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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Bookworm Buzz

Bookworm Buzz! These posts will be about the children's books that I am reading or have read, and my recommendations for parents and students. These posts will take the place of the Weekly Book Review from the Read and Roll Blogspot. Feel free to comment on any posts about the books or to make suggestions for other books to read. Occasionally I will review picture books, in addition to chapter books, and sometimes may even review young adult literature. All the books that are reviewed will appear in the Books Reviewed gadget at the right.
I have just finished reading In Too Deep, by Jude Watson. It is the 6th book in the 39 Clues series. This book takes Amy and Dan Cahill to Indonesia and follows them on their quest for the 39 clues. There were some interesting twists in this book, and overall it was a more fascinating read than Jude Watson's first attempt at this series. It is helpful to have read the first five books in this series in order to understand this book and the plot twists. Book 7, by Peter Lerangis, will be released on February 2, 2010.
For the remainder of vacation, I plan on reading a few adult novels and will try to squeeze in one or two more children's books. Luke is reading the first book in the On the Run series, by Gordon Korman, and Liv has just finished Models don't eat Chocolate Cookies by Erin Dionne. Liv has just started The Cupcake Queen by Heather Hepler. These books are for young adults. Let me know if you have been reading anything great!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Big Bite

This is a picture of Sumit and his sister Shreya at Digha Beach in India. We are looking forward to seeing Sumit in January. Isn't the sunset beautiful!

This is a video of us partying with Mrs. Merten's class. The party in a bag was a big success!

Thank you for all of the wonderful holiday gifts and donations to "Answer the Call." I appreciate your overwhelming generosity. Have a wonderful holiday and a Happy New Year!


Mrs. Williams

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Juicy Nibble

As many of you know, I have another blog called Read and Roll, which is devoted to children's literature and poetry. As a working mom, it has been difficult to maintain both of my blogs well, so I have decided to incorporate my favorite elements of Read and Roll into this blog, The Shiny Red Apple and no longer post to Read and Roll. There will be new gadgets and new posts on this blog, but hopefully this will make it easier for parents and students to access and use , and will enable me to keep blogging about one of my favorite subjects, reading! I am excited about the changes I will be making to this blog and welcome your comments and ideas for new gadgets and posts. Have a great Saturday, here comes the snow!
Mrs. W

Friday, December 18, 2009

A Big Bite

420 pounds! That is the total amount of food and other items collected by the fourth graders at JFK. The volunteer from the food pantry came to talk to us and she was very informational. We learned so much from her. We loved The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson. It was very meaningful to us and we were very proud to know that we helped people in our community. We did our vocabulary test, too. Stone Fox, by John Reynolds Gardiner is the newest book that we are reading. We know it has a tragic ending.Mrs. Williams says that "deep meaning" is really starting to click for all of us because we are making so many connections with all of the books that we are reading. Our new class total for books read independently so far this year is 522!
We were almost done with our rhyming poems. Robert Louis Stevenson has been our poet of the month. We took the chapter 5 math test and it wasn't too bad. The grades on the English test were great! In Science, we made new teams to go along with our weather unit. Air pressure is our first unit of study and so far it is fascinating.

It is the last weekend before our holiday break and December has gone by quickly! Everyone is excited for vacation. Who knows what surprises next week will bring!


Nick with help from Andrew, Bryan, Jake, Ellie and Jack

Friday, December 11, 2009

A Big Bite

It has been a busy week here in room 23, even though we had tow half days. We've continued working on multiplication in math and did our first First Hands on Equations lesson with Mrs. Y. WE finished Canada and took the test on Friday. It wasn't too bad. Our poet of the month is Robert Louis Stevenson. We will be writing holiday rhyming poems in a style similar to Stevenson's. The Family Under the Bridge is almost done and we can't wait to find out what happens to the Calcets. Will they get a new home? The food drive officially kicks off on Monday, but our box is already full. Mrs. Williams will be getting us another box. Our new book count for the year is 479 books! Wow! That sure is a lot of reading! We got our report cards this week and Mrs. Williams said that the conferences went well. We made stained glass menorahs with aluminum foil, cling wrap and Sharpies. The year is flying by and we can't believe that holiday break is only one and a half weeks away.
Have a great weekend!
By Tyler (with help from Nick, Bryan, Matt, and Jack)

