Yesterday, the 4th grade classes hosted a Fashion Extravaganza! Outfits were created from some of the most mis-matched pieces of clothing we could find. Then the students worked together to write creative descriptions of the clothing, in order to make it sound like the next greatest fashion trend. Below is a video of our Fashion Show. Our crowd was very enthusiastic, so a few descriptions are difficult to hear, but the students did an awesome job with this project! And, let’s face it…they look fabulous!
This past Wednesday, we had an entire day devoted to one of my favorite sports: football. The students walked in to our classroom in the morning to find it set up like a football stadium.
Our first activity was a football-style review game for an upcoming Math test. The questions were displayed on the SmartBoard, and students answered them on their own dry erase boards. If they got the correct answer, they advanced one yard line. If they did not get the correct answer, they stayed where they were. Any penalties would result in being sent back a yard line. (Thankfully, no flags were thrown in our game!) Questions were timed to keep the game moving.
Students were on two teams, starting in opposite end zones. Once you reach the other end zone, you scored a point for your team, then turned around and worked your way back toward the other end zone.
After our Math review game was finished, we did two sets of football-themed centers activities to round out our day, with roughly 20-22 minutes per station. Students were put into three teams for these, and competed as a team to complete all activities. These centers covered many different topics across various subject areas, some new material, some review. We had centers in English (idioms, types of sentences, onomatopoeia poem/story writing), Reading (fact/opinion, vocabulary matching), Math (measurement in inches and feet), and Social Studies (map skills). For early finishers, there were bonus Math word problems on the wall to solve for bonus points or additional long division practice for our upcoming test. There was no time to be bored during this day, and the time limits kept everyone on their toes!!
This was a fast-paced, high-energy day, full of learning and full of FOOTBALL!! And perfect timing, too, with the NFL playoffs getting into full swing this weekend. 🙂
Are YOU ready for some football??!
Right before Christmas break, we wrapped up our study of Greek Mythology. This is always a fun unit, as both 4th grade classes are studying at the same time, and we get to switch classrooms for different weeks of the unit! We learn about Heracles, the Trojan War, and other minor Greek myths. Also during this unit are various projects, both art-based and technology-based. I would like to share with you some photos of the fun we had during this unit. 🙂
Pin the Snake on Medusa…hilarious game to watch and play!! Remember…if you look directly at her, you turn to stone!!
Some pictures from our Greek scenes. Students were put into groups, and each group picked a Greek myth we studied out of a hat. They then had to pick the main scenes from their myth, map out how they wanted to “illustrate” each scene, and then do the illustrations using themselves as the characters. All props, outfits, and accessories were created by the students with their groups. It was a fun (and messy!) project. Once we took pictures of all the illustrations, the next day each member of the group got to write a summary of what was happening in each scene. These summaries and the pictures were then put in order to tell the story of their myth. Summarizing skills, writing…and crazy messy fun! Good times.
This year, 6th grade and 4th grade teamed up for the first time to hold a Fashion Extravaganza fashion show!!
The idea behind this project was to work on our creative writing skills, specifically working with adjectives and figurative language.
The students were put into groups. The first day’s assignment was to choose a model from each group, and create an outfit for that model- using the items we collected at the local thrift store. The more mis-matched the outfit, the better. Then, each student in the group was assigned to write a description of the outfit, making it sound like the most spectacular ensemble you’ve ever seen.
Bits and pieces of each group mate’s writing was put together into one description for the group to use. Then, roles were assigned. Each group had a model, an announcer, a stylist, publicity team, music, paparazzi…everyone had something to work on over the next few weeks as we prepared for the fashion event.
On the day of the Fashion Extravaganza, we converted our gym into a runway and invited other classes to come and see our work in action. The models and announcers did not disappoint, but my personal favorite part were our team of paparazzi, all armed with iPads to take lots of pictures.
Here is a picture of our models, followed by a video of the Fashion Extravaganza. Enjoy! I know I did!!
September 24th is National Punctuation Day. (It’s a real day!! I promise!!) What better way to celebrate the day than with an all-English activity day. We learned about the value of the comma, made up sound effects for verbal punctuation, and attended to some sick grammarians who had a bad case of badgrammaritis. 🙂 All in all, it was a fun day!!
Our first activity, Comma People, helped us review the importance of using commas. The students were to give 4 examples of proper comma use, and then create a Comma Person to go along with their examples. While the examples were great, the Comma People creations were even greater. Love the creativity!
Our next activity took more creativity, but this time in the form of acting, reading, and sound effects. We watched a short video of Victor Borge, a comedian, performing his “Phonetic Punctuation” sketch. After watching his inspiration, we created our own versions, using the Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems. Here is the video of his sketch, and then the video of our interpretations.
Our afternoon was filled with an activity we called Sentence Surgeons. In this activity, the students dressed as doctors, and attended to sick patients who had a bad case of badgrammaritis. Their job was to repair the damaged grammar using bandaids, and hopefully not lose their patient in the process. We had a ton of fun with this activity.
So much has happened in our classroom since last week’s post! We have been hard at work, continuing our study of the rainforest. This week was full of activities that helped us further explore this amazing ecosystem!!
First up, our collages of rainforest products. Students searched through ads to find medicines, foods, and other products that come from the rainforest. What an amazing array of items we would miss if our rainforests disappeared!!
This week was also our first time trying out the school’s iPads. This was a LOT of fun, and the students were way better at using them than I was!! 🙂 We used a program called ChatterPix, where you have a still picture, but give it a “mouth” and record yourself talking. When it plays back, the “mouth” moves with your voice! Super cool. We told about our animals from our rainforest animal projects.
Here’s an example:
My favorite rainforest project is Rainforest Superlatives. We talk about a few examples of rainforest plants and animals that are either extremely large or extremely small. Then, using yardsticks and rulers, the students drew out each creature true to life size.
