Thursday, August 11, 2016

Summer Night!

Hey all!

I just spotted this link to information about best sightings for tonight's meteor shower and thought "how I wish I could share this with my students!". . . So I am sharing it here in hopes at least a few of you will see it!    HEre is the link:

I have been sitting in my deck enjoying the sound of a slight breeze, some crickets, and a lawnmower off in the distance.  Hope you have all had some time to enjoy the outdoors as well!

😀 Mrs. Boyden

Thursday, June 30, 2016

June and Summer is Here!

Now that I have had a week or so to refresh, I want to take a moment to recap the last month of Fourth Grade.  I am so proud of all the fourth graders for their hard work and perseverance this year, and I can promise I will miss each and every one.  

June was filled with lots of assessments, but it is never too late to try a new way to engage students.  Here you see the beginning of our poetry "chalk talk".  I wrote two questions on the board and students responded using only the white board markers, no talking!  Honestly, knowing this group and how chatty they can be, I wasn't sure how this would go, (but I didn't let them know that!)  I just set them to task and they truly stepped up and produced a board full of great thoughts and connections.

We even had a poetry vocabulary scavenger hunt.  Students worked in teams to learn some poetry vocab terms, then put their new understandings to task, finding examples of the poetry terms in the packet of poems they were given.  Rhyme was easy to find and understand?  but how about simile or stanza?  

The end of the year went out with a blast with some great events, including our field day!  Thank you parents and volunteers for making this day special!  

My hopes and dreams for the summer are to spend some time with family and friends, preferably near water.  Also, I hope you kids will email me or share a google doc with me ( with a story or poem to tell me how your summer is going!  I will bet your stories and poems will be as unique as each of you!  

Sunday, May 15, 2016

A Busy May!!

May is a busy month!  Aside from ongoing PARCC assessments, we have been managing to stay engaged!  We have moved from persuasive essays into story writing, and the kids are excited!  We have tried a new routine of silent reading to transition from History to ELA each day, and it is a popular move for everyone!

In science students explored energy stations to learn about different energy sources and how energy is transferred.  They tried their hand at building a windmill that would lift a cup with blocks in it.

Later, We thought about flashlights and what the kids shared what they already know.  Then the kids asked questions about flashlights that led to exploring and creating simple circuits to light a bulb.  

This week we will use chromebooks for their story writing and hope to finish those up soon.  Before we know it May will be over and it will be June!!  Do you remember back in the beginning of the year?  Here are a couple shots from way back when ! 😀

Saturday, April 2, 2016

April Showers

With the rain comes April, with parent conferences this week and last. We have so enjoyed getting to watch your learners grow this year and have lots to share with you!

Our class has been reading traditional tales, and thinking about "What makes a story worth sharing and handing down from generation to generation?".  Along the way we are reading many stories, fairy tales, legends, fables, tall tales, and pourquoi tales.  This past week, individuals chose one of their favorite tales to write a persuasive essay for.  The purpose is to convince the class and Ms Paul and I to pass their favorite story down to next year's class.

Through listening to and reading many stories and with the help of our guest storyteller, Ms. Lyons from the Greenfield Library, students have also begun to notice and evaluate elements in our favorite tales that they want to include in their own stories.  As persuasive writing winds down, story writing will become the focus of our work leading up to April break.  Your children will have some options for this assignment: 

  • Rewrite a tale they know in an orginal way. ( set in a different time or location, different kind of character)
  • Combine parts of two or three tales they know to write a new tale. (Twisted tale)
  • Create an original tale using the framework of a particular kind of traditional tale (fairy tale, how or why tale,)
To get ready for story writing, the students have read and listened to lots of tales, and even walked to the library!

This week they will be finishing their persuasive essays.  The purpose of the essay writing is to persuade Mrs. Paul and me to include a story they particularly love to hand down to next year's class.  They have been working so hard!  We are really proud of them!  

All the more reason to have lots of fun and relaxation next week!  Once we return from April break, story writing in full force, then June arrives Lickety split!

Mrs Boyden

Saturday, March 19, 2016

MARCH in with Spring!!

