Saturday, November 13, 2010

Waiting for Superman

Yes. I went and saw the movie this weekend with my husband. It made me sad. Sad and sick to think there are children in our country that go to school each day only to be waiting on one thing...the day they drop out. Apparently our nation has quite a few schools that are considered "Drop-Out Factories" where more students drop out than graduate. The scenes that show students desparate to be picked for placements in charter schools to avoid going to these aforementioned public schools were heart-wrenching. The documentary was to say the least frightening. Not frightening in a "Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street" way, but frightening in the fact that this is the reality for families in our nation. The country where we teach children that you can be ANYTHING you want to be. As it turns out, that is not necessarily the case for students who can not choose where they go to school. I feel extremely lucky to know that my daughter has the option to attend the school where we feel like she will be the most successful. I also feel a great sense of responsibility knowing that I must continue to work my hardest to provide the children in my classroom with the best opportunities for each of them.

If you haven't had a chance to see this documentary, I encourage you to take the 102 minutes out of your busy schedules and watch it. It certainly opened my eyes...and I am sure it will open yours.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


I am blown away. Blown away. In less than one week of blogging on this year's blogging platform, the kids have generated 38 posts and 208 comments. WOW! I am so excited to read what the kids have to write. It is also SO exciting to read the comments left by family members, friends, students, and faraway visitors to our website. It is my goal to have the students post reflections of upcoming lessons as well as links to the projects that are generated in the computer lab as part of the assessments that are taken in various subject areas. First up will be the wordles they created during the first week. Next week we will be putting together various reviews and reflections of the Scientific Method Process using all of the images that were taken during our experiments this past week and a half. Stay tuned. It is going to get pretty exciting around here!
The direct link to read the students' writing is Check it out!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Scientific Method

We are in the middle of our scientific method unit and today's step #1:

How many drops of water will fit on a penny?

We made some observations regarding the size of the penny as well as how much surface area 1 drop of water covered.

Step 2: Formulate your hypothesis.

Most students guessed 5-10 drops. However, 4th graders have not learned about surface tension and cohesion. So much to their surprise, the number of water droplets was much higher than anticipated. Some had over 30 drops fit on their pennies.

I love it when the kids get excited about their class work. I love it when they laugh and enjoy their discoveries. Today's experiment was filled with both.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Cereal Box Book Reports

The kids completed their cereal box book reports and I would like to share them with you. The books from which the students were able to chose include:
  • Beverly Clearly's - Ralph S. Mouse
  • Barbara O'Connor's - How to Steal a Dog
  • Deborah Wiles's - Aurora County All-Stars

As you can see the kids were given quite a few different options from using art supplies to Notebook software or a web 2.0 tool such as Glogster to design their covers. The sides of the cereal boxes are not pictured but different story elements and summaries were typed or written out as the "ingredients" to the story.


Friday, April 9, 2010

GPS Scavenger Hunt

What a great day! My mom was able to come to Tuscola to hold a GPS scavenger hunt with my class since she is still on spring break. She brought her former teaching partner, Mr. Ghere, to help her. I am not sure who had more fun, the kids or the adults. I loved watching the kids get exercise outside on this beautiful spring day while also exercising their problem solving skills and teamwork abilities. They had to use the GPS to navigate to 8 different hidden clue boxes. Once there, they took a slip of paper from the clue box and placed it in their ziploc bags. After collecting all 8 clues, they had to put the clues in order and work out a problem. First team who wins gets...the thrill of being first! :)

And yes...I have to say I loved the opportunity to show kids that using technology outside can also get you a pretty good workout!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Wanted: Cereal Boxes

The students are in the process of doing cereal box reports on their current reading books. Many of them are almost ready to begin assembling their novel based cereals! We are in DESPARATE need for cereal boxes. If you have any at home, could you send them in sans cereal? Thanks!