Monday, November 21, 2011

Honoring Veteran's Day

We had two special guests this Veteran's Day. Our first speaker was Senior Master Sergeant Kelby Belgard of the 122nd Fighter Squadron Louisiana Air National Guard. SMSgt Belgard has served in the military for 23 years. He shared with us the history of Veteran's Day and the benefits of being a soldier. Our second speaker, Seaman Walter Wilson of the Amphibious Forces, served in the Navy from 1967 to 1970, and fought in the VietNam War on the USS Oakhill and the USS Duluth. He discussed what a veteran is, why we honor them, and the importance of an education. After our discussion, our guests helped the students create an art sculpture using the colors red, white, and blue.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Blogging Party

This past Thursday, Mrs. Shepherd and I held our first annual blogging party. Parents were invited to learn about blogging and read their children's posts. Mrs. Shepherd worked with her students and created a video  explaining how to make a quality comment. In the video, the students did an excellent job relaying to their parents the following steps:
Step 1: Start with a greeting
Step 2: Give the writer a compliment
Step 3: Make a connection with the writer (This reminds me of...)
Step 4: Ask the writer a question
Step 5: Sign your name
Step 6: Proofread you comment
Step 7: Click "submit"

It is so important for our parents to interact with the students' writings. There is so much more meaning when they know others are reading and commenting on their posts.

My partner teacher, Mrs. Shepherd, is an amazing person! I was impressed how quickly she pulled this event together and integrated technology. It was as if she had done this before and came so naturally. Thanks for the time and effort you put into this gathering, Mrs. Shepherd!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

We Pledge To Be Drug Free

Red Ribbon Week is celebrated the last week of October. Our class was honored to have Ms. Nikki share with us the history of Red Ribbon Week. In 1985, Drug Enforcement Agent (DEA) Enriquie "Kiki" Camarena was working undercover in Mexico trying to stop a multimillion dollar narcotics operation. His efforts were successful, but enraged the leaders of the drug cartel. They kidnapped Agent Camarena and his body was found a month later. In his hometown of Calexico, CA, the citizens wore red ribbons to honor their friend and bring awareness for drug prevention. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan and the First Lady, Nancy Reagan, recognized Red Ribbon Week nationally. Every year since people all over the nation have worn red ribbons to promote "No Use of Illegal Drugs, No Illegal Use of Legal Drugs." You can visit the Red Ribbon Coalition's website for more information about Red Ribbon Week. 

The students pledged to be drug free and proudly wear the red ribbon. They also created posters that will be displayed for the rest of our school community to see.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Visit From Entergy

Our unit on electricity ended with a visit from Mr. Anthony DiFulco, who works for Entergy. He discussed with the students how electricity is supplied to homes and businesses and electrical safety. Some students expressed an interest in his field of work and he advised them that the most important skills to have in this field are reading comprehension and math, science and computer knowledge.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Let There Be Light!

We then identified and discussed each material used in the investigation. The battery is an electric cell because it supplies the energy. The metal in the wire is a conductor because it allows the current to flow and the plastic covering the wire is an insulator since it does not allow the flow of electric currents. Finally, the students discovered that they created a circuit, which is a path for an electric current.

On Tuesday, the students expanded their knowledge of circuits by testing various materials.

These materials were classified as either conductors or insulators. Each pair of students was given a bag that contained a metal spoon, a plastic spoon, a paper clip, a popsicle stick, a metal washer, and a straw. Each item was placed between the wire and light bulb to see if the bulb would glow. If the bulb did not glow, the item was an insulator. If the bulb did glow, the material was classified as a conductor.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Math Help

Here are resources to use at home. One website (#4) even allows you to enter the math problem you are trying to solve and explains how to do it. That is so cool!
25 Great Websites For Learning Maths

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I wish...

By the end of this week, students will know if they are getting the correct amount of change when they go shopping. Students were given a Scholastic book order form and $30 to spend. They created a "Wish List" of books they would like to buy, but had to stay within their budget. Their totals were then subtracted from $30 to determine the amount of change they would receive. Finally, the students used play money to show the fewest amount of bills and coins they would receive as change.

Some students practiced making change in the virtual world. They visited websites like Just Kids Games to make purchases and determine the correct amount of change. 

Sound Travels

Sound traveling through water
Today we learned about how sound waves travel through matter. During the investigation, we discovered that sound waves travel fastest through solids. The particles in a solid are compact, allowing sound to travel faster.

Investigating sound traveling through a solid

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Visitors Near and Far

Everyday at work is amazing, but these past two days have been SPECTACULAR!

Christina Leveanworth, traffic reporter for WWL TV, shared the ins-and-outs of traffic reporting. She explained how she gathers information from cell phone towers, traffic cameras, and viewer call-ins to keep us aware of delays and construction. The students were engaged in her discussions and asked great questions. Some questions included, "How did you become a reporter?" and "Would you rather report on something else besides traffic?" After Ms. Leveanworth's visit, I believe WWL will have new viewers. The students interest in local happenings has been peaked and there is no turning back. :)

My homeroom had our first Mystery Skype! Through a webcam over the Internet, we talked with Ms. LaCrosse's 5th grade class in Ohio. The students did not know what state the other class was from. We took turns giving clues about our state and, using maps, determined the locations. I was SO EXCITED to see the kids properly using political and climate maps!

Logan reading a clue about Louisiana
After the Skype, double bubble maps were created to compare and contrast Louisiana and Ohio.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

3 weeks...

Welcome to room 1!

3 weeks into the school year and our routines are becoming second nature. The kids are learning expectations quickly and have adjusted very nicely to 4th grade.
I teach Math, Science, and Social Studies to two groups. My homeroom is taught these subjects in the morning and then I teach Mrs. Shepherd's homeroom after lunch.

In the morning, students work on Mountain Math problems. They answer questions to practice skills throughout the year.

Every week, Thinking Maps are incorporated into the lesson. These graphic organizers allow students to visually organize their thoughts about a skill. Each map addresses a different process. For example, we can show the life cycle of a frog using a flow map. Or, we can compare similar fractions, decimals, and percents using a bridge map. Also, we can compare and contrast various map types using a double bubble map. I LOVE thinking maps and more importantly, so do my students!

These past 3 weeks have been a joy, and I cannot wait to see what the rest of the year brings!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Me By The Numbers

On the first day of school we will explore numerous technology tools. One of these tools is Glogster. You will create a glog about yourself using numbers. Here is a part of my glog. You will need to click on the picture to see the full image.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Earth Has A Message For You

I am so excited about a new school year! To start the year, Earth has a special message for you. Click here to see it.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I WON!!!!

Until recently, I had a link to an owl webcam through Wild Watch. When I checked the link today the video was gone due to the owls leaving. In my search for another owl webcam I came across Molly and McGee.  Perfect timing too.....there was a contest to win one of these cute, fuzzy owl beanie babies.

So, look for which one will be in our classroom. We will watch Molly and McGee throughout the year and dissect owl pellets (can you guess what that is???)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Math Around School

Click on each marker to answer questions.

Stay tuned for more visits to places in Louisiana. We will explore our state while answering math, science, and social studies questions!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Learning Fractions

Interactive Glog from Mrs. B's class on fractions. Watch the videos and play the games.

Learning Fractions

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Are You Bored?

Summer is not over and you're bored. Practice math skills you learned this year to keep your mind sharp!

Find link to calendars at Mrs. Randall's Learning Library blog.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

"All About Me"

In the past, my students were given a booklet to fill out about themselves at the end of the year. This booklet served as a memory book to jot down their favorite things about themselves and the school year. However, 32 students and 5 pages each did not sit well with me. After all, I am a science teacher and each year I teach them ways to preserve the environment. :)
So this year I decided to have them create a memory book using Power Point. They had a blast attaching their pictures, finding clip art to represent their favorite things, and changing themes and transitions! After their project was complete, they saved it to Drop Box, an online file-hosting service. This saved time and my sanity.
This Glog showcases some of the projects.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Projects

I have been creating various projects this summer using different applications. My goal is to determine whether they are user-friendly for 4th grade and keep students engaged. 
Take a look at these projects and let me know if this is something you are interested in learning.

Monday, June 20, 2011

About Mrs. Wilson

I graduated from Nicholls State University in 2007 with a degree in Elementary Education. One month after graduating, I began teaching 4th grade at Estelle Elementary. I love teaching 4th grade! Currently I am pursuing my Master’s degree in Educational Technology through Southeastern Louisiana University. In the past few years I have used the skills learned through this program to introduce technology in my classroom. My students and I have learned so much using Web 2.0 tools!

When I am not at school, I enjoy reading and camping with my family.

Our daughter, Sarah
Our Shih Tzu, Gizmo

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