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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Edible Atoms

In science today, we watched a brainpop video about atoms and then drew a diagram of an atom in our science journals.  Then students got to create edible atoms using marshmallows!

Cooperative Learning

     Students got to sign up for clock partners today!  This is a cool tool that allows students to partner up with four different students in our room and we will meet with those partners throughout the year, several times each week.  Two of the partners I chose for them based on their learning styles and inventories given during the first week of school.  The students got to choose two partners as well!  We will use our first clock partner tomorrow for a science/reading task where students will read and reflect.


This year, we are using the Scholastic resource called "Storyworks" and it is amazing!  It has a curriculum guide that explains what topics will be covered during each monthly issue and we will be getting them throughout the entire school year.  We are using it for our ELA block and it is directly linked to the KY Core Standards.  We got our first issue today!

Kickball at Recess

Today at recess, the kickball came out and boy did they have fun!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Excitement at Recess

This week during recess, there was a house being torn down across the street.  The kids were glued to the site!  I had to take a picture because it was just too cute and exciting!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Even and Odd Scavenger Hunt

Today during math we had an even and odd scavenger hunt where students worked with a partner to find different objects in the room that would be even or odd.

Morning Assembly Mini Lessons

This morning during our school morning assembly, Studio 214 presented a mini lesson with two presenters on how to use a couple Web 2.0 tools.  (Our spelling menu is what we do in place of a spelling packet each week.  It has ten-twelve options for students to complete and they choose one.  There are several options of technology applications for students to choose from.)  Briley presented his Voki (www.voki.com) and Cyrus presented his Blabberize (www.blabberize.com).  It cuts off at the end of Briley's presentation for some reason- I'm not sure what happened... :(  They did a great job speaking in front of so many people and I was so proud of them!

Paris led our class in a song that we use for a "brain break".  Research shows that if students focus for a few minutes and then take a break with movement, they will learn more and think more clearly.  Research also shows that when you move and cross your limbs across the center of your body to the opposite side, it activates different hemispheres of the brain and you think better also. (I LOVE brain research- I can't help it!)  This song is called "What-a-lee-acha" and it is silly, but it is funny and covers all the bases for taking a quick break and activating those hemispheres!


This morning during our reading centers at the AR station, I snapped a picture of Eston.  He looked very comfortable!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Exit Slips

A quick way that I check to see if students have mastered a target is through the use of an "exit slip".  We write our answers on a post it note and stick it on our Mind Map on our way out the door. 

We used one this morning to check understanding of writing numbers in standard form from word form.  Six students had mastered this concept, so during our math lesson, they were assigned a different task that was more difficult.  The rest of the class had another lesson using white boards, to practice this target.  By the end of the lesson, it was easy for me to see that I only had four students left out of the class that still needed more practice.  They got extra practice during RTI (our intervention time) this afternoon using IXL (an online math program) and I will give them another question tomorrow to see if they mastered it.

This is such an easy strategy to quickly see who has mastered a target and who needs a little more practice and doesn't require me grading a stack full of papers.

"Math Talk"

When I attended the Mickelson Academy in New York a couple of summers ago, one of our presenters was the author of a book about "Math Talks".  She discussed the importance of students sharing how they arrive at their math answers and how you can arrive many different ways and all the ways could be correct!  I love it because students can see there is more than one way to get the correct answer and it shows their understanding of a concept on a deeper level when you can hear their thinking!

Here is an example of one of our "math talks" from today when we were talking about writing numbers in different forms- from standard, word, and expanded.

Blog Reporter Week Two

Katelyn reported for us last week on things we learned and worked on in Studio 214!

Fourth Grade Service Projects

Service is very important to us fourth grade teachers and we have three projects we focus on throughout the fourth grade school year.  One is our school courtyard project which we completed last year.  We worked with the highschool FFA and local business members to create a school courtyard for all the students and staff at CCES to enjoy.  We volunteered to make sure the courtyard would be taken care of for the following years.  Yesterday, some students from each homeroom volunteered to help pull some weeds and they did a great job!

