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Monday, November 28, 2011

Book Talk- Hannah

Hannah just finished reading the new book from Scholastic called "Pie" and was written by Sarah Weeks. It is a very suspensful book with a surprise twist! She just couldn't put it down and read it in a couple of days! I'm going to add this one to my list of must reads!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Story Web

In reading we have been learning about story structure and how that relates to fiction stories. For our totally hands-on Tuesday, we created a story web where students had to add to our story piece by piece. When a student added a piece to our story, they threw the yarn ball to that person and hung on to the string. Our story got a little silly with all the zombies that came into the mix, but it was fun and great to see the rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution coming to life through their imaginations!

Write Chats

Write chats (or sometimes called Placemat Concensus) is a great way for students to write each other notes in class, without getting in trouble, and discussing topics related to what we are learning in class! Take a poster and write the topic in the center and then let them write away! They can respond to each other's writing and even add new questions to ask each other as long as it is focused on the topic. It's also very quiet, because they have to complete the task without talking! We completed this write chat on Thanksgiving Traditions since we were getting ready to get out of school for our Thanksgiving Holiday Break!

Science Journals

Take a look at our table of contents for our science journals! As you can see, we are working hard and documenting our findings and wonderings in our science and math journals. By keeping a table of contents in our journals, it makes it really easy to find certain topics! A special thanks goes to Cameron for sharing his journal with us!

Edible Soil

On our Totally Hands-On Tuesday, we created edible soil to go along with what we have studied recently in science. We finished up Science Court yesterday and have been discussing the layers of soil, with bedrock being on the bottom, then subsoil, and then humus. Here are some pics from our edible layers and we added a few worms as well!

If you would like to make this at home, we used graham crackers as the bedrock, pudding as the subsoil, and crumbled oreos as the humus. We used gummy worms for the worms on top and we discussed how worms provide nutrients to the humus.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Book Talk- Zoe

Zoe did a book talk on the book, "Diary of a Wimpy Kid- Rodrick Rules". Read this book- it's great!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Soil Experiment

We conducted a soil experiment today after learning about the layers of the soil. In the containers above we had the substances of clay, sand, and humus soil. We drew the layers in our science journals and discussed how the bedrock is the bottom layer, with subsoil on top of that. Then we have top soil and humus. Humus is made of decaying plants and animals and contains lots of nutrients for the plants to grow. We discussed which type of substance would be the best to grow plants.

Next week, we are going to create edible layers to eat with worms (gummy, of course)!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Student of the Week- Savannah

This weeks Student of the Week goes to Savannah! Whoo Whoo!

Weathering and Erosion Experiment

This is what we observed after leaving our experiment out for a few days. The mountain started to crack where the sand was stuck, demonstrating what happens with weathering.

This week we have been discussing weathering and erosion. It takes hundreds of years to see the effects of weathering and erosion, but we did a speedy version in class using clay, sand, water, and "wind". The wind got a little slobbery, but it still worked! lol

Are there any places around your home that you can find to identify the effects of weathering and erosion?

Rock Cycle Song


Here is a link for the rock cycle song we are working on in class. It goes through the complete rock cycle and is sung to the tune of Row, Row, Row Your Boat!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Literacy Circles

We have finally started literacy circles after many inventories and tests! We have six different groups and each group gave themselves a name and they are pretty funny! There is everything from the "Spy Kids" to "Wimpy Kids" inspired from the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. Each student in the group has a job and their jobs change on a weekly basis. They take turns reading in their groups. The books they are reading are based on their interest inventories, so I hope they enjoy reading together!

Student of the Week- Chelsea

For the week of November 7-11, our student of the week was Chelsea! Thank you, Chelsea, for being such a model star in Studio 214!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Proficient and Distinguished Award Students

The picture above was last year's fourth grade students! Way to go!

The picture above is this year's fourth grade students!

Last week, students at CCES were recognized for scoring proficient or distinguished on last year's Kentucky Core Content State Test. We were all so proud of their hard work! Way to go, CCES Panthers!

Traffic is Picking Up On Our Blog!

Traffic on our class blog is picking up- check out those stats! I try to keep it updated as much as possible with new pics, strategies, and information every week. Thank you and stay tuned to Studio 214!

