Here are three games and some extra reading to practice the vocabulary for our Houghton Mifflin Electricy and Magnetsim Unit. These are words you will need to know for the upcoming unit test. So be smart and have fun reviewing!
This week we will be reading about Komodo dragons. Today we learned how to follow directions in order to draw a fantastic dragon. For those who want to try this at home, you can find the directions and tutorial here.
This is our second successful attempt at creating digital poetry. Again we used a William Carlos Williams Poem as our inspiration. This time we used "The Red Wheelbarrow". After writing the poems, we read the wonderful book "Love that Dog" together. This book shows the interactions between a teacher and a student as a boy, Jack, is inspired to write poetry based on famous poems. Of course, one of the pivotal poems in the book is "The Red Wheelbarrow". We also wrote a class poem together, which came out fantastic. Lillian produced the video for the class poem.
Here is an Animoto I made last year for the poem "The Red Wheelbarrow". This post from my Mount Pleasant School days tells about the digital poetry project based on "The Red Wheelbarrow" and shows some of my fourth grader's poems. Here are poems that last year's fifth grade class wrote.
The first video is for a poem the class wrote together to model the steps in writing a poem. I wanted them to make the last stanza a prepositional phrase, but they also came up with some alliteration along the way. I really like the poem they wrote together. The rest of the poems the student's wrote were just as enjoyable. This was the first time the class got to use the digital camera and "Love that Dog" books funded from two different Donors Choose projects.
McGraw-Hill Education, publishers of our Everyday Math program, are offering five Everyday Math Apps for FREE on Novemebr 7-11, 2011. Go here or to the iTunes App store. If you have one of these devices, it would be great to get these apps for free and turn off Angry Birds for just a bit!
Here are three games to practice the vocabulary for our Houghton Mifflin Energy and Motion Unit. Some of the words we have been introduced to already. Others are from future lessons, but why not review and get ahead when you are looking for something to do. These are the words you will need to know for the unit test.
I played this song for the class last month and some of them really liked it and asked if they could hear it again. I am posting it on the class blog so that they can listen or even download it for free. C'mon it is better than Justin Beiber! Well, I am proud too, because Andrew Hansen is my son and this is his song. You can listen to "Creaking Door" here.
Andrew is a student at Gordon College in Massachusetts. For an internship this summer, he worked at Regenerate Music Studio in Tennessee and had a blast. There are three take aways for the class: 1) find a passion and explore it (2) college is not just about work-you can pursue your passion while you are there and (3) Andrew is pretty good at this stuff. Andrew is self taught at the guitar, singing, and writing music. "Creaking Door" is a song Andrew wrote, recorded and produced, as well as doing all the singing and the guitars. He did have some studio friends add the bass and drums.
Besides enjoying the song and being proud of Andrew, it does make you feel old when your own son sings nostagically about wishing he was younger.
We have begun making our first digital poems. We are exploring words and how they relate to each other through the model of William Carlos Williams poem "The Locust Tree in Flower". the words in the poem don't seem to relate to each other as in a sentence or even through the phrasing of a typical poem, but when you read the poem through a few times, one can see how they all fit together. I liken the poem to words written on puzzle pieces, mixed up and then randomly placed into the poem, with some words missing. We used the trees in front of New Searles School on a crisp and beautiful fall day to inspire the words we wrote. Then we mixed up the words like puzzle pieces to create our own poems following the "rules" that William Carlos Williams used: a title, 13 words, one word per line, 4 stanzas of 3 words, and a final word at the end.
I then introduced the class to Animoto and we learned to upload the pictures, write out the poem, and arrange it with music, so that we could share the poem online. As you can see they came out fantastic. You can find out more about this lesson on my teaching blog and this blog.
We are learning the Everyday Math algorithm for addition called the Partial-Sums Method. Most fourth graders have mastered an algorithm of their choice for addition. If they are proficient in using that algorithm then they should use it. They are, however, expected to know the partial-sums algorithm for addition. The method helps them develop their understanding of place value and addition. In the partial-sums method, addition is performed from left to right, column by column. The sum for each column is recorded on a seperate line. The partial sums are added at either each step or at the end.
Here is a video that explains how to do this method: Addition Partial-Sums. The Everyday Math company has put the algorithims used in its program online. The animated directions take you through a problem step-by-step so students can refresh their memories or parents can learn the new algorithims. These are great refreshers, models, and argument breakers!
