4 5 The Learning Lab: October 2012

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Iphone Apps for Kids



There are a lot of great apps out there for kids to use,
allowing them to learn or practice skills!
Some skills fourth graders could work on include:
Multiplication (facts and problem solving)
Division (facts and problem solving)
Place Value to 1,000,000 (rounding, estimating, adding, subtracting)
Fractions
Native Americans (Abenaki of Vermont or Woodland)
Vermont History
Early European Settlements
Germs
Light Energy
States of Matter
Animal Adaptations
Sun and Moon
Weather
Reading, reading reading!!! (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, various media forms)
Writing Skills (collecting evidence, main ideas, organizing writing, persuasive, paragraphing)
Spelling
Vocabulary
If you know of any apps, please feel free to comment on this page to share! 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Graphic Organizers


There is a strong relationship between visual processing and how we store and retrieve information.  
Fourth graders use a wide variety of graphic organizers to support visual processing with other activities such as: predicting, recalling information, comprehending text, recording observations, planning for writing, accessing vocabulary, and the list goes on...! 
Check out some examples!



Saturday, October 20, 2012

Nonfiction Reading--Text Features and Text Structures



Here are some examples of the Text Features fourth graders are learning about, with regard to reading nonfiction texts.

Students look for common text features for nonfiction, such as the way the text is organized (examples on the blue chart), print features, graphic features, and illustration features.



Students will also be learning more about common text structures for nonfiction.  
The purpose of a nonfiction text may be: to provide description, a definition, to show sequence or chronology, it may be to compare and contrast a concept, to show cause and effect, or to show problem and solution.  

Students will learn the definitions of each, how to use signal words to determine each, and will use prompting questions to guide their search.  


The yellow graphics show Description structures:





Printables listed at my store in teacherspayteachers! http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Nonfiction-Prompting-Questions-Signal-Words-Text-Elements-Guided-Reading

Saturday, October 13, 2012


Have you ever heard of a hook?  The very first sentence of a text is a called a "hook".  We have been learning about the five basic hooks, most writers use to grab their readers' attention.  We will be using this knowledge to intentionally add hooks to our own writing.  Hopefully we'll grab your attention with our snazzy hooks! 

Students explored many book in our classroom library and found examples of these main hooks:
Introduce the Setting
Use Dialogue
Give a Fact
Use Onomatopoeia
Ask a Question 
(We also discovered many of the Settings also include naming the Character)



Thursday, October 11, 2012

ANTonyms with a FREEBIE


Our "Skill of the Week" last week was on antonyms.  Students worked on word sorts, fill out worksheets, used the thesauruses, created lists of verbs and adjectives, found their own antonyms for those verbs and adjectives, and created their own ANTonym posters!  We were busy bees... er... I mean ANTS! 




Here is a freebie for playing "Go Fish" with antonym cards!



Our "Skill of the Week" last week was on antonyms.  Students worked on word sorts, fill out worksheets, used the thesauruses, created lists of verbs and adjectives, found their own antonyms for those verbs and adjectives, and created their own ANTonym posters!  We were busy bees... er... I mean ANTS! 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Common Core Math Grade 4

Wowzers!
I just spent 4 or 5 days (I truly lost count) turning all of the Common Core Math Standards into small posters with examples.  I created my own clip art.  I also made vocabulary lists with each strand.

It was SO helpful to do this process, to wrap my mind around all of the standards.  There are some slight differences in the Common Core Standards  as compared to our district's math standards.  Most notably were the fractions--they are much more intricate in the C.C.

Anyway, I posted these on TeachersPayTeachers.com
I'm hoping some other fourth grade teachers can benefit from hours and hours I spent.

Download a preview for free.  
Click on the picture then choose Download Preview (orange button). 




I also broke apart each section as well:




We Fit Together

This was a fun project we did during the first couple of weeks of school.  I purchased these puzzle pieces from Really Good Stuff.  

The class worked together, coming up with ideas for their individual puzzle pieces.  Their job was to make sure their piece represented them.  Then we worked as a group to put them together.  

We are alike and unique in many ways; 
We are all part of the same learning community!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Funny moment



Write a synonym for the word "happy."
Student answer: "smiley face"
wink
That's when you know kids "these days" truly live in a different world, where icons are how we communicate feelings!  

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Go Fish--Synonym and Antonyms


Do you have an antonym for "odd"?
No--go fish!

Do you have a synonym for "happy"?
Yes--I have "glad"!

New Overhead Projectors


This year we were fortunate enough to receive new overhead projectors.  It makes a HUGE difference for students.  We are able to display work in progress, correct work together, problem solve together (as you can see in the pictures), zoom in or out on various texts/graphics, and project from the computer.  We like to call it our Smart Board (even though it's not technically a Smart Board.)  The new screens are in this week, which will help provide more board space to view things on!  

THANK YOU MRS. MERRILL and the TECH Department!!!  
yes




I Love Pinterest! Synonym Buns

When I saw these Synonym Buns on Pinterest.com, I thought they were too adorable to pass up!  Students have been learning about synonyms, antonyms, and about how to find them in the thesaurus.  We have been finding synonyms and antonyms for both adjectives and verbs in our writing.  

