4 5 The Learning Lab: 2013

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Christmas in November GIVEAWAY!

We are so excited about our journey over the past year!  We have learned so much and are amazed at all the amazing teachers out there!  Please enter our give away to be entered to win some EXTRAORDINARY products!!
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a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Friday, November 8, 2013

November Facebook FRENZY

Here is a wonderful frenzy for all you teachers looking for seasonal freebies! 

 Click on the map below, which will take you to freebies for grades 4 and 5. When you get to those pages, look for the tab that says "FB FRENZY" (it has a turkey on it). Once you "like" a page, you will be able to download the freebie! Then click on the haystack to travel to the next freebie page! 

 Have fun getting festive activities!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Halloween Freebie! Making Seasonal Words

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Spoooooky Friday Frenzy!

The SPOOKY Frenzy has begun!

You can click on this map to open the list of participating pages.  
Click on any picture to take you to a Facebook page where you will be able to grab your freebies.  These all link around to the other pages!  

All you have to do is "LIKE" each page on Facebook.  
Then you'll be able to scoop up a bunch of spooky activities!  

Have fun and enjoy all of the fun seasonal activities!!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Giveaway Time!

Linda from Primary Inspirations is having a FABULOUS giveaway!  
Click on the image so you can enter to win.  There are TWO prize packages--they are just loaded FULL of teaching products.   One prize is a PreK-2nd grade package and the other is for grades 3-5.
Good luck--I hope you win!  

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Math: Number Sense & Place Value

Our first unit in math is about Number Sense and Place Value.

Here are our learning targets:

  • I can read and write whole numbers up to 1,000,000 using numerals, words, and expanded notation.  4.NBT.2
  • I can compare two numbers using symbols to show the comparison.  4.NBT.2
  • I can use place value to round numbers up to 1,000,000 to any place.  4.NBT.

This is a great unit to use when introducing math journals (picts to come.)  I began with a pre-assessment.  Next, I used the anchor chart (above) to introduce the first learning target.  We discussed standard form, word  form, expanded form, and how to use a place value chart.  We discussed the periods of numbers and practice reading numbers from left to right.

 I laminated the charts (above) for student practice.
  I noticed many spelling issues, when writing numbers.  So, I created this class poster.  I also make small version for math journals.  We had a discussion about compound numbers twenty-one through ninety-nine (which I included on the math journal resource sheet).

 Here we are playing our first game: Reading and Writing Numbers.  Students used numeral cards (their choice of the total number of cards, from 3-7).  They created numbers, recorded, them in Standard Form, read them out loud, and wrote them out in words.
Click on the game sheet  or the cover page (below) for a link to the 
Number unit in my TPT store!  
It includes Reading and Writing Numbers (standard form, written form, expanded form, and place value charts.)

We've Been Busy!

I've taken a long break from my blog.  
During my time off, I've finished my master's degree, gotten things started in my classroom, and am pregnant!  
My husband and I are over-the-moon-happy.  I'm 16 weeks pregnant today!  So, I'm starting off a new school year with a new perspective: someone else is going to be teaching my students for part of the year.  Eek!  This means I'm going to remain organized and structured!

For starters...
I rearranged my classroom and weeded out many items I no longer need.


Following Responsive Classroom, we've done guided discoveries, begun sharing, played "getting-to-know-you" games, created our Hopes and Dreams, developed class rules, and decided on class jobs.  This year, I asked my students to develop their own class jobs:
 Students created a list during the first week.

 I rewrote the jobs, using alliteration (for fun and as a reinforcement skill).  Students decorated the cards and I laminated them onto a large poster paper.  I then cut open the top slit.  

 Popsicle sticks go in each pocket.  These get rotated weekly.  We created two blank pockets for any possible new students!
Here are our class jobs:  2 Classroom Cleaners, 2 Chair Chiefs, Notes & News, Morning Meeting Leader, Line Leader, Door Duty, Paper Passer, 2 Lunch Luggers, Phone Friend, 2 Book & Compost Buddies, Table Tender, and Substitute.

In writing, we've discussed the "Reasons People Write" and the "Topics People Write About".

 From the many specific topics, we created a more general topic list.

Students created topic lists in their journals and created a free-write, topic-based story.  We will use this piece again at the end of the year, to reflect on our writing growth.  In learning about the writing process, students created Biography Poems.  They planned their thinking on a graphic organizer, drafted, revised, edited and published these.
    Here they are during the peer conferencing/revising stage:


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Inquiry and Curiosity

Rule #1 Curiosity comes first

"Questions can be windows to great instruction, but not the other way around."


If you're passionate about teaching INQUIRY and you care about your students' CURIOSITY, then I think you'll love this TED talk!

