Sunday, September 14, 2014

Benchmarking and New Daily 5!

Well, this week wasn't quite as much fun because we had to take our beginning of the year benchmark tests in reading and math. While the tests were challenging, they were a little bit fun because we got to take them on the computer!

Even with the benchmark tests that will help our teachers see what we need to work on throughout fourth grade, we still worked on several different friends. In Social Studies we continued to learn working with others. We specifically talked about how to talk to somebody when we don't agree with them. It's hard to stop and think sometimes when you're angry, but we did learn that saying the right thing can make the difference between being a problem solver and a problem maker! "I Statements" can be used for positive or problem things that other people do to us or for us, and sometimes we just need to walk away. We know this is a lesson that we'll be working on for the rest of our lives, but it is going to be a focus in our classroom this year.

We were very excited to learn TWO new Daily 5 activities! First, we learned about Read to Someone. Read to Someone is a great Daily 5 activity because it lets you practice every part of reading! Here is the picture of our Read to Someone poster so you can do it at home (coming soon - check back Monday!) and some pictures of us practicing! Now when your child tells you that you have to sit EEKK (it stands for elbow elbow knee knee), you know what they mean!

We also learned about media! Media is when we get to use the iPads or laptops to help us be better readers and writers. There are games to play, books to read, and as the year goes on, we will have projects to do as well! Check out the poster to see what we have to do while we're doing Media. (Poster coming soon! Check back Monday!)

Besides learning two more Daily 5 sessions, we also started talking about and reviewing the elements of fictions stories. Even though we've been talking about characters, setting, problems, events, and solutions since kindergarten, we never knew these things made up the plot of a story. And we really didn't know that we could use a picture to help us remember them! Well, this week we learned how. Mrs. Bair read us the book I Need My Monster, and we used it to retell the story elements to create a plot map. This week we're going to try our hand at identifying the story elements on our own and see if we can create our own plot map. This is definitely something you can do at home while you're reading with your child to do their homework, so here's an example of what the story elements are and what a plot map looks like if you'd like to give it a try:

Sunday, September 7, 2014

What's The Code of Conduct Really Mean?

All of us had a code of conduct at our primary schools, and now we have another code of conduct at Bear Creek. Our Bear Creek Code of Conduct says:

I am respectful,
I am responsible,
I am helpful,
I am safe,
and I will help keep Bear Creek bully free.

But what do all of those words really mean? A code is a set of directions or something to follow. Conduct is another word for behaving. So a code of conduct is a guide for how we should act. 

Last week we worked together in teams to brainstorm what it means to do or be each of these words. If you come to our classroom, you'll see our brainstorming posters hanging in the front of the room. Not only did we brainstorm how to do the code of conduct at school, but we also thought of many ways that we can be respectful, responsible, helpful, and safe at home, too!

After we did our brainstorming, we looked at our team's last poster and picked one of the ways off the poster. Each of us drew a picture to show that word in action. These pictures are now hanging in our room as reminders about the behaviors we want to try and show at Bear Creek, at home, and out in the community.

Finally, we needed to teach you about our Code of Conduct. To do that each of us practice a little script to tell you about our Code of Conduct. You can see our class's video below! Do you have any questions? Do you have any other ways to show these words in your daily life? We'd love to hear from you, so please leave us a comment!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Learning Our Classroom

The second week of school has been as busy as the first! In Social Studies we are trying to get a better understanding of the Bear Creek Code of Conduct. First we brainstormed different examples of how we show we are respectful, responsible, helpful, safe, and how we keep Bear Creek bully free. Next, we picked an example from our brainstorming charts, and we are drawing pictures to show those things happening. The last step will be to create a video that teaches others what these words mean. Look for that video! It's coming soon!

Thinking about how to be responsible at home and at school

Thinking about how to be respectful

There are many different ways that we can be safe.

Being helpful is a huge part of being a good teammate.

We also started to learn about our Daily 5 stations. The Daily 5 are the reading and writing stations that we will do when Mrs. Bair is working with individual students and strategy groups. During the next few weeks we are going to learn about each of the Daily 5 stations and practice them so we can be independent learners while the groups are working. The first two stations we learned about are Read to Self and Work on Writing. When your child does their reading homework, you can follow the steps of Read to Self so that your child has a comfortable, quiet setting where they can do their reading. Here are the posters so you know what Read to Self and Work on Writing look like in our class.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Learning to be a Team at Bear Creek

Well our first week sure did fly by! We spent a ton of time learning how to open our lockers (almost all of us have it!), learning our way around Bear Creek, getting to know our new friends, and learning about how things work in our classroom.

