Dec 16, 2013

What are YOUR reading plans for vacation??

Vacation is approaching, are you ready??  What will you be reading over the break?  Do you have your books selections picked out yet?
I am planning on reading the Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.  I have heard it is really a good read and I finally bought a copy for the classroom.
I am also planning on reading The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, part 4.  The book will be released this week, and my daughter Zoe and I are very excited about getting started on it.  It is full of mysteries and questions and we hope some of those will  be answered in this new book! 

The final book I am planning on reading is Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo.  I bought the book a while ago, but have not had the time to read it.  It is about a super-hero squirrel and a girl named Flora.   Kate DiCamillo is one of my favorite authors and I have read most of her books, but so far I am not totally excited about reading this new book.  I don't know, maybe it's the squirrel.  My daughter Dalin read the book and loved it.  More and more people who read it tell me they like it too, so it has been added to my pile for the winter break

A Tangle of Knots has just arrived in  my Scholastic box.  I have heard so much about this book and I finally broke down and bought a copy.  Something about baking, magic, and mystery all good qualities in a book for me!!  This one also goes onto the pile.

So, what will you be reading over the break?


Last Friday was twin day here at school.  There were some crazy twins, triplets, and more.  Of course the 4th grade teachers had to get in on the action!  Such great look alikes!!

Nov 26, 2013

The Marshmallow Spaghetti Challenge

It was the day before Thanksgiving vacation, excitement was high in the classroom.  What's a teacher to do with all that energy?? 

 Time for a group building activity!!  The challenge was to build the highest free-standing structure using 20 pieces of spaghetti, a yard of tape and string, and one marshmallow which had to be on the top of the structure.  Students were not allowed to eat or break up the marshmallow in any way.  Oh and by the way, they only had 18 minutes to do this. 
 Competition was fierce, and for a while it looked like we might have lots of little spaghetti all over the floor and no standing structures!  I don't think any of us realized just how delicate those pasta pieces are.  Winners are pictures on the left.  congratulations to everyone, great TEAM  work!

Field Trip to the Audubon Nature Center

Last week, the 4th grade went to an Audubon Nature Center. We learned about landscapes, wind, water and lands. We were divided in to 4 groups. One group looked at a huge piece of granite which was carried there by a glacier. All of the groups went in to mini-groups and made ravines, lakes, islands, and peninsulas on the beach of Lake Michigan. Then we all collected rocks and looked at them to see if they were sedimentary, metamorphic or igneous rocks. Potter78 found four pieces of granite and named them all Mr. Granite(haha). We all had lots of fun except for when we got sand in our shoes.

Nov 21, 2013

Dear 4th Grade Families,

We have started division but our curriculum begins by teaching it in a slightly different way than you may be used to. Here is a video that explains one of the strategies we will be using for division.

Nov 15, 2013

Student Book Review

Among the HiddenbyMargaret Peterson Haddix

Reviewed by Potter78

Among the Hidden is a book that takes place in the 31st century. The problem in the book is that the government has passed a law that makes having three or more children in one family illegal. Sadly, Luke is a third child that must stay in the attic 80 percent of the day.  
One day he sees someone in a window where he knows two kids have gone to school. Does he dare find out more about the third child?  
I enjoyed this book because the author always has something interesting happening all the way to the end of the book. I recommend this book for kids who like futuristic action books.

Nov 14, 2013

Haunted Houses, book 2

Another group of great descriptive writing pieces about scary houses we might have visited...

Haunted Homes Book 2

Nov 7, 2013


I like rocks because they have different kinds of rocks and they have colors like blue, red, and beige.  Rocks are kind of cool because some rocks have diamonds inside of the rock. Some people don't like rocks because they think rocks are beige, but rocks are interesting because they have diamonds.  There are sedimentary rock, igneous rock, and metamorphic rock.  That’s why I love rocks.

by SilverT

Nov 5, 2013

Classroom News from this week's Class Scribes

Yesterday, was Monday. In science class some people in our class shared their Rock Projects. There were three things we could have done for our Rock Project. First, we could have taken 8-10 photos describing how the photo explains whether it changed by weathering, erosion or deposition. Another choice was creating a rock collection where we get 12 rocks and find all of their names, number the rocks and give a 2-3 sentence description. The third choice was to write a story about a rock who goes through the process of the entire rock cycle. The 4th choice was to explain the rock cycle.  Everyone did it a different way, and it was nice to see all the different projects.  Here are some examples...

