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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Big Bite

We have had a great two weeks.  We have started reading Mr. Popper's Penguins by Florence and Richard Atwater and we LOVE IT!  It is VERY different from the movie.  We are studying the differences between character traits and character feelings and are trying to find evidence to show how characters change over time.  Ryan created this picture of Mr. Popper as our anchor chart. :)
We have done some fun writing projects, like creating "Thankful Wreaths," and have written more poetry. Fiction writing is the next unit of study for us in writer's workshop. We are continuing to practice long division and are learning about decimals in math. We finished our journey to Mexico and will be heading north to Canada next!  Weather will be the next unit of study in science.  December will go by quickly, only three short weeks!  Everyone did a great job with the first oral presentation of the year.   Click the links to see some of the Thanksgiving speeches.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving break and Happy Hanukkah to all of our families who will be celebrating!





Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Big Bite

We had a great week!  We finished our units on Heredity and Mexico.  We took the heredity test and will take the Mexico test next week.  We are busy in writer's workshop with the end of the narrative unit and will be moving into essay writing next.  In reader's workshop we have started a new interactive read aloud, Mr. Popper's Penguins by Florence and Richard Atwater.  We are focusing on answering open response questions and independently applying the skills we used while reading The One and Only Ivan. On Friday, we had a special presentation on Aztec art by Mrs. Tracey.  Click here to view a video of Mrs. Tracey .explaining Aztec Art.  After students created Aztec suns using a foam print and ink, they wrote poems in the style of Octavio Paz, a famous Mexican poet.  We love it when we can weave art across the curriculum and this was a great way to wrap up the unit on Mexico.  Thanks, Mrs. Tracey!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Bookworm buzz

Hard Luck (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, #8)Hard Luck by Jeff Kinney
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Not my favorite DWK book, I certainly didn't laugh as much as I have with other books in the series.  Greg is growing up and facing some interesting challenges, most importantly how to be happy on his own.  I think some 4th graders will have a hard time getting through this book as it may not hold interest for many readers as other DWK books have done in the past.

View all my reviews
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A great book for those who celebrate Christmas and believe in Santa Claus.  Meeting Patricia Polacco and having her tell me that the end of the story is TRUE, adds to the magic of Christmas and all of its traditions.  Also, hearing her say that this farm is still a magical place for her and her family makes me love the story even more.  Parents of believers should read this book before sharing it with their children. :)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Bookworm Buzz

It's going to be a great weekend for reading!  What is in your book pile?  I have the new Diary of a Wimpy kid coming up next.  Luke  loved it, finished it last night, so now it is my turn.
I Am Pusheen the CatI Am Pusheen the Cat by Claire Belton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Very cute story-great for inferring with reluctant readers.  It helps if you like cats as well!

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Friday, November 8, 2013

A Big Bite

Creative Arts Friday was a blast !  After spending much time on division, heredity and all of our other work in reader's and writer's workshop this past week, it was wonderful to spend a day celebrating the book The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate.  We started our day with 5 math problems about Ivan and the other characters in the book.  Then we did a light yoga set featuring animals  and objects that can be found in the zoo, rain forest or jungle.  We stood like trees, breathed like lions, swung our trunks like elephants, hissed like snakes and jumped like frogs.  We relaxed for a few minutes like sloths before starting art centers.  We used crayons, markers, pencils and finger paints to create a four picture model on a black frame. Thanks to Mrs. Hess for letting us use her finger paints and special finger paint paper. :) We made a chart with tally marks of our snacks.  Some of the snacks that people had were bananas, raisins, marshmallow, popcorn and other fruits.  We watched the Disney movie Tarzan and made comparisons to real gorillas and human and gorilla interactions.  So many students had never seen it before!  With Mrs. Merten's class, we thanked Mrs. Toye for making it possible for us to read Ivan.  She supported the teachers when they said that they wanted to teach specific reading skills, like similes and character traits with this book, so she asked Mrs. Richards to purchase them for us.Thanks, Mrs. Toye! We worked on writing poems in a variety of styles using the characters from the book.We played Pictionary with vocabulary words that we have been studying. The pictures were great.  We looked at some of the Power Point Presentations that we created with Mrs. Merten in technology and will view the rest next week. 
Our student council election was very interesting.  Due to a tie vote, we needed to recast ballots to determine a winner.  The results will be announced on Tuesday after everyone has an opportunity to vote. Overall,  it was an awesome day!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

At the Core

This is a video from Teacher Tube explaining the "low stress/partial quotients," method of division. Feel free to click on the video for help with tonight's homework. :)

Juicy Nibble

The speeches for Student Council Representative were wonderful!  The students worked hard preparing and practicing their speech.  I know that it will be a tough decision on Friday because EVERYONE would do a great job. :)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Spotlight On...

The first Spotlight post this year is on Nicholas.  Nick loves badminton and we love to hear him tell us all about his sport and his tournaments.  Nick's dad sent me this post for Spotlight.

Nicholas performed really well at the NJ Super regional badminton tournament earning one gold medal in mixed double and silver in single and boys double. This is one of the biggest junior tournament in the US. Winners at these tournaments get to take part at the junior international trials which will pick kids to represent the US at the Pan Am and World tournament.

He's currently ranked 11th in the US and hope to make it to top 4 next year at the trials.

We are all very proud of his achievements.

Yes, we are all very proud of Nick's achievements!  Way to go, Nick!  Nick! Nick! Nick!
Mrs. W

A Big Bite

It was another great week in room 23!  We finished The One and Only Ivan in reader's workshop and it was quite an emotional ending. Here is a link to a video of the real Ivan taken when he lived at Zoo Atlanta.We are looking forward to the book party this Friday, there are so  many fun activities planned! In math, we have started a unit on division and are going to learn the "low stress," method of long division next week.  Verbs are part of our word study and we are working hard on identifying action verbs and helping verbs in sentences. Everyone received a copy of the speech (and the scoring rubric) that is due on November 26th.  Mrs. Marano has offered to listen to anyone practice their speech, BEFORE the 26th, to give pointers and tips to individual students.  Students are able to see her from 8:15-8:30 in room 22.  Thanks, Mrs. Marano! In science, we have been learning about Gregor Mendel and his work with pea plants.  Next week we will learn more about inherited and non inherited traits. Mexico is an exciting country to study and this week we learned about the Day of the Dead celebration which takes place on November 1st.  We watched a Power Point presentation and made masks. We finished writing haiku poems in poetry workshop and begin writing poems about the characters from The One and Only Ivan.  It was so much fun.   In addition, the Power Point presentations that we created with Mrs. Merten during tech are almost finished.  Students had a great time using transitions and sounds in their slides.  Halloween was exciting and the "Party in a bag," snacks were very creative. :)  Many students in room 23 have decided to run for the JFK Student Council.  Speeches will be on Wednesday at 8:45!  November is here and Thanksgiving is just around the corner.  4th grade is flying by!