Student Reflection

As one form of reflection, we use this system, where students place their numbered star on one of the three posters hanging by our door. The posters are labeled "lights, camera, action" because we have a movie theme going on in Studio 214, but in the top corner of each poster, there is a 3, 2, 1, which stands for our levels of learning. The 3 stands for mastery, the 2 means developing, and the 1 stands for basic understanding. This is our grading system this year on all our learning targets as well. It's great feedback for me to be able to see how students feel they are doing on a target and if a student feels they do not understand a concept very well, I can reteach the topic during our RTI time in the afternoon. Quick and meaningful feedback!

"School of Rock" Instrument Pics

From our recent "School of Rock" day, here are some pics of some of the instruments students created during our unit on sound!

Veteran's Day

On November 11, 2011, Studio 214 discussed the reason we celebrate Veteran's Day and students shared with our class stories from their family and friends who have served in the military. Students worked in groups to come up with special thank you videos to share with our veterans and also created thank you cards. Some students in our class did not know a veteran personally, so I am going to send their cards to Fort Rucker, Alabama, where my brother-in-law is stationed, along with my sister, Laura, and their two children, Will and Nita. He is a pilot in the U.S. Army and I'm very thankful for their dedication, sacrifice, and service to our country along with all the other soldiers serving! Here are a couple of pictures and I'm using Windows Movie Maker to create the video and it's coming soon!


One of my students created this word cloud for me and I love it! We have used Wordle this year on our spelling menu so students can practice their weekly spelling words. Hannah included all the names of the students in Studio 214 and to make the other words bigger on the cloud, she had to type them several times. It made my day to get this- I'm going to hang it on my desk! If you have never used wordle before- check it out at http://www.wordle.net/ (it's free to use)!

Multiples and Venn Diagrams

After viewing work from our last "black-out day", I could tell that many students had not mastered the concept of multiples, especially not comparing multiples of different factors. We completed this whole group task to review the material again. Each student had a multiple and we decided together which area of the Venn Diagram the multiple would be placed and students were given the opportunity to reason out loud and discuss why they thought their multiple would go in a certain section of the diagram. Our headings for the diagram were the factors of 2 and 3. If the number was a multiple of both factors, students placed their card in the center and if it was a multiple of neither, we placed it to the side. We used hula hoops for our Venn Diagram and completed this task in the hall since we didn't have enough space in our classroom.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Student of the Week- Skylar

Congratulations to Skylar for being this week's "Student of the Week" from Studio 214!

Story Structure Chant

We borrowed this idea from another class and it has really helped us learn the parts of story structure. There are movements for every part and Studio 214 does it well! Story structure includes: Exposition (characters, setting, problem), Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Conservation Poster Winners

Our school participated in our first Conservation Poster contest for the year a couple of weeks ago and the winners have been announced by the conservation office judges!

Parent Volunteer

We recently had a special visit from a parent volunteer who brought in sea shells from a vacation. We are currently studying Earth Materials in science, so it was cool for our class to be able to make observations of the shells and discuss why they were shaped differently and have different textures. Students were each given a shell to take home with them. Thank you, Ms. Dawn, for visiting Studio 214!

Student Reflection

I believe student reflection is very important (and so is teacher reflection, but that is besides the point). I borrowed this idea from a fellow teacher at another school and students reflect as they are leaving our room by placing their numbered star on the posters that are labeled 3, 2, or 1. The three stands for mastery, 2 is developing, and 1 is basic. Students are familiar with this terminology because this is how we rate each learning target on unit assessments. Here is a picture from our very first reflection completed this way, which occurred a few weeks ago. It's a quick way for me to see who feels they need more instruction and those that feel they have mastered that concept and they are ready to move on.

Science and Creative Writing Pieces

It doesn't seem like these two things could go together, but they do, and it's really fun to create! In a recent article from "Science and Children", I found a great graphic organizer that helps guide students through the process of how to write creative pieces and to include knowledge learned from science content we've recently studied.

We completed this task recently, and students worked with their twelve o'clock "clock partners" to collaboratively write their story. These writing were very interesting and it was funny to see how students incorporated their science knowledge into their writing pieces. I hope to get an audio sample of writing from Studio 214 on here soon from this project!

The Sound of Music

No, I'm not talking about the musical! Students created their own instruments as an at-home project, with the purpose being to get a hands-on understanding that sound is created through vibrations. It was amazing to see what they created, using what they had laying around their homes! Good job, Studio 214!

Student of the Week- Colby

Our student of the week for the last week of October goes to Colby!

Clock Partners

We use clock partners as a way students can work with partners other than the people they sit with on a daily basis. These partners can be chosen for them, or they can pick the partners themselves. I let them pick themselves, because I find it is more motivating for them to be able to pick their own partners.