Learning Through Leadership

Monthly Archives: October 2013

Today we had a visit from Indy, the school therapy dog. Indy came to pay our classes a special visit during math class. Our fourth graders will be using our mathematical skills to design a dog house and play area for Indy. They will be using measurement, multiplication and problem solving skills as they work on this. We will also be writing descriptive paragraphs telling what we would include in the house and why. When Indy got here we started by asking interview questions to find out what Indy likes. Some of our questions were “Does Indy like shiny things?” “Where does Indy like to sleep?” “Does Indy like the sun?” “What is Indy’s favorite toy”. After gathering information the students needed to take some measurements.



Then we began working on our designs:





The kids are very excited and have amazing ideas for things that Indy needs!


Happy Friday!

I hope everyone had a great week, we had a wonderful week in fourth grade. Achievement Records came home today so please take some time with your child to look over them and see all of the amazing progress your child is making this year. There are many standards that we are continuing to address this nine weeks, and even later on in the year, so don’t worry about seeing lots of P’s! A “P” is exactly where we expect the kids to be right now, all standards are things we want the kids to be able to do by the END of the year. 


Coming up next week:

Book Fair! We will preview for the book fair on Monday at 9:20 (Both classes), we are signed up to buy at the book fair Wednesday at 9:20. Wednesday is also family night at the book fair, it will be open from 5-8 pm that night and kids are welcome to wear their Halloween Costumes. 


Monday is KISS luncheon for first grade, due to this our lunch is not until 1:15 (YIKES) because we know that Mrs. Bristle the kids will be hungry way before that they are welcome to bring a snack in. Please make sure snacks do not contain nuts, are not messy, and are something healthy that can be eaten while we work. 


Next week we will continue working on our Baseball Unit in Language Arts. We are reading baseball books, talking about Theme, Character Traits and Inferences. We will continue working on our Informational Reports about Baseball Stadiums and Baseball Teams as well. In Math we will continue to work on our Multiplication Unit, focusing on word problems and Multi-Step word problems. Look at these AWESOME math posters the kids did this week… there is a lot of mathematical thinking going on in these classrooms! 


We will continue to encourage the students to use the Area Model, Partial Products, or the Standard Algorithm to solve their math problems. Giving them choices allows them to take ownership of their learning and become familiar with a way that works for them. I am so impressed with the number of kids that show their work in multiple ways when solving problems! Makes my Math Heart Happy! 

We continue to work on the 7 habits in class, and will focus on Think Win WIn and Seek First to Understand, then to Be Understood this week and next. 

Habit 4 — Think Win-Win

Everyone Can Win

I balance courage for getting what I want with consideration for what others want. I make deposits in others’ Emotional Bank Accounts. When conflicts arise, I look for third alternatives.

Habit 5 — Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood

Listen Before You Talk

I listen to other people’s ideas and feelings. I try to see things from their viewpoints. I listen to others without interrupting. I am confident in voicing my ideas. I look people in the eyes when talking.


Enjoy your weekend…and hug your loved ones!

We had some fun using playing cards today to create 2 digit by 2 digit multiplication problems. The students turned over four cards and then used the area model to multiply the numbers together. They worked with a partner so they could check each other’s work. This partner work allows them to problem solve, practice team work, and to explain their thinking to a peer. All of these strategies help the students strengthen their own mathematical skills. It’s would be a great activity to try at home…all you need is a deck of cards!





PS… Both classes are in need of decks of cards (lots of ours are incomplete). If you have an extra laying around at home we would love to take them off your hands!

Whew! We have been busy these past two weeks, it is hard to believe that we are almost through the first nine weeks! Looking ahead…

Next week Achievement Records will come home. Please check with your child on Friday to review their Achievement Record, it will be in their Friday Folder. Also we will be placing a new addition in our Friday Folders. We will be placing a parent communication log in the back pocket of the folder. This is a place for you to communicate with your child about their progress. Take a minute after looking through their folders to let them know how proud you are of their progress in spelling, their improvement on a math concept, or their overall effort in school. You could also use it as a place to help them set a new goal “Let’s work on adding more detail to your writing this week” or “We should practice writing your answers to math word problems in a sentence.”  These notes will let your child know you are paying attention to their work and will help them to strive to do their best. 


In Language Arts this week we will be starting a baseball unit where each child will be reading a baseball themed book at their level. As they read their books we will be working on the concepts of character traits, inferencing, main ideas and details, and summarizing. We will also be using the topic to do some informational report writing about baseball teams and stadiums. We will continue with our Spelling lessons and Daily 5 as well. 


Multiplication is the theme in Math this week. Our work with Area and Perimeter has prepared us for working with a new concept in Multiplication, the Area Model. This video on YouTube has a great explanation of the area model (just ignore the part at the end where she tries to sell you her resources). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdYV6i-kXcA

The video is a great explanation of why we use the area model as a stepping stone to the traditional algorithm and also how to complete an area model. We will be multiplying 2 digit by 2 digit numbers as well as 3 and 4 digit numbers by 1 digit this week. Of course we will be working on word problems as well!


We continue to work on our Prehistoric Tribes in Social Studies and will finish up the scientific method in Science. 


We have Student Leadership Teams tomorrow…be sure and ask your child what they did! 


Had to share this photo from Fall Festival today. The girls in my homeroom really used the 7 habits and synergized in order to beat the boys at Tug O War each time! The boys weren’t happy, but the girls couldn’t wipe the smiles off their faces!

We all had a great time today and loved the beautiful fall day!


We have been studying the Prehistoric Tribes in Ohio. This week we spent some time using our IPads and the Ohio as America website to research different prehistoric periods in order to write an informational report about a certain time period,

The students are taking their research seriously and really enjoyed seeing all of the artifacts for the different time periods on the Ohio as America site. We will continue this work next week!





Whenever I think of fall I think of apples! Two weekends ago I took my kids apple picking and it was so much fun, ever since then Mrs. Kenney and I have had apples on the brain. Today we started a weeklong science project on apples. Each group got three apples and had to leave one alone, peel one, and cut one up. They then had to predict which would lose more water over the next week and tell why they thought so. Each group found the mass of each apple to start with (in grams) and will do so every day for the next 5 days to prove or disprove their hypothesis. Check out some of their work below.





Additional activities will have apple themes this week and next. We will do some apple word work, apple writing, and apple critical thinking puzzles.

All this apple talk is making me hungry… Bonus points for anyone that brings Mrs. Bristle and Mrs. Kenney an apple treat! 🙂