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Friday, January 30, 2015

Plant Structures

We are learning about the structure of plants this week and students began this morning with an observation task and made a prediction about what they think will happen over the weekend with our celery experiment.  (The experiment is placing a stalk of celery in colored water, which is UK blue, to see if there will be any changes by Monday.)  Their predictions were all very different but they could all explain why they thought a certain thing would happen!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Leader in Me- Setting and Tracking Goals

We are setting new goals for this semester in fourth grade and students decided to work on increasing their vocabulary!  We are competing against homerooms to see who can learn the most new vocabulary words until May, and so far, Ms. Mandy's class is in the lead!  Our total learned vocabulary words that we have accumulated from the vocabulary quizzes in AR so far this year are 4,835!  I cannot wait to see what they are in May!  


Every time I pass this board, the song gets stuck in my head- I have sung it all day!

Reading for Meaning

We have really been working a lot in science while reading articles, to read for meaning.  We do this by making connections while we read and creating our own wondering and questions with our partners.  We do a lot of partner reading and students take turns reading a section of the passage and then they pause after each section to discuss and connect, make visuals of what we've read, and identify key vocabulary in the text.  We used coloring pencils on this task- it's amazing how using something different (other than just a plain old pencil) helps students be more excited about the work we do!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

"Best Day of my Life" Song

We are working on recording this song with our students singing only and not my voice, so stay tuned!  It's goes along with our "Work then Play Fridays" to remind us to work hard each week so we can have fun!

Engineering Design- Redesign Day!

Today was the redesign day for our earthquake structures and their designs were really creative!  Students had to use what they learned yesterday from their first design to create a new structure today that was more stable.  We also tied in a cost factor as well and each toothpick and marshmallow they used in their structure came at a high price and we talked about how engineers have to look at the materials they use when designing to see what would be the best cost for the best product.  They had to figure out the total cost of their structure as well as reflect and describe how well it stood during the earthquake.

We also talked today about how engineers work together using Habit 4- Think Win-Win.  We all share our ideas and come up with one plan that would be best, so that together, we find the best solution to the problem!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Engineering Design- Earthquakes

Today we are engineers in the science lab and students are constructing structures that must be at least two stories tall, include a square and triangle shape and can only use thirty marshmallows and thirty toothpicks in all.  We are testing them on the earthquake table, which is a large container of jello!  After students test, they will go back to the drawing board and rethink their design if their construction does not stand through the earthquake!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Studio 214 Blog Traffic is on the Rise!

I am super excited about the traffic on our class blog- we have now reached 57,301 visits on our blog!  Thank you for checking in to see what we are learning in Studio 214!

Reading Maps to Find Patterns

We started a new target today in science, which is focused on reading maps to identify patterns of the location of earthquakes, volcanoes, and mountains.  

Thursday, January 15, 2015

ACTION- Layers of the Earth

We acted out the layers of the Earth this morning!  The inner core is solid and STRONG.  The outer core is hot liquid and MELTING.  The mantle is made of HOT ROCKS and is the thickest layer and the Crust is the thinnest layer and covers the surface of the Earth.

Leader in Me Parent Newsletter- January

Mixing it Up!

We have been watching our worm habitat and boy, they are mixing it up!  It is so cool to see how they make burrows and mix up all the layers!

January 15
(Notice the layers are mixed up...)

January 8
(Notice the nice clean layers...)

Particles in Soil

We conducted an experiment on Tuesday to see why it's important to have a mixture of different sized particles in our soil for healthy plant growth.  In this experiment, we tested the amount of water that passed through soil only, sand only, a mix of soil and sand, and a mixture of soil, sand, and gravel.  

Work then Play Fridays!

We will be starting our "Work then Play Fridays" this week!  Students will get to sign up each Thursday for the thirty-minute session they would like to attend.  "Work Then Play Fridays" are to reward students who are practicing Habit 3 – Putting First Things First!

Students who have all their classwork and homework completed by Thursday of each week will sign up.  Those who do not have all work in, have the opportunity to get caught up on Thursday night and sign up on Friday morning.  We want to encourage all our students to have their work finished and participate.  This is, in no way, tied to behavior.  As long as students have their work done – they can participate!

Sessions available for students to choose from include Zumba, Lego's, Arts/Crafts, Chorus, Board Games, Play Dough Creations, and many more!  We are looking forward to having a moment to "Sharpen the Saw" and play, after all our hard work!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Advertising for a Trip to the Center of the Earth!

Students learned more about the layers of the Earth today and pretended to be a travel agent to create an advertisement for a trip to the center of the Earth.  On the advertisement, students had to include two facts from what they read and include a diagram of the layers.  They were very creative!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Rocks and Minerals Investigations

This week, we conducted a hardness test on rocks and minerals.  Day one consisted of four trials, including the streak test, where students rubbed their rock on a tile to see the color of streak it left.  The color left behind on the tile, determines the hardness of the rock.


In writing this week, we have been learning how to use S.P.A.T. (a graphic organizer used to help us organizer our thoughts for writing on demand.)  Today we focused on writing our introduction paragraphs that states our situation and purpose and gives our three reasons with a concluding sentence.  Many students shared their introduction paragraphs and I loved how they used transitions for their last sentence!

Worms, Worms, Everywhere!

We created a worm habitat today to watch how worms move around in soil and to answer the question "what impact do worms have on soil?"  We will observe for two weeks to see what happens and answer the question above.  Notice there is a layer of soil, then an alternating layer of sand.  What do you think it will look like at the end of two weeks?

Rocks and Minerals Hardness Test Pfart 2

So yesterday we began our hardness test and conducted four different trials to see the hardness of the rocks and minerals we tested.  Today we completed day 2 which was the vinegar test.  We made our prediction of the results based on the results from yesterday, so we can continue learning base our "arguments" and ideas on real data and not just guessing.  Our discoveries today have created some new wonderings!