Our class is so excited to start our Project Feeder Watch program this year! This is the third year in a row that Mrs. Fraher’s class has participated in this project through Cornell University. Why not start it out with a bang?
Mrs. Goucher’s fourth grade class joined us one sunny Friday morning along with parents from both classes. There was a great deal of excitement from both rooms. Students had a great time participating in activities centered on birds. Owl pellet dissection, making bird feeders, learning bird calls, going on a bird hunt, and creating bird art using different materials were just a few fun projects they were involved with.
Are you interested in seeing what we did? Well, check this out:
Here some things our class likes about birds:
Trevor: I like that there are so many different kinds of bird and that they are so colorful.
Avery: I think it is cool that some birds can talk.
Tyler: I like birds because they look so cute when they peek into our classroom window.
Brooke: Birds puff up their feathers and it makes them look like a puffball.
Alexis: That all species of birds make different sounds and you can tell the different birds by their sounds.
Garrison: It is interesting to look at all of the species of birds because they have different beaks, feet and feather colors.
Kyle: I think it is cool that they can takes a bunch of sticks and with their beak they can make a nest.
Emma: I like birds because you can have them as pets and feed them.
Trinity: Some birds are nocturnal, like an owl and that you can’t hear their wings flap because of the special feathers they have.
Tyler: I like birds because they help spread pollen to make flowers.
Skyler: I like birds because they are so different and some don’t even fly.
Anne: I like watching how their patterns change on their feathers and they get more beautiful as they grow.
What do you like about birds?
Our class is reading a story called “Wild Shots, They’re My Life” in reading this week.
To help us build background we are watching these videos in class.
The story is about a woman who grew up on the Galapagos Island and became a photographer. Through her pictures, we learn about some of the many species of animals found on the island. Since she grew up on the island, it was easy for her to blend in and get good pictures because she was so familiar with the locations.
To extend our learning, we will also become photographers using the digital cameras in our class. We won’t be taking photos of the Galapagos Islands, but we will take photos of the Sonoran Desert. Since we are living in the Sonoran Desert, it will be a great opportunity to connect with the author, as well as learning more about the plant and animal species around us. Stay tuned to see what we took photos of!
Predict what pictures we will be taking.
Do you think we will take photos of elephants?
How about coyotes or bobcats?
Think about what lives in the Sonoran Desert and that will help you make your prediction.
WOW, what a week we had. Since September 17th was Constitution Day, our class decided to go all out and celebrate the week in style! Take a look at all of the things we learned, celebrated, and created. You will be amazed!
Brooke and Morgan created two Vokis on the White House.
Mastin used one of our class iPads to make a Puppet Pal Play. You will learn about why the Boston Tea Party happened.
Mastin uses Puppet Pals to tell the story of the Boston Tea Party.
Many others made slide shows to teach us about the founding fathers and some American symbols.
We dressed up in our patriotic best:
Take a look at the week in review:
|This free scrapbook created with Smilebox|
We are so excited to become desert teachers for Mrs. Spasic’s class in Indiana. You might be thinking how are we going to teach a class in Indiana if we are in Arizona? Well, we are going to Skype with each other.
Like any good teacher we will have to learn about our topic. Some of us will be teaching about a certain desert animal and the others will teach about a type of desert plant.
As you know research can be kind of tricky when you are a kid. Some of the sites are too hard to read for eight year olds and the others may not have safe content. So, Mrs. Fraher uses Symbaloo to help us target our research to sites that are appropriate for us to learn.
Have you ever used Symbaloo?
Here is the link she put together for us to use to gather our research. We will read through the information and fill out a graphic organizer.
Flowers, friends, and families were as abundant as the flowers we planted at school recently. Our class has been studying plants, their parts, and their lifecycle.
There was a very plain, somewhat ugly, planter in the middle of our school courtyard. It was crying out for some life! Since we were studying plants and flowers and there was a need for some beautification, why not “meet two goals with one strategy” and plant some flowers!
Our classroom families came through with flowers and gardening tools so we would all have practice exploring the flowers and their parts as we planted them. Take a look at the process:
This project not only helped make our school a better place, but also taught us about plants and using diagrams to gain information when reading informational text. These skills are important for us to become critical readers.
