Saturday, December 22, 2012

Winter Break

Have a wonderful holiday break and I will see you next year!  :) Enjoy your time off and don't forget to fill out your food journal and your rough draft of your persuasive essay!  :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Student Council Elections Today!

Today we had our student council assembly where not one, but ALL THREE candidates for fourth grade were from our classroom!  WOW!  Congratulations to the lovely ladies from P4 who were brave enough to put themselves out there and be heard!  Good luck to you all!  Here are a couple of shots from the assembly:

 Here is Lily speaking to the packed house!
 Yumi was next with a smile on her face!
Keiana did a cheer to celebrate school spirit!
Great job to all of the ladies and I can't wait to hear the results.  All of you are great candidates. 
Have your student write SCA on their planner if you checked the blog and ask your student WHY they voted for their candidate!  :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Nonfiction DonorsChoose Project!

The holidays are here and with the spirit of holiday giving, there are very few things that I need.  Several families have asked what I "want" for a holiday gift and while that is terribly generous, there really isn't anything I can think of!  So I wanted to let  you know that we have a brand new DonorsChoose project that just got posted that is SO important for our classroom.  If you are interested in getting a holiday gift, I would direct you to our project to give in lieu of a present.  This project is for several sets of nonfiction books that would bring nonfiction reading alive for our classroom.  There are so many fascinating things to read and learn about but with the limited number of books that our classroom and school library have available, the resources are severely limited.  This project provides sets of 5 books (so students aren't all clamoring for one book, like I am experiencing now since I have 2 new books in such high demand!) and will allow students to also read in small book groups to discuss their learning with other students. 

To make it better, right now DonorsChoose has a matching event going on now where if you enter the match code INSPIRE, the people at DonorsChoose will double your contribution!  This is a BIG project, which means it will take a while for us to raise the money.  However, with match codes like these, every little bit counts for so much more!

Thanks in advance for your donations and continued support of our classroom.  I really appreciate it!

If you're interested in making a smaller donation to our classroom, any nonfiction books, specifically about animals, space, or weather, would be greatly appreciated!  You can donate some nonfiction books in your child's name and I will put a sticker in the book that will show their donation for many years to come!

Monday, December 17, 2012

4th Grade Spirit Days

We have four more PACKED days until break!  Holy cow, it's gone by fast! 

This week our fourth grade is challenging each other to see which portable has the most spirit.  Each day we are going to have a different spirit day where students can dress up or show their spirit in some way to keep positive energy high in this last push before break.

Tomorrow is Team Color Day which means that students are being asked to wear something that has the color of their table on it to show their table spirit.  Each person who shows their spirit will get a bonus point for their table AND any table who has all of their table showing their spirit will get 5 bonus points.  WOW!  There are still 2 tables that are waiting to earn their Friday reward so fingers crossed they can be spirited and earn their reward... purple and yellow tables, I'm looking at you!  :)  Write a smiley face on your planner if you read the blog tonight and are going to show their spirit!

Please also send back the white envelopes that grades were sent home in on Friday.  I only got one back this morning (yikes!) so that means 24 of you still have them at home so make sure that you're sending those in soon. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Emotions Run High

Today was a rough day emotionally for the class.

Grades are sent home and the folders need to be signed and returned before break.  Please be on the lookout for those folders with grades.

In art we made a clay map of Washington that we will be letting dry over the break and we will get to paint them!  It's a great project and I can't wait to see how things turn out!

With the break coming closer and closer, student energy level is high which, as fourth graders, has presented itself as misbehavior and severe attitude problems.  There are several students in class who constantly aren't listening and who constantly are trying to argue with me, other adults, and classmates.  This weekend, as you're resting for the final week before break, have a chat with your student about behavior expectations and how behavior affects others' perception of you.

Have a lovely weekend and see you bright and early Monday!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Carkeek Field Trip!

 Here we are in a circle, getting acquainted with our guides!

 We spent the whole morning out in the field learning about salmon habitats... what is a salmon nest called?
 Here was our watershed model.... anyone know what a watershed is?
 Splash!  We tried not to get too wet!
 The ground was so soft here because it was mostly fallen leaves - there was easily 8 inches worth of old decomposed leaves before we hit dirt.  Anyone remember what this kind of ground is called?  HINT:  It starts with a P! :)
 We even pretended to be salmon and had to make it through the many hazards salmon face in order to get back to the stream to spawn!
Here are our lovely predators... what are some predators or hazards that salmon face in the wild?
  Talk about this field trip with your student.  If he/she can answer these questions, write SALMON on today's date (12/13/12) for bonus points!
Students have been working hard all year for a reward they earn for 120 points.  Since there have been some groups at 120 for a long time and some that STILL aren't there, I decided that next Friday we will be doing our reward for those groups that have 120 points.  So far there are 3/5 groups that have 120 points and the other two are close so fingers crossed we will all get the reward!  :) Keep working hard these last 7 days before break. 
Students will be coming home with a social studies report project that will be due next Thursday about the regions of Washington.  The research portion will be due on Monday, December 17.  Then students will be making a poster or brochure to represent their information to show other people about their region and WHY it would be a great place to visit or live.  Feel free to help them with this research, keeping in mind they must be able to understand and explain all of the notes they are taking so if you don't understand it, don't write it down! :) Happy researching!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Carkeek Field Trip Tomorrow

Tomorrow is our Carkeek Park Field Trip!  The weather is forcasted to be... well this is Washington, so it could change at the drop of a dime, so who knows!  Please come to school dressed for the weather and in clothes that can get dirty.  Rain boots, hats, coats, etc are highly recommended.  If it's sunny and beautiful or if it's pouring rain (like it was last year) we will be out there so please come prepared.  Send students with a substantial snack to make sure that they are able to make it through the whole morning working, though we will be back for lunch on time for the school lunch. 

Today we started our persuasive writing unit.  Ask your student what persuasive writing is.  If they can tell you, write PW on today's date on your planner for bonus points.  Three tables have earned the class reward so hopefully those last 2 groups can catch up so we get those rewards before break!  :) 

Get plenty of rest tonight!  We have a big day ahead of us!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Art and Music Concert Tonight

Tonight is our winter holiday music and art concert at Whitman Middle School.  Please be there by 7 pm when we will start the art portion of the concert.  There will be an art walk through before hand if you're interested in seeing what the students have been working on so far this year.  The students will be sitting with you in the auditorium until the art portion is over.  Then students will be asked the line up in the hallways to get ready for the music performance. 

Dress Code:  Please have your student wear something nice, not jeans or sweatshirts if possible. 

We look forward to seeing you there! :)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Shrinking Bigfoot

Today we had a wonderful assembly about Shrinking Bigfoot - not the mythical creature but our carbon footprint on the earth left by our fossil fuel and daily electricity usage and the impact that has on our environment.  This week we will be taking a closer look at the impact we have on our environments and learning more about how we can shrink our bigfoot!  :)  Ask your student ways that he/she can shrink their bigfoot around the house.  If your student can answer that question, write bigfoot in their planner for Monday for bonus points!

Speaking of planners, I have been getting a lot of emails about students "not knowing" about homework so I just wanted to make it clear that we dedicate time daily to filling out our planners so that should never be the case unless your student wasn't following the expectations and directions in class.  I do check the planners daily to make sure that they are filling them out but some do slip through the cracks so it's a great idea to check your student's planner at home as well to make sure that homework is done.  Several students have a really hard time actually completing any homework so that follow through is great from you at home.

This Thursday book orders are due, and if you are ordering books as gifts please let me know so I can get them home discreetly before the holidays.

Thursday is also the day our permission slips are due for our next field trip on December 11th (yes it is already next Tuesday!) so please get those in ASAP.  Several students already lost theirs (sheesh!) so I will get those replacements tomorrow.  We need at least 6 chaperones (and I have 1 already) so if you can make it with us, we would love to have you!  If we don't get at least 6 chaperones we cannot go to Carkeek park so please help us go by coming with us!  :)