Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Friday, November 20, 2015

Math - Division Using Place Value Sections Model

This week we worked really hard to understand division using what we already know about multiplication.  Here are a couple of the powerpoints that we used during class.  They are a great way to review over the weekend.

Lesson 3-2

Lesson 3-3

This Week's Newsletter

Check it out HERE

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Time for Some Reflection

There are so many days that I take pictures at school to remind myself of all the things that we are doing.  There are other days that I get to the end and realize that I haven't taken a single photo.  Some days I am just in the moment and other days I really get to sit back and watch as these amazing 4th graders learn from each other!
Today we stopped our math lesson just a little early to play Factor Captor.  It's one of my favorite math games.  Once students realize the strategy behind it, it's a great challenge!

We didn't get to play for too long this afternoon (about 20 minutes) but those 20 minutes were amazing.  There were conversations about the numbers that were being chosen.  Thinking was happening so naturally.
I assigned the partners and I never heard anyone complain (they should know better than to complain, right?).I used our lunch card color partners to assign partners.  It worked out perfectly.
Did I tell them the rules and expectations ahead of time?  Yes.   Did they play by the rules and expectations.  Uh huh.   And then they got a chance to just play and build and create with the unifix cubes.
It was a great way to quickly review math facts (factors and factor pairs).
It makes me realize that I need to plan in Game Day Fridays for math.  I know that today wasn't Friday but it felt like one since I won't see the kids tomorrow.  This was a great way to finish the week together.

Some great thinking was happening!

We did have to do some work before we could "play".  It was great to have student leaders to share their thinking with the class.

I am telling my day backwards a bit.  We finished up our scarecrow so that we could hang it with all the others.  It turned out pretty well!  Lots of creativity and an excellent team-building activity.
Before we headed to the computer lab, we took a second to pose with our straw pal.

Now let's back up to Tuesday.
Myleigh accepted our Golden Spoon Award at the PBIS assembly.  Our class earned this honor by being polite in the cafeteria.  The next goal is to earn the Golden Slipper.  We have quite a bit of work today to practice our walking silently in the hallway but I know that we can earn that award soon!
Before the PBIS awards began, Kendra was honored with her award.  What a wonderful treat that her grandparents could be there!

As I reflect on this week, I have so many things that I am proud of.  I am proud of the good friends who see when their peer is sad and cheer them up.  I am proud of the students who do EVERY assignment.  I am proud of the kids who go above and beyond my expectations.  We aren't prefect but we are working every day to be better than yesterday.  Here's to the 2nd quarter of the school year. :-)

Newsletter for the Week

Check it out here!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Friday, October 23, 2015

Weekly Wrap - Up

Check out our newsletter HERE

There are lots of upcoming events at Winskill and around Lancaster.

Upcoming Events: 
Saturday, October 24 - Sweets and Treats Around the Square
Sunday, October 25 – FOW Movie Event at Grantland Theater – 1 p.m. (Hotel Transylvania 2)
Sunday, October 25 - FOW Taming the Tech Monster – 6 p.m.  
Monday, October 26 – FOW Movie Night at Grantland Theater – 6 p.m.

RED RIBBON WEEK (Note in folder today)
                Monday – Wear RED   (and we will be having our 1st Police Pals Visit at 1:30)
                Tuesday – Wear Green and Gold –Packer Day for Fuel up to Play 60 Obstacle Course (10:05 – 11:00)
                Wednesday – Wear BLUE
                Thursday – Wear College or Lancaster Gear
                Thursday, October 29 – Classroom Halloween Party
The costume parade will begin at 1:50.  Students need to wear regular school clothes and bring their costumes with.   Time will be given after lunch to change into their costumes.  Our party will begin about 2:15.   If you have any questions or would like to come and help with our party, please let Mrs. Bussan know.
Friday, October 30 – No School – HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
Friday, November 6 – No Student Attendance – Teacher Inservice
Thursday, November 12 – Conferences (4 to 8 p.m.)

