Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Those Autumn Leaves

We do not have much, I suppose, in the way of seasons in Southern California, but by the end of November we do have so reasonably good fall color. And that was our inspiration for a water color project today. Some of the work the students did was absolutely lovely as you can see!



We did some of the more usual activities as well. We worked on persuasive writing in our journals contrasting what we thought were the best and worst sports. We worked on drawing conclusions from our reading. We re-read the “Ranita” play working on developing expression in our reading. We discussed some of the basics of plane geometry:  points, line segments, and the different kinds of lines and intersections. We explored magnetism and what kinds of materials are magnetic, and what kinds are not.

Homework:  (1) Write all spelling words 3 times in cursive and write sentences for words 11-15. (2) Do "Conclusions" on pages 157-158 in the Practice book. (3) Do “Helping Verbs” on pages 218-219 of the Language book. (4) Do the "Factors 3" math worksheet. (5) Do “Points, Lines, and Planes” on pages 194-195 in the math book.

Most students are also revising the song lyrics they are supposed to be writing for Mr. Lawton. The first and second lines should rhyme as should the third and fourth. There should be only one syllable per space. And, most important of all, the song should make sense!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Molly Malone (and other songs)

We started another new program today, music class with Mr. Lawton.


In third grade, he taught recorders to the students (one of many, many reasons I don't teach third grade), but in fourth grade we are focusing on song writing. The students have an assignment to write lyrics to a song tonight as part of their homework. Mr. Lawton and the class, with a bit of help from yours truly, came up with a sample lyric (sung to the tune of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star":

Zombies like to eat brain cake,
But it's something you can't bake.
You can find it on the street,
Grab a child and start to eat!

Gruesome, yes, but welcome to fourth grade!

We also had Tech Center where the students either finished their PowerPoints or did some geometry games on the computer.

Homework:  (1) Write all spelling words 3 times in cursive and write sentences for words 6-10. (2) Do "Maps," page 160 and "Antonyms" page 161in the Practice book. (3) Do the "Factors 2" math worksheet.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Clarabelle and Oreo

First of all, I hope that everyone had a great holiday. I would also like to thank the students for being so good while I was out the week before:  Mr. Yoo, their substitute, not only wrote that they were a good class but said that he "had a blast" being with them. I understand what he meant!

The highlight of our day was a visit from the California Dairy Council's mobile classroom. The gentleman in the front - whose name I never did quite get - did an admirable job of teaching the students about dairy cows and milk production. The students were fascinated by Clarabelle, a 5 year old, 1600 pound Holstein.

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Clarabelle seemed somewhat intrigued by the students, too.

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As the assembly was winding down, we were introduced to Clarabelle's son, the 6 month old Oreo. He is so cute!

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The students had a chance to pet Oreo as we returned to our classroom.

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Other than this, a very ordinary Monday. 

My dog is pretty sick, so I have to take her to the vet again today. As a result, I gave the students the last hour or so to do homework and I'm canceling homework club. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Homework:  (1) Write all spelling words 3 times in cursive and write sentences for words 1-5. (2) Do a tree map to illustrate soft sounds of c and g. We started this in class. (3) Do "Phonics," page 155, "Vocabulary," page 156, and "Main and Helping Verbs," page 164, all in the Practice book. (4) Do the "Factors 1" math worksheet. (5) Do "Solve Multi-Step Problems," pages 182-184 and "Test Prep," pages 186-187 in the math book. Also do "Graphing Sales" on the back of the answer sheet. 

Friday, November 09, 2012


Even for a minimum day, today breezed by pretty fast! We spent a good part of it finishing our mosaic turkey projects. I have to hand it to this class, I have NEVER had this project come out so well! They were excellent!




We did do some other things. We went to the library where Mrs. Sartore read a really touching story about Nubs, a dog saved by a marine in Iraq. We took the reading, spelling, and math tests. And students also took a test for Mr. Pratt in history.

Homework:  None!

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Cool and Gray

It was a cool, gray day and students were quiet and industrious today in room 19. In short, perfect.

We worked a good deal on our mosaic art project – more on that tomorrow – and we revised and edited our “Place to Love” papers. We learned about dividing numbers with three digits. We had a good time at CDI.