Friday, December 4, 2009

At the Core

December 4, 2009

Dear Parents,

I cannot believe that the holidays are only three weeks away! Many people told me that time would fly once I had children of my own, and truer words were never spoken! Don and I don’t even remember what we did with all of our time before Livi and Luke came along.
I believe, as many people do, that the holidays are about the “spirit of giving.” Don and I are working on teaching our children that it is better to give than to receive, which is easier said than done sometimes. I know too, that children like to give their teacher a gift at holiday time. I always appreciate everything that the children give to me, but please know that I don’t expect anything. My favorite gifts of all are donations that the children make to a food pantry or charity on my behalf, and then make a card to let me know what they have done. It is wonderful to see the look in their eyes and hear the joy in their voices when they explain how they felt about helping those that are less fortunate than they are. I cherish these moments with them!
One of my favorite charities is the New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund. My father and grandfather are retired NYC firemen and my brother is currently a police officer in Brooklyn. Firemen and policemen hold a special place in my heart.
I hope that you will enjoy your holidays, and all of the preparations that go into making this a wonderful and exciting time of the year. Happy Holidays!


Ann Williams
New York Police and Fire Widows'and Children's Benefit Fund
767 Fifth Avenue; 2614BNew York, New York 10153Office: 212.735.4505Fax: 212.310.8808

A Big Bite

The week after Thanksgiving went really fast! In reading, we began a new interactive read aloud called The Family Under the Bridge, by Natalie Savage Carlson. We are studying the theme, asking questions and cause and effect. AS a class we have read 430 books. We are participating in a grade level food drive to benefit for the Franklin Food Pantry. In writing, we have created acrostic poems about November. We have continued our study of Canada and it is a really cool place. We have begun two digit multiplication and are learning the partial products algorithm. We will start a new science unit on weather next week. In music, we learned Starburst on our recorders.

Sumit has gone to India and we were very sad to see him go, but are looking forward to when he returns to JFK in January. We hope you had a safe trip Sumit!

By Tyler (with help from Jack, Jake and Bryan)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

At the Core

December, 2009
Dear Parents,
Fourth graders will be reading The Family Under the Bridge as a whole class read-aloud in December. This novel features many worthy themes, one of which is the plight of homelessness. As part of this unit, fourth graders will be invited to participate in a food / supplies drive to help those in need in our own community. The food / supplies drive will take place during the week of December 14th – 18th. While any donations of non-perishable food items are welcome, the Franklin Food Pantry has informed us that the following items are particularly in need at this time:
Cleaning supplies such as:
antibacterial hand gel
antibacterial wipes
paper towel
laundry detergent
Boxes of cereal
We will also be in need of parent volunteers who would be available on the final day of the food drive (December 18th) in the late morning to box and deliver the items to the Franklin Food Pantry (as they close by 1:00 PM). If you are available to help on that day and time, please let your child’s teacher know.
We thank you for the opportunity to teach your child a valuable lesson about giving and generosity.
Many thanks,
The Fourth Grade Team

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Big Bite

So much has happened in the last week and a half in room 23. We started learning about Canada in Social Studies. Mrs. Y came to do an MCAS lesson after we took the chapter 4 math test. Everyone did a great job on the test! We took another English test, this one was on writing better sentences. In writing, we created Thankful wreaths, finished our perfect weather day paragraphs and finished the first District Writing prompt. For Reader's workshop, we piloted a reading test called The Grade. We are the only fourth grade students in Franklin to do this test so far this year. We surely feel special. We learned more about theme in reading by listening to The Emperor and the Kite by Jane Yolen. There were many themes, but the most important theme was that it doesn't matter how small you are, even small people can do great things. Mrs. Richards dropped off some new books for us to read, and we can't wait to read them! We finally got to play Win , lose or draw with Mrs. W. The girls won 9-7. We all gave our first graded speech. Many people were nervous, but it went well. The speeches were very interesting to listen to. Today, we made centerpieces for our moms for the Thanksgiving dinner table. The picture above shows the many colorful turkeys that were created. We also made dioramas that show a cornucopia. Next week we will begin a new novel. Also, when everyone returns from the holiday, we can update our book count. Have a wonderful and filling Thanksgiving!
By all of the students in room 23.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Juicy Nibble