Friday, November 13 – No Student Attendance – Conferences (8 to noon)

Friday, October 16, 2015

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Newsletter for the Week

How can it be that another week is complete?  Our time in 4th grade just goes so quickly!  We are falling into routines and most of them are good.  I have to share with you a little experience that I had recently.  As you know, I love to run.  It gave me great pleasure to get to go and watch a dear friend run her first ½ marathon last week.  She did an AMAZING job.  She finished in an hour and 48 minutes.  I was so happy for her and I was thrilled to be there to see her finish.  Then my own self-talk started.  I began berating myself for my recent ½ finish time.   I said things like, “You obviously didn’t try your best.  You are so slow.  Why do you bother when so many other people are faster and stronger?”  After stewing in my thoughts for a bit, I realized that each of us has our own unique brand of being.   That’s what is so great.  In our classroom we get to celebrate what is making each of us our own and I have to tell you that there are 24 awesomesauce, bombtastic 4th graders that I get to celebrate learning with every day.  If you would like to follow along with more of our learning, check out our facebook page or blog.

You can read the rest of the NEWSLETTER HERE!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Weekly Wrap Up

Here is the newsletter that students will bring home tomorrow.
(drawing scenes from My Brother Martin)

Sorting spelling words

Partner Reading

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Check out this week's Newsletter

Here is the note that will be in Friday Folders this week.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

What Have We Been Doing

These exit slips are such a great way for me to learn about my students.  The above one might be someone who wants a few bonus points  ;-)
It makes my heart happy to see that some of the favorite things from the days at school have to do with friends.  I really believe that those connections are what will make or break a school year.  This group of kids are really good about showing kindness to their peers.  It's evident in the exit slips.

Another really big thing we did today was to "vote" for a golden ticket celebration.  It's really fun to see the RANGE of possibilities that these 4th graders have in mind.
Math time today included First to 0.   It's a great game and I wish we were able to play it more often.


The days are going quickly and we are continuing to work hard.  This week's cooler weather has made it easier to focus!  Thanks for checking in on what we have been doing!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

That's the TICKET

Our schoolwide positive behavior system is pretty fantastic.  This week we have reviewed many of the expectations.   We've practiced the good behaviors too.    
You may wonder what happens next.   Well---we get recognition for doing what we are supposed to do.   We get blue tickets for doing what we are supposed to as individuals.  We get yellow tickets when our whole class is on target with our behavior.  For every 24 blue tickets, we trade them in for a yellow ticket.  Tomorrow our class needs to come up with a yellow ticket goal and a yellow ticket celebration.  When our wonderful counter (GS) counted for us today, we had the value of 9 (NINE) yellow tickets!   That's pretty impressive considering that today was only the 3rd day of school.   Way to go, my amazing 4th graders!  You are Arrows on Target!

Monday, August 31, 2015

AHHH! Tomorrow is the 1st Day of School

Can you believe that the summer is over?  If you are like me, you are probably feeling like it went faster than last year.  I am already making a list of things I thought I would have finished over the summer that will now become winter weekend projects.  Despite the sadness we may feel because we will have to start going to bed a little earlier, this year ahead is very exciting!  As 4th graders, your children have many responsibilities.  They will have a special responsibility to their class, their grade level, school, and the Lancaster Community.  Students will have the opportunity to be in class with old friends and maybe some new faces.  There is something so special about the beginning of a new school year for EVERYONE---for the kindergartners who say goodbye and are apart from their families for the greatest number of hours ever, for the parents who have an even harder time saying goodbye, for the school staff who have been preparing for the arrival of all these fabulous students, and for me because I have been anxiously awaiting and preparing for the the arrival of YOUR children.  Whatever our age or how we fit in the equation, we will all go to bed tonight with a wonderful sense of excitement.  A new beginning---and beginnings are everything!

I have many wonderful ideas for the year ahead.  In my planning and teaching, I hope to create fun and excitement about the learning that will take place.  I encourage you to share this experience of school with us by following our blog and faccebook page but even more importantly by talking with your 4th grader.

4th grade is a big deal!   I am looking forward to assisting your child through all of their successes this year.   During the year I invite you to stop in and see what is happening in our classroom.  Feel free to visit or call often so that we are able to work together in shaping your child's future.  I am so glad to have your child and am looking forward to being fabulous and fearless in fourth grade!

