Friday, September 19, 2014

Week of Camp Floyd

Wow, is it Friday already!? This week flew by!

This week was filled with a lot of MAP testing and a lot of adventures. My favorite adventure was, of course, our field trip to Camp Floyd on Tuesday! It felt so good being outside all day and learning about our history here in Utah. I also enjoyed spending time with the students while attending each event. Here are some pictures I snapped while on the field trip:

Checking out some artifacts in the museum

Military Drill

The Pony Express going backwards!

Making candles

This week I started my first science/social studies rotation with Ms. Myers' class. We just barely started talking about rocks and minerals and the Paleo-Indians. To explore rocks and minerals, we looked at Hershey's candy bars and Snickers to compare the two. We learned that the Paleo-Indians are the earliest known people in Utah. Paleo means ancient or very old (just like Yzma from Emperor's New Groove!)

In Language Arts, we are just about done writing our first opinion paper on our favorite treat. We finished our rough drafts and peer editing on Thursday and then we are going to write our final draft on Monday and then type it on Tuesday. I am so excited to go back to the computer lab and type these on our class blog! 

Next week are SEPs!! I hope to see each and every one of you those days! Have a great weekend!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

New Rotations

This last week was filled with many educational adventures!

In science and social studies we learned about time zones and the International Date Line! We also learned about the longest day by watching this link. We learned about earth's layers and how different mountains form. We finished the unit with a test on Friday. The day was buzzing with excitement, as we all counted down the minutes until our test so we could eat our M&Ms while taking our M&M test. Everyone did well on the test.

In math we are still reviewing concepts. We spent a couple days going over number lines and I think everyone enjoyed using a ruler to make our own number lines-making sure that each tick mark was an equal distance apart.

In Writing, we are getting closer to finishing our rough drafts for our first Opinion Paper. Our goal is to finish the whole writing process by September 24th so we can have a party on September 25th where we read our stories to each other. It will be a celebratory event! I am so excited for everyone to finish. I know the results will be fabulous because we have been working really hard in class.

For Reading, we have been learning about text connections. For our text-to-world lesson, we learned about deforestation and environmentalists. Then we read from The Lorax and made connections. I think the students felt really sophisticated when they used big words like deforestation and environmentalist correctly. I certainly thought they sounded sophisticated.

The reason this post is titled New Rotations is because starting Monday, all three of the 4th grade classes will be rotating to a new teacher for science and social studies. I am sad that I will have to say goodbye to my homeroom class but I look forward to meeting everyone in Ms. Myers' class. I will still see my homeroom class at the end of each day for "morning" meeting,  cursive, and read-aloud.

Parents: I just want to take a moment and thank you for all you do. I am amazed at the sacrifices you make to help with our fourth grade class. Thank you to those who will be driving for our upcoming field trip. I look forward to getting to know you more. I have enjoyed getting to know your children. I almost cried when I stopped to tell them how much I love each of them. I love the jokes they tell, the stories they share, and the unique personalities they each have.

As a side note: I am looking for a parent volunteer to come in my math class from 9:00 until 9:25 to help with independent work and homework. You could come once a week, twice a week, every other week. Any day would be great! Please contact me if you would be able to come help.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

After Labor Day

Hi everyone!

I hope you had a great Labor Day and that the following days were filled with many accomplishments. In my various classes, we accomplished many things!

In math, we are still reviewing many basic concepts to prepare us for the new ones we will be learning soon.

In science and social studies, we finished our scientific method unit and are moving onto maps and mountains. One of my favorite lessons so far was when the students worked in groups to compare 3 different maps (Disneyland, Sundance Ski Resort, and a map of Alaska). While looking at the maps, they had to determine what they all had in common and to create their own definitions based on what they saw. My favorite definition of a legend comes from Logan:

"So, let's say you didn't know where the bathroom is and you're at Disneyland, and all you have is a map and Oh Look! Here's a legend. A legend shows you what parts of Disneyland there are bathrooms."

To demonstrate our knowledge of maps and legends, each student created their own Barefoot Island where they created a map in the shape of a foot and a legend to go with it. I really enjoyed seeing what they came up with. Feel free to stop by my classroom to see them. They are hanging outside my room.

In Language Arts, we have been learning about strategies that we can use before, during, and after we read. To help us remember these strategies, we used them with the following book: A Bad Case of Stripes.  Before we read the book, we made predictions and then typed them on our class blog. Then they commented on each other's blog posts. Every single student was engaged during this lesson. They loved getting to type their predictions and then getting to leave comments on their classmate's posts.

This week we also started our first Opinion Paper on what we think is the best candy/treat. On Monday we will write our introduction paragraph and then on Tuesday we will type up our introductions.

Thank you students for all your hard work!
Thank you parents for encouraging them to work hard and do their best!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

September Newsletter

Today I sent home the September Newsletter.
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.