Thursday, November 27, 2014

Maker Day

"Look what we made"...
"Can we do this again"...
"We figured it out"...

Maker Day- a day to celebrate innovation and creativity by emphasizing STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math). 

All students in grades Pre-K through 12 spent the day problem solving, building, brainstorming, calculating, and collaborating.  Whether constructing greenhouses in our Upper School,  building wooden benches in Middle School, or making small boats in Lower School, the students worked together.  

Our fourth graders rotated through five different STEAM projects.  They made marble mazes, musical instruments using recycled materials, floating boats, electric circuits and contributed to a large art mural made with bottle caps.

Students were quite creative when they were presented with LEDs, battery pack, insulating playdough, and conductive playdough.  

Car with Working Headlights
Airplane with Lights
Maryland Blue Crab
Days like this prove that you don't need textbooks and pencils to learn. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Mystery Skype

Want an interactive, engaging, and exciting way to brush up on geography?  What about participating in a Mystery Skype session?

That's exactly what our fourth grade class did today. We connected with another fourth grade class on Skype and took turns with them asking yes/no questions to help determine each other's location.  Not only did we use our mapping skills but also deductive reasoning. 

Everyone in our class was assigned specific responsibilities during the Mystery Skype, and we took these duties seriously.  Some of our jobs were photographers, recorders, tweeters, question leader, mappers, welcomer, and closer. 

During the Mystery Skype two students recorded all the questions we asked and the questions that the other class asked us.  The recorders wrote these questions on the whiteboards so they were visible to everyone in our classroom.  This helped prevent us from repeating questions by accident. 

Questions the Other Class Asked Us
Questions We Asked the Other Class

Students were highly engaged during our Skype session and worked well together.  The students were able to determine the other school was in Iowa.  The Mystery Skype session lasted approximately 25 minutes.

We are already looking forward to our next Mystery Skype.

Mrs. Lynch

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Book Tasting

The book fair visited our school this week, and books are definitely my weak spot.  I just can't say no and walked away with over thirty new books for our classroom library.  Parents and students also generously donated new books to our classroom.

Now I had a nice problem- how was I going to let the students preview all the books before adding them to the classroom library shelves?  An idea was born....a book tasting.  Students would have a chance to sample three of the new books for each of the courses (appetizer, entree, and dessert).

Front of Menu
Inside of Menu
While the students were in Art class, the classroom was quickly transformed into a restaurant for our book tasting.  Desks were covered with tablecloths. Flower centerpieces and small votive candles were an added touch.  Books were placed on pizza pans on each of the tables.

The students loved getting to 'taste' several new books.  Students wrote a short prediction/evaluation of the book based on reading a few pages and/or the back cover. They were actively engaged and had spontaneous group discussions at the tables about the books they sampled.  Interest and excitement were generated.  At the end of the book tasting the students quickly asked when we would do it again.  

It is always a nice feeling to hear students chattering about a day's lesson or project.  

Mrs. Lynch

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Four Senses

We all know there are five senses, but in Science class today we only used four of them.  Yesterday we started our new unit on powders and crystals.  Today we used our sense of touch, smell, sound, and sight to describe six different powders and crystals.  The powders and crystals were a mystery because our teacher didn't tell us what they were.

We had to use our four senses to observe the differences and similarities between the six powders and crystals.  We didn't use our sense of taste because we didn't know what the powders and crystals were. It wouldn't be safe to taste something that is a mystery....especially in Science class.

We can't wait to find out the names of the six powders and crystals.

Your student bloggers, 
Class of 2023

Monday, October 13, 2014

Something to 'Tweet' About

Last week I was introduced to the Global Read Aloud project.  Schools around the world are connecting their students by reading the same book.  There were several books to choose from.  We are reading The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer Holm. 

Teachers are asked to follow a suggested reading schedule so we all read the same chapters each day.  After reading today's chapters we jumped on Twitter for the first time.  Prior to posting we discussed Twitter safety and general social media safety.

We responded to several tweets posted by another fourth grade class. 

We also tweeted our own predictions about the next chapter.

We were THRILLED to see a class from Brazil connect with us through Twitter.  Who would have thought a simple tweet would lead to a global connection.  This truly shows the power and speed of social media.

