Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Day in Fourth Grade

Often I post different snap-shots of life in fourth grade, so I thought it would be fun to give a glimpse of what a day in fourth grade is like. Not that there is a normal day...I have students who leave early different times of the week, students who have Czech at different times, and some subjects (like history) that we only have 3 times during the week. But, here it is, a "typical" day in fourth grade:

When students arrive, they work on morning work after they've unpacked. This typically includes handwriting practice, a math page, and sentence corrections.

After going over sentence correction together, we have devotions. This year, I'm using the book Jesus Calling with my kiddos. We'll read the devotion for the day, as well as verses that go with it, and then we'll pray. This year, I'm continuing to the ACTS prayer method with them. (Mondays-Adoration, praising God; Tuesdays-Confession, talking to God quietly; Wednesdays- Thanksgiving, praises; Thursday- Supplication, prayer requests; Fridays- we're praying for countries in Operation World) 

Next, we move on to math. This typically includes a lesson, some hands on activity, and independent practice. The math program we use uses a lot of games, so they'll have a game as part of their math lesson at least once a week.

Playing a game during math class

Next, we have a bathroom break and snack. After that, we'll move on to Language Arts. This is divided between four subject areas: Grammar, Spelling, Literature, and Writer's Workshop. Alas, due to students' scheduling, I don't have as much time to devote to my Language Arts block as I would like, since I have to have my math and Language Arts finished before lunch.
Trying to decide how to draw a neighborhood map using three countries
Reading Because of Winn-Dixie during Literature
Reading Because of Winn-Dixie

Next we have lunch and recess. Every afternoon, we have some type of special--whether it's music, art, library, or PE. Three days a week, we also have Bible. On Wednesdays, we have chapel. Three afternoons a week also find us studying science and history.
Water Drop Race Experiment during Science Class

Illustrating one of the 7 Sacraments while studying the Catholic Church in History Class

Illustrating one of the 7 Sacraments
  After this, it's time to write down homework, pack up, and head home! So, there you have it--Life in Fourth Grade.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

History Fun

We're learning about the Middle Ages in 4/5 History. We've been focusing on the Feudal System and spending time learning about daily life for the different classes (serfs, knights, lords, and kings). The day we were talking about kings, I thought it would be fun for the students to learn a bit about the lives of different kings and queens from that time. Since we only had about 20 minutes for this part of class, I just found brief (paragraph long) biographies about different royals. Each student chose one, and wrote a couple of sentences as if they were that person telling about his or her life. If they had time, they also illustrated their stories. (Since most of them didn't finish those, I'm not including them.)  Here are some of the paragraphs they came up with:

Frederick Barbarossa 

I was born in Germany in 1122. I died in the River Saleph on June 10, 1190. I was crowned Roman Emperor in 1155. I started the third crusade. I organized an army of 100,000, including 20,000 knights. I was impatient to cross the Saleph River and rode a horse into it and drowned.

Robert de Bruce

I was born to King Robert and I am Robert de Bruce. I was the greatest king and greatest warrior of my time. I led the war against the English, and I was Scottish.

Eleanor of  Aquitaine

My name is Eleanor of Aquitaine. I was married twice and ruled France and England. In the twelfth century, I was one of the most powerful women on earth.
Eleanor, Queen of Castile

I am Eleanor and Eleanor of Aquitaine was my mom. I lived from 1162-1204. That means I was 46 when I died. I also was a queen of France.

William the Conqueror

II wanted to rule England, so I set out with my fleet and defeated England. I am William the Conqueror, and I ruled for 21 years.  

Considering they left knowing more about the lives of royalty in the Middle Ages, as well as considering themselves experts on various kings and queens, I would say the lesson was quite the success. (We also discovered that Eleanor of Aquitaine was mother or mother-in-law to quite a few of our kings and queens.)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Welcome to Fourth Grade!

     My classroom is finally First-Day-Ready. What IS First-Day-Ready, you ask. It means that it is at the point where it is ready for our first day tomorrow, but there are somethings that still need to be taken care of--things I need to get for the classroom or bulletin boards that need to be decorated--things like that.

Anyway, since it is First-Day-Ready, I thought now would be the perfect time to give a tour of CISP's fourth grade classroom! Enjoy!

The door--thank you Pinterest for the idea!

What you see when you walk in

Back of the classroom--this is my science area

Classroom library/Language Arts area

Eventually I want to get a display rack for books...hasn't happened yet. :D
Drawers filled with classroom supplies--each labeled with what's inside

My desk area

Student desks (along with their treats for the first day)

Example of school supplies for any parents with questions--it's also where my extra desk is--eventually it will be beside the lonely desk that doesn't have a partner

Our rules--we'll go over these tomorrow

All About Today chart, Behavior chart, and Literature Circle chart
Lockers for shoes (they have to put on indoor shoes during schools) and hooks for coats--bookbags and lunchboxes will go on top.