Homework:  (1) Do the final draft of the “Place to Love” paper in cursive. Try to revise as well as edit before doing that draft. (2) Do the odd problems only on the multiplication practice sheet. (3) Do “Three Digit” on pages 172-173 of the math book. Be sure to show all work on a piece of scratch paper.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

After the Election

First a big thank you to parents who helped push Proposition 30 over the top to victory. Our children are the biggest winners here since this means that their school year will not be shortened by 3 weeks, but the teachers are grateful not having our pay slashed by a full month, too!

Otherwise, a pretty ordinary Wednesday.

Homework:  (1) Write all spelling words 2 times in cursive. Write sentences for words 11-15. (2) Do "Toolbars" on page 136 and "Prefixes" on page 137 of the Practice book. (3) Do the “Three Times Two 3” worksheet, odd numbers only. (4) Do “Dividing 2 Digit by 1 Digit," even numbers only, on pages 169-170 of the math book and "Will They Reach the Top" on the back of the answer sheet.

REMEMBER, Friday, November 9 is a MINIMUM DAY (12:30 dismissal). Monday is a holiday - no school. Tuesday is a SHORTENED DAY (1:30 dismissal). Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of next week are also MINIMUM DAYS

Tuesday, November 06, 2012


We started the day in Tech Center where students learned how to paste pictures from Google Images into their PowerPoint. They continued to work on their biographical presentation about a person who “made a difference.”


Returning to the room, we worked in our journals. Since our theme in Treasures is currently “Powerful Words”, I asked the students to make a list of 30 words that they thought were powerful. I made a couple of them into Wordles. The students liked this so much that they will be doing the same with it over the next week during our Independent Work Time.


Today was not only the election for our nation’s president, but it was the election for Student Body President as well. Only fifth graders can hold this job, but fourth graders are the “swing states” in this election.

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In other news, our PTA Thanksgiving Food Drive is starting. Please remember to send canned good and other non-perishable food items to school with your child. Room 19 is usually one of the top contributors each year, and I would like to see us win this year.


Homework:  (1) Write all spelling words 2 times in cursive. Write sentences for words 6-10. (2) Do the “Three Times Two 2” worksheet. (3) Do “Models and Symbols” odd problems only on page 166-166 of the math book and “New Shapes" on the back of the answer sheet.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Fall Forward

Almost every year the day after time changes some poor child comes in an hour early or an hour late. My congratulations – everybody in room 19 was here on time today!

Pretty ordinary Monday. We worked in our journals on writing narrative fluently, and we began to look at subject and object pronouns. We read “Name that Reptile” and talked about both the vocabulary words and making inferences. We are doing a descriptive writing project this week inspired by the classic picture book All the Places to Love by Patricia McLaughlin. Today students listened to the book and brainstormed by making a cluster. Here’s an illustration from the book.


Students went to Mr. Pratt for history. We also started a special Thanksgiving Art project today. More on that later….

Homework:  (1) Write all spelling words 2 times in cursive. Write sentences for words 1-5. (2) Do “Phonics” on page 131, “Vocabulary" on page 132, and “Inferences” on page 133 of the Practice Book. (3) Do the “Three Times Two 1” worksheet. (4) Do “Remainders” on page 162-163 of the math book and “Order Lunch" on the back of the answer sheet.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Typical Friday

It was a pretty ordinary Friday. We went to the library. We took all the usual quizzes and tests. Everybody was much calmer than yesterday – I think the Halloween sugar high finally subsided.

Homework:  As necessary, finish pages 160-161 in the math book.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

It Just Zipped By

Just a couple more pictures from Friday’s field trip. First, our students did love shopping and found lots of treasures!

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And we were fortunate to have a couple fantastic guides!

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Our day today started with an assembly about traffic safety.

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It was a little lame, but our students took part and seemed to know all the right answers.

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The rest of the day was pretty routine. We went over the math and reading tests, we wrote in our journals, and we went to CDI.

Homework:  (1) Write all spelling words 2 times in cursive. Write sentences for words 16-6. (2) Do “Plurals and Possessives” on page 128 and 129 of the Practice Book. (3) Do the “Two Times Two 4” worksheet. (4) Do “Using Mental Math” on pages 158-159 of the math book and “Barry’s Best Sellers" on the back of the answer sheet.