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Friday, October 31, 2014

A Big Bite

Happy Halloween!  The happy faces in these pictures tell the story of a fun week in room 23.  We finished addition and subtraction of large numbers and everyone did a great job on the test.  In writer's workshop we participated in flexible groups with Mrs. Merten's class to publish three separate pieces of writing.  Students finished a project on the Chrome books, published Haiku poems and completed the editing and publication of a piece of narrative writing.  We focused on non fiction reading strategies in reader's workshop. We incorporated our unit of study on Mexico into reader's workshop as we read non fiction across several texts in addition to watching power points on the country of Mexico.  Our goal is to practice close reading and to use a variety of media to write a well balanced response to questions about Mexico.  Reading across the curriculum is an important skill.  Black and white day was a huge success and a lot of fun for students.  It was great to celebrate this book together as a class. Mrs. Merten has published some great pictures from our Pictionary game; click here to see them.   We even made a line plot of our black and white snacks; Oreos were the clear favorite.  On Friday, we worked on Halloween related word study skills and math activities.  The party in a bag was a hit with students. The teachers even had a surprise in store for the students for Dance Party Friday; check out the video below. :) We are looking forward to the student council speeches and election next week.  Don't forget to practice your speech over the weekend. :)
Have a safe Halloween and a great weekend.
Mrs. Williams

Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Big Bite

4th grade is so much fun! We work hard and learn so much.  Every day just flies by. :) This past week we completed our first interactive read aloud, Mr. Popper's Penguins.  We spent time working on writing in response to reading, making predictions as a comprehension strategy, analyzing character traits vs. character feelings and developing vocabulary.  We have learned some pretty "expensive," words, like novelty, solemn, and indignant to name a few.  We are using the skills we are working on in word study with our class novel and independent reading.  As a class we have read 172+ books so far this year, this is amazing. :) The Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi is a favorite for many of us.  In math we finished a small unit on place value and have begun another short unit on addition and subtraction.  There will be another assessment this Thursday in math.  Everyone would benefit from practicing their math facts nightly.  We finished our big unit on Maps and Globes in Social Studies and started to learn about Mexico.  We will be focusing on close reading and non fiction reading skills and strategies this week. In tech workshop, the students are continuing to learn about the many  uses of Google Drive.  They are working on a document simultaneously with a partner on two different Chrome Books.  It is very exciting.  In writer's workshop we are finishing our first narrative and will be starting fiction pieces soon.  We are busy writing Haiku poems in poetry workshop and are beginning to "write like readers and to read like writers."  There are two half days this week in order for conferences to take place.  If you have not yet filled out your parent survey for the conference, please click here, the survey is still open.  You only need to submit it once. :)We will celebrate Mr. Popper's penguins on Thursday with "Black and White Day."  A notice went home on Friday and can be found in the important documents gadget.  Halloween is on Friday and the students are invited to bring in a "Party in a Bag,"  A notice went home last week about this as well.  Students can click here to complete this week's survey.  See you on Monday!
Mrs. Williams

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Poetry, Please!

Things to do if You are a Hammer
 A list poem by Katy

Build a new house
Stay away from little kids
Have a head made of metal
keep wood together
Shine like a star
Be tough and heavy
Don't mind the sweat of a builder's hand
Love your design of grip
Live in a handsome store before the carpenter takes you home
Help the handy man
Still work through the rain
Hang in your home with your screwdriver friends
Have a little bit of magic in every touch

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Big Bite

Katy's Ladybugs
Pond Water Zoo
We had a short but productive week in room 23.  We used microscopes and hand held magnifiers to look at Franklin pond water and some ladybugs.  The weather was perfect for outdoor explorations. We have finished working on place value in math and will have a quiz during the upcoming week.  In writer's workshop, our narrative stories are ready for final revisions and publication, and we are writing haiku poems in poetry workshop.  Mrs. Merten is teaching everyone how to share a document in GoogleDocs and students were able to work on a document at the same time but from different Chrome books.  It was very cool!  reader's workshop continues with our first interactive read aloud, Mr. Popper's Penguins.  We have been starting to transfer the skills that we have been working on in word study to this novel.  It is an authentic way to work with words in relation to grammar and spelling.  We are done studying basic map and globe skills and will take a test later this week.  No survey for students this week, but parents, please click here to complete a survey for parent/teacher conferences in two weeks.  Thanks!
Have a great evening!
Mrs. Williams

Monday, October 13, 2014

Bookworm Buzz

My 499th post is all about books and I think that is just PERFECT!!  I have been back to the library and found some great chapter books and picture books to share with all of you. Remember, you can use your library card to put books on hold or to dwonload books onto your tablet.  Let me know if you try this and how it went.  I am going to finish my day with Amulet #6.  I might do some housework too! :)
Home Sweet Horror (Scary Tales 1)Home Sweet Horror by James Preller
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Students looking for a scary story will enjoy this tale about Bloody Mary. :)

View all my reviews
Class Pets (Missy's Super Duper Royal Deluxe, #2)Class Pets by Susan Nees
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Perfect for fall graders looking to build stamina and connect to a story.