Here is the link to take you to the algorithms. Just click on the button for "Algorithims in Everyday Math", then click on grade 4. select an operation, an algorithim, and then an animation. There are six examples on this page for varying degrees of difficulty. The link above is one you want to bookmark for the many examples of how to do the algorithms in Everyday Math.
Everything linked in this glogster (interactive poster) will be tied together starting next week. Please explore it, so that you can become familiar with how a glogster works and what all these places and events signify. Hover the mouse over the poster and click "view full size".
Here is the Prezi presentation on Kenya that I made for school. I can skip through certain parts depending on the grade level or time allowed. If you get an advertisement on a video, click on the border of the video to make it disappear. You can also view it here.
I love reading the book "The Invention of Hugo Cabret" to a class because I enjoy seeing how fascinated the students become as the story develops. This class was no exception. I had to read the book first thing in the year before the new movie directed by Martin Scorcese comes out this fall. There are a lot of tie-ins to the book to explore from early film making, special effects, train crashes, automatons, and even a connection to Thomas the Tank Engine. You can explore more here and with links to previous posts I have made. Here is a Scholastic Website to play some games and learn more about Hugo Cabret. Here is the trailer for "The Invention of Hugo Cabret" movie that is coming out this fall.
Welcome to a new school year. I am excited to be back to teaching fourth grade again. We are off to a great start at New Searles The class has been hearing a small bit about my experiences in Kenya (blog here). Today I introduced them to a lesson that I taught in Kenya. We worked with pentominoes. You can read more about pentominoes and see my students in Kenya working with them here.
I can't take the class, but I will be going to Nairobi, Kenya from June 30-July 14 to help out teachers in schools in the Mathare Valley slum of Nairobi. Over one million people live in the Mathare slum in an area of less than a square mile. Rivers of sewage run through the slum towns, carrying garbage and human waste. Most families crowd as many as 10 people into one-room huts made of scrap wood, corrugated tin, or mud without electricity, running water, or toilets. It should be quite an experience and if you want to see photos, videos, and hear about my trip, you can do so here: http://kenyain2011.blogspot.com/. Besides working in the schools and with teachers, I will be going on some home visits in the slum.. At the end of the trip I will also be going on a safari to see the African animals.
It was a very hot, humid, and miserable day when we made our second attempt at writing complex sentences with an example of hyperbole. So I decided to have a little fun to brighten the mood. We started with the base sentence “The students wrote” and then I modeled my sentence for the class: While the humid heavy air slowly circulated around the sticky classroom, the despondent fifth grade students cradled their sweaty heads in the palms of their hands and they laboriously wrote busloads of hyperbole containing sentences to please their demanding teacher. I was curious to see what they could come up with and this is what they wrote.
As the moist air invaded the classroom, the scorching kids wrote thousands of essays and the terrible teacher hogged the entire fan. By Dallas
While the afternoon heat settled outside, the blazing wildfire spread into the forest and the fifth graders wrote miles and miles of stories as the temperature rose. By Austin
Since the enthusiastic students wrote sentences as wonderful as a professional writer, the joy-filled Mr. Hansen danced as happily as a bird soaring over the sun on a chilly day and the graceful students joined the fun. By Aaron
While the extremely humid air floated around, the sweaty students sat at their desks and they ate 1,000 ice cream cones per minute to cool down there sticky wet bodies. By Andrew
When the amazing teacher gave the students bus loads of work, they wrote in the humid air that cycled around the room and a little old lady rode on a bull right through the room. By Alison
While the sticky students wrote their amazing sentences, the cool air from the fan did no help whatsoever but they still wrote their truckloads of sentences. By Nick
While the early morning sunshine danced in the month of June, the antsy 3rd grade pupils groaned at the teacher like she told then they had to babysit their little cousin and they practiced writing thousands of cursive sentences. By Heather B.
