Wednesday, December 31, 2014

How Can It Be December 31?

It doesn't seem possible that tonight is the end of 2014!  There were definitely some moments of stress this year.  Anytime there is change there is stress, too.  I get that.  There were many days where I felt disillusioned.  I had expected every school to be like the school I had spent my last 16 years.  There were so many days that I cried but there are also lots of moments that are cause for CELEBRATION.

As I sat down to write this, the first thing that I did was to look at what I wrote on my final newsletter in 2013.  I wrote about ROUTINES.  Taken from my Classroom At The End Blog:  "The power of the routine was instilled in me early. I like routine because it is what I know. It is what I am used to. I must admit though that the veering is good, too. When you break from routine, you learn new things and learning IS fun! While many of the things we did this week were part of the routine, we also did things to  change it up. As you celebrate the holidays, remember to do those  things that are rituals but also dare to be adventurous. Try something new! Learn something FUN!"  Man were those great words of advice.  I needed to read those words.  These last 4 months have been hard on me.   I've been pretty hard on myself.  I need to celebrate that I took a chance.  I broke from my routine and I changed things up (BIG TIME!).    Today I celebrate the great possibilities that lie ahead.  I saw one of my students at the hockey game on Sunday.  I got a phone call from another because she was excited to share good news.  I saw 2 4th graders at the basketball game last night and I got to hear all about how much they are enjoying their holiday break.     I can do this!   I can own this new adventure and I recognize that there are moments worth celebrating.  This is a bit of rambling but it all leads to where I need to pick my word for 2015.  You can find a list of all kinds of possible words HERE.

So I head into 2015 with this word:


May you choose a word to help you through each day of 2015!  We've got this.  Shine on!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Reading Goals

My reading pile is pretty large but I'm confident that I can finish these by January 5.  What do you think?  Do you have books ready to go?  

The Happy Reader Program begins in January, too.  Even though we won't be back at school until the 5th, start keeping track of your reading minutes as soon as 2015 begins!  I'll be keeping you updated over break on how my reading is going.  You can also find out more about my reading progress by finding me on Goodreads.

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Monday that will Motivate You

I don't know what tomorrow's lesson will be like but it will be what it is....  In other thoughts and reflections:  Today was one of my best days at Winskill.  Even though it is the final week before Christmas break  I felt like the 4th graders were engaged and learning.  Behaviors were in check and I walked the class out at 3:15 with a smile on my face and a spring in my step.  THIS IS THE ME I KNOW!  So what was different? 

First of all we spent more time on the carpet than we normally do.  I really like the circle (or rectangle in our case) approach to talking.  We could all see each other and everyone was listening intently.  I also loved getting to share our video from Santa with the class.   You can check it out HERE! 

For reading we assigned roles for our reader's theater.  It is going to be FANTASTIC.  We went through it with Mrs. Stimpson's help today and we will be practicing it a few times tomorrow.  If you would like to come and see it performed, you are welcome to join us in the presentation room at 9:45 on Wednesday Morning.  All 3 classes will performing something different.  We plan to have all 3 groups done by 10:45.

 We also got to read the responses to our Santa Disguise ideas.  Check with your 4th grader to find out about what their letter said.

In math we focused on remainders.  After a one minute table talk about remainders, we turned our attention to what remainders mean in word/story problems.  When we have a word problem we have 3 choices for what we can do with the remainder:  1-ignore it, 2-report it (as a decimal or fraction), or 3- round up the answer.  Tonight's homework and remembering will be a great study aid for our math test that will be on  Thursday morning! 

We are also seeing a burst in 4th grade blogs!   I'm proud of those who were inspired to start them on their own.  As soon as we have done a few things together, we will begin sharing the links for our individual blogs.  Great things are happening as we go Running Through 4th Grade!

**If you haven't signed your 4th graders' midterm envelope, please do and send it back to me.

** All school Sing A Long on Friday Morning at 8:30.

** Classroom Party on Friday at 2.

Today was a day that has me feeling excited to be back at school tomorrow!  It was definitely a Monday that Motivated Me:-)

Friday, December 12, 2014

Check out Our Newsletter for the Week

Click HERE for this week's newsletter.

Did you see the midterm reports in today's Friday Folder?  Let me know if you have any questions.  Next week will be a busy week.  Rest up and take care of yourself

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Is your Sweater Ugly Enough?