Another project we will work on is at Christmas.  At that time, we bring in canned goods and a dollar donation to give to a local charity to help those in need.  Our last service project is one the entire school participates in, we just manage it.  We collect the pop tabs to donate to the Ronald McDonald Organization that helps families with sick children by providing them a place to stay while their child is receiving treatment at a hospital.  We can learn so much by helping others!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Inference and Punctuation Stations

This week during our ELA block, we are working at stations and we will rotate through all of them before the week is finished.  The stations we have are: an inferencing station with "good fit" books where students will work with a partner and make inferences from the passage and from their schema, we have a station with me and we are working on making inferences as well, an AR station, a station on puncuation- tying into the four types of sentences, a sentence sort using the four types of sentences, and a non-fiction station where students are reading an article from a really great website with news for kids and answering some tough questions!  (www.teachkidsnews.com)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Mystery Boxes

In science yesterday, we began our discussion on properties of matter.  Students were given a mystery box and had to use the properties of matter to guess what was inside their box.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Week One Student Blog Report

Here is our first student blog report by Natalie from the first week of school!  She explained some of the main features of the week.  Stay tuned- we will have a reporter each week!

Solid, Liquid, and Gas Experiment

Here is a video of the matter experiement we completed today in Studio 214!

And another one...

Monday, August 13, 2012

Student Interviews

One of our introduction tasks was to interview a student and then introduce that student to the rest of the class.  We drew out sticks to get partners so it was a random draw.  It was really funny and I was shocked at how shy some of them were during this task!

First Week of School

The first week of school is finished and we all survived!  I sure was one tired teacher by Friday afternoon and I know I had some tired students!  Here is a picture from the first day of school and students were just coming into Studio 214 and getting their things settled and beginning their first assignment.  They had a welcome gift on their desk in the popcorn bags.  Students had a snack for the afternoon, a Studio 214 personalized pencil, and some other goodies.  It was a great week!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Science Experiment- Egg Drop

We did our first science experiment today- the egg drop!  (This was the first experiment I did in New York at the Mickelson Academy and loved it!)  We started with a teaser yesterday to get students to think about predictions and forming a hypothesis.  Today we conducted a mini-experiment in groups and then tested or educated hypothesis.  Here is what we discovered and it was a blast!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Touring Studio 214!

This is Studio 214- your child's classroom in fourth grade!  Let me tell you- I am so excited to begin the school year!  Here is a little tour of our "studio"...

This is our reading corner, located near the front of our classroom.  I have added magazines and newspapers to our classroom library this year for the students to enjoy!  We also have new seating.  It is still a work in progress, but will be ready soon.

These are some of our classroom jobs.  We have nine jobs in all, but some of them are jobs that are completed just once each week.  I have a "Stand-In" also in case we have anyone who is absent when they are supposed to complete a job.  The "On-Set Reporter" will be responsible for writing a report and recording it for our blog.

This poster is hanging by our reading corner.  I saw an example on Pinterest and loved what it said! 

This is our "Student of the Week" chair.  When a student has earned the honor, they will have the opportunity to sit in the chair during their week and they will keep the traveling trophy at their seat as well.


Rolling out the red carpet- for the "Back to School" night, we taped down red paper to mimic the red carpet in Hollywood.  I just love themes!


Here is our small group area- I made these crate seats this summer to use at our table and I'm going to use the inside of each seat for storage.  They were really simple to make!

We have a class pet, which is a fish.  His name is Regis.  He is a Beta fish and sits at our student computer station.  We are very fortunate to have four student computers at this station.  We will be using them a lot!

Each day, I post what we are learning on our "Now Learning" board.  It's located in the front of our classroom so it is easy to see throughout the day.


The drop box is located beside my desk and when students have a bus pass, Scholastic book order, or a note from a parent, they will place it here as soon as they come in our room and they're getting ready for the morning.


The Bully Box is a place for students to report bullying.  I made a sheet for them to complete- sometimes students want to say something, but they're scared to tell someone face-to-face.  We will have a lesson on this during the first week of school explaining what bullying is and how to handle the situation if they see it or it happens to them.

Director's Chair- The student who reports each week will report from the director's chair, unless they report "live on location" from a different area in the school.  It is a class job this year so every student will get the opportunity to report!  (Last year I just took volunteers, but I think all students should try it once, even if they get nervous being in front of the camera.)