While the air-conditioned air circled around the smelly sweaty 5th grade classroom, the dehydrated kids hurtled towards the water fountain and drank most of the water and the hydrated kids all sat down in their seats and wrote truckloads of work. By Molly
While the sticky air filled up the entire humid classroom, the depressed students leaned their heads on their arms and they frustratingly wrote school-loads of sentences including a compound complex sentence just like the one you are reading now. By Cameron
While the unfortunate writing scholar began to perish in the humid 95 degree heat wave, the over-heating female Shakespeare wrote her overdue writing sentence practice so her angry teacher would let her resume writing her novel. By Kayla
The hot sweaty 5th grades drank gallons of water and they effortlessly wrote truck loads of paragraphs for their greedy teacher that had a fan blowing on him while the ice cold wind blew from the AC in the 2nd grade wing. By Adam
While the air-conditioned 3rd grade classroom cooled the sticky and sweaty students, the drowsy kids had their heads on the desks sleeping and did a lousy job on their sentences writing milk jugs of simple sentences for their hard core teacher. By Tori
While the dry humid 95 degrees air circulated around the moistened classroom, the tired students silently moaned respectfully as the students wrote mail truck loads of sentences. By Zak
As the humid heavy air stuck to the 6th graders, the sticky sweaty 5thgraders wrote their hyperbole sentences and their aggravated teacher demanded more as much as a kitten drinks 50,000,000,000 gallons of milk! By Campbell
While the annoyed fifth grade students wrote their ten page essays, the lucky kindergarteners hopped around outside and the even luckier third graders went swimming at a lake larger than the moon. By Amanda
OK so they came up with some great sentences on a day that was so hot it was hard to think. Only a few of their brains suffered a meltdown. Well done, class!
Some of the kids in my class have played around with Stagecast which allows them to make their own video game. I have the software at school from when I used to teach it, but it is not a free program (except for the demo version). If kids want to use a similar free program they can download Scratch. It was designed for kids at MIT. Scratch allows you to make animations, games, and other multi-media interactive creations. Here are some tutorials for learning how to use Scratch. Why play video games when you can make your own? This may take some work, but you will learn a lot!
Here is a challenge for the summer that you can start now. Learn to play the great game of chess, or learn to play it even better. If you have never played chess before, here is a short and humorous introduction to the game and its pieces. It comes from a site called chesskid.com that is set up as a safe site for kids, You can learn about the game or play online games against other kids or the computer. Many part of this site are free. You can also find other chess games online or for you ipod touch or similar device.
Our newest lesson in sentence building involved starting with "The storm approached" and writing a complex-compound sentence with hyperbole. Check out the results.
As the horrifying tornado whirled towards the poor frightened village, the wet cable lines dropped to the black ripped apart ground, and the sprinting villagers got in the storm cellar as fast as possible. by Brianna
While the spinning sign top tornado dove towards the ground at the bull tournament, the over excited bulls leaped into the air and floated higher and higher, and the frantic bird sped down the sidewalk at race car speed. by Tori
The frantic great-horned owl flew as fast as a rocket to it’s hollow, and the cold chipmunks burrowed underground for warmth when the ice cold blizzard froze the leafless forest. by Adam
As the giant hurricane rose above the ocean water, the gigantic tugboat started floating towards the shore at lightning fast speeds, and the surfers started running towards the city. by Andrew
While the destructive tornado twisted the peaceful town, the scared people drove a million miles an hour, and the freaked- out dogs ran like their life depended on it. by Ben
As the horrifying twister emerged, the frightened farmers sprinted at race-car speed towards the storm cellar, but George ran for a ditch. by Nick
As the twisty turny funnel touched the ground, the horses stomped their hooves one thousand times a minute, and the frantic boy tried to calm them down. by Codey
When the robust hail storm crashed on the ground like a toddler at the beach, the cowardly cowboys screamed as loud as a jet plane taking off, and they went to warn the town. by Amanda
As the tornado approached, a little old lady walking across the street screamed as loud as a jet pack, and she got swooped up by the tornado before landing on a horse. by Alison
The alert lifeguards waved their warning flags at rampaging bull speeds as the blinding sand storm blew at hurricane force, and the sun bathers scattered off the beach. by Austin
When the spiraling tornado zoomed to the shipshape barnyard, the scattered sheep dashed like a speeding race car out of the field, and the crazy farmer ran to his truck and drove away. by Molly
The frantic children ran around the school one hundred times looking for shelter, and the teachers ran into their cars leaving the school safely with the children as the skinny tornado dashed towards the tremendous school at like one million miles an hour. by Richie
The hollering children ran lightning fast, and the parents chased after them as the destructive hurricane glided towards the town. by Heather M.
When the antagonistic tornado blitzed toward the dilapidated pasture, the rushed farmer dashed to his car as fast as the speed of light, but the pickup truck flew away into the tornado. by Cameron
As the dusty sandstorm blasted through the desert, the super pointy cacti blew in many directions and the cacti gardener jogged at the speed of a car. by Campbell
Adam, Austin, Richie, and Heather changed from starting the sentence with a dependent clause to inserting it after a simple sentence. They get extra points for editing their sentences by changing the order of words and phrases!