It's Monday....What are you reading? #IMWAYR

As the new school year is only a day away (yipee!!!)   I want to tell you how much I love the extra time that I have during the summer for reading.   I love reading all different things during the summer.  During the school year I'd like to keep up with this as a weekly post (#IMWAYR) but include what some of the 4th graders are reading, too.   So let's get to the details of what I'm reading right now.
My FUN book of the moment is A Night Divided.  It's historical fiction and I am loving it.   It's told from the point of view of  Gerta.  She is living eastern Berlin when the Berlin Wall goes up.  It splits her family because her father and brother were on the western side when the wall went up.  After years of not seeing her brother and father, Gerta sees her brother one day while walking to school.  Even more exciting is when Gerta sees her father.  The struggle between Gerta and her mother adds another conflict to this story.   I'm not finished but I'm hoping to finish this before school starts tomorrow.

 My personal development book of the moment is Daring Greatly by Brene Brown.  It is encouraging me to live wholeheartedly and not be afraid to try.  It's a great read for me to encourage to give it my best every day.
This is my TBR stack (to be read).  I'm always adding books to this pile.  Here's to hoping that my 4th graders coming in will be willing to help me read some of these ;-)

It's Monday.  What are you reading?

Monday, August 24, 2015

Day of Innovation Presentation

As many of you may know, I love technology.  My very first year teaching I was the district computer teacher at River Ridge (Illinois).  Although it has been many years since I taught computers, it is still near and dear to my heart.

I'm excited to share some computer ideas with the staff here in Lancaster tomorrow.  Here is what I will be presenting:

Google Docs

I hope everyone had a productive Monday!!   

Friday, July 31, 2015

Registration Packets Were Mailed

Did you get registration packets in the mail today?   It means that summer will be over soon.  Make sure to get those summer bucket list things done while you can:   farmer's market, mini golf, go-karts, water parks, bike rides, hiking, etc.   See you soon!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A New Learning Link to Try

Hey 4th graders and families, I am at a Tech Conference this week.  One really fun site I learned about was Turtle Diary.   Check it out!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Finish Line

Before we ran again we had a couple of hours.  We went to where we thought the BIG exchange was.  We were the first van there. We parked and rested for a little while.  A few other vans pulled in but not many.  It seemed strange that there weren't more vans coming.  One nice thing was that these porta potties were SO SO clean.  Did I tell you how disgusting the porta potties were at the start in Warner Park?  Even when we were there at 5:30 am, they were GROSS.  We waited at this parking lot awhile.  Finally we realized through some messages with the other team that, in fact, we were at the wrong spot.  Nikki (Runner 12) was expected to be hitting the exchange point and we needed to get to the right place.  With some excellent driving from Crystal, we made it to the spot.  
Dustin was ready to go!

Nikki looked strong coming in!

 And the hand off was complete!

We quickly headed back to where we had spent the afternoon because that is where Dustin would be passing the "baton" on to Anne for her 2nd leg.
And Anne was off.  We would meet her again at Caroll University.  She had 4.5 moderate miles ahead of her.  What exactly does moderate mean anyway?  After running these miles, I think they could have marked them all as VERY HARD--just sayin'.

Anne's miles were along the Glacial Drumlin Trail which was the same place my 1st leg was.  It was a really nice trail.  My miles were on gravel and sometimes between farms.  While I was running my 1st leg, I made lots of comparisons between the trail and Heritage Trail from Dubuque to Dyersville.  By the end of this journey (even after leg 2), I had decided that I would much rather run another Run4Troops marathon than ever run this again (and I don't plan to run another marathon....).

We were able to enjoy the indoor bathrooms at Caroll University before Tiffany headed out on her double leg.  Did I tell you that we were short a runner?  It didn't sound like such a big deal but once I saw the hills Tiffany had, I felt twinges in my legs (just looking at them).

Tiffany was ready to take on 2 legs (15 and 16 for a total of 10.2 moderate (what I would have labeled VERY HARD) miles.  

We sent Tiffany on her way and then headed to the exchange point that she was going to just pass through and keep going.  As we drove to the next exchange point we could not believe all the runners that were actually walking already....Then we saw the hills that were part of this leg.  YIKES.  Again, how did they determine that this was a moderate leg?  As we were driving we were super impressed to see what an AMAZING pace Tiffany had.  She had passed many of the runners that we had all watched leave the exchange point.  She was going to be at Poplar Creek Church in Berlin, WI, in no time.  Good thing we stopped there to check in because when we did, we realized that the cooler that was sitting between the 2 front seat had leaked.  It was like a small wading pool underneath Anne's seat.  Wouldn't have been even a deal since it was just water but unfortunately all of Anne's things were there and now they were SOAKED.  
We did what we could and Anne hung all her things over the back seat to dry out.  We cheered Tiffany through the exchange point and we were off to exchange 16.

