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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

March 28, 2012- Blog Reporter Studio 214

Savannah is reporting on the highlights from Studio 214 from the past couple of weeks. Some of these including using the microscopes, learning about text structures with comparing and contrasting, fraction centers, and the Myth Busters live event we watched on the internet, discussing how science is everywhere!

Osprey Web Cam at Lake Barkley, KY

Fourth grade is watching the Osprey Web Cam located at Lake Barkley. This is a camera that is focused on a nest where some Osprey birds are getting ready to lay some eggs. We have created a KWL chart in our science and math journals about the bird and we are compelting an observation chart, watching for changes that occur at the nest. After spring break, we will be studying bird adaptations, so this goes right along with what we are already studying and tey are able to view an actual nest in the state of Kentucky.

If you would like to view the nest, you can visit the site below:


Parking Lot

At a professional development last year, we had a "Parking Lot" hanging on the wall where people at the meeting could place questions if they did not want to ask them in front of the entire audience. I decided to use this in our classroom. We use it for a couple of different things. Every morning when students come in, they have a bell ringer posted on the Smart Board and it's usually a review math question because that is our first subject each day. It's a great formative assessment tool for me, because I can quickly see who has mastered yesterday's content and who needs some more guided instruction. The second way we use the parking lot is for students to ask questions they have about anything we've talked about during the day that they don't want to ask in front of the class. There have been a lot of great questions asked so far and it has sparked some great conversations!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Breakfast Book Club

These four students are participating in a breakfast book club at CCES. Fourth and fifth grade students who were interested in being in the book club, completed an application and explained why they wanted to participate. There were many applicants, but only eight slots were available. The breakfast club meets together on Friday of each week before school to discuss the pages they read and to get their next assignment for reading. They can also eat breakfast together during this time also. The first book they are reading is "Dolphin Tale" by Gabrielle Reyes and they get to keep all the books they read together!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Plant and Animal Cells

This morning we used our hand-held microscopes to look at plant and animal cells and it was so cool! We could actually see the ribosomes and the cell membranes on some of the cells on the disks! The microscopes can magnify an object by 30 so it's a great tool to use to look at small particles! To hear the discussions and their reactions of what they were seeing for the first time was amazing- I love my job!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

CCES Courtyard Project is Almost Here!


Spring has begun and we are preparing this week to begin demolition for the courtyard area at our school that fourth grade will be planting along with the help of Mr. Willen's high school Ag classes at CCHS! Ms. Wanda Gilbert from the Conservation Office is also going to be providing some guest speakers for the project throughout the project. Ms. Sue Elise Flowers has also been helping with the project also by helping us write some grants!

We are working to create a courtyard area at our CCES where all students can have class or enjoy snack. The highschool class will be preparing the area over the next few days by removing unwanted weeds and we are going to be measuring the area as we begin our measurement unit in math next week. We will also be discussing proper planting, plant conservation, and plant life as we study about plants and animals in our current science unit. The landscaping class at the high school is going to design the garden and we are going to purchase as many plants as possible for our high school green house. We will also be purchasing some benches from Coach Price's woodworking class at CCHS. We would eventually like to add some art work and sculptures to the area as well. We are so excited to get this project started!

We would like to say a special thanks to our donars: Citizens Bank, Cumberland County Conservation District Office, the Clorox Company Foundation and FRYSC

Adding Fractions with Unlike Denominators

In math today, our learning target was adding fractions with unlike denominators. Check out a couple of students who explained to the class how to do this after they mastered the target this morning. This is a completely new standard to fourth grade this year with our Kentucky Core Standards replacing the KCCT Standards. I am so proud of them! Keep up the good work, Studio 214!

March Madness Hands-On Day

We our recent hands-on day was a success! We worked at stations that focused on fractions and text features. We were able to have two technology stations, one with computers where students used games from http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/ and an iPod station, where we had three fraction apps downloaded for them to choose from that morning. The stations were fun but challenging! Later on in the day, we completed some partner reading in science and used a Venn diagram to compare plant and animal cells. There were some great conversations!