Ramsey Musallam: 3 rules to spark learning


Monday, May 20, 2013

100 Followers and Facebook

I'm so excited.
I just hit the "100" mark on my TPT store with followers!  
In celebration of this event, I've decided to take another social media plunge.... The Learning Lab Facebook Page!

If you feel up to it, swing over and check it out!

If you have any tips about how to promote a Facebook page, please leave me a comment!  It's a whole new world to me. 
Happy Monday :)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


We are working on poetry in class this week; I just love quotes from A.A. Milne!

“But it isn't easy,' said Pooh. 'Because Poetry and Hums aren't things which you get, they're things which get you. And all you can do is to go where they can find you.” 
― A.A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Summary Freebie

We are working on summaries!  The whole fourth grade is reading Green Mountain Hero, as part of our social studies curriculum.  It is a historical fiction text, which requires us to have rich conversations about context vocabulary and Vermont historical details.  As we work through the book, students are also learning how to synthesize the information from each chapter, into concise summaries.

We are using two strategies to do this.  First, we are using the traditional 5Ws (and an H).  Students read a chapter, then record: Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How.

Here is a freebie: two posters and several graphic organizers!

The second strategy is called a Summary Poem.  Students must choose and list 7-10 of the MOST important words from the chapter.  Then then WEAVE those words into sentences, trying to stay specific without retelling.    I will take some pictures of this strategy next week to post!

Inspiring Quotes

Ever since I was a middle-school kid, I've always been drawn to quotes.  When I would find something written eloquently, something that spoke to my heart, I would write it down in a little journal.  Eventually, I had a 'diary' of quotes.  I just came across one of my all time favorites, and I thought I would share it.  When I first read it, I thought it was about education, then I remembered who Pearl Bailey was and realized her audience.  Either way, it's one I keep with my favorite quotes about teaching:

"I see their souls, and I hold them in my hand, and because I love them, they weigh nothing."  -- Pearl Bailey

Are you a quote collector?  If so, share a quote you like, one that inspires you, or one that makes you smile!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Shoebox Dioramas to Talk about Setting (Free Rubric!)

I was looking for a fun activity to use, to focus on the importance of setting details.  My students had a BLAST creating these dioramas, to represent setting elements.  

Check out these details!

They also needed to write short, descriptive PLOT cards to go with their presentation.

Click on the Rubric to download for FREE!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Look Inside...

I was inspired to share my classroom this week by two people.  First, I happened by Mandy's Tips for Teachers --a great blog from a second grade teacher.  She posted pictures from the inside her classroom, and I thought, "What a great thing to do!"

Then, a colleague/friend popped into my room today and said my room always feels "very warm." This really 'filled my bucket' with a good feeling.  Thanks Jen! :)

So, I was inspired to share my very colorful classroom.

A view from the doorway: kids sit in groups of 4 or 5, Abenaki moons hanging from the ceiling, my desk off to the right.

My guided reading/guided math corner.  

From the door-sharp left look: dry erase board (front of the room.)  

My desk!

Reading corner and small work table (books are tucked in there and off to the right.)  
You can see our character collages up on the wall, and if you look closely there are some great dioramas on top of the book cases.

View from my desk: front board with math learning targets posted on the bottom left, greek/latin root posters above board, and Hopes and Dreams on the purple banner.
 This is a new arrangement: student book boxes, writing tools, and nonfiction text books.  Vacation table is visible in the corner of this picture.  Behind these bookcases is a large rug, where we meet for Morning Meeting and learning.  I love this new space!

Thanks for the inspiration to share!  Hope to see some other classrooms online! :)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Grab My Button!

Thank you for sharing my button on your blog!  Leave me a comment with your blog address and I will add yours to mine! :)

Here is my link: 
<a href="http://mrscolegrovesfourthgrade.blogspot.com/"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-VF5-u049zXg/UVAo-XQ3TcI/AAAAAAAAAlk/q-yJTeDqMdU/s1600/Collages3-002.jpg"/></a>

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Learning Lab: Working on my Header and Blog Image

The Learning Lab: Working on my Header and Blog Image: So, I've been trying to figure out how to make a header.  In doing so, I played around with some names and images.  I decided on The Lea...

Working on my Header and Blog Image

So, I've been trying to figure out how to make a header.  In doing so, I played around with some names and images.  I decided on The Learning Lab--as a play on learning, science, and my dog (a lab!)
I'm in love with my iPad app ArtStudio.  It's really fun and fairly easy to use.

My first true love and inspiration--Oscar :)

Check out some of my ideas:

 Oscar in a graduation cap:

 Oscar in goggles... I still need to work on these:

Oscar in a lab coat--I'm going to work on a better fit!

Any other ideas on how to make him look like a "Learning Lab"???