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Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Mission: 12 Days of Giving- SUCCESS

Today we wrapped up our 12 Days of Giving: Christmas Mission and all I have to say is WOW!  Today, we started a new Christmas tradition by going to the Nursing Home to sing Christmas carols and deliver the gifts we collected on two of our days of giving (socks and lotion.)  We collected 95 pairs of new socks and 25 bottles of lotion to give to the nursing home residents.  Watching our kids hand the elderly the gifts and sing carols as we walked through the halls made me get choked up!  That is what Christmas is truly all about!

We also collected donations for the Salvation Army and the president of our local Salvation Army came to speak to our students and we get to present our donation of $87.34!  The Family Resource provided milk and cookies for our students after Mr. Bud shared with our students about how the Salvation Army organization helps people in need.  He also did a neat presentation and reminded students not to let their lives get so "stuffed" at Christmas that we forget what it is all about to begin with.  Our hats and gloves that were donated will be delivered over Christmas break to a homeless shelter in Memphis, Tennessee by a local lady who is going to serve meals on Christmas Day.  The shoes and coats will be taken to FRYSC to give out to our kids at school, as needed.

Day One: Non-perishable food items 118 items
Day Two: Salvation Army Donation $87.34
Day Three: Socks 95 pairs
Day Four: New/Used Coats 33
Day Five: Toys 92
Day Six: New/Used Shoes 27
Day Seven: School Supplies (We received lots of items!)
Day Eight: Bottles of Lotion 25
Day Nine: Winter Hats 25
Day Ten: Gloves 39 pair
Day Eleven: Non-perishable food items (again)
Day Twelve: Salvation Army Donations (again)

Thank you for giving- it is better to give than receive!

Christmas Traditions


4 Dozen Doughnuts- $20
2 Gallons of Juice- $8
24 Candy Canes- $2
21 Dubble Bubble Coin Banks- $21
48 Hershey Kisses- $3
Christmas napkins and plates- $10
14 Candles (Battery Powered)- ???
22 Over-sized Snowflakes
5 Christmas Tree Centerpieces

 The look on their faces when they came into our room this morning: PRICELESS

(This is definitely one of my most favorite memories from each year at Christmas!)

Friday, December 12, 2014

Trial 4 Presentations

This week we conducted a weathering and erosion experiment with 3 trials that were all the same for the entire class.  The fourth trial, students got to design their own test and record the results and today they presented their results, along with their "thick" questions and any new wonderings.  It was amazing the ideas they presented, all backed by data!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

While You Were Away...

I had to be out a couple of days last week for meetings and created a silly video to send my kids using the "Helium Booth" free app.  We all need to laugh sometimes!

"We Wish You a Merry Christmas!"

We made this video to thank Ms. Patsy and Ms. Linda for all their hard work around CCES to make it look so festive and beautiful!

Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

It's not what you think!  We are making it "snow" in Studio 214 by making predictions and posting our predictions by creating a class bar graph with their answers.  What I love so much about this, is students are not worried about getting the wrong answer because they pick up someone else's answer off the floor to post in the window.  This gives me great information as a whole group because I can see what the class is thinking before we begin a lesson.

Card Sort- Weathering, Erosion, Deposition

This week we are focusing on how the Earth's surface changes with weathering, erosion, and deposition.  Students had to sort cards into three different groups together and discuss why it would fall into that category.

Science at Home!

This excites me so much when fourth grade students go home and conduct their own experiments just for fun!  Gabby brought this in from an experiment she conducted at home to see what would happen when she put a raw egg in vinegar!  It looked really cool!

Science Annotations

Students are learning how to make annotations as they read so they can better understand what they read, make connections, and create "thick questions" as scientists create questions to solve problems and figure things out.  Here is a sample of their annotations!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Jr. Achievement

We started Jr. Achievement classes today with Mrs. Amisha!  We are so thankful for our local banks for supporting this program in our schools.

RTI Punch Cards

We are working really hard during RTI and just as an incentive to work our very hardest, we are using punch cards!  Each time a student levels up on Lexia or finishes a practice or test assignment with Accelerated Math, students get a punch on their card.  When they fill their card up, they get to pick something out of our treasure chest, which was recently restocked with some AWESOME stuff!

Christmas Mission: 12 Days of Giving

Instead of exchanging gifts with students and teachers, we decided to be LEADERS and help those in need in our community!  This Wednesday, starts our Christmas Mission: 12 Days of Giving.  Help us, help others- it's the greatest gift of all!

O Christmas Tree

We have decorated for Christmas and our tree matches our room theme!  I love how it turned out and was excited to hear our kids response!

Take a "Science Second"

I have been learning more about how the brain works by using the book "Brain Rules" by John Medina, and wanted to incorporate some of that information into our science class.  I wanted a way to accomplish three goals- remembering science vocabulary in a fun way, spiraling vocabulary throughout the year, and being able to take spontaneous brain breaks throughout our class but not lose our focus on what we are working on.  So I made up the name "SCIENCE SECOND" and we started them today by putting hand motions with our science vocabulary words that would be associated with the meaning.  Here are three of the words we did today focusing on the types of rocks and the rock cycle- Metamorphic, Igneous, and Sedimentary.  It was led by our Paparazzi team in this class (Team Atlantis).

Plickers- Formative Assessment Tool

We have been using Plickers, a free resource that is like clickers, but much easier to use and it uses a QR code!  Students are assigned a card and they use one card to choose their answer.  I use my i-pad or phone to scan the room to get immediate feedback and use that information to check formatively whether students are understanding our target for the day or if we need to go over any topics again.  Everyone's code looks different and the letters are so small that no one can see what their neighbor is answering!  It is such a cool resource and so easy to set up and use!  It shows me automatically how the class responds and individual student responses as well.