Tell us about your garden or your favorite type of flower.
Marshmallows flying through the air with the greatest of ease…what! Room 207 had a Marshmallow Incident of their own after reading the book, The Marshmallow Incident by Judi Barrett. You may recognize her name. She is the author of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs and Pickles to Pittsburgh.
The story is about two towns, Town of Left and the Town of Right, who cannot get along. There is a dotted yellow line separating the two towns and no one dares cross it-until one day someone trips and fall to the other side. Needless to say the towns have a conflict on their hands. This book is great to help with conflict resolution.
After reading the story, our class decided to have a marshmallow incident of our own. This was a great event to bring in parents and help us get to know each other a little better. We had several events: MarshKabobs, Marshmallow Relay, Marshmallow Buildings, and the Marshmallow Catapult. Take a look at the fun being had by students and parents!
After the festivities, we had a little time left over for some problem solving. Students were challenged to make the tallest stack of marshmallows as they could with one bag of large marshmallows. To begin, they were given time to brainstorm and plan.
Then they began to build. It became very clear that marshmallows are hard to stack.
One group began thinking outside the box and realized that I didn’t say they couldn’t use the bag the marshmallows came in. So, they piles the marshmallows in the bag as a base and then used the rest to make it taller.
What was your favorite marshmallow event?
What would you think if officers came to your class? Well, that happened with the third grade students in our class! Don’t worry! We were excited to see them. Our class read the book Officer Buckle and Gloria.
This book is a fantasy because there are events in the story that can’t happen in real life. It is about an officer who talks with students at schools about safety. No one was listening to him, so they had Gloria, a police dog, come and help him. More kids listened after Gloria came, but a new problem came up. You will have to read the book to see what that problem was.
Well, our class wanted to make some connections between the fantasy character of Gloria and real police dogs in our community. Mrs. Fraher invited Pinal County Sheriff’s K-9 Unit to help us connect the world to our text. We had a visit from LJ and Nauro with their partners.
Take a look at the video of their visit:
One of the most important things we learned after their visit is that the dogs consider their job as play. They are trained and rewarded using toys. They don’t think they are hurting anyone, just playing. The bad guy they are after doesn’t think that, though! Another thing we learned was that Nauro and LJ live with the officers they work along side.
Do you know anything about police dogs that you can share with us?
How do you think Gloria in Officer Buckle is the same as Nauro and LJ?
How is she different?
Before we left for summer vacation, our class finished up a project based from the Flat Stanley books.
Have you read one of them? What did you like about it?
We read the book and then collaborated with teachers in Australia, England, and United States on a project that took many months.
Here is what we did. First, we read the book. Then we created Flat Selves and a Flat Friend Journal.
This journal would travel with our Flat Self to another class around the world. Our Flat Selves started in Point Lonsdale, Australia. They stayed their for a couple of weeks getting to know the children that lived there.
Here is a video on what they did:
This was video created by Mrs. Murphy, the teacher in Australia who had our flat selves. The children there write in our journals about the exciting places and things they did with our Flat Selves.
Meanwhile, we had two different classes sent to us. We had Mrs. Murphy’s class from Point Lonsdale in Australia for awhile and then Mrs. Todd’s class from Rocky River, North Carolina. We wrote in their journals about the adventures they had with us. It was a fun way to practice our writing!
Have you ever been to Australia or North Carolina? Tell us what you saw.
Here is a video we created to show what we did with our Flat Friends.
Just like some stories, this one had a sad ending. After visiting with Mrs. Murphy’s class, they were sent to another school in Australia-Curl Curl North Public School in Curl Curl, Australia. We never received our Flat Selves back from this school. Hopefully, they will arrive so we can find out what amazing adventures we had with others around the world.
Thank you to everyone for a wonderful time with our Flat Friends. We will have many fond memories to look back on.
Australia, North Carolina, and Arizona are so far apart, but we learned that no matter where we live we are all the same when it comes to enjoying life. We also learned that our differences make us unique and a blast to get to know!