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Monday, January 27, 2014

Spotlight on...

This week's Spotlight is on Madison!  Thanks to Madison's mom for the picture and the post.  Way to go Maddie!

Congratulations to Madison and her Xcel Bronze gymnastics team for a great meet this weekend!  
Madison placed 2nd in floor, 3rd on bars, 9th on beam and 5th in the all around!  Her team Quiggs took 2nd place.  We are so proud of her!!

Saturday, January 25, 2014


This week's spotlight is about "Friendship."  Lifetime friendships in fact.  When you find a true friend, hold onto them, they are more valuable than gold.  My best friend from kindergarten, Darcy Proper(we met on the first day, she was the tallest girl in the class and I was the smallest),  has been nominated for her 8th Grammy award for the surround sound on the album Sixteen Sunsets. Darcy is the Surround Mastering Engineer which means that she is a computer scientist who works in the music industry.  Her job is very cool because she gets to meet musicians from all around the world!  She will be in Los Angeles this weekend to attend the ceremony.  If successful, it will be her 4th Grammy!  Music and science were very important to us growing up, as was soccer and shopping!  We had many, many things in common and are still friends to this day.  I will be watching the ceremony on line tomorrow afternoon, and I will be keeping my fingers crossed for her.  When she won last year, she texted me fro the ceremony to say "I WON!"  It was so exciting.  Here is a picture of us just last year.  I am glad to have had such a good friend for such a long time.

Juicy Nibble

The spring session of Rise and Shine Yoga will begin on Monday February 3, 2014.  Click here to sign up!

A Big Bite

Yesterday was the 90th day of school!  4th grade is half over :(  Everyone was so surprised yesterday when we realized that fact because the year has gone by so quickly.  The past two weeks have been filled with so much.  The chorus concert last week was FANTASTIC!  Everyone did a great job and Manal sounded like a star on American Idol during her solo.  Maddie did a great job presenting and her French accent was spot on!  It was wonderful to see everyone participate fully in the concert.  I can't wait to see the concert in June, I am sure it will be amazing as well!  Click here,  and here to view two of the concert videos!  Mrs. MacMurray will be posting other videos soon!  Click here to view the videos on Mrs. Merten's blog.
We are continuing to work on fractions in math and will be working on multiplying fractions next week.  The cold and snowy weather  makes our study of the water cycle and precipitation especially meaningful as we can connect the concepts that we are learning to our lives.  We will be studying icebergs next week, fun stuff!  Our journey across the US will begin next week when we learn about regions and review land forms.  Our first region of study will be New England, home, sweet, home!!  We will have another in school field trip from the Haffenreffer museum this week to learn about the Native Americans of New England.
There was great growth and maturity in reading this week for all readers as we read Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner.  We learned about cliff hangers and sad endings and how to LOVE a book even when the ending makes us cry.  One of the best feelings in the world is seeing the excitement in a child's face when he/she is reading a book that they can't put down.  The moaning and groaning was audible when we would reach a stopping point, particularly yesterday before lunch.  I even had to collect the books so no one would peek at the ending.  Excitement about a book is a magical experience, one of my favorite feelings!  Ask your child about the legend of Stone Fox and we dare you NOT to read it. :)  If you do, leave a comment and let us know what you think.  We will be starting a new interactive read aloud next week in addition to starting to prepare for the ELA MCAS in March.  Our work in writer's workshop is about essays, which is helping us to grow as writers in addition to preparing us for the ELA long composition test as well.  In poetry workshop we are learning about African American Poets and listened to Gwendolyn Brooks, Nikki Giovanni and Langston Hughes read some of their poems. We also listened to some of  Rapper's Delight, by the Sugar Hill Gang in order to understand meter and rhyme in poetry and to realize that poetry is often performed in the oral tradition. Ask your parents if you can search for The Sugar Hill Gang to see them perform Rapper's Delight on Soul Train.
Mrs. Merten has been working with the students on their Google Accounts and they children love it!  Ask your child to tell you about tech workshop! I am learning how to use Google Docs with students, so I thought we could try another survey, without Mrs. Merten's help.  So, students, please click here to complete another survey.  The results are private and will only be sent to me.  Complete the survey only once.
So much to do, so much fun, so little time! :)
Have a great weekend!
Mrs. Williams

Monday, January 20, 2014

Bookworm Buzz

Words with WingsWords with Wings by Nikki Grimes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A tough story with messages for many.  The use of prose to tell the story is one of my favorite structures.  Students and adults will be able to connect on several levels.  Thanks to Mrs. Swan, JFK librarian for thinking of me after reading this book.  Love it when friends share books! :)

View all my reviews

Friday, January 10, 2014

A Big Bite

.frozen chiagochicago frozen
It has been cold here in the Northeast, but not nearly as cold as in the Midwest.  These are pictures of Chicago this past week.  Don't you feel cold just looking at them?  Fortunately for us, we have been nice and warm inside, no outdoor recess this past week!
We continued to work on fraction in math and are getting ready for a test next Wednesday.  Everyone is working hard and participating even though some of these concepts are tricky.  We finished our study of weather maps and will be moving on to the water cycle, humidity and precipitation next.  We are almost done learning about Canada, and the test will be next Friday (after the chorus concert).  Then we will move on to The United States.  It is going to be so much fun to learn about our great nation.  Our focus in reader's workshop was on non fiction text structures and non fiction text features. These are very different  concepts and it has been exciting to examine non fiction books and identify different elements that we find in each.  Next week we will be starting a unit in writer's workshop on essay writing.  This will be our fourth writing genre for the year! In technology, Mrs. Merten introduced the Google accounts and how they will be used by students.  There were a few "sign in," issues, but after talking to the individuals at Google, everything should be all straightened out.  It was a very exciting lesson. Students, please click here to answer a few survey questions. Let's see how it goes!
Have a great weekend.:)  I hope to see all of you at the chorus concert next Friday at 9:00!
Mrs. Williams

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Spotlight on...

Ryan!!! Ryan earned his purple belt in Karate.  Parents are important contributors to the development of young martial artists and are often asked to assist students in putting on their new belt at the belt ceremony.  It is a big deal to have your parent come into the dojo to help with the new belt.  Way to go, Ryan!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Juicy Nibble

Here is Lindsey's poster. Great job, Lindsey!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Juicy Nibble

Here is Isabella's fraction poster.  Great job, Is!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Juicy Nibble

What do you do on a snowy first day back?  You jump right in with math centers about fractions!  We played fraction games, made posters and did some review work on adding and subtracting decimals to take our minds off the snow outside.  Tonight's math homework is to create a fraction poster just like we did in centers today.

We learned about air pressure and the instrument used to measure air pressure, barometers.  More team work ensued when we built our own barometers with glass jars and balloons.

We are learning about the climate and natural resources of Canada and completed a climate map while watching a Power Point Presentation about Canada.  At the end of the lesson, Mrs. Merten and Mrs. Williams sang the Canadian National Anthem by heart and said that any student who can sing it by heart on the day of the test will get 10 extra bonus points!  That is exciting!  Here it is if you want to give it a shot. :)

Reading logs will be due tomorrow.  In the event of a snow day, I will collect them on Monday.  New logs were sent home today.
Have a great night and I will see you tomorrow!
Mrs. W