Thursday, January 29, 2015

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

What Stuck With You Today?

We are just beginning our science unit on weather.  Its' going to be a ton of fun.
Today we looked at 3 different weather maps and then we began talking about how wind causes all weather.  We learned about the layers of the atmosphere, too.
Before the 4th graders could head out to recess, they had to fill out their post it note to share something that "stuck" with them from the lesson. 
As I read over their responses, I would say they "got" it!  Check back to find out more about what we are doing in the classroom.

We also read the book Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs today to learn about sequence of events.  
Our week is going so quickly and I can hardly believe that tomorrow is Thursday!

Reminders:  Food Collection goes until Friday Morning.
Report Cards are coming home on Friday.
4th grade skating night is Monday.

What stuck with you from your day?

Friday, January 23, 2015

Check out our Presentations From Today

We had a wide variety of speeches to listen to today.  Each group had a model of the home, a poster, and a speech to share.

Some groups broke apart and some assigned roles differently.

This was our first time giving speeches based on research so now we will work on improving our skills for next time.

Friday, January 16, 2015

A Perfect Polar Bear

White, Cuddly, Polar Bears. Do you like Polar Bears? Well if you do you better listen. I can’t wait to tell you all that I know about polar bears. The family life of polar bears is something you should know about. First of all, Polar bears are mammals of the family urasidea. Bears are classified has conforms. Polar bears can be found in these contents North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. Also, Life cycle of polar bears is something cool that you should know about. Courtship and mating take place on the sea ice I April and May. A male may follow the tracks of a breeding female for 60 miles. Partners stay together and mate repeatedly for an entire week and mating ritual induces ovulation in the female. In addition, the physical characteristic of polar bears is something you should know about. Adult male polar bears weigh 350-700kg or 700-1,540lbs. The only other bear of a similar size to a polar bear is the Kodiak bear witch is brown. Adult females are roughly half size of males and normally weigh 330-550lbs. In conclusion, Polar bears are amazing animals. Because of their family life, life cycle, and physical characteristics Polar bears are one of a kind. Everyone would be happier if they cuddled with a polar bear.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

What was our week like?

WOW!  We just closed the doors on the 2nd quarter (wrapped-up the 1st semester) of the school year.  Let me just say that these 4th graders are ON FIRE!  Seriously.  We took our STAR tests and the results have been shared with students.  We wrote animal reports that are outstanding (all in one week’s time).  As I evaluate each and every day there are some common themes for the good days and common characteristics of the not so good days.  See if these make sense: 
1-      We want our days to be HAPPY!
2-      We want to be part of the group.

This week we had some days that I left school celebrating---like floating on clouds celebrating.  There were also a couple of days where I left thinking, “what do I need to do differently because we cannot have another day like that?”  What happened on the days that we all left feeling happy?  It wasn’t that everything went our way.  We just chose to remember the good pieces.  I really believe this.  There were still rough parts of the happy days but somehow I chose to celebrate the way that Student A said, “thank you,” for something.  I chose to appreciate the time that Student B had worked on this week’s animal report.  I chose to acknowledge the great STAR scores that we had in our classroom.  What about the part of the group thing?   Well….that is definitely a little trickier with 4th graders.  I saw it happen in an amazing way this week.  When Student C taught a lesson, the rest of the kids listened to directions and enjoyed what was taught (making paper airplanes is always fun for 4th graders….).  There was evidence of mutual respect.  Everyone was included and students felt like they needed to do what was being done.  In Native American cultures belonging was so important.  Ella Doria, anthropologist, said, “Be related, somehow, to everyone you know.”  We are a family in this fabulous 4th grade classroom.  The good days are definitely the ones where we choose happy and we include everyone.  Enough of my rambling---get out there and enjoy this LONG weekend!

Newsletter for This Week

Monday, January 12, 2015

It's Monday....

I should be doing a what are you reading? post, but instead I want to share with you a link to a site we enjoyed today.  We began our writing to inform unit.  Last week we had multiple lessons on fact/opinion so it just makes sense to move into writing to inform (give facts).  We looked at a sample 5 paragraph report and then we began talking about how to gather information for our own 5 paragraphs.  Students are encouraged to decide what animal they will be researching and then fill out their 4-square by Thursday.  On Friday we will be writing and typing our final drafts.

In our research we came across a cool site from the San Diego Zoo.  If you scroll down on their homepage, you can watch the live cams.  Fun stuff!   Check it out if you have time!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Wondering What You Can Do At Home?

It was so nice to have the 2 extra days off this week because of the cold.  Many students used some of the time for reading (that's what I did quite a bit of, too).  Whenever there is a day off, please know that we can always be working on our skills using XtraMath or practicing spelling words, too.

Last week's words (compound words) are being carried over this week.  We will take our posttest on Friday.  Until then, feel free to practice them online HERE!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Have You Chosen Your WORD?

(pic from
Welcome to 2015!  As a teacher I get to start a new year 2 times a year:  once on January 1 and a 2nd time when the school year begins.  I love that I get 2 chances each year!  It's a chance for a clean slate.  Everything is shiny and new as we begin 2015.  I've been in the classroom to clean things up and get everything looking good.   All the plans are in place for the first week back and we are going to be COURAGEOUS in all that we do.   With that being said, let's be realistic, too.  I've made a plan for how I'm going to show courage every day.  I'm going to build momentum day by day one small action at a time!  I believe that we can all do it.  We can achieve great things but we must take the small steps.  Here are some of the things I'm going to do each and every day to keep my courage strong:
*Make a daily to-do list (oh, how this has helped me!!!   I've also had to learn to let some things on the list go unfinished and just rewrite them on the next day's list.)
*DRINK WATER (this one is huge for me.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE my diet orange sunkist....  Water is a much better choice.)
*Read for pleasure.
*Move and be active to hit my fitbit goal every day.

I know that a new year is a new chance for improvement.  We won't miss out on this great opportunity.  I can't wait to welcome my fabulous 4th graders back to school tomorrow.  Be sure to check back and see how our first week back is going.  Until then, SHINE ON!