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Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Big Bite

Skype answers from the class in the southeast
The last two weeks have been very interesting here in room 23.  Spring has started, yet we had a snow day which cancelled the long comp, state wide!  This was a first for teachers and students.  When the long comp finally came this past Monday, everyone worked hard.  We are really excited to dive into the poetry unit and are looking forward to the rock poetry project on Friday, April 12th.  We are finishing up myths in reader's workshop andmany students have decided to try a book group with Miss Decker. They will be reading The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan.  It's a challenging book and many of us are reading it with a parent or listening to it on tape.  In math we have been learning about area and perimeter and even designed a house for a ladybug family.  It was a lot of fun.  Miss Decker has started to teach us about wild weather like hurricanes, blizzards and tornadoes.  We are also going to be learning about the jet stream and ocean currents.  One of the highlights from the past two weeks was when we were able to Skype with a class in the Southeast.  In technology workshop with Mrs. Merten, we researched general information about Massachusetts and prepared answers to questions people might ask about our state.  When it was time to Skype with the other class, we learned that they had researched the same information about their state.  Through a series of question/answers with this other class, we were able to figure out what state they were in and they were able to figure out the same thing about us! Can you figure out what state they were in?  Look at the photo above for the answers to their questions. It was so much fun and we are excited to do the same activity with students from different regions around the country.
It has been great to get outside and run around at recess because it seems like spring may finally be here.  No more snow days, please!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Big Bite

It was a great week in room 23.  Will's mom, Mrs.  Henrichon, came to JFK to talk about the animals of the northeast.  She works for the Mass Audubon Society and was able to tell us so much!  We were able to feel pelts of different animals and look at some skeletons.  It was really awesome. :) We took a test in math on measurement and will be starting graphing next week.  Mythology and MCAS prep are our themes in reader's workshop.  Everyone is very excited to learn about Greek mythology.  We wrote one final narrative in writer's workshop in preparation for the Long Composition on Tuesday.  We are ready!  In science we learned about clouds and in social studies we started learning about the southeast region.  One of the highlights of our week was Pi Day (see below).  We can't believe how quickly 4th grade is passing, time is flying in room 23!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Big Bite

Pi day, was a HUGE success!Today is the 114th day of school which is pretty cool because today is 3.14.  To begin the day, we each decorated our race bib and everyone had the same number, 3.14.  We started the day by learning about  the meaning of Pi with a Brainpop video. We recorded data about our favorite "Pi," dessert  and our favorite "Pi," food.  Then we recorded data about the circular snacks that we had for today.  We put all of this information together in 3 separate line plots and we combined our data with data from Mrs. Merten's class.  Dr. Looney,  math consultant for the Franklin Public Schools,  stopped by to see how we were doing.  She was SO impressed with all of the math skills that we were using to celebrate Pi.  Some of the many skills we used were; measurement, graphing (line plots), analyzing data, calculating elapsed time, and addition and subtraction of decimals.  When it was time to run the 5k (3.14 miles), each student had to complete a math problem before they could receive the baton to run their leg of the relay race.  We used a ruler for the baton.   We learned that the answer to every problem was 3.14.  It was funny.Our class finished the race in 28:09 which is a great time for a first race. Mrs. Williams was able to record all of us running, check it out!  Lea summed it up best when she said, "Today was the best math lesson ever."  I think so too, Lea! :)
Congratulations to all of the runners!
Favorite Food Pie, Pizza!  Quiche did  get one vote. :)

The favorite dessert pie was Whoopie Pie, and Pumpkin and Ice Cream  Pie tying for 2nd.

And the last two runners! 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Juicy Nibble

Hey there, gang!  As Mr. Williams was pulling into a parking space before the race, I looked up and guess who was in the space right across from me? Yup!  Mrs. Henneberry.  I was so excited to see her all the way up here in my neck of the woods.  She was so friendly, as always, and agreed to take a picture with me.  When you see her, tell her "great job," on the race.  She did awesome!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Bookworm Buzz

Navigating EarlyNavigating Early by Clare Vanderpool
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I  loved Claire Vanderpool's debut novel, Moon Over Manifest, so I had high expectations for this novel.  I liked it, but not as much as Moon.    There were many great ideas, characters and plot opportunities that just didn't get developed enough.  I'm not disappointed, this just wasn't my cup of tea.

View all my reviews
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I absolutely LOVED this book!  It is definitely for my high school friends and for parents, not 4th graders.  The characters,plot, and plot twists had me hoping that the story would never end.  The setting made me long for New Orleans and brought back many fond memories of my time spent in "The Big Easy." These characters will stay with me for a long time.  I highly recommend this book to all of my high school friends, don't miss it!

A Big Bite

View from my backyard, 3/8/13
Happy Snow Day!  I wonder what the scene will look like on Monday?  All washed away I think!  Since returning from February break, we have been very busy!  In math, we have been learning about measurement, both the customary and metric systems.  There will be a test next Friday on everything we have learned so far in this unit.  Wind, wind chill, and clouds are the topics in science.  We have been looking at Mrs. W's inflatable clouds and will be doing a cloud activity with cotton balls next week.  We finished our study of the northeast and have started learning about Washington D.C. Everyone is excited to start the research project.  We were supposed to go to the tech lab today to start research with Mrs. Merten, but we will go twice next week.  We have been very busy preparing for the upcoming long composition test.  Everyone is trying to work on improving the length of their compositions, word choices and adding strong leads and endings.  In poetry workshop, students wrote snowflake poems with Miss Decker using the geometric snowflakes that they created.  In Reader's Workshop, we finished Snow Treasure, and everyone agreed it was one of the best books they have ever read.  We will be starting mythology next week and the whole class is excited to learn more about this genre.  Each student will have the opportunity to join The Lightning Thief book group, but will need a strategy for completing the reading because this book is a challenge for many 4th graders.  Students can listen to the book on CD, or read with a parent or older sibling, whatever works!  
In Open Circle we have been talking about teasing.  Ask your child to tell you about our discussions.
The snow day means that we will have some catching up to do next week, but everyone works hard so I know that we will get through it all.  Please read the notice about Pi Day (in the important documents gadget on the right) on March 14th, it should be a lot of fun!  Please let me know if you have any questions.
Miss Decker has been working very hard  to learn as much as she can about the art and science of teaching.  Click here to learn more about Miss Decker and her student teaching experience with us!
Enjoy the snow!
Mrs. Williams

A Big Bite

On Wednesday, March 6th, 4th graders and 2nd graders at JFK celebrated World Read Aloud Day.  We spent time talking about the importance of reading and writing and how we are very lucky to live in a country where everyone has the right to learn how to read and write. This isn’t true everywhere in the world. We discussed how much we love to read and talked about some of our favorite authors.  4th graders shared some of their favorite picture books with their new 2nd grade friends.  Students began partner reading, reading together and reading aloud to each other.  There was much laughter and discussion about our books and it was great to see the connections made between the readers.  As a way to celebrate our learning and new friendships, students painted water color pictures to illustrate their literacy experience together.    We look forward to many more wonderful literature experiences with each other. Our biggest hope is that every child and adult around the world is as lucky as we are and has the opportunity to learn to read , write,  and to love books!                                                                 Read on, Readers,
Mrs. Williams and Mrs. Wilmarth

Click here to learn more about World Read Aloud Day
Here are some pictures and videos of us reading and painting together!