by Bling Dog and Potter78

Nov 1, 2013

Mystery Skype

Last week we had our first Mystery Skype.  A Mystery Skype is where we skype with another class somewhere in the country and try to guess where they live before they guess where we live. This week we guessed where they were first.  They live in Maine and it was a nice activity to sharpen your geography skills.  We asked yes or no questions like "Are you south of West Virginia?" then they answered yes or no.  We had jobs like using maps to come up with the next question or keeping track of what we already know.  We had a puzzle map of the USA and we took the states off the map that we knew they couldn't be.  We got down to the last few states and we asked, "does your state border another country?"  They replied, "Yes" so the only state it could be was Maine.  That was our first class Mystery Skype. 

written by Sparkle12 and Potter78


"Hello," I say, walking by.
"Hello," he says, saying hi,
"Hello," I say to someone.
"Hello," she says, I'm twenty -one."
"Hello," I say, searching round.
"Hello," he says, "Look what I found!"
"Hello," I say, entering work.
"Hello" I say, "My name is Gerk."
"Hello" I say, to my boss.
"Hello" he says, (he likes to floss).
"Hello" I say, humming loudly.
"Hello" she says, singing soundly.
"Hello" I say, leaving work.
"Hello" he says, "Don't forget I'm Gerk."
"Hello" I say heading home.
"Hello" I say ready to roam.
"Hello" I say to my wife.
"Hello" she says, she's had a good life.
"Hello" I say to my kids.
"Hello" they say,
their names are Tim and Lid.
"Hello" I say to my baby.
"He-woh," he says.  His name is Aby.

 written by All-Star28

Oct 22, 2013

Rocking Chair

I am a rocking chair,
I sway all day.
I am a rocking chair,
I can never say,
"I am a rocking chair, 
please let me sway!"
Forever I will be a 
rocking chair.
I am a rocking chair,
Mamas sit on me.
They cuddle their babies, and then they sing lullabies to them.
I am a rocking chair, I shall forever sway.  I may be creaky and old, 
but forever shall I sway,until my final day, as a rocking chair, 
will forever remain 
a rocking chair.

by Bling Dog

Sep 18, 2013

Parts of our School

written and directed by Cbot, Clay52, Navydog, Potter78, Tbo


written and directed by Ert and Lucky12


Kickball is not a very popular sport. It's so unpopular it's not even a major league sport. Most people just play it for fun. We love to play it at recess.

written and produced by All-star28 and Slammin S

Sep 17, 2013

Our Gym

Written and developed by Mathgirl, Soccer13, SilverT, PL33

Our Library and BOOKS

We love reading books, we do not like to stop reading. Also, HL21 likes horse books, horses, and books about jumping horses. Nemo22 likes chapter books, cats and dogs, art, books, and animals.

written and designed by HL21 and Nemo22

Sep 16, 2013

Music at Our School

Music in our school is very fun. We also have orchestra and band. Some people do orchestra like me, but you have to be in 5th grade to do band. In music, our room looks like this.
Right now we are learning about rhythm. To do that we are using rhythm sticks to practice our rhythm. On the active board we have notes that we practice. This is our teacher Mrs. Lick.
She is very nice. Mrs. Lick helps us with rhythm. She puts all of the notes on the active board. Then we play it with the rhythm sticks or an instruments. After that, we pick a song to play with the instruments. Finally, we end the song or stop it in the middle.
That's our music room.

This is our orchestra room.
It's where some people come to play violin, viola, cello, and bass. Our teachers' name is Mr. Bakken. He is very nice. This is what he looks like.
Here is what we do in orchestra. First, we get the instrument that we play. Second, we get our music book. Then we practice. After that, we put everything away.
Finally we go back up to our classroom. That's our orchestra room.

Music in our school is terrific!

written by Liv4

Jul 23, 2013

Why the name?

Definition of Driving- 

1. Transmitting power or motion -  
Learning is power!   No matter where you are starting from, our goal as 4th graders is to always be moving forward.  My wish is that you will keep on growing and learning throughout the year!  

2. Intense, or forceful: a driving rain.
I hope during the year you will find yourself intensely involved in learning.  Have you ever had that experience?  You know, those times when you are so involved and interested in something that time just speeds by!  My goal this year is for all of us to experience being intensely involved in learning.

3. Energetic or active: a driving personality. 
The best kind of learning is energetic and active! I love lessons where everyone is active and involved;  doing and playing with whatever we are studying that day.  

I am ready to go, so buckle in and let's cruise!  Welcome to 4th grade!

This will NOT be your experience in our classroom!!.......
Are We There Yet??