Fourth Grade has been exploring and working with fractions this month!  Students have been practicing their skills through a variety of fraction centers, and we put our skills to work, adapting recipes to feed our class, then choosing one to create and eat!  Lava Cakes were a welcome addition to our students day!!  Two teams of students made two double batches by following directions and working together to communicate next steps.  I don't know about Chef Gordon Ramsey, but I was really proud of the teamwork, fun, and awesome volunteer cleanup crew!
Team One!  Batter is coming along!

Reading to see what is next!  Teams had to pay attention to whose ingredients went in next!

Lots of egg in this recipe!  Students tried their hand at dividing the yolk from the white!

One of the cleanup crew volunteers! Thank you Sam! 

...But that's not all, oh no! That's not all!   


In science the students are building understanding about different kinds of energy and how they are transfered by exploring one of 6 energy centers, which in these pics they are taking a turn at teaching to classmates.


In Language Arts we have been reading and listening to many traditional tales from around the world!  We are asking:  "What is it about a story that makes it worth telling and retelling from generation to generation?"  and  "How can we learn to write and tell stories that people will want to read and listen to for years to come?"

Part of our exploration involves the children reading and listening Lot's in order to choose the stories they think would be the absolute BEST stories to pass down to the next class of 4th graders!  In order to do this they are building their skills on how to write a persuasive essay, and will choose one story to make an argument for over the next couple weeks!

Our grand project will be to write (and maybe even tell!!) our own traditional style tales.  Students will be able to choose from different styles of tale, (Fairy, Folk, Fable, Pourquoi, Legend) and they can create their own original tale in that style including key elements. For example:

  • Fairy Tales often include Good vs Evil, some type of magic, human characters, and are often set in a 'Woods' or 'Castle', while 
  • A Pourquoi tale often is about animals solving some problem and finding a clever solution, they tend to explain why? (pourquoi?) about something in nature.  ie. How Rabbit Lost his Tail, or Why the seasons Change.
To get warmed up, I am also working on setting up a walk to the Greenfield Library and maybe even a visit from Kay Lyons to tell us some stories one day!   I will keep you all posted about these!!

Monday, February 8, 2016

February is Flying By!!!

With the first week of February already down, February break on the horizon, and snow days in between the month feels like it is already flying by!!!  Students have been working hard on long division and estimating to help solve long division problems.  They have also been reading, acting out and creating etchings of Greek Myths.  To wrap up our study of Myths, students are working on h a hero project, creating hero posters for a real or imaginary heros.  

Fourth grade jumped right in to Geology in January and last week we had a terrific field trip to the Beneski Natural History Museum!!  There, Fred Venne taught our students how to slow down and really observe the fossils in the museum.  (Fun Fact and connection to a previous lessons on Human Skeletal Structure:  The human skeletal structure is very similar to the structure of fossils we observed at the museum such as; The Saber Toothed Cat, Cave Bear, and Mammoth, who all share the same arm structure, for instance.  KIDS do you remember, "One bone, two bones, many bones, digits"?

Meanwhile back at school students spent a couple days circulating through our Geology science centers learning about different types of landforms, different types of rocks and minerals, and the effects of weathering and erosion.

Students have been trying their hand at poetry writing this month.  The class shared bits of their own writing to see how all those flowery, flowy winter words would sound together written on the white board.  Students were given a photo copy of this board photo to play with.  They cut and paste phrases and words to build their own poems.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

A Mystery!!!!!

January has arrived and we are off and running in the new year!  Today, Ms. Paul and I challenged our class to solve a mystery.  We decided not to tell our students what we would be studying next in science.  Instead, we challenged our students to figure it out!

We didn't leave them completely to their own devices, We gave them THREE CLUES:

  1. The first clue was to listen to the audio story called "The People of Beaver tail Hill".  It is a Native American Tale about the formation of Sugarloaf Mountain and the surrounding Valley.  LISTEN HERE  (from the link you can click on Real player or media player version of the story, if that doesn't work you can read it HERE)

  1. The second clue was to look at the following picture.  I told the children this is a picture of the road where I live,  The highway department was digging a drainage ditch to keep winter runoff from freezing in a sheet across a steep hill.  It could be very dangerous driving in the winter.
3.  Third groups of 4 children at a time rotated around the room to view sands from 5 different beaches with magnifiers.  

Last the students discussed the clues and what they think the answer to this puzzle is. ..   This is what the five groups came up with. . . WHAT DO YOU THINK?????????