Our starter sentence was: The boats danced. We made a complex sentence and included a metaphor.
As the old chestnut sailboat skipped along the waves of the light blue sea, the surprisingly sneaky thief became a fox sneaking through the night into the boat owner’s home. By Dallas
As the wonderful cruise ship tap-danced on the water, the sea sick passengers turned into sick green monsters on the boat to Africa. By Nick
Although the sailboats jiggled in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, the partying people danced and became giraffes looking over their friends because the boat was so crowded. By Aaron
When the supersonic wild speedboat skittered across the water, the excited, frightened tubers turned into macaws as they screamed their heads off while going over a huge wave. By Adam
As the rickety, old pirate-ship jerked from side to side in the middle of Indian Ocean, the sleep deprived crew raged and became stampeding bulls because they wanted to sleep. By Amanda
While the speedy hovercraft bounced, the giant waves got closer and closer to the hovercraft and became a bowling ball crashing into the boat. By Andrew
While the pin-striped yacht bounced and became a bouncy ball, the salt infested waves crashed against the yacht in the stormy sea. By Austin
While the good smelling maple wood toy boats were being dancing ballerinas in the lake, the huge crystal-like wave pushed the boats under the water. By Ben
As the antiquated canoes flopped and the waves jiggled, the boats turned into tumbling marshmallows on the hot sand of the summer beach. By Brianna
After the lightning fast speed boat stopped bouncing, all of the wacko passengers became dolphins and started jumping in the ocean. By Richie
When the complex onyx black yacht waltzed across the ocean at dusk, the 25 foot wave lunged across the ocean top and became baseball players diving for the base. By Cameron
While the fisherman’s violet kayak swayed on the glistening lake’s water, the sleeping campers became hibernating bears tucked away in their sleeping bags. By Heather B.
Although the water-worn happy steam-boats fox-trotted in the vast blue snake of the Mississippi, the people of the flooded boggy land around it left the snaky river to get to higher ground. By Kayla
Although the huge white yacht was a dancing zebra in the wavy water, the nice boat did not make me sick. by Codey
I have listed two new Donors Choose Projects for my classroom. They are already half-funded by the Nashua School Department (as long as the other half is funded). Any donation large or small is appreciated.
The first project is for a student-use digital camera use for when we do the many animoto, glogster projects, and other classroom porjects. It is called Classroom Camera for Digital Storytelling and you can click on the link to find out more.
The second project is for mutliple copies of "Love that Dog" and "Hate that Cat" as well as cd versions of the books. I have used some of the poems in these books for the teaching of poetry for over 20 years (even before the books were written). When Sharon Creech wrote these books, they were a natural for sharing with my classes each year and to continue the poetry writing. These year's pet poetry projects on Glogster took the creative writing of poetry to a whole new level. You can find Classroom Poetry Writing Using Classic Poems As Models at this link.
We are working on building complex sentences. A complex sentence is made up of one independent clause (simple sentence) and one or more dependent clauses. The dependent clause begins with a subordintating conjunction such as: after, because, since until, whenever, although, before, unless, when,and while.
For this assignment our initial sentence was The alarm rang.
After the mind-blowing alarm stopped screaming, the wild 5th grade kids turned into monkeys and started jumping on the desks. by Richie
As the flashing fire alarm rang in the congested theater, the startled zebras sprinted toward the exit. by Aaron
While the irritating fire alarm rang like a horror movie scream, the annoying kids became running deer. by Amanda
When the horrifying alarm rang, the crazy construction worker became a bull and rammed the clock into the wall. by Andrew
After the musical alarm rang, the sleepy snoring grandpa became a slingshot and threw the alarm clock against the wall. by Ausin
After the horrifying fire alarm rang while screeching its own heart out, the 6 year olds all became stampeding elephants sprinting to their nearest exit. by Brianna
The sleepy 10 year old became a psycho and smashed the alarm clock to smithereens when the deafening alarm rang. by Cameron
When the loud alarm rang during the test, the crazed students became charging bulls finding their way out. by Codey
When the agitating alarm screamed during a math test, the annoying kids were trembling chihuahuas. by Dallas
The enthusiastic 2nd grade students became charging rams heading to an exit after the vibrating fire alarm screamed its heart’s desire out. by Heather B.
The sleepy girl was a noisy stampede of elephants when the head aching alarm went off for school. by Heather M.
