Friday, October 21, 2011

Science Vocabulary Games for our Energy Unit

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.

Unit F: Energy and Motion

Chapter 14: Energy Changes
eWord Game
Crossword Puzzle
Word Find

Free Music Friday: Creaking Door

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.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Digital Tree Poetry

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.

Here is the first time I developed up and used this lesson with a class (Mt. Pleasant School grade 4).
New Searles fifth grade class 2010-2011

by Ryan

by John

  by Alycia

 by Maya

  by Rebecca

  by Alex

  by Mackenzie

by Kayla

by Joey

by Nathan Z.

by Nathan F.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Everyday Math: Partial Sums Algorithm

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.