Thursday, May 28, 2015

Robotics Challenge

Our class enjoyed a videoconference with the Museum of Flight located in Seattle, Washington.  We learned about the history of robotics, how robots are used in our everyday lives, and the future of robotics.  We were most impressed with learning how the rovers on Mars land safely and about the scientific research the rovers are conducting.  Who knows?  Maybe one of us will travel to Mars in our lifetime.

After the videoconference, we were faced with a robotics challenge.  The students had to build a robot that would move forward and backward, left and right, pick up an object, and be able to store that object onboard the robot.

We had such a great time designing and building our robots.  The students had to use critical thinking skills and troubleshooting when their robot did not work according to plan.

A big round of applause to the Museum of Flight for sparking curiosity with our fourth graders.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Spring Fever

All educators know that as soon as warm weather hits spring fever also hits.  Needless to say, students get a little feisty, talkative, and are just as ready for summer as the teachers.

However, don't believe the spring fever hype. 

Today we went on a field trip to our local YMCA to review water safety.  Our class has never been so attentive, well behaved and eager to learn.  They listened, asked great questions, and were on task the entire day.  They helped rescue each other by throwing floatation rings.  They held on to each other in the huddle position after the canoe capsized.  They cheered each other on as they raced to the end of the pool.  I couldn't have asked for a better field trip.

Spring fever?  Not. Quite. Yet.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Grandparents' Day

We were so fortunate to spend the morning with our grandparents and special visitors.  We had a full agenda and quickly started our program with speeches about famous historical figures.  Abraham Lincoln, Marie Curie, Harry Houdini, and Elizabeth Blackwell just to name a few.

We then surprised our grandparents will a quiz on our iPads about our speeches.  Can you believe some of our grandparents had never used an iPad before?  Since we are fourth grade tech experts we were able to lend them a helping hand.  

After that, we went head-to-head against our grandparents on a math speed drill.  How long does it take you to answer fifty multiplication or division facts?  Some of our guests were very fast and even beat us!  Way to go!

We are so fortunate our grandparents and guests spent the morning with us.  We are already looking forward to seeing them again.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Challenge Yourself

Like most schools, we have regularly scheduled faculty meetings.  And like most schools, we use this time for "housekeeping"- discuss upcoming special events, field trips, changes in our curriculum, etc.
A few days ago we had our faculty meeting and were asked to challenge ourselves.

Try something new.  Create a new lesson.  Read a new book.  Explore a new piece of technology.  Go outside your comfort zone and reach beyond.

Do. Not. Settle.

This discussion made me reflect on the school year thus far.  My professional goal this year was, and continues to be, to share my passions with my students and look beyond the curriculum.  We've learned to make soap and use a sewing machine.  I've already read more books aloud to my students than previous years.  We've connected internationally by participating in the Global Read Aloud and numerous Mystery Skypes lessons.   We are currently writing eBooks on our national parks.  We will soon start exploring digital photography.  The arts, reading, writing, and technology are all passions of mine. 

I firmly believe these "extra projects" have brought my students together as a class so nicely.   Their communication skills have improved, and they show one another more respect and compassion. 

Keep reaching.  Keeping challenging.  Keep growing.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Teeth Shine without Grime

A big thank you to Ms. Danielle and Ms. Bethany from Dr. Tilghman & Dr. Schwartz's office for visiting our school and teaching us about dental hygiene.  We learned some important tips on how to keep our teeth shiny and clean.

Tip #1
Brush twice a day for two minutes.  You should spend thirty seconds brushing each of the four quadrants of your mouth. Don't forget to brush your gums and tongue.

Tip #2
Always floss after brushing.  When your dental floss reaches your gums, make a "C" motion and come back up.  This will help scoop away any food and help keep your gums healthy.

Tip #3
Eating crunchy vegetables will also help clean your teeth.  Chewing on crunchy pencils, fingernails, or ice cubes will NOT help clean your teeth. They only cause damage.

Tip #4
Try to stay away from soda, candy or other acidic foods.  Acid can eat away your teeth and cause cavities.

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Class of 2023