Enter your email address in the box below to receive email updates when new pictures, videos, or articles are added to our class blog!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Georgia Pen Pals

We received our first letters this week from our pen pals and we were so excited!  Our pen pals go to school in Hephziba, Georgia, which is a town outside Atlanta, Georgia.  We have looked up their school and also took a look at their lunch menu, which is so different from ours!  We will write to them throughout the school year!  (I met their teacher, Mrs. Darrisaw, when I attended the Mickelson Exxon Mobil Teacher's Academy in New York a couple of years ago.)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Inference in a Bag

This morning we had a reteach lesson on inferencing.  I chose passages to place in a paper bag and the question was taped to the outside of the bag.  Students rotated through six stations and took turns reading the passages and working together to find the inference of each passage and we really focused on finding proof in the passage to back up our answers.  We will be taking our second test over this target later today!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

May the Force Be With You

We conducted an experiment today to test how height and weight effects force and distance traveled.  We used a car and ramp and adjusted how high we released the car during each test.  Here is a picture of our test car and a couple of videos of part of the experiement! 

How to Round by Paris and Brandon

Our class is presenting the mini-lesson Monday morning during the morning assembly and Paris and Brandon recorded this video this afternoon to add to our power point slide show.  We will show it after the rap song we are singing.  The song explains the steps you complete to round any size number.

Subtraction with Regrouping Across a Zero

          Today we have been continuing to work on subtracting with regrouping with one or more zeroes.  This is a difficult process for some fourth graders because they do not understand the concept- they just know the steps or the process.  We have worked on this skill all week and have had the conversations that when you regroup in the ten's column, you are taking 1 hundred and changing it into 10 tens. 
          Today we did another gallery walk in class solving subtraction word problems with too much information.  I just love seeing them working together and hearing their conversations while they try to figure out how to solve the problem!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Angry Birds Hands-On Day

Yesterday we had a school-wide hands-on day where instruction is focused on hands-on learning and group tasks.  Our theme yesterday was "Angry Birds" and Studio 214 had a ball!  We had a reading station called "Angry Verbs" and students had to create compound sentences, using conjunctions, verbs, and a direct quote.  We still have some students who are struggling knowing when to use commas, etc. when writing sentences like this.  We also had a couple math stations where students rolled angry birds dice to create four digit numbers.  These numbers had to be subtracted and then students had to use the opposite operation to check their answers.  There were also some science stations too that introduced the beginning vocabulary of force and motion.  We used a homemade sling shot and an angry bird to see what the words meant in real-life.

Van de Walle Math Resource

I have been able to attend a 3-day professional development at GRREC that focuses on using the Van de Walle book.  I've attended one day so far and loved it!  This book focuses on using hands-on learning and letting students experience "productive struggle"- giving them a problem to solve that is really difficult, but they can solve if they try out some strategies, think about it, and not give up.  This is such a great resource because it focuses on the conceptual understanding of math skills and not just the procedure of how to solve a problem.  We discussed this process this morning and I turned students loose on a problem- it was great!  It's discussions like this that reminds me how much I love my job!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Blog Report- Paris

Paris gave a report on the targets we covered during the past week and an update on other things that took place in Studio 214!

Friday, September 14, 2012

"National Dot Day"

          September 14 is National Dot Day!  We read the story "The Dot" and watched the video from YouTube.  We also read another story to tie into our conversation from earlier in the week about the tragic events of September 11th.  The book was the "Fireboat- The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey".  We completed a "Tabletop Twitter" which is where students write notes to each other about a given topic.  Their topic was "What makes a hero?"  It was really interesting to see their responses.  Our last task was to complete a Venn Diagram with our think-pair-share partners comparing the heros in each story.  On our way to recess, we created a "Dot Tree" with our finger prints.  I am going to mat it and frame it to hang in our room.  I think it turned out great and the kids were proud of it too!

VIDEO of "The Dot": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5mGeR4AQdM

Our artwork is the size of a movie poster and it turned out really cool!

Students are writing notes to each other.