Teachers can have a little fun at school just like the kids.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tuesday Review

We missed our It's Monday! What Are You Reading? this week, but we have some fabulous things to share on this Terrific Tuesday.

For many of us this is the time of year for comfort food:  the rich food that tastes oh so good.  For me I have come to look for comfort in books like so many others.  Fortunately books don't cause me to get all pudgy on the couch the way the cookie dough would.  Boy can I devour books, too!

Reading is comforting on it's own, but it's even better when we get to share it.  Sharing it with our class but also sharing our thoughts with the author.  Today we got to talk to a real live author!!

The class had some GREAT questions for Kate.  She was such a delight to listen to.  If you are looking for some of her books, here are a few.  We've been reading Capture the Flag in class.  It's the first book in a trilogy.  Luckily for me, my plate of good books to read next is VERY Full!
 We also enjoyed reading the 9 new cards that arrived from our holiday card project.

It was a great day as we went Running Through 4th Grade!  We will be back with more details about our school days later in the week.  Until then, Shine ON!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Holiday Card Exchange

Earlier this fall I signed up for a Holiday Card Exchange.  We had such a great time creating cards and getting them ready to mail.  We've also started getting some of the cards back.
We will have a post later this week all about where our cards were sent from.  Check back!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Weekly Recap

I am really struggling this week.  Okay - let's be honest, it's not just this week.  I'm struggling this whole school year.  Will we get through it?  I sure hope so.

There are great things happening amid the not so great.  Our class earned the Golden Spoon Award at the Winskill Monthly PBIS Assembly.  That's pretty great.  We've started receiving holiday cards for our Holiday Card Exchange.  It's always exciting to get mail!  We are getting a little farther along in our read aloud (Capture the Flag) and we can't wait to Skype with Kate Messner (the author) on Tuesday.

We show up each day and we will smile through the struggles.   We will remember the lessons from our Hallway Christmas Tree:
Be a Light in the Darkness.
We All Fall Over Sometimes.
You Can Never Wear Too Much Glitter!
Bring Joy to Others.
Sparkle and Twinkle as Often as Possible.
It's Okay to Be a Little Tilted.

And as we close our school days let me close this post:
    Hip hip Hooray!
    Hip hip Hooray!
    Hip hip Hooray!
Fourth Grade Rocks!


Check out the note that is Friday Folders!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

One Final Plea

Be different
Albert Einstein invented pizza. I though you would want to be like him. Because I thought that would be cool. To be like Elbert you would have pizza this Thanksgiving.
          One reason not to have turkey this Thanksgiving is it is very dry. It is so dry that you would not even be able to bite into it. So it is hard and on top of that it tastes gross. This turkey is so dry that it would suck the water right out of your gutters.
          Also it is so filling. You will be full right when you take one bite. Do you know how big a turkey is? Last time I had a turkey it was so big that it filled up my whole refrigerator and it was the only thing that was in there. There is 90% of fat in the turkey.
          Everyone is having turkey this year. Be the odd one out. It would be cool to be the odd one out  and you would be popular. Being different is always fun. Make your own trend by having pizza this year.

          Don’t choose turkey this Thanksgiving choose pizza from ” Happy Joes “ because you could get rabies from the turkey. Don’t choose turkey! 

Beef Rules - Turkey Drools

Beef rules turkey drools
When you eat turkey does it make you sleepy? When you eat too much it means that you are stuffed or  full.IT helps with digestion but also affects your brain.If you eat too much you will get a tummy ache. 

It is healthier than pizza because it has low fat. Grapes are healthier than pizza. Almonds are healthier than pizza. Yogurt is healthier than pizza.

It”s going to take a long time to prepare.It cooks for 24 hours in the oven.bakes for along time.Put baking pam over the pan then the turkey will not stick.

As you can see thanksgiving you do not want to have turkey for thanksgiving because  it makes you very you get sleepy. When you eat turkey.You should eat ham for thanksgiving.

As you can see you want to have beef instead of turkey for thanksgiving there are also more cows in the world than turkeys so help save turkeys so they don’t become extinct.

