4 5 The Learning Lab: March 2013

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"???

Friday, March 15, 2013

Classification using a Dichotomous Key

Teaching science brings me such joy.  I love the whole process... from uncertainty to joyful discovery!

Earlier this week, I gave my students a pre-assessment in classification.  They turned it in with doubtful looks on their faces.  Then we began to discover the process of classification--and their faces lit up!


Large Flow Chart

Sorting Shells

Practice--Sorting Images of Organisms
Packet for Sale!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Here is a LINK my Prezi about TeachersPayTeachers 
(Data was all collected from Teacherspayteachers.com, sources included)

Sources with Links:
YahooNews 2013
Education Week Teacher 2011
Mrs. Jump's Class Blog
Deanna Jump's TPT Store
Top 5 Copyright Questions (Freebie)

Other Sources:
Open Clip Art
Public Domain Clip Art
Twitter  follow me at: https://twitter.com/sgodbout22

Make your own clipart app on an iPad:  ArtStudio

Literacy Scores--Freebie

Each week my class works on reading fluency pieces.  This week, I began assessing their progress with fluency rate, accuracy, spelling of high frequency words (from the text), and reading comprehension questions.  

Here are the tickets I made.  I'm giving the scores to my students, but you can use it for your own records!

March Madness Sale

I'm having a SALE!
15% off

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Guess the Idiom!

This was such a fun and interactive way to share our learning about idioms!
1.  Students chose an idiom.
2.  We discussed the meaning.
3.  They illustrated the literal meaning.
4.  We hung them up on our hallway lockers with hidden answers posted below.
5.  We smiled a lot, as we listened to people try to guess the idioms!

Can YOU guess these idioms???

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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Native American Abenaki Projects

Here are some of the projects we worked on this year!


  Tools for Hunting and Survival
  Beliefs and Customs Maps


Fire for Food