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Recent Posts

Finishing up Multiplication with a Folktale of Very Smart Math Thinking
As the second quarter comes to a close, there is a fabulous tale about multiplication in our literature book. It has to do with the doubling of a product. The kids use the calculators to see into what place value period they can be used for and then they get to experience the math. They are modeling with rice grains! Oh, there was much grumbling and all gained a complete acknowledgment at how the math thinking was real problem-solving!
Using the Document Camera in a Writers' Circle to critique the Life of a  Mountain Man Paragraph
The kids are getting really good at taking in thoughts and feedback from classmates about their work. Today, using the criteria list to guide the comments, compliments, or questions, the writers listened to help make their paragraph more clear or organized. 
       Here, Brooklyn is listening to Kylor and adding or changing her rough draft. Other students listen and work to make changes as examples are up on the SmatBoard. 
Interactions with this content strengthen and reinforce the importance of cooperation and how we learn together. 
Moscow Charter School Students really shined brightly in MLKJr. Contest
This year's prompt was hard and interesting-- combining the understanding of representation and voting rights, plus the idea of how to include and help create a just world-- Whew!!-- deep topics!
 You can see, we had two 4th graders-- Michael and Efthymis represent for us!!
This, the 38th Annual MLKJr.  The presentation, speakers, and awards were as uplifting as ever!
Clarissssa gets to meet the 4th Graders--really!!
We made it through 11 kids getting to meet her. The kids love holding our class pet, We talked a lot about how to care for her and other questions about snakes in general. 
Student Morning Meeting Leaders- Trenten and Noah--
The 4th Grade has really grown as a class and the next step is for students to lead the Morning Meeting.
In the picture, the students are doing deep focused breathing led by one of the student leaders. This is something that we have done at least once a day all year long. We have talked about the value of breathing--physiologically
it tells our brain we are safe and can think about things.
After that, the kids follow what the leaders have designed for the four parts of the meeting which are the Greeting, Sharing or a Reading, Activity, and Announcements. The whole time is planned out for a thirty-minute meeting.
Growing our Ice Skating Skills at Palouse Ice Rink
We have been looking forward to this for many weeks and it was just a wonderful time of practice and fun, support and learning. 
There were 7 total parents, grandparents, or siblings that showed up too which made it more fun! Thank you all for coming!
Before we left, we did a survey and everyone has been to the ice rink so we talked about helping to raise money for a full-size rink. The kids were surprised by the amount!
The other idea we surveyed was the level of skill as an individual ice skater-- how do you rate yourself? The choices were 1,2, or 3 with 1 as low (2 kids), 2 as developing or in progress (10 kids), and 3 as " I only fall when I want to :)) (6 kids). 
 We left wanting more!!--everyone wanted to go again!!
T Chart of Criteria and Constraints with our Raincatcher Experiment
After 3 days of figuring out how to set up and experiment and carry it out, the kids sorted what they learned by making a list in each area. Tomorrow, we will draw conclusions and make some claims and evidence about this part of the Scientific Process.
Rain-catcher Experiment-- Prediction, Location, and Design
After a lot of discussion about how to set up an experiment; we did one that was a great failure and gave us lots to talk about, the kids were able to do the create the right model to collect precipitation for 24 hours. Wow, did their predictions change from yesterday! They have a much better idea of how much could be collected.
They created several design ideas and after discussing the pros and cons of criteria and constraints (the 2  basic principles of engineering anything) for the science experiment, they figured out what would work best. It was all about building consensus too. Seeing this group grow knowledge and talk about what works is so interesting. These 4th Graders are making big progress in listening to each others' ideas and problem-solving together.
 P.S. Ice Skating Field trip reminder:  This Friday from 10 - 11 a.m. at the Palouse Ice Rink. Info in the Planners. Please join us if you can!
Rubik's Cube Mosaic is a great STEAM project!
Today, after 3 months of learning about the parts, sequence, and the ability to do math and art with the 3 by 3-inch square cubes, the kids really created a beautiful glass mosaic.