Beef is better than Turkey!
Do you want to eat turkey? Turkeys have bad bugs like stink bugs, beetles, moths, spiders, and flies. Their guts are gooey.  Their feathers have bugs.  You have to take their brains out.  Gross don’t you think.  
Turkeys looks silly.  How many meals have you ever seen that look like a poor bird on a platter?  Why would you want turkey?  Who even thought of it?  It would be cruel to dine on the bird at your next celebration. Please think about changing your meal.

The turkeys that are being prepared have worked hard.  They have laid numerous eggs and now those things are wasted.  Have you ever thought about those chickens whose eggs we eat?  Why not eat hard-boiled eggs or an omelet?

Save the turkey
Ben Franklin was one of the smartest men in the world. He never ate turkey  because he did not want them to be in danger. You should choose what Ben Franklin chose and 95%of Americans will choose on Thanksgiving.

Do not eat turkey this Thanksgiving. Turkey taste gross it is very dry. Farmers are  growing them smaller. Now you have to buy more turkey .
Turkey is healthy . You should have something not very healthy. Probably like taco’s or junk food. You have to thaw turkey for 24 hours. Then bake it . Then baste it for hours .

Don’t eat small exspenesive  dry turkey. Turkey is very dry.  If you don’t baste it twenty four seven it is very dry .  most the time it can be very dry.

So I’m guessing you are not going to eat turkey like very smart Ben Franklin and the 95% of the Americans  . Don’t eat turkey on thanksgiving . save the turkey from going in danger . makes you sleepy. 

Save the turkeys!
Why would you want to eat stuff that was on animal bones? It’s mean to animals. So many cells were around their bones. Blood was pumping through their body close to their bones.                   
Would you want to eat a frozen turkey? You wouldn’t even be able to eat it it’s too cold to eat. It would break your teeth. You would need to cook your turkey first though.         
Turkeys eat bugs so eating a turkey is basically eating bugs. That’s gross. You get a lot of germs and infections. Bugs have bacteria. Would you want to eat bacteria?
Would you want angry animals as your enemy? Think about it: turkeys are mean animals. Having turkey as your enemy is super bad cause turkeys are strong. They would break your door down.
I don’t want turkey because people are giving me great reasons why I shouldn’t . You are smart so make the right choice. Join the 90% of Americans and don’t eat turkeys. Think of the poor helpless turkeys and save them.

No More Turkey

No More Turkey
                Be like George Washington and don’t eat turkey.  George Washington wanted the turkey to be the national bird.  Turkeys make you sleepy.  Also you can be like everyone else and eat ham!
                First of all turkey makes you sleepy.  It has a chemical called L-tryptophan.  Plus don’t you need to watch the big football game.  You will be stuffed so full that you can’t walk to the couch or your comfy bed.
                Second you can be eating a ham.  Hams don’t have bugs in them like turkeys.  Turkeys will eat anything really.  A ham can have delicious brown sugar glaze.  YUMMY.  Ham goes better with the green bean casserole, too.
                Everyone is eating ham.   Your sister, neighbor, and aunt are having ham.  Eighty percent of Americans are having ham.  A ham only takes a couple of hours to prepare so everyone is choosing ham this Thanksgiving.

                So now what do you think?  A ham goes better with green bean casserole and the other Thanksgiving side dishes.  Ham can have tasty brown sugar glaze.  Ham doesn’t have bugs or gross things.  Turkey makes you sleepy and has the chemical L-tryptophan in it.  Do you really want to be the oddball and have turkey?

Say No To Turkey!
        Don’t eat turkey. Say no to turkey. Everyone’s eating turkey, don’t eat it don’t you want to be original. It’s dry you can’t chew it. You don’t know what’s in the turkey.
        First, Everyone’s eating turkey don’t you want to be original. Why be like everyone else. Since no one is eating pizza it will be on sale. Don’t kill the last turkey there won’t be any turkey for next year.
        It’s dry you can’t chew it. It’s so dry that it steals your saliva from between your teeth. It’s dryer than the lint from my dryer vent. Some turkey is chewier than bubble gum.
        You don’t know what the turkey has inside of it, or what the turkey ate. It eats stink bugs. There is a very good chance it has digested cow dung. THAT IS GROSS!!

        As you see, everyone’s eating turkey don’t you want to be original, its dry you can’t chew it, you don’t know what’s in it, are all ways to make people eat turkey!

Do you Really Want to Have Turkey For Thanksgiving?