At this point it was starting to get close to 6 pm.  Night hours required a few more things:  reflective vests, headlight, and tail lights.  
Tiffany looking strong and fast the exchange 16.  She was on to Waukesha and the New Berlin trail to meet us in New Berlin.

Headlamps make runners have amazing profiles ;-)

Crystal was ready to meet Tiffany and take off on leg 17.  

We headed to the next exchange where I would take over.  We were watching for Crystal but she was so fast that she was there before I had even gotten out of the van.  As I saw her coming I quickly got out and took the slap bracelet to get on my way.  I had pretty high hopes for this leg since it was my shortest one (3.1 miles).  
The leg started on the Root River Trail.  That was great but then it went into the "neighborhoods" of Greendale, WI.  There were no people along the way and the whole time I was worried that I was in the wrong place.  It had gotten pretty dark by this time.   Even though I finished before 9 pm, I could not see anything.  As I went through the exchange to hand off to Nate, I felt COMPLETELY LOST.  I couldn't see anyone I knew and nobody called out to me.  I wandered around outside Martin Luther High School looking for my team but had no success in finding them.  After awhile I went inside to see if someone could help me.  No luck.  As I was walking back outside I finally ran into the other 4 runners that were in Van 1.  They were heading inside to use the bathrooms and shower.

It was nice to get a couple of hours inside with indoor plumbing and more room to stretch than a large white van.   I enjoyed the time by plugging in my phone and resting in the hallway of the high school.  I heard some funny conversations as I was there.  There was a small group of 4 (3 girls and a guy) chatting about underwear and having kids.  They provided some fun entertainment as I rested with my eyes closed for a bit.  I ate a couple of Smuckers Uncrustables and just checked in with the kids and Roger.

By 12:30 am, we needed to get on our way to the next big exchange so that we could meet Nikki again.  Van 1 had the next 36.2 miles to complete.

Wouldn't you know that the rain kept hitting us.  In the end, I am thankful for the rain in my 3rd leg (Leg 27) because it kept me cool.  I ran at 4 in the morning (5.6 miles hard) and 6 am (6.5 miles moderate) to hand the slap bracelet to van 2 of Team Fired Up.
Just as I was nearing the 5 mile mark on this run, a hard rain started.  It was unfortunate because it continued for the next couple of hours.  

My average paced slowed for these last 2 legs but I was happy to finish them with a 9:14 avg pace and 9:43.  Even when I set out, I felt like a 10 minute mile was what my body and mind could do.... 24 hours of no sleep with no more diet orange sunkist was starting to do me in.

We celebrated with IHOP.  I had been so good about drinking water during RAGNAR but I though I wanted a diet soda.  It tasted disgusting (probably because it came from a soda fountain and the waitress added ice...)  My food was delicious and well-earned.

Our running was DONE!  After a quick stretch session in the IHOP parking lot, we headed to Chicago to wait for the rest of Team Fired Up to arrive.

The finish line was right on the beach (right now where the Zooma 1/2 finish was last summer).  We had a few hours to wait so we checked out some of the tents that were set up.

Van 2 arrived and we enjoyed running through the finish line all together.

Van 1 quickly departed Chicago and headed back to Wisconsin.  After being up for 41 hours (arrived home just after 7 pm last night) I was ready for a little sleep.  

Closing thoughts: 
*  When it's really hard to find someone to fill that vacant runner spot, maybe you shouldn't do this.
*  I am not made for this type of event.  I like knowing where I'm going and I like being able to see. 
*  Diet Orange Sunkist from a 2-liter bottle is my favorite thing to drink.
* My husband is my biggest supporter (and I am his) so I like having him around when I run/race to cheer me on at the finish line.  Not having any support at the end was tough for me. 

Congratulations to those people that run.  I have huge admiration for anyone that runs more than one of these things.  
Now to spend some fun time with my kiddos and husband at the Happy Joe's Franchise Meeting!