Thursday, June 27, 2013

End of the Year Activity - Roller Coasters

'Roller coaster' photo (c) 2004, Andréia Bohner - license:
Desperado, Nitro & Goliath are just a few of the roller coasters students learned about on the last 2 1/2 days of school.   This thematic unit (designed by a teacher, Lovin' Lit,  from Louisiana) included activities that related to all areas of the curriculum from reading non-fiction articles, recording and analyzing statistics, using map skills, to comparing and contrasting kinetic & potential energy.

Videos and pictures of roller coasters were used to engage students.  Sharing their war stories about being on a roller coaster helped them make connections.  Then following directions students slowly created a lap book using the information about the roller coasters.   They made bar graphs, learned about energy through this song.  The final activity was to build their own roller coaster using simple materials.  The designs were unique and many worked.  I believe if we had more time - ALL of them would have completed the challenge.

 As the temperatures remained high during the day, so did the level of engagement.  Students are encouraged to visit the eBoard site to design their own roller coasters via an internet program.

It was a great way to end the school year.  Please feel free to leave a comment (and especially leave a comment if you visit a roller coaster this summer!).


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Back to the Basics of Writing

      Written by: Grace M. (& Mrs. Carroll)

     On Thursday, June 6th, we were lucky enough to Skype with Jerry Blumengarten, author of the book “Energy Kids”, written for and energy company similar to NSTAR. He is a former New York City Teacher and Librarian.  He now compiles resources and houses them on his own "Cybraryman Man's Educational Websites."

     During our discussion, Mr. Blumengarten gave us helpful tips about writing and the many steps you have to take to write a book.  He used his "Cartoon Book" to guide us through the process.

Mixbook - Create Beautiful Photo Books and Scrapbooks!

    We Skyped just in time for our “Night At The Museum” project.  It will definitely improve our grades because he spoke to us about taking our time researching and writing a detailed script.  For The Night at the Museum Project we will be researching a famous person then writing a script and performing as though WE are that person.  Night at the Museum will be held June 20th for parents.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Culminating Activities for Little House

Written by: S. Grant (and Mrs. Carroll)

Little House in the Big Woods is a story about a little girl's experience in the great woods of Wisconsin in the mid 1800's.  The students in the class completed many activities.

They have read the book, by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Then, they filled out their lapbook. The lapbook was made from two folders stapled together and when they got to a certain part of the story, students would write in the space provided for that subject. After writing, they would decorate and color the inside and outside of the paper.

Next, students filled out their Log Cabin shaped vocabulary book. The book was filled with the words that they didn't fully understand. Students researched the words in the student dictionaries provided.

After the story, they created the Characters in a Can and made a "person" out of a can based on a main character from the story. On the 24th they had their Prarie breakfast and the Hoedown. The breakfast consisted of eggs, pancakes, breads, juice and much more.

Character in a Can Project
The last part of the day was the most exciting...A whole school assembly highlighting the fourth graders for our Annual Hoe Down.  The whole school was invited to wear their country western gear to get in the spirit of the activity.  Fourth grade students learned several country western dances including the Virginia Reel and Cotton Eyed Joe.  After each class performs the dance they choose members of the audience to try the dance with them.  The final dance consists of the entire school doing a line dance!

Through these activities life in the Little House comes a little bit more alive for the students!