Sunday, September 28, 2014

Making our Mark and Other Topics

It has been a busy two weeks in the Bair's Den! So busy, in fact, that I didn't even have the chance to update our blog with everything that's been happening! So let's catch everybody up on what's been happening in the Bair's Den!

In ELA (English Language Arts), we learned our final Daily 5, Working with Words, and we'll be starting our word groups this week. Your child may have me, Miss Conrad, Mrs. Towsen, or Mrs. Horner as their word study group teacher. Be on the lookout for some activities that you can do at home to help your child begin to master either spelling patterns or word meanings depending upon their group. You can also watch for more information about Working with Words in a later post this week.

The students did a fantastic job on their science assessments, and we'll now be learning about exactly how water gets to be part of these lentic and lotic systems. Be ready to hear all about the water cycle, and you may want to hide your hair dryers after our little experiment tomorrow!

Another fun even during the past two weeks was Dot Day! Dot Day is based on the book The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds. After learning that she really IS an artist, a girl goes on to make her mark on the world and encourage another to do so as well. After reading the book, everybody in the Bair's Den made their dots! You can learn all about Dot Day by clicking here, and you can also see some dots created by famous individuals by visiting this blog. The pictures below show all of us making our dots, and beginning this week they will be hanging in the lower level main hallways so that everybody can see them on the way to lunch and specials.

Some of us used watercolors or crayons to make our dots.

Everybody's dot was very unique.

Even though we made our own mark, we needed to use teamwork to share the materials.

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.