Tabletop Twitter- I borrowed this idea from a colleague!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Gallery Walk- Addition Word Problems

Today in math, we worked in groups and completed our first gallery walk of the year!  This is where students move from station to station and solve problems or answer questions as team members.  Our problems we solved today all had too much information, so students had to read the problems and figure out what information they needed in order to solve.  Each time we changed stations, their cue was the song "I Like to Move It, Move It".  Whenever they heard it start to play, they would rotate to the next station, and dance a little too!

Author's Purpose- Candy Bar Task

Today we continued our discussion on author's purpose.  Students chose a candy bar and a purpose to write (entertain, persuade, inform) and created a piece of writing.  Then they used the writing rubric to score their writing and reflect on how their piece turned out and ways to make their writing better.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Student-Created Writing Rubrics

Today during our reading class, we reviewed author's purpose and created our own writing rubrics to use to reflect on our writing throughout the school year.  Students were given a 4, 3, 2, or 1 and created rubrics for each and one group created writing tips.  They had some great ideas and I'm excited to begin using their rubric to score our work and reflect so we can become distinguished writers in fourth grade!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Collecting Pop Tabs

One of fourth grade's service projects is collecting pop tabs to donate to the Ronald McDonald House.    These girls brought up a huge bag this afternoon to add to our boxes!  We appreciate all the students at CCES who bring us the tabs to add to our collection!  We donate them each summer to the Ronald McDonald House.

Place Value Playing Cards

We used playing cards today to create numbers in standard form with our partners.  We then wrote those numbers in expanded and word form.  Students were in two different groups- some created six digit numbers and some created nine digit numbers, based on test results.

Panther Baksetball- CCMS Girls

I got to watch some of our fourth grade girls play basketball for the middle school team last night!  They were great and so athletic!  GO PANTHERS!

In the News!

Studio 214 made headlines this week in the KASC (Kentucky Association of School Councils) magazine! 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Writing Prompts

I found this site on Pinterest earlier today and thought it had some interesting writing prompts.  http://writingprompts.tumblr.com/post/17477297690/my-28-most-tried-and-true-writing-prompts

We have also been writing a daily journal entry by using the website www.wonderopolis.org which has an interesting wonder each day and video and information to explain the wonder.  Both of the sites are free sites to access.

Library of America- Story of the Week

I stumbled upon this cool resource last week from Library of America.  They provide a free story each week and it is an easy way to incorporate another genre of reading.  It is very simple to sign up and here is the link: http://storyoftheweek.loa.org/.  Enjoy your free story each week!

The Library of America, a nonprofit publisher, is dedicated to publishing, and keeping in print, authoritative editions of America's best and most significant writing. Best-selling authors published by The Library of America include James Baldwin, Robert Frost, Dashiell Hammett, Zora Neale Hurston, Thomas Jefferson, H. P. Lovecraft, Flannery O'Connor, Thomas Paine, Alexis de Tocqueville, and Walt Whitman.

Every Monday The Library of America will feature a free Story of the Week. It could be anything: a short work of fiction, a character sketch, an essay, a journalist’s dispatch, a poem. What is certain is that it will be memorable, because every story is from one of the hundreds of classic books of American literature published by The Library of America.

Partner Reading Task

In Studio 214, we work in cooperative groups a lot, whether that be with just two people on a team or four.  This reading strategy was shared with me a couple of years ago and is a great comprehension and reflection strategy in reading.  Students have a recording sheet to reflect, but they record what their partner said and not what they were thinking.  They stop every two-three pages and make a reflection.  Each reflection must begin with one of these starters to guide their thinking: "I wonder; Wow, I didn't know that;  or This reminds me of".  They take turns reading.  We read a non-fiction science passage this week using this strategy and will continue to use it throughout the remainder of the year.

Balance Scales

We used balance scales to weigh cubes made of different materails (aluminum, copper, zink, brass, etc.) this week to practice using a balance scale.  Students worked in groups of three-four and recorded their data in their science journals.

Rounding Rap

Today in class we began rounding and reviewed rounding smaller numbers first and then learned this rap song.  We used the rap song to round larger numbers to different places- it works!  We are using Flo Rida's song "Low" with no lyrics to sing the rap.  The rap words were found from a class post on YouTube- I'm so glad other teachers share their great ideas!