 This week....more chapters, more tweets, and more global connections.

Mrs. Lynch

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Climbing Colors

Today in Science we talked about absorption.  We did an experiment where we used different kinds of liquids (plain water, soapy water, glycerin, and cooking oil) to see which liquid is absorbed the fastest and the most by a piece of blotter paper.

Plain water got off to a very quick start and moved up the blotter paper the fastest.  Soapy water was in second place.  Glycerin and oil had a hard time moving up the paper.

Your student bloggers,
Class of 2023

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Reading Rockstars

We are enjoying the humorous novel Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing during Reading class.  We spend a lot of time focusing on comprehension and vocabulary while reading our book.  The students have read the first four chapters and are hungry for more.

Today we had our first Reading test.  In the days leading up to our test, we practiced answering comprehension questions together in class.  We discussed the difference between "plain vanilla" answers versus answers rich with details.  Hopefully the students took this to heart while working on their tests this morning.  

To help the students during the test reminders were posted on the Smartboard.  Although I orally stated these helpful hints before and during the test, some students benefit from a visual reminder.

How can you help your child at home? 

-read the nightly chapters with your child
-ask one or two questions after reading each page
-discuss characters, setting, problem, and resolution
-review vocabulary a few minutes each night
-challenge your student to use their new vocabulary words in everyday conversation

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Hello World!

Welcome to our fourth grade blog for the 2014-2015 school year.  Check back often to see what's happening in our class.  This is our first entry of the school year.  We hope you enjoy our pictures, and maybe you'll even learn a little.

In Science today we learned that plain water has more cohesion than soapy water.  Cohesion is when similar molecules stick together.  Soap reduces the amount of cohesion in water.

In this experiment we filled plastic cups with plain water and soapy water.  We wanted to find out which liquid heaped higher over the brim of the cup.  Plain water heaped higher because it has more cohesion.

Your student bloggers,
The Class of 2023

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Field Day Fun

We celebrated our school's annual Field Day on June 10th.  It is a day when we compete in athletic games.  We had quite a surprise when it started to pour rain during our very first event...the tug of war.  The rain lasted about 30 minutes, but then the sky was clear and beautiful.  We are lucky it didn't thunder because that would have postponed or even cancelled our Field Day.

After tug of war we competed in an obstacle course, fifty yard dash, sack race, survivor island, three man race, and ended with a water balloon toss.

Tug of War
Obstacle Course
Sack Race
Sack Race
Here are our favorite events:
Ayush- Obstacle Course
Kate- Survivor Island
Gavin- Water Balloon Toss
Sumira- Tug of War
Aidan- Obstacle Course
Kat- Fifty Yard Dash
Alex- Obstacle Course
Puja- Obstacle Course
Carter- Obstacle Course
AnnaMarie- Tug of War
Hugh Thomas- Three Man Race
Grace- Sack Race
Brice- Obstacle Course
Brooke- Survivor Island
Pranay- Obstacle Course
Olivia- Survivor Island
Jacob- Fifty Yard Dash
Sydney- Obstacle Course

Next year will be our last year of competing in Field Day because we will be fifth graders.  

Your student bloggers, 
The Fantastic Fourth

Monday, May 12, 2014

Race for Excellence

On Friday we participated in our school's annual Race for Excellence.  We walked and ran around our recess/sports field for an hour.  This event helps raise money for school improvements.  Last year's Race for Excellence raised money to expand our lunchroom.  

Before the Race we sent letters to our families and friends asking for donations to support the Race for Excellence.  Our class sent over 200 letters.  We sent letters as far away as India, California, Arizona, England, Colorado and Florida.  

We sang the Star Spangled Banner before starting the Race.  Then we walked/ran for an hour.  There were water stations in case we got hot.  We even had a D.J. playing music to keep us motivated.  After the Race we enjoyed snacks such as cookies, fruit, brownies, and other sweet treats.  We also had cold gatorade and water.

Some students won prizes for mailing twenty or more letters.  The prizes were 6 tickets to a water park, $200 gift card to a surf shop, and the grand prize was an iPad mini. One of the fourth graders won the iPad and was very surprised.  

Your student bloggers, 
The Fantastic Fourth