Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Earthquake Week Day 2

Good evening!

The students continue to be engaged and excited by our Earthquake Week activities. Here is the recap of today's events:

Social Studies:  
Today in Social Studies, we discussed and researched key geographical features that are found in regions that experience earthquakes. In addition, we covered plate tectonics and the movement of the continents, from Pangea to present day. Students read informational text to learn both about global geographical features as well as the history of some of Earth’s largest recorded earthquakes.

Literacy: Today we dug deeper into  the theme of interdependence.  We read aloud Dear Children of the Earth, A Letter from Home, by Schim Schimmel.  On their Chromebooks, students made webs using Google Draw, to identify interdependent relationships in the book.  Students were creative in the different ways they connected  the ideas and relationships.  Ask your child to show you his or her web in their Google Drive! Once we develop a stronger understanding of interdependence, we will connect this theme to everything the students have been learning about earthquakes.  

Science/STEM: Things started SHAKING UP today in STEM sessions. Students watched video of real earthquake (EQ) engineers testing models.  Next, students helped test 1 story and 4 story models of buildings with NO EQ technology/structural supports using our very own EQ simulation shake table.  Movement was recorded using grid paper, and documented via photos/video.  In groups, students used our interactive web page to chart movement shifts on their own grid paper and answer questions about the process and reasoning behind results found. To communicate their findings, groups used the iPad app, Educreations, to record screencasts (images, live annotations, & voice) explaining the movement, observations, and explanations behind our 1 story and 4 story CONTROL GROUP tests today.  We loved “BREAKING GROUND” with our first experiments!
See daily photos/videos posted at: http://goo.gl/Z3aYF3

Math:  Today in math class we began analyzing graphs of real earthquake data. We learned about the importance of the graph title, the categories on the x-axis, and the increments along the y-axis. All three of these pieces of information help us to correctly interpret the data. We also began the 100 coin flip challenge to test the concept of probability.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Earthquake Week--Day 1

Things really started shaking today in fourth grade!  We had an amazing first day of our integrated Earthquake unit.  Here is an update from each teacher about what happened during their class today:

Social Studies with Mr. Brandstrader:  Today in Social Studies, we defined and illustrated key terms and concepts as we begin exploring the history of earthquakes. Students examined the geographic locations of past earthquakes and researched the tools used to measure and compare earthquakes across the globe.

Literacy with Ms. Labellarte: Today we began to explore the last fourth grade language arts theme of interdependence. Students defined it in their own words by breaking the word into parts “inter” & “dependence”.  We studied pictures and reflected how they were connected to interdependence.  

Science with Mrs. Petlak: Today in the STEM lab, we explored earthquakes and the engineering design process. Students used technology to watch videos, share comments via interactive Padlets, and worked in teams to determine how they would use the engineering design process. Students were introduced to their team challenge and began defining the problem to be solved!  They also began taking nonfiction notes and learning new vocabulary. Follow our earthquake engineering explorations at: http://goo.gl/YGzmFz See daily photos posted at: http://goo.gl/Z3aYF3

Math with Mrs. Weinstein:  Today in math, we began by discussing the meaning of the word data and the different ways that data can be collected.  We made two group charts, and used those charts to explore the idea of sample size.  In order to have reliable data, we discovered that we need to have a larger sample size.

Stay tuned for further updates throughout the week!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Earthquake Week!!

Dear Fourth Grade Parents, 

We are very excited to "shake-up" learning all across fourth grade next week.  As a team, we are going to launch a comprehensive earthquake unit, integrating science, social studies, language arts, and math together.  Students will be traveling with their classes to visit and learn from all of the different fourth grade teachers to engage and develop a well-rounded understanding of earthquakes, as we learn about the western region of the United States.  

What will kids be learning? Mr. Brandstrader will be teaching social studies where students will be conducting research and building their background knowledge of earthquakes.  Mrs. Weinsten will be teaching math, focusing on on data collection and interpretation. Ms. Labellarte will be teaching language arts, focusing on the theme of interdependence and the impact of earthquakes through the reading of survival stories. Mrs. Petlak will be implementing STEM projects generously donated to our classes by ETA Hand2Mind, focusing on tectonics, geologic processes, and earthquake engineering challenge and construction.  

We will be posting exciting learning updates and happenings on our blogs, so stay tuned!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Bud, Not Buddy Interviews

Over the past few weeks, our class read the novel Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis.  This novel is told from the perspective of the main character, Bud Caldwell.  As an extension activity, the class was divided into small groups and asked to create an interview told from the perspective of another character in the book.  The students used their creativity to retell the story events from their assigned character's perspective.  We hope that you enjoy our videos!

Thank you to all of our dedicated camera crews:  Brady, Alex, Matt, Jake, Taylor, Jack, and Liliana