The once asleep children cried like someone breaking a bone after the screaming alarm clock rang its little bells out. by Molly
After the weird alarm beeped its head off, the frightened students became elephants as the charged for the exit. by Nick
After the annoying alarm screamed is beeper out, the terrified students became a charging stampede in the parking lot. by Adam
After the echoing alarm screamed a dreadful cry, the anxious kids became elephant raging after a lion protecting their herd. by Zak
I angrily made my foot turn my sounding alarm clock into a ball and then I made my foot kick it across the room although the blazing loud thing only wanted me to get to school on time. by Kayla
All the stampeding bulls ran outside in a wacky fashion because the horrifying alarm rang.by Alison
As the disco music alarm played its music, the laughing hyenas danced. by Cady
If the annoying alarm rang during the spelling test, the panicking students would be stampeding bulls. by Ben
Our reading selection this week come from the book A Cricket in Times Square. In fouth grade the students read another section from this book that took place in Times Square. This weeks selection takes place in Central Park. The Class like this page with panoramss of New York City from different viewpoints. They wanted to explore some more at home, so enjoy!
There are plenty of different panoramic views you can choose from on these pages from all over New York City. Make sure you right click on the mouse to try the "little planet" and other views. Have fun and explore! When in the Big Apple do not get in a cab with a crazy cab driver!
These are the first glogster interactive posters that the class has made. They came out fantastic. They wrote poems about their pets based on the poems highlighted in the book "Hate that Cat" by Sharon Creech. Can you find the alliteration and onomatopoeia in their poems?
To view each glog full size click on the pink glogster banner at the top of each glog.
This is a Prezi Mr. Hansen made about the wonderful dog he had when he was a boy. The poems are based on poems found in "Hate That Cat" by Sharon Creech. The class is goind to be writing their own poetry based on these poems, so you can see how it is done here. The class will be learning and using Glogster to present their poems, not Prezi, but you can enjoy this presentation anyhow. You can laugh at the old photos of Mr. Hansen, but don't dare laugh at his dog!
We did more sentence building starting with "The darkness fell" and developed compound sentences that included personification and similes.
The whispering darkness fell like a firework shooting up into the stars, and the cruising police cars patrolled the city streets like a 5th grader observing a piece of candy at the candy store. by Austin
The shadowy darkness fell like a shooting star over the sleepy city, and the rude bloodhounds ran out of hiding like an alley cat looking for food. by Ben
The silent darkness descended like the sleepy sky jumping into bed, and the wandering owl scared the skunk like an elephant attacking a mouse for a piece of cheese. by Andrew
The gloomy darkness descended over the horizon like the Sky Tower at Canobie Lake Park, and the dancing starlight touched my face like a baby discovering something new for the very first time. by Heather B.
The dusky darkness fell over the snoozing city, and the creepy cats destroyed the flower garden like a toddler at the beach. by Amanda
The starless darkness fell like a eagle swooping down for a snack in the overtired village, and the hungry butterfly fluttered like a racing rabbit to the flowers. by Molly
The starless darkness fell like a magician’s hands over the whispering ocean, and the lantern-like jelly fish danced like a ballerina skipping across the stage. by Zak
The tormenting darkness fell over the crowded city like an eagle diving down for it’s prey, but the fascinated city people did not care for they were interested in the city lights. by Aaron
The abyss-like darkness fell over the drowsy city like a wave descending down onto the beach, and the reckless raccoon, knocked over trash barrels like a rouge driver in the night. by Cameron
The faded darkness fell over the city like a couple of old ladies passing out after a tea party, and the dizzy raccoon dug in the trash can like a pregnant woman screaming at her kid. by Alison
The shadowy darkness fell like someone pulling down shades over the lazy neighborhood, and the silent owl dived down to catch a chipmunk like a right fielder in baseball plunging to catch a baseball. by Adam
The jet black darkness fell as the smiling moon came out over the sleeping city, and the noisy loud cars honked their horns like it was the end of the world. by Heather M.
The powerful darkness descended around the sage and umber earth, but the glowing bright light kept the earth company in the night like a guardian angel to a child. by Kayla
The dusky darkness fainted over the sleepy city, and the disgusting skunk squirted everything it could see like a crazy painter squeezing an orange spray paint can. by Brianna
XP Math: timed practice with simpler numbers (-9 to +9)
Integer Football: The football player advances either towards the positive or the negative yard lines.
Space Coupe to the Rescue: By choosing a positive or negative number, the player controls the vertical position of a spaceship. If the spaceship reaches the same vertical position as a virus pod, the pod is destroyed.