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Friday, March 29, 2013

Beautiful Gift!

I received some beautiful flowers today for Easter- thank you!  It really brightened my day- I just love new plants for our classroom and we will use it for discussion during our next science unit- World of Living Things!

Egg Drop

Brandon's egg wasn't too lucky!



Katelyn used peanut butter and it worked!


          We had our annual fourth grade egg drop today, right before Easter!  Students had to complete the scientific method with this project by hypothesizing what they think could happen using certain materials and then they had to design their "egg vehicle" to protect the egg during the "mission".  We had many survivors and some others who were not so lucky!

Let there be light!

          Yesterday is science, we completed some light stations to test out different light concepts.  We tested what would happen when we looked at convex and concave objects, reflections, and refractions.  We also practiced making some different shadow puppets and thought about why we have shadows and what happens when the sun moves across the sky- where does our shadow go and how does it change? 

Convex Image- looks like a reflection...

Concave Image- what happened?

Reflection Symmetry

We're testing objects to see whether they are opaque, transparent, or transluscent.

We used a light source to create different types of shadows on the wall.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Give One- Get One Strategy

          I love this strategy for video clips because students are engaged throughout the entire video clip.  Their job is to record as many facts as possible.  For each fact, they get a point.  After the video, they share with a partner.  If they have any facts that their partner does not have, they get another point.  Under the "Give One" column, students write any new facts they may get from their partner.  It's a great discussion starter for the content from the clip and it's a fun little game!  This video was from science and we made a t-chart in our science journals to record our information.

Text Structure Gallery Walk

          We completed a gallery walk yesterday on text structures.  Students worked in groups to read six different passages to decide how the paragraph was structured- cause and effect, sequencing, problem/solution, compare and contrast, or description.  They then had to justify their answers by finding proof in the passage.  I heard some great conversations because some of the passages were a little tricky!

Famous American Biographies

Can you guess who these people are?


          We have been learning about text structures and text features in Studio 214 and this week we began research on a famous American.  Students could choose a person to research and we have used print and non-print resources.  We gathered our information and then wrote rough drafts of a biography.  Today we have published our biographies after we conferenced yesterday and we are creating posters of our famous Americans.  For their posters, we took a headshot of each student for the head of their famous American.  (We borrowed the idea from another school and I thought it was too cool!)  Students are including text features on their posters using pictures, captions, timelines, diagrams, and titles, to name a few of the features.  This has been a fun project and students have learned so much!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Studio 214 Harlem Shake

          We did the Harlem Shake today in Studio 214 to celebrate each student that made an improvement on their scores from the last PAS test.  In order to participate, students had to show improvement on two of the three tests that we took.  Four students chose to get into the treasure chest instead of dancing, so you don't see them.  I had just restocked the treasure chest and there were some really cool things in there!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Using Heat- Lots of Heat

          Whew, it's getting hot in here!  Just kidding, but really, today we conducted a couple of different experiments to test how heat travels and transfers to objects and the affects it has on objects it comes in contact with. 
          The first experiment we did was to test how heat causes things to expand.  The metal sphere would pass back and forth through the ring before it was heated, but would not after it was heated.  Its' pretty cool to see visually and doesn't take very long to heat it up!  The second experiement we did was to see and feel how heat transfers to some materials better than others.  We tested a metal spoon and a wooden clothes pin to see the difference.  We could touch the wooden clothes pin, but not the spoon, because it was too hot!

Duck Dynasty AR Contest- Final Winners!

          Our winners came from team Mountain Man!  These four students read books for six weeks and earned a total of 107.9 AR points!  During the afternoons, I would hear them strategizing about how many pages each person needed to read each night and when they could take their test in order to get as many points as possible.  Talk about team work- they worked hard to win!  For their efforts, I went to a local business in town and bought them a special treat!  Keep up the hard work, Studio 214!

Free Apps for Digital Storytelling


The link above is a cool blog I found recently while searching for reading comprehension strategies.  She has a list of free apps for digital storytelling that are easy to use for elementary kids!  Happy writing!

Blog Reporter- Braylee

Listen as Braylee from Studio 214, reports on things we learned throughout last week!

March Madness Hands-On Day

Here is a video of us doing our song for circumference!



          This week we have been studying text structures.  We watched this video clip this morning in honor of March Madness of a boy who is ten years old who made an incredible shot during a game!  Students created a passage with a partner, in the text form of their choice from compare and contrast, cause and effect, description, sequencing, or problem and solution about the clip.  In their passage, they had to be sure to use the clue words that it would indicate it was a compare and contrast text structure.  We also had a gallery walk that focused on text structures but ran out of time, so we will complete it tomorrow.



          We watched this video clip to talk about the song itself and just because it is so funny!  We used the "Jump on It" song that has no lyrics to introduce the circumference of a circle and talk about the degrees in a circle.  I also thought it was fitting for today because at a lot of basketball games, the pep section does this song.  You can listen to this song by creating a free account at www.grooveshark.com.  For our math lesson, we looked at basketball stats of the Kentucky Wildcats and turned them into fractions and reduced them into their simplest form.  Students then wrote their fractions on cards and ranked them from least to greatest.

Decomposing Fractions

              We have been working on decomposing fractions or breaking fractions apart.  Yesterday, we used improper fractions and decomposed them.   Students could then see why the improper fraction would equal the same mixed number by circling the wholes and seeing what fraction was left.  We worked in groups and used white boards.

