Monday, December 15, 2014

Half way through our year....

This week we are taking our semester exams and finishing up our personal narrative, Write about a time when someone said, "Good job".

Students finished taking notes on different ways to hook their reader in with a catchy lead sentence.  They will use these to enhance their personal narratives.

Last week all of 4th grade enrolled in our rigorous Writing Bootcamp.  As you can see, 4th grade got into character to get our students into shape.  Writing shape that is!

We pumped them up by watching this cadence and singing along.

Students visited 5 rotations. Station#1: Show Don't Tell (led by me Mrs. Trevino): Students learned how to write using details, strong verbs, adjectives, and sensory details.  They also learned how to create suspense within their writing to keep the reader wanting more.

Example: Instead of writing: Joey was nervous.

Students were able to write.: Joey stared at the 50 question exam on his desk.  He began to sweat bullets.  His hand shook as he picked up his pencil and brought it down to write his name which was the only thing he was confident about.  He knew his name. The rest looked like a foreign language.

Here are some of our cadets in action!

Here students had to choose a situation from each column (Who, What, Where, When, Why, How).  Then they had to write a paragraph.  The challenge though was that they could not use the word they chose.  For example if they chose doctor from the who column, they could not say doctor.  Instead they could say, "The man in the white coat left his shift at the hospital after a long day of heart surgery."  With the details they gave, the reader can infer that the man is a doctor.

Station #2: Legendary Leads and Hooks (led by Mrs. Hardin): Students were able to learn new and exciting ways to hook their reader in and keep them wanting more!
Here are some new ways they learned how to begin a personal narrative. 

Station #3: Identifying Figurative Language in Music (led by Mrs. O'Neil and Mrs. Vaquerano).  Including figurative language in writing is a vital part becoming a great writing.  In this station students got a refresher on the different types of figurative language, reviewed some examples used by famous artists in their music, and took a musical quiz.
Here are some videos played in this station:

Station #4: Revising and editing Bingo (led by Mrs. Eaves): Students played Revising and Editing Bingo to help them learn the difficult vocabulary in the revising and editing question stems seen on the STAAR test.

Station # 5: Revising and Editing Scoot (led by Mrs. Scarborough): Students worked through revising and editing task cards by playing a game they love....Scoot!

We had a wonderful day at Writing Bootcamp!

In the previous weeks....

We began a novel study for one of my all time favorite novels: Bud, Not Buddy.  This is a heartwarming story about a boy who is orphaned after his mother passes away.  She leaves what Bud thinks are clues that will lead him to his father.  He goes on a courageous journey in search of his father using the clues his mother left him.

We have been identifying unknown words within Bud, Not Buddy using context clues and we been identifying figurative language within the story.

Here students are working with a partner to identify vocabulary within the story.  

Students also glued their Figurative Language book in their reading notebook.  Here is a sneak peak into their book.

We participated in a district wide STEAM Challenge Day.  Students woke up that morning and found that they were trapped in Mine Craft world.  To escape and find the portal to the real world, they had to build a bridge using tape and coffee stirrers.

Students recored their progress throughout the challenge.

They were able to cross the bridge, find the portal, and make it back to class just in time!

In celebration of all of our hard work, we had hot cocoa while finishing up our writing and listening to some soft music.  It was a nice relaxing but productive day.