View all my reviews
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Missy's adventures continue in this story about a class field trip.  I love Missy's friend Oscar, they will be friends forever. :)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Another great series book about 4th graders that 4th graders can relate to. This is the second book in the series, I have to get the first one and find out how it all started. A great book to improve reading stamina and make connections.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I loved everything about this book, the text, the illustrations, the afterword.  What a great way to introduce students to a musical biography and The Rolling Stones.  A great mentor text in MANY ways.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Good mentor text for early readers.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Great mentor text for teaching prepositions.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A fun way to introduce basic shapes to younger shapes.  A great addition to the math books collection.  Young readers will laugh at Moose and Zebra while learning about simple shapes.

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
An interesting folktale, not my cup of tea, but some readers will enjoy this tale.

  This book is just for fun, click here to read all about it.  I really enjoyed it, and it will make you laugh, especially if you like sheep.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

A Big Bite

Looking at salt and sugar under the microscope
math games!
A package from the South Pole!
Using the Chrome Books to practice math facts
Another math center as part of test review

It was another exciting week in room 23!  We finished chapter 2 in math and everyone did a great job on the test.  We tried out some different math centers as a way to prepare for the test and the Chrome Book station was everyone's favorite!  We watched a video on how to use the microscope and looked at salt and sugar crystals in science.  It was very cool to see the differences between these two variables.  In addition, we learned about "variables,"  and are trying to grow grass in three different soil and sand mixtures.  We are hoping that we will see some growth on Tuesday.  There will be a science quiz this week and the study guide was sent home last week.  Learning how to find exact locations on earth using specific coordinates is difficult, but with practice, I know that this is a map skill that we can master.  In writer's workshop, we are working on perfecting leads and are writing drafts of a narrative.  We also are working on different types of sentences, subjects and predicates and long and short vowels in words.  Nouns will be the next topic that we tackle.  The list poems that we have been writing are really coming along, look for some of them to be posted next week in the Poetry, Please post. :)  During tech workshop with Mrs. Merten, the students learned how to sign in to their math accounts to view the EnVision textbook.  A small pink paper was sent home on Friday with instructions for logging in to the account.  I will be changing the passwords next week on all of the accounts, so stay tuned for an Envision update.  We have started our first interactive read aloud of the year in Reader's workshop, Mr. Popper's Penguins by Florence and Richard Atwater.  Ask your child to tell you about the packages that arrived to Kennedy School for me and Mrs. Merten.  We will be practicing making predictions, tracking character traits, responding to thick and thin questions in writing and vocabulary as part of the skills for this novel.  In addition, everyone is doing a great job keeping up with their independent reading and reading journals.  I will take a book count next week but I am going to guess that as a class, we have read over 100 books so far this year.  Stay tuned!  There aren't any surveys this weekend, enjoy the holiday on Monday!
Mrs. Williams

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Spotlight on

Many students come back to visit on Open House night.  On Thursday, Anna M. came back to see me! I recognized her right away.  She took this selfie of us because I have trouble taking selfies. :) Anna is a junior at Emmanuel College in Boston, MA.  She is majoring in Art History and minoring in Studio Art.  She has studied in Ireland and is planning on studying in London. When I asked Anna what she remembered or loved the most about 4th grade and she said "You Mrs. Williams!  You made ALL of us want to learn and you made learning fun.  But what I remember most is that you treated us with respect.  It was the first time I ever felt respected by a teacher and I never forgot how good that felt."  
Thanks, Anna.  I am glad that you loved 4th grade and that I helped you love to learn.
 I asked about Anna about her desire to study law because I always thought that she would make a great lawyer. She said that it is still a possibility, she just wants to follow her dreams first.  Anna is truly living the words of Eleanor Roosevelt; "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."  Keep working hard Anna, I STILL believe in YOU!

A Big Bite

We had a great week in 4th grade!  We raced Puff-Mobiles, had a presentation from Barbara Andrews, assistant director at the Franklin Public Library, took a field trip to the library, had Open House AND did a lot of learning.  The life of a 4th grader is very busy!  Please take a minute to look at all of the pictures and videos from last week.  In math, we continued to work on patterning and will take the second math test this week.  We have published our first poem and a list of goals for the year in writer's workshop.  We are almost done launching reader's workshop and everyone has been very successful in maintaining their reading journals.  After the visit to the library on Friday, everyone was so excited to get reading the new books that they checked out.  We are building a community of readers in room 23! Make sure that you click on the 4th grade news gadget to learn all about our field trip and to see the interview that the student's did with the reference librarian.   We focused on the water cycle in science and on latitude and longitude skills in social studies.  It was great to see so many families at Open House.  We hope that you enjoyed your personal tour of the classroom and hope that you did well on the quiz.  Students can click here to take this week's survey. A full week is in store for us, but as you know, the time flies in 4th grade!