Sunday, October 4, 2015

Spaghetti, Marshmallows and PIE

The rhythm of the school has at last gotten in a groove at last in October.  Gosh the beginning of the year can be so tough.  I know you all can agree with that.  So I wanted to share what I was doing in my reading and science classes.  We have been so busy but we are having fun.

In science this year I have vowed to do one STEM activity a month and we did our first one at the end of September.  I was cruising around the internet and stumbled across a website, Projects by Jen, that I have done online activities (Charlotte's Web & the Oreo Challenge) on but had forgotten about it.  I saw Jen had posted a STEM challenge, The Spaghetti and Marshmallow Tower Challenge. We had to make towers with spaghetti with a marshmallow on top and then post pictures on her site.  It was perfect timing, I had just finished teaching them about the Engineering Design Process and what better to experience that lesson.  Our tallest structure was 50 cm!

 Now in reading we have started our historical fiction book clubs.  We are reading: Number the Stars, Bud Not Buddy, I Survived Pompeii, I Survived the Great Chicago Fire and I Survived the San Francisco Earthquake.  Some day I would like to do a historical fiction book club with only the I Survived Series. Slowly but surely I will add a few books at a time and get there.  The kids love that series!

Then we started our PIE Time (Prevention, Intervention and Enrichment). During this 45 minute block 4 times a week I get to work with my fourth graders in the area of reading and vocabulary.  Our technology intergrationist turned me  on to Scholastic's Storia.  I think I am going to love this site...I can assigned different ebooks to students based on their abilities, they can take a quiz and the site keeps track of their progress.  Oh and the books can be read to them and all the studies I have read say that can increase comprehension by 50% and helps improve oral fluency?!  Love, Love, LOVE!

Soooo I have a rotating schedule of four activities, one for each day we meet.  Partner read Scholastic News (we always need practice with informational text), vocabulary / spelling work with a student choice board, teacher time (I would like to work on oral fluency but first I have to get them working on the Storia site) and then online on the Storia site. I hope to have them work on independent reading as well every other week.

 They would fill out my Quick and Easy Independent Reading Response Sheets which are available on TpT.

Well that is my month in a quick blog post.  What have you been up to in your classroom?  I would love to hear.

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