United States Map Games

Here are several games to practice where each state is located in the United States along with identifying their names! Have fun practicing! Our test retakes will be on Thursday of this week.





Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March 8 and 9- Blog Reporter Studio 214

Hannah reported on Thursday and Friday's events and tasks! We conducted a science experiment on reflection and refraction. We also went to an awesome play at the middle school, had AR Bowling, and starting converting improper fractions to mixed numbers. In writing, we have started creating a new poem that we will present in a couple of weeks to some very special people!

March 12-13- Blog Reporter Studio 214

Morgan reported for us on things we have completed and covered on March 12-March 13. Some interesting things include: Tri-County Electricity Demonstration, Book Swap, and wrapping up PAS testing for reading, math, and science. Lots of exciting things are happening in Studio 214!

Tri-County Electric Company

This week we were fortunate this week to have Tri-County Electric come to do a presentation for the fourth grade on electricity safety. They brought a huge piece of equipment to use during the presentation. The video below is of the first demonstration they completed and it scared me to death!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Reflection and Refraction Science Experiement

Friday before we left for our mini field trip, we completed a science experiement with mirrors. We finished our discussion on prisms and why we see all the colors. We also discussed what happens when all the colors mix together. We used the mirrors to check for lines of symmetry on different objects and shapes.

Lexington Children's Theater

Friday morning, we were able to attend a performance at the Cumberland County Middle School. The Lexington Children's Theater came and performed "Sacagawea" and it was so good! I've never seen fourth grade students be so still for so long! The play was educational and very entertaining! We attended the performance as a culmination of our last reading unit on plays and poetry. When we returned to school, we completed a reflection task, and I can honestly say that we all learned something new from watching the performance!

AR Bowling

Friday afternoon, we got to go bowling in Burkesville for reaching our third AR goals. We were so lucky because our bowling time happened to be during the UK game! We had so much fun!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Partner Reading with Non-fiction Text

Today we completed a partner task using non-fiction materials tied to what we have been studying in science. Students were given seven choices of books they could read with their partner and they completed a chart together. Students had to begin their reflections with one of four starters and then they had to make some type of text-to-self or text-to-world connection.

Just Passing Through Experiment

We conducted an experiment to test whether everyday objects were transluscent, transparent, or opaque. We used a flash light and several objects from our tool kits. The results are in- check your child's science journals to see what we discovered!

March 7- Student Blog Reporter Studio 214

Lauren reported for us about today's targets and tasks!

March 1- Student Blog Reporter Studio 214

Lakota reported about the tasks we completed on March 1, 2012, which included math targets focusing on fractions. We had an introduction to improper fractions as well. We took the United States region test over the midwest region. We had a review in math over Part A fractions and used white boards. We got ten BAMs and got a ten stick. It was a great day!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Fraction of a Set Hands-On Task

This morning our learning target in math was to decompose fractions. What in the world is decomposing a fraction? Well, the students had to find the fraction of a given set. If they were given the number twelve, they had to find what would be 2/3 of twelve be?

I love using methods from the Van de Wall resource book, where students are encouraged to discover how to solve problems and concepts- they are not just taught an algorithm to apply to problems. Students were given a problem this morning and they solved it with their think-pair-share partner using counters. I was very impressed with their thinking! The great thing about learning concepts in this manner is that each student can discover their own way of solving the problem and still be correct. When we have those discussions in class with our group members, students can learn new ways of thinking!

Kicking off Literacy Week

Mr. Hurt, Cumberland County School District Superintendent, visited CCES this morning to read a book during our morning assembly to kick of Literacy Week! He read "Where the Wild Things Are" which is a classic. Your child has a letter about our theme each day for this week, but just in case you have not seen it yet:
Tuesday- Pajama Day
Wednesday- Color Day- Wear Green
Thursday- Crazy Sock Day
Friday- Hat Day

There is also a letter explaining a "Book Swap" which will take place on Friday- it's a great way to get new books to read and enjoy at no cost! Stayed tuned this week for pictures, more book talks recorded by students of their favorite books this year, and posts from exciting things happening at CCES for Literacy Week!