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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Research Project and Menus

           A couple weeks ago, we began our first research project for the year over the United States Regions.  We gave students the option of choosing which region they wanted to study and then gave them a menu of six choices on how to display their knowledge learned to incorporate learning styles and technology.  Many students chose the poster option and we provided them with posters that were donated from a parent.  Many students took their time, using print and nonprint sources to find their material.  Check out these awesome displays!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Gallery Walk= Success!

           This morning we completed our first gallery walk and the kids did great following our procedures!  I love gallery walks because kids get to have those meaningful discussion, while they are out of their seats.  I saw one group raise their hand this morning and one of the kids said, "No, put your hand down- we can figure this out."  I wanted to jump up and down and cheer!  I love moments like that because you know our kids are becoming independent thinkers and problem solvers!

Student Magic Show

          Yesterday during our morning assembly, we had a special treat!  A former cast member of Studio 214 performed a magic show for the entire school and he did an amazing job! 

The Teacher's Desk

          Some students have already gotten to get a scratch off reward card for good behavior!  There were a couple that get to sit at the teacher's desk for the entire day!  I think they love the chair...

Service Learning Project

         We are starting a service learning project at CCES with third and fifth grade to collect jars of peanut butter.  These jars will be sent to Haiti to help children living at orphanges.  Children can get the protein nutrients they need for an entire month from one jar of peanut butter! 
          We are in competition with the middle school to see who can collect the most jars of peanut butter and they are going down!  We collect them until the end of September so start bringing in your jars to help others in need!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Cup Song- Just for Fun!

We did this yesterday during the last five minutes of the day just for fun.  The kids were trying to teach me how to do it and for the life of me, I never could get it down, but I told them I would work on it this weekend!  It was funny!

Where did it go?

          We boiled water in a pot and watched as all the water evaporated into the air as a vapor.  This led into our discussion of the water cycle and how this all takes place because of heat from the sun.

Studio 214 Cast Members!

Here is the cast for 2013-2014!  It's going to be a great year!

Rounding Rap

          We learned a rounding rap song yesterday that explains the steps we must take to round a number to any place.  This is last year's group singing and as soon as we learn the song better, I will post this year's group singing it.  It gets stuck in my head!

Moving Particles

          To demonstrate how particles move while they are a solid, liquid, and gas, we had students demonstrate each state.  Things could get a little crazy as we change to a gas, but we can quickly change back to a solid!  Particles are constantly moving, even if it is a solid!

What will Dissolve?

          Yesterday we tested different substances in water to see if they would dissolve after being stirred for one minute.  We made predictions and then tested them.  We also left some time for wonderings, which is super important because it is through those that we can let our curiosity rise and ask some really important reflection questions? 
          We tested salt, sugar, sand, and Alka-Seltzer.  Ask your child what we discovered!  We also had the wondering of what would happen if we used hot water?  Would the matter dissolve more or less?

Newspaper Scavenger Hunt

          Students used newspapers Friday morning to go on a scavenger hunt.  Our learning target was focused on being able to know the difference between fact and opinion and sometimes that is tricky, especially if the opinion is written to persuade someone and really sounds like a fact.  We discovered there are many sections to a newspaper and there are facts and opinions throughout the entire thing!

Gas Discoveries- Intrigued?

          We conducted an experiment to see first hand how matter changes from one state to another.  We placed vinegar in a film canister and added an Alka-Seltzer tablet and placed the lid back on.  Can you guess what happened next?  You're right!  The lid flew off because of the gas that was created inside the canister.  It was pretty exciting and we heard a few screams since I didn't tell them what was going to happen.  It's all about discovery, safely, of course!

Shades of Summer

          During the first week of school, we created these pieces to look like our portraits, but wearing shades for summer.  Students then attached a writing piece explaining what they did over the summer.  They turned out really cute and it was nice to see their art work and writing hanging in the hall during the first week and it was a great way to see their writing capabilities!

KY Bluegrass Books

          I would like to take a moment to encourage all students to read the KY Bluegrass books- they are great this year!  Find one you like and start reading!  Joseph is enjoying a Goosebumps book here...

Math Form Sort

         Students worked together this morning to sort numbers to millions in forms of word, standard, and expanded so that all the forms matched.  Some of the examples were very similar so this took some thought!  I loved the conversations that were taking place around the room!

Types of Sentences

        Students worked in groups of four to create the four types of sentences on a poster: interrogative, declaritive, imperative, and exclamatory.

Atoms, Atoms, Everywhere

          We have been learning about the states of matter and this week we focused on what makes matter and how those particules move when heat is added or taken away.  Students created atom models with neutrons, protons, and electrons using plates and stickers.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Place Value Blocks

We used place value blocks this week to review place value and to discuss how our system is based on tens!  In fourth grade, we will learn place value up to the millions place.

Science Experiment- First Week of School!

          We learned this week how to conduct science experiments safely and with our group members.  We posed a question with a bigger experiment and then investigated and created wonderings using a smaller scale experiment.  Then we tested our ideas on the bigger scale.  It was so much fun and I encourage you to try it at home if you haven't seen this experiment before!  The big experiment we used a cup of water, a pizza pan, a toilet paper holder, a broom and a raw egg.  The class had to figure out how to cut the egg into the glass, using only the broom, without breaking the egg.  We introduced the term "inertia" and broke a few eggs!

Scratch-off Reward Cards

          Thanks to a fellow colleague, we are using these scratch off reward cards this year in our class!  Students get to draw one out when they are being rewarded for something and then they get to scratch off the card to see what their reward will be!  (Teachers write in what they want the reward to be and then you put the sticky cover over it to cover it up.)  These are so awesome and they came from Oriental Trading!  The kids love them!

Me Bags

          On the first day of school, I had a treat for every student in a popcorn bag on their desk, waiting for them as they come into our room.  That night, students were to take the bags home with them and bring it back and put in it, three to four items that would describe them.  It was amazing how creative students were with the items they brought back!  I love learning all about their interests and what they love to do when they are not at school!

What makes a good teacher?

          We talked last week about student expectations and teacher expectations.  I asked the students to come up with some things that makes a good teacher and then their groups shared them with the class.  We created a mind map to keep up with all their ideas and it is going to hang in our room as a reminder to me of what makes a good teacher from my students' perspective!

Write Chat

          In social studies this week, we began talking about natural resources and how our resources vary depending on the physical characteristics of the area we live.  We have begun to look at maps that show characteristics of the United States and will begin research this week on the regions of the U.S.  Students completed a write chat on the topic of "Where do pencils come from"?  A write chat is where students must chat on a topic, only by writing.  It is tougher than you think, but it's really cool to be able to see their conversations unfold!

Place Value Musical Chairs- Sort of...

          We have been learning about place value this week to the millions place.  We played a game yesterday to discuss how to find the value of digits in different places up to millions.  We had a "Value Queen" and number people holding our digits.  We played our school song for the Value Queen to move to and wherever she stopped, our audience members had to identify the value of that digit. 

Inferencing with Commercials and Movie Clips

This morning we continued our discussion on inferencing using our schema (personal experiences) and what we learn from the text or in this case, the video clips.  We used the following clips to make inferences about what was going to happen next.  They were pretty funny!

We paused this one while Dr. Dru is looking at the phone to make an inference on what he was going to do...  Will he call her?

We made an inference on what was going to happen after the door closed... too funny!