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Monday, December 23, 2013

Bookworm Buzz

Twelve Kinds of IceTwelve Kinds of Ice by Ellen Bryan Obed
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed the way Ellen Bryan Obed introduced each different kind of ice and how she was able to weave a story throughout an entire year.  There were many great messages about friendship, patience and using your imagination. A quick read that will lead to many great discussions.

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My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Stink fans will love this latest installment in the Stink series.  Frog lovers will really enjoy it as well.  I can see many readers looking for non fiction books on frogs as a follow up to this book.  I enjoyed the way McDonald and Reynolds  included short comics into the story.  Young writers may find some inspiration here!

Juicy Nibble

Hi, gang!  Here is a picture of my Christmas tree and my Nutcracker display that I told you about.  We have over 50 nutcrackers.  The Elvis Nutcracker is the latest addition to our collection.  Can you find him?

Friday, December 20, 2013

Juicy Nibble

Each student created a family crest and motto as part of a final activity after reading The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson.  Here is a list of the family mottoes, they are very interesting :
Karlowicz-Try your best
Huang Chiu-Always try your best
Scafidi-Always believe in yourself
Palmer-Always do your best
Dickinson-Try your best
Tarantola-Families stick up for each other
Pipe-Always work together and stick together
Mackintosh-Love people besides yourself
Nicholoson-Try your best and Rather be early
Lewis-It's okay to be different
Chalk-Have fun
Katz-Families stick together
Brennan-Family First
Yadlapalli-Be prepared for the things that life throws at you
Brahimi-On the move
D'Amato-Always try your best'
Bryant-Always try your best'
Davis-Keep moving
McEvoy-Always on time
Stoddard-Families come in all shapes and sizes

A Big Bite

The week is over and vacation is here!  We wrapped up The Family Under the Bridge this week and had some very interesting discussions about the actions of the main character, Armand.  We discussed the themes in the book, cause/effect relationships and the main idea of each chapter.  We all agreed that we have so much to be thankful for because we are not homeless or hungry.  In writer's workshop we have been working on several poetry projects and on completing our fiction stories.  The holiday speeches were on Thursday and many people took advantage of the opportunity to see Mrs. Marano for suggestions on their speech.  Check out the videos of  Liv, Lindsey and Nathan
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In math we learned about fractions.  We added and subtracted fractions and played some fun math games.  The soloists were chosen in chorus for the concert and Manal was the student selected from our class.  It was very exciting!
Friday was fun because we watched Muppet Treasure Island, which is based on the book by Robert Louis Stevenson.  He is the poet/author we have been studying.  It was funny!
Mrs. Williams shared presents with us for the holiday. Everyone received a chocolate bar, a homework pass and a book.  Two weeks ago Mrs. Williams surveyed the class about books for the classroom library, and she asked each of us to pick a book that we would like to see in the classroom.  These were the books that we received!  It was exciting.
We hope everyone has a great vacation and we are looking forward to seeing everyone in 2014!
Bye Aidan and Mrs. Williams

Friday, December 13, 2013

A Big Bite

It was another action packed week in room 23!    We participated in several fun activities like the Haffenreffer Museum Archaeology Program (see post below), Black and White Day to celebrate the end of Mr. Popper's Penguins, and finished our grade level food drive.  We collected 337.5 pounds of food!  Everyone is enjoying our new interactive read aloud, The Family Under the Bridge.  We had some great discussions about the plight of the homeless, and we all agreed that we are very thankful that we have a warm house and enough food to eat! In math, we began a unit of study on fractions and will be studying fractions well into the new year.  We are finishing writing fiction stories and are writing rhyming poems in the style of Robert Louis Stevenson.  Everyone received their report cards this week and parent/teacher conferences were held on Thursday and Friday.  Next week is looking to be a very busy week, I can't wait!  Enjoy the weekend snow!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Juicy Nibble

Today we participated in the Culture Caravan from Brown University.  We learned about archeology, what archaeologists do, and even participated in an archaeological dig.  Check it out!  Video to follow. :)  Thanks to the PCC for funding this wonderful program!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

A Big Bite


It was a great week back from the Thanksgiving holiday and boy did it fly by!  On Friday morning, the students commented on how quickly the week had passed. :)We finished reading Mr. Popper's Penguins and will be celebrating this book next Wednesday with "Black and White Day."  Everyone worked on writing in response to reading as a skill in reading, and on making connections with author's craft in writer's workshop.  We made great progress planning our fiction stories and will begin the rough draft next week. Ms. Lynch, from the Franklin Food Pantry, came to school on Wednesday and spoke to all of the 4th graders about the FFP and what we can do as a community to help others.  We were surprised to learn that there are about 500 children in Franklin who don't have enough to eat; that is almost the same number of children as attend JFK!  It was a great way to kick off our new interactive read aloud, The Family Under the Bridge, by Natalie Savage Carlson.  In poetry workshop, we are learning about Robert Louis Stevenson and will be writing rhyming poems in the next few weeks.  It was exciting to learn that he was an author and a poet. Some of us will be looking for adapted versions of some of his classic works, Kidnapped and Treasure Island.  Everyone agreed that though he was different than Walt Whitman, he still was a very "cool guy." :) The decimal unit is complete in math and we will be moving on to fractions next.  The fraction unit is large and will take us until the end of January to complete. In social studies, we began our journey to Canada and learned about the Canadian flag.  Weather is the new unit of study in science and everyone is excited to learn about so many different weather topics.  We created "KWL," charts and discovered that there are MANY things  we want to learn about weather.  The students have finished their MixCraft projects with Mrs. MacMurray in the technology lab, click here to see the projects.  They are incredible!
New speeches have been assigned and Mrs. Marano is available for support before 8:40.  She is looking forward to helping anyone who wants extra tips on improving their speech before the 12/19 deadline.
On Monday, we will have the first of four programs by the Haffenreffer Museum.  This program will focus on archaeology and will set the stage for the next three programs about Native Americans of north America.  It will be very exciting.
Have a great weekend!
Mrs. Williams

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.

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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!