AR Reward- Cool Treat

This AR goal just ended and students got a sweet treat and fifteen extra minutes on the playground yesterday!

Monday, March 18, 2013

North and South- Magnets

          Today in science, we conducted an experiement to see what we attract or repel from magnets.  Students tested items such a rubber bands, paperclips, twisty ties, pencil, ping pong ball, marble, and string, along with several other items.  After we completed the task, we tried to make a connection as to why certain things attracted to the magnets and why the other items would not.

Author Visit- David M. Sargent


          We had a special visitor and some of his "friends" this morning during our morning assembly.  David M. Sargent, Jr. from Arkansas, brought his books and his pups to share with us!  I now believe we all need dogs in our rooms- every person in the gym was smiling this morning!  Some of the teachers got to hold his dogs while he was reading his books.  He brought three of his dogs today with him and they were so cute and well behaved!

RTI- Response to Intervention

          On some of the papers that come home each week in your child's take-home folder, you have probably noticed it may say "RTI" or "Reteach LT1" etc.  During our RTI time, and we have two, we have tasks that students complete either whole group or small group to make sure every student masters each of our learning targets.  This is a time consuming process because we set down with small groups and reteach any concept students still need work on, but it is worth every minute, if students learn something new!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Studio 214 Blog Stats

          I'm super excited to share this information!  I started our blog a couple of years ago so parents could have a way to stay connected to our classroom and see exactly through pictures and videos what their child was learning each week.  Since I started this blog, we have had over 22,000 visitors and over 3,500 visitors last month alone!  Thank you for using our class blog and continue to check out what we are doing and learning in Studio 214!

Common Core Reading Resources

I was looking for something for reading and accidently ran across this website but it has some amazing fourth grade resources for reading and I wanted to share!  Check it out!


KPREP Released Test Items


Parents- here is a link for some released test questions that are good examples of questions that will be on our state test- the KPREP.  This will give you a good idea of the type of test they will take in May.  It is a lot tougher than it was two years ago before the standards changed!

Duck Dynasty AR Competition

          We just wrapped up our six week AR Duck Dynasty competition and Mountain Man come out with a win!  Our class was divided up into six teams and each team got to pick their team name from the show "Duck Dynasty".  Si was in the lead early on by over twenty AR points, but teams slowly snuck up on him.  There were students who really wanted to win because they took home chapter books and read a certain number of pages each night and we ask each other the next day if they read enough!  Their plans worked because Mountain Man came in from fourth all the way up to the lead by getting over 111 AR points in six weeks!  Si was close behind at 107 points.  Team Mountain Man will enjoy milkshakes on me this week!  I'm a little sad to take down our Duck Dynasty pictures, but we must go on. :)

          The next AR competition is going to be geared around March Madness and they got to pick their own college basketball team and we have new teams!  They created their own team mottos too.  Stay tuned for the winners in six more weeks!

Morning Assembly Presentation

 Alex read his poem he wrote and did a great job!

Stacy shared her poster and what she did to create it!

          Our class presented the mini-lesson during the morning assembly today.  We talked about our science space projects and showed them to the school.  Kids in Studio 214 were so nervous and actually had a little stage fright- I was shocked!

Literacy Week- Harlem Shake by CCES Teachers

Here is the video link to watch it on YouTube!

Mrs. Valerie and I before our big debut!

Mrs. Amy was our fearless leader!

          Last week was literacy week and at CCES and for fun, all of the teachers did the Harlem Shake in our library and recorded it to show the students on Friday!  It was a lot of fun for everyone!

Pep Talk


Sometimes we all need a little encouragement!

Osprey Web Cam


          The osprey nest has been taken over by a Great Horned Owl. Her chicks are about 2 weeks old.

They don't know where the Osprey will go yet, but they are watching out for them and trying to

provide alternative nesting sites.

Electromagnets- It attracts!

          We created electromagnets this week using a battery, wire, nail, and our connectors.  Some of our batteries were starting to run down, but we made it work!  As you can see, we used a paperclip to see if there was a current to make it attract to the metal and it did!

Solar System Projects

One student used foods to create his solar system model!

Another student wrote an original song annd played his guitar for his solar system project!
Azura created a model that moved!
Makaela created a stationary model that was huge and detailed!
Sarah created a poster model using glitter paint- very attractive!

Derrick created a poster and wrote a poem about the planets!

          Students were given a menu to choose what to complete for their solar system project.  The options were grouped according to learning styles and they were also given a rubric to guide their work and reflect.  The students really did an outstanding job on these projects!  I was so proud of their work and there were some really creative ideas and things I had not seen before!

Ordering Fractions

          In math, we used our fraction strips we created as a guide to help us order fraction cards.  The cards had different fractions with unlike denominators and students had to use what they know about equivalent fractions and comparing to order the fractions from least to biggest.  It was difficult and challenging and really made them think!

Slavery and the Underground Railroad

          In social studies, we have been studying Kentucky's role in slavery and the Underground Railroad.  We created quilt blocks and used them in math to find the fraction of each color that was represented.  We completed book talks on some books that related to this topic as well.  We are now on the look out for quilt squares on barns and buildings in our community and looking for the pattern in those to see what it represents.