The kids LOVED making buns and putting glue on to make it look like icing.... 
delicious
yummy
scrumptious!  

Check out the cute Synonym Buns... Antonym Ants should be ready soon!



Check out my Store for a FREE list of OVER 60 Base words with hundreds of SYNONYMS!!!
Click on the image:

Math Mania


Right now homework and math work is largely focused on multiplication.  Students have reviewed the following concepts and terms: arrays, dimensions, multiplication, division, skip-counting, products, factors, prime numbers, composite numbers and square numbers.
Students have been looking at large arrays and have been trying to determine the products by using strategies such as known facts, smaller arrays, skip-counting, halving, etc.  We have also been finding factors for large and small numbers by using connecting cubes, graph paper, and factor rainbows. 
Students are expected to represent mathematical equations with diagrams and dimensions, to create mathematical stories, and to use the above strategies to determine products of multiplication facts 0-12.
In addition to multiplication, students will begin targeting additional math skills during our Intervention Block.  We will begin with Place Value, Numbers and Operations.

Reading--Book Reviews and Character Collages

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Character-Collage-Directions-Grades-2-3-4-5
Students are reading up a storm!  
After reading a chapter book during silent reading time, students are required to fill out a book review.  Next, students create character collages.  These are detailed advertisements for their books.  Students share the collages with the class and take questions and comments about the book they read.  Afterwards, their collages are posted on the wall above our classroom library. 
They are awesome! 
Look carefully at the adjectives students are using.  As the year goes on, we will be doing many different types of reading projects.  The expectations to use more descriptions and writing elements will be scaffolded in.  

Check them out; more to come this week!  





http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Character-Collage-Directions-Grades-2-3-4-5
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Character-Collage-Directions-Grades-2-3-4-5Lesson Plan for character collage

Test Preparation Talk


Our wonderful school counselor, joined the entire fourth grade for a discussion about test taking.  She discussed the experience as a mental and sometimes physical experience.  Students then spoke about important strategies such as getting a good night's rest, eating a healthy breakfast, and using positive affirmations.  
Thank you Mrs. Barclay for the tips and for helping us ease our worries!

Class Rules


Our entire fourth grade class has developed their classroom rules.  Each class independently brainstormed ideas.  Then they sorted them into four categories: safety rules, rules about how we treat each other, rules for how we take care of things, and rules for how we learn best.  Students then worked on merging those brainstormed ideas into a specific rule.  Each fourth grade class then met and shared their proposals.  Then, as an entire unit, we spent two morning meetings combining our ideas into the rules students felt were the best.  
So, in order to make our Hopes and Dreams come true in fourth grade we will... 
Work quietly, show integrity and listen to the speaker
Control your actions everywhere in the school.
Be respectful of people's belongings and with class tools in school.
Treat everyone the way you want to be treated by being open-minded, honest, and cooperative.
Enjoy yourself, have fun, and stay positive.



Writers' Workshop


We began writing this year by talking about the Reasons People Write.  The list our class came up with was awesome--better than the poster I had purchased! yes

Next, we brainstormed topics we are interested in writing about.  Students thought on their own, shared with a partner, and came together as a group to create a large classroom list (Think*Pair*Share).  Each student recorded a Topic List about what they are most interested in writing about, in their writing journals.  

Next, students drafted their first writing piece of the year.  We will use this for goal-setting.
Since then, students have been reading up a storm and are already writing Book Reviews.  Once these are typed up, they will appear on Haiku as a resource for students to use when searching for a good book to read.  
Students have also begun to work on Constructed Responses to literature.  We are using the book Peter and the Starcatchers as a way to explore reading imagery, characterization, predictions, and plot elements.  Students will learn how to answer writing prompts by using thePainted Essay format, in order to build organized and detailed constructed responses.  
(click on the Painted Essay Link above to learn more!)



We Fit Together

Check out our puzzle pieces!

A New School Year!!!


It's been a wonderful start to the new school year for us. 
We have begun to explore the classroom, which has changed in many ways.  
We have been getting to know each other better.  Students have filled out an All About Me worksheet, which we will be sharing out during our WorkShare Time.  We are also creating puzzle pieces, representing us both as individuals and thinking about how we all fit together as a learning community.
Students have explored our math tools.  We will begin learning about math fact fluency next week.  Students will practice these skills every morning, at the start of the day.  We will also begin our first math unit on multiplication next week.  
In writing, students have explored the writing center.  We did a Think*Pair*Share activity to brainstorm all the reasons people write--our list was better than the poster Mrs. Colegrove had purchased! :)  Next, we will make topic lists and will begin learning about the writing process.
Students have all jumped right into reading as well!  Students explored the classroom library and they each began reading a book.  Many students have shared out about their books and have discussed who they would recommend their book to.  In doing so, there is a great deal of excitement about genres, authors, and series.  It's exciting to see such enthusiasm.  
I'm looking forward to next week.  We will begin to draft classroom rules based on our Hopes and Dreams for fourth grade.  We will think about what behaviors and expectations will best fit our needs as learners, and we will practice what these rules will look like, sound like, and feel like.  
It's going to be great year!
laugh