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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Projects are "Out of this World"

Students were given a students choice menu based on learning styles for their space projects and a rubric to guide their work.  Once they completed the project, they reflected by scoring themselves and then presented them to our class.  They did such an outstanding job!

Let there be light!

We conducted several discovery experiments last week to investigate refraction and how light travels.  Check it out!


I'm Stuck on You!

One of our lessons this week focused on magnets- how they work, what are they attracted to and why?  Students conducted a discovery/engagement task to test different objects to see what was magnetic and what was not.  They then had to create a hypothesis as to what was attracted to magnets and why?  We then created an electromagnet!

Creating a Hypothesis

We have really been focusing on how to create a hypothesis and taking the time to create wonderings too and then test them in class.  I believe students have the most valuable learning when they are creating their own questions and then experimenting to discover the answer!  Here are some examples from a lesson this week where students took their individual thoughts and created a group hypothesis and we sorted them into two categories: testable or researchable.  We also discussed how we could change the researchable questions into testable ones.  The next day in class, we tested our hypothesis and even I was surprised!

Picture Perfect Science

I am super excited about some new resources I recently ordered!  Picture Perfect Science is such a great tool for teachers to use to tie in literacy with science.  It is also written, basing lessons on the 5E Model of Engagement.  The books include formative assessments, linked to the NGSS standards.  I can't wait to use them!  There are three of them in all!

Electricity Circuits

We used an energy stick to create human electrical circuits- sounds scary doesn't it?  Don't worry, no one was injured!  Students were amazed at how the energy could flow through and make the energy stick light up!  We created a series and parallel circuit and discussed the difference and why it's helpful to use parallel circuits in some situations.  We listened to "The Electric Slide"!

Butterfly Habitat

I am so excited because our butterfly habitat and caterpillars arrived today!  We are going to be observing them as they go through their life cycle to change into a butterfly over the next few weeks, just in time for our last unit in science on our world of living things!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

National Autism Awareness Day- April 2nd

National Autism Awareness Day is right around the corner- Wednesday, April 2nd!  We are planning a district wide, "Light it up Blue" day where students, teachers, and staff members will be invited to wear blue that day to raise awareness!  Be looking for more information coming soon!

I-Tool Microscope

We made microscopes at one of our last meetings we had with a science grant fourth grade teachers are participating in through GRREC.  They can be used with your phones, Ipods, or Ipads.  We have an adaptor to hook our device up to our projector so that what we see on the screen can be projected onto the Smart Board.  I love new tools!

Our New Clickers!

We took our first assessments last week using our new clickers and LOVE them!  We will now be taking our spelling and vocabulary tests using them from now on.  Our next adventure will be to take one of our learning target assessments using them.

Static Electricity

We are studying static electricity and why objects can have a charge.  After we rubbed this balloon, we stuck it to the wooden door.  How did it do that?

Blog Updates

Hopefully we will have more update this month with things that are happening in Studio 214.  My computer at school now blocks me from updating anything because of a network filter, so I will update from home each week.  Keep checking each week to see what your child has been up to and what they are learning!

Fourth Grade Fraction Resources

The link below provides some awesome examples and resources to use when teaching fractions!  They came from the Jefferson County School District.


Science Literacy Connection

Have you been looking for some great books to tie into your science content?  The link below has some great literacy connections based on units and grade levels!

Arts and Humanities Day

On our Arts and Humanities Day at CCES, each homeroom had a guest speaker to explain a specialization they have when dealing with music, art, or drama.  We had Mr. Jordan Fillingham, our band director, visit Studio 214 and he brought instruments and explained the purpose for music.  The kids are excited about being "middle schoolers" soon and being able to join the band!  Thank you for visiting our class, Mr. Fillingham!

Pattern Block Fraction Task

We have spent several weeks working on fractions.  This task required students to use pattern blocks to find different fractional parts of certain blocks.  It was tricky the further they went through the problems but they kept trying!

Healthy Choices Mural

Students worked with a local artist, Mrs. Pat Ritter, to create a silhouette mural in the cafeteria.  The fourth grade students worked with her to show the process of how food is harvested and grown and then brought to the kitchen to be eaten.  They loved the project and getting to paint!  Our school received a grant to be able to complete this project!

Great Teacher Resource for Reading

The link below is a great, free resource available with lots of passages and questions.  These passages are available on many different topics and includes multiple choice and short answer questions.  They now have passages available to increase reading stamina, which is really important as students get older and read longer passages.


Literacy Circles

We have started our literacy circles and loving it!  Students are reading a chapter each day as a team and then discussing it.  They have a different assignment each time we do this and there is a supply person and a discussion leader.  Each group was asked to describe their favorite types of books and their books were selected based on their likes and interests.  Ask your child what they're reading!

And then there was LIGHT

 Last week, students were given materials to create a series circuit, but were not given any instructions on how to create it.  They had to use any background knowledge they already had to see if they could figure out how to make the lightbulb light up.  It was great to hear their discussions and the excitement they displayed when they figured it out!  We also tied in the Scientific Method to this process and they had to test their hypothesis.

Reading with Pets

Since Christmas break, we have been working on increasing the number of minutes we read at home each week to help build our stamina.  Students have been encouraged to read to their pets and I love this sweet picture of Micah reading to her pet dog!  Keep up the great work, Studio 214 cast members!

"Too Good for Drugs"

Ms. Karen has been visiting our class each week to discuss with our kids the importance of staying drug free and how to take care of our bodies.  They have been setting goals and doing a lot of skits to help them learn how to get out of peer-pressure situations.

Band Performance

We recently had a concert performance by our local middle and high school band.  They performed several pieces and did an outstanding job!  Thank you to director, Mr. Fillingham for making this happen!