesome SMART Notebook that focused on Author's purpose and students came up to check their understanding of this concept. On Thursday and Friday, we used mini candy bars as props in a writing task. Students could choose any of the three author's purposes to create a writing piece about their candy bar. These writing pieces are outside our classroom, hanging in the hall. It is really neat to see the different perspectives the students took with their writing! If you are at school this week, come check them out!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Energy Play at CCES

Today we had a special treat- a school play! Here are a couple of video clips from today's performance- it was really funny!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Open House Parent Stations

This year at open house, we put the parents to work, with the help of their child! I wanted students to be able to demonstrate to their parents some of the learning targets they had mastered during the first nine weeks, so I set up stations for them to model just that!

We had several stations located around our classroom that focused on some of the areas that fourth grade is assessed. Some of our stations included writing friendly letters (parents had to write one to their child to leave on their desk to read after fall break), problem solving, Math Whiz, writing expanded, standard and word forms of numbers, sentence sorting, and using the clickers. After students led their parents through the stations, the parents reflected on their learning and experiences at open house, by using our clickers. It was awesome to see the students as they excitedly demonstrated what we had learned during the first few weeks of school!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Panther Football

Mr. Parson, Ryan, and I got to watch our first game of the season today and boy, they were great! The third and fourth grade boys won and they're on a winning streak- no losses all season! Way to go, Panthers- I'm proud of you! Keep up the good work on the field and in our classroom!

Our First Letters!

On Friday, we received our first letters from our Georgia pen pals! It was so exciting and was like Christmas in our classroom when we read them. The kids loved seeing how much they had in common with their pen pals and I love getting a letter from the other school's fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Tomekia Darrisaw too! Next week, before fall break, we will write them a friendly letter back!

Mind Map

Here is a snapshot of our mind map for this week. I was excited by the many things the students remembered from what we learned throughout this week!

Center of Gravity Experiment

This week we discussed the force of gravity and how it affects force in general. We read the book, "The Man Who Walked Between the Towers" by Mordicai Gerstein. It's a true story about a man who walked between the twin towers on a thin wire in 1974. He was arrested and his punishment was to perform for kids at a local park.

After we read our book, we completed a center of gravity experiment where the students discussed which shapes and placements of the pins would create a center of gravity so the objects would be balanced.

Stations on Black Out Day

Here are some of the stations we completed on Black Out Day:

* Multiplication Station- Students created arrays using stickers and construction paper. Then they played Multiplication War with a partner in their group using playing cards.

* Scavenger Hunt- Students solved multi-step word problems to get a clue for their next problem. Then they solved six problems before they found the treasure!

* Math Spy Guys- Students solved word problems from the Math Spy Guys website (I printed them off before class since we could not use technology) and then they wrote one question as a group. It had to have more than one step. They wrote their problem on the window using window markers and we will solve them in class next week!