Today we found out that we won a contest that Mrs. W, Kiran and Julia entered in the beginning of October. They won a signed copy of Amulet #2, The Stonekeeper's Curse. They had to tell the contest officials why we liked the book so much. We were very excited when we found out that we won. At first, Mrs. W thought it was just a junk e-mail, but when she looked at the subject line closely, she realized that it wasn't junk e-mail afterall! Our book should arrive in 4 weeks. Here is a copy of the winning e-mail.

Congratulations!! You have been selected as one of the lucky winner of the AMULET: THE STONEKEEPER'S CURSE Giveaway!!

Emily and Navin’s mother is in grave danger, and there’s only one place to find help: Kanalis, the bustling, beautiful city of waterfalls. Leon Redbeard, a mysterious fox, joins Emily, Navin and Miskit on their journey, as they are pursued by the Elf King’s son, Trellis, and his dangerous guard. In order to save them all, Emily has to unleash the power of the amulet --- but can she do so without destroying herself?

You will receive a copy of AMULET: THE STONEKEEPER'S CURSE by Kazu Kibuishi within the next 4 weeks.

Happy reading!

Cristina Costales
Advertising/Promotion Assistant
The Book Report Network
250 West 57th Street - Suite 1228
New York, New York 10107

By Jack

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Juicy Nibble

Firemens' kids always stick together!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Juicy Nibble

Hi Gang!
This nibble isn't going to be too sweet, but, I have to go to Jury Duty on Monday. Sorry. Mrs. Merten and Mrs. Adams are going to help the substitute make sure that everything goes well for you all . When I see you on Tuesday, we will play charades from Mr. Popper and catch up on the last few days. I hope you are all enjoying this rainy Saturday! Move away from the television and the video games and read a book, it is the perfect weather for it! If you want to leave a comment, feel free, I will check back often. I miss you all.
Mrs. W

Friday, November 13, 2009

Students in room 23 celebrating the end of Mr. Popper's Penguins with black and white day.

Thanks to Mrs. Merten for taking these pictures , it sure looks like everyone was having a great time, and I LOVE all of your animals. Your smiling faces and great attitudes make teaching you such a pleasure. I am sorry that I couldn't have been there with you all today, but you know why(remember the note on the board?). I can't wait to hear all about it next week. I bet your snacks were very YUMMY!

During the past two weeks we have been very busy. We have been working with decimals in math and are continuing to work on multiplication and division facts. We have finished our study of Mexico and will begin a unit of study on Canada next week. In science, we have worked on concepts related to genetics and had a great time making "Geno-worms" with M&Ms. The students have written paragraphs about their perfect weather day and are completing the first District Writing Prompt this week. Next week, we will start a fun Thanksgiving writing project. Reader's Workshop continues to roll along and the children have completed their first interactive read aloud (see above). When we closed the book, there was loud applause and cheering!!! They loved the story and many were sorry that it had to end. It was an amazing experience to see the children so excited about a piece of literature. Do you ever remember applauding a book because it was SO GOOD? They are becoming very thoughtful readers. Take a minute and ask your child about the book, you will be amazed at all that they can tell you, especially about how the main character changed during the book. We have also had some teachers from Oak Street come and visit us and watch Reader's Workshop in action. They were very impressed with the students and were excited to try some of our techniques in their classrooms. Great job everyone!

One of our parents has been in the news recently for a very heroic act-check it out at . Click on the videos underneath the 7 day weather map, and look for "Dorchester Fire." Congratulations to Mr. Sameski! Well done! I will be wearing my Engine 16 t-shirt with pride next week!

Have a great weekend and I will see you next week-stay tuned to see if I still have Jury Duty!