Jigsaws and Flipcharts

We did a jigsaw task yesterday where students became an expert on one of the rock types of the rock cycle.  They then explained and taught the rest of the class about their rock and students recorded important information on their flip chart from the student experts' presentations!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Science Lab- Biodegradable Bouncy Ball

Today the science lab arrived at our school and all fourth grade students had the opportunity to review natural resources and create a biodegradable bouncy ball!  It was super cool!

Once students mixed the ingredients listed above, they added food coloring and placed their open zip log bag in the microwave for thirty seconds.  Then the bag was put into a container of ice water to cool.  Next the students got to take the plastic out of the bag and squish it into the shape of a ball, getting all the air bubbles out.  After ten hours, their plastic will harden and make a bouncy ball.  We used a variable with the corn oil- some students used 4 drops, 6 drops, and 8 drops, and we are going to test them on Friday to see which type of ball bounces higher.  We will use that data to create a bar graph to display our data and make a claim!

Structuring Opinion Paragraphs

We are working hard on learning how to create good, solid paragraphs when writing an opinion piece.  We are focusing this week on the topic sentence, three supporting details/reasons, and a conclusion sentence.  Yesterday, students had five sentences of a paragraph and had to decide together how to put the sentences in order to make the best paragraph.  Students then decided also were there other option for the sentence order and why.  Today, students will have a topic and will create their own paragraphs on green, yellow, and red sentence strips.  The green strip is for the topic sentence, the yellow is for the supporting details and the red is for the conclusion sentence so they have a visual of what they are creating.

Creative Writing in Science

Fourth grade students are creating a book about fossils, using the rubric as their guide.  We brainstormed the first day our ideas and students began creating their stories yesterday and we will publish them throughout the week.  This is a great way for me to check and see also if students understand how a living thing becomes a fossil!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Bloom's Taxonomy

Our Superintendent sends out a focus each week with great resources we can quickly use in our classroom to enhance classroom instruction and improve student learning.  This week, he shared this site for Bloom's Taxonomy and it is amazing!


I especially love this idea with using buttons for Blooms!


Paleontologist for the Day

Our fourth grade students were paleontologists for a day and completed their first fossil mapping and fossil dig!  We dug the "fossils" with our toothpicks to show students how careful you must be when extracting fossils from the Earth.  Many of our fossils did not make it out of the ground in one piece!

Career Day- Dress Up

We had over half our class dress up as their future careers and they were so cute!

Career Day Guest Speaker

We had an awesome guest speaker this week- Ms. Judy Tallent!  She is the director for the Albany Learning Center, affiliated with the Somerset Community College.  She described what is available to students if they would like to attend their first two years of college there and encouraged them to choose something that they love as their future career!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Career Week Door Decorations

This week is career week at CCES and students worked on Habit 2: Beginning with the end in mind by thinking about what they want to be when they grow up and where they will go to school.  We took cap and gown pictures and they were so cute!


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Halloween Creative Writing Task

Last week before Halloween, we did this as a creative writing task, where students had to come up with a costume idea and draw the body with my head.  They turned out really funny!

BMX Show

The BMX show was so amazing today and tied in to what we are studying this week with careers and how to set goals for our future!  The riders asked for three volunteers, so Ms. Kassie, Ms. Mandi, and I volunteered for their stunt!  It was a little scary!

Clock Partners

We finally have our clock partners on our desk!  This is a cool way for our class to have different partners all over the room and I just call out, "Let's meet with your 6 o'clock partner" and students will meet up with that person.  I also fixed it so that the 9 o'clock partner uses a symbol so I can use it in my other two science classes!  The star in the center of each clock is even color coded so that we have five different groups throughout the room.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fossil Rock!

We are studying fossils and we are learning a song that teaches us what fossils can tell us about the past and how they are created.

Monday, October 27, 2014

KPREP Reward Rally

We are very proud of all the hard work for our Panthers all last year's KPREP!  Students were recognized today for scoring proficient and distinguished and we know next year will be even better!  Hard work pays off and we have the greatest kids around!  There were students and parents cheering for our fourth and fifth graders as they marched into the gym!

CCHS Panther Marching Band Performance

This morning during our morning assembly, we had a special treat!  We got to hear the CCHS Panther Marching Band and it was awesome!  They will be performing this Saturday in the semi-finals and we want to wish them the best of luck!

The Golden Shoe

Our homeroom won the "Golden Shoe" award last week by having great hallway behavior!  Keep up the great work, Studio 214 Cast Members!  I'm so proud of your leadership behavior!

Fossils Scientific Investigation

Today we began our study on fossils and students got to use a magnifying glass to investigate and describe different types of fossils.


Friday, October 24, 2014

Awesome Science Resource for Teachers

This is a link for an amazing science resource for teachers!

What's faster- bowling ball or golf ball?

After taking a look at our study guides this week, there was a misconception that students still had about inclined planes, so we did an experiment to sort things out!  

You can see in the picture below, where students made predictions about what they thought would have a greater speed rolling down the ramp.  (Research shows that if students predict and write their prediction down, they will retain more information.)  We conducted our tests and found the speed of each object on two different heights of inclined planes.  The results speak for themselves!

UK Opera

We had a special treat today with the UK Opera performance!  It was so amazing and I'm glad our Panthers get to enjoy experiences such as this!  THANK YOU, FRYSC!