The Rafflesia Flower: the world’s largest lily, measuring up to 3 feet across!
The Harpy Eagle: one of the world’s largest eagles, measuring up to 3 feet in height, with a 5 foot wingspan!
The Pygmy Marmoset: the world’s smallest primate, measuring only 14-16 cm long with a 15-20 cm tail!
The Goliath Bird-Eater: world’s largest spider, measuring an 11-inch legspan!
The Reticulated Python: the world’s longest snake, measuring 32 feet, 9 inches in length!
The Goliath Beetle: one of the world’s largest beetles, measuring up to 6 inches long!
Our last project for the week involved some practice in letter writing. We wrote letters to our governor, asking him to help us save the rainforest! Each letter was then attached to a rainforest creature of their choice and added to our classroom rainforest display! Lots of great creativity with these!!
Stay tuned for more fun projects coming up next week!!
Two weeks ago, 4R began studying the tropical rainforest ecosystem. We have been exploring this topic in Reading and Science, and have even made connections in other subjects as well!! We have barely started in our projects and activities, but I thought that it would be nice to see what we’ve learned about so far. Here is what we’ve been up to in class for the last 2 weeks.
Our classroom took on a whole new look with this unit. We walked in last Monday to find that a tree had sprouted right in the middle of our room, and brought with it some vines and other plants. Then there were the animals…it’s a jungle in here!!
One of the most important things to learn and understand about the rainforest is that it is divided into 4 distinct layers. Each layer has different plant and animal life, and they are different enough to almost be their own ecosystems! We broke into study groups and researched each of the layers in more detail. Once enough research had been collected, the groups worked together to make large dioramas of the layer they were assigned. These dioramas were combined to make one large classroom display of the 4 layers of the rainforest!!
The finished product:
During our second week of study, we took one more opportunity to explore the layers of the rainforest (AND to review what Compare and Contrast means before the ISTEPs!!). Groups selected two different layers of the rainforest and thought of the many ways that they were alike and different. Using sticky notes and hula hoops, they compared the two layers in large Venn diagrams. They were allowed to look for help on the computers, but most of the facts they were able to recall from our layer study last week (we used our research from the diorama project to help with this one, too!).
Other projects that were done/due during our second week of study were “A Day in the Life of a Rainforest Leaf” writing projects…
…and Rainforest Animal Research Projects. For these, students chose an animal that lives in the rainforest, researched their animal to find at least 3 interesting facts, and then drew a picture of their animal (and wrote the facts on the paper) that we added to our 4R Rainforest Wall.
More projects to come in the next few weeks!! What an exciting topic to explore! But be careful…it’s a jungle in here…
Yes, look it up, September 24th IS a recognized day: National Punctuation Day! We celebrated today by having English class all day long!!
Our first English activity was a salute to the comma. Students had to think of 4 different examples of proper comma use. After completing those examples, they used construction paper to create a comma person to attach to their examples. Not only were there many creative and fun examples of comma use, but there were also some pretty amazing comma people!
After finishing our comma people activity, we watched a video by a classic comedian, Victor Borge. He does a whole set called “Phonetic Punctuation,” where he assigns different sound effects and motions to different punctuation marks, and then reads a portion of a book while also reading the punctuation out loud. Needless to say, we were giggling up a storm at certain parts. Here is his video:
After watching, we paired up and did our own versions of Phonetic Punctuation, using the Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems. The students assigned their own sound effects to their books, and performed portions of their stories for us. It was a hysterical way to bring attention to the punctuation we take for granted every day!
After lunch, our final activity of the day was Sentence Surgeons. Students had to operate quickly to save the lives of their patients. (Badgrammaritis is no laughing matter!) By fixing grammar mistakes with small band-aids, the patients were revived to their proper grammar states. It was definitely a blast seeing our classroom transform into an operating room for the afternoon.
We ended our celebration with amazing punctuation treats. One of our fabulous room moms baked these for us (with special thanks to the Cheap Cookie Cutters website for the awesome punctuation cutters!), and they were definitely a treat enjoyed by all!!
Happy National Punctuation Day!!
This week as part of our tropical rainforest study, we did quite a bit of writing. First, we did some creative writing with stories entitled “A Day in the Life of a Rainforest Leaf.” Students had to write a story as if they were the leaf on a tree in the rainforest, and tell about their day from the leaf’s perspective. Then, the stories were mounted onto “leaves” and hung up in our classroom rainforest display!
Turned out quite nice, don’t you think?
Our next writing project was in the form of a business letter. The students wrote a letter to either the president, senator, governor, or mayor, telling them about our rainforest study and asking them to help make laws to protect the rainforest. These letters were mounted onto a rainforest creature of their choice, animal or plant.
I just love how creative these are!!
Our final writing project this week was rainforest themed poems. They could be about a plant, animal, or just the rainforest as a whole. They did not have to rhyme, though many did. Once written, they were finalized into a shape poem, meaning the words were written in a way that outlined the shape of the topic of their poem.
I always love seeing how these poems turn out!
The last rainforest project that we finished this week was an art project we’ve been working on for a few weeks now. It is made of different “textures”, which are made by using different colors and patterns. A textured landscape is our fancy art term for the week. These turned out really fun and colorful, and are a nice addition to our classroom wall.
Next week is the last week of our rainforest study. We have been working on a puppet show performance for the kindergarten classes, which we will perform next week. Stay tuned for video of the productions! 🙂
Information will be coming home on Thursday about the Young Authors book project competition. This did not make it into the newsletter this week, so wanted to let you know. Books will be done at school, and are due on March 11th. Topic is Fractured Fairy Tales. Watch for the info on Thursday!