Why would you want to eat a turkey? Why don’t you want to eat pizza instead? It has sausage it is still meat. You can’t put that on turkey. Hope this changed your mind.
                Do you still want to have turkey for Thanksgiving? Have ice cream for Thanksgiving! It’s a holiday! Holidays are time to splurge! And ice cream is sweet and yummy! If your kids have a hard time eating turkey, then this year could be different. Kids love ice cream!! It can be a little healthy because you can put strawberrys on it. Maybe you will have ice cream this thanksgiving.
                You know the turkeys you by at stores, those turkeys could have ate poison berries! But then you Need to hunt for a turkey! Now that is a lot of work. Because then you need to buy a gun and bullets!
                 Are you smart? Because  if you are, you wouldn’t eat turkey. Benjamin franklin ate pizzaand ice cream! He is the smartest man ever! I know I am smart because I eat pizza and ice cream for thanksgiving!
As you can see that turkey is not the best thanksgiving dinner. you could have pizza or ice cream!  

Remember thanksgiving is a time to have fun!  And ice cream  doesn’t  take as long to cook turkey!

No Time for Turkey
Hey there, did you know 90% of Americans are saying no to turkey?  You don’t want turkey for thanksgiving. Farmers are killing younger turkeys this year. Also they could kill you. Plus thanksgiving is all about pizza this year.
          Did you know farmers are killing tukeys early this year. They are trying to get you to buy more turkey so you waste money. Also the turkey could have something no one wants, gunpowder, yeah isn’t it nasty.  You can never trust what you eat.
Plus turkey can kill you, yeah it could have had rabies. It also could of had ebola, nasty , would you want a ebola infested turkey. I bet you woudn’t be giving thanks for that. It could have had eaten poisonous spiders.
Also thanksgiving is all about pizza this year. Because turkey takes WAY too long to prepare, pizza is filling in for it. Pizza is a much more filling meal. Pizza is turkeys superior in every way.

So as you can see since turkey has flaws and pizza doesn’t why don’t you try pizza for Thanksgiving. That would not be good if you got raibies for thanksgiving would it. And as you can see you don’t want turkey for thanksgiving. And if you do…….. I wouldn’t want to be you!!!

Monday, November 24, 2014

How to "Go With the Flow"

When the 4th graders came to school this morning, they were thinking much like I was.  They were expecting to go on a field trip.  How do you react to the unexpected?
These 4th graders showed that they are of such high quality character.  They simply went with the changes.  We enjoyed our community circle time a little bit later than usual and then we enjoyed some time with all the rest of the 4th graders.
We dined in style (just kidding) in the presentation room before listening to Sydney and Madison share some wonderful winter stories.
To use our time well, we completed stations in all 3 classrooms to work on skills.  Our reading skills in our classroom included word work (Boggle), Cause and Effect Board Game, Fact/Opinion Game, and Main Ideas Game.

I am so proud of how well all of the students just went with the changes today.  
We have rescheduled our field trip for Tuesday, December 2.   Have a great evening!  

Friday, November 21, 2014

How to Divide Using the Place Value Sections Method

Math is a little different than it was when I was in 4th grade.  Today's 4th graders are so much smarter than the 4th graders 10 years ago.  To help some of us understand our newest math algorithm, I asked 2 of our fantastic 4th graders to create a video.   Check it out:

Here is a link to another video that show the same method.

Another Turkey is Saved!

Save the Turkeys
          Would you believe that everyone is eating something other than turkey this Thanksgiving?  You don’t want to have turkey this Thanksgiving.  Turkey takes too long to prepare, makes you sleepy, and is not good.  Make the smart choice this holiday like everyone else. 
          First turkey takes too long to prepare.  It needs to thaw for 24 hours.  Once that big ol’ bird isn’t frozen you will still need to bake it for hours.  A good turkey requires basting, too.  All these steps sound like way too much work for a meal,
          Then it makes you sleepy. You sometimes you get too full when you eat that white meat. The chemical called L-tryptophan in turkey really does cause this tired feeling. So make a good choice this time.
          Last of all it’s not that good. Sometimes it can be so dry.  Also other times the turkey can get burnt.

          As  you  see,  you  don’t  want  to  have  turkey  this Thanksgiving   because it’s  going  to  take too long  to prepare, it  makes  you  sleepy, and  it’s  not good. Every family wants to enjoy their holiday.  You  do  not  want  turkey  this  Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

How Many Turkeys Will You Save?

