Sunday, September 29, 2013

Spelling Practice

The students teamed up to practice their spelling words last week.  Each group of students were given a small tub of magnetic ABC letters.  They worked together to make as many of their spelling words as possible in five minutes.  Even though we are an iPad classroom room, it is important not to do everything digitally.

This simple activity worked more than just their spelling skills.  It also tested their teamwork and communication skills. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Pinwheels for Peace

Pinwheels for Peace is a national project created by a school in Florida.  It is celebrated each year on September 21.  The whole point is to write your wish on your pinwheel and as the wind blows it blows your wishes into the world.

This our Pinwheels for Peace.  Our art teacher, Miss T., asked the whole lower school to make pinwheels.  Fourth grade and fifth grade choose their favorite artists and copied their paintings on to pinwheels. Pre-K through third grade made their own designs on their pinwheels.

On our pinwheels we each wrote a wish for the world.

Sydney- I hope there are no more wars.
Alex- Stop murder
Brice- I hope there are no more wars.
Olivia- I hope people stop fighting.
Grace- I wish bullying would stop.
Brooke- I hope the whole world is in peace.
Jacob- World peace
Hannah- I wish there were no more bad people in the world.
Ayush- I hope there are no more wars.
Kate- I hope there were no wars and no one would get hurt.
Aidan- I hope there are no more wars.
Marshall- People need to stop fighting other people in their countries.
Hugh Thomas- I hope to bring peace to the world forever and ever and for all eternity.
AnnaMarie- I wish the world would be a better place.
Carter- I hope there is no more child abuse.
Kat- I wish for no more bullying and everyone would be nice to each other.
Puja- I wish everyone would get along.
Gavin- I wish for peace for the world.
Pranay- I wish the war in Syria would stop.
Sumira- I wish the world was a better place.

This is a short video we found on YouTube to tell you a little more about Pinwheels for Peace.

Your student bloggers,
The Fantastic Fourth

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Back to School Night

We had a successful Back to School Night, and I appreciate all the parents that were able to attend.

A few thoughts about the evening...

-I love teaching siblings because the parents seem to trust the process a little more.  They saw firsthand success with their older child and now look forward to the same growth with their newest fourth grader.

-Parents experiencing fourth grade for the first time are excited, apprehensive, and curious.  I hope they have as much fun this year as their student.  It truly is an amazing year.

-This may be the year that the student knows just a little more than their parents when it comes to technology.  These fourth graders are cruising right along with Socrative, Google Drive, iBooks, and Notability.  We are building a technology foundation that will carry them through their academic career.

-Having a former parent stop in just to say, "Thank you" or "I miss fourth grade" reaffirms that I am in the right profession.

-A group of parents with a sense of humor and understanding makes the night go just a little bit better.  Keep in mind- I'm used to talking with nine and ten year olds all day.  It's a little intimidating having a room full of adults.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Super Science

Our first unit in Science is about liquids.  We already know that liquids take the shape of the container they are in.  Also, we know that when you add dye to a liquid it doesn't effect the shape, size, or texture of the liquid.

During today's experiment, we learned that cohesion is the force that attracts molecules to themselves.  Water and glycerin both have a lot of cohesion.  When we put a drop of water and glycerin on waxed paper, the drops stayed in a circle form and did not spread out.  Soapy water, cooking oil, and alcohol do not have a lot of cohesion.  Those drops spread out into a thin layer of liquid on the waxed paper.

This is the first time we are blogging, instead of our teacher doing all the work.  This is our way of keeping you informed and in touch with our classroom.  We hope you enjoy our first blog and visit often.  We will tell you about our school days, our science experiments, special projects, field trips, and much more.

Your student bloggers,
The Fantastic Fourth

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Improving Each Day

What a difference a day makes.  We started our day using the iPads for reading.  We practiced highlighting our vocabulary words and using the built in dictionary to help us define the words.

A little bit later in the day we used the Socrative app to do a "Getting to Know Me" activity.  Instead of doing the traditional paper and pencil approach to What I Did This Summer, we went digital.  I actually think the students put more effort into the assignment because they were typing instead of writing.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Our First Day

What a day!  The first day of school always seems to be the hardest.  The students are busy chatting with their classmates.  The parents linger in the classroom getting pictures and last minute hugs.  Former students come to visit and share all their summer memories.  Administrators come in the classroom and welcome all the students back to school.  Whew!

This morning seemed like a whirlwind.  I finally felt at peace when all folders and art supplies were labeled.  It was refreshing to see just one textbook on the students' desks.  This year we will be using iPads and moving down the paperless path. 

Imagine this....Students will pull their work off Google Drive, complete it in Notability, and email me their assignments.  I can then mark their assignment/project and send it back to them.  All of this can be accomplished without using paper.  This will be overwhelming in the beginning, but will become second nature for the students in no time. 

Today was about survival.  Tomorrow is about exploration and productivity.