Mrs. W

Mrs. Williams

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Juciy Nibble

Today we had the Student council Election. Everyone did a great job. The winner from room 23 is Jake! We know that he will do a fantastic job representing our class.
By, Bryan (with help from Ellie)

Monday, November 2, 2009

A Juicy Nibble

Eight students from room 23 made speeches for Student Council today. All of the speeches were great, and each candidate had wonderful ideas. It will be tough to decide on just one representative. The election will be on Wednesday, and we'll blog the results in the afternoon.
Great job everyone!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Juicy Nibble

Trick or Treaters, from room 23 and beyond!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Big Bite

It is a balmy Saturday afternoon in October, and the trick or treaters will be arriving soon. This past week in room 23 was busy as usual. We have continued to read Mr. Popper's Penguins in Reader's Workshop, and are making good progress with our independent reading books. The students have been writing a great deal of poetry and have begun paragraphs about the perfect weather day. We finished unit 3 in math and took a test on Friday-everyone did a great job! We have begun our study of genetics and had a lot of fun looking at pictures of our "ancestors." Kristen had a picture from the 1800s which was made of tin! We were able to see many similarities in the pictures. We could see Kassidy's smile in her grandmother's face, Nick's nose in his grandmother's face and Jolie in the picture of her aunt, as a little girl. The student's were also able to recognize their parents in the faces of their relatives. It was a very cool lesson indeed! We have wrapped up our study of Mexico and will be testing this week. In the pictures above you can see us making God's eyes, a Mexican craft with Mrs. Merten's class. Friday was a fun day as we celebrated earning 30 parrots for good behavior with the specialists, with a movie party( see pictures above). The "party in a bag," was a huge success and I had a hard time resisting some of the special packages. Laura made the mistake of telling me that she had a canoli in her bag, so it ended up on my desk, in addition to several others (see picture above). I did return them to everyone, no worries, but some of them were mighty tempting!
Thank you for the generous donation of $45.00 dollars to Barnes and Noble and $20.00 to Walmart, made to the wishing well at Open House. These gift cards will come in handy to help purchase supplies and books for our classroom.
Have a great night trick or treating, it seems like it will be perfect weather. If you want to e-mail pictures of your child in his/her costume, I will blog it tomorrow. Have a safe and happy Halloween!
Mrs. Williams

Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 23, 2009

What an exciting week this was for the students in room 23. We continue to learn so much. In Social studies, we have been learning about Mexico, and we will make masks next week for Dia de los muertos. The test will be coming up soon! In math, we continued to work on multiplication facts and played one of our favorite games, multiplication baseball. We have continued to read Mr. Poppper's Penguins, and the story is getting really good. On Wednesday, we had 11 visitors watch us do Reader's Workshop. Mrs. W told us that all of those teachers were very impressed with us! Our book count for this week is 298 books read so far this year. WOW! Mrs. W has written new posts to her reading blog, and there is a tip for parents about book bags, check it out! We are finishing our Halloween Haikus and starting our Perfect Weather Day paragraphs. These paintings are called Sumi-e paintings, and we made them in Art. Mrs. W had us write haikus about our paintings and Mrs. Toye is going to try to put them in her newsletter. We ran the mile in P.E. and Tabitha had the fastest time, running it in 8:11. Our first music quiz is next Wednesday and if we all pass we will get our recorders. The quiz is on rhythm and Mrs. MacMurray gave us a study guide to prepare. The bookfair was a lot of fun and Mrs. W says "thanks" to all of the students and parents who purchased books for our classroom library. Some of the most exciting news is that starting on Monday, we can sign up with Mrs. Y to run for Student Council. Everyone who wants to run will need to make a speech to our class. 4th grade is so much fun!

Friday, October 16, 2009

At the Core

Dear Parents,
A quick reminder:
The students should be filling out their reading logs every time they read, and not waiting until the night before it is due to fill it in and ask for signatures. Please only sign the log each time your child reads, not all at once. This is not only an exercise in reading, but an exercise in self discipline, responsibility and independence .
Thanks for your support.

A Big Bite

Dear Parents,
It was a short week for the students in room 23. We were very busy for such a short week. In math, we started multiplication and Mrs. Y came in to work on Open Response questions. Also, we are finishing our Tessellation projects. We are writing Haikus for Halloween. This goes along with our art lessons of making Sumi paintings. We our Science test on Friday. We have begun learning about Mexico and colored a Mexican flag. We have read 258 books as of 10/16/09. In reader's workshop, we have started a novel together called Mr. Popper's Penguins by Florence and Richard Atwater. We had many guests visit us this week and even more for next week! Next week's visitors will be watching us in Reader's Workshop. The book fair is on Monday and we are so excited to go! Our new class pet is an alien! The turtle is drying out on the windowsill along with the sting ray. Until next week!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Juicy Nibble

The Franklin Public Library is having a book sale this Saturday. On the Franklin Public Schools website there is a coupon for a free book. Enjoy!

Friday, October 9, 2009

A Big Bite

Picture from Nick's Microscope of Pond Water near Kassidy's house

Dear Parents,

Hello to everyone and especially to our friends in India who are keeping up with the news from room 23! We have had another exciting and busy week in 4th grade. Last night was Open House and it was great! Do you like the pictures? How do you think you did on the quiz? Two moms received a score of 90%-AWESOME!!! Some parents didn't do well and will need to have their quiz signed! The quiz made many parents nervous. One parent was especially vocal about NOT wanting to take the quiz, but he survived. Ellie says that he will need her signature :)

We worked very hard to get ready for Open House and we hope that you had a great time. If you still haven't signed up for a conference, please give Mrs. Williams a call.

We had many tests this week and we even had a fire drill during one of them. We did not expect that!

In math, we finished a unit on addition and subtraction and have begun an enrichment project on Tessellations. Our test on Maps and Globes went well-everyone did a great job and Mrs. Williams was very proud of us. Next week, we will start learning about Mexico. In science, we continued to work on microscopes and looked at salt under the lens. Nick shared his really awesome microscope with us and the picture above is of Franklin Pond Water. We could see organisms moving around, they were very fast! We took this picture WITH Nick's microscope. TOO COOL!! Thanks Nick. Mrs. Williams says that she is going to make the JFK Science Coordinator, Mrs. Merten, buy her one. We'll see...

The week ended with Kassidy inviting ALL of us to her Survivor party. The invitations look and smell really interesting. Have a great long weekend!



Friday, October 2, 2009

At the Core

Dear Parents,
It is wonderful to see the children so excited about reading! They are sharing books with each other and talking about their reading more and more each day. Some children have donated "finished" books to the classroom library. THANKS!!!! Some children would like to "lend" books to our class for the year. I have established a bucket for the "to lend" books, but please be aware that I cannot guarantee that these books will be returned in the same condition, or even at all, in June. I will not be replacing any books that are lost or damaged. We have discussed this as a class and everyone has agreed that there is a risk to "lending" a book, and understands the consequences if something should happen to a particular book. It is a tough lesson to learn, and I am reminded of it personally every year. Just today, I went looking for two books that I knew I had, only to find that they had not been returned last year. I just wanted all of you to know where I stand on the "lending" issue, and if you are at all concerned about your child's books, please do not allow them to share them with the class.
Mrs. Williams

A Big Bite

Itwas another awesome week. We had the puff mobile races on Thursday and you can click on the videos above to see two of the races. The first video shows the girls in our class racing. The second video shows the "all boys race" in 4th grade. The races were a lot of fun! Reader's workshop is on a roll! To date. we have read 151 books! Many teachers have been into our classroom to watch us do reader's workshop. It is cool when they come in to watch us. We get to see our third grade teachers and even got a peek at the fifth grade teachers.We finished our bio poems and have begun writing free verse poems. In math, we are working on addition and graphing. Our Social Studies test on map skills is next Tuesday. We will be using microscopes next week in Science. Also, Open House is next week. We are looking forward to having our parents come to Open House to see all that we have been working on so far this year.



Friday, September 25, 2009

A Big Bite

This week we had a lot of fun. We were able to build our Puff-mobiles and are looking forward to testing them and the race next week. Mrs. Y came in and taught a math lesson with Mrs. W for us, it was interesting. We built our terrariums and learned about latitude and longitude in Social Studies. Our first English test was easy. Reader's workshop continues to go well. So far, we have read 121 books-that is a lot! We read poems by Walt Whitman and are finishing our Bio poems. Our class pet has gotten as big as it is going to get and we will have to "grow" something new next week. I wonder what it will be? One of our classmates won the good citizen award for September! Next week is a short week , but I am sure that we will still do a lot of work! Have a great weekend!