We've been working with persuasive writing.  We talked about 8 different persuasive techniques.

Here is one of our final projects:

Do you really want Turkey for Thanksgiving?  Let me change your mind.   Ham is better than turkey.  Turkeys carry diseases.  Turkeys may have eaten things other than what’s good for us.
First off ham is way healthier than turkey.  Ham has a better taste.  If you are looking for a moist and tasty meat, then ham is the answer.  This year switch your meal to ham.
Also turkeys will make you sick! They still have their poop inside when they are cooked.  The sweet smell of baking turkey can be the disease that is growing in the intestines of that bird you are baking. 
Do you know where it’s been? Turkey’s could’ve eaten spiders or other bugs. They have a chemical that goes to your brain.  After you eat turkey you want to watch football instead of sleep right?
Anyway I’m saying don’t eat turkey this Thanksgiving. plz plz plz do not eat Turkey for Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Good luck, Arrows!

Thanks go out to Shelby ' s mom for helping us send off our football heroes!  11:45 dismissal tomorrow so everyone can attend the championship game.

Friday, November 14, 2014

GRA - Believe in the Possible

We finished reading The 14th Goldfish by Jennifer Holm on Thursday.  It was nearly the end of the day but I wanted to do a quick look at what the 4th graders thought.  Thumbs up or thumbs down?

Right away in the book we met the main character, Ellie, and learned that she didn't like change.  I connected to her instantly.  CHANGE IS HARD.  Ellie's world turns a little bizarre when her grandfather moves in looking more like one of her middle school buddies than her grandfather.  

I was so proud of how Abrham and Garrett read a chapter each and then we watched and listened to the author read the final chapter.  You can listen to Jennifer Holm, too.

This is a story will encourage you to be curious, appreciate science (and scientists), and care about ethics.   As the cover of this fantastic book says:  Believe in the Possible!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Conference reminder and Newsletter for the week

I am looking forward to meeting with everyone at conferences.  PLEASE contact me ( if you forgot your time or need to reschedule.

Check out the newsletter HERE!

Monday, November 10, 2014

A Walk to the Memorial

"We are so fortunate to live in a community that has this awesome memorial."---words by Ryan on today's walking trip.

YES WE ARE!  We are truly fortunate to have family and friends that have served our country and to have a community that recognizes the importance of what those servicemen and women have done.

Tomorrow at 2 is our special Veterans Day Program at school.  It's in Gym #1 at Winskill.  All 4th graders are asked to wear blue.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Another 4th Grade Ghost Story

At The Campgrounds
By Aven
One Friday after school Aven and Auriella rode the bus to their grandparents campgrounds.  Once the bus dropped them off at the campgrounds.  Auriella said to Aven, ‘’ Now let’s run to the camper!’’
Aven said, ‘’Ok. But can we race?’’
“That is totally fine with me,’’ said Auriella.
 As Aven and Auriella were running they heard somebody following them. The thing following them was saying Brynn B-R-Y-N-N AND Aarica A-A-R-I-C-A.  As children the 2 girls did not want to look back so they just kept running.
Aven said, ‘’I love you Auriella, if you die!’’
Then Auriella said the same thing.  They finally got to the camper and Brynn said, ‘’Are you ok girls?’’ Then suddenly somebody grabbed Auriella.  Brynn, Aven ,and Aarica said,’’What just happened?’’ Aarica did not wait to find out what got Auriella. They heard Auriella crying. Now you will have to wait and see what else I write next time.

         THE END

Monday, November 3, 2014

It's Monday. What Are You Reading?

It's a perfect time to be reading a ghostly tale  like Invasion of the Appleheads.  It tells the story of Katie and Andy and their tour of a new town on Halloween.  Living so close to the apple orchards of Gays Mills and the corn maze at Vesperman Farms, this is a perfect book for any of our Lancaster friends.
When Lucy moves she misses her dad more than usual but she finds a great way to work through it.  She takes photos and enters them in a contest.  This is such a great realistic fiction book.  
Need a quick read?   Pick up any "Click, Clack..." book for a little entertainment.
The paranormal (psychic) beings are great this time of year but can be read anytime.  To find out more about Sara Collins and her abilities to see beyond, grab this book and give it a read.
Do you have a great book that you're reading?  Let us know in the comments or on our facebook page.