One of the most important things we started to talk about was being part of a team. We played a game called Name Juggling, and when Mrs. Bair added more than one bean bag, it was very easy to see how our actions affect other people. Even if one person started laughing and being silly, the whole game got messed up! We talked about what that meant about our actions in the classroom. We played some other games to practice being active listeners, and we also did some activities to get to know each other better.

Our favorite activity was 2 Truths and A Lie. Each student had to think of 2 true things about themselves and one lie about themselves. Then the rest of the class had to figure out which one was the lie. We had a LOT of fun hearing about everybody's pets, interests, and favorite foods, and there were some very creative lies to try and trip us up!

On top of all of the activities in our classroom, we did a lot of different stations throughout the school with our team. We learned about bus rules with Mr. Kingsborough, school rules with Dr. Spagnolo, and played a crazy balloon game with the counselors and Mrs. DelMarcelle, the instructional coach. It was a busy and fun week, and you can see pictures from all of these different activities in the slideshow below. The best part, though, was really starting to think about what it means to be a team. Here's what we came up with so far! I'm sure we're going to be great teammates in no time!

Our class decided these were the things good teammates do

And here's our beginning of the year slideshow:


Monday, August 25, 2014

Wow! What a First Day!

I can't believe our first day is over - it went so fast! Here in the Bair's Den we spent a TON of time trying to learn our lockers (some of us have mastered it already!), and we did different stations to learn about Bear Creek. We talked about how to get our lunch in the cafeteria, and we got a chance to try out the playground. The music teachers and reading specialist talked to us about clinic time, and we learned that every Day 6 we get to have Free BEAR. That's a fun time where we can pick the activity that we want to do. Some of the choices are a game in the gym, computers, a nature walk, movies, chess club, puzzles, and board games.

After lunch we did one more station to learn about the walking path. Did you know that we can walk from Bear Creek all the way to East High? You can!! We learned the rules for the walking path, and Mrs. Shenk taught us a fun chant to help us remember them. In the picture below we are signing our names to show that we will be safe and have fun on the walking path.

It was an amazing day that flew by! I can't wait to see everything that we can accomplish tomorrow!

Team 4A (Team Kit Kat) signing the walking path

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Welcome and Special Schedule

Hi everybody, and welcome to The Bair's Den! I am looking forward to having each of you in my class, and I hope you are just as excited as I am to be starting a new adventure at Bear Creek School!

Please check back here every day, and you will be able to find out a little bit more about our classroom, see some pictures, and find out more about what our days will be like in The Bair's Den!

All of our specials will be held from 11:25 - 12:10. Each day I will update our homework page and the community portal to remind you which special we will have the following day so you can help your child remember their sneakers, recorders or library books if needed.

  • Day 1 ~ Phys Ed (students should always wear sneakers for PE)
  • Day 2 ~ Library
  • Day 3 ~ Music
  • Day 4 ~ Health (students should always wear sneakers for Health)
  • Day 5 ~ Art
  • Day 6 ~ Art

New this year is a double art class. Students in the Bair's Den will have art on Days 5 and 6 during the first and second marking periods. Then we will have technology on days 5 and 6 during the third and fourth marking periods. 

I'm hoping that all of you will be able to come and join me on Thursday, August 21 from 8:30 - 10 AM for our Open House. Come and see the school, visit the classroom, make your name tag, pick your first book, and meet some new friends.

I cannot wait for our new year together to begin!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

A Sneak Peek at the Bair's Den!

Hello new 4th graders!! At the end of 3rd grade, you had a tour of Bear Creek, and you may have even attended one of the orientation tours here at Bear Creek this summer. But you may still be wondering, "What's it REALLY like to be a  fourth grader in the Bair's Den?" Well, the students who were in my class in the past have some answers for you! Check out the video below to get the scoop!

We hope you enjoyed the video! If you have any questions, please leave comments, and I will answer them for you!