       'Mad Libs' Story to support the Parts of Speech!
During Cursive and Grammar, Wes presented at the Document Camera that shows up on the Smartboard to read his story. Three Parts of Speech were reinforced. He read to us his favorite story. The kids made a graphic organizer or chart to sort the examples of six nouns, six adjectives, and six verbs. Wes read the definitions and explained how much he liked playing with language! 
   Congratulations to Lilly and Trenten who created marvelous mosaics for our Class Rubik's Cube Mosaic.
        Last week when the kids were creating the mosaics for the Rubik's Cube design, they had 3 objective areas-- original design, not copied, all 6 colors are used, all the blocks are essential to the design.  There was one area, that was subjective-- if they thought the design was 'cool'. All four areas were given the same 1-2-3 point options.  we had two winners, but wait, something was not right, the criteria hadn't been met. After having a fabulous discussion-- literally lightbulbs were going off above their heads!!-- the kids rediscovered the meaning of criteria! They really get "criteria" now!!. The Criteria List really means that those are the things that are expected! Soooo, we had another vote!!  Two different mosaics made it for that vote from those submitted because they all realized that the first two that were chosen didn't meet the criteria although they were interesting and creative.
Thank you to all the 8 kids that submitted their ideas!!
We will be making our Rubik Cube Mosaic on Friday. Each student will have one 3 by 3 section of Trenten's design to create.
Mosaic Gallery Walk
Students submitted their work and using a criteria list and rubric, each mosaic was evaluated. The one chosen will be the one we create with all the Rubik's Cubes next week!
Halliday Share!
         The notes on the SmartBoard you see were part of a process from Monday. The kids took notes on loose-leaf paper and have it with them. It will help you understand this fun time.
        Each year this is one of the most memorable activities that they will do as a class because they are learning so much about each other. We used Parliamentary Procedure for deciding the days, gifts, and budget and they voted with a simple majority deciding the outcome.
The Math Out There and Help on Speaker Phone; Fun for you to hear your student process and problem solve.
      I thought it would be interesting to show you what the Trex collection boxes look like every couple of days.   
       Definitely we have a community that wants to keep this material
                           out of the landfill and water systems.   
Today, as we reviewed the article about recycling plastics in the MP Daily News, it was the quantity of 500 pounds that is what is so important that applies to where we are in Math. 
      Since we are working in Chapter 4 with multiples of 10,100, and 1000 and estimating by rounding to the GREATEST value, and working on regrouping, it is really important for the kids to know that as they are working they can ask for help--even from home. Because we are moving into large number problem solving using math facts as the foundation, I had an idea today to support this. I have done this before and it is very reassuring to the kids to know they can call me. It is part of learning to ask for help. We reviewed that they have from 8:00- 8:25 each morning to get help. They can also come in for 15 minutes at lunch if necessary.  Most don't since Recess beckons!! :)
Today, they wrote our home phone into their Planners, but a better way is to call the school phone number and leave a voicemail. Here is our phone number and my extension. It is 208-883-3195 ext.107 so that they can call and leave a message if they are really struggling.
         Before they call, please make sure they have read the problem several times and applied the UPS (Understand, Plan, then Solve) method we do each day. I will only call back on a parent's mobile phone that is left in a message. Then working with the student on the speaker setting with a parent or guardian present, we all can go through the math. This is really a boost to their confidence!
I offered this solution because I wanted them to know that this content so foundational is real problem-solving. If you have any questions, call me ;)
Sequencing Events
            Whether they are in procedures in Science or the important events in the Lewis and Clark Expedition, reading and sorting are the starts of identifying and learning. We did this type of activity with science and had a big talk about how scissors and glue are useful tools for study. Here the students are taking 14 different events and gluing them into their Social Studies notebook after first organizing them into the correct order. 
                Cooperative Learning here is sharing information and helping each other make sure the information is correct. This type of work is very hands-on and allows very positive interactions about the content.