Mrs. Beck's 4th Grade

Back To School Edition

Pulley

Creating Community

We've spend the last week creating a classroom community. We've done this in a number of ways. We got to know each other using a game of Scoot (ask your kiddos to tell you more about the Scoot game--its is a great cooperative learning activity that we'll use across many contents). We deconstructed our life skills (see picture above) and started on our social contract (how we should treat each other).


We voted on a the name of our class pet We used a cool tool called Plickers which lets kids votes using a card. We'll be using this tool for other learning too. The kids decided to call him Bob. Then, we used Plickers to vote for our class name--which the kids voted in as "Bob's Crew"--named after Minion Bob as well as stuffed dog Bob. :)


We also explored math and science concepts through STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering and Math) activities. Kids "Saved Sam", using lots of cooperation and communication. They had to get Sam (the gummy worm) back into his boat (plastic cup) with his life preserver on (Gummi Lifesaver) all without touching him with anything but paper clips.


We used some popular fairy tales to jump start our thinking. First, we looked at Jack and the Beanstalk. We built parachutes for Jack (a Lego Mini figure) and measured how fast he fell both with and without the parachute. You can see our data here. We also used Play-Doh and toothpicks to build a beanstalk that would hold Jack. Finally, we built ziplines for Rapunzel to get down from her tower. (See picture above). The kids did a great job problem solving and working together.


As part of our STEM study, we have also been exploring coding and robotics. We have two kinds of robots, Spheros and Dashes (the Dashes are on loan for a couple of weeks). We also created accounts on Code.org and have started going through the coding curriculum. The kids are definitely using their life skills of patience, risk-taking, flexibility and problem solving! The robot does exactly what they tell it to do, and sometimes the "code" isn't what they expected.


It has been great to see the kids coming together as a class group. They are an awesome bunch of 4th graders!

Class Wish List

A big thanks to Drew's family for contributing an electric pencil sharpener. The kids are rather glad not to have to rely on the crank one. :)


For the next couple of months, we could still use:

Velcro (strips, squares or circles)

Cardstock (white and other colors)

Hot Cocoa packets (or a big can)--Kids can earn this as a class reward

Styrofoam cups (for the cocoa)

Reams of copy paper (this didn't come in the EduKit School Supply and so our class ran a bit short)

Envelopes (to hold number cards in our math notebooks, as well as the school currency "Cougar Bucks)

Thursday Folders

Be sure and check your kiddo's backpack each Thursday. This is when we'll be sending important school info and completed classwork home. They should bring the folder back the next day.

Volunteers

I promise I haven't forgotten about all of you wonderful volunteers. I'm working out how and when and where to get everyone slotted in. I should know more by next Monday and I will definitely let you know when I have specifics.

Assessment Day 8/28/15

More info coming soon. You'll be bringing in your kiddo for a 90 minute session and we'll be doing some assessments to determine your child's strengths as well as areas for growth. With this data, we'll be able to really personalize instruction for your child. Look for a Sign-Up Genius link in your email soon.

Back to School Night

Thursday, Aug. 20th, 5:30-7pm

3501 Poston Parkway

Highlands Ranch, CO

Back to School will be structured into 3 sessions of 1/2 hour each (I'll be doing the same session 3 times). Mrs. Thompson will also be doing 3 sessions to fill you in on the awesome things happening at CME. The hope is that you'll be able to attend her session, as well as the sessions for your student/students' classroom teachers. This is a great time to